by Joe Gorman
2020 started on a high note for old-school handgunners. After years of being out of production, Colt is once again building Python revolvers. This highly sought after modern-day Python has proven so popular, it has been known to sell for hundreds of dollars over MSRP.
That said, when Colt re-issued its new Python, it did so with a few changes from earlier generations. Sadly, not all were for the better. Case in point: the grips. Gone are the beautiful old school walnut grips. In their place we find laminate grips, that while extremely serviceable, are no match for the beauty and feel of the walnut grips of yesteryear. So it should come as no surprise to learn knowledgeable pistoleros sought an upgrade. 2020 Python owners who preferred the look and feel of original Colt walnut grips started haunting Ebay and Gunbroker for used. Depending upon condition, a pair of vintage, walnut, OEM Colt Python grips can bring up to $400.
Fortunately, Deer Hollow Enterprises has come to the rescue with historically-correct, reproduction grips that fit like a glove. The early 3rd-generation grips that I ordered from Deer Hollow are crafted from high-quality black walnut, 3D laser scanned to be exact copies of the original. Inset is a beautiful Colt medallion, as opposed to cheaper, pot metal. Unwrapping them was like opening a brand NOS pair. If anything, the walnut wood is of a higher quality than on my originals and the grain on the left and right panels match better!
Deer Hollow cuts the blanks on CNC machinery, followed by hand-sanding and finally a custom finish that is resistant to cleaning chemical. As for durability, I clean handguns with Ballistol, and the solvent has had no effect on the finish. Unlike merely pressed checkering, Deer Hollow reproduction grips feel properly crisp. Also worthy of note, the screw and nut that retains the grips are made from quality steel. No metric substandard metals here!
Finally, beyond reproduction pistol grips, Deer Hollow is renowned for its line of quality reproduction parts such as Python front sights and stainless steel extractor rods. Moreover, the company also offers certain gunsmithing and restoration services, with a specialty of C and R handguns and Colt revolvers. Personally, I am very glad to have discovered Deer Hollow and its Python grips.(https://www.deerhollowonline.com) I only wish Colt would see fit to include a set of Deer Hollow grips with every Python!