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Discussion Starter #1
Curious what all the options Colt Custom Shop offered on the original Python. Sights, grips, etc...

Has anyone ever seen a compiled list of what all someone could order based on model and generation of Python?
 

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I believe that anyone who wanted some custom upgrades would discuss it with the Custom Shop and receive feedback and cost estimates. The CS might do things far different than the regular options...Eliason Sights...stocks...engraving and finishes. If someone was willing to foot the bill for unlisted touches the CS was usually quite accommodating. If a custom edition was commissioned by an organization that would be done as well and the costs could be spread over a larger number of Pythons (or other models) but there may have been a minimum number required to do this.

There's quite likely a much larger number of custom revolvers out there that were never catalogued and few may have seen or even aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, sounds like the Custom Shop was pretty accommodating. I'm curious about things like stag grips for example... Was it ever an option for CS to put stags on a Python from CS or is that always an aftermarket add?

Doesn't look like Colt gives you any detail when you letter a Colt on any custom options added to a Python, just year, length and maybe finish. Is that correct?
 

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An archives letter will only tell you what is on the production record for the individual Colt...sometimes the production record may have more information than others. When an archives letters states for the stocks "no information listed" it's generally assumed to mean the standard stocks were installed but there seems to be a number of Colts with non-standard stocks that were purchased new but the official records don't reflect it. Sometimes an archives letters gives plenty of information...very inconsistent and fully dependent on how complete the production order was filled out by a records keeper.

Basically...an archives letter is all we have to prove how an individual piece left the factory but it's simply not always complete. There's human error involved and with millions of firearms manufactured over the years there will be errors.

I have a Python in Royal Coltguard (electroless nickel)...I purchased it new many years ago...it has the Colt Custom Shop label on the box. I lettered it and for finish the letter simply says "Nickel" and not electroless nickel. I have an Anaconda with factory Magna Porting and the archives letter doesn't mention it.

If the production record doesn't mention it it doesn't necessarily mean it didn't come that way...it may simply have not been recorded properly or at all.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Great info, really appreciate the post. I've never lettered a Colt but have a 1977 2.5" blue I'm thinking of lettering. It has RI/WO sights and very curious if it will show anything on the sights. 99% condition and original owner said it is all original but know that's a little early for those sights but not impossible.
 

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Great info, really appreciate the post. I've never lettered a Colt but have a 1977 2.5" blue I'm thinking of lettering. It has RI/WO sights and very curious if it will show anything on the sights. 99% condition and original owner said it is all original but know that's a little early for those sights but not impossible.
 

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I guess the letter depends on who does the research. I had one done on a unfired 40 S&W proto-type Simi auto and the researcher emailed me several times for pictures of certain numbers, etc. I was very happy with the letter, it verified there are only 37 that weren't destroyed.
 

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The "standard" Custom Shop options for the Python were Ellison Target sights, fancy wood grips, and two levels of trigger jobs; one was a Target level job that was stated as only being reliable with .38 Special ammo, and a Service job that would be reliable with .357 Magnum ammo.
I believe that later Colt would only do a single level trigger job which was reliable with all ammo.
This was no doubt because they probably got used Pythons back from new owners complaining that the gun miss-fired with Magnum ammo, so Colt just started offering only one level.

Above that, since the beginning of Colt firearms in the 1840's Colt would do just about any work a customer requested, usually engraving and inlays of precious metals, custom serial numbers, and the famous Fitz pistols of the 1930's.
A classic example was the letter Bat Masterson wrote to Colt ordering a pair of Single Actions, in which he requested the front sight be made wider, and for them to be "easier on the trigger".

As long as it didn't require major alterations to the gun that significantly changed the size or shape, or mechanical changes that weren't safe or really possible, you could and still can custom order special guns from Colt.
I would guess that if you wanted a new 2020 Python with special fancy grips, or engraving and inlays, Colt would do it.
 

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All it takes is money.
 
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