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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, from a newbie here.

I have a truckload of semi-auto pistols and now feel the need to get a "real" (I have a K22 and a NAA .22mag) wheelgun into my collection. I've pretty much decided my first is going to be a Python. Not a bad choice huh?

Anyway what are some tips and pointers you can give a guy who has virtually no knowledge of these guns? I've read many prior posts, but I'm a bit confused, especially with the broad range of prices. Also, how does one decipher the SN's to determine age of the gun? Anybody have a link to a chart or such? What vintage of Pythons are considered to be the finest in terms of fit, finish, accuracy, etc?

Thanks so much for any help.
 

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Here's a link for Colt serial numbers, but it only goes up to 1978:

http://proofhouse.com/colt/

The book "Colt: An American Heritage" by RL Wilson has numbers up to 1985, or the factory will tell you the production date over the phone.

Guns don't HAVE "vintages" as far as quality.
Guns aren't bottles of wine, and there ARE no "good years" or "bad years".

A gun must be evaluated on IT's specific merits.
I've seen guns made in the 1930's, when quality was the best ever, that were horrible.

I've seen gun made during the strike, when quality was supposed to be at the bottom, that were some of the best guns I ever saw.

Most people will tell you that guns made from 1955 to the late 1960's were the "best".
These guns also bring premium prices and are touted as "Rare, early guns", even though they are NOT "rare" and are often in much worse shape than newer guns.

Bottom line on Python shopping is: LOOK at Pythons. When you find one that looks good, is in good shape, and is in good adjustment, BUY IT.

If you buy based on just year made, you'll either pass up a great one, or buy a dog.
 

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I would only purchase a 50's model gun with a 3 or 4 digit serial number (no letter) In the last 12 months I sold nickeled 1959 model that looked mint and a 1956 blued. Both sold for $1200. I purchased both 2 years earlier for $650 and $900. There are deals out there. Just wait and let the gun come to you. Granted, you'll need to do a lot of searching. If I see one I'll post it on the board or send you a email. Compare the 50's models to the other Pythons and you'll see that the 50's models have a high barrel rib, hollow lug, highest polish of all Python's and the expensive full checker stocks. I recommend the 6" because it has the best balance. Enjoy the search.
 

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The Colt Python is an elegant gun to look at and always a pleasure to shoot. Condition may well determine whether you buy that Python (or any gun) but there are other factors too. Serial numbers are important to me as it translates into what year the gun was manufactured. That in turn makes me wonder what were things like at that period of time, what happened to the men who made that gun?
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Serial numbers are important to me as it translates into what year the gun was manufactured. That in turn makes me wonder what were things like at that period of time, what happened to the men who made that gun?

[/ QUOTE ]

Good point and we think the same. That's why I enjoy the rarer guns from the depression and war time. Also the early guns built for shooting in tournments. If only my guns could talk. I'd love to hear the story. That's why I go for the older guns. Nothing before 1965 and pre-war is prefered.

The Python bug hit me once, it wore off and I sold both. In time you'll realize that there is better out there. Some will call me crazy but I own NO snake guns. Snakes mean nothing to me but to others they are everything. And that's cool. Buy what you love. That's why Colt built different models. There's something for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I have my eye on a blue 6" model that is for sale in th mid-$600 range. I don't have the serial # but I think it's around 20 years old and in excellent condition. I'll let you know if I decide to buy this one or another.
 

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Right now, im my opinion there is no better investment in the gun market than snake guns. Why? Beauty, function, rarity, and quality. I believe there are far more folks out there that want Pythons, and other snake revolvers, than there are available supplies in the market. So the prices will continue to rise faster than most others. Also these revolvers can be resold any time. A lot of neat looking, rare guns so not resell very well. You have to find a niche buyer that wants that particular gun. I could sell every snake gun I have almost at once, for far more that I paid for them. Are they for sale, No! They will just continue to appreciate in value more quickly than most others. A zillion more S & W's were made than Colts, and finding a appreciable Smith is not as easy, although I love, and own some of the older ones. What do I look for? Colts, specificaly Pythons, Diamondbacks, Vipers, etc. The trouble is they appear where I am looking in far less quantity than I wish, and the prices keep rising. My humble opinion. Robba
 

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Addict, Oh yes, if they could only talk! My oldest is an 1849 Pocket, made (1855) when Sam Colt was still alive and no doubt walking the floor of the factory. What a tale that would be. Heymack, Good luck with your Python when you get it. Post a picture if your set up for it.
 

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I bought a beautiful 6" Python, 1984 vintage, for $650. It's 98% easy. I bought it because the Python is the finest revolver ever made and the most beautiful. But I didn't buy it just to look at...I SHOOT IT. And the pretty little snake is a tack-driver, even for an old guy with less than perfect eyes. You can't go wrong with a Python, no matter the year, as long as the condition is good and the price is right. I will keep buying them as long as good deals come a long.
 

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It seems like the views on Pythons are all over the place, but I am a diehard Colt Fan...My wife is into 9mm, with two HK's, and a Baretta, which I must admit, she is a better shot than me, but I always win, because there is nothing like a Python...I have had the bug for a long time and I have a great collection of Pythons, both Blue & Stainless, and recently came across a Python Elite Stainless 4", which I got for 950, but back to beating my wife, when she is all JAMMED with her 9mm, I just plug away, load and fire...That is the beauty of the Pythons....Smooth and reliable...I also have Diamondbacks, 22 & 38's and added a King Cobra and an Anaconda to my collection....There is just something about the feel of the Python, the balance the beauty of the craftmenship...That is my take on the subject...Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I did it. The gun is in excellent condition and is numbered V04xxx. Thanks again for all the help.

Here's a pic my newest baby.

 

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Good for you mray. We shoot most all of our guns. I'll leave it to the next owner of them to moan around about the slight wear. With the way revolver prices are going up, in five years it won't matter much anyway considering how much more scarce a lot of the most desirable models will be. NIB's of course will always bring a premium price.
 
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