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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A certain gentleman hereabouts has been posting little known (unknown to me) prototypes of Colts. Wonder about the Colt .400 Magnum? Is there/does he have such a critter?


Bob Wright
 

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A few years ago Colt emptied their Vault of prototypes and put them on various auctions.There's a cut away Lawman that's been on G.B. for a long time and I believe this was part of the vault purge,not all were prototype guns just unique enough for them to keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is this to which I refer, an article on another forum by Jim Martin:

What many don’t realize though, is that a third middle-bore magnum almost came to be.....namely, the .400 Colt Magnum.
There isn’t a lot of history on the cartridge, other than the fact that it was devised in the early 1960’s. As I understand it, Bob Roy of Colt originally modified .30-30 cases to create the .400 Magnum, and Winchester latter provided loaded prototypes. I was fortunate enough to obtain two of these and found the headstamps to read “W-W, 400”. Both are issued with what appears to be the same 200 grain soft nose bullets that Winchester used in the .38-40. Also, one of the cases is grooved, while the other is not. In terms of its dimensions, the .400 is quite similar to both the the .401 Powermag and .41 Remington Mag as illustrated below:



Bob Wright
 

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There was a Python sold in the Colt Archive auctions that was listed as being chambered for ".40 Caliber". I presume that this was the .40 S&W cartridge, but the auction description didn't elaborate on the details of the cartridge.

- - -Buckspen
 

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The 40 cal prototype did sell at auction.
The barrel was not finished (in the white) from what I remember. It was not marked Python and looked very very raw.
This is going from memory. I was outbid on that one, so No, I don't own it.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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I have seen some .400 Colt Magnum cartridges and casings advertised for sale on GunBroker this year, by sellers located in Connecticut if I recall correctly.
 

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It is this to which I refer, an article on another forum by Jim Martin:

What many don’t realize though, is that a third middle-bore magnum almost came to be.....namely, the .400 Colt Magnum.
There isn’t a lot of history on the cartridge, other than the fact that it was devised in the early 1960’s. As I understand it, Bob Roy of Colt originally modified .30-30 cases to create the .400 Magnum, and Winchester latter provided loaded prototypes. I was fortunate enough to obtain two of these and found the headstamps to read “W-W, 400”. Both are issued with what appears to be the same 200 grain soft nose bullets that Winchester used in the .38-40. Also, one of the cases is grooved, while the other is not. In terms of its dimensions, the .400 is quite similar to both the the .401 Powermag and .41 Remington Mag as illustrated below:



Bob Wright
I'd be interested in what forum this was on because I DIDN'T write the article, in fact the 1st time I ever heard of this gun is in this posting.
 

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In the early 1930s Colt did experiment with a .41 Special and 3 New Service revolvers were chambered for this experimental round. These are briefly mentioned in Murphy's short book on the New Service. Timothy Mullins book, Colt's New Service Revolver: "A Particularly Strong Heavy Weapon" (2009) discusses the .41 Special cartridge and these New Service revolvers on pages 202-206. The final experimental version did use a bullet that was the same diameter as the .38/40. According to Mullins, in the March 1970 issue of "Shooting Times" Robert Roy wrote an article on the Colt experimental .41 Specials. Is this experimental Colt .41 Special cartridge perhaps what is being referred to as the .400 Colt Magnum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd be interested in what forum this was on because I DIDN'T write the article, in fact the 1st time I ever heard of this gun is in this posting.

Boy, did I blow it! It was Lee Martin. My apologies for the confusion. This from the Single Actions Forum.

Bob Wright
 

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The Colt Python in .40 caliber that was sold in the Archives autions was lot #855. It was sold on March 29, 2009 and the winning bid was $7500. It was indeed in pretty rough condition. Early last year, I was finally successful in obtaining from Greg Martin Auctions (now Heritage Auctions) all of the original photographs from the three Colt Archive auctions. They are very large files (33MB Tiff files), and the detail is fantastic. I can see the tiniest scratch or marking on every gun. I used Corel Paintshop Pro to change the format and size of the photos of the .40 caliber Python and will try to post them here.
As Jeff said, the gun was in poor condition, with quite a bit of rust here and there, a missing screw and the finish of the grips was well worn. There were not markings at all on the barrel. - Buckspen
View attachment 39752
View attachment 39753
 

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What was the one with a long barrel and the barrel was in the white ?
Was it a Python in 22 hornet or something ?
I think it went off in the 3rd auction.

Thanks, Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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Jeff - Yes, the experimental Python in .22 Hornet had an eight inch barrel "in-the-white" with no front sight. The hammer was peculiar, too. It was flattened which I presume was to make it easier to cock with a scope mounted on the revolver. Interestingly, there was a tag on the revolver indicating that some work was done with it in 1959. The serial number of the frame was 5959 which would indicate it was made in 1958. I'll see if I can locate the photos of this gun. I got about 3000 photos from the auction company and finding the photo of a particular gun is diffcult because the file names bear no relationship to the lot numbers in the auction or the serial number of the gun. It's a matter of looking though all the photos to find the one you are looking for.

- - - Buckspen
 

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No big deal, I was just trying to dig into my memory files that have some cobwebs.
That one was not marked Python on it and the barrel looked like, well you know.
Thanks for jarring that memory loose.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 
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