SOLD FOR: $3,893
Model: Python (Catalog # 3621)
Serial Number: E81668
Year of Manufacture: 1974 (http://www.guncollectorsclub.com/python.htm)
Caliber: .357 Magnum & .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double Action / Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “PYTHON 357 / *357 MAGNUM CTG*”, the right side is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”, the left side plate has Colt’s rampant logo, the left front of the trigger guard is partially marked “VP” in triangle, and “8” on the rear portion. The crane and crane cut have the serial number, the crane cut is also marked “F”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “N / 7 / P / 6 / INS”. The service pattern grip panels have gold-colored rampant Colt logo medallions, the insides are hand written “814” in white wax crayon. The factory box’s serialized end label flap also reflects the pistol’s barrel length, catalog number and nickel finish; it is secured to the box, the opposing flap is disconnected, as is its smaller tab, but these items are included in the auction.
Barrel Length: 2 ½”, with full underlug and ventilated rib.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp blade pinned onto the rib. The rear sight is a flat top, square notched leaf in a base that is click adjustable for windage and elevation, the base is slotted and pinned onto the top of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered service pattern walnut stocks with gold-colored Colt medallions. The inside of both panels is marked “814” in white wax crayon. The stocks have very nice crisp fit to the frame but for a small gap on the left pannel’s upper fit to the frame. The left panel has some darkened spots from handling and age, the butt of both grips have some portions of darkened wood on the butt and fore strap. The checkers have but a few instances of light compression. The grips rate in about Fine Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Matte & Polished Nickel
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling shows very light wear and is still sharply defined. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 93% of its metal finish. There are some tiny spots of surface oxidation, found on the right side of the frame; portions of the frame, grip frame and cylinder have a semi-cloudy appearance. The surfaces have some extremely faint swirled marks, the cylinder has but a light drag line. The matte finished top of the barrel presents a faint scuff. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder produces no measureable movement in full lockup of all 6 chambers. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is the pistol’s original outer wood-grain cardboard box; the serialized end label flap (which reflects the serial number, barrel length and nickel finish of this revolver) has a tear and frayed corners but is still attached to the body of the sleeve; the edges of the sleeve have roughing and small tears, the opposing end flap is disconnected from the box, as is one of its smaller tabs; both of these items are included in the auction as photographed; the sleeve is in Fair to Good condition. Two factory molded foam inserts are provided, showing light compression but no major losses or cracks, rating in Excellent condition. A blue patch with gold colored rampant Colt logo, reading “COLT’S FIREARMS / HARDFORD, CONN.” is included in Excellent condition, as is a Colt multi-tooldriver in its original manila envelope. A factory clear plastic bag for the pistol, as well as a strip of anti-rust paper is included, both in Fine condition. An authorized service station card, ‘handling the handgun’ pamphlet, warranty card and gun-world magazine marketing insert are provided, in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: This is a beautiful snub nose 2 ½” Colt Python with its original box, foam inserts, paperwork, plastic bag, anti-rust paper, a Colt patch and multi-screwdriver tool is included as photographed. The pistol retains about 93% of its original finish, the balance is shown as areas of semi-cloudiness, a few light handling marks and a few light spots of oxidation on the frame. The bore is bright with slightly worn but sharply defined rifling and no erosion, the cylinder produces exceptionally solid full lockup in all 6 chambers. The grips have but a few lightly compressed checkers and spots of darkened wood from handling. In all, this 1974 classic will sit well in any collection; it is not too often a 2 1/2″ Python rolls through our shop and it is even more scarce to have one come through with its original serialized box. The cylinder has an extremely light drag line that has not penetrated the finish, suggesting very little use outside of factory testing. Please see our pictures and good luck.