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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had/have a 1975 Colt Python .375 Magnum that was in very good condition. It had less than 500 rounds through it. I purchased it from a family member on the day I turned 21 and have kept it locked in a safe for 99% of the time. Last November I decided to have it reblued because of some holster burn on the tip of the barrel and the cylinder. I brought it to a Gun Dealer in town (to remain nameless for now) to send to Colt for a factory refinish. After getting the run around for a few months about what happened to my gun( he had sent it for repair not refinish, by mistake) I demanded the return of my revolver. He told me he would track it down but he was not exactly sure where it was. I reported it lost to the police and amazingly when the police investigated he told them it was stolen from his shop. When I went back to discuss whether he would purchase me another Python or monetary value, he said since I tarnished his name by calling the Police, he would only give me the Shotgun News value of a couple hundred dollars. I asked for 750.00 trying to be fair, and he said you can buy them all day for 200.00 dollars and that is the most he would give me, and if I didn't like that to call an attorney. So now I need a fair value for it today, but also I want the possible value of what it could be worth in the future because I never had an intention of selling it. I wanted to give it to one of my kids one day. He says he is not responsible for the theft of it, even though he didn't report it as stolen till the police showed up to investigate. Oh, he remembers the gun, said it was a nice gun, but he lost all records of it including the claim ticket(I have the other half with the serial number). Can anyone give me a fair market value for a 1975 4" blued Colt Python that needed a small amount of reblue to lose the holster burn?
 

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Welcome aboard and sorry to hear about your loss.
It's tough to put a price on something with-out actually seeing it.
If the dealer said he can buy them all day long for $200, you should have told him that's fine, buy my another one and I don't care if it's only $10 bucks as long as it's in the same condition.


Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tried that

Told him to go ahead and buy me a couple and I would pay him for the rest. It looks like I'm heading to court with it. It is gonna cost him more than 750.00 in attorney fees I promise. My guns are only second to the wife and kids.
 

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What a scumbag, if he was legit he would have called you the minute he knew it was lost to try and make it right.

I'd go on gunbroker and print out 3-4 recent sales of similar Pythons and show up in court with those. Pick a bunch that were sold on the high side. Let him try and tell the judge then it was only worth $200.
 

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Depending on the amount of wear & grips/stocks I would price it between $800 and $900.

I once quoted a guy $1000 over the phone based on his like new description of an 8 inch blued Python.
He came in my shop with a 1970's gun with an 8 long barrel that had a lot of holster wear.
He wanted the grand and I told him to produce the gun that he described over the phone.
I explained that the gun had been rebarreled, someone had altered the hammer and that there was holster wear on the barrel and cylinder.

Tough to quote a real world price with out actually seeing the gun.


Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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Talk to the police again. Find out who the detective who investigated the theft was and ask to speak to him. It appears as though this is a theft, and it was perpetrated by the owner of the gunshop. Ask the detective under what conditions was the weapon stolen? Did someone break into the gunshop, if so where is the evidence of a break in? What other guns were stolen? If this gets you nowhere, also contact the BATFE office for your area, and explain the situation, they can make this guys life a living hell. If he logged the weapon in, then he'll have to have logged it out to the person that he sold it to or as having sent it to Colt. If he never logged it in, then he's in trouble. If he logged it in, and then didn't contact the police immediately upon reaziling it was stolen, he's in trouble. He may have sold it to someone without a 4473, in which case his license is toast, and he may go to jail. Lot's of possibilities for him to get what's coming. Explain to the atf agent that you're concerned that your gun may be sold "off the books" to a felon or some other bad guy. At the very least, when they audit his book, they will be able to tell you where it went, or if as I explained above, he played with his books, they'll be able to bring charges against him, especially given the circumstances under which he may have "forget" where it went.


ETA--You do not need to ship through an FFL when returning a firearm to a manufacturer for repair(covers any reason for shipping a gun back to the maker). Contact the manufacturer first, then send the gun overnight via UPS, or FedEX(preferred). Don't forget to insure it, and don't mark the box with anything that says gun. Although you do have to notify the shipping depot that it is a gun, they also cannot, by law, mark or put anything on the package marking it as a firearm. You must also go the an actual shipping hub of the company, not a UPS Store, or a FedEX Kinko's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wish I would have known the mailing part

He told the detective he did not know when it was stolen and there was never a break-in. I spoke to the ATF yesterday and emailed them a copy of the police report while on the phone to them. As of yesterday, he had never reported it to the ATF and they were extremely concerned and when they read the police report that he never recorded the numbers they said they would send agents out to his store. It was reported to the police over a month ago. It was on NCIC just never reported with ATF.

I wish I had known about the mailing part, I would still have my baby.

Thanks
 

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Hopefully either the feds or the local pd will end up pursuing this case and bring charges against the thief/dealer. In the mean time, since the gun is already on NCIC, you might want to post the SN here, on the S&W forum's stolen gun thread, and anywhere else that you're a member, so private folks can keep an eye out for your gun.
 

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Talk to the police again. Find out who the detective who investigated the theft was and ask to speak to him. It appears as though this is a theft, and it was perpetrated by the owner of the gunshop. Ask the detective under what conditions was the weapon stolen? Did someone break into the gunshop, if so where is the evidence of a break in? What other guns were stolen? If this gets you nowhere, also contact the BATFE office for your area, and explain the situation, they can make this guys life a living hell. If he logged the weapon in, then he'll have to have logged it out to the person that he sold it to or as having sent it to Colt. If he never logged it in, then he's in trouble. If he logged it in, and then didn't contact the police immediately upon reaziling it was stolen, he's in trouble. He may have sold it to someone without a 4473, in which case his license is toast, and he may go to jail. Lot's of possibilities for him to get what's coming. Explain to the atf agent that you're concerned that your gun may be sold "off the books" to a felon or some other bad guy. At the very least, when they audit his book, they will be able to tell you where it went, or if as I explained above, he played with his books, they'll be able to bring charges against him, especially given the circumstances under which he may have "forget" where it went.
Excellent advice. I love the "I'm concerned it was sold off book to a felon" part :D


ETA--You do not need to ship through an FFL when returning a firearm to a manufacturer for repair(covers any reason for shipping a gun back to the maker). Contact the manufacturer first, then send the gun overnight via UPS, or FedEX(preferred). Don't forget to insure it, and don't mark the box with anything that says gun. Although you do have to notify the shipping depot that it is a gun, they also cannot, by law, mark or put anything on the package marking it as a firearm. You must also go the an actual shipping hub of the company, not a UPS Store, or a FedEX Kinko's.
Actually, the UPS stores and Fedex/kinko's I've tried will ship it if it is going back to the manufacturer (i.e. colt). They often balk at shipping to some other party though. The nice thing about shipping yourself is that it comes right back to your door --- if it goes to an FFL they will have to DROS it all over again (to the best of my understanding).
 

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Sorry for your loss. This character derserves some time if he had anything to do with its theft. The fact that he has been relatively uncooperative with you tells me that he most likely is involved with the theft. Too bad they don't get a search warrant for his home, it might be in his collection. Unfortunately there may not be enough probable cause for the search warrant. BTW who is this scoundrel so others can avoid him like the plague?
 

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Sorry for your loss. This character derserves some time if he had anything to do with its theft. The fact that he has been relatively uncooperative with you tells me that he most likely is involved with the theft. Too bad they don't get a search warrant for his home, it might be in his collection. Unfortunately there may not be enough probable cause for the search warrant. BTW who is this scoundrel so others can avoid him like the plague?
Perhaps the matter can be resolved in Small Claims Court (I don't know what the monetary damages cap for SCC is in your state). If it cannot be resolved in this manner, I hope you retained an attorney and are taking legal action. In either case do not give the dealer's name out on this or any other forum until the matter is resolved. Don't say anymore to anyone about the situation. If you retained an attorney, let your lawyer handle the matter -- that is what you hired him/her to do. Good luck!
 

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Colt75 is right - It might be better not to "talk" to much about it untill it's settled. Then let us know who this scumbag is. Good Luck and don't give up.
 

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Terrible experience!! :(

It appears the gun dealer is a crook. All he had to do was reimburse you for your loss but he even tried to get out of that. :mad:

Let us know who he is please (i.e., maybe after it is settled). That way the word can start getting around to not do business with what appears to be a scumbag criminal.

ETA: Go to Gunbroker.com and see what those Pythons are selling for. You'll see they are selling for more than $750.00 almost all of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My attorney advised me not to name him until court proceeding have begun. I can tell what happened, info on gun, and ask for people to be on the lookout for it. But that is about it. My attorney is family, so I am getting off cheap, he will not be so lucky. I am being as legal as possible. Once court begins, it becomes public record. I will then let everyone know who he is. It is really kinda of sad, he has been in business for quite some time. Since this started I have had quite a few people tell me similiar things have happened when dealing with him. Wish I would have heard these things before.

The issue with taking money directly from him is, that it could constitute a sale of the weapon and then if it reappears, he would retain rights to it.

I have an Uncle that is a Captain in the State Police and my mother-in-law is a Seargent with the Sheriffs department. I stay within all boundaries of the law, I came to find out that it can work for you.
 

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Well good luck and keep us posted. I took a guy to small claims once for a similar problem and wouldn't ya know all of a sudden the guy found it and delivered.
 

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"As of yesterday, he had never reported it to the ATF and they were extremely concerned and when they read the police report that he never recorded the numbers they said they would send agents out to his store."


Well, you at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he had a VERY bad day when ATF showed up at his door!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My attorney contacted a few dealers, and the conclusion she came up with is that a Python with a factory refinish assuming it has no other issues, retails for 1500.00. She is sending a demand letter for 1500.00 plus her fees(25% if out of court settlement), and if he does not accept, then it is court for 1500.00 plus appreciation of the gun since they told her Pythons appreciate over the years, her fees and court costs( 40% if we go to court). She read the police report and our statements and said it is a no brainer. He took it, "lost" it and is required to reimburse me for my loss according to the laws of the state. She told me I was stupid for trying to settle for 750.00. Since the gun was going for a factory refinish, I can include in the value what it would be when it came back minus fees for the refinish. I am glad I am a law abiding person and have never been sued. It will take a few months to go to court, but it is worth it. As soon as the paperwork is filed, (it becomes public record) I will let everyone know that if they deal with him, be very careful.
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems, I don't think I'd be handling it as well as you. Hopefully this jerk won't go out of business as a result of being investigated, it would be next to impossible to collect on your lawsuit. It's hard enough when defendants stay in business! best of luck.
 
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