SOLD FOR: $4075
Model: Python Target (Model #I3683)
Serial Number: K04309
Date of Manufacture: 1980 (COLT Serial Number Lookup)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver With Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “PYTHON TARGET / * .38 SPECIAL CTG *”. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A.”. The crane cut and the crane are marked “K04309”. The left side plate is marked with a “Rampant Colt” logo. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with “L”.
Barrel Length: 8” with vent rib and full-length underlug.
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramped blade pinned to a ramped base that runs the length of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch adjustable for windage and elevation that is pinned to the top strap. The top of the rib and the top strap have a matte finish to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The grip is a one-piece checkered black rubber Pachmayr Presentation grip. There are minor handling marks and a few white spots in the checkering. The checkering is well-defined. There are no rips or tears. Overall, the grip rates in Fine-plus condition, as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion. A bit of very minor stubborn fouling can be seen at the throat.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 96% of its Nickel finish. Scattered about the metal there are small clusters of minor nicks and hairline scuffs—the most notable instances are on the right side of the barrel, either side of the top strap, and dotted throughout the cylinder. Pins and controls are undamaged. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Fine-to-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lock-up on this revolver is SOLID, with no play when the trigger is depressed. The trigger is smooth in double action, and crisp in single action. We have not fired this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be required to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This Python includes a cardboard box with Styrofoam inlay. Included also are a pair of oversized Herrett target grips.
Our Assessment: In 1955, the United States launched the first nuclear-powered submarine, West Germany joined NATO, a condensed radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings was broadcast in twelve episodes on BBC Radio’s the Third Programme, and Colt began shipping the finest precision combat and target revolver ever made. Each revolver was hand-tuned at the factory and this attention to detail is exemplified both cosmetically and in operation. With barrel lengths ranging from 2.5? to 8? (this incredible example is 8”) and with some of the finest machining and finishing ever seen in the industry, the Python has earned its reputation and continues to be sought after to this day. The Colt Python revolvers are no longer being made like the originals, so the price for these fantastic weapons are just going to continue to appreciate. The revolvers by themselves are becoming harder and harder to find, making it difficult to bring oneself to actually fire a Python. This Nickel revolver from 1980 was lovingly cared for over the past 42 years. This is the Target version chambered in the exceedingly rare .38 Special—just 3,489 were produced for that cartridge. What’s more, just 251 were produced with a Nickel finish. Among a rarer configuration of the Python revolver, this is a truly special piece, especially in such high condition. Ironically, perhaps bitterly so, this Python was referred to as the “California Target Model”. This will absolutely be a welcome addition to any collection, and may well serve as the crown jewel. Good luck and happy bidding!