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In the 1981 Colt factory catalog there is an advertisement for a Python is 22lr and 22mag with an 8" barrel.Were these guns ever produced? If so how many?
 

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I know of no Python ever produced in 22 caliber. There was a short run of Pythons in 38 Spec only, with an 8" barrel. But these weren't to popular & hence died soon after intorduction.
 

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No, Damn it.

I got the Colt catalog that showed the stainless .22 Python, and INSTANTLY called the factory to find out when I could get one.

I was informed that after the catalog was printed, the decision was made NOT to produce the gun.

This was during the period when Colt was getting a new president sent down by the corporate headquarters every year or so. During this time, each new boss felt he had to make a splash to impress the big bosses, and they put Colt through a constant cycle of each new man ordering new guns to be produced, discontinuing others, re-introducing guns, and discontinuing them again. This uncertainty helped lose Colt their customer base.

I did have a hand in building a .22 "Python" some years ago.
The base was a Colt .22 Officer's Model Match. A 6" Python barrel was fitted and relined with a high-grade .22 barrel blank. The *.357 CTG* marks were removed and the area was hand engraved with *.22 Long Rifle CTG*.

I did the action tuning to Python specs, and the gun was sent out for a Python level blue job.

Except for the slight difference in hammer profile, you couldn't tell the difference.
I intended to get for one myself, but foolishly didn't.

Another project I once saw was a .22 "Python" made up for a police Chief's young son. The Chief was well known for his expensive Python, and wanted something for his son.
The base was a .22 Diamondback. The hammer spur was cut off, and replaced with a cut down Python spur. The profile was altered so the hammer looked more like the Python than the Diamondback.
The trigger guard was reshaped to Python profile, and a pair of "miniature Python" fancy walnut grips were made up.
To complete the set, a miniature Border Patrol-style holster set was made up.

I understand the Chief and son made quite a splash at picnics, dressed in identical uniforms, hats, and guns.

Colt apparently did a bit of experimental work in different caliber Pythons, but other than the .357 and .38 Special, none were ever anything other than 1 or 2 experimentals, with none ever sold.

The .44 Special Pythons that occasionally turn up were conversions done by a Florida gunsmith. When the guns started to come apart, (along with a few of the people unfortunate enough to actually shoot one), the 'smith shut down.
 
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