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Discussion Starter #1
This is only my second post so please be gentle.

I have a 4" Python that was born in early 1974. (One of the first 500 of that year). Would the correct box be the two piece with the red interior or the one piece woodgrain with the styro insert? I think '74 was the transition year for boxes so this might be a hard one. That's why I'm asking you guys.
 

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The Searcher
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There is a fair sized earlier post about that. We can race to find it. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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I have a six inch 1974 Python with no box, s/n: E76859

I need help too!

I asked this question a long time ago and never got an answer. When did Colt start labeling the wood grain boxes with model number and serial number?
 

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The Searcher
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Trust me, there is a post about this, or I am /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
I haven't found it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I read that earlier post.

22-rimfire quoted a Don Wilkerson book as saying the one piece boxes started in late 1974. Pardon my stupidity but I've never heard of Don Wilkerson. Would he be a reliable source on this subject? If he's some famous Colt guru please forgive me.

BTW
I've been buying, selling, building, restoring, and fixin' Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 35 years. There are numerous people who write books, appear in magazines, write columns, have TV shows, and don't have a clue what they're talking about. I'm sure Don Wilkerson is a fine fellow, I just never heard of him.
 

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The Searcher
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Don't know either. Yep, I think 22-rimfire and JudgeColt are the box fanatics. I'm glad you apparently read the post, at least. I need constant sanity checks. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
 

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The late Don Wilkerson was a fine fellow who wrote fairly well-researched books on the Post-War Single Actions, to include Scouts and Peacemakers. I did not see the post with the reference to the box style change, but I assume Don was relating when the boxes changed on the Single Actions about which he was writing. That change would probably carry over to the rest of the line as well.

Without the mention of Don's statement, I would have guessed the Styrofoam insert box for a 1974 Python, but it could be the running change meant some (or many) were shipped in the red interior boxes during 1974.

I have been trying to learn more about box styles for years. I am not sure I have learned much, but I keep trying. Douglas Shelton's book on the .38 Super has good box information and I have interpolated some of that into the rest of the line. However, many people believe that the changes were running to use up old boxes before starting on the new styles. On the Smith & Wesson forum, I have seen discussions of early 1950s gold boxes being used into the late 1960s on slow-selling models. Maybe Colt did the same, but I do not think to that degree. I really do not know, however.

One thing to help try to learn something about this issue is to ask each seller of a particular style of box to state the serial number of the box. (Why they do not do that as a matter of course amazes me.) One can then judge the age of the box, which may be helpful to determining a style for a serial number range.
 
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