2 1/2 bbl gun in shoulder holster
1965 Colt Python 2 1/2 bbl gun in shoulder holster hanging on door

Serial Number Table

The first 99,999 Pythons had no letter in the serial number.

of DOM      
Serial Number      
Serial Number      
Prod. Totals  
1955 1 299 299
1956 300 1649 1,350
1957 1650 5549 3,900
1958 5550 7049 1,500
1959 7050 9099 2,050
1960 9100 13099 4,000
1961 13100 18799 5,700
1962 18800 24799 6,000
1963 24800 30799 6,000
1964 30800 41399 10,600
1965 41400 50499 9,100
1966 50500 60999 10,500
1967 61000 73799 12,800
1968 73800 89999 15,200
1969 90000 99999 10,000
Tables for later Pythons can be found here.

  Colt Database Search

The increase in production in 1964 indicates that the CNC machining process may have been introduced. Toward the end of 1969 the letter "E" was added as a prefix to the serial number. In 1975 the letter "E" was moved to the end of the number, becoming a suffix. In 1978 and later other letters were used.

CNC Machining Info Provided by Ron (Thank you Ron, very insightful)

"You made a statement that CNC machining had an impact on the possible quality or value of guns made after 1965. I have been in the CNC machining business since its introduction to the manufacturing industry. It really did not have much of an impact until the mid to late 70’s. Most machining was done on manual machines before that. One of the main reasons was the cost of the equipment and high degree of training to program and operate older CNC machines. Also they were highly unreliable. In the beginning, one needed to know a great deal about electronics just to keep them going. By 1980 they were very reliable, easy to program and produced very high quality components, much more so than a good machinist on a manual machine. So as far as quality of the parts in a Colt revolver: the ones produced on modern CNC machines were most likely superior to the older hand made versions.

I love your web site and hope it continues to grow."  Ron


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