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Mismatched python grips

1002 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  KMKCOLT
I have a set of 3rd gen. python grips that are in decent shape but they are off to Hugh pretty quick, my question is these are really mismatched as far as color of the wood, I have seen alot of the stocks and they are usually a little better matched, Some of u guys that see alot of pythons give me some input on what was the worse set of mismatched grips u have seen on a pistol that u knew were original.
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mismatched (gold worn off the medallions)


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You have to remember these were production guns and were not out of the custom shop back then. They just grabbed any grip and threw them on the guns. They didn't try and get exotic on them till they began producing them in the custom shop. In fact the only ones I know they tried to get a better quality grip on were the engraved ones out of the custom shop. It was luck of the draw.
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They didn't try and get exotic on them till they began producing them in the custom shop
Colt wasn't even using these walnut stocks when the gun began being produced in the Custom Shop in the late 1990's. I would hardly call laminate Python Elite stocks 'exotic.'
Colt grips were made from planks so since two grip halves almost always came from two different planks you might see at least a slight difference in color and quality of grain.
This difference was evened out by using a reddish-brown stain-finish to finish the grips.

What this can do is well illustrated by the grips pictured by Doc540.
In that case the mis-match is really bad because one grip is American Black Walnut, the other is some sort of hardwood, possibly Beech or Birch, and probably that grip half was not even a genuine Colt grip.
Using a stain Swamprat was able to get a close match on color, but you can't do a lot about lack of grain.

Colt always did a good job on getting grip COLOR to match up, but it was common to see one half with more or less grain figure then the other. You'd expect this since they didn't come from the same plank.
Since obvious color differences was very noticeable and objectionable to the customer, Colt's seldom had a major mis-match on color.
Minor variations yes, but I don't think I ever saw any Colt with a major color mismatch that had verified factory original grips.

From what I saw, most of the bad mismatches were grips that were not shipped by Colt as a set but were "put together" grips to correct one side being damaged.
A common mismatch is the right side grip half is the one replaced, because that's the grip that gets battered or damaged when carried in a holster.

So, from what I saw over the years, Colt did a good job of getting grips to match in color, and major mismatches were almost certainly not original sets.
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I think mine are original Colts, and originally they just dyed them to match.

Once they were sanded and stripped, the difference became obvious.

Otherwise, they proably matched well.
I wonder if these were one of a set that one was replaced at some point because of a defect, but they are what they are. I have two sets that I need Hugh to work his magic on. One is from the 84 stainless that is in really good shape but the grips are a little roughed up, nothing bad, but it would really be sweet with a nice set on it. Thanks for the input guys, one of the 4in blues may turn into a 500 [email protected] mag and I may sell the extra grips that I had kept for it. When I got it there was a set of colt rubber grips on it so if it trades it will go with those hideous grips on it plus cash in my pocket. I may be losing my mind but I have wanted one of those monsters since they came out.
Colt also used rubber and various styles of that and manufacturers. At one point all stainless guns came with rubber grips except for the Blue version of the python. I have a set of grips on an original python that looks like cherry wood not walnut but are the same color as if it was walnut. They used what ever they could get at that time. You are forgetting when in manufacturing cost is everything if I get a better deal from one company that is what I buy for my profits. I am wondering if they actually made the grips or was it made by another company like JAY Scott or who ever else. Just because it states colt doesn't mean it was made by colt.
I also wasn't considering laminate wood as exotic. I was referring to Rose wood or ebony or zebra which was offered back then made by Jay Scott and Eagle Grips later years. They sometimes were after market but some special runs were placed on by Colt at the custom shop. Examples of these would be the St. Paul PD gun or Minneapolis PD gun which were both special runs. I can also tell you that my D engraved Python came with walnut grips but were better finished than the regular run with higher gloss and better grain grip. They were very well finished and fit.
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