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  #1  
Old 10-15-2021, 07:58 PM
Grimjaws Grimjaws is offline
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Default Colt Python 1970 - I don’t get it

So out of the blue my local FFL calls me and says you interested in an old revolver?

Heck yeah!

Story is this guy bought this revolver back in 1970, shot it once, cleaned it and oiled it and kept it in the safe. He wants to sell it to someone who will appreciate it and shoot it and not flip it.
Luckily my FFL knows I’m an old school revolver guy as I have gotten some great deals from him over the years
LNIB 15-4 Nickel for $400
Pristine 66-1 2.5” for $600
And others

So he shows me a 1970 4” Blue Colt Python. Rates it 98%

Guy whose selling says he knows these go for big bucks online but wants to deal for the person who will appreciate it

So I ask how much?

FFL says the seller is willing to let it go for
3500-4000

YIKES

So much for the willing to deal part

No thanks

I have a blue well worn 19-3 with Herrett grips I got a few months back for a heck of deal at a gun show for $350
So spending that kind of money for another 4” blue .357 just doesn’t make sense

I knew they were expensive and I was thinking he would offer it for lower but a pipe dream on my part.

What makes these old Pythons so expensive?
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:08 PM
Oldsalt66 Oldsalt66 is offline
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Folks will pay a lot for classic and iconic, items that aren’t being produced anymore, the new products notwithstanding.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:17 PM
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Five years ago that was a $2000 - $2500 gun all day every day.

Times have changed.

Honestly, I don’t know what its worth in todays market but not much surprises me any more.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:19 PM
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That’s a bit high but if as described with box etc, $3000 is not unusual at all. I have a couple of them and watch the prices regularly.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:26 PM
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Your average (i.e. not a dog, but not pristine) Python has a median value of $2,338 at auction these days, and tops out at $4,299 unless we're talking rare versions, which can easily sell for well into five figures.

Based on the vintage and the description, I think the seller's price range is in very reasonable territory.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:26 PM
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I have one from the Colt custom shop that my wife gave Christmas of 1980. A $480.00 gun........For my current use that's about what it's worth now. In the early years when I shot regularly it went out of time twice. Both times I had to peen the hand(make the top fork longer-There are 2, an upper and lower fork) on my vice to get it back in time.
Knowing one Colt collector very well. I find most of them are fondlers and talkers instead of dedicated shooters. Therefore the python sleeps in the dark and my Smith's see the sunshine and get shot..........BTW In over 50 years of owning and shooting Smiths. Never-Ever has one gotten out of time.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:03 PM
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Being made in the hundreds of thousands, they're certainly not rare, and there are literally hundreds of them for sale on the various auction/sale sites. I've never really checked, but I wonder how many are actually sold.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:14 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimjaws View Post
So out of the blue my local FFL calls me and says you interested in an old revolver?

Heck yeah!

Story is this guy bought this revolver back in 1970, shot it once, cleaned it and oiled it and kept it in the safe. He wants to sell it to someone who will appreciate it and shoot it and not flip it.
Luckily my FFL knows I’m an old school revolver guy as I have gotten some great deals from him over the years
LNIB 15-4 Nickel for $400
Pristine 66-1 2.5” for $600
And others

So he shows me a 1970 4” Blue Colt Python. Rates it 98%

Guy whose selling says he knows these go for big bucks online but wants to deal for the person who will appreciate it

So I ask how much?

FFL says the seller is willing to let it go for
3500-4000

YIKES

So much for the willing to deal part

No thanks

I have a blue well worn 19-3 with Herrett grips I got a few months back for a heck of deal at a gun show for $350
So spending that kind of money for another 4” blue .357 just doesn’t make sense

I knew they were expensive and I was thinking he would offer it for lower but a pipe dream on my part.

What makes these old Pythons so expensive?
I don't know what makes them so expensive. I've had two for many years. Good shooters, but no better than other revolvers in their class, be they Colt or S&W and I've had a fair number of each. People want what's not made now and apparently the newer Pythons just don't satisfy the urge like the originals.

Maybe its the fondlers and waxers rather than the shooters that drive the prices up.

Last edited by rockquarry; 10-15-2021 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:19 PM
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If it was NIB with all original paperwork, unfired, unturned, then maybe somewhere around $2800-$3200. Yeah, I don't get it either.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:29 PM
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I don't get the python either. Give me a 357 k or n frame all day long.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:31 PM
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That’s pretty high, if it were me, I’d pass.

But, with Colts, you never really pay too much, you just may pay too early…. In other words, that high price will catch up to the value before too late long…!
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:35 PM
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When the new Python was introduced I believe the old Python values took a big hit. I see a lot of nice old Pythons at gun shows and none ever sell over the low to mid teens. I confess to buying a new one at a good price but would not pay the same $ for an older one.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:05 PM
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I've always loved the Python. But, the L frame killed my lust for one.
After buying an early 586, I'd say get an old 586 instead.
The DA and SA pulls on mine are phenomenal.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:07 PM
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If this has box etc, it would Bring that and more on GB. (98%)

1969 Colt Started with letter prefixes with letter "E"

3500-4000 prob means it can be bought for 3500 for sure, and maybe less.

Again, if it has box and all, it is not high for these days at all, especially for 4 inch. I sold a 6 inch recently for 4100.00- 1969 year with brown box numbered to gun.

Don't ask ME why. I also sold 29s for 3000 that were mid 70s guns. Go figure.

Last edited by luvsmiths; 10-15-2021 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
Being made in the hundreds of thousands, they're certainly not rare, and there are literally hundreds of them for sale on the various auction/sale sites. I've never really checked, but I wonder how many are actually sold.
Wanted to add that I am the original owner of a 1972, 6". I shoot it several times a year, and maintain it religiously. BTW, I paid list price for it--$198.00. You can save the jokes about selling it and doubling my money. I've heard them all. LOL.

Last edited by sodacan; 10-15-2021 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken158 View Post
When the new Python was introduced I believe the old Python values took a big hit. I see a lot of nice old Pythons at gun shows and none ever sell over the low to mid teens. I confess to buying a new one at a good price but would not pay the same $ for an older one.
Where are these gun shows?
Out west shooter Pythons run $2000+, nice ones run $2500 to $4000
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
Wanted to add that I am the original owner of a 1972, 6". I shoot it several times a year, and maintain it religiously. BTW, I paid list price for it--$198.00. You can save the jokes about selling it and doubling my money. I've heard them all. LOL.
Have you heard the one where you can make over 2000% on your money?

And THAT'S no joke!
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:29 AM
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I bought a 4” Colt Python back when they were affordable just to see what the big deal was and I was underwhelmed. While I have no plans to part with it I prefer my S&W 19-4.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:59 AM
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$3500.00-4000.00 for a used Python? You’re not the only one who doesn’t get it. I wouldn’t trade my 27-2 even for a Python if I couldn’t sell it and had to keep it and use it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:24 AM
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Having owned and shot Pythons, S&Ws, Dan Wessons, and Rugers, I can say the Python is usually very accurate, maybe a little more than the average S&W or Ruger, but most DWs are equally accurate as the Python. As for trigger action, they are all different, but I can stage the S&W double action better than I can with the others. I see the Python as more of a status symbol, it's the Ferrari of revolvers. Beautiful to look at, handles well enough, but needs more care than a Corvette or Mustang.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:40 AM
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You can take the same amount of money and buy a Manurhin MR73. It can be shot forever without an issue. It's design is derived from the French love for the S&W Model 19 but built to a higher standard of quality and durability. Just shell out $3,300.00 to Beretta and wait a long time for its arrival.

The Masterful Beretta Manurhin MR73 Revolver Hits the American Market – Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews

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Old 10-16-2021, 07:45 AM
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I would think just to make a few dollars I'd offer $3225. There's somebody out there that doesn't even know he wants to buy it off you for $4G or more...yet. A 50+ year old Python in that condition isn't a shooter. That's just trade bait for something (like more money.)
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:20 AM
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It's all what a collector is willing to pay. Some accumulators / collectors go nuts over anything with the Colt logo.

Makes no sense to say "I can buy a Taurus that will do anything a Registered Magnum will do." It's not about performance.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimjaws View Post


FFL says the seller is willing to let it go for
3500-4000

YIKES

So much for the willing to deal part

No thanks

What makes these old Pythons so expensive?
Some sellers are greedy. Some buyers are dumb. I would rather buy 4 or 5 L frames for that kind of money.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:35 AM
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These threads really bring out the Python haters. Prices are what they are. I have 2 older blue Pythons and several Smiths. Love them all. One of those Pythons was carried for well over 10 years . It still sits in my safe. I was my departments head firearms instructor as well as our basic police academy instructor.

After leaving, I worked at a private security academy and requalification school for many years. Many of my departments officers also carried Pythons. Never saw a single problem with any Pythons ever.

YMMV
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfarfuldog View Post
These threads really bring out the Python haters. Prices are what they are. I have 2 older blue Pythons and several Smiths. Love them all. One of those Pythons was carried for well over 10 years . It still sits in my safe. I was my departments head firearms instructor as well as our basic police academy instructor.

After leaving, I worked at a private security academy and requalification school for many years. Many of my departments officers also carried Pythons. Never saw a single problem with any Pythons ever.

YMMV
I don't hate them. In fact, when Starsky and Hutch came out I was in love with them. I grew up and never thought they were worth the prices they were commanding. (shrugs) I am perfectly happy sticking with my 19-2's.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:28 AM
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You sound like someone who shoots his guns instead of collecting. Collectors pay big bucks for many things including art, autos, coins, stamps, etc. Most collectors are well-healed financially and that drives the market for collectables. People who use guns can get something that is useful, safe, reliable and accurate for thousands of dollars less than a collectable.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:38 AM
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I was on the Colt forum awhile back, hardly ever go there, and ask the question. If I were looking for a Colt Anaconda (not a Python), would I be better off with a new one or an old one. Someone who had both told me for the money the new one was a better revolver.

Now if we apply that to the Python, it would appear with the introduction of the new Python, the old ones shouldn't have that much appeal anymore. I just checked the price on the new ones and it's half of the asking price on the one in the OP.

Which one would you buy?
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:47 AM
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Its because they are excellent guns and they don't make them anymore. Simple as that. As near as I can tell, the average Colt collector ain't hurtin' for money and are more than willing to spend it for what they want.
If anything, I believe the 2020 Python actually drove the price of the older guns up. Many folks prefer the original over the remake.
Its the same with all the snake guns. I have a 1975 6" Python and 4" .38 and 6" .22 Diamondbacks. Any of which I could sell for a very nice profit. I always wanted a .45 Colt Anaconda. I'd have to sell one of my kidneys to buy one now.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:30 AM
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Same reason the S&W Registered Magnum will sell for about the same amount. Snob Appeal.

You can buy a Colt 3-5-7 or a Colt .357 Trooper and get essentially the identical gun for much less than a Python. And there were not nearly as many of them made (especially the 3-5-7) as Pythons.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
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$3500.00-4000.00 for a used Python? You’re not the only one who doesn’t get it. I wouldn’t trade my 27-2 even for a Python if I couldn’t sell it and had to keep it and use it.
Same here. I WOULD NOT trade my 3 1/2" mdl 27-2 for ANY python made yesterday or tomorrow.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsmiths View Post
Have you heard the one where you can make over 2000% on your money?

And THAT'S no joke!
I have been offered some crazy money for it, but I couldn't replace it. I would trade it for a Registered Magnum. LOL
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:19 PM
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I don't consider myself a collector, maybe an accumulator. My old Python was purchased for $ 350 in about 1978. The second one about 4 years ago for $ 1500. I've also got multiple 66's in 2.5, 3, and 4 inch. Friends thought I was crazy paying $ 1,000 for a Lou Horton 66 three inch. Didn't even tell them what I paid for my Lou Horton 1/2 inch no dash with original box.

I sold a P220 ST yesterday. A 66-1 four inch today. Just not shooting that much anymore.

Edit: the 3 inch 66 is an Ashland Shooters Supply. The second Lou Horton mentioned is a 686.

Last edited by xfarfuldog; 10-17-2021 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:32 PM
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I’ll take a Lew Horton 3 inch Python for this, all day and 3x on Sunday.


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Old 10-16-2021, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
Being made in the hundreds of thousands, they're certainly not rare, and there are literally hundreds of them for sale on the various auction/sale sites. I've never really checked, but I wonder how many are actually sold.
You are correct -- and the real documented number of them (before the recent re-introduction) is around half a million produced.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
I wonder how many are actually sold.
Ther are currently 47 used no-reserve Pythons with bids just on GB.

Highest is currently at $3,925 with 8 days to go.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:00 PM
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While some here think paying $3000+ for a Python is silly, there are many more folks who think paying $1500+ for a 3.5” 27, or $1000 for a 2.5” 19/66 is just as silly. Then there are those who will happily drop $3500-$5000 for a 1911 that’s still in production, but whine about the price of an early Python or uncommon Smith. It’s all a matter of personal preference and one’s ability to pay for them. I believe in diversity and own a sampling of many brands.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:46 PM
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At $4000.00. Good luck flipping.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:00 PM
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Colt 'snake guns' pricing of late has become insane. Driven by speculation and the fact Colt is now owned by CZ and no longer making revolvers of the same quality as the vintage Colts of the 1970's, the prices have gone beyond reason. That being said, their prices do not go down, only up. Neither S&W nor Colt modern production retro revolvers have the same look and feel nor performance of their vintage counterparts.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
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At $4000.00. Good luck flipping.
Seriously, folks who drop $4k for a Python aren’t buying it to flip.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:34 PM
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Pythons are way over rated and over priced. People are paying just stupid prices for them. And I am not a Python hater. I have owned several over the past 50 years. Just don't own one now. I'm only offering my personal observations. If given the choice between the two I would pick a 686 all day long. I believe that it will easily handle the steady pounding of .357 rounds better than the Python. Not meaning to offend any Python owners on this forum. Just giving my opinion. Colt collectors these days have to have deep, deep pockets to afford them. But, if a handgun is found that one has to have, they will pay whatever price necessary to get it. And yes, Pythons are beautiful weapons.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:36 PM
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There are a lot of guns that others seem to rave about, that I just don’t get. Like what you like, and don’t worry about it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:41 PM
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Its because they are excellent guns and they don't make them anymore. Simple as that. As near as I can tell, the average Colt collector ain't hurtin' for money and are more than willing to spend it for what they want.
If anything, I believe the 2020 Python actually drove the price of the older guns up. Many folks prefer the original over the remake.
Its the same with all the snake guns. I have a 1975 6" Python and 4" .38 and 6" .22 Diamondbacks. Any of which I could sell for a very nice profit. I always wanted a .45 Colt Anaconda. I'd have to sell one of my kidneys to buy one now.
But they do. You mean they don't make them like they used to. I'll buy that, but I've read that the new product is just as good, maybe better. A collector over on the Colt forum said that about the Anaconda. I may buy one as soon as I find one for MSRP.

The difference is I'm not going to put it in the back of the safe and wait 10 years to turn a 20% profit. I have maybe 10 years left to enjoy my firearms as it is. Most of my revolvers have fired a few thousand rounds.

I understand collecting and I'm glad people do that. If they didn't we wouldn't have those incredible displays like the one at the Buffalo Bill museum in Cody WY.

The old Pythons are collectors. The new ones are the shooters and from my understanding equal, or better, than the old ones.

I have a few Colt 1911's built in the last 20 years. They're fine pistols and increasing in value every year. I paid $1000 for a Colt Gold Cup Trophy about 10 years ago. MSRP for a new one is about $1600 these days. Mine has about 5K through it and I'm not finished using it.

A firearm unused is like a car that's sat in a garage it's entire life.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:14 PM
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If we were to zoom out a bit and look at interests outside of firearms I'm sure we'd find similar threads.

Ferrari guys who can't fathom someone dropping seven figures on a classic Porsche.

Patek Philippe guys who think Rolex's are for children.

DeWalt guys who think Harbor Freight Drill Master is junk. Ok, wait, I'll give you that one...

It doesn't matter whether I "get it" or not. Everything has its adherents and its detractors. Live and let live.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:21 PM
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I have three 6" Pythons. Never paid over $800 for them.
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Old 10-17-2021, 01:22 AM
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Five years ago that was a $2000 - $2500 gun all day every day.

Times have changed.

Honestly, I don’t know what its worth in todays market but not much surprises me any more.
I bought a new Python, stainless Python Elite, in 2003, shortly after all Pythons were moved to the custom shop at Colt. Paid $1003 to a dealer in CT.

In 2015 or 2016, I sold it for $4,500. It did have it's original box and paperwork. I'd shot it some, but had taken good care of it.

Pythons are like Rolexes: They're a famous brand, a status symbol, excellent quality, expensive and an easy buy for those who don't know a whole lot but want the best. (And also loved by folks who know a whole lot and like 'em. I'm not knocking 'em. They're fine revolvers.)

I like 'em. Lot's of sex appeal. But, to me, not worth what they're going for these days.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:07 AM
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I didn't buy a Python because I think they're any better than any other gun. I bought a Python because I wanted a Python, and nothing else would scratch that itch.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:18 AM
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The market sets the price just as it does for everything else.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:39 AM
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Reasons Original Colt Pythons sell for big bucks:

Made by Colt, Pony trademark
One of the most beautiful revolvers ever made
New Production is not Original (doesn't matter if they are better or not)
Fantastic shooter
Colt Royal Blued models are gorgeous
Python is a catchy name
One of the seven serpents revolvers Colt made
The Walking Dead
Iconic, even a casual firearm guy is aware of the Python
Great cartridges, .357 magnum and .38 Special
American made (unlike Korth, Manhurin...)

I'm sure I left out several other reasons.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:45 AM
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Don't have a Colt Python but do have a 1956 Colt Official Police. (Only Colt revolver I own.)Several years ago at a local in person auction I bid on a Diamondback .22 but got outbid by a lot by a Diamondback collector. That particular Colt collector was willing to pay what it took to get it. Here is an interesting You Tube video I came across on the interior clockwork of the Python. Similar to the OP.


A picture of my Colt OP alongside my coveted nickel Model 10. Every revolver fan needs to have at least one Colt in the stable!
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