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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. I have a big question. I have a nice 1956 6 inch blued Python I inherited from my brother who died about 11 years ago. He traveled the country shooting in Secret Service and NRA matches in the 1970s and early 1980s. He had the Python tuned by Don Tedford at Colt in 1979. I have the receipts for the work done. One thing he had done by Tedford, in addition to an action tuning job, was to switch out the hollow lug 6 inch barrel and install a 6 inch blued solid lug barrel. I believe he wanted the extra weight for his competition shooting. The revolver is in wonderful condition but does have some light wear and scratches. It is an early one with a SN 14XX. Original full checkered unvarnished grips.

Question: I do have the original hollow lug barrel that was in my brother's stuff. It is in great condition. Should I have the original barrel replaced on this collectible piece? I'm not selling it because of its importance in our family but it would be nice to have the original barrel. Is Colt able to do this reliably or should I use Cylinder and Slide? I don't want to risk damage from an unreliable Colt smith

Any other suggestions? I love my Colts and have collected them, especially Pythons, for years. Love to shoot them with full magnum loads!

Thanks for help in this dilemma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've read about Frank before. Been around for a while. I'd like to hear more recommendations of who's best since this is a special revolver to me. Thanks.
 

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Firstly, Frank Glenn is the premier Colt Revolver guy in the country. Secondly, I think you should reconsider changing the barrel back. You have all the documentation of the work being done by Colt. You have the original barrel. You also have your Brother's preference for the gun configured the way it is. Lastly, you can honor your brothers wishes and also protect the pistols value by making sure you preserve the old barrel and it's documentation with the gun. It would seem to me that should you put the original barrel back on, you lose the value of the 2nd barrel as reflective of an important period of the pistols history with your brother. I just don't see a compelling reason to change the gun back. Arguably, the heavier barrel will make the gun more pleasant to shoot, should you choose to. Just my opinion; YMMV.

Ed
 

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You make a very good point, Ed. A fitted case with space for the original barrel, and maybe the letter in the lid would be a fine display.
 

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well the display case with the extra barrel slot and a nice write up and place it on a nice bookcase or place that really shows it off would be what i would do...that way it will get the proper attention it deserves....i would not change the barrel....leave it as it is...but if u do...Frank Glenn is the one i would chose as well...please add some pics when u can too....God Bless and welcome to the forum...great to have u with us...John
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is a fine suggestion. I would keep the original barrel with this piece which does add to the value because it could always be refitted if someone else wants to do it. I know a collectible firearm is always worth more if it is in original condition as it left the factory. I collect military firearms and that's always the wisdom we extoll. I can make a case for both pieces.

Something else I have not been able to solve since my brother isn't here. He numbered each cylinder hole on this revolver. I believe he was specific enough with his shooting that he always started with the cylinder in the number 1 position and kept watch over how each cylinder shot. I haven't ever seen this before but it would make sense to me that there might be a very minor variation to how accurate each cylinder shot based on slight variations of cut and alignment with the forcing cone and barrel.

Has anyone else seen this?

I will post pictures later when I take some. Beautiful piece. I have another chapter to the story with this specific Python too which is fun to share. Collecting (and shooting) Colts is great!
 

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If I'm not mistaken, Frank Glenn actually studied under Tedford. They both worked for Colt, but Frank not till retirement.

In fact, the Glenn curved trigger sear is actually the Tedford curved trigger sear, and whatever else mods the gun gets to eliminate stack. Since your brother's gun was tuned by Tedford, then the only person in this country I would send it to would be Frank Glenn, as who better to "know" your guns insides than the person who carried on Tedford's work?

Now, I don't think Tedford really did the curved sear no stack action jobs "in factory" for liability reasons, so your brother's may not have gotten that extensive of a job, but I could be wrong and there may have been times when he did the curved sear, but from what I read it didn't suggest that at the factory.

Sounds like a great gun, congrats. If I were you, I would certainly put the original barrel back on. Do you plan to shoot it in competition? Then put it back to original and enjoy it. I wouldn't see it as an insult to your brother's gun at all. Why else do you think he held on to the original barrel for?
 

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Thanks for a great story and description of a classic Colt. Would concur with others that keeping it in current configuration makes sense.

Most folks that make custom modifications keep the original components in case they decide to sell the firearm at a later date and need to return it to factory specs to aid in selling efforts. Unless/until your family decides to sell, keeping it in its current competition configuration makes a ton of sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know that the work done for my brother's revolver was done by Tedford because one of the letters my brother sent to Colt with the Python was addressed to Don with reference to the conversation they evidently had over the phone. I have taken the revolver a part and examined the internals and don't notice anything different than my other Pythons. I know Don Tedford was restricted to only using existing Colt parts for the tuning work he did on the Pythons he worked on. He certainly couldn't change the spring or install bearings or alter the sear. I believe he just cleaned and polished everything better than original. I wish I knew what else was done. He had a "service" tuning done because he told Tedford that this was his duty gun and he wanted 100% reliability with it. The "target" tuning jobs Colt offered early on would reliably fire .38 cal primers but had too light of a trigger pull to fire magnum primers regularly. This was well advertised. My brother shot magnums as well as .38s, so, he did more with it than just compete.

I'm leaning more towards having Frank Glenn replace the barrel because there may not be a trustworthy person around much longer with his experience to do it in the future.

But, I'm not definite yet.

Thanks everyone for the good input.
 

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As to numbering chambers, a truly fine shot could detect differences in accuracy and perhaps load 5 out of 6 for a given target, so as to eliminate the least accurate chamber.
 

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Well with all the work your brother did to make it how the gun is....if ut were me...i would not change it unless u want to sell it....you can show everyone exactly how he had it....just my 2 cents....u can always change the barrel later if u really want too....God Bless,John
There is plenty of original pythons...there is only one your brother had made just how he wanted....if it were mine...i would showcase it and show it off...show the great work he had done

Sent from my LGL41C using Tapatalk
 
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As to numbering chambers, a truly fine shot could detect differences in accuracy and perhaps load 5 out of 6 for a given target, so as to eliminate the least accurate chamber.
That is done by someone who was very skilled ...

Sent from my LGL41C using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for a great story and description of a classic Colt. Would concur with others that keeping it in current configuration makes sense.

Most folks that make custom modifications keep the original components in case they decide to sell the firearm at a later date and need to return it to factory specs to aid in selling efforts. Unless/until your family decides to sell, keeping it in its current competition configuration makes a ton of sense.
While purists are correct in desiring all original examples, has anyone seriously alleged that returning a Fitz special to original would help the value? Or honor Fitz? Quite the contrary.

That is done by someone who was very skilled ...

Sent from my LGL41C using Tapatalk
Waaaaay above my pay and skill grade!
 

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If it were me, I'd leave it as is and shoot it every chance I had to honor your brother. He had the work done to enjoy shooting and I would do same.
I agree, leave as is and shoot the finely tuned gun he shot and honor him. You have the original barrel if you ever need to put it back to stock(which it will never be again) but I would love to shoot it as is. It has to shoot great and many like me would love a chance to shoot a finely tuned Python like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do think I'll make a nice case for these two vintage Pythons and include the original barrel with them. I can, as pointed out, always change it in the future. I'll keep the original receipts from Colt for the work done with the case. I may get a letter for each of these just to add to the mystique of two so closely numbered Pythons.

I am posting a new thread with pictures of these two treasures. thanks for the great feedback!
 

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I don't think the numbered cylinder charge holes are unusual at all. I recall even amateur, (weekend fun matches), shooters would often do it in the sixties.

Thanks for the story whig.
 
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