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Old October 9, 2012, 07:36 AM   #51
Winchester_73
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Yes, they would. Colt stopped making DA revolvers because they (under previous management) essentially decided to not sell guns (other than the iconic SAA) to "civilians" (meaning non-military and non-LEO. Since the military and the cops weren't interested in DA revolvers in quantity, that's why they stopped making them. When they go back into selling guns to "the people," they had sold off or melted down the tooling for the DA revolvers so they couldn't just fire up the assembly line again.
I see what you're saying but take it to the next level - why go to LEO/government contract IF you're making money civilian wise? Why go to LEO/government contracts when it has to be one or the other? Its not a coincidence that their civilian stuff was not cutting it (IE the Python) and that people weren't paying for "Colt quality" at the time (their older stuff is nice but IMO the 1980s and on was more mediocre) so they switched to LEO/government in order to survive. Colt didn't quit DA revolvers because "oh damn, now that were are making X for the government we can't make DA revolvers" It was more like "lets change our focus to LEO/government because its more profitable". It was planned and thought true and it worked out for them.

And what I said is true, it was inferior quality for the money, but of course, not inferior in general. They didn't really become a Taurus or something in those darker days, but for their ask price, better guns could be had.

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I can't help but think that the advent of CNC machining should make it much easier for Colt to economically produce (or REproduce) those fine revolvers with a lot less hand fitting required, for the simple reason that they can produce parts to a much finer tolerance.
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Oh no, it's incredibly more complex than just punching "Python" into a CNC machine.
That's one of the most ill-informed and naive statements I've ever seen in any thread on this subject.
Denis, I see where you're coming from and agree. I do think that Aguila meant that the part would start off closer to exact, but it would still require hand fitting. I suppose maybe you might also be saying that the parts should be forged or that for hand fitting, its better to start with forged parts. I don't know that either way. However, if Aguila is saying that little to no hand fitting would be needed, you are right, because that is what makes a Python a Python. There has to be hand fitting or its really no longer a deluxe gun IMO. To CNC parts and put the gun together goes against the Python's identity.

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pythons (ya know, the ones that are completely unmatched by any other DA .357 in the world)
So apparently you're new to 357s - welcome - its a great caliber and there are many great 357s to chose from for your first one!
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:39 AM   #52
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Just in case you folks flunked Econ 101, the issue is not how much a gun costs retail, it is how much it costs the company to make. Retail price can be subject to customer pressure to some extent; manufacturing cost is fixed. If the amount the manufacturer can sell to the distributor for is under what the item costs to make, the company can either make the product a different way or go broke.
So basically their MSRP is dictated by the cost to produce. I get that. In my posts, I was saying that I don't think the Python would be good enough to retail for most likely MORE than say a S&W performance center gun. I don't think the "new" Pythons (if brought back) would be good enough to have success in the intended market of higher end DA revolvers.
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Old October 9, 2012, 10:04 AM   #53
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Don't know where Colt would come down on price, but guns that are over $1000 are beyond most of us...one reason that Ruger has been so successful for what is it now...over 60 years? Hand fitting, machining tolerances, and skilled workers able to do the job, in the numbers necessary to keep a production line open, are a thing of the past in my opinion...regrettably so...Rod
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:11 AM   #54
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If Colt makes DA revolvers again using a minimum of cheap MIM parts, no internal locks, and manages to align the barrel properly with the frame, they will be FAR superior to any currently produced S&W.
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:48 AM   #55
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I predict that 20 years in the future thanks largely to CNC there will be "boutique" makers turning out any number of guns just as today we have tons of "semi-custom" 1911 makers. I say this based in the gun market as it is today and how things have unfolded in the past 25 years for the 1911.

I bet one of the first into production will be a better / custom BHP. Add to that any number of micro 380, 9 and 45 self defense guns.

Likewise I predict colt will continue to carve out a nice little market for custom 1911's and the SAA. At some point they will revisit their heritage and bring back the python as a semi-custom / custom gun. Will it be spendy? For sure. But if they do if right it will meet or exceede the older guns
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:40 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Winchester 73
I see what you're saying but take it to the next level - why go to LEO/government contract IF you're making money civilian wise? Why go to LEO/government contracts when it has to be one or the other? Its not a coincidence that their civilian stuff was not cutting it (IE the Python) and that people weren't paying for "Colt quality" at the time (their older stuff is nice but IMO the 1980s and on was more mediocre) so they switched to LEO/government in order to survive. Colt didn't quit DA revolvers because "oh damn, now that were are making X for the government we can't make DA revolvers" It was more like "lets change our focus to LEO/government because its more profitable". It was planned and thought true and it worked out for them.
No, Colt pretty much dropped out of the "civilian" market because they were taken over by leadership who didn't believe "civilians" should own guns, and who perceived selling guns to "civilians" as being a liability concern they didn't wish to carry. This was all well-known and well-publicized at the time ... it's not top-secret, eyes-only information.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:44 PM   #57
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No, Colt pretty much dropped out of the "civilian" market because they were taken over by leadership who didn't believe "civilians" should own guns, and who perceived selling guns to "civilians" as being a liability concern they didn't wish to carry. This was all well-known and well-publicized at the time ... it's not top-secret, eyes-only information.
They also were losing their great reputation at the same time, sales were in decline, their "new" models were very lackluster, they basically did not have any good ideas left. The "revolutionary" Colt 2000 was a flop and most of their other models did not sell well. If not for the 1911s and variants, a few of the DA models, the SAA, and AR15 and variants, they wouldn't have sold much of anything. The 1911 is from 1911, the AR15 from the late 1950s, their DA revolver designs were remakes of older designs (no 44 magnum until 1990, really colt?) and the SAA was from 1873. Notice a trend here of leaning on an old design rather than new ideas? Aside from that, there were other problems such as the strike which lowered quality, the take over, etc. Most of the "new" stuff they tried flopped.

You have to understand that regardless of "new anti-gun ownership" Colt as a company was headed downhill in the 1980s, long before this ownership took over the company.

I can accept what you're saying, but it was also obviously not just what you pointed out either.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:50 PM   #58
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As I've said repeatedly before:

Colt would have to sell in VOLUME on such a gun. Not a few units here & there to fringe elements of the market willing to pay $2000 per gun largely out of nostalgia.

I would love to see Ford bring back an absolutely authentic Model A roadster, just exactly like it was built at its production peak. Will not happen, though, because even without government regulation the resulting cost would be so high only the wealthy could afford to buy one. Unit price would be in the stratusphere because the startup in turning out a totally "new" model from scratch would be huge & not recoverable in volume sales.
The Model A also couldn't compete in the modern world on several levels (speed, comfort, efficiency, longevity, etc.).
See any kind of parallel?

Colt has retained the "patterns" for the Python, I was told by a rep some time ago, but they no longer have the machinery. Nor do they have sufficient trained people to produce the old V-Spring actions, and CNC can't bypass that entirely. It's not just a matter of sticking the parts together & tossing them in boxes for the shipping department to get out.

Also repeatedly:

Bringing back the V-Springs, or even more modern versions of the MKV revolvers, would involve the entire process of setting up a new model from scratch, with the exception of already having the basic design & specs on file.

Specs for parts produced in-house would still have to be translated to CNC programming.
Parts not produced in-house (the majority of the smaller ones) would have to be specced and vendor sourcing set up.

Forged parts come from a forging house in Hartford, new dies would have to be fabricated for raw forgings.

Outsourced smaller parts would have to be carefully QC'd, paid for, routine deliveries arranged, and inventoried.

NO PART OF ANY COLT DA REVOLVER WOULD BE INTERCHANGEABLE WITH ANY OTHER EXISTING MODEL CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION.

This would involve a major outlay in set-up costs to establish vendor networks, inventory space, and inventory control/tracking, on top of the money to pay for the parts.
Colt can't even keep up with parts on existing guns at times as it is.

Additional people (at least one or three) would have to be hired & trained on the V-Springs.
Either additional CNC machinery would have to be bought (quite expensive) or production runs would have to be integrated into current CNC resources (which would further affect availability of existing models that everybody complains about).

The entire process of bringing back a Python would take large amounts of money, and money is something Colt's not had a lot of to play with in the past 15 years or so.

To justify that level of expenditure, careful market analysis would be required and a certain positive projection would have to be in place up front to justify the risk, and all that goes back to the volume issue.

Colt can't afford to do it, as a practical matter.
Regardless of the same 20 people posting "I'd buy one!" on ten different Internet gun forums ad infinitum, the market for a new Python built to the same standards as the discontinued Python simply is not there.

Comparisons to other companies are invalid (Colt has a convoluted ownership and limited funds for development & operation), and to other guns are equally invalid (Colt makes limited numbers of the Model P because they've had tooling & processes in place for many years, by & large, and the Peacemaker is their most iconic product).

Any new DA revolver they produce, if they ever do again, will be built along the MKV lines, to compete with Ruger, Taurus, and S&W, at an equal quality & pricing level, to move in large numbers to both pay for startup costs and ensure a sustainable profit.

It will NOT be an antiquated design that almost nobody left in the gunsmithing trade can work on, STILL requires a higher level of fitting & polish (despite the idea that CNC centers can eliminate the skilled human element entirely) than designs already selling well by other companies even in a market where plastic autopistols rule, and would price itself out of the market now just as it did toward the end of original production.

CNC can't solve every problem associated with the outdated V-Springs.
Colt is much more stable now than it's been in several years, but money is still tight & has to go where they think they'll get the most return.
An expensive DA revolver can't do that for them.

And this "Colt decided not to sell guns to civilians" BS is getting very old.
At the time the DA revolvers were dropped, YOU WERE NOT BUYING ENOUGH OF THEM FOR COLT TO KEEP MAKING THEM!
Very simple business math, and no matter how many people are still nursing a personal grudge over being "abandoned" by a cold and callous gunmaker, the fact remains that Colt IS a business. Unless you're either scamming or tax dodging, the basic premise behind any business is to make money.
COLT WAS NOT MAKING MONEY ON THOSE GUNS.

They were essentially broke. They took a hard look- millions in military rifle contracts vs going and STAYING in the red on DA revolvers that weren't producing enough sales figures to justify allocating limited production funds.

Not at all hard to understand why they took the route they did.
It's business, they don't owe any customer or fan base eternal production of a product line that's losing them money.

Simple survival. Put your operating capital where it'll bring in the most return, or go under.
A very essential business principle that seems to be bafflingly hard for some to understand.
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:05 PM   #59
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Very good post Denis. I didn't realize some of the things you mentioned.

I think part of these debates stem from people wanting to justify the extra price of a Colt, which is more a reflection of limited supply and high demand, not because any Colt was vastly superior, so superior that could no longer be made Other people think that all Colts are as good as say pre war models or 1950s guns, which is not the case. I must say, I do like the older Colts and some of the more modern ones.
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:12 PM   #60
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For those who would like to spend a while pondering the possibilities, here I bring you another parallel from the camera world: Nikon making a limited, year 2000 edition of a camera they last made in 1958. Dies long gone, operators long gone, etc. Lost money on every one of them, but gained so much positive press that in 2005 they pulled the stunt again with a harder to reproduce model.

Of course, Nikon is a corporation which is famous for not making bad marketing choices. Unlike you-know-who.

http://www.cameraquest.com/NRFS3%202000.htm

http://www.cameraquest.com/nrfblsp2005.htm
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:03 PM   #61
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Again- invalid comparison.

Nikon is a sizable company with a worldwide customer base and a stable financial structure, and not based in Connecticut.

It'd be helpful if you stop drawing comparisons between apples & horsehoes.

Colt is Colt, a relatively small company, and while it IS reaping the benefits of decades of bad managerial decisions, the DA revolver situation was not one of those.

Denis
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:37 PM   #62
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Ruger was a small company at one time, too. Yet they somehow manage to come up with new ideas all the time, even pushing single shot rifles and single action revolvers. Does Colt have a shortage of ideas?

I looked at the referenced production table. Amazing how many are out there producing guns and just for civilians, too. Of course, none of them are as good as they used to be.
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:46 PM   #63
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Ruger did not have a long history of highs & lows, wartime expansions & post-war contractions, or the burden of out-dated legacy models & designs, not to mention an adherence to older manufacturing methods, to overcome in starting out.

Ruger has never declared bankruptcy, has always been progressive, has enjoyed better management with less arrogance than we saw at Colt prior to the General's administration, is even now adapting to more modern technology in moving to MIM parts, and has never suffered from Colt's convoluted ownership and shaky financial foundation.

Once again, invalid comparison.

Ruger's larger than Colt, has the money to play with.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:06 PM   #64
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Dennis -

While just about all you wrote in post #58 above is correct, much of it also applied to the Mustang .380, and Colt brought that back.

I don't think a reborn Python machined on CNC equipment would cost $2,000.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:12 PM   #65
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Ag,
Colt took another look at what's selling (the concealment market, not the four-inch high-end deluxe DA revolver market) and gambled on the Mustang.
I don't find that surprising.

Like I said- you put your money where you think it'll bring the strongest return.

Re Python pricing, a Colt VP told me five years ago they estimated $1500 then.
I can't see even CNC bringing it down below $2000 now.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:16 PM   #66
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"I don't think a reborn Python machined on CNC equipment would cost $2,000"

Do you seriously believe that a production line assembly person can take all of those CNC parts and simply assemble them into a functioning Python just like they were assembling a bicycle or ceiling fan?

The Python is a complex mechanism requiring a lot of fine adjustments, not just a metal jigsaw puzzle to be slapped together and pushed out the door. Colt tried that a couple of times and it didn't work too well.

John

P.S. - I wonder, how is S&W doing with those Model 17 Classics that list for $1100? Doesn't everybody just buy a original Model 17 for less? Wouldn't Colt have the same problem with the Python?
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:32 PM   #67
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Colt is a small company. They aren't capable of mass producing high quality revolvers for what anyone would pay for them. S&W revolvers are "good enough". Ruger also makes some acceptable revolvers. Colt is a profitable company - why would they want to take on revolvers which probably have a lower profit margin for them to do it right?
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:46 PM   #68
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pythons (ya know, the ones that are completely unmatched by any other DA .357 in the world)
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winchester_73
So apparently you're new to 357s - welcome - its a great caliber and there are many great 357s to chose from for your first one!
You sir...make me laugh. I am not...I have several, and the python is tops in MY opinion. It's what I have shot, grown used to ect... blah blah blah. Dare I ask what "others" your referring to (not that it will matter because you one of those "winchester" guys and you opinions cannot be considered or trusted (and in case you missing it...that \Winchester thing is a HUGE joke and not intended to be taken seriously)
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:49 PM   #69
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You sir...make me laugh. I am not...I have several, and the python is tops in MY opinion. It's what I have shot, grown used to ect... blah blah blah. Dare I ask what "others" your referring to (not that it will matter because you one of those "winchester" guys and you opinions cannot be considered or trusted (and in case you missing it...that \Winchester thing is a HUGE joke and not intended to be taken seriously)
Well to be fair, I think Pythons are nice but not as nice as what many people will say. I don't have many Winchesters and I really like older Savages and Remingtons and I want an early Marlin lever. For revolvers, I prefer S&Ws in 357 OR other Colt models such as the model 357, a trooper, etc. I also like the Dan Wessons.

You might be experienced in 357s, but the majority of people who are well experienced with revolvers agree that the Python is pretty over rated. However, this is not always true.

I do want a 1950s Python. Got one of those?
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:59 PM   #70
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Just (had) dads 70s. I've never really cared for S&W...I love the 40s guns but just don't really care for anything else of theirs...I don't really know why either, they just don't feel good to me. I'll agree with you on the Dan Wesson. Dad had a DW kit gun. The only Smith I've ever REALLY wanted...Is an 8" 586 Distinguished Combat . And I think that's really just because of the name

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Old October 9, 2012, 08:05 PM   #71
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Just dads 70s. I've never really cared for S&W...I love the 40s guns but just don't really care for anything else of theirs...I don't really know why either, they just don't feel good to me. I'll agree with you on the Dan Wesson. Dad had a DW kit gun. The only Smith I've ever REALLY wanted...Is a 586 Distinguished Combat . And I think that's really just because of the name
Interesting...nearly all of the 1940s production was military contract stuff. I suppose you mean before WWII or after or ? Maybe its because you're not well versed in them that you don't like them? You know they have several different grip types just like Colt or any other maker?

I never heard of a DW kit gun. Hopefully he doesn't sell it, as it could be a rare factory prototype.

Here is my 586 distinguished combat magnum. Its a 4 in nickel no dash, an uncommon variant. It has an excellent SA trigger and a smooth DA trigger. 586s were only blue or nickel, while the 686 was SS.

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Old October 9, 2012, 08:11 PM   #72
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No...I meant I like the WWII models. The victory model 10 is my favorite. Yes I'm well versed in the frames. And sadly yes, the kit gun is long gone...it was some kind of a dealer special spurred by dirty harry movies (he used to sell, mostly gun shows but had a small shop also)...it was sold with many many more special guns....ones you'd be very hard pressed to replace now. That may not have been the real name of it...but it's what he and his business partner called it. It's also what the supplier had it listed as.

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Old October 10, 2012, 05:12 AM   #73
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It would be an interesting challenge for a CNC machinist to take the Python blueprints (or reverse engineer a Python) and see if a comparable clone could be made using entirely CNC machining and minimal hand-fitting.....
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:09 AM   #74
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Colt is Colt
I get it. Colt is absolutely, positively incomparable to any other company in the world.

Pray, if Nikon is too big, what is wrong with the Leica comparison?

Talk about not wanting to see anything but your own opinion!

BTW, Nikon is a "sizable company with a worldwide customer base and a stable financial structure" because they make intelligent marketing and engineering choices. It didn't begin big.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:23 AM   #75
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It seems everyone wants a Python, but not one that could conceivably be made today to sell at a reasonable price. Even if the new Python would look and feel exactly like the old one, it would not have the "soul of the Python" and so would be despised by Colt fans.

As to military/LE guns, Colt has always gone first for the government contract for the simple reason that that is where the money is. Their mistake has been to totally kiss off the civilian market and that has hurt them when competition for military contracts comes not just from U.S. companies but from overseas (FNH, Beretta), even if foreign companies have to establish U.S. manufacturing facilities, something fairly easy to do today.

Certainly it makes sense to want a contract for a million identical guns, even if the profit per gun is smaller, vs selling a quarter million of a dozen different models at more profit per item. But when the military contracts go to someone else, and the company has let its civilian production lapse, the company is in deep trouble.

Jim
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