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Old July 4, 2013, 09:09 PM   #26
sandbag
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Repair Issues

Any competent gunsmith or S&W themselves can repair an S&W but I understand Colt won't work on Pythons and few gunsmiths can do so reliably-the Python trigger is smooth but stacks at the end of the squeeze unlike the Smith which does so at the outset-I would not use light fast mag rounds in a Python-stick to 158 gr lead and you won't have timing problems
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:38 PM   #27
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Quote:
Any competent gunsmith or S&W themselves can repair an S&W but I understand Colt won't work on Pythons and few gunsmiths can do so reliably-the Python trigger is smooth but stacks at the end of the squeeze unlike the Smith which does so at the outset
The last time I talked to Colt about this, they work on any Python. That was going on 2 years ago, but it makes sense for them to work on all Pythons since they made so many (yet another reason why the current prices are asinine), and they have problems enough (not a lot, but more than many other revolvers) to where its financially viable for them to continue to work on Pythons.

Some people, truth be known, prefer a Python trigger. They see it as a 2 step DA trigger, so the firing of the gun is predictable. In other words, you can reduce the DA trigger all the way until right before it breaks, every time. I have a 1954 Colt trooper, with the same type of action. I can appreciate its differences, and the DA trigger is nice and smooth, with a small stack, and the SA trigger is excellent. It probably has a better trigger than nearly any Python I ever handled or fired. The SA trigger of a Python is no better than most S&Ws I have handled. I don't care for the sights of the Python, the trigger grooves/serrations, the factory grips, or the sights. I also am not a fan of its heft BUT that does reduce recoil. As for the look, I can see both sides of that. I would not call them ugly, but I certainly prefer the adjustable sight N frame / K frame silhouette and look in general. S&Ws, esp from before Bangor Punta (the 4 and 5 screw K and N frames), and even some Bangor Punta guns, have just as good fit and finish. If you get into pre war S&Ws, I would say the S&Ws might even be more consistent in overall quality, and fit and finish. One has to remember that Pythons were made from 1955 until the 1990s. Its hard therefor to make blanket statements about them, since these periods of time represented vastly different periods for Colt manufacturing. Early Pythons, from the 1950s to the 1960s are universally regarded as having an excellent consistant quality. Colts in general from the 1950s into the 1960s are really nice. I know all of mine have been, as are others I have looked at. Fast forward to the 80s, and Colt was not selling as well, they had strikes, quality suffered, etc. Its a bit of a farce to assume that in the 80s, and afterwards, every Colt model suffered EXCEPT for the Python. The truth is, this all effected all of their guns.

EDIT - forgot to add - FWIW, the S&W cylinder release is far better vs the Colt style release. I'm not trying to nitpick the Python, but if its actually "the Rolls Royce of revolvers" guns such as S&W 357s, or any other revolver, should not have any significant advantage over it, from a logical sense. I'm critical of Pythons because of their rep, but if not for that, I probably would give them a little more leeway.

I don't mind if anyone thinks that Pythons are the end all be all. Its your money. I will say that its rare for people who have a lot of revolvers or revolver experience to select a Python over say a S&W, in a pure shooting sense. Then there are the DW guys, and those DWs deserve respect too. There is certainly a Python "legend" which means some of what is said is based on fact, and some of it is not. Once again, you can have your opinion, and I will have mine. I want an early Python for my collection. I also don't hate Colt. This all is just my opinion from my own experience, and knowledge of revolvers.

Quote:
I would not use light fast mag rounds in a Python-stick to 158 gr lead and you won't have timing problems
I think the timing issues are more a trademark of the older lockwork design than it is the ammo used. The 158 gr vs 125 gr and lighter was an issue with K frame S&W 357s, but not Pythons, AFAIK.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:07 PM   #28
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I had several Pythons over the years, they are great pistols. Very, very accurate, and DA smooth as silk triggers. I loved mine. As far as the 125gr vs the 158gr goes, I shot about every 38 and 357mag commercial loads and safe reloads in mine, never had a problem of any kind. Wish I had four or five of em out in the safe but, everyone needs a dream!
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:35 AM   #29
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A used $100 6" Colt Python was my first PD carry gun in the early '70s. I carried it for about five years and shot everything from low power wad cutters to my own hot reloads through it with no problems at all. The finish started to rust when I was assigned to the marine patrol and I traded the gun for a new (at that time) 6" stainless steel S&W Model 66. My gunsmith worked the action of the M66 to about the same smoothness as the Python plus I liked the balance of M66 better than the Colt.

If you can't decide between the Python and a S&W, you could always look for a Smython like these and have the best of both worlds (my opinion).



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Old July 5, 2013, 03:26 PM   #30
Peter M. Eick
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I collect S&W N Frames.

I shoot my Python. A lot! Roughly I have shot the same number of rounds out of my Python as I have out of all 9 of my S&W 357 Mag N frames combined. I like how it handles, how it shoots and how the trigger works.

So it is comes down to a judgement call. I like shooting my Python but now I tend to baby it. I put hot loads in my Redhawk 357 Magnums and save the Python for target work. The S&W's are mostly just collectables and occasional shooters.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:36 PM   #31
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I have the pleasure of owning three Colt Pythons and two SW Model 27s. Out of the box, the Pythons have a nicer action. That makes sense considering how much hand work was involved. For that same reason, however, there may be more variation. Two of mine are silky smooth. The third is nice but not AS nice. BTW, I have two other Colts using the same action that are the smoothest revolvers I've ever shot.

I like the balance of the Model 27 better -- centered more toward the rear due to the heavy frame rather than forward like the Python due to the vent rib on the barrel. The downside for me on the 27 is that I have to use replacement grips due to the large size of the grip frame. I actually prefer my SW Model 19s for shooting though not quite as nicely finished.

Strictly opinion but I think there is no more beautiful finish than the finish on a blued Python. I also like Colt's nickel finish on the Python better than SW's nickel finishes.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:42 PM   #32
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As I mentioned before, the only Python I ever held was a blue 6" model. While I loved the action, DA and SA, I have noticed some "dis-balance" of it, as it was somewhat muzzle heavy. Would 4" model be more balanced or does it feel about the same? Thanks.
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Old July 5, 2013, 05:28 PM   #33
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I agree AID Admin. I have a 6" blue Python. It IS a bit nose heavy (not as nose heavy as my 8 3/8" 686 though lol). But that nose weight is nice when a full-house 158 is flying out of it at 1400ft+/sec.

It's a trade-off, I suppose. The 4" does feel more balanced to me as well (judging by my 4" 686). But the extra nose weight of the 6" has a positive side to it.
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Old July 5, 2013, 06:40 PM   #34
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The Python was deliberately made to feel muzzle heavy.
The Python was originally conceived as a super-premium Target revolver, and target shooters want the muzzle heavy feel.

When it was being designed the Colt Master gunsmiths building the prototype decided the muzzle was TOO heavy feeling so they started cutting vents in the barrel rib until it felt just right.
A 4 inch gun will still have a muzzle heavy feel but not nearly that of the longer 6 inch.

Once you get the feel of the gun, the heavy muzzle of the Python is a great aid in shooting, whether target single action or double action
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:32 PM   #35
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Never had a S&W M27. I always thought it was too big of a frame for just a .357 Magnum. I thought the K or even better, the L frame was more suitable for that cartridge.

As far as revolvers went, Colt Pythons are the smoothest of American made revolvers. That long tear drop shaped sear gave a smooth long DA trigger pull. The older S&W had a similar sear, but those were replaced with the blocky thing. I think the newer MIM went back to the longer sears and are a lot smoother than the earlier S&W.

For ease of servicing, the S&W's lockwork is very 20th Century and the Colts are 19th Century. It's harder to work on the Colt and one has to understand how all the parts interact with each other. I didn't realize that the hammer has a camming surface that interfaces with the backside of the rebound lever. My first teacher never taught us that.

For reliability and ruggedness, it's Ruger all the way.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:45 PM   #36
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I bought a new Colt Python when they came out and shot my handloads in it.

The pistol did not feel right to me. It was too barrel heavy for me. It had the 6" barrel.

Then it's forcing cone split. I brought it to Colt as I live in CT and they changed it there for me for free while I watched.

Herretts grips made for it did not help.

My buddy had an early Ruger Blackhawk .44 mag at that time. The Ruger was more accurate and did not lead the barrel like the Colt.

I really don't know what the Python is best for? It is polished well.

Glad it's gone.
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Old July 6, 2013, 02:08 AM   #37
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Quote:
Are you admitting then, that your liking of the Python is based on aesthetics?
Quite freely. Both the S&W 27 and the Python are fine revolvers with superb finishes, but the Python's is slightly better. The darned thing just sort of glows.

On the subject of Colt reviving them, Pythons are selling for such high prices because they aren't made any more. That doesn't mean that Colt could get similar prices if they started making them again.
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Old July 6, 2013, 02:20 AM   #38
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The Pythons were generally very well finished and tuned, the pre-27s and M27 are also nice guns. I have a S&W 14-2 with target features that is my most accurate centerfire revolver.

To give one the edge over the other, it all boils down to personal preference.
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Old July 6, 2013, 03:16 AM   #39
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Quote:
I collect S&W N Frames.

I shoot my Python. A lot! Roughly I have shot the same number of rounds out of my Python as I have out of all 9 of my S&W 357 Mag N frames combined. I like how it handles, how it shoots and how the trigger works.

So it is comes down to a judgement call. I like shooting my Python but now I tend to baby it. I put hot loads in my Redhawk 357 Magnums and save the Python for target work. The S&W's are mostly just collectables and occasional shooters.
Peter - you certainly do have an impressive collection of N frames! I am wondering how long you have had your Python, when was it made, and do you shoot your S&Ws less often because you prefer the Python, or is it because you bought the S&Ws as collectibles / investments? As far as why I am curious to when your Python was made, I have have often heard, and even saw with Colts in general that 50s and 60s guns were consistently superb.

Also, IIRC you have at least one RM. How do you feel about Python vs RM? Just curious.

Quote:
Strictly opinion but I think there is no more beautiful finish than the finish on a blued Python. I also like Colt's nickel finish on the Python better than SW's nickel finishes.
Hi Jim. When I hear all of this talk about the Python Royal blue, or the high grade blue on any Colt (such as a Woodsman Match Target), I often wonder how familiar people are with pre war S&Ws or 5 screw S&W fit and finish in general? Do you have some pre war S&Ws or any 5 screw K or N frames which have the bright blue finish? How old/new are your model 27s? Just curious.

Quote:
When it was being designed the Colt Master gunsmiths building the prototype decided the muzzle was TOO heavy feeling so they started cutting vents in the barrel rib until it felt just right.
A 4 inch gun will still have a muzzle heavy feel but not nearly that of the longer 6 inch.
While I can see that having something to do with it, obviously Colt had at least 3 choices to decrease barrel weight: they could have changed the size of the lug underneath, changed the width of the barrel rib OR they could have made the rib ventilated. Perhaps they could have made the barrel a little thinner as well. They "ironically" made the flashiest choice to decrease the barrel weight. I certainly think the styling of the gun with the vents was just as important to them as the weight reduction. They wanted to set the Python apart in all ways, and with that vent rib, it had unique looks at the time for a factory revolver. Of course, before the Python, King placed aftermarket vent ribs on revolvers.
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Old July 6, 2013, 06:10 AM   #40
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I've owned a Colt Python and several Model 27's. I think I liked the Model 27's a little better, but not by much. If I had started out with Colt's it might have gone the other way.
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:40 AM   #41
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In purely aesthetic terms, I never could warm up to that cylinder release on the Colt that looks like half a chess pawn. Clearly it's a fine gun. But I just never liked the looks of them.


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Old July 6, 2013, 03:30 PM   #42
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Quote:
Hi Jim. When I hear all of this talk about the Python Royal blue, or the high grade blue on any Colt (such as a Woodsman Match Target), I often wonder how familiar people are with pre war S&Ws or 5 screw S&W fit and finish in general? Do you have some pre war S&Ws or any 5 screw K or N frames which have the bright blue finish? How old/new are your model 27s? Just curious.
I have a Model 27-3 (pic 1) from the mid-80s and a 27-2 I never bothered to date (pic 2). My blued Python is pic 3. I do have a pre-War (@1928) K-frame (pic 4) which has the best action of all my Smiths. I think part of that is the long action.









Thanks for giving me an excuse to post the pics.
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Old July 6, 2013, 04:54 PM   #43
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I've got a 4" blued. I've shot it a couple of times. Yes, it's a beautiful handgun, yes it's well made and pretty much everything that's already been said about it. But, it's not really my "cup of tea". If I'm going to shoot cartridge, I much prefer my S & W M & P Target and my Colt Army Special. i just like "vintage guns". Over all handguns, I still prefer my '51 Navy. So call me "odd".

I bought mine because fo the price I got it for and mainly for an "investment". It already has "appreciated" and will probably continue to do so. I'll probably pull it out once in a while and put some rounds through it but I just care for other handguns when it coms to shooting.
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Old July 6, 2013, 06:26 PM   #44
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The design of the Colt cylinder release had a specific purpose.
When Colt designed the basic release in 1889, most shooting was done in the classic "duelist" style with one hand, which became the classic target shooters high thumb hold.

The cylinder release allowed resting the thumb on the release. This not only gave a good high thumb rest position, it insured that the cylinder couldn't accidentally open under recoil.
Later Colt's made before WWII actually had checkered cylinder releases to give an even better thumb rest.

S&W operates by pushing the release. For that reason you can't use a S&W cylinder release as a thumb rest or the cylinder will open under recoil.

Early Pythons had lighter barrels then later guns.
The early models had hollow under lugs and the vent ribs. The vents not only lightened the barrel, it also looked like the very popular King's Target ribs that a lot of target shooters had installed on their Officer's Model Target revolvers.

As time passed, shooters ideas of what was too heavy changed, and Colt stopped doing the hollow lower lug barrel and went to a sold lug, making the barrel even heavier.
Reportedly, some target shooters had been putting lead bullets in the hollow lug to add weight to the barrel.
This was in the days when revolver and auto barrels started getting extremely heavy, leading to the massive bull barrels you see today.
Back in those days, most shooters would have thought the super heavy bull barrels just too much. Now you seldom see an actual target pistol without a heavy bull barrel and even extra accessory barrel weights.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:12 AM   #45
Peter M. Eick
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Question to me from Win73 (rhymes nicely...)

I had my Python long before I had my first S&W. I did not know any better that it should not be shot with heavy loads so ignorance is bliss and I loaded it and worked up loads from the manuals and banged away. I did get a trigger job done on it by Teddy Jacobson here in Houston but beyond that it has never had an issue. My second Python is another shooter. It on the other hand was shot a lot with 38's prior to me getting it and the cylinder needed some internal cleaning. After that we have another shooter.

I actually prefer the Python as a shooter. I learned to shoot revolves on a Diamondback so the Colt style "stacking" is normal to me and I learned to shoot with it. I plan on that steady build when doing double action shooting and in single action It is just easy to shoot well as is.

Comparing my Python to my Registered Magnum is interesting. They are two different beasts. The RM has a long throw style hammer so it does not reward poor follow though or shooting techniques. It is a bit less well balanced so the front sight is a bit more whippy. The grips are not as easy to shoot well with Magna's over Pachmeyer's on the Python. I used to shoot really hot loads in my RM, basically loads that would give me 1500 fps with a 158 out of my 8 3/8" pre-27's. I figured that is what the gun was designed for so I shoot them in it. They are accurate and easy to shoot but today I have moderated to book max loads. There is no practical reason to beat up my RM anymore. So when I am really in the groove I can shoot the RM a bit more accurately than the Python but if you are bit off (coffee, tired, shaky) than the Python is much easier to perform with.

This all changes when you move the 38/44 which is the bulk of my N frames. There I have shooters that easily compare to the Python in accuracy and quality/ease of shooting.

Final comment. Yesterday I was out with my 357 Redhawk and a big 38/44 Outdoorsman. The Redhawk makes the 38/44 seem almost dainty by comparison. Glad I did not bring the Python. It would have felt svelte!
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Old July 7, 2013, 10:15 PM   #46
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I shoot all my Colts. My Pythons all get used with heavy magnum loads. I have plenty of 38s if I want to shoot 38s. If any of my snakes wear out I'll let everybody know.
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Old July 7, 2013, 10:31 PM   #47
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Dfariswheel - I didn't realize that the early Pythons had hollowed underlugs. Were they bored out like a barrel?
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Old July 8, 2013, 05:39 PM   #48
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No, the front end of the under lug was closed. It was open in the rear where the ejector rod seats.
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Old July 13, 2013, 04:19 PM   #49
Peter M. Eick
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I will add that they don't feel quite right when you handle and point one. That extra metal does seem to change the feel of the gun in my experience. I am sure you would get used to it, but picking one up it was noticeable.
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Old July 14, 2013, 08:12 PM   #50
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I dunno 'bout that. Mine felt right from the beginning. Actually, my S&W 357s always seemed barrel light after that.

That's when I understood the purpose of under barrel weights on target 22s.
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