Bubba, First of all welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge here and I hope you come back often.
For a 1st time Colt owner, you purchased the finest revolver on the face of the earth. I owned a 1956 model as well. Number 94x. The trigger was so light that I sometimes had accidental firings. You will notice that your trigger is like silk and nothing else compares.
Stocks: Purchase the same quality of stocks that match the condition of the revolver. You are correct that they do not come cheap. I am also in search of some as well as many others. I'd purchase a set of Hogue grips to shoot with. You will feel much more comfort with the Hogue (or aftermarket grip) over the full checkered Colt stocks. When you sell your gun and you let it go with full checkered stocks you will see a greater buyer base and that will result in a higher resale value. Myself, If a early Python didn't have full checkered stocks I would not consider the purchase unless I could get into it for $200 less than market. That way I'd have room to work with updating the revolver to original full checkered. I was in search of full checkered stocks at Tulsa and didn't find a single set.
BTW: At the Tulsa Gun Show I saw a Python serialed as 169. Asking price was $3250. Needless to say it didn't sell.
Addicted. Thanks for the quick reply! I paid $650.00 for the Python so I figure I have some play room to spend a bit more for the grips. From what I can tell most Pythons are selling for more then what I paid so I think I'll be OK if I ever sell. By the way, I didn't know what year was when I first looked at this gun. I was only looking at condition and wear and it looked great. It was only later that I figured out how to tell the age from the serial number and thats when I realized how old it was. Heck, it's older then my wife! Not sure I would have purchased that old of a gun had a known sooner. But then again...what the heck, I married my wife! Again, thanks for the advice.
Bubba, welcome to the forum. We love pictures here! Especially the vintage ones. Your Python has the hollow underlug which is rare in that they only produced these for the first two years (or was it three). I'll have one of those hollow underlugs one day, no matter what the cost.
Addicted is entirely correct in that any real Colt collector is going to look for full checkered stocks and they would be best for resale value. Very expensive and hard to find.
Colt went from full checkered stocks on the Python to checkering that stopped in a semi-circle below the medallion sometime in the early 60's, except for the 2-1/2" Pythons which maintained the full checkered small stocks for quite some time. After the semi-circle they went to checkering that stopped in a straight line below the medallion, sometime in the early/mid 70's. I can't remember the exact years for the transitions and maybe someone would like to chime in with more specifics.
At the Tulsa gun show I seen a couple of grips for that gun go for between $100 and $125.I almost bought one of them.But finances and indecission kept me from it.I never see them come up on eBay,but I'm sure if they did they'd probably go for $175,,so wait and go to a big gun show and buy them.I also seen a pair of checkered Ivory grips for a Officers model or Python that were like no others I seen before,but they were stuck at $350,,,another reason I didn't buy the older Python grips,,man I wish I had saved more money for the show.I'm sure I could have spent 2 or 3 thousand easiy and left that much more on wanta haves.Seen Kevin was way ahead of me on looking for older stuff and saved his money.He got a few good guns.All I really got was some dynamite leads on some Pythons and Boa guns comeing up for sale in a few weeks.
April show will be a different deal.If the tax man dont hit me too hard.
If you just want a Python to shoot, I suggest you sell your early gun to a collector at a profit and buy a later one to shoot. It will sell just fine without the correct stocks, but would sell better with the correct stocks of course. I disagree that you can find the correct full-checkered stocks at most gun shows. You may find a set of Officers Model Match full-checkered stocks with silver medallions from time to time, but rarely will you find them with gold medallions. If you want a set, pay what it takes to get them as they are appreciating at a rapid rate.
Thanks to all of you for the great comments! I've been looking at ebay for a set of grips and didn't realize that there was a difference in the early grips verses later! I also looked at gunbroker.com. If I buy grips I want to get the right ones so I really appreciate the knowledge this forum as armed me with. I'll take a pic of the python and post it here. I just bought it and I bought it to shoot but now that I've heard that it's a classic, I may take you guys up on the advice to not shoot it. Anyone have any idea where I might look for a set of the original grips??
Addicted. When you say full checkered stocks do you mean that the entire grip is checkered -- even above the medallion? Was there any portion of the grip that was not checkered? I'm trying to understand so that I know exactly what I'm looking for. Is there a site I can go to that has pictures? Also, can you describe what you mean by hollow underlugs?
Nope these were the originals with the gold medalions.Tulsa had 3800 tables and there were loads of stuff.
Ask Kevin (addicted).It was like a buyers heaven.
But you are right.You have to go to the BIG shows,like this Wannamakers show here in Tulsa.There will be another April 1st.There's also Las Vegas,which I understand is way bigger,but someone said it's only open to FFL dealers....I bet a C&R would get you in though.I just never been because we have these shows in Tulsa and they're too much for me and my want list.
Boy I wished I'd picked up that set of checkered ivory grips for an Officers Model still.They were even shaped like a Python grip and probably even fit.I didn't even get these people's name because I knew I was comeing back
Addicted. Thanks so much for the picture. These older grips are one beautiful piece of work! Hopefully, I'll be able to locate a set at some point but as everyone's told me on this forum any original grips are hard to find -- let alone these early ones. However, I'm an optimist so I posted a WTB in the classified section of this forum and I've called some shops and checked the internet but almost nothing is available right now. I'll keep looking but if anyone on this forum has any ideas where I can locate some please send me a note. Again, thanks for the help.