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I was curious about what law enforcement agencies, if any, used the Colt Python as the main service revolver. Do any of you know? I've seen the Python used in movies/TV and have seen some officers in smaller cities/towns back in the 70's and 80's carry them. This is just something I wanted to know.
Thanks for any replies.
 

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It was very common in the past for police officers to carry a personally-purchased pistol. The Python was considered the "creme de la creme" of .357's, so a lot of the officers that could afford them bought them for duty use.
 

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Colt Pythons were quite a bit more expensive than S&Ws, so you just didn't see them in a police holster very often.
 

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It seems to me that long ago Massad Ayoob wrote a pretty decent article about Pythons and mentioned that they were an issue gun for a large agency in Texas, but I don't recall which one.
Pretty spendy piece for an issue revolver. In most departments low bid is king.
 

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After the First Gulf War, Kuwait bought Colt Pythons and Mercedes cars to rearm it's police force.

There weren't too many American departments that bought the super-expensive Python, but I did once see a batch of trade-in Pythons from some department, in Texas??

From the early 1960's up through the 80's some of the really "in" people at the FBI in Washington carried personal 2 /12" Pythons.
 

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Texas DPS used Pythons. Reeves Junkind (one of the best Python smiths in the country) was their armorer for many years.

David Soul had one in "Magnum Force" :)
 

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While growing up in the 70's and 80's it was common to see Florida HP officers armed with the Pythons... both 4" and 6". I don't know if they were issued or personal purchase and approved.
 

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You would see many more Colt Troopers than Pythons, as they were excellent guns and more competitively priced with Ruger and S&W.
 

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Come to think of it, I believe the Python was official issue for a time for the Florida Highway Patrol. They had a long history with Colt revolvers going back to the beginning.

They bought the only nickel plated 5" barreled Colt 357 revolvers ever made. (The "357" was both the caliber AND the name of the model).

These rare 5" Colt's were sold back in the late 80's on the surplus police market and were advertised in The Shotgun News by a big distributor.

After the 357, they bought Pythons and I "think" Colt Trooper's, before going to the S&W Model 66.
 

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From the early 1960's up through the 80's some of the really "in" people at the FBI in Washington carried personal 2 /12" Pythons.
Actually, they could carry it well into the 90s. And no, you didn't have to blessed with anything more than a fat wallet.
 

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I thought Jerry Moran was the Grandmaster Granddaddy of the colt python? Never saw one carried by a LEO. Personally I would have a older 586 and leave the Python a safe queen.
 

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Back when I was a street cop ('96 - '02) one of my favorite off-duty carry guns was a customized 2.5" Colt Python. The gun was made in 1977, but was NIB when I obtained it in '95. Traded a blued Ruger P-89 9mm straight up for it! It belonged to the owner's Dad and he said that he didn't want a "cowboy six-shooter", but needed a "hi-cap 9". His loss!

I carried and shot the heck out of it and was wearing the Royal Blue finish off while that long hammer spur was wearing out my short ribs during concealed carry.

Bobbed the hammer, had a satin hard chrome finish put on it, ivory grips, and a Tyler T-Grip adapter. Loaded her up with 125grn Cor-Bon's and carried 2 spare Bianchi Speed Strips. Carried it for years.

I figured it was made to be a combat handgun, not a showpiece. Of course, I also compete in Cowboy Action with a pair of Colt Single Action Army's, so maybe I'm weird.
 

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In the 70's and early 80's I saw uniformed officers (particularly one motor officer who gave me a ticket) of the San Francisco PD carry 4" Pythons.
 

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Dferiswheel I have a question for you. I have an 82 Python with the "Gold Medallions" on the Grips, today I saw one with the "Silver Medallions" on the grips. Were silver medallions ever put on Pythons and if so what year?
 

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Colt Pythons & Law Enforcement

Back when I started working aound LE in 1981 in the Southeast, at least, there were 2 wheelguns that were a badge of honor so to speak. One was a Python, usually a 4" nickel and the other was a S&W Model 25-5 also in the nickel plated variety.

I got the 4" nickel 25-5 in 1987 and the Python in 1989 in a 6" blue after carrying a Model S&W model 28 or a Security Six or a Browning High Power.

Still got the 25 but traded off the Python for an Officers Model Colt .45 cause I found I couldn't shoot any better (or less "worser" ) that the S&W or others. Both guns or their variations are still among the ones to beat for LE wheelguns even here in the 21st century
 

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My grandfather carried a 4" Nickel for a long time when he was with the Dade County Police Department. He carried it until the wonder 9s started to take over, but still has the old snake laying around...
 

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Dferiswheel I have a question for you. I have an 82 Python with the "Gold Medallions" on the Grips, today I saw one with the "Silver Medallions" on the grips. Were silver medallions ever put on Pythons and if so what year?
Silver Colt medallions first started appearing on Pythons in the mid-1980's on STAINLESS Pythons fitted with Rubber grips.
There were also one or two limited edition models with Silver medallions on wood grips.
The very late models with the laminated wood, finger groove grips were also often Silver.

"In general", original Target style Colt grips with Silver Medallions were intended for use with lower price guns like the Official Police and Trooper.

Most times, if you find a Python with Silver medallions, the grips actually came off an original Trooper or 357 Model.
Those very few Pythons that shipped with Silver medallions were almost ALL later 1980's and 1990's models, ALL stainless steel, and as far as I know almost all were limited edition models.
 
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