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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
\"Police\" Python?

Somewhere, somehow, I recall seeing the Pythons we all know and love labeled, I THINK in factory ads, as, "The Police Python." Does memory serve or am I only attracted to the alliteration? (Ha!) OR, was there such a thing as a genuine, special model? Over?
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

When Colt got lots of pressure from cops and shooters for a 4" Python model, they brought it out advertised as "The New Police Python".

This name appeared only in advertising, only for the 4", and was never stamped on the guns.

The name was dropped from ads fairly soon.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Just a minor point, but Colorado State Patrol officers were issued 4-inch Pythons in cross-draw holsters back in the early 70s.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Hello : Anyone know if there are any police departments still using Pythons?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks...Chuck

[This message has been edited by cdlubbe (edited 03-13-2004).]
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Anyone ever see,or better yet,own a 3 INCH Python? I "passed" on one,99%,but no box etc,for $450- about 15 yrs ago! This is when "regular" Pythons(used) were bringing "350-$400. Massad Ayoob,wrote an article about Pythons "cleaning up"in the "snubby" category in,I think, Police Revolver Competition,with the 3 " barrel,so after a year or 2 of complaints,"snubby" had to be under 3" barrel,and the 2 1/2" model was born. This is what Ive read,so quien sabe? Bud
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

The 3" Python was a fairly recent development, with the first being a custom, limited edition known as "The California Combat".

Later Colt made a few short runs in blue and stainless.
A famous early ISPC shooter and shooting school owner in Mexico Missouri SWORE by his 3" Python, claiming it was the ultimate carry gun.

The 2 1/2" Python was an early addition, offered soon after the 4" was introduced.

As a bit of Colt history:
The first 2 1/2" Python was made as a company "in" joke for a senior executive.
The very idea of a "snubby" .357 was considered so ludicrous, somebody in the company thought it would make a great gag.

Somebody else saw the "joke" and thought it might actually be a good seller, and ordered it into production.

The "joke" 2 1/2" was an immediate hit with FBI agents and senior agency officials who carried it up until they were literally forced to convert to the autos.

It was years later before S&W dared to bring out a competitor: the S&W Model 66 with a 2 1/2" barrel.

Top be fair, the S&W 66 2 1/2" is probably the ultimate .357 snubby.

As for police issue of the Python, a VERY few departments were so bold with the taxpayer's money as to buy the expensive Python.
About 15 years ago when the great police sell-off of revolvers and the conversion to the auto was in full swing, I did see a few used Pythons for sale at places like CDNN and KY Imports.

One notably exception, was the Post-Gulf War Kuwaiti national police, who bought Pythons and Mercedes!!! "squad???" cars.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 03-13-2004).]
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

lonewolf,
I am the proud owner of three of these hard to find snubbies. Fortunately,I got them all before the prices became insane. They are out there still,if you look around. One is my Sunday carry. The other two spend most of their time in the dark.
Buy one if you get the chance. You won't regret it. As expensive as they are,ten years from now it will seem like a bargain!
f.t.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

I had a 2 1/2 \" Python issued to me. Pilots and Medics needed M0del 60's and I had one. The armorer offered to trade a Python for a 60. I took him up on the offer.

When I retired, I had a choice of buying the Python or my issue Sig 220. I decided on the Sig. That was 13 years ago.

I wonder if I made a mistake,

John
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Thanks Tom & dfaris...yeah I shouldve bought the 3" back then,but I thought it might be a cut down 4"(professionally job)! By the time I did research,figured what I could trade & get the remaining cash,and drove back a few days later 100 miles to dealer,it was gone! But ALL was not lost! That day,hed taken on consignment,a 5 1/2" 2nd gen.SAA,one of 1st 1000 guns produced in 1956,99%,but no box. $400 cash only(guy who had it,needed $ to repair his dump truck(his livelihood!)So,I cleaned out the wallet! .38 special,with what case coloring is supposed to be! But,ya know, I wonder,if it would,bring more than the 3" Python today?? But of course,I shoot it sometimes. Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: \"Police\" Python?

Don'cha just love all this Python talk!? I knew one New York State Police Sergeant that carried one in 1981 - fact. That's a 4" blue Python. (Their issue gun, then, was the #28 S&W, "Highway Patrolman," which ain't too shabby, either, huh, guys?) I know Pennyslvania State Police carried 6" blue, Colt Troopers in the late 60's and early 70's. And I'd heard that Florida used to issue Colt Pythons to Troopers. I suppose in Guns and Ammo, sometime I read that, "Florida and Pennyslvania are the last two Colt hold-outs in a Smith and Wesson world." (Or words very close to that effect.) According to a movie-trivia piece I once read, it claimed San Francisco detectives were issued Pythons - that's how come the one in, "Bullit," w/Steve McQueen. I remember seeing ads for a Colt 2-gun set called, "Snake Eyes." I think these were a blue and nickel 2 1/2". The 3" I've only read about on gun auction pages but it sure sounds like a good idea to me! (I could very easily become a, "revolvers ought to be 3" and 5" instead of 4" and 6"," fanatic.) Know anyone that wouldn't trade their 4" S&W #27 for a 3 1/2" er?
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

I wonder if San Francisco male detectives are now issued "purses" for their guns,so they will blend in with the population,especially in "the Castro"! Bud
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

A little more Colt history:

Florida owned and issued to the State police the only 5" Colt Model 357 revolvers ever made. To top it off, they were the only factory nickel plated 357's ever made, which Colt had to be talked into doing for the agency.
These guns were sold off back in the late 80's, and were advertised by used police gun dealers in Shotgun News.
As far as I know, they never used Pythons.

The gun Steve McQueen used in "Bullet" was a Colt Diamondback with the 2 1/2" barrel, carried in an upside down Berns-Martin type shoulder holster.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

dfariswheel,do you know if these 5" nickle .357 Models came with factory installed lanyard rings? Youve probably seen the post here by a member that has one. I am curious too. I almost bought a 5" nickle barrel (& nickle Python cylinder) from Sarco,when they were selling some old Colt NOS parts about a decade ago,but the cost for them were more than I d paid for the used .357,and its a "1st year,3 digit gun like one mentioned yesterday on the Forum,but previous owner had installed a "King Cockeyed Hammer". The dealer also thought it was a "poor reblue" as he hadnt seen Colts "Dual Tone Blue". Thanks,Bud
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

No, the Florida 357's didn't have a lanyard ring. They look exactly like a standard 357 Model, except they had the 5" barrel, and a nickel finish.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Thanks dfariswheel; the lanyard ring mystery deepens on the Florida guns! Doubt if any PDs have lanyard rings today,but in AF Security,we were suppossed to wear them,in the 60s! Bud
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Not to pick a nit, but the S&W Model 19 was introduced with a 2.5-inch barrel in 1963 in a special run of 50, the same year the Python 2.5-inch was introduced. The 2.5-inch Model 19 entered regular production in 1966. The 2.5-inch Model 66 did not enter production until 1974.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

Actually, Judge Colt is right about the 2-1/2 inch Model 19 preceding the 2-1/2 inch Python by some time. The common wisdom, driven largely, I believe, by Elmer Keith and MG Hatcher, was that cutting a 357 barrel below 4 inches was a mistake and resulted in a heavy weapon with great muzzle blast and recoil and no more velocity than a 6-inch 38. Hard to believe, I suppose in this age of severely truncated and superlight weight 357's and 44's and even the grossest of the currently offered "my piece is bigger than your piece" toys.

The story about the first 2-1/2 inch 357 being produced as a joke was originated with Paris Theodore and occurred at Frankfort Arsenal with the 2-1/2 Model 19. Everyone thought it hugely funny. No one took it seriously--except the gun buying public who obviously found it quite "sexy" and the several Federal agencies who jumped on the bandwagon equally as fast with the justification that "it cleared a holster a split second faster."

When Colt did finally chop the Python barrel to 2-1/2 inches, it surely took over the PPC snubnosed matches---as well it might with it's accuracy and weight to minimize recoil. It was an early example of the gamemanship approach to winning a match by using equipment that was tailored to win the game that was originally conceived for the snub Colt D'frames, and S&W J frame's and Model 10's that were so commonly carried. Even Skeeter Skelton had trouble justifying it as a holster gun with it's short barrel and heavy weight.

The 2-1/2 inch Python does have its charm and the 3-inch is certainly a lovely, well-balanced holster gun, but though I like my 3-inch for the appearance and balance, I doubt that it offers any other advantage over a 4 inch.

Fortunately the term California Combat for the 3-inch was dropped early on, but equally unfortunate was the choice of Combat Python to replace it---without even the alliteration of Police Python to justify its equally unlikely use...
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

HUMMMMMMM...
I'll try to contact my source for this, who was a Colt exec back then, and see if he can give me dates or more info.
 

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Re: \"Police\" Python?

In the 80's the three inch Python was reintroduced as the Combat Python. It was beautifully finished and had a great action. Mine does not exhibit Python like accuracy.
 
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