Lipsey’s Exclusive Engraved Colt Python, Functional Art in Firearms

Every once in a while, you run across a particular gun that just stops you in your tracks. As soon as you see it you just want to, no, you really need to pick it up. It’s one of those firearms that just feels right. Fit and finish are perfect, and the entire weapon is something to marvel at as you carefully roll it from hand to hand and admire the quality workmanship and artistry that make up the piece.

Lipsey's Exclusive 3" Colt Python engraved by Tyler Gun Works, functional art that shoots!
Lipsey’s Exclusive 3″ Python engraved by Tyler Gun Works, functional art that shoots!

I was fortunate to come across such a handgun at the SHOT Show when I stopped in to visit with Lipsey’s Jason Cloesnner and Texas’ famed gunsmith Bobby Tyler of Tyler Gun Works (TGW). After a quick catching up with my friends, Jason pointed me to their exclusive 3-inch Colt Python engraved by TGW experts and stocked in American elk stag grips. Yeah, I immediately snatched up the six-gun and asked to get one for review as soon as they were available.

The custom stag stocks fit perfectly on the engraved grip frame of the Colt Python.
The custom stag stocks fit perfectly on the engraved grip frame of the Colt.

Tyler Gun Works Custom Touch

I am exceptionally glad Lipsey’s and TGW chose the 3-inch Python for this exclusive run. To me, the 3-inch revolver balances and carries perfectly for a defensive revolver. TGW graced this stainless-steel Python with their deep, Premier Grade Engraving that gives the gun a first-class, all-business look. The well-fit stag stocks seem to be made perfect for my medium-sized hand. I have great difficulty finding stocks to fit my hand on most double-action revolvers. Not the case with these, they feel great and allow me to obtain a proper grip. The stocks contain Colt medallions, adding to the dressed-up look of the gun.

Tyler Gun Works Premier Grade Engraving on Lipsey's Colt Python
Tyler Gun Works Premier Grade Engraving provides exceptional quality at an affordable price.

It’s NOT Too Pretty to Shoot!

In my opinion, there’s no use in having a gun you don’t shoot and no use in owning one that won’t shoot. I’ll admit, many of us probably have a few guns we rarely shoot, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. Some may view this beautifully engraved Python and say it’s just too pretty to foul with burned gunpowder or chance a scratch or a ding from holster wear. Nonsense! Fine guns are made to be used and honest wear does nothing but enhance a good gun’s appearance in my view.

After receiving the test gun and quite a bit of dry firing with snap caps I noticed the action didn’t feel right at times. This imperfection would have gone unnoticed with a quick examination of the revolver, so I can’t fault TGW for not finding it. I always spend some time with a gun, cycling the action, dry-firing, and getting a feel for it before ever heading to the range. After taking the Python out and firing a few rounds I found the trigger did not always want to automatically return to its forward-extended (un-cocked) position. 

We’ve heard of folks who have experienced a few action problems with some of the new model Colt Pythons. Once these issues are diagnosed, they are easy to resolve by a competent gunsmith. I want to stress that these engraved guns were not being fired at TGW before being shipped to Lipsey’s out of customer respect. As mentioned above, some folks wish for their collectible guns to remain unfired. TGW is now thoroughly function testing these Lipsey’s Exclusive Engraved Colt Pythons, so I seriously doubt we will see any action-related issues from here out.

After contacting Lipsey’s, the gun was shipped to TGW and they slicked up the rough action and had it back to me in no time.

I think it’s important to mention that guns, like anything mechanical with moving parts, occasionally slip through the manufacturer’s quality control department and hit the dealer’s glass cases in less-than-optimal working condition. I’ve seen it, as has every other gun writer in the business who has been around a while and is honest about it. Occasionally writers will receive some of the first guns in production and some issues arise over time that can be addressed and corrected before shipments are sent out for the shooting public. Other times it’s just luck of the draw and the writer gets a gun with an issue. So much for the rumor that gun reviewers get “better” guns than the consumer!

The important thing here is that stand-up companies will immediately make good on their products and correct or replace them as necessary. To date, I have not dealt with a manufacturer who will not stand behind their firearms. I am not mentioning this particular issue to degrade Colt, TGW, or Lipsey’s, they are each fine companies. As an outdoor writer who reviews guns, it is my duty to you, the reader, to honestly evaluate the products and report my findings. This particular revolver had a mechanical issue that is now fixed and it now functions as intended, and quite well I might add.

One additional point to add here. A situation like this is a perfect reminder that we should always thoroughly test our firearms, especially those intended for personal protection, to make sure they are 100% reliable in function and with the ammunition that will be fired through that particular gun.

It’s a Shooter!

Now, back to the range. This little Colt Python is a fine-shooting sixgun that shoots as good as it looks! The single-action (SA) trigger breaks crisp at about four pounds. The double-action (DA) on this gun is one of the slickest I’ve fired in a long time, weighing in at around seven pounds. The DA-pull is exceptionally smooth, Dusty Hooley at TGW did an excellent job!

Lipsey's Engraved Colt Python with Buffalo Bore ammo
Six shots of Buffalo Bore’s Ammunition fired single action at 10 yards produced a nice group.

Buffalo Bore Ammunition is some of the best ammo you can buy. I will gladly admit that Tim Sundles and his team are always generous in providing their quality ammunition to include in my gun reviews. I will also tell you that I purchase Buffalo Bore for my own use in both handguns for hunting and personal defense and for use in my hunting rifles. I trust it. This particular Buffalo Bore load I tested in the Lipsey’s Colt Python is one I bought a case of a few months back. It’s their Tactical Short Barrel Low Recoil Low Flash 357 Magnum round, item number 19E/20, firing a 158 gr JHP at a listed 1100 fps. This cartridge is pleasant to shoot and very accurate out of this three-inch barreled revolver.

TGW provided tasteful engraving on this Lipsey's Exclusive Colt Python.
TGW provided tasteful engraving on this Lipsey’s Exclusive Colt Python.

Firing SA at 10 yards this load printed six shots into 0.94 of an inch, clustering four rounds into a ragged hole measuring 0.59.” Rapid fire DA shooting at 15 yards grouped five shots in 2.6 inches with one flyer thrown out at 1 o’clock, a couple of inches from the bulk of the group. I had no trouble ringing the human silhouette steel at 50 yards shooting SA and only pulled a couple off slightly when firing DA.

Don’t Wait!

While making my rounds at SHOT I kept note of the engraved Colt Python every time I passed the Lipsey’s booth. Each time I walked by I would see folks handling the beautiful revolver. If that’s any indication of what shooters and collectors’ interest will be in this sixgun, you’d better not wait to get yours! The MSRP is $2400 for this well-balanced, beautifully engraved revolver with custom elk stocks. It is truly a functional piece of art, one that can be carried and fired with pride, and a perfect classy handgun to pass on to future generations.

The slick double-action pull on this Colt Python produced a good, rapid-fire group at 15 yards.
The slick double-action pull on this revolver produced a good, rapid-fire group at 15 yards.
Shane Jahn is a freelance writer whose firearms interests encompass revolvers, lever actions, Ruger No. 1s, and traditional rifles. He is an avid outdoorsman and hunter and enjoys taking these types of guns to the field. He is a former firearms instructor and has been a lawman on the U.S./Mexico border for over twenty years.

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