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Discussion Starter #1
I had to post pictures of my Grail Gun -- A First Generation Python from 1959. It is in excellent condition for its age -- some minor issues with the finish but nothing major and all visible in the pictures. It was in desperate need of a good oiling.

Timing and lock-up are absolutely perfect. Now I need an original era box!

Left Closed1.jpg

Barrel Left.jpg Serial Number.jpg Pony.jpg Right Closed.jpg View attachment 89993
 

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A beautiful Python. I would refer to it as an early Python since I am not aware of any 'generations' of Pythons.
Members, please correct me if these guns (Pythons) are in different generations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe we can settle on "very early". :)It is the lowest numbered Python I've come across in person.
 

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I agree that there are no "generations" of Pythons. Many people use the term when referring to the different grips that came on the gun throughout its production. They really should use the term "type."
 
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First type, first generation - who cares! What you have is a FIRST Class 4 digit Python, beautiful revolver. Hang on to that.
 

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Very nice.:cool:

I refer to these, as a group, as "50's Pythons", which are all 6", blued, with 'first type' fully checkered stocks, and are 4 digits or less SN's.
 

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The "Generations" etc descriptions are usually from advanced collectors who need some way to describe a Colt.

The term "Generations" is used exclusively for the Colt Single Action Army revolvers.
The term "Issue" is used for all other revolvers.

What designates an "Issue" is usually a major cosmetic or mechanical change, OR an interruption in production.

Examples of Issues is the change from the original "skinny" barrel-exposed ejector rod to the heavy shrouded barrel Colt Detective Special. The cosmetic changes constitute an Issue change.
As an example of a mechanical Issue change would be the change in the First Issue Colt Officer's Model, to the Second Issue.
The First Issue was based on the Colt New Army & Navy revolver, the Second Issue was a totally different gun mechanically, based on the 1908 Army Special Model.
An example of an interruption in production Issue would be the Colt Detective Special which was discontinued in 1986 and briefly reintroduced in 1993. which was considerer to be a different Issue even though mechanically and cosmetically they were identical.

Since there were no really major changes mechanically or cosmetically in the Python it's considered to be a single Issue.
Collectors may well decide to start separating the Python into Issues so all this is not carved in stone.
However, as above, "Generation" is exclusively a Single Action term.

Last, that is a GORGEOUS early Python and a classic example of the finest in American and Colt workmanship.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Does anyone have thoughts on value? I gave up a 1978 6" Nickel Python and a Colt Govement MKIV .380 for it.
 

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Well didn't the "EARLY/FIRST GENERATION" PYTHON have a different height vent rib, flat rear sight, and different rollmarks.....

To me that is a major difference....RR
 

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Great find! Simply fantastic for it's age. I just love those first gen grips. I Definitely need one of these in my collection.
 

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Well didn't the "EARLY/FIRST GENERATION" PYTHON have a different height vent rib, flat rear sight, and different rollmarks.....

To me that is a major difference....RR
Most advanced collectors just don't seem to think that minor a change warrants a change in Issue.
As above, all this is subject to change, especially now that the Python is discontinued and collectors are buying them as collectible guns.

"Right now" collectors seem to be going on separating the Python into Early production, Mid-production, and Late production.
There doesn't seem to be a real consensus on just where the years break.
 

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I agree with RR that the early Python features are significant. It is these differences that make early Pythons worth more than later Pythons. I put full-checkered stocks and hollow lugs as other significant features found on early Pythons.

Collectors usually attach great significance to small details, such as the number of screws in the side plate of a Smith & Wesson or a stray marking or two on a Single Action Army.
 
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