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Discussion Starter #1
About 6 or 7 years ago my wife gave me a Python for Christmas. My brother, who owns a pawn shop, got it for her. It is a beautiful piece. I fired about a box of .357s through it, cleaned it, and put it in the safe. Since then, it has been removed for cleaning and admiring. I had assumed, since it was a used gun, that it was nickel. It was in a plastic colt box that appears to be made for up to a six inch revolver. (mine has a 4" bbl.) The finish appeared to be identical to a Diamondback I owned briefly about 30 years ago. Now I am beginning to wonder if it might be stainless and not as old as I first suspected. The serial number is V848XX. Any info appreciated.
 

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That serial number shows as late 1979.
The year started off with V36737 and ended around V88373.

If your gun is stainless there's a quick check: Inside the ejector rod recess in the barrel lug, there will be a small "S" stamped just under where the checkered ejector rod head fits.

Also, if you open the cylinder and push the ejector rod, you can see in the middle of the cylinder, under the ejector, a small crimped-in bushing. There will be a small "S" stamped on the bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
dfariswheel, you are a gentleman and a scholar. It is amazing the things you can learn if you ask the right people. I have refrained from shooting the gun in the certain knowledge that I would ding it up. I have enough beaters and common Rugers and S&Ws to bounce around in the pickup and on the tractor. I guess it will reside in the safe, along with the lined El Paso Saddlery Threepersons holster I ordered for it. They do make a beautiful combination. Maybe one day a grandson or a nephew will appreciate the craftsmanship in the gun and the holster as much as I do. By the way, it appears to be nickel.

Again, thanks very much for the information.
 

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A couple of additional things to point out:

In 1979 the Python was not offered in stainless steel. Hence it's nickel.

Since your Python has been dated to 1979 the plastic case can not be original to the gun. The molded plastic case that you have was not used until the 90's. Yours should have come with a simulated woodgrain outer cover made of cardboard with 2 part styrofoam inserts.
 
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