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Old October 10, 2012, 11:42 AM   #76
BlueTrain
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While virtually everyone makes a copy of either a Colt Single Action Army or a Government Model, no one that I know of has attempted to make a copy of a Colt double-action revolver. Pity.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:47 AM   #77
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Mic,
Colt is Colt.
Colt has multiple ownership, is located in a gun-unfriendly state, has a union presence to deal with in everyday operations, is actually TWO companies, and is a shadow of its former self.

Colt produces a limited number of product lines that are not marketed worldwide to the average citizen, as a camera is. Most of Colt's products are not even allowed to be owned by the average citizen in much of the world beyond our borders.

Comparing a gunmaker to a camera maker is invalid right off the bat.
Further comparisons to Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and other major names like Remington, "Winchester", Browning, and so on are also irrelevant.

Ruger started off with innovation and has remained innovative & unhampered by top-heavy management with extreme arrogance & resistance to changes in the market (as Colt had prior to the crash in the 90s). Ruger has never endured wartime booms & post-war busts, as the older names like Colt did.

Smith & Wesson didn't have the illustrious & very market savvy Sam Colt as its founder, but did produce marketable products initially that did well enough to keep them going until they developed the great M&P DA revolver action a hundred years ago that remained viable much longer (till today, in fact) than Colt's roughly comparable-in-age V-Springs that were not as durable & obsoleted themselves model-by-model until they were simply no longer viable by 2000.
S&W took over the DA revolver market steadily after WWII, and steadily left Colt in the dust.

Ruger was always technologically ahead of Colt in DAs, S&W has been able to adapt their basic design well enough with slight changes here & there along with better heat treatment & advances in alternative technology to still be a leader in the field today with a basic design that's well over a hundred years old.
Colt's V-Springs were not as durable, and did not adapt well to alternative technologies.

The public did not accept Colt's more recent MKIII & MKV DA revolvers in sufficiently large volume to keep them in production.
During the 1990s Colt was forced to reduce its work force substantially, it wasn't just the products that were let go.

Colt has been operating on a shoestring ever since, and has been making steady progress, but still is a relatively small outfit with limited operating capital & limited manufacturing resources. They offer a line of 1911s, a limited number of Peacemakers each year, and those are backed up & hard to find on gunshop shelves.
They can't keep up with parts for their own handguns on occasion & swap out of model-specs when they can't here & there.
They list parts for sale on their website that they don't have.

The "civilian" side of Colt has been for sale more than once during recent years, but there are legal entanglements over branding and intellectual properties & nobody has been willing to pay what Colt wants.
Had it not been for the military contracts, Colt would either be gone completely or operating as a licensed name by a third party by now.

They've been able to pull off expensive CNC equipment upgrades, starting with roughly $5 mil 8 or 9 years ago, and more recently $4 to $6 mil (depending on who you talk to) for the handgun side.
Colt Mfg. still buys their "civilian" ARs from Colt Defense for sale to the public at large.

Meanwhile, sales have been so steady with Ruger and S&W that they've both been able to expand over the years, rather than contract as Colt has, with extensive product lines beyond their DA revolvers.
Both have remained financially stable.
Both have sufficient capital for R&D, production capacity to bring out new products, and the financial base to absorb failures. Colt has none of that.

Boiling it down, it's all Colt can do to stay afloat with essentially two "ancient" handguns and a 60-year-old rifle.
For whatever reason, new Colt handgun designs have not been well-received in general, and older handgun designs like the Python are not do-able for a company with little money to gamble with and limited production capability to try to market in a market that wants small plastic autoloaders.

No other American gunmaker has the same business history as Colt, no other American gunmaker has the same problems now as Colt.

Comparing Colt to Nikon is unrealistic on many levels.
Colt can't bring back a limited edition "goodwill" Python because of all the costs involved that I mentioned previously, and all the goodwill on the planet won't sell more existing guns that Colt can't keep up with now, won't bring buyers in droves to buy plastic autoloaders that Colt doesn't make, and won't enable Colt to re-introduce a Python as a profit-sustainable model.

In your Nikon example, goodwill MIGHT induce a buyer looking for a camera to either switch to Nikon or remain with Nikon because of warm fuzzies, but that'd only be possible because Nikon has a wide customer base around the world, a wide range of products from amateur to professional, a wide range of pricing structures, a good range of Nikon-produced (or at least branded) accessory support THAT'S READILY AVAILABLE EITHER LOCALLY OR ONLINE, continuing product development that keeps pace with technological advancement, AND the money to gamble on new products or absorb the loss on a sprint run of obsolete models to obtain that goodwill you refered to earlier.

Colt has none of that.

In many ways, Colt IS unique.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:57 AM   #78
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Quote:
While virtually everyone makes a copy of either a Colt Single Action Army or a Government Model, no one that I know of has attempted to make a copy of a Colt double-action revolver. Pity.
There is a substantial market for SAA clones,,,
Just SASS alone will support that demand.

But if some company started building Python clones,,,
I would bet people would say "But they're not real Colts." and ignore them.

It's all about demand for the product,,,
SAA clones have demand from re-enactment groups,,,
As well as from every Lone Ranger wannabe in this country.

No Iconic character or group from our past or fiction,,,
Ever made the Colt DA's popular enough to become iconic in and of themselves.

Sure they could be built by Colt or another company,,,
But there isn't enough widespread demand to justify the endeavor.

I wold love to see S&W start making the Model 45 Post Office again,,,
But me and the few others who would like one aren't enough to justify the expense.

Aarond

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Old October 10, 2012, 12:45 PM   #79
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Even in the SAA clones, CAS has peaked & will lose much of the market force it's had in the next five years.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:42 PM   #80
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No Iconic character or group from our past or fiction,,,
Ever made the Colt DA's popular enough to become iconic in and of themselves.
Maybe if "the walking dead" gets big enough they'll bring back the python.
Of course, not many people probably even recognize a python when they see one at this point.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:52 PM   #81
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Hello DPris,,,

Quote:
Even in the SAA clones, CAS has peaked & will lose much of the market force it's had in the next five years.
Yep you may be correct,,,
But they aren't the only demand for the supply.

SASS has only been around since the late 80's I believe,,,
Roy Rogers wannabe's made up for the gap in years.

My point is that there has always been a sustainable market for Colt SAA's and the clones,,,
There has never been that type of sustainable market for Colt SA/DA revolvers.

Ask anyone outside of the gun aficionado circle what a Colt Python is,,,
I predict there won't be many people who would know.

Ask anyone outside of the gun aficionado circle what a Colt Peacemaker is,,,
I predict you would find that many of them recognize that iconic name,,,
I've never done that research but I would bet on the outcome.

Just a few months back I was talking to a colleague at work,,,
He was thinking of buying a handgun for recreation,,,
His first question to me was about "cowboy" guns.

It's merely conjecture on my part,,,
But I think the market for SAA style guns will endure long after SASS goes away,,,
Unfortunately for the Colt SA/DA lovers among us the market for those pistols probably won't spark any quality cloning.

Later my friend,,,

Aarond

.
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:25 PM   #82
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Well, actually I was thinking about the New Service in .45 Colt.
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:34 PM   #83
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You're right in saying the SAA market will endure, and certainly to a much greater extent than Python demand, but my comment was intended to reflect that the SAA demand that was expanded greatly by the CAS people has peaked & CAS will no longer be quite the driving force behind it that it was.

CAS demand was the primary reason for the new Uberti plant in Italy a while back, and the proliferation of importers & various models, but those "Roy wannabes" are dying off (which is why the family closed the museum in Branson), and while the CAS game is still very active it's passed its peak.

There has been demand for the "real" Peacemaker and Italian clones for many years as a result of history & nostalgia independent of CAS, even though more advanced SA designs are available, but the Python has no sellable "image" beyond its appeal to knowledgeable Colt fans, and there aren't enough of those around who'd spend the money necessary to bring it back.

Even the Peacemaker is largely retained for the "goodwill" mentioned earlier, as an enduring "face" of Colt. But, in the Model P's case, even though the company doesn't make much money on them, they at least don't LOSE money in keeping them going, and keeping a low-profit item going is much easier and cheaper than starting one up from scratch as the Python would require.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:00 PM   #84
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Quote:
I do want a 1950s Python. Got one of those?
I have one. While they are nice and quite collectable, they really are no better than most Pythons of later production, with some exceptions I'm sure. Actually, I think the '70's - '90's bluing is a tad glossier.

Anyone who has never handled a Python - compare them side by side to a Ruger Security-Six - the quality is night and day. I'm not taking away anything from the Security Six - it's a rugged, reliable handgun. But, the action, trigger, fit and finish are not comparable. With a Python, you are paying as much for what is inside the gun as you are fit and finish on the Python's exterior.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:37 PM   #85
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I acquired my one & only Python in about '94/'95.
Nice.
Sat in the safe for many years after being initially fired.
Came with a burr inside that affected the trigger return intermittently & a plastic front sight.
Both were corrected.

It wasn't markedly more accurate than a couple Smiths I have.

While it sat in the safe looking pretty I continued to carry Smiths & Rugers when I wore a .357.
While it sat in the safe Colt discontinued the model.
While it sat in the safe the number of competent gunsmiths across the nation who could work on the gun continued to decline.
While it sat in the safe Colt was busily working through stocks of old parts for factory repairs & not ordering new parts.

While it sat in the safe it eventually reached the point where I realized I'd never carry it, it'd never acquire "remember when" stories, it'd become too valuable to scratch up, and it frankly just didn't do much for me at all in appeal beyond being able to say "I gots a PYTHON!"

Sold it a couple years back to buy something I WOULD do something with.
I rarely shoot centerfires recreationally, and never recreationally at the range (that's for work).
It was neither a "fun" gun nor a "working" gun.

I enjoy my Trooper .357 & Official Police .357s as examples of classic Colt DAs, along with the three Dick Specials, infinitely more than I ever did that Python. Not as pretty. I don't need to worry about dings & holster wear seriously devaluing them.
Also enjoy my three Peacemaker Specialist-ized Model Ps.
And I'm a thorough through & through Colt guy on 1911s, so don't take anything I'm saying as Colt bashing "just because".

I have preferences across brands based more on performance than nostalgia or "Pretty Factor", but I've occasionally acquired older Colts because of their classicality. The Python was just not one of those that I wanted to hang onto at the end.

Yes, smoother trigger, more elegant than a Ruger, nice & shiny, but my Ruger DAs can stay running loooooong after a Python's guts are worn out, and I couldn't care less if they get scuffed.
A durable plowhorse that can keep going all day is far more important to me, with my needs, than a pretty thoroughbred built for shorter runs .

I don't knock the Python or those who own them, I view such things more from a practical working gun aspect.

To borrow your phraseology- I AM more interested in what's inside the gun, and what's inside a typical Ruger DA will far outlast what's inside a Python, given equal shooting mileage.
For me, that's much more important than a nice trigger.

Bought another Ruger GP a few months back, in fact, precisely because I'd rather pay for what's inside it than what's inside a Python.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:01 PM   #86
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Quote:
and what's inside a typical Ruger DA will far outlast what's inside a Python, given equal shooting mileage.
That's just not accurate. A Colt Python will last as long as any S&W or Ruger, if not longer. Most never need to be tuned; most never break. Every now and then after a lot of use, a Python will need to be tuned. Not a big deal - send it back to Colt, and it will do the work. Contrary to popular belief, Pythons are quite rugged and durable.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:09 PM   #87
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No, you're wrong.
No Python ever made will run side by side with a Ruger DA, the Colt will wear out long before.

This is not bashing, this is not Ruger fandom, this is reality.

Talk to knowledgeable gunsmiths before you make such statements.
I have.

And, you can't send your Python back to Colt forever, they're already out of hands, which is the most vulnerable wear part in the gun.

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Old October 10, 2012, 04:29 PM   #88
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How hard does your camera recoil against those parts?
Before being volunteered to be one, I use to work on combat photographers still and motion picture cameras at the sourtheast asian pictorial center a while back. They got slammed pretty good. If the Colt scares you I wouldn't work on it.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:42 PM   #89
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The OPs and Pythons are more delicate than some other shooters. They have a cam that is moved by the hammer sort of like a SAA. I had to file on that once to get better bolt engagement, and it looks a little delicate. The hand can be peened if it is worn, etc. I haven't shot my Colt Marshal for a while, but put 18 rnds into 3" @ 25 yds with my 32/20 OP and if I got rid of 3 outer shots I had 15 into 2". MyCobra does pretty goodtoo. I'd love to carry it as a SD shooter but hate to see the wear it causes
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Old October 10, 2012, 05:02 PM   #90
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The hand can only be stretched once.
After that, if you shoot the gun enough, you'll eventually need a new hand & it doesn't appear that Colt's much interested in buying any more. I'm hoping that'll change, but the Python's just running out of steam.

Colt won't service them forever.
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:09 PM   #91
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I enjoy my Trooper .357 & Official Police .357s as examples of classic Colt DAs
I never heard of a OP in 357. Are they pretty rare?
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:44 PM   #92
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Very.
Brain bubble.
.38 OP.
Just my two examples of older Colt classic DAs & I momentarily lost track of calibers.
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Old October 11, 2012, 09:58 AM   #93
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Grant Cunningham - Is the Colt Python "Delicate?"
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Old October 11, 2012, 10:57 AM   #94
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I've had three Colts worked on by Grant & I've discussed them with him. Also discussed the Python & it's action with other outfits like Cylinder & Slide and Colt itself.
Nowhere have I said the V-Springs are "delicate".
I DO say they are not the equal of a Ruger in longevity, I will continue to say that, and anyone who thinks that old Colt action can hold up to sustained use of full-bore .357 Mag loads as well as or better than the Ruger is simply ignoring reality.

Grant mentions that those Colts do require more routine maintenance, and that the hand (as I said) is the most vulnerable wear point.
I have personally owned two V-Springs that WERE out of time, both were sent to Grant, and he had extreme difficulty in finding acceptable replacement hands.
Even when they had them, Colt would not sell hands outside the factory.
Now they have none left for even in-house repairs.

As far as routine maintenance goes, where would you propose to get that done?
There are maybe four places in the nation I'd trust to work on them, and aside from Colt each one has been hampered to at least some degree by that parts availability problem.
Colt and others can still stretch a hand as part of correcting timing issues, but only once, and once stretched if you shoot the thing enough it'll eventually shorten and/or wear again.
With Grant you'll wait at least a year to get on his list & another one to get your gun back.

I will continue to enjoy owning my Trooper .357 and the Official Police (in .38 caliber ), and my Dick Specials (the oldest of which I carried regularly as an off-duty gun in the 80s), but I'll also continue to use Smiths & Rugers for working guns.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:19 AM   #95
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If Grant C's business is that good, I would think he would have an apprentice gunsmith or two. But if Colt will not support the repair market, there won't be anyone qualified to work on Colt DA revolvers left.

Even if Colt produced a "Python" now, it won't be the Python of the past and people will just continue to buy the "used" ones leaving Colt hanging with their new product that is expensive. In my opinion, there simply is not a market for a factory produced Colt Python.

If Colt did bring out a revolver, it will likely be a small carry type revolver. I am not holding my breath.

I would hope that Colt eventually will make or have made some more hands for their older double action revolvers. It can't be that hard.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:27 AM   #96
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Colt won't make 'em, they don't do many small parts in-house anymore.
I've been asking over the past year if new hands have been ordered from any vendor for the V-Springs & told no each time.
Low priority, but in fairness to Colt the guns HAVE been dropped & they're undoubtedly more concerned with keeping up on parts for current models.

Grant stays a one-man operation because he has direct control over the quality of the work he does, but even he won't be doing it forever.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:36 AM   #97
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Quote:
No Python ever made will run side by side with a Ruger DA, the Colt will wear out long before.
I agree 100%. Mind you, that does not mean the Python is "delicate". It's just that the Rugers are built like tanks.

Re. the hand (I tend to call them pawls). It can be stretched. It can be built up. But most important, it can be made from scratch. Not rocket science.

Well, now that is seems that you gentleman don't agree in small batches of boutique Pythons, I think I'll have to scrap my idea of making clone Broomhandles someday.
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Old October 11, 2012, 02:48 PM   #98
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Ultimately, everything has to be made from scratch and ultimately, everything has to be bought new at least once. More to the point, however, just about anything can still be made pretty much as it was the first time it was every made, if someone wants it badly enough. Sometimes it seems like every firearm ever made is still being produced somewhere, from matchlocks on down, with all the gear to go with them. But some things are apparently harder to make than other things and consequently, they cost more than people are willing to pay. Still, people keep trying to bring back something or other all the time, like Lugers, for instance. Sooner or later, someone might make another New Service, maybe even a Python.

Given that firearms are "merely" machine shop products, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that anyone sufficiently skilled in machine metal working should be able to produce any firearm, assuming plans were available (and assuming several other things, too). Just about everyone has made a copy of the Colt Government Model at one time or another. Of course, cost is always a factor.
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:07 PM   #99
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Cost & profit are always THE factors in a business operation.

Yes, the gun could be made, as we've all conceded, just not profitably.
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Old October 11, 2012, 07:26 PM   #100
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Colt put a new hand in my Trooper 357 and corrected end shake and a few other minor issues in September 2012. The gun was 45 years old with many rounds through it, first time tuned.
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