SOLD FOR: $ 3,300
Model: Python Hunter
Serial Number: VA4074
Date of Manufacture: 1980s
Caliber: .38 Special and .357 Magnum
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver With Swing-Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “Python Hunter / * .357 Magnum Ctg. *”. The right side of the barrel is marked “Colt’s PT. F.A. Mfg. Co. Hartford, Conn. U.S.A.” The flat under the crane and the crane are marked “VA4074”. The left side of the frame is marked with a “Rampant Colt” logo. The left side of the grip frame at the top of the trigger guard is marked at the front with “VP” in a triangle and at the back with a “C”.
Barrel Length: The vent rib barrel with full underlug is 8” in length.
Sights / Optics: This revolver is mounted with a white outline square notched rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation that is pinned to the top strap of the frame. The front sight is an orange insert ramp pinned to the top of the rib. There is a scope mounted to the top of the barrel rib marked “”M8-2X EXTENDED E.R” at the objective and with patent dates and “Made In U.S.A.” at the eyepiece. The scope has a bronze medallion on the left side marked “Colt / Leupold” and with the Rampant Colt logo. The outside of the scope shows one or two very light marks. The scope has a duplex reticule, and the lenses appear clear and free of distortion. Overall, the scope rates in about Excellent condition.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are black checkered rubber with gold colored Colt medallions on each side. They are marked “Presentation Grip / By Pachmayr” on the bottom. The grips show no marks and the checkering is sharp without flaws. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 98% of its finish. The only mentionable sign of wear is a slight cylinder drag line. Otherwise, the imperfections on this pistol are limited to storage. The right side of the gun has a handful of tiny freckles scattered about; these are generally on the front bottom edge of the frame, on the right side and on the right side of the unfinished hammer. Much of this should clean further and the specks appear to have a brown finish in a small percentage of the spots. These can also be seen on the scope mount screws. This is a result of storage in the Halliburton case, with deteriorating foam. The foam has since been removed. The knurling on the ejector rod and the checkering on the hammer are sharp. The screw heads are mainly sharp but show marks of a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this gun rates in about Fine to Excellent condition, even better after a careful cleaning.
Mechanics: The lock-up on this revolver is SOLID, with no play. The trigger is Extremely smooth in double action, and crisp and light in single action. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this revolver.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with its factory installed Leopold scope, as described above. Also included is a Halliburton case, missing the foam inserts, a cleaning rod that has suffered the same freckling as some of the pistol from the foam, a 50 round case guard ammo box, and small kit of tools for cleaning the pistol. These parts rate in only Good condition as many of the metal surfaces show erosion and transfer from the foam. The “Python Hunter” instructions manual, original hang tag, Leupold Instructions, The Colt companion, Service Stations Pamphlet and the Halliburton Operating instructions are included in Fine condition.
Our Assessment: The Colt Python was first introduced in 1955, the same year as Smith & Wesson’s M29 .44 Magnum. The Python targeted the premium revolver market segment, and some firearm collectors and writers such as Jeff Cooper and Ian V. Hogg have described the Python as the finest production revolver ever made. If this revolver is any example, they are certainly right! The tight lockup, smooth action, long heavy barrel and factory installed Leupold scope make this a perfect package for the competition silhouette revolver shooter or hunter. The Excellent condition of this scoped revolver makes it a great gift for the man who always wanted a Python but never thought he could afford it. This is really a beautiful revolver so please see our pictures for a better description than we can provide in words.
A bit from Wikipedia specifically on the Python Hunter: “The Python Hunter model, with 8-inch barrel and factory-installed 2X Leupold scope, was made in 1980. The Python Hunter was the first field-ready handgun hunting package made by a major handgun manufacturer. The scope was mounted on the barrel using Redfield mounts and the gun was packaged in a Halliburton case. It was discontinued by 1990 and briefly offered as a “Custom Shop” model afterward. A Python Target model was made for several years in .38 Special only, in blue and nickel finishes.”