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I don't have any pics but a buddy of mine bought one last year at a local show. He thought it was a real Python and was pissed when he found out what it was...
 
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I saw that one as well - the seller was proudly calling it a Python.
I had one built on an early Trooper frame and an 8" Python take off barrel.
There was an ugly gap between the barrel and frame where they met.
 

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I also have seen pictures of the attempt and they must have been on this site a year or two back. They looked bad. I suppose someone could try to build up the frame with weld but doubt they could do it in such a way that anyone couldn't spot it. I own two Pythons and two old model troopers. One nickle 2 1/2" Python and one 4" nickle old model trooper. The nickle finish on the Trooper is just as good to my eyes as the Python. Besides not having the vent rib the only other difference from the python is nickle sights on the trooper where the nickle Pythons sights are blue and easier to use. Another difference is a wider target hammer on the Python but I also had one on a trooper too. The nickle finish on both guns I would rate the same but the blue finish is usually better on the Python. I own a blue 4" Python but I used to also own a blue 4" Trooper with the target hammer and target stocks. I carried it on my guard job. Without that heavier vented rib and no ejector housing it made the gun more desirable to pack being slightly lighter I thought. I also found service grips that also helped being less bulky and also less weight. Wish I hadn't sold that one. I recall paying $108 for it new about 1971.
 

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Which Trooper??
The original Trooper with an E or I frame, or a Trooper Mark III or Trooper Mark V?

Back in the late 1960's Pythons were almost impossible to buy, but strangely Python barrels were available.
New original Trooper revolvers were readily available so some custom gunsmiths Heli-arc welded up the top front of Trooper frames to match up with the Python barrel, gave it a trigger job, and a Python Royal Blue quality finish.
A good number of these were made up after a gun magazine published an article about it.

These can be almost impossible to detect because the Python and original Trooper shared serial number ranges for a time so even a serial number check may not ID one of these.
One sometimes method of detecting one is to look closely at the top-front of the top strap and you may be able to detect a slight "blush" in the bluing where the welding was done.

These Trooper-Python conversions are known as "Troop-On's" or "Poopers".

Then you sometimes see a Colt revolver of various models with a Python barrel simply screwed on the frame. These have a horrible looking gap between the frame and barrel.

As for Python barrels on Trooper Mark III or Mark V, this was fairly easy if a later Python barrel with the new style barrel threads was used, because the later new style Python barrels had the same thread size as the Mark III and Mark V.
All that's really required is that the Python barrel be a new style thread type, which is identified by having a single pin in the front sight instead of the older types 2 pins, and having an expert with the correct tooling to install it.

As often said, the right tooling is necessary, not the usual hammer handle through the frame window to twist the barrel off.
The tooling includes a barrel vise set up, a correct frame wrench, and an expensive set of cutters that work down the barrel to set the barrel-cylinder gap and to re-cut and gage the forcing cone.
These tools are expensive and few local gunsmiths will have them.
That lack of correct tools is why good guns are ruined when a local tries to use expedient tooling to do the job.

If you want it done right, the person to see is forum member and Master pistolsmith Frank Glenn.
His turnaround, pricing, and quality of work it top of the line.

Frank Glenn-Glenn Custom Complete Gunsmithing Service Glendale AZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for all the great info. I have been looking to purchase a Python for the past year and due to the cost involved I am trying to learn as much as I can before I buy one. It seems the more I learn about them the more I find ways people are trying to fake them or their boxes.

dfariswheel, what year did the new style barrel with the single pin start?

I have read about how people Heli-arc weld and reform the frame then re-blue the gun. Has anyone tried this conversion on a nickel finish gun?
 

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I saw a python barrel on a trooper mkIII on a dealers table at the Louisville show and when I told him that wasn’t a python he told me to get away from his table. Priced in the mid 2K range, hope someone didn’t get burned on it.
 

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The Cylinder will give it away.

Pythons Cylinder has no countersunk or fenced Cylinder so the cartage heads are clearly visible when the cylinder is closed.

The Trooper has a fenced Cylinder and is easy to see the difference.
 

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Thank you everyone for all the great info. I have been looking to purchase a Python for the past year and due to the cost involved I am trying to learn as much as I can before I buy one. It seems the more I learn about them the more I find ways people are trying to fake them or their boxes.

dfariswheel, what year did the new style barrel with the single pin start?

I have read about how people Heli-arc weld and reform the frame then re-blue the gun. Has anyone tried this conversion on a nickel finish gun?
I can't remember when the new style Python threads came out, but it was in the early 1990's.
Again, the new style threaded Python barrels had only one front sight pin, not the two of the original threads.
The original Colt medium frame threads were .5634-32.
The new style threads used on the later Colt medium frames and later Python were .562-36.

A nickel plated revolver would require the plating to be electro-stripped before welding, but a new plating job would certainly cover any traces of the weld job, as long as the welding and shaping was correctly done.
 

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The Cylinder will give it away.

Pythons Cylinder has no countersunk or fenced Cylinder so the cartage heads are clearly visible when the cylinder is closed.

The Trooper has a fenced Cylinder and is easy to see the difference.
Only the Trooper Mark III and Mark V had a fenced cylinder, not the original Trooper.

In any case, cylinder aside, no one who knows much about Colt revolvers would mistake a Python frame for a Mark III or V frame.
 

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The first year or two of Mark III production the cylinders weren't fenced...they had countersunk chambers. Still...as already stated...no one with any knowledge about Colts would (or should) mistake a Python frame for a J- or V-frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, so being new to Colts and to revolvers in general. I don't know the subtle or not so subtle differences between the frames Colt produced. Can anyone explain the differences between the frames the troopers used and the Pythons used? Even if you could point me in the right direction that would help a lot. I have been going to a lot of gun shows this past year, and around here in Northern Wisconsin you just don’t see any Pythons, or Troopers, at gun shows. The only place that is readily available for me to gain any knowledge on this are these forums and the internet.
 

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The Python frame and the Trooper Mark III/Mark V/King Cobra frames are not only different dimensionally but the internal actions are very different. Nothing between them interchanges...triggers, springs, hammers...nothing beyond that late Python barrels have the same threading. The stocks don't interchange at all. The first generation Trooper .357 (not a Trooper .38 or Mark III or Mark V) does use the same frame and action as the Python with some external differences.

Once you get to see and handle some of them the visual clues to what you're looking at become easy to tell apart. Some differences are subtle but most aren't. If any particular revolver has its factory stocks you can tell which revolver it is by the shape and appearance once you get used to them. Aftermarket stocks often have the same appearance so you can't go by them.
 

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For more info and pictures of the various Trooper models and the Python, see the articles on Colt Fever:

ColtFever

Mechanically the Python and the original Trooper are the same gun with the major differences being that the Python has the lugged and ribbed Python barrel and the Trooper has a round barrel.

Note that the early Trooper of the 1950's is an "E" frame with the firing pin mounted on the hammer, and the later 1960's Trooper was an "I" frame with the firing pin inside the frame. The "I" frame was the fame used for the Python.

Note also that there was another "I" frame Colt named the "357 Model". That was both the name and the caliber. This looks exactly like an original Trooper and unless you inspect it and see the frame mounted firing pin it's often mistaken as a Trooper.
It was only produced up to about 1960-61.
The "357" was a premium Colt revolver, with a better quality fit and finish then the Trooper.
So, in the 1950's there was the "budget" Trooper, the premium "357" and the super premium Python.

The 1970's and early 80's Trooper Mark III and Mark V are totally different guns with virtually nothing in common with the original Trooper or Python.
These later Colt's have modern transfer bar safety-ignition actions.
A quick way to ID a Mark III or Mark V Trooper as you walk the gun show tables is the Mark III and Mark V have heavy barrels with a half shrouded ejector.
 

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I think I have one of these poopers, but hard to say.....Attached are some pictures to see what wisdom can be imparted. The seller says the gun was his father’s who was a sheriff in Los Angeles county and then a superior court judge. The gun has a cut frame grip consistent with what you would see on a gun that wore Fuzzy Farrant grips. The grips look like Fuzzy grips but no way for me to know even looking at pictures of other Fuzzy grips.

I don’t think the pictures are revealing enough to discern whether this is a an early trooper/357 with a python barrel. But, hopefully some of y’all can shed some light. What is also unusual about the gun is that it has a 4 inch python barrel but wears a trooper front sight. The back strap of the gun has also been checkered and shaved to give it a more acute curve. Very strange frankengun but hoping that it was an early LASD service weapon that the LEO had modified for his needs rather than something cobbled together.......let me know what y’all think.
 

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I'm going to tentatively go with it being a Python.
The front sight is a real oddity on a Python and I'm not sure how that tall a sight and ramp could target. Looks like it's too tall.

I notice there's a slight dip at the rear of the top vented rib . The rib seems to be slightly lowered as it goes forward from the frame and the rib looks like it's been thinned and lowered. Possibly that's how they were able to use the front sight and ramp.

So, for whatever reason, it seems someone wanted a Trooper front sight and ramp on a Python barrel and shaved down the top rib enough to allow it to work.

The grips appear to be too nice not to be Farrant, but either they were made for a different gun, or the frame was altered after the grips were fitted.
Whichever, the frame was obviously intended to be used with a different grip.

Due to the choppy and uneven checkering, I'd call that a home-brew job, probably not done with a checkering file.
 
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