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Old November 17, 2012, 03:31 AM   #1
jmstr
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Python, Anaconda, S&W and Ruger: oh my!

I had an experience earlier this year that I've been mulling over to understand, but still can't figure out.

After doing a LOT of searches, I've come to realize I still don't get it.

The 'it' in question is the love for the Colt DiamondBack/Python/Anaconda revolvers.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to shoot a full cylinder from 4 revolvers back to back: Python, S&W Model 686, Ruger SRH and Anaconda.

I understand my experience was with a representation of 1 for each pistol.

I found all 4 to be more accurate than I was.

I found all 4 to 'feel' good in my hand and point well.

I found the S&W to have the smoothest trigger [it had seen a gunsmith 6 months earlier], but not by a huge amount.

After all was said and done, I enjoyed shooting all 4 pistols.

In the interest of full disclosure, I shoot semi-autos much more often than revolvers. This means I may not 'feel' nuances that more frequent wheel-men will notice.

However, when all was said and done, I couldn't feel any significant improvement in the trigger mechanism of the Colt revolvers compared to the other two.

Am I just so inexperienced with revolvers that I didn't notice it in 6 rounds?

Or, have S&W and Ruger improved their handguns so much in the past 20 years that there isn't a landmark difference between them any more?


I was left wondering what all the hype was about: other than the look and the reputation. I mean, from what I've read the Colt revolvers are more likely to go out of time than revolvers from Ruger, S&W or Taurus. And the Ruger is reputed to be able to handle the most frequent use of max load rounds.

I found the finish on the Python and Anaconda to be beautiful. I don't know if I've ever seen a bluing job as pretty on a revolver. But, if it costs 3 times as much as my Ruger, if the Python is more 'delicate' of an action with full house loads, and if it is hard to find Colt revolver gunsmiths, I don't see why I should buy a Python.

I like the history, but I'm a user: not a collector. I acquire firearms I wish to shoot as often as I can afford to. My mindset isn't geared to 'safe queens' that I'll never fire.

So, what am I missing? I've been trying to figure this out for at least 4 months.

Any thoughts to help me make sense of my experience?

I feel like the uneducated kid on the first day of college: everyone raves about the Colt revolver and I'm not noticing a difference in how it performs in my hand over Ruger or S&W.

This makes me feel like something is wrong with me.
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Old November 17, 2012, 03:53 AM   #2
silvermane_1
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colt is consider the king of the DA wheelguns because they were hand fitted and had the best trigger in most's wheelguners opinion and are coveted because they not made anymore and the finish on them is as close as you can get to have a piece of fine art on a gun.
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Old November 17, 2012, 04:54 AM   #3
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This is my question's.

You said a mouth full.

First, did you just shoot DA or SA (X6) out of each?

Or did you mix it up with a few of that, and a few of this?

Second, did you get a chance to dry fire them first, in DA and SA?

I have some Performance Center N-frame S&W .357s.

I have shot both the Anaconda and Pythons. They all work very well. But when the day is done you can keep the Colt if you like to shoot a lot which I do.

To me, Colts* are more of a collector piece.

Ohh, about my used (95%++) Ruger unmolested Redhawk 44mag shoots just as good as any of the machines on topic. I paid $495.00 OTD. <one happy guy without a Colt* or a Taurus. LOL

One other note, an old hunter said the Colts* are the best, but never drop one.
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Old November 17, 2012, 06:50 AM   #4
Zhillsauditor
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Quote:
colt . . . are coveted because they not made anymore . . .
Colts were so good and everyone loved them so much that they stopped making them.
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Old November 17, 2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Colt was never known for having the best DA trigger. S&W has the best across the board IMO.

I have never seen a Python go out of time and I've been shooting and hunting with them since 1979. I own 3.

But yes, a lot of it is the finite supply, the name, and the sexy looks. I just love them and think they are worth it. So does my son. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Colts were so good and everyone loved them so much that they stopped making them.
Yep that's why they stopped cause they're junk, had nothing to do with the prohibatively expensive hand fitting.


Quote:
I found the S&W to have the smoothest trigger [it had seen a gunsmith 6 months earlier], but not by a huge amount.
I find this statement very telling as to a possible preconcieved notion. Hey let's just overlook the fact that this Smith coulda had a crap trigger out of the box.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:27 AM   #7
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmstr
I like the history, but I'm a user: not a collector. I acquire firearms I wish to shoot as often as I can afford to. My mindset isn't geared to 'safe queens' that I'll never fire.

So, what am I missing?...

Any thoughts to help me make sense of my experience?
Here's a quip I offered from a current thread on another forum that might help:

From http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=685335:
Quote:
There's no question the Python is a high quality & accurate revolver, and represents the apex of fit & finish. But, as a shooter, many feel it's overrated; or more precisely, that there are alternatives nowadays, and they include newer production guns. I know a good number of superb wheelgunners, and while a Python might be on their "some day" list, it generally gets a pretty low priority score.
My opinion? Get a S&W or Ruger, get the action tuned, install sights you can see, and shoot the batsnot out of it.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:41 AM   #8
JayCee
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I've never had much interest in Pythons, particularly now that the prices have become so silly. I think it has something to do with that ventilated rib, which just looks...odd. But then I don't like octagonal barrels for the same reason, so go figure...
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Old November 17, 2012, 09:28 AM   #9
kcub
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Check out Ayoob's article linked within the high road link.
http://www.grantcunningham.com/acc-rifle.html

Pretty high praise and experience from a writer I have huge respect for.

In the conrext of today I would opine that the Python is not overrated.
It is simply under supplied much like transferable machine guns.
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Old November 17, 2012, 10:24 AM   #10
DFrame
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The reason people like colts can be generally summed up much like the old adage about Harley-Davidson. "If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand".
BTW ONLY the python was specifically tuned for smoothness by the factory. If you ONLY care about utility, by all means save your money and buy guns other than Colts.
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Old November 17, 2012, 11:06 AM   #11
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"I was left wondering what all the hype was about"

What hype? Your bias is showing.

"So, what am I missing?..."

Experience? Perspective? History? Maybe you should try shooting 6 boxes through each gun, or 6 cases, and get a feel for them.

Fwiw, the Python was designed for target shooting, and I don't mean DA run and gun games like people play today.

It really is impossible to compare two gun models accurately on the basis of single samples because of gun to gun variation. For instance, I bought a NIb 4" Ruger Police Service Six in 1985 and it came with a trigger pull so fine that owners of tuned S&Ws marvel at it and ask who did the work. I bought a Wolff reduced pull spring kit for it once for the heck of it and the pull got heavier - out it went.

I am a bit surprised you couldn't tell a difference between the trigger on the Python and the one on the Anaconda because they aren't the same design.

John
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Old November 17, 2012, 09:20 PM   #12
DAnjet500
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I have three of the four revolvers mentioned and I like all three for different reasons. I like the Ruger because I can shoot full power loads with heavy bullets and not worry about hurting the gun. I like the Colt because it is easiest on recoil. I'm not sure why but I suspect it's a little muzzle heavy compared to the other two. And I like the S&W because it has the best trigger. Each gun has its pros and cons. I don't have a Python and probably never will because they don't come in .44 mag.

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Old November 18, 2012, 12:26 AM   #13
TennJed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAnjet500 View Post
I have three of the four revolvers mentioned and I like all three for different reasons. I like the Ruger because I can shoot full power loads with heavy bullets and not worry about hurting the gun. I like the Colt because it is easiest on recoil. I'm not sure why but I suspect it's a little muzzle heavy compared to the other two. And I like the S&W because it has the best trigger. Each gun has its pros and cons. I don't have a Python and probably never will because they don't come in .44 mag.

Call me crazy but I think the Ruger is the best looking design of those 3 (blueing aside). I like stainless revolvers and the design of the Ruger Six Series looks the best to me. Never liked the looks of the colts
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Old November 18, 2012, 02:03 AM   #14
jmstr
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Thanks for all the replies.

I admit I'm not a real wheel-gun man. And the fact I didn't feel a significant difference between the smoothness of the Python and the Anaconda is probably more to do with me than the guns.

All shots were DA: no SA for comparisons. No dry firing either.

Don't get me wrong: I liked all of them. But I think I'd have to shoot as much with revolvers as I do with bottom-feeders to be able to identify the nuances of the trigger pulls.

I guess its' like what I tell my wife about wine: I'm not refined enough to tell the difference between a $7 bottle of wine and a $70 bottle.

I think this can easily apply to me and revolvers.

I guess I was a bit biased, as I assumed I'd notice a significant difference in the trigger or lock-up of the Colt pistols vs the others.

And compared to the 3 Ruger revolvers I own I still didn't feel anything that jumped out at me.

Now, with bottom feeders I can feel the creep in the trigger, the crispness [or not] of the break, and the trigger pull consistancy, with DA/SA, DAO/Striker or SA pistols. I've tuned quite a few of the triggers [with proper sear fixtures and stones] to achieve the trigger pull I desire.

So i am not completely unaware of what a smooth trigger feels like, in bottom feeders. But I expected to feel some sort of difference that would be noticeable between the Colt revolvers and the others.

The S&W had been tuned so that is not a fair real-world comparison, but the Ruger hadn't been, and they both felt 'good'.

Oh well.

If I get a lot of money and want an heirloom revolver I'll look for a Python. In the mean time I'll shoot the snot out of my GP100, SP101 and SRH. And, when I feel like stepping down a notch, I'll break out my wife's dad's Rossi 951.
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Old November 18, 2012, 02:08 AM   #15
Redhawk5.5+P+
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DAnjet500

I have the same gun on top, a blued used 97% Ruger RH 5.5" same grip along with the original woods.

Sweet shooting gun for $425++, just as good as my two S&W PC revolvers.
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Old November 18, 2012, 06:45 AM   #16
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Why should you buy a Python?

You probably shouldn't unless you just want a Python. I can't say I think they're a LOT better than other revolvers, but nothing else will scratch that itch, if you have the itch.

I've had that itch for years. I wanted a Python "back in the day" when I didn't know dog poop from shoe polish. I just knew that Python was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen that didn't have red hair. But even then a Python cost about twice as much as a Smith & Wesson Model 19. I bought a 19. Later I bought Ruger Speed/Security-Sixs. I was perfectly happy with both. All good guns.

But they weren't a Python.

I finally bought one about a month ago. Is it any better? I couldn't tell you. I know it shoots just fine. But so did the Smith & Wessons, the Rugers, shoot, even the Taurus revolvers I've had over the years have shot just fine.

I didn't buy a Python for any practical reason. I bought one because I wanted one.
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