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Discussion Starter #1
As I mentioned earlier in another thread, I've been trying to get my Python in at Colt for almost two years. In my last call with them they restated the "end of summer 2016" statement on the service web page. That web page just changed to omit legacy work in the last week so I gave Colt a call this afternoon.

Looks like it is a done deal. No more legacy Python servicing of any kind.

Evidently they have made the business decision to only service "recent" firearms (*although it seems that they will continue to service/refinish legacy Colt 1911s, single-action pistols and also rifles).

If you were planning to get any of the double-action Colt revolver line refinished or have work done you're out of luck.

They also would not recommend any alternative gunsmiths. I was told that "I could search online" to fine a Python-capable gunsmith.

Now I'm really depressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you kindly. This Python was a house flood victim while my uncle was deployed. The action was unaffected and is smooth as silk. The barrel and cylinder, however, look hideous and I found replacement parts...

Just sad that such an icon can't service it's own product any longer.
 

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I realize Colt has financial issues but this is spiting themselves and turning their backs on their base that made them. They should at least recommend gunsmiths that are Colt-certified to work on "legacy" firearms.

What happened to their "Lifetime" warranty on products that happen to be revolvers? Are they walking away from that promise or did that expire when the company was purchased by others? The Colt website now says they "can't service legacy models over ten years, with the exception of most 1911 models and third generation Single Action Army (and New Frontier) models."

No announcement...nothing but a note on their service page.
 

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Is colt too busy making military stuff or what? You would think they would be hiring or training new gunsmiths or whatever as the work is there that they turning down. I have never been in the business world, only a time clock puncher all my life but I think I should have got in business management or similar. In the auto and aircraft manufacturing industry don't they by law have to keep parts for so many years after models are discontinued?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SnidelyWhiplash,


That is a very interesting observation. I hadn't thought of that. I guess it could be the 2016 version of "lifetime warranty" when the company knows they won't be around to worry about it.
 

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Sounds like they are only doing old 1911s and SAAs because those are the two guns they are still producing.

Probably don't have anyone qualified to work on the V spring anymore, and don't want to pay for training.

I would love to become a Colt gunsmith. I see money there, but I don't see an abundance of parts to do the work, which limits that amount of money I see. The parts that currently exist is all that exists. Except for I frame hands and bolts, and D frame hands which are now reproduced. Most everything else is obsolete, unless you know a machinist or tool maker that could replicate something for you. If it wasn't for that, I would seriously consider becoming one. Well, that, and the fact I just went up to my eyeballs in debt for a degree in computer science.
 
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My understanding is that, for the past several years, Colt only had one gunsmith who worked on Pythons, and he was quite elderly. Thus, I infer that the gentleman retired (hopefully, he did not die!), with no skilled, younger gunsmith to take his place.

Double action Colts are no longer part of Colt's business model. From the business' perspective, there is no longer any reason to spend time and money supporting products which have been out of production for 30 +/- years.

From a gun owner's perspective, of course, it is sad that Colt can no longer service their long-out-of-production products.

In many parts of American life, we no longer have new, skilled craftsmen making their way up through the ranks. Our society has largely become a throw-away society. Something breaks? Throw it away, and buy a new one. Colt is simply doing the same thing as society in general. With our cars, for example, parts are largely removed and replaced, not repaired.

I seriously doubt that one can buy new, replacement parts for a Model A or Model T Ford direct from the manufacturer, either.
 

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I was told the same thing a few weeks ago, they will no longer work on DA revolvers...
 

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I seriously doubt that one can buy new, replacement parts for a Model A or Model T Ford direct from the manufacturer, either.
There's a very healthy cottage industry for Model T Ford parts as for many other makes and models as well. When there's a market that needs servicing, there will be entrepreneurs or lovers of the marque that will step in and provide what's demanded. That also assumes the market is large enough to justify the tooling costs, much less the advertising and distribution network.

Whether something like that will happen for Colt double-action revolvers remains to be seen. I tend to doubt it as anything related to the gun industry is considered bad ju-ju and not politically correct. Add to that the low volume sales, insurance for anything gun-related business and government regulations and costs it just seems unlikely. Whether the reproduction of such parts might cross legal barriers with Colt and would require licensing I can't say. After so many years I would think any patent rights have long expired or Colt has abandoned the rights. Maybe a licensing agreement with Colt for some enterprising soul to produce Colt-authorized replacement parts like GM and Ford do for licensed reproduced parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This reminds of a question I've had for some time about replacement Python parts- in particular cylinders...

I've never had one in my hand, but I understand there was a target model Python made in only .38 special caliber.

How can you tell one of these cylinders from a regular .357/38 Python cylinder?
 

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This reminds of a question I've had for some time about replacement Python parts- in particular cylinders...

I've never had one in my hand, but I understand there was a target model Python made in only .38 special caliber.

How can you tell one of these cylinders from a regular .357/38 Python cylinder?
They moved the ridges deeper into the cylinder chambering it for 38sp only.
 

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This reminds of a question I've had for some time about replacement Python parts- in particular cylinders...

I've never had one in my hand, but I understand there was a target model Python made in only .38 special caliber.

How can you tell one of these cylinders from a regular .357/38 Python cylinder?
I believe they actually have a stamp on the cylinder, "38spl".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I hadn't seen any with the ".38spl" on them but I figured there had to be some identifying marks. I found a retired Colt gunsmith about a year ago through a ex-Navy friend down in Texas that had boxes of NOS and lightly used Python stuff. I got two nice cylinders (1 used and 1 NOS) and a crane from him and felt pretty happy. I was sorry to hear that the very kind gentleman passed away not long after that.

(But the thought of the .38spl only cylinder was haunting me). I knew someone here would know more than me on this...

Yep, I'm afraid that we've for sure reached a throw-away society threshold. A few years ago we were buying a house that had a fireplace insert. When we checked out the house the chimney sweep found that the Durovent chimney piping was missing the very top section. It all looked brand new as it had never been used.
When I asked the chimney sweep about getting that one section, they said, "oh, Durovent went out of business 20 years ago. You'll have to put in a new chimney insert. I estimate around 2 to 3k." He had no idea who he was dealing with. Our family motto is "Never pay retail"...

So it took me about two months but sure enough, I see three sections of NOS Durovent chimney sections on Ebay. Cost me a whole $80.00 to get the three sections, but I only needed one. I put the new section on and locked it in place and we were good to go...

Thanks for the info on the cylinders!
 

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And Now another XYZ number of Pythons that have never been shot outside of the factory will remain that way.
The Python......A safe queen because you can't get parts or someone to work on it anymore.

I'll pass. I like to SHOOT guns myself.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Reckon it couldn't hurt to pick up a hand, hammer or similar Python parts soon. I was at an auction not long ago and there was a small box from a gunsmith that they identified as loose "gun parts". I only got a quick look before the bidding but I thought I recognized a few things in the box.

Turns out after the bidding (I got it for around $12) that there were a few Colt gunsmith tools in there like a bushing removal wrench and a few other small parts including a clean ratchetand a Python stem. I was a happy camper- anytime I can pick up spares it's a good thing and at that price it was an early Christmas...
 

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In the auto and aircraft manufacturing industry don't they by law have to keep parts for so many years after models are discontinued?
That might be true for cars. I've never heard that about aviation. I don't think it would be that difficult for Colt to get qualified revolver people do work in their repair department. I'm an aircraft mechanic at an OEM service center and we can get new guys up to speed on our legacy products pretty quickly. To me this looks more like they just ran out of parts and decided that it wasn't cost effective to start making more. This should also put an end to any rumors about them bringing a DA revolver back into production.
 
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