Most of us drop into local gunshops from time to time just to see what’s new. The fun part is you never know what you’ll find. When I visited this particular shop I was blown away by what I found.

Let me preface this by saying I’ve always loved the Colt Python as well as the smaller brother the Diamondback. At one time or another I’ve owned about every model and finish of Python ever made. I sure can’t afford one these days with the prices rising to dizzying heights.

Let’s get back to the discovery. When I walked in the owner of the shop walked up and said I have something to show you-you will not believe. He was right it was hard to believe. It’s rare to see a Python these days but to be shown a 6 inch Colt Python in Nickel finish, new and unfired in the box from 1976 is just so unlikely I was truly shocked at what I was looking at. Not only was there the Python but the owner also purchased a four inch Colt Diamondback, in nickel chambered as they all were in .38 special. The Diamondback was also new and unfired! They were about as close to perfect as possible. I’d rate them both at 98+ %.

1976 Colt Python New Unfired 1976

The owner said a man came in and just wanted to sell them both. The gentleman related that these two had been in his gun safe since he purchased them in 1976.They came out of the safe to admire then went right back in. He could just never bring himself to shoot them. I would not have had that problem then or now! After some long and serious negotiating a price for both was agreed to. I asked the shop owner if he was keeping them and surprisingly he said no he was getting ready to tag the Python and put them both in the case. After fondling them for a good 15 minutes I wiped them off and handed them back feeling very lucky just to see and handle these classic revolvers from a time when Colt was still a very prestigious name in handguns.

Colt Diamondback 38 Special

Now I know you want to know the price and my bet is they are more than you think. The Python is marked at $4500.00 while the Diamondback is marked at $2200.00. That is one heck of a lot of money but I bet he sells them before long. The chances are slim to none of finding another set like this in such wonderful condition. You might watch Gunbroker they may just turn up there. Of course, you’ll need a second mortgage on your home to buy them. Sorry, the photos aren’t better all I had was my IPhone. Still, I wanted the readers to see and enjoy these two revolvers.


  • codfilet

    Second mortgage? I’ve dropped more than that on an antique motorcycle, or a Japanese sword. There’s plenty of guys that can snap those handguns up with no problem.

    • Oh yes I’m sure there are. As I said they won’t last long.

      • .45

        I am not one of them. I could empty my bank account and pull it off, and I have more in my bank account than many of my peers. Of course, they have Netflicks, and a fancy new car, TV, stereo, all the IPhone accessories ever made, etc, etc, and I only got my first smart phone a couple years ago, so it’s not that I make more money…

        • iksnilol

          Netflix is cheap, fancy new car is stupid (never buy a car that depreciates)…. TV? Who watches TV anymore?

          So yeah, you cna afford cool stuff if you’re smart, like you.

  • Swarf

    Stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  • Keiichi

    How do they know they’re unfired?

    Did the not test fire them at the factory?

    • PersonCommenting

      Test firing does not count as firing.

      • Keiichi

        In what world is firing the gun not firing the gun? They’re not “unfired”; at best, they’re “once fired”.

        But, semantics aside, what proof do they offer that they’re “unfired”?

        • PersonCommenting

          A factory test doesnt count as a used or unfired gun. I get what you are saying but that is the way it is.

          • Very true—–

          • Keiichi

            Really Phil? A little critical thinking, please.

          • I’m just saying it is true almost all companies test fire guns before boxing them up and shipping them. I’ve watched them do it by hand at SIG while others do use machines. Wilson Combat shoots 3 rounds by hand from the bench at 15 yards.
            Those few test rounds are never considered when defining a gun as new.

          • Keiichi

            So my Henry Survival rifle with ~150 rounds through it (fired by me) is “unfired” relative to what other people might have shot through it?

            Does this statement not seem ridiculous to you?

            “but that’s just the way it is” or “it can’t be helped” kind of thinking drives me nuts.

            Plus, dealers don’t try to tell me a car is “undriven”… they’re at least honest about the number of miles a car has on it.

          • PersonCommenting

            No the two rounds from the factory doesnt matter. It was a test fire. That is it. Probably 2-5 rounds max.

          • Keiichi

            Even if we take the factory test-fire for granted, that’s not my point. Good job baiting me into the distraction.

            How do they demonstrate that those are the only times they’ve been fired?

            You brought up cars – those have odometers; things that tell the customer exactly how much use the car has had. No such luck for guns.

            When I see “unfired”, I see a red flag.

          • PersonCommenting

            And you should it is an over used term. Like I said a grade is just a grade it doesnt mean much. Like everything it means more from a trusted seller. Yeah unfired or low round count on Armslist or from some pawn shop means jack squat but from a good dealer it means something.

          • Keiichi

            That’s fair. It’s just that I bristle at “unfired” from a gun dealer just like I bristle at “mint condition” from an ebay seller… I guess I’m just cynical in that regard.

          • PersonCommenting

            Nah I get ya. I agree. If i look at low round count on gun ads online I laugh. As soon as a customer uses the gun it is used. Even if it is one round. You lose 100 bucks. Now if it is in like new condition and stays that way and the gun is still in demand It holds its value decently. You lose 100 bucks give or most likely give but thats it.

          • Keiichi


          • PersonCommenting

            Your henry would probably sell at close to new prices as it is in good condition. its in demand.

          • PersonCommenting

            I get where you are coming from more now after this comment though and agree with you more but the fact is new guns arent advertised as unfired and used guns that are advertised as unfired are definitely usually BS or marketing and I agree it is over used.

          • Keiichi

            Right. I guess my point is that in this case they were advertised as “unfired” (if we trust that the reporting by Pete wasn’t hyperbole), and that jumped out at me as a concern.

          • PersonCommenting

            You cant. That is why if someone buys it , it typically loses value. Unfired can be made by an educated guess buy informed people based on rifling and exterior. It isnt fool proof though. It is just marketing typically and over used. I totally agree.

          • Keiichi

            I guess this brings us to the root of my concern…

            The dealer is advertising “unfired” and charging $4000+ and $2000+ on two 40 year old guns that can’t be concretely verified as “unfired”, or even “rarely fired”.

            What if they’re just “immaculately cleaned”?

            Returning to the car analogy, a good coat of wax and oil can make a used car look pretty darn good.

          • PersonCommenting

            A good dealer can recognize low to know round count though. No round count cant be 100% verified but good people can get close. Problem is many pretend to be qualified at doing this and arent or just look at it and slap low round count. All the same to fired guns of this condition would sell for a similar price regardless.

          • TankGuy

            That’s just what I was going to add to the the conversation. With these two guns, or any gun that is rare or highly sought after, the price is pretty close to what the market dictates at the time. Some guns, like a limited 1 of series, will cost many times the value of a comperable specimen of the same model, minus the “limited edition” features. One of the reasons I love guns so much- as long as you take good care of them, and don’t abuse them, they go up in value with time.

          • borecrazy

            If you can’t tell if it has been fired or has seen obvious use, what difference does it make? It still has a full life in it-

          • PersonCommenting

            I dont think gun dealers say unfired. They just say a New Gun like a car dealer says new car… Unfired means unfired by any consumer or owner. That is it. Idk why youre making such a big deal out of it. Every thing you buy is tested to some degree… That doesnt mean it’s used it just means its been tested. Also nobody can tell if a gun is unfired like any collectible thing a grade is just an educated guess with error factored in. Like new doesnt mean new. Unfired doesnt mean truly unfired it means low round count or most likely unfired by owner.

          • Keiichi

            See my other comment…

          • The Brigadier

            No you fired 150 rounds through it with the obvious reduction of the tool marks tell you fired it. The average for high polishing with bullets is 200 rounds. Some barrels have different steel and different toolmarks. In your barrel 150 rounds might have been enough to polish the barrel. So stop trying to be a wiseass and pay attention. You might learn something.

        • PersonCommenting

          Now with this Colt IDK if Colt test fired all their guns back in the day but most companies do now. They even have a machine that does it.

        • The Brigadier

          Usually by the tool marks on the inside of the barrel. Every gun whether revolver, pistol, hunting rifle, assualt rifle etc, have tool marks from the rifling. Shooting actually polishes the barrel to specs. If the tool marks are noticeable with tiny sharp edges, then it has been fired only a couple of rounds for testing. It takes around 200 rounds to properly break in a new barrel. There will be little or no tool marks evident. That’s how you can tell.

    • The Brigadier

      Unfired by any owner of the gun. I for one want my manufacturer to test it and then clean it.

  • Don Ward
  • Edeco

    I’m not a huge fan of barrel lugs, can’t believe how common they are. I mention it because it seems the Python gave that trend a big, early push. To me it’s like skipping a manufacturing step, leaving dead weight.

    I’ve shot a Smith 686 (w/ lug) and a Colt Official Popo (no lug or shroud). I don’t think the lug gives magically awesome balance.

    • Joshua

      I hate the lug, it greatly detracts from the look of the gun for me, I don’t mind the small lump right at the end of the ejector rod, but the full shroud? no thanks.

    • I’m the complete opposite, a lugless revolver looks like a plucked chicken to me; the M1917 is the only one that doesn’t come across as fragile and unfinished.

      • Edeco

        At first glance they may look fragile but Habib Edeco loves with his mind. That is I know the extra 3 or whatever ounces of metal would add more and more useful of strength elsewhere, and that it probably takes more manufacturing to make one with a lump in front of the ejector or shrouded without a full lug.

      • Old Vet

        Supposedly, (old folklore tale??), one of our older sergeants struck a perp back in the day with his unshrouded Colt so hard that it bent the ejector rod?? Like I say, I never had the nerve to ask him….haha

  • Avid Fan

    Oh grow up, It’s just a Python. I can’t for the life of me understand why people get a case of the vapors over a Python. Avert your eyes, commoner! There is a Python in your midst!

    • SPQR9


    • DrewN

      You almost need to own one plus a goodly number of other revolvers (and be of a certain age I expect) for the quality to really sink in. BUT, my grandfather owned both a very early Python and a very early Registered and there was no question which one most folks would choose.

    • baserock love

      I don’t get it either. I handled one recently.

      Revolvers are relics. I suppose i can see admiring them for that, but it was a revolver with a nice trigger, but most revolvers seem to have nice triggers.

      • The Brigadier

        Revolvers are making an amazing comeback and every major manufacturer is bringing out new models and reintroducing older models. The relic business is doing just fine thank you.

        • baserock love

          Didn’t say people cant’ buy them. Outside of big bore stuff for fun and hunting i can’t fathom why you would want one in a human defense caliber. With modern gun tech there is zero advantage and a lot of detriments vs a reasonably quality auto pistol.

    • Have you shot one?

      • retfed

        I owned two Pythons back in the 70s/80s, a 2.5 inch I bought new in 1979 and a four-inch I bought from my partner in the same year. I carried them both on the job. In my opinion, they’re overrated. Example? Look at the factory grip on the Diamondback. It’s too long front-to-back at the bottom and causes the gun to slide down in your hand (or your hand to slide up on the gun) in recoil. In rapid fire your hand can get so high on the grip that the hammer spur bites it. The custom grip on the Python is better, but the Python’s factory grip has the same configuration. Custom revolver grips were relatively common back then, but they’re almost impossible to find and ungodly expensive today.
        I also owned an 80s-vintage Diamondback. A Diamondback is built on the same D-frame as the Detective Special, so it’s not really a 7/8-size Python; it’s a fancy Detective Special.
        If I sound bitter, I’m really not. Except that I obviously sold all of them 30 years too soon.

  • k k

    You didn’t buy one of them? Years ago when I got into shooting arms I handled a SS Python like that one at SHOT. It was said by the gun mags at that time the Python was the Rolls Royce of revolvers – they were not kidding. Super smooth lockwork and impeccable finish – I wished I could afford one at that time. Thanks for sharing.

  • 22winmag

    The fetish some people have with these revolvers is truly disturbing.

    • supergun

      And the automobiles going for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But when you got money,,,,who cares.

  • iksnilol

    Back when Colt was actually a good brand… fascinating trip down history.

    • supergun

      Built like a Rolex.

      • iksnilol

        That’s not a compliment.

        • supergun

          Rolex was the only thing I could come up with. The tolerance is what so amazing with these weapons. Forgive my dry sense of humor. Its Sat.

          • iksnilol

            Oh no, my apologies, I’ve just got massive disdain for Rolex specifically.


          • supergun

            No apologies needed. It is all fun here, especially talking about guns. As long as we are on the same page of the 2nd Amendment, we can always have different views. That is what makes America so great. As for Rolex, about the only thing I like about the Rolex, is the 24 hour race in Daytona.

  • USMC03Vet

    40 year old unfired gun?

    That’s a paddlin’

    • Tim

      No doubt there’s cooties on it.

    • It was the beloved Queen of Safelandia for a good four decades, though!

    • USMC08vet

      If so, get a big paddle. I inherited one from my Dad. Brand new 6″ blued Python in the box with the price tag still on it. He gave it to me and said keep it in the box and never fire it. Only piece of advice I took (he also said it was just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl as it is a poor girl! I missed that one). I have other guns to shoot, so I shoot them and admire the colt.

  • Tim

    The shiny makes it good.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Nice but I’ll just keep my 500 dollar brushed nickel Trooper. It’s the only wheel gun I own or need.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Mk III or a Mk V?

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        mark III. late 70s i think.

  • DanGoodShot

    I will always pine after the Colt Python. Not for the reasons most do though. It was my 6th B-day and my father took me to the range for the first time. I’m sure you all understand my excitement that day! My Uncle met us there. First, I fired my dad’s S&W in 22lr. I forget the exact model. But than my Uncle says,”here… try this.” It was a beautiful new blued Colt Python he had just picked up the night before. I had just enough strength to hold it up safely to fire it. Once I did. I was hooked! Thats the day I fell in love with everything gun. So the Python will always have a special place in my heart…. just not $4400 dollars worth of special.

    • Calavera

      We are each a child of our generation. For me it was the Colt Detective Specials and Agents. It’s a nostalgia thing. Mine’s got too many city miles on her to ever be a safe queen. She still makes me smile when I take her to the range.

      • DanGoodShot

        Absolutely. I still kick myself everyday because about 6 years ago I had a chance to pick up a Python in like new condition for a boat load less than what their going for now. Clearly this was before the snake gun price jump. Honestly though, I really would love to have a Python just because what it represents to me. I just can’t believe or understand why the price jump. I’m sure you still giggle everytime you squeeze the trigger. Never make her a safe queen. She can’t follow ya to the grave. Enjoy while you can. Thats my philosophy anyway.

        • ostiariusalpha

          “She can’t follow ya into the grave.”

          Tell that to NotoriousIUD about his select fire AR-15, apparently it will be entombed with him along with his regalia and most faithful servants.

          • DanGoodShot

            Well, that doesn’t count. He’s a bit of a special case.

          • jcitizen

            Your forget that maybe we have God’s armory for the great battles to come with the evil empires pointed out by Revelations. Please do not assume I’m a nut – mostly just because I’ve witnessed some of the best evidence myself! I was an atheist until I turned 40, and have seen things that truly would make most folks, including my self, wet there pants if they didn’t know better! So if you are going to die, please donate your Shield of Justice to the next generation, even if they are not relatives – give to those who care about Truth, Justice, and the American Way!! God bless you!

        • retrocon

          I think the price jump is just pure lust. The top vent type rib, the full length of ejector shroud, and most of all, the silky smooth action.

          I was not a fanboy of the python until my significant other inherited one, blue six-inch. My most cherished firearm has always been my first, a Smith M29. I was fortunate enough to meet Hal Jankofsky back in the 80s, and he did the action on that Smith. I remember him saying, “I can make it as smooth as a Python.” I had never fired a Python at that point (He actually made it better). But the point is, knowing that the action of this Python is factory standard, I can see why it has ALWAYS been the standard to which revolvers are compared.

        • The Brigadier

          Colt is in bankruptcy again. Perhaps you and others can pony up and buy the company. There are still some of the old workers who worked in the handgun division who will come back for a fair wage. If you produced nothing but Anacondas, Pythons and Diamondbacks, and charged $1500 for each one in standard blue and $2000 in Royal Blue the Colt exclusive finish, you will sell all of them.

      • Old Vet

        My favorite hideaway gun…thanks for the pic..

  • Those are some darn purty snakes right there, but unless I guess all six numbers correctly the only pythons I’ll ever touch live in a terrarium and the only diamondbacks I get my hands on will go on the grill or in a stewpot.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Rattlers arent bad cut into chunks and deep fried on a stick.

      • jcitizen

        Yum! My friends Dad introduce me to that culinary delight, but only his Mom could make it taste like the greatest cuisine!

  • patrickkell

    This wasn’t by chance Midwest Guns was it ?

  • SerArthurDayne

    My old man is a retired LEO, high ranking commander but never a gun guy. Simply a tool of the trade to him. But he knows i’m the opposite, big time gun geek and history buff. Years back he tells me about some stuff he has in storage, “Family guns, that will be yours one day….” So we talk, and he had me convinced he had a Springfield M1A from the mid-70s he bought as a young officer when a bunch of other guys were buying them (someone knew a clerk at the local K-Mart who was giving the cops a good discount, so they were all buying one, my Dad just went along to be one of the guys, didn’t actually WANT the rifle, but figured, what the heck…) and had put it away for years….. OH YEAH, and his Grandfather, an old-school off-the-boat Irish Welfare recipient in NYC (aka, NYPD officer) had a real famous Colt revolver… “Not a Colt Python……?!?!?!” “Yeah that sounds like it… probably a Colt Python…” — so finally I get him to dig out the stuff from storage. It’s an M1 Carbine and a darn-near-100-year-old (and LOOKING LIKE a 100-year old) Colt Police Positive. So much for my M1A and Python. Every time I see pictures like these shiny, beautiful Colts, I cry a few tears of “I could’a been a contender!”

  • conrad

    Hard to find parts and nobody will work on them. They still stack, and no matter what you pay they will always be safe queens. In the 80’s they sold for about 1500 a piece.

  • Oldtrader3

    I m old enough to have owned a NIB, from the factory, Colt Diamondback and Trooper Mark III with nickel finish and 2-1/2 inch barrels. This was back in the 1960-1970’s and I shot them regularly. They were bought for Bling factor, as I had other blued S&W Model 19, 27 and Model 29 magnum handguns with 5″ and 6″ barrels for defense, hunting and plinking. The first Colt that I purchased was a Nevada Centennial (.22LR, .45 Colt) Single Action Army set bought new in 1964. I wish that I had kept the Nevada set as they only made about 200 of them. However they paid (partially) for a divorce which I needed more than I needed the guns?

  • mazkact

    Damn you Rick Grimes.

  • Dan M

    I gotta say – I have a 4 inch Python – unfired – from either ’76 or ’77 in my gun safe right now. When I was just out of high school I tried to buy one on credit. Of course, I didn’t have any credit and my (very wise) Dad wouldn’t co-sign with me. Unbeknownst to me, he went and purchased that gun and put it in HIS safe. Fast forward approximately 35 years…at the age of 53 I graduated with my MBA and my Dad surprised me with that very Python for a graduation gift. Maybe someday soon I’ll fire it – or maybe it’ll remain unfired and someday I’ll give it to my son. A quick iPhone photo…

  • uisconfruzed
    • The Brigadier

      The Python is a .357 medium frame revolver that of course can also fire .38 Special ammo. Its the best of the lot of the snake guns. I prefer the big S&W .44s.

  • datimes

    I carried a 6″ nickel Python for 16 years when I was a city police officer. That gun ran flawlessly but was mighty beat up when I sold it.

  • asm826

    I always wanted a Phython and got offered one recently by an older shooter. It wasn’t perfect, just very nice, and he offered it to me for $800. I told him he better look up current prices. I got to handle it, could have shot it, and managed to do the right thing. He was very surprised, but sold it for $2200. I realized what I really wanted was a shooter and bought a used Ruger GP100. For me, it’s a gun. Once it’s too nice to shoot, it’s too nice for me. If I bought one “NIB”, it would get fired the next time I went shooting. Collecting is for China plates and old coins.

  • dltaylor51

    About a year ago I bought a blued unfired 6” python at Cabela’s for 2400 and slipped out of there like I stole it.No python is going to be reasonable but if you look around you can still find them where someone has them under priced.

  • Old Vet

    I served on a Midwestern cities police dept. back in the 70’s and one of my fellow officers had a 6″ Python in Nickel. It was the envy of my division, no doubt, but then again, his family was rich and he was just a police officer because he was trying to find out his best career path? His brother was a lawyer, so I guess he wanted to stay close to the LEO careers. Ah, the benefits of rich parents…..

  • DennisBechtel

    this is whyi won’t sell the colt collection anytime soon ,dad and grand father left me with 3600 colt revolvers ,even some pythons that arte marked .38 special and don’t say python on them.i only shoot two ofthem an anaconda in 45 colt and a earily e model blued python .none are for sale.

  • disqus_f62emCdwDh

    Why did the author negotiate a price, and then walk away? I muse have missed something. The stocks on this python appear decidedly non stock, none came with finge go over an sans-serif the raised checker ing I am aware of.

    Genuflecting toward Hartford’s past is all too common…

  • Andrea Goldstein

    I don’t recognize the grips on the Python. My 1972 Python (that I sold three years ago) had the Diamondback type of grips on it.

  • Gunstuff

    ” a four inch Colt Diamondback, in nickel chambered as they all were in .38 special. ”
    Just an FYI: Diamondbacks were also offered in .22LR
    I have a 6″ electroless nickel Diamondback in .22, and a NIB 4″ blued in .38
    Also have five Pythons, all blued: two 6″, two snubbies, and one 3″. I don’t have a 4″. Maybe someday.

  • Mike Crews

    to say they have never been fired is wrong all guns have always been test fired by the factory even 40 years ago.

  • jcitizen

    Although I love the detective agent – I also fell in love with the Colt Trooper Anaconda series, and finally dropped some change on a 44 mag. I originally bought it because I could not find a short barreled S&W Mod. 29 – so I figured on trading it for that later. – Oops! – I fell in love with it, so now I’ll never trade it off! Now that Colt is falling off the ladder, I may NEVER trade it off for sure! As much as I love the look of the Colts listed in this article, I’ve just had to draw the line somewhere on my collection.

  • Ed Ward

    When Colt re-introduced the Cobra I was hoping they might take another run at the entire ‘Snake’ line…Since then Colt announced massive layoffs/financial woes and will be lucky to survive autonomous…