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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first Python and my second Colt. I have a few questions. First off the revolver is in great condition but it has a few nicks and scratches. I was wondering does having the gun refinished by Colt decrease the value of the gun? I bought the gun with no papers or a box. Should I spend the money and get documentation from Colt or not? Nothing special that I can tell about it. The only thing it does have is a pink tinted front sight. The previous owner did said Colt installed the front sight.

Thanks, James

Bumper Auto part Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun accessory Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Starting pistol
 

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first Python. I know how proud you must be.

You have a very nice, original condition Python with extra nice stocks. The Python appears to have been produced in the mid 70s and seems to have almost all of its original bluing. You should not consider refinishing it as your Python is too nice the way it is and it would definitely diminish the value. Reproduction boxes and paperwork would not add value. Only the original box and its original label, with original paperwork, adds value. The red insert front sight first appeared on Pythons in the early 80s. Like yours, many owners had them installed in earlier guns. These are my suggestions, others will have more.

Best of luck to you and your new Python!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first Python. I know how proud you must be.

You have a very nice, original condition Python with extra nice stocks. The Python appears to have been produced in the mid 70s and seems to have almost all of its original bluing. You should not consider refinishing it as your Python is too nice the way it is and it would definitely diminish the value. Reproduction boxes and paperwork would not add value. Only the original box and its original label, with original paperwork, adds value. The red insert front sight first appeared on Pythons in the early 80s. Like yours, many owners had them installed in earlier guns. These are my suggestions, others will have more.

Best of luck to you and your new Python!

Is that a copy and paste reply? LOL! It is a 1976 vintage to be exact.

Thanks, James
 

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Nice Python. Do not refinish your gun. You will devalue it.
 

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I have always said the first python should be a shooter, that way U can shoot the snoot out of it and find out just how good they are. Do nothing to this but enjoy, and I bet that if your pocket can stand it U will buy more, they tend to multiply. Very nice.
 

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Is that a copy and paste reply? LOL! It is a 1976 vintage to be exact.

Thanks, James
You should enjoy hanging around this forum and learning about your new Python. There is more shared Colt and Python knowledge here than anywhere in the world. The stocks on your Python give away its birthday, within a few years. You might find it interesting to know that they are what we refer to as Python Type III stocks, and are the earliest variation of Type III, first seen on Pythons in about '74. They are distinguished by a slightly larger and more oval symmetry than the later Type III stocks. A thinner and more square Type III stock appeared in about 1978, although there is no date certain for the transition. Your stocks appear to be in very nice condition and happen to be my favorite; they are quite valuable.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I see many people on here refinished their Colt's so I assumed it did not hurt the value if Colt did the work but now I know. I will leave it alone. The finish is still in great condition. Now is their anything I can use to polish this gun up with? I know no abrasives but I would like to make is shine. I know I could use Ren Wax but their is a small amount of haze to it. I assume that is just from age? You can take off the grips and it is nice and shiny. No one used any abrasives on this gun just to be clear.

Thanks, James
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first Python. I know how proud you must be.

You have a very nice, original condition Python with extra nice stocks. The Python appears to have been produced in the mid 70s and seems to have almost all of its original bluing. You should not consider refinishing it as your Python is too nice the way it is and it would definitely diminish the value. Reproduction boxes and paperwork would not add value. Only the original box and its original label, with original paperwork, adds value. The red insert front sight first appeared on Pythons in the early 80s. Like yours, many owners had them installed in earlier guns. These are my suggestions, others will have more.

Best of luck to you and your new Python!
When looking at Colt's, does Colt when rebluing, stamp their guns like S&W does? How does one tell if Colt reblued a gun?

Thanks, James
 

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Colt stopped putting a re-work stamp on guns before WWII, so there's no way to know if Colt refinished it.

There are ways to often tell if a gun has been re-blued, those to look for:
Over-buffed stamps, especially the Colt Pony on the side plate. The stamps will look "washed out" from too much polishing.
Sharp edges that should be sharp and defined, and areas where bright polish meets bead blasted areas should be well defined with no "bleed over" of polishing intruding into the bead blasted areas.
Ripples in the flats or down the barrel.
A hammer with blued sides.
"Off" colors like reddish or purple tints. Note that some Colt's will have a slight purple color on the cylinder latch.
Improper level of Polish, usually not shiny enough.

An archive letter from Colt will cost $75.00 and will tell you little of value. All it lists is what configuration the gun was in when it shipped originally, when it shipped, and who it shipped to.

The pink front sight is unlikely to be a factory job. In those days a red front sight was a special order item that few people ordered. Most were don after market. A common way to tell is that non-factory inserts were usually thicker than factory.
 

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James I am disappointed that you may still be thinking about refinishing your outstanding Python.

But, I will try and help answer your question. I do not believe Colt stamps any indication that it has refinished a Colt. There may have been a time when it did, but I do not believe it does today. Others may know more about Colt's refinishing practices and I hope they join the conversation.

A refinished Python will always and easily be seen as a refinished Python. The refinishing process results in the significant loss of metal on all of the Pythons clean and crisp edges, corners, and roll-marks. The barrel roll-marks, and the side plate pony will forever be thinned and diminished. Some may point out that for an extra charge, Colt will hand engrave those thinned roll-marks and side plate logo, and restore it to a new appearance. I think Colt will indeed take your money for this service, but I have never seen such an enhancement restore the Python to its original appearance. Beyond the roll-marks, the wonderfully polished sharp and clean edges, from the barrel vents to the contours of the frame, will forever be lost and will always appear rounded, over-polished, and yes, refinished. The loss of metal will result in a noticeable gap where the left side-plate and the frame are mated. This loss of metal will also result in what is referred to as a "dishing out" of the surface area where the frame and side plate screw holes are.

Do a simple search in the Forum for "refinished" or "refinishing" and I'll bet you can find photos of these characteristics that I have mentioned.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that your wonderful Python with its valuable and attractive stocks, is never subjected to the destructive forces of a refinish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not considering refinishing it. I think the gun may have been reblued so that is why I ask. I bought some Ren Wax and it did not help. The blue is foggy and not as shiny as I thought it would be. This is not my first blued gun just so you know.

Thanks, James
 

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I'm not considering refinishing it. I think the gun may have been reblued so that is why I ask. I bought some Ren Wax and it did not help. The blue is foggy and not as shiny as I thought it would be. This is not my first blued gun just so you know.

Thanks, James
James, Refinished? Without better photos, I can not see enough detail to know for sure. Can you shoot some photos without the flash of the pony on the left side-plate and the barrel roll-marks? Also the area around the firing pin hole on the interior of the frame (recoil shield area) and the forward surface of the cylinder, with the cylinder opened? With better photos we might be able to help answer this question.
 

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The haze occures some times due to the polishing prior to the bluing. I had a blue python that was as you say. Nothing you can do about it except to reblue properly. Colt used to stamp a star on the gun if it was a reblue by them. Usually on trigger guard at least that is the ones I ave seen on SAA. If you rebue your python it does take away from its value since it isn't original condition even if colt does the work. I wouldn't do anything to the gun except to rub some good quality oil on the gun. If you do rebue the gun, I would let Colt do it since it is their gun and why not keep it at least some way original. Plus they need the money to stay afloat in that commi state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
James, Refinished? Without better photos, I can not see enough detail to know for sure. Can you shoot some photos without the flash of the pony on the left side-plate and the barrel roll-marks? Also the area around the firing pin hole on the interior of the frame (recoil shield area) and the forward surface of the cylinder, with the cylinder opened? With better photos we might be able to help answer this question.
I tried to get closer to take pictures but my camera will not focus. The macro setting sucks. Let me try some real lighting instead of fluorescent lighting. I will take some pictures of it outside tomorrow.

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The pink front sight is unlikely to be a factory job. In those days a red front sight was a special order item that few people ordered. Most were don after market. A common way to tell is that non-factory inserts were usually thicker than factory.
Does this hurt the value of the gun with this sight? Now the previous owner said he had the front sight installed by Colt themselves because at the time, Colt did design the front sight and the owner was not going to sell his copyrights to Colt so you had to order the front sight from him and then send it to Colt. That is what I was told so do not shoot the messenger.

James
 
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