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Old March 5, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
KenLondregan
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.357 Colt Python question

I have a few semi-automatic handguns, but have yet to purchase a revolver. I have wanted a Colt Python for the past few years, but I never had spare cash to pick one up. I finally have enough funds (thanks to my tax return) but I am experiencing some pre buyer’s anxiety.

I have heard the Python is one of the most amazing .357 revolvers one can ever shoot, plus I think it looks awesome. I haven’t been able to find one locally, and on Gunbroker, they have been selling for a few thousand dollars.

Part of me is having a hard time justifying dropping that much cash for one gun, when for the same price I could buy a used Ruger of Smith and Wesson .357, and still have money left over for a Beretta 92 fs inox and a Glock 19.

If I was to buy only one .357 revolver my entire life, is the Python worth the price/hype?
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Old March 5, 2013, 09:32 PM   #2
kcub
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Yes if you don't pay an extra thousand for the cardboard box it came in.

I own 3.
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Old March 5, 2013, 09:36 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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Not in my opinion. As a collector's piece, yes. For a practical shooter, no.

I believe the Smith & Wesson L-Frame Model 586 Distinguished Combat Magnum is the very best .357 Magnum DA revolver to come down the pike.

I'll catch a lot of flak for this statement, but neither the famed Python nor the pre-Model 27 Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum can surpass the L-Framed gun. I have had considerable experience with these as well as Model 28 Highway Patrolmans and Model 19 Combat Magnums, and Dan Wessons.

Now for a single action............

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Old March 5, 2013, 10:04 PM   #4
FoghornLeghorn
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Quote:
they have been selling for a few thousand dollars.
I own two and they are incomparable revolvers, but a few thousand? As in three thousand?

You can find mint Pythons for a lot less than that.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:10 PM   #5
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It really depends on why you want it. If it is just to have because you want one, then the price is immaterial. If you want to shoot it occasionally, you will never wear it out as they are not anywhere near as fragile as people make out.

I wanted one for years and finally found one a year and a half ago for $850. I bought it without hesitation and am delighted with it both as a work of art and as a shooter. It is incredibly accurate and has a wonderful trigger.

My next "grail" gun is a Model 27 Smith and Wesson. Within reason, I am prepared to pay the going rate for a nice one.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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I have Pythons, and even some Diamondbacks. I love them, but I would not pay the price that people are asking for them now.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:17 PM   #7
KenLondregan
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I wasn't planning on spending much more than $2000, and the box and papers are not important to me. If I pick one up, I plan on occasionally bringing it to the range (I don’t believe in buying something just to look at it).

Where can I find one for less than that? I was looking for a 6”, preferably stainless or nickel plated, with wooden grips. They have been going for around $2000 on gunbroker, and I have not been able to find one anywhere in Jersey.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:47 PM   #8
SaxonPig
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The Python is fantastic. It is also hideously expensive.

The early (pre-Mk III) Trooper and "357" are the same design without the heavy ribbed barrel. One of these can be found for maybe 1/3 of the Python tariff.

Just a thought...


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Old March 6, 2013, 04:39 AM   #9
kcub
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You can find shooter pythons reasonably priced on the coltforum.

One thing you dont have to worry about is getting your money back if you don't like or want it, but I suspect you will.

The only smith even in the same league is the registered magnum.
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Old March 6, 2013, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
The only smith even in the same league is the registered magnum.
Pffffffft.
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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I wouldn't buy a Python if I was looking for a .357. There are less expensive revolvers that I can shoot just as well.

I bought a Python because I wanted a Python.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:36 AM   #12
pete2
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I have a Python and I love it but I shoot S&W guns. Single action the Python is great, double action doesn't come close to the S&W.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:46 AM   #13
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I have a couple of safe queens but this is the one I shoot. Some thoughtful prior owner parkerized it, it now wears pach/colt med grips. I have carried one years ago in LE. I think with current prices and just to shoot, I'd have to go with a Smith 586. I have recently sold original python grips for nearly 300. The market is outrageous on these babies.

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Old March 6, 2013, 10:54 AM   #14
FoghornLeghorn
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Quote:
preferably stainless or nickel plated
You didn't specify that in your original post. I checked out prices for stainless or nickel. They're pretty obscene. Seriously, I'd start collecting model airplanes before I paid those prices.

Buy a blued Python. Once you hold it and look at that deep blue finish, you'll love it. And you can use that $1500 you save to buy reloading equipment.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:57 AM   #15
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLondregan
If I was to buy only one .357 revolver my entire life, is the Python worth the price/hype?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
Not in my opinion. As a collector's piece, yes. For a practical shooter, no.
This is my opinion as well.

Don't forget that guns aren't immutable, either. A well-tuned S&W or Ruger is a joy to shoot. OTOH, the historical relevance and the fit & finish of the Python is undeniable, so it's understandable that some might have a special place in their safe reserved for one.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:38 AM   #16
WillyKern69
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I bought my first Python last October. It is a piece of art. Shooting .38+p are so enjoyable. It seems to come right back down to point. I have had S&W (not a registered or combat) and I don't think they compare. i would suggest you keep looking. I paid $1500 for a LNIB Python Elite. They are out there be paitent and when the opportunity comes jump on it. That is what I did. Only took 20 years!

Good luck,

WK
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:06 PM   #17
James K
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No doubt the Python is a well made and beautifully finished revolver. And they look to keep increasing in price. Obviously they were made to be used, but today actually firing one will decrease its value.

The Python is the same mechanically as the other Colts of that type and frame size. It was hand tuned by Colt experts and carries the antique lockwork about as far as it can go in terms of reducing stacking and keeping perfect time. But that kind of work costs money and Colt did not sell enough of any of those old revolvers to compete with more modern and less expensive designs. (Their own improved design flopped in part because it could not compete with the older models in the minds of Colt traditionalists.)

IMHO, if you want a Python to admire and (like a gold bar) watch it increase in value, fine. If you want a .357 Magnum revolver to shoot, buy an S&W or if you really want a Colt, look around for one of their other models in that caliber.

Jim
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:41 PM   #18
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What are the chances Colt starts producing Pythons again in the near future?
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:12 PM   #19
MrBorland
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About zero.

AFAIK, the tooling, machinery and expertise are all gone. And the market for service sized revolvers is small, plus they'd be competing against S&W & Ruger. It's probably why no one else has stepped into the DA revolver market, either. Too bad - I bet Freedom Arms or STI would make a great DA revolver.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:28 PM   #20
FoghornLeghorn
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What are the chances Colt starts producing Pythons again in the near future?
Highly unlikely. The Python was labor intensive and required extensive hand fitting of the internal parts. If they made the Python again it'd probably cost ten grand. Who would buy it?

Colt sort of tried to make a Python equivalent with a much cheaper internal lockwork called the Anaconda, but it didn't go over too well.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:41 PM   #21
lowercase
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Here's my take:

You seem to know what you want and you have the means to get it.

I've seen a lot of potential gun owners paralyzed by indecision over a purchase. I admire that you come right out and say that you want a Python. I bought one recently, and it is just a fantastic piece...and YES, I most certainly shoot it on a regular basis.

If you can find a good Python to buy, then get it. If it doesn't meet your expectations, you can always sell it.

Success favors the bold. Get your Python.

Good luck!


(Here's mine)


Last edited by lowercase; March 6, 2013 at 07:27 PM.
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:41 PM   #22
dgludwig
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I think every serious revolver aficionado should have at least one Colt Python. I am but I don't-at least, not yet...
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:01 PM   #23
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For shooting, I get the same experience from my 4 or 5" (below) Pre MKIII Official Police with target grips in .38S. The action is the same and with a bit of work (now hard to find a good Colt DA man) you can get the same trigger feel. Limited to the fixed sights but I use 158gr SWC standard pressure for my range load and this gun is fine with the 158 +P. I still see the COPs in the 3-500 range for great shape guns. I even found a refinished Colt Commando shooter in great mechanical shape for $250 a couple of years back.


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Old March 6, 2013, 06:02 PM   #24
got2hav1
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I say buy it if you can. I have two and I am looking for a third one. The smoothest action out there. Bluing that is not seen much anymore. I do shoot mine occasionally. That being said if I wanted a gun to shoot a lot I would buy a Smith or Ruger and get it tuned.
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Old March 7, 2013, 01:08 PM   #25
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Pythons are definitely collector's items, which means that you will pay a premium above what it has to offer as a practical shooter, especially for a mint example.

You can get a revolver from S&W that shoots just as well for a lot less. Some S&Ws have a mighty fine polished blue finish, but nothing is as good as a Royal Blue Python. The darned things just sort of glow.
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