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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for Python experts about the Python Elite and the "Bright Stainless" finish.

Hi, this is my first post here. A member over at TheHighRoad suggested I post this question here for a better chance at an answer.

I recently purchased a Colt Python Elite with a 6" barrel with a bright stainless finish. I got a really good deal from a local shop who had it on consignment.

My question is regarding the finish. The finish is clearly what is known as a "bright stainless" or "ultimate stainless" finish. However, through a little research on available models, I don't show this finish as being an option for Colt Python Elite's. It looks like the Python Elite models were only offered in a Royal Blue or matte stainless finish, not the bright stainless that I have here.

Now that being said, I have seen a few Python Elite's on Gunbroker that did have a bright stainless finish. However, when the sticker on the box is shown in the auction it always just says "Stainless finish". One of the auctions, the owner said that bright stainless Python Elite's were rare and that he had sent his back to Colt for refinishing to bright stainless.

Mine is a late model, probably 2004 construction with a blue plastic box. The sticker on my box just says "Stainless finish", not "Bright stainless finish" as the stickers did on earlier non-Elite Python models.

I can think of three possible scenarios and I'd like your input please.

A) Some Python Elite's did come from the factory with a bright stainless finish, but for some reason the sticker on the box does not reflect this.

B) Python Elite's were NOT offered in bright stainless, and any example with this finish was sent back to Colt after the sale for refinishing.

C) Someone other than the Colt factory has refinished some revolvers to a bright stainless finish.

I'd be very happy to hear any thoughts on this from those who might know the answer.

Here is a photo of the revolver:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum. Here is a previous inquiry. Read the catalog page carefully. :)

http://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/43088-bright-stainless-python-elite.html
Thanks for sending that through. I see that it says "Bright stainless finish available through out custom shop"

Has anyone seen a bright stainless Python Elite that actually says "bright stainless finish" on the box sticker? I'm just interested in this detail. None of the model numbers I have for Python Elite's specify a bright finish. If the custom shop was applying this finish after the fact, it looks like they may have done it on Elite's that were originally designated as satin, and thus carry satin model numbers as well as box stickers.

Still interested to know more about this.
 

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One of our members here on the forum has posted I believe 2 Bright Elites on Gunbroker over the past few years and the box said Bright Stainless on it. I wish I would've bought them both. Kickin' myself now. They are out there but not many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One of our members here on the forum has posted I believe 2 Bright Elites on Gunbroker over the past few years and the box said Bright Stainless on it. I wish I would've bought them both. Kickin' myself now. They are out there but not many.
Interesting. Any theories on mine photographed above? Does that look like a factory polish?

(if you right-click on the image and copy the link directly into your browser you'll see a much larger image)

One other thing on mine that I like is the font on the roll mark is different and heavier than I've seen on others and it doesn't say "CTG" after Magnim.
 

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You need to read the page A1A sent you. Bright stainless finish introduced by custom shop for Python Elite in 1997.
 

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One clue in your favor is the hammer and trigger. They are often not polished or not polished well on a strictly DIY polish job. :)
 

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One key to IDing home polish stainless Pythons is that on the standard stainless models there were some slight machine marks and imperfections left in some areas.
Home polishing usually involves metal polish and a rag, and that can't get those marks off. Only polishing with a professional polishing setup can remove those marks and leave a true mirror shine.

A factory Python with the bright polish has none of the left over marks and looks like a bright nickel.
Non-factory polishing machine buffing will almost always have the usual signs of being polished with soft buffs, and that means rounded off edges, ripples in the flats, and dished out holes.

So, either this is a Colt factory bright polish job, or one done by a top professional.
However, short a box label listing bright polish, only an Archive letter from Colt will be definitive.
 

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Let me first say that is a Beautiful Python!!! I know where there is a NIB Complete 4 inch Bright Stainless Elite and the label does say Bright Stainless. The 4 inch Bright Elite is said by many to be the lowest production Elite followed by the 6 inch Bright. I have made several offers on this gun and he would be tripleing his money from what he paid for it a while back but still havent secured it yet (and probably never will...:bang_wall:). I personally would not pay "Bright" Money for one unless the box label indicated Bright on it or had letter indicating it. These Elites have gone up a good bit lately, and if it doesnt stop soon, I may never own a Bright Elite... I have only saw a few Bright Stainless Elites (maybe a dozen or so) most being the six inch and most of them online. From what I can remember all indictated Bright on the label that had the box. If you are really interested in it, I would get the letter. If it letters as Bright you will probably add maybe as high as a 1000 to the value over a regular 6 inch stainless elite since you have the original box and looks pristine. However if it letters as not factory finish, your money for the letter will be down the drain and a disappointment for you and to the collector that would be buying it. It does look fantastic from what I can tell, probably not someone sitting in the recliner with some mothers mag polish/flitz. With Colt you cant say for sure that it didnt come that way. I have encountered some strange stuff, jmho.
 

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I still have the 6" "Bright Stainless Steel" Python Elite that is referenced in the earlier post.The Label on the end of the box is marked "Bright Stainless Steel".I will try to post a pic of the label if I can find one.
 

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In the absence of label identification a letter will answer your question.
Unless it was sent back to Colt to have it polished from satin to ultimate. The owner may have purchased it new as satin and immediately sent it back to Colt. Unless he had the receipt from Colt, the letter or label would still just show stainless even though it was done by Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can't tell from the box, but does your model number indicate I3061CS ?

I called Colt this morning. They told me a couple things. One is that the proper model number for a BSS Elite is I3061CS, the other is that mine would have originally been a satin finish. Of course, I asked if their records indicated that it had been sent in for refinishing and they told me if it had been, they would not have a record of it. I pressed on this question and they said they just don't keep those records.

So, if it had been refinished by the factory, it doesn't look like I'll be able to be certain of that without a receipt.
 
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