Colt Python owners can identify the general date of their weapon's manufacture by checking for certain characteristics, such as the serial number sequencing and gun finish. The earliest gun models were handmade and many have no letters in the serial number.
The Colt Python was first introduced in 1955; models dated from 1955 through 1963 were handmade and featured either a Royal Blue or Bright Nickel finish. These are some of the most highly-prized guns for collectors.
Colt Pythons manufactured between 1955 and 1969 also feature numeral-based serial numbers.
Later-model Pythons such as those manufactured in the 1980s feature either the Bright Polish or Ultimate Polish finish.
In addition to various commemorative and factory special editions, there were a number of collectible models as well:
- Hunter: 1981
- Silhouette: 1983
- Stalker: 1988
- Ultimate: 1991-1993
Mass production of the Python line ended with the 2003-2004 year. The company completely ended production with a 50th year commemorative gun in 2005.