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Old September 22, 2012, 06:23 PM   #1
Sing141
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Colt Python Wyoming Game Wardens' Association

In 1973 I started working for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a Game Warden (retired in 2003). At that time one of the game wardens had a friend at Colt and they were able to get Colt to sell the association about 75 Colt Pythons. Each Python had an engraved Wyoming Game and Fish Department shield (copy of patch worn on uniforms) on one side and an engraved Game Warden badge on the other and the number on each badge was different. i.e. 1, 2,3 etc. The grips were modified because the usual Python walnut grips would have covered up part of the engraving. The engraving and the grip modifications were done by Colt. They weren't purchased from Colt and then sent to someone for engraving and grip modifications. Each of the game wardens at that time was able to purchase one of these revolvers.

I still have mine, unfired, in the box. Is there any way to find out more information about these Pythons? Was this something Colt did very often? I've searched the internet and can't come up with anything about these or similar limited run firearms Colt might have done for law enforcement organizations.
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Old September 22, 2012, 07:19 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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You probably have a Colt "Private Issue" model.
It doesn't require a "friend at Colt" to get special order guns.

Since the beginning Colt would and still will build custom order guns through the Colt Custom Gun Shop. They'll build just about anything the customer can pay for. These custom order guns are usually a one or two gun set made to order.

Colt will also build Private Edition firearms. These usually have to be ordered in no less then 25 gun runs.
These are often ordered by fraternal or police organizations to commemorate a special event, or by some wealthy person who wants to give a special gift to employees, customers, or just for friends.

These Private Editions are often unknown to the public since unlike standard Colt factory commemoratives, they are ordered by a private organization or individual and it's not a matter for public knowledge.
Colt won't release information on these Private Edition models unless someone has one and can order a Colt Archive letter using the serial number.

In other words Colt won't mention what or how many private Edition guns were made or for who, unless you own a one of them, and then, all they'll tell the owner is about his individual gun.

If you ordered a Colt Archive letter, it'll tell you the shipping date, what custom features were ordered, who the gun was shipped to, and how many guns were in that shipment. In this case, you pretty much already know the details but an Archive letter would add value to the gun.

The reason the Archive letter would be valuable, is because Colt also sells standard production guns to other companies who have these guns turned into non-Colt commemoratives. Companies like America Remembers buys Colt firearms for conversion to commemoratives.
Since Colt doesn't do the work on these non-Colt guns, it can be difficult to know what is or isn't a genuine Colt factory commemorative gun.
Since these second party guns weren't made into commemoratives by Colt, and Private Edition guns are usually not on any lists of factory models, it can be difficult to identify what's what.

To be even more confusing, Colt has also made a large number of "official" Colt factory Commemorative firearms, often for police organizations, and to commemorate special events.
These were usually for general sales to the public, or for an organization to sell either to members and/or to the public. A "public" issues, these are known and show up on lists of Colt factory commemorative guns.
The Blue Book of Gun Values has a listing in the Colt section of these public commemorative firearms.

So, you can have a special order gun from the Custom Shop made just for you, and you can have a 25 gun minimum run of custom guns made as a private issue purchase.
These are not known to the public and aren't on lists of commemorative guns.

Then there are the Colt factory commemoratives that are well known and were usually sold to the public.
Then there are commemorative guns sold as standard gun to second parties who have them engraved and decorated and won't show up on any lists as Colt commemoratives.

Last edited by Dfariswheel; September 22, 2012 at 07:35 PM.
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Old September 25, 2012, 12:18 PM   #3
Quincunx
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But would one still be able to order a private custom run of 25+ Pythons? Assuming that they haven't scrapped the necessary tooling, that is. As to the price of such a venture, my WAG would be that it's in the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" category.
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Old September 25, 2012, 02:23 PM   #4
Sing141
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No Friend at colt.

Thanks for the information. As to the no friend at colt required, I'm sure that is true, but in this case it was a friend or at least an acquaintance at Colt who came out, was taken on an antelope hunt by one of the Game Wardens who acted as his guide, and in return helped get the order completed.
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Old September 25, 2012, 07:03 PM   #5
Dfariswheel
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But would one still be able to order a private custom run of 25+ Pythons?

Colt will only do current production guns, or if you already own an out of production gun you can send it back to the factory to have the Custom Shop do a custom job.

If you wanted a 25 gun run of custom Pythons, you'd have to go out and buy 25 Pythons on the market and send them in. At todays prices, that would run somewhere around $30,000 or so.
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