Offered here is the rarest of Colt Python revolvers as it is one of a few examples in calibers other than .357 Magnum. Recorded calibers other than .357 Magnum have included .22 Long rifle, .22 Magnum Rimfire, .256 Winchester Magnum, .41 Magnum and .44 Special. This example is in .22 Magnum rimfire. The .22 calibers were advertised in Colt catalogs but were never mass produced. Only a few known prototypes exist. The barrel on this revolver has been factory sleeved in .22 caliber. The cylinder chambers for .22 caliber. Note that the forcing cone area is still for .357 caliber and the center fire firing pin has been removed. The revolver is therefore unsafe to fire and was produced by the factory for display purposes only. The action does cycle. The revolver was photographed for an advertisement used in a 1981 Colt catalog. This advertisement, which featured the tag line "The 8" Colt Python. Now available in 357 Magnum and 22 Caliber.," is included. A close examination of the left grip panel easily identifies this revolver as the one shown in the advertisement. Moreover, the included 1997 dated letter from Lewis B. Sharp of All America Sales, Inc., confirms that this revolver was used for the advertisement. According to Sharp, "The .22 MAG Python you obtained from me through Jeff Faintich is a Colt 'photo' gun made up from a .357 Python to provide pictures for the 1981 Colt Catalog. It was given to me by Colt vice-president, Dave Davis, in appreciation of my work to get the 8" barreled Python added to the product line in late 1981. I was district manager for Colt at the time….It is depicted on page 14 of the 1981 Colt product catalog." The 8 inch vent ribbed barrel is marked "PYTHON 22/*.22 MAGNUM R.F.*" on the left side. The left side plate has the Rampant Colt. The serial number "V90964," which places the manufacture date at 1980, is stamped on the inside of the crane and frame. Except for the polished hammer sides, the revolver has a blue finish. The revolver is fitted with a serrated ramp front sight, fully adjustable rear sight and checkered two-piece varnished walnut grips with gold Rampant Colt medallions. The factory "wood grain" box has a end label numbered to the gun that is marked for .22 caliber, 8 inch barrel and blue finish. The Colt factory buyer's appreciation letter, "The Colt Companion" pamphlet and instruction manual are also included.
Excellent plus. The revolver retains 99% plus original blue finish showing the slightest handling marks. The grips are in equal condition with sharp checkering. The box is fair showing wear and tape repairs. A must have for the serious Colt Snake revolver collector. No Colt Snake collection can be truly considered complete without this extremely rare Colt .22 Magnum rimfire Python!
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