What's Up With the Colt Python?

This is a discussion on What's Up With the Colt Python? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Mods, you may want to move this. I have been a long admired fan of the Colt Python Royal Blue, .357. And, of course, coulda ...

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Thread: What's Up With the Colt Python?

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    What's Up With the Colt Python?

    Mods, you may want to move this.

    I have been a long admired fan of the Colt Python Royal Blue, .357. And, of course, coulda bought one two decades ago for a whole lot less than today. Like "yesterday", still can't afford one. It does seem like the prices have gotten ridiculous in the last five years and I have heard a few folks say that their reputation is not as great as is perceived by John Q. Public.

    Would appreciate thoughts and input on this. Someday, kinda like a Harley Sportster, I hope to own one.
    Last edited by aznav; July 6th, 2013 at 08:59 PM.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Back in my early law enforcement days they were very much a status symbol for us six-gunners. I personally never owned one, but would like to if I had the extra money to invest in something on the higher end. Since I am a sucker for durability and function, I personally prefer such wheelguns as the Ruger GP100 or a S&W 686, even a Model 66 Smith would get my nod. There are some "snake owners" lurking around here, maybe they can add to the question of durability and longevity.
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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    This will date me! LOL. Back in the early eighties when I was with a Sherriffs department in Washington state I carried a six inch Python while the other deputies were using Smiths. I put alot of rounds thru that old gun and the action just continued to get smoother. I still have it. I honestly do not know how many rounds I've put thru it but I've never had a problem. It is a blued model and since then I've picked up a stainless model as well. I have not found the actions on these to be as delicate as some might think. However, I have not shot a steady diet of super hot loads thru them either.
    The prices are extreme to say the least. I'm not sure I would pay the prices asked today if I didn't have one.
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    Like Ghost said, they were somewhat of a status symbol back in the day. My partner carries one but I carried a 6" Dan Wesson for a while then finished out with an S&W 66-2.

    Department issue was a .38 S&W though I don't remember the model number. If you wanted to carry a .357 then you had to buy your own. You also had to carry .38 ammo in you belt pouch in case you had to loan ammo to another officer though I never saw that happen.

    Still, I would love to have a Python but not at today's prices
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostMaker View Post
    Back in my early law enforcement days they were very much a status symbol for us six-gunners. I personally never owned one, but would like to if I had the extra money to invest in something on the higher end. Since I am a sucker for durability and function, I personally prefer such wheelguns as the Ruger GP100 or a S&W 686, even a Model 66 Smith would get my nod. There are some "snake owners" lurking around here, maybe they can add to the question of durability and longevity.
    Back in the early 70's I carried a model 28 SW Highway Patrolman and one of my buddies carried a 4 inch Python. When he left to begin a new job he sold the Python to me for 185 dollars. I never carried the python back then but I still have it, along with the 28 today. I shoot the python occasionally and it still has the smoothest action you could ever want on a revolver. Aside from some holster wear it still looks and shoots just as good today as it did back then. To me anyway, the Colt Python is a classic!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostMaker View Post
    Back in my early law enforcement days they were very much a status symbol for us six-gunners. I personally never owned one, but would like to if I had the extra money to invest in something on the higher end. Since I am a sucker for durability and function, I personally prefer such wheelguns as the Ruger GP100 or a S&W 686, even a Model 66 Smith would get my nod. There are some "snake owners" lurking around here, maybe they can add to the question of durability and longevity.
    I'm not a gun snob so I honestly can't fathom the cost difference between a built-like-a-tank $500 GP100 to a (current market) $2800 Colt Python. I know Rick Grimes uses it but $2300 difference is crazy.


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    I saw a nickel plated one at a gun show this morning for 1750. Too rich for my bacon. The troopers are jumping way up there as well. It's hard to say why Colt revolvers in particular seem to be skyrocketing. Great guns no doubt, but whoof.
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    Distinguished Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    Holy Cow! I have a python, and was going to start saying how it is one of my favorite double action revolvers, but I had no idea they were THAT expensive. I can't remember what I paid (used), but I remember it was allot, and I thought it was worth it at the time. If they're selling for over two grand, forget it. It isn't worth it.
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger View Post
    Holy Cow! I have a python, and was going to start saying how it is one of my favorite double action revolvers, but I had no idea they were THAT expensive. I can't remember what I paid (used), but I remember it was allot, and I thought it was worth it at the time. If they're selling for over two grand, forget it. It isn't worth it.
    I agree! If I had not bought mine when I did at the price I did, I most likely would not have one today.
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    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    I’ve owned two, a 6” Royal Blue, and the ultimate stainless 6” that I still own. I carried the 6” blued back when I worked as a police reserve. Back then you could get own factory direct with a letter from your department.

    It does have a very good action, but I did have to send mine back in to be tuned after about 10K of light to heavy loads. Colt charged me $65 for parts, nothing for labor and return shipping. I think the best feature is the balance, for some reason a 6” python feels like it’s got a gyroscope in it. They just “hang” on the target. I really would like to find a decent deal on a 4”.


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    I keep asking my Bro-In-Law if he stills has his (Ret Police)

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    Just to show my age, I remember selling them for $125.00 (NEW) back in the mid 60's when I worked in a gun shop. At that time the Colt representative would stop in the store and take your order for what you felt you needed. They were shipped direct to the store back then. Looking back on it, I wish I would have bought a few of them and put them away for the future. I can say that in those years Colt had the BEST fit and Finish of any of the big 4 or 5 manufacturers. And the trigger in a Python so good there are not enough O's in smooth to describe it. S&W 29 was a close second for fit and finish, but the trigger was not as nice as Colt. This was of course before they started to build guns with stamped parts.....Just my old dimes worth, your mileage may vary.........
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I received my Python six inch stainless as a gift from my wife in the mid eighties. She paid $475. I still have that gun and that wife.

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    I owned 2 4" blued I bought used for $350 back in the early 80's and a NIB 6" stainless I bought in 84 for $671.00.They were nice guns,I also had a 4" stainless model 629 44 magnum I bought NIB at a gunshow for $425.00 in 1982.
    There is no way I would pay the prices they ask today,since they no longer make them and they have a sought after appeal expecially after Clint Eastwood in the movie "Magnum Force" supply and demand has driven the prices.I wish Colt would produce the Python and Anaconda line again,they would definitely sell enough to make it profitable.
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    The Python market sure appears to be overheated. Just one opinion but the bubble ought to burst. Of course I've been telling myself that for a while and they keep rising stratospherically. Colt made a pretty large pile of Pythons over the years, several hundred thousand of the things. 1965 Colt Python

    Here's a V-prefix 6-inch blue Python from 1978. Shown with its immediate predecessor, a first-year-of-production Colt 3 5 7 from 1953. The only two Colt revolvers built on the I-Frame variation of their famous E-Frame, the hapless 3 5 7 was brought out in 1953, intended as the premium Colt .357 Magnum, and slotted to be fancier and higher priced than the work-horse Colt Trooper. Colt trumped themselves in 1955 when the fabulous Python was introduced to knock the 3 5 7 from its "Cadillac" status down to "Buick" status. With it's entire production figure of only 16,000 or so for the 1953 to 1961 time period that it was produced, the orphan 3 5 7 saw less total production than the Python's annual production figures on any of several years. Yet the 3 5 7 languishes on the collector's market. The revolvers are the same except for external frills.

    I like the balance of the 3 5 7 better. For that matter, I like its understated and classic looks better and really love the the oil-finished black walnut stocks, completely covered with cut checkering. The nice accent touch that is the Colt Duo-tone blue finish was discontinued just as the 3 5 7 was introduced and only first-year 3 5 7 revolvers feature it. For only a few years after World War II Colt detailed the cylinder flutes, top strap and bottom of the trigger guard of their blue revolvers and finished them in an appealing satin blue. The balance of the first-year 3 5 7 received a bright blue finish, expertly polished. By comparison the "Royal Blue" Colt Python is almost over-polished to the point it nearly looks "melted."



    Innards are the same and feature the same smooth action and fine trigger.



    I'm now almost reluctant to holster up the Python in its Safariland holster now and hike around our old family place. I've probably knocked it down to a 90% gun in the time I've had it. Shame really as the Python is a good, sturdy and very accurate revolver, just the thing for an afternoon of sport and fun shooting at the range or in the field. Pythons ought to be used as intended rather than horded, only to be touched by the cold, clammy hands of collectors.

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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