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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Python lovers. I just bought a 1969 Python (Serial # is E22xx) from my former parter from work who inherited it from his dad. It didn't mean too much to him, so he decided he'd rather have the money than the gun. It's Royal Blue, 4" barrel with aftermarket grips that don't look too bad and a trigger shoe attached to the original trigger. I'm not a fan of the shoe, but am afraid to remove it and mess something up. It's attached with 2 set screws that I assume tighten against the side of the trigger to hold it into place. I'm betting that if I remove the shoe, there will be 2 little round marks on the side of the trigger where the set screws were tightened down. The blueing is pristine and my partner (who is not a liar) believes it is virtually unfired as told to him by his father. My partner has only had the pistol for about 2 years and he has not shot it. There is NO wear on the cylinder edges and if there is wear on the edge of the muzzle, you need a magnifying glass to see it. There is also no carbon on the front of the cylinder with no blueing removed (due to what might have been vigorous cleaning to remove carbon). I can find no freckling anywhere, so the blueing looks pristine to me. If I were to grade it, I would grade it at 99%, but I'm no professional. My questions are:
1) does the shoe hurt, help or indifferent to value?
2) should I remove it?
3) should I look for some original grips to replace the aftermarket grips to help increase the value of the gun or just not bother?
4) since I have no box or papers and am not sure if it's REALLY been fired or not, do I have a more or less a PRISTINE shooting gun or more towards a collector grade pistol? I understand that to TRULY grade the gun, you need photos, but since I'm kinda technologically retarded, I don't know how to post photos.
5) What does it mean to have a "full mane" on the horse? What am I looking for?
6) Good buy for $1500?

I'm itching to fire it, but if it's too pretty or valuable to shoot, I'll consider it an investment and have my first safe queen ever. I'm prepared for either outcome. Thanks for any guidance you can provide me. This is my first Colt ever.
 

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In order:
1. The shoe hurts value because it's not factory original.

2. Removal is your choice, but there will be marks where the set screws were. This will drop value a little, whether more then with the shoe on is unknown.

3. Original grips, depending on which of the three versions you need, START at over $250 and go UP from there. Proper grips would increase the value but probably not what correct replacements would cost.
For an E22XX Python you'd need the Second Type, which had the "thumb rest" only on the left side, and the checkering border in a semi-circle under the gold Colt medallions. This version is harder to find and more expensive.

4. You have a pristine Python, but without the original box, it's not a collectible, but since it is in really nice shape, it's certainly not a "shooter" grade either.

5. The Colt Pony changed over the years, but the all had the mane. Those that appear to not were usually poorly stamped and a little faint in places.

6. Price depends on who's buying, and where it's being sold. On Gunbroker it would likely bring at least $1500 if not more. In a local gun shop, possible not that much. There are just too many variables.
Strictly my opinion, a 1971 4 inch in the shape you describe would probably be worth that money, with the provision that the trigger shoe situation will detract.

Shoot or safe queen?
"Virtually unfired" means "Fired". Since it's been fired, you won't lower the value if you occasionally enjoy using it for what it was made for. Since the grips are not original and you have the trigger shoe business, it's kind of silly not to enjoy it.
It's like owning a slightly used 1970's Ferrari and never driving it.
 

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I agree with DF, but then again I usually do. Question, Was 68 the last yr for no prefix, mine has no prefix and is a 68.
 

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I too think it is a 1969. 1969 Had both an E prefix and no prefix at all. The prefix numbered Python serial numbers were E1001 to E6300on while the non lettered were from 90000 to 99999.
 

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The only thing I could add is about the trigger shoe. If you ever intend to holster the Python get rid of the trigger shoe now and don't concern yourself with the two small marks on the trigger. They were made for competition guns only. When they came out alot of cops put them on their duty revolvers. Several of those cops accidentally shot themselves in the leg because the shoe extended outside the trigger guard and got hung up on the holster. I bought a used Python a number of years ago with a trigger shoe on it. I removed it as soon as I got it home. That is my main off duty carry gun now a days. As to whether or not to shoot it, that is up to you. Enjoy the Python as you see fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I removed the shoe today and it only had the slightest crescent moon shape where one of the set screws engaged the trigger. I don't think the other one was even touching the trigger. You REALLY have to look for the mark and almost know the shoe was there in the first place to find it. ALMOST no harm done. Thanks for the feedback and the reality check. I've had 3 very knowledgeable people look at the pistol today and they all said the same thing..."I don't think this gun has been fired". They all said it the same way, very sincerely and with quite a bit of surprise. It's going to be a difficult decision whether or not to shoot it. I don't like the aftermarket grips, so maybe I'll wait until I find some grips I like better...
 

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I removed the shoe today and it only had the slightest crescent moon shape where one of the set screws engaged the trigger. I don't think the other one was even touching the trigger. You REALLY have to look for the mark and almost know the shoe was there in the first place to find it. ALMOST no harm done. Thanks for the feedback and the reality check. I've had 3 very knowledgeable people look at the pistol today and they all said the same thing..."I don't think this gun has been fired". They all said it the same way, very sincerely and with quite a bit of surprise. It's going to be a difficult decision whether or not to shoot it. I don't like the aftermarket grips, so maybe I'll wait until I find some grips I like better...
No box or papers? Shoot it.
 

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Clearly, that bad boy is beggin' to be shot.
C'mon, man! It is what they are made for.
You cannot wreck it.
Enjoy it.
 

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Seems a little odd that someone would go to the trouble of installing a trigger shoe and then not shooting it. Shoot the snot out of that snake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Seems a little odd that someone would go to the trouble of installing a trigger shoe and then not shooting it. Shoot the snot out of that snake.
My thoughts EXACTLY! I don't understand why you would buy a brand new pistol and not shoot it...ESPECIALLY after you've put some personal effects on it. The guy added a trigger shoe and changed the grips and DIDN'T shoot it?!? Makes no sense to me, but that's what the gun shows...no use.

For all you guys saying "shoot it!", it's easy to say that 'cause it's not your gun :eek:. Ya'll gotta quit trying to convince me to shoot it 'cause I'm almost there. I bought a box of 250 lead .38 special SWC yesterday from one of the 3 people who looked at it and thinks it's unfired. If I shoot it, it will be after I find better grips. The grips I have are VERY long at the pinky and they force the hand high on the grip against the finger grooves. They are uncomfortable.

Again, thanks for all of the input.
 

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I will add one more thing, if there is no proof that it is unfired, then there is no reason not to. It can add no value to the python if U decide to resale to say I think it is unfired. U will do yourself a great service to fire this classic revolver then keep it clean and say I love how this low round count python shoots. Nothing else like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will add one more thing, if there is no proof that it is unfired, then there is no reason not to. It can add no value to the python if U decide to resale to say I think it is unfired. U will do yourself a great service to fire this classic revolver then keep it clean and say I love how this low round count python shoots. Nothing else like them.
Not trying to be a wiseacre, but what would count as "proof" of being unfired? Having a gunsmith borescope it and write a letter certifying or something like that? One of the men that looked at it said that the forcing cone still had the machine marks in it. They all commented about how the front of the cylinder hadn't lost any bluing and had no scorch marks. How does a person prove a firearm is unfired? I'm asking sincerely to learn.

I'll probably end up firing it after I replace the uncomfortable grips. Thanks in advance for any additional info you can provide and thanks, also, for the opinions.
 

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Loco, with a high condition Colt, fired post-factory a few times (or a few boxes), not holstered, and properly cleaned and stored, nobody can prove whether or not it has been fired. Whether or not it has been fired is only an opinion, and reasonable Colt experts can sometimes disagree.

I think too much emphasis is placed on whether or not a gun has never been fired post-factory when setting value. To me, the issue is the gun's condition, not whether or not it has been fired. I gun that has been fired post-factory, but leaves no evidence of firing is just as good and just as valuable as an unfired (post-factory) gun, IMHO.
 
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