Are the Italians making Colt Python copies?

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I’ve had a bunch of inquiries about this picture since the NRA Show. Is a reproduction Colt Python coming to us via Italy?

While I was at the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville a couple of weeks ago a rumor was buzzing around the show: the Italians, long known for their superb copies of historic American firearms, were going to be reproducing the Colt Python. It had supposedly been shown at the European version of our SHOT Show, the IWA, and they would be here soon.As you might imagine this was particularly intriguing to me!As it happens, however, getting solid information on the gun proved to be a bit of a challenge. The gun is coming from the Italian firm of Pietta, which is imported in this country by several companies.

I stopped by one of those company’s booths and was told that although they had a fuzzy black-and-white image of the gun, they had absolutely no information on it whatsoever. “It’s not out yet”, they told me, and that I should direct my inquiries to Pietta (while pointing vaguely toward the other side of the convention hall.)

It surprised me a little to find that Pietta had their own booth; they don’t sell directly to the customer and the NRA Show is a consumer event, not a trade show. Still, the prospect of getting to find out from the horse’s mouth about this development was enticing so I headed over that way and found their booth.

It was empty. Well, not quite; there were some brochures scattered about and someone had obviously been in residence at one point, but their chair was empty. I made a mental note to check back later but from what I heard, they were empty pretty much all weekend. The Pietta representative, whoever he (or she) was never seemed to grace his (or her) booth. This was a little frustrating!

I was busy the rest of the show and never did make it back that way to check on our Italian friends, but luckily my buddy Richard Johnson from Guns, Holsters & Gear did – several times, in fact, because every time he went past the booth was empty.

Except for this one time…

Richard finally got a chance to talk with the person manning the booth but they had very little to tell him about the supposed Python reproduction. It’s going to come in barrel lengths of 2-1/2, 4, 6, and 8 inches but beyond that details are scarce. Did they reproduce the iconic Colt lockwork? We don’t know. Did they somehow recreate the famous Colt Royal Blue finish? Hard to tell.

In fact, his interaction with the Pietta person left me with more questions than I started with. They did tell him, however, that the gun was going to sell somewhere between $600 and $800. (I’m not getting my hopes up; even the Italians won’t be able to supply a superbly hand-fitted double action revolver on the Colt lockwork for that kind of money. It might be a very nice gun, don’t get me wrong, but I doubt it will be as good as the Python we’ve come to know and love.)

Still, it’s supposedly coming soon. I guess we’ll have to wait until someone actually gets their hands on the thing to find out if it’s really worthy of the name.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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