Open the cylinder and SN# (Serial Number) will be on the frame at the crane. Serial Number puts it made in 1979. The SN# is V38844 if the box is original to the gun which I assume it is if you bought it new. No need to do anything to the grips, not good to put oil on grips. Pythons have gone up alot since you bought it, as you describe, its worth a MINIMUM of $1500, maybe alot more depending on scratches, finish wear, etc. If as new it would go over $2000.