Sold For: $2,915.00
Model: Python Catalog No. I3680
Serial Number: K38685
Date of Manufacture: 1981 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=217494)
Caliber: .38 Special/.357 Magnum
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver With Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “PYTHON .357 / * .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 “K38685”. The left sideplate 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 “C”. The left side of the grip frame is marked with a large “I”, “T” and “OIO” in two places. The right side of the grip frame is marked “G”. The inside of the right grip is marked “5” and “344” in black and “431” in red.
Barrel Length: The vent rib barrel with full underlug is 8”.
Sights / Optics: This revolver is mounted with a square notched rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation that is pinned to the top strap of the frame. The front sight is a serrated ramp pinned to the top of the rib. There are traces of white paint in the serrations of the sight. The top of the barrel rib and the top strap have a matte black finish to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are oversized checkered walnut that enclose the front strap and the bottom of the grip frame. The grips are lacquered and have gold colored Colt medallions on each side. The left grip shows a light mark above the medallion and tiny surface chip at the bottom edge of the grip screw hole. The checkering is sharp and without mars. The grips are in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: High Luster 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 99% of its finish. There are two light marks on the bottom of the underlug near the muzzle and a long light drag line on the bottom of the underlug in the center of the barrel. There are also a few very light marks on the right side of the frame at the front and along the top of the barrel rib and top strap. The cylinder does not have a drag line. The knurling on the ejector rod and hammer are sharp, as are the serrations in the backstrap. The screw heads are sharp but there are light marks from a screwdriver in the grip screw. The markings are clear. Overall, this gun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The lock-up on this revolver is SOLID, with no play. The trigger is Extremely smooth in double action, and crisp in single action at 2 lbs 9 oz. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this revolver. This revolver has a wide target style hammer and a serrated trigger.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The revolver comes in a white Styrofoam box with a red and black faux wood colored cardboard sleeve and paperwork. The top of the sleeve is marked “COLT” in gold letters and one end panel has a label that correctly describes the make, model and serial number of this revolver. However, the box appears to be an imitation. The lid of the Styrofoam box is marked “COLT” and has a square cutout for paperwork. The inside of the box is fitted for this revolver. There are very few marks on either the sleeve or the box and both are in Excellent condition. The paperwork consists of a Colt Python Instruction Manual dated 1981, a list of Colt authorized repair stations, a warranty card, a congratulations letter from Colt, a Colt Companion pamphlet and a red Warning tag. All are in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: The Colt Python was first introduced in 1955, the same year as Smith & Wesson’s M29 .44 Magnum. The now discontinued Python targeted the premium revolver market, 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 and heavy barrel make this a perfect choice for home protection, target shooting and even as a carry gun, although it is a little large to carry concealed. This revolver is in Excellent condition with 99% of its finish remaining. The grips are oversized checkered walnut. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. The revolver comes with a Styrofoam box inside a cardboard sleeve. The sleeve is marked “COLT” in gold letters and has the correct red and black faux wood motif, with an end label correctly describing the make, model and serial number of this revolver. However, it appears to be an imitation, so please see our pictures before bidding. Colt Python revolvers are no longer being made, so the price for these fantastic weapons is just going to continue to appreciate. This revolver is a fantastic find for the serious collector. This revolver also makes the perfect gift for someone who always wanted one but never got around to buying one when they were still in production.