Colt Python: Best .357Mag ever?


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prezbucky
July 10, 2010, 09:00 PM
It sure is pretty, and from what I have read, the Python may be the best .357Mag mass-marketed (high production) revolver ever made.

What do you think?

And why doesn't Colt make them anymore? I see sh1tloads of "old style" revolvers being put out by Colt, but the "Pythons 4 Sale" sign seems to always say "Used"...

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BullfrogKen
July 10, 2010, 09:34 PM
Colt stopped mass producing all double-action revolvers almost 2 decades ago.

There were many factors, but the most important was that they were no longer cost-competitive.


The Python represented the best of their production line. Fit, finish, internal polishing and attention to detail . . .

Whether it's "the best" among everything on the market is a matter of opinion. But it certainly received the most personal attention on the production floor, and without a doubt it represented the best of Colt's line of DA revolvers.

Oyeboten
July 10, 2010, 09:54 PM
The Colt 'New Service' in .357 Magnum was pretty alright also, if a larger Frame, suited for larger Hands I s'pose.

The 'Python' was the last of the Old Time Religion.

I had a Python .38 Special only 'Target' Model in the mid 1980s...it was very very nice...shoulda kept it.

Ky Larry
July 10, 2010, 10:01 PM
I can't really say what the "best" revolver ever made is. Tha S&W Model-27s were about as good as anything on the market. I can say I like my blued, 6" Python better than any gun I've ever shot.I can shoot it better than anything else I've shot. Fit, finish,handling and :D factor are the best for me. YMMV.

Kman
July 10, 2010, 10:03 PM
not even close,,nickel is too thin, and the internals were prone to issues, however they are very beautiful guns, that ribbed barrel does much for the aesthetics.

prezbucky
July 10, 2010, 10:05 PM
Wasn't the Python back in production in maybe the late 90s-early 2000s? I thought the rubber grips were a sign of that, changing from wood.

Kman
July 10, 2010, 10:13 PM
believe they were order only,,not standard production

prezbucky
July 10, 2010, 10:18 PM
I'm thinking of a Ruger Blackhawk or GP100. Is the Python worth the extra $500+ used?

Kman
July 10, 2010, 10:26 PM
as a shooter? no,,it's primarily a collector piece

9mmepiphany
July 10, 2010, 10:40 PM
in .357 Mag, i started with a 8.375" S&W M-27 and it was great, but a 6" Python took it's place on my range trips and i even switched it out to a 4" barrel for duty carry and finally back to a 6" tube for PPC "Leg" matches.

i tried to "baby" my Python with first a 4" M-19 and then a M-686 (first in 4" and then 6") but they just never had the Python's trigger feel or point. i even tried a Ruger GP-100, but it was a horrible failure in comparison to the others in feel.

when i got mine, the Python was almost twice the price of the M-19 ($375 Vs. $200) and it was worth it to me for a revolver to stake my life on.

if you look inside a Python's action, you'll understand why they can't be produced at a competitive price. everything works though angles and camming surfaces...it's all handfitting

Rexster
July 10, 2010, 10:42 PM
No. Beautiful finish, and very accurate, but the lockwork was not the best, at least for me. Folks debate about how sturdy the lockwork is, and as I never worn one out, I will not enter that fray. I do know the DA stroke was very long, and the arc of the trigger return just as long. I could not shoot my early-1990's stainless Python nearly as fast as a Ruger or S&W in DA fire. That long stroke also affected my accuracy in DA fire. (If I had larger hands, that might not have been so.) Back, then, I was too poor to keep a handgun that didn't work for a living, and my Python was traded or sold, while I kept my Ruger GP100 and S&W Model 58.

Now, for a shootable collector piece, I wouldn't mind owning a Python again someday. I figure the Python is a DA-capable sixgun best fired in single action mode, and I have a greater appreciation for SA fire than I did when I considered sixguns to be just working tools. I am in my own economic downturn right now, so that will have to wait a while.

Blue Brick
July 10, 2010, 11:10 PM
What do you think?

Nope.

Lorenzo Rojo
July 10, 2010, 11:44 PM
I think that the Python is the best collector's .357. I strongly favor blued 4" .357s. The best shooting .357 is the S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum. Perfect weight, balance, presentation, action, and performance. I would even place the S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman ahead of the Python as a shooter as well as the platform the Python came from, the Colt Trooper. Great shooters of the three models I've mentioned can be had from $350 to $600. You can't even touch a worn Python shooter with aftermarket grips for $600 bucks. And the Python Safe Queens--Forgetabouddit!

SaxonPig
July 11, 2010, 12:04 AM
I believe the Python is the best quality (fit and finish) of any mass produced revolver. The S&W M27 came close but owning numerous examples of both I judge the Colt superior.


http://www.fototime.com/CD60409C0D38CBB/standard.jpg


PS: To the folks saying the Python is fragile, or not for shooting, horsefeathers. I shoot all of mine and they shoot just fine, thank you. Group pictured was shot with a 6" Python at 25 yards using full power 357 ammo.


http://www.fototime.com/AB7CECF844113D3/standard.jpg

gmh1013
July 11, 2010, 12:51 AM
and IMHO a work of art

captain awesome
July 11, 2010, 12:52 AM
I don't know if the korth 357's were/are mass produced but have heard they are even better than the pythons on numerous occasions from numerous people. Never had the pleasure of holding one myself but they are gorgeous to look at.

Guillermo
July 11, 2010, 01:02 AM
Pythons are great

S&W Model 27s are too

Personally I love Smith 19s

Capt Awesome mentions Korths and they have a good reputaion (never laid eyes on one)

The Colt design has a slight "stack" to the trigger. If you do not like that you will like the Smith better.

kbbailey
July 11, 2010, 01:13 AM
Two years after my uncle died, my aunt discovered his 4" Python in a cardboard box on the floor of her garage. It was badly rusted and pitted. The grips were gone. She gave it to me, and I sent it to Colt to see what they could do for it.
It came back nearly perfect. You can still see remnants of the pitting if you know where to look.
It is super-accurate, but it stays in the safe most of the time. I know it's value is down since it has been refinished...but still too purdy to drag through the brush and mud.

riflenut
July 11, 2010, 01:15 AM
I to once owned a 6" colt python 357 bought it new in 1978 for 410$ keep it until 2005 sold it for 825$ . that was the best and smoothest and very well balanced, revolver I ever owned.You could hold steady on your target when you choose to rapidfire all six rounds.Money wows only made me sell it. since then I did come across a nice Colt trooper mk111 in a 6" 357 and purchased it for 490$ its nice and Iwill keep this one no matter what! :D:D

4v50 Gary
July 11, 2010, 01:18 AM
I learned to shoot double action revolvers on a Colt Python. Then I ran out and bought my own. The Python had the smoothest trigger pull of any of the major three revolvers. Smith came in second and Ruger third.

What gave the Python the advantage was the sear that had a graceful arch. This meant the contact time between the trigger and sear was longer and smoother as opposed to the abruptness of other guns (especially the Ruger). Certainly both Smiths & Rugers could be honed (I've done both), but for out of the box fit, finish and smoothness, they couldn't match the Python.

Now, as to which one is best. It depends. If you want the most rugged revolver ever, it would have to go to the humble Ruger. If left with the decision to keeping my Security Six or the Python in a apocalyptic situation, I'd go with the Ruger. It can take more abuse than either the Python or a S&W and keep working like a Timex.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2010, 01:45 AM
I'll let you know when I can finally get the bread to buy one!

clem
July 11, 2010, 03:14 AM
Yes, they are very nice revolvers. I have one.
But my Dan Wesson is a shooting SOB too.

gordy
July 11, 2010, 11:29 AM
Fine revolvers, but the best. I think not!







S&W IS THE BEST

Shadan7
July 11, 2010, 12:44 PM
I don't know if the korth 357's were/are mass produced but have heard they are even better than the pythons on numerous occasions from numerous people. Never had the pleasure of holding one myself but they are gorgeous to look at.

Well, a buddy of mine has a Korth in .357. And we included it in the ballistics tests (http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html), so I've actually shot it a fair amount.

Nice gun. But I prefer my Python.

Ala Dan
July 11, 2010, 12:57 PM
I have had many Colt Python's over the year's; and YES, they are very nice
firearms; but they just never did fit me. The smooth action of a good S&W
model 19 or the finely ehnanced deep blued finish of a S&W model 27
excited me more than any of the Python's I ever owned; from a 2.5 "
pony to a 6" model~! ;) :D

texas bulldog
July 11, 2010, 01:51 PM
The Python is certainly the one I covet the most. Whether that actually makes it best is a different question.

snooperman
July 11, 2010, 02:52 PM
anything for them either. No S&W comes close to the beautifully produced Colt Python. The S&W model 27 is an O.K. gun but to compare it to the Python is like comparing a Hamburger to Filet Mignon. I have shot full power loads through them for more than 45 years with no problems at all. I bought my last one a few months ago for $1300 in 98% nickel , and consider it a bargain compared to the stuff that S&W makes.

rscalzo
July 11, 2010, 03:06 PM
No doubt they were the best. In the early 70's the cost was slightly higher for the 27. Both were fine handguns but the Python edged it out a bit. I didn't think the later models were nearly as good. That's why the 60's and 70's variants hold their value plus some.

The bluing on that line of Colts was much better than the S&W in my opinion. Yet I owned many more Smith's than Colts.... Guess being a tool and not a collector's item made the finish second.

snooperman
July 11, 2010, 03:14 PM
because the number of people that will pay for that kind of quality is much less today. There was much hand work done on them . One can get that kind of quality in a S&W but you would have to pay someone more money to do the custom work. Mine are not safe queens , they are taken on hunts and shot by me , my son and grand children here at my farm range.

CSA 357
July 11, 2010, 03:37 PM
Smith & wesson made the best 357 27, 19, 66 back in the good ole days!

rscalzo
July 11, 2010, 03:57 PM
The S&W line was more utility that top quality. I bought one of the early Model 66's for duty use. It was far from being top quality and gave me way too much trouble to be thought of as reliable. I took it from service soon after. It was replaced with a Model 19. A fine revolver but but near the Python. The cost differential stopped many from buying it in those days.

Comparing a Model 19 or 66 to a early Python is unreasonable. They are two decent classes of firearms. While the 27 was a fine handgun, they were not built with the same care as the Python.

oldgoat46
July 11, 2010, 04:36 PM
Colt Python the best 357 revolver ever?..In a word, no.

SlamFire1
July 11, 2010, 04:48 PM
Colt made the Python as a premium revolver. Somewhere in my pile is an article, wherein Colt said Python barrels were 25% more accurate as a class than their standard barrels. Colt put a lot of hand finishing into a Python, so the action is quite light and smooth. Trigger is great.

I bought one, traded a M686-1 and $200.00 for it. Was it worth the extra over a M686?; hard to say. Sometimes it is not all about the money. It shoots well, is accurate. Now that it is out of production I am glad I got it.

Because I canít afford a replacement, I am banging away with cheaper 357ís. I will take the Python out on occasion, just to see if my memories are still correct.

For revolvers less than Korth prices, the Python was the best.

snooperman
July 11, 2010, 04:49 PM
1962 that I bought for about $185.00 in royal blue and S&W could not match it- NO WAY. S&W never made a gun with the eloquence of the royal blue Colt Python, not in the "good ole days" and not today either.

Bill B.
July 11, 2010, 04:56 PM
The S&W line was more utility that top quality.

Really? Maybe these links will refresh your memory: http://smith-wessonforum.com/members/kwill1911-albums-kw-s-s-w-s-picture205-reg-mag.html

http://smith-wessonforum.com/members/merlindrb-albums-mcgivern-registered-magnum-picture1810-53696-reg2902-mcgivern-5.html

SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 05:12 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say the S&W Model 19 is the best .357 Magnum ever made. Now I would prefer one from the days of old, with no lock and a sweetly smooth double action, and four inch barrel. Light, accurate, beautifully balanced and finished. The Colt Python is a very pretty weapon, but it is heavier, but not necessarily more durable. The lock up and action on a Python is a little more delicate, in my opinion, and any "durability" it MIGHT have diminishes with the fact that it costs WAY too much. For the life of a Model 19, I could shoot it until I wear it out, and then buy a second one, for less than I would pay for one Python. Gun for gun, the Smith offers more for less. Pythons are for looking at, and Model 19's are for really USING a .357 for what it is intended for.

PRM
July 11, 2010, 05:14 PM
Chevy or Ford? Sweet or Un-sweet Tea? Want your coffee black or a little cream?

Like most everything else, its comes down to personal preference and bias. I've owned Colts and S&Ws, and been shooting both for over 30 years.



My Vote: Colt Python

9mmepiphany
July 11, 2010, 06:12 PM
i would say that if S&W put the work into a M-586 that they put into a M-27, they might give the Python a real run for the money

918v
July 11, 2010, 06:20 PM
A 1935-50's Model 27 does give an early Python a run for it's money.

shockwave
July 11, 2010, 06:23 PM
If the Colt is better than the S&W 686, it must be a pretty good gun. Wouldn't know as I've never shot the Colt. But the 686 is pure revolver all the way. Regardless of which is "best," a quality .357 is a thing of beauty and there isn't a black rectangular auto boom-box that will ever come close.

9mmepiphany
July 11, 2010, 07:36 PM
If the Colt is better than the S&W 686, it must be a pretty good gun.

it is...

the M-586/686 L-frames were introduced to compete with and copy the Python as the M-19/66 were found somewhat wanting in PPC Leg (stock) Matches. the L-frame was upsized to the Colt I-frame size and the Python-ist under-lug was added for stability on target. they made good choices in retaining the short stroke action and the K-frame butt frame

rscalzo
July 11, 2010, 07:54 PM
Carried a 686 for a few years and shot several 70's era Pythons. the Colts was heads and shoulders above the 686. The 686 was a utility tool where the Colt was a fine instrument. Smith never achieved the level of bluing that the Colt Royal Blue attained. Not in the 60's and 70's. That's what you paid for when buying a Colt at a higher price point.

snooperman
July 11, 2010, 08:07 PM
It is obvious you have not shot the pythons very much. I have a model 19 that has been shot with hot loads and went out of timing twice. "K" frames were nortorious for that . Hence the "L" frame that replaced it. I have been shooting hot loads in my Pythons since 1962 and have never had an issue with them. To use the Word model 19 or S&W 66 in the same breath as "PYTHON" is a bit of a stretch, to say the least. You can soup up a Chevy but it will not be a Cadilac and the same is true of the Python and the model 19. THE PYTHON COST MORE BECAUSE IT IS WORTH MORE. Guns are like any commodity, they are worth what the buyer will pay. Just because YOU say the 19 is better and worth more , does not make it so.

shotgunjoel
July 11, 2010, 08:14 PM
Oh yes, you are right. The Python is the BEST 357. Just like the Garand is the BEST rifle, the 1911 is the BEST pistol, the 45ACP is the BEST handgun cartridge, the AK is the MOST reliable rifle, the Glock is the MOST reliable pistol, etc. Can we just agree that there are many good designs and systems out on the market, and that each one might be the best for you based on your wants and needs?

roaddog28
July 11, 2010, 08:36 PM
Hi,

I would not argue against the Colt Python not being the best 357 mag ever. If I found one I could afford I would buy it and put the revolver in the safe. They go up in value every year. I have other 357 revolvers that will meet my needs and I know if I need service on them I call on my gunsmith and I know he can fix them. Very few gunsmiths will even touch a Python.

Regards,
roaddog28

SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 09:18 PM
I shot Pythons enough to have sold some that the timing had worn on, and I didn't feel like paying anyone to put back to spec. I have also shot and returned a Python to Colt to fix, and then later had to part with it because it wouldn't hold the timing, and had worn to the point of not locking up before the hammer fell on two chambers. It is common knowledge (go over to the coltfourm.com) that Pythons need periodic tuning because the hand assists in locking the cylinder up during firing, and the stress of recoil and torque is also against the hand. A thousand rounds or two later, and you can expect some looseness in the mechanism to result. Now if you don't shoot your Python enough to put this wear on it, your fine. Or, if you don't care that your Python will start to be able to fire slightly out of alighment (cylinder not being held in alignment with the barrel), I guess then a Python is fine. I have stopped believing that I was just having bad luck with Pythons when Colt fans considered it common for the Python to need tuning after a few thousand rounds.

SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 09:29 PM
PS: Never said the Model 19 was worth more, just said it was a better gun. All guns will wear out, the Python just wears too fast. If the Model 19 wears beyond use, just find another nice one, and for the TWO you are STILL under the price of a Python. Hell, if you are looking for durability, buy A Ruger GP100 or Security Six. They are stronger and longer lasting than Colt or S&W (althogh I think they are ugly as sin). The Model 19 will NOT last longer than a 686 or 586 Smith, but it is lighter and better balanced. Once again, I am considering USE, not how pretty blued or fitted the Python is. The Model 19 was considered the epitomy of a .357 to be carried and used, particularly by Bill Jordan, who was the top revolver man and career LE trainer, shooter, and marksman for many years. I just happen to agree with him, and that decision didn't come easily or quickly. I have owned about 5 Pythons, and carried a Model 19 for 5 years as a duty gun. Anyone want to put their "credentials" up? The floor is yours!:D

Lucky Derby
July 11, 2010, 10:10 PM
I have owned several K & N frame .357's over the years. I have owned a Ruger Speed-Six (that's the one I never should have sold) and I have owned one Python. I still own several K frames in .38 & .22 and one .357, a 3" M13. I still own a Colt Trooper .357, the more utilitarian Python. Same gun without the full lug & vent rib barrel and also without the Royal Blue finish.
I will say that the Python has the most attention to fit and finish of any revolver I have ever fired, or handled. (never even seen a Korth in person)
Is it the best .357 ever?
Is a Lincoln Town Car or Jeep CJ5 better?
Depends on what you want to do with it, doesn't it?

Lar1911
July 11, 2010, 10:15 PM
The Dan Wesson Model 15 357.

9mmepiphany
July 11, 2010, 11:41 PM
The Dan Wesson Model 15 357.

that would be my candidate as the best shooting .357mag too...surely the most accurate DA revolver with a nod to the Freedom Arms in SA

The Lone Haranguer
July 11, 2010, 11:49 PM
Whether it is the "best ever" is somewhat subjective. It is notable and desirable to collectors because of its striking styling and craftsmanship, its action in particular requiring careful hand fitting. I hated to have to part with my own (a 1982 six-inch satin stainless), but this was somewhat mitigated by its bringing nearly three times what I originally paid for it.

918v
July 12, 2010, 12:22 AM
Carried a 686 for a few years and shot several 70's era Pythons. the Colts was heads and shoulders above the 686. The 686 was a utility tool where the Colt was a fine instrument. Smith never achieved the level of bluing that the Colt Royal Blue attained. Not in the 60's and 70's. That's what you paid for when buying a Colt at a higher price point.
You think a gunmaker has to "achieve" a certain level of bluing? Have you ever seen a "S" numbered N-frame? I would say that S&W "achieved" the same level of bluing and even surpassed it.

oldfool
July 12, 2010, 09:18 AM
well... much as I respect the Python and the old Dan Wessons, and love my k-frame S&Ws
I vote for the S&W 27 as #1

some part of the Python mystique being Colt advertising
some part of the Python mystique being "collectible"
mighty nice guns, though

PS
Korth... get real... for those kind of dollars, you could turn any handgun into the world's finest ever revolver
(if you have to ask the price... don't)

Lar1911
July 12, 2010, 10:11 AM
Best is subjective, I own Dan Wesson's in 357 and 44. I have the 2, 4, 6 and 8 inch for the 357. (2 and 4 inch for the 44)

I can run heavy loads through it, Dan Wesson was the big name in silhouette shooting (Power and accuracy) when that became the big sport. When we moved into semi autos sales in revolvers hurt DW. (We are seeing a resurgance in them, but we will prob never see DW make revolvers again)

But put the 2.5 inch barrel on it and its not a cute little conceal carry gun. The frame is big, the size of a S&W model 29 44 mag.

My 44 is a big gun.

So when you say the best, what criteria are you using?

(BTW, I would love to own one and will add it to my collection)

XxWINxX94
July 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
I think the python is the Cadillac of large-frame revolvers. Yes, they are expensive, and aren't made anymore, but one could still get one.

Collectable, accurate, smooth, from a company that 1st patented the revolver.
If you've never shot one, you don't know what your missing!

hardluk1
July 12, 2010, 12:38 PM
python is a very pretty gun but as covered allready can be a bit fragil side. Strongest, N frame s&w 357 , ruger redhawk 357 when made and dan wessons for overall abillity for accuracy and strength.

Confederate
July 12, 2010, 01:57 PM
How does one define "best"? If you're talking about hunting or target shooting, that's one thing. If you're talking about combat and survival, that's another.

Durability & Design: The durability of the Pythons is is hampered by the gun's fussy timing. The Python's design is old, and Colt made no effort to beef up critical areas like the skinny ejector rod, the smallish pawl and ratchet. The pawls wear quickly because they're undersized. The grips also are very 1930s-era-ish, and are thick where they should be thin.

Accuracy: Although this is one of the Python's greatest strengths, S&W's 686 is most likely the Python's equal.

Beauty & Craftsmanship: Although a matter of opinion, this is where the Python shines. The bluing is astounding and it's almost too beautiful to shoot. But though the craftsmanship is top-notch, it doesn't necessarily make the gun the "best".

If I were looking for an overall great defense or survival gun, I'm going to end up with a S&W 686. For strict competitive use, the Python certainly is in its element; however, the 686 may be its equal, it has better grips, is better designed and doesn't go out of time as often as the Pyhon. It's also less expensive. On the other hand, the crafsmanship and accuracy are the strong points. If that's how you define "best," well, there you go.

I'd love to have a Python. They're gorgeous, they're accurate, they have an old-style look about them, and the frames are strong. But the grip design is similar to that of single action revolvers (thick where they should be thin and vice versa). Pachmayr and other companies tried to remedy it, but I like the beautiful wood grips that come with guns, especially those that came with the S&Ws.

As much as I like my Ruger Security-Sixes, I have to say the S&W 686 is the "best.

9mmepiphany
July 12, 2010, 03:34 PM
using Confederate's criteria:

Durability & Design: Ruger sets the standard with it's solid frame and stainless coil spring power action. the Security-Six family (Service, Speed) are the ultimate medium frame packaging

Accuracy: Dan Wesson set the standard here with their tensioned barrel, adjustable barrel gap and front lock-up. what gave the Python an advantage over the S&W in competition was their twist rate being better at stabilizing medium weight bullets

Beauty &Craftsmanship: Python take the top spot here, i do remember the S&W Bright Blue (i have an old M-27) but it was never applied to the L-frames and the Python is a better balanced design than the N-frame (the 5" M-27 comes close)

the S&W is a good compromise choice for many and has the advantage of price over the Python

Quickstrike
July 12, 2010, 03:48 PM
One of the prettiest. But that's pretty much it over the others IMO.

Depends on what the user finds most important in a gun.

I value reliability and durability the most.

ceadermtnboy
July 12, 2010, 09:40 PM
Colt python is the third best double action revolver ever made........followed by the model 27....... followed by the GP100. Of course I am partial to Rugers:D

roaddog28
July 12, 2010, 09:49 PM
Hi again,

Again I think a Colt Python is pretty and I like to look at them. But I have some everyday shooting 357s that I feel will go longer with out need of "tuneup". Both of these my not catch the eye as much as a Colt but in the right shooters hands can be as accurate as a Python. They don't cost as much and won't go up in value as a Python but work just as well. Plus if you get a nick or scratch it won't be the end of the world. Below are my two all around revolvers plus two revolvers that will get the job done too.

Regards,
roaddog28
Ruger GP100 & Ruger Police Service Six
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/GP100ServiceSix.jpg
S&W 66-4
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/model66-4.jpg
S&W 19-4
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/SWM19-4e.jpg

Confederate
July 12, 2010, 09:52 PM
With the advent of the S&W 686, everyone and their brothers were doing accuracy comparisons between them and the Colt Python and Rugers. The Rugers tossed the 158gr bullets very well, but the Pythons and 686s were pretty much dead even with all ammo, and both did better than the Ruger with the lighter 125gr bullets.

The gun hacks went on about how 125gr JHPs were the best manstoppers and all, but I figured that hunters tend to use the heavier bullets, and Ruger always had a method to his madness.

I've never heard that Dan Wessons were particularly accurate -- they weren't inaccurate -- but I'm not aware of them being in the Python's league. I used to compare the reviews and the group sizes in the various magazines I trusted, and I did note that reviewers who reduced the B/C gaps in the Dan Wessons weren't able to get much improvement on their velocities. The various barrel lengths/frames also didn't tend to produce velocities up to par with handguns of other makes with the same barrel lengths.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eQDh4RaCiAc/Swvf1m5eNhI/AAAAAAAABbU/3ca4SsUGsS0/s1600/Marui_Colt_Python_357mag_6inch.jpg

4v50 Gary
July 12, 2010, 10:07 PM
9mm Epiphany wrote:

using Confederate's criteria:

Durability & Design: Ruger sets the standard with it's solid frame and stainless coil spring power action. the Security-Six family (Service, Speed) are the ultimate medium frame packaging

Accuracy: Dan Wesson set the standard here with their tensioned barrel, adjustable barrel gap and front lock-up. what gave the Python an advantage over the S&W in competition was their twist rate being better at stabilizing medium weight bullets

Beauty &Craftsmanship: Python take the top spot here, i do remember the S&W Bright Blue (i have an old M-27) but it was never applied to the L-frames and the Python is a better balanced design than the N-frame (the 5" M-27 comes close)

I agree. Rugers are the most durable. Pythons are the most beautiful. Their action is early 20th Century in design when old world craftsmen were skilled and had to understand how each part interacted with all the others. S&W are in between the two with a more modern lockwork. Dan Wessons (with their S&W like lockwork), had the advantage with their adjustable barrel gap.

It boils down to what your selection criteria (mission or purpose) is and then, perhaps, your budget.

Deaf Smith
July 13, 2010, 12:08 AM
Colt Python: Best .357Mag ever?

No. For the simple reason you cannot field strip it. Anything that goes wrong must force a trip to a gun smith.

Best .357? Ruger Security Six. At least if you want to carry it often and far afield.

I do.

Deaf

9mmepiphany
July 13, 2010, 12:40 AM
No. For the simple reason you cannot field strip it. Anything that goes wrong must force a trip to a gun smith.

surely you jest. the Colt D and I-frames are much easier to strip than a S&W...granted this was before i discovered the tool they used to depress the rebound spring

FTSESQ
July 13, 2010, 12:43 AM
Yes. Period. The end.

Confederate
July 13, 2010, 02:42 AM
Deaf feels the Ruger Security-Six is the "best" gun because he places disassembly/reassembly as the chief aspects of magnumability. Again, it depends on what your own views are, but I agree with his choice for a few more reasons. Because of the Security-Six's 1) great strength; 2) moderate size; 3) ability to pick up quickly on moving targets; and 4) fieldstripping ability.

In short, if by "best" one means that if given a choice of which .357 one would personally choose if dumped out in the wilderness with 15,000 rounds of hot magnum ammo and had to depend on it all for the rest of his life. Not many, in my view, would pick a Colt Python or even a 686. Having said that, I think the Python is a bit more accurate, but I could hit clay pigeons at 100 yards with my Security-Six, and though cosmetically I preferred my 686 and probably would love a Python, I'd have to say that the 686 is a better gun than the Python in almost every respect except cosmetically, and even that is only a matter of taste.

If dropped into the wilderness with 15,000 hot magnum rounds of ammo, I don't think you would ever make it past 5,000 rounds without a Python going out of time. The frame would take the pounding just fine, but as that tiny pawl, or hand, began wearing, things would degrade rapidly. The cylinder would loosen considerably and the ratchet also would wear, making the problem worse.

In fact, if one person took a Ruger Security-Six and another person took two or even three Pythons, I suspect all three Pythons would not last as long as one Ruger. Now what some people have done is this: they have the pawls of their Pythons, as well as the ratchets, hard chromed. By doing this, neither the pawls or the ratchets wear significantly.

You don't have to hard chrome the entire gun, just these two parts; however, if your Python is showing some wear and you need to have it retimed anyway, you may as well consider hard chroming the entire gun. It does give the gun a nice, brushed stainless look, while making the gun tough as nails. In fact, a nail can't even scratch the surface.

Here's a chromed S&W Highway Patrolman. A hard chrome has a surface Rockwell hardness of about 61, IIRC:


http://homepage.mac.com/greggg/M28/after/M28_from_front.jpg

And here's a stainless Ruger Security-Six, plus take down...:

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/RugerSS_6_2.jpg


...just follow the dots and reassembly is so easy a child could do it (note the massive size of the pawl/hand):


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/Ruger_SS_Assembly_1a.jpg


.

45bthompson
July 13, 2010, 03:28 AM
I like Ford over Chevy. The Vette is the exception.
I like S&W over Colt. The Python is the exception.

Confederate
July 13, 2010, 03:13 PM
The real pity is that when Colt came back from the dead, they could have had some sort of meeting and improved the design. They could have beefed up the ejector rod and made the hand oversize. They might also have redesigned the ratchet. All this could have been done with very little effort.

Forty years ago, it was no big deal to get a Python retimed. Twenty bucks, tops. Now gunsmiths want $$$$ for jobs that used to be routine maintenance. The part is inserted into the gun, then it has to be fitted. Sometimes users would remove the pawl and then use a punch to ping the pawl tip on both sides. This would move the remaining steel upwards and the gun would go back into time. But as it wore, it would quickly go back out of time, so it wasn't a permanent fix.

They could have fixed these problems and produced a first-rate gun, but like many manufacturers, they were lazy.

bflobill_69
July 13, 2010, 03:21 PM
I think Confederate said it best:
Beauty & Craftsmanship: Although a matter of opinion, this is where the Python shines. The bluing is astounding and it's almost too beautiful to shoot. But though the craftsmanship is top-notch, it doesn't necessarily make the gun the "best".

Pythons look like they should be on display in a museum, they are easthetically VERY pleasing to my eye...

While I think the pythons have a nice trigger feel, the Smiths are just more to my liking.

If I had a Python it would ride safely in my safe (I know thats a sin, but could not afford to replace it, even if I could find another lol).

Bflobill69

Cribbage
July 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
Of course its personal preference, but I think not; the Python has fragile lock work and uncomfortable, un-ergonomic grips.

The Best? Smith 'Registered' Magnum.

Again, all personal preference. The Smith is the best because it is the best tool, and that is what a weapon is; is tool. The Python is simply a work of art (albeit a beautiful one), which makes it completely unsuitable as a true tool. And I happen to think the Smith R-M is more beautiful as well.

Feanaro
July 13, 2010, 06:27 PM
Pythons look like they should be on display in a museum

A relic of uglier times? I realize I'm somewhat out of step regarding this but I always felt the Python was one of the most ungainly looking designs to achieve popularity. I suspect it's the combination of a full underlug and a sight rib that offendeth my sense of proportion, especially on longer barrels.

Confederate
July 13, 2010, 07:30 PM
Perhaps someone could make a polymer version of the Python. The tough plastic could retain the shape, but a steel barrel could be inserted and a cylinder with a Glock-type finish baked onto it. It would retain the overall looks of the Python, and it could go for around a grand or so.

All Colt would have to do is follow Ruger's and S&W's leads.


http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/rugerbrasstop1.gif

Make the gun out of steel and polymer with a "monolithic frame," like Ruger does, and cut corners and pass the savings on to the board of directors, like S&W does!

It would be too big to fail!

.

SharpsDressedMan
July 13, 2010, 07:51 PM
Now, if they could just make plastic that had that deep, rich, high polish blued finish! :D

RIDE
July 23, 2010, 11:49 PM
I have a 1959 Colt Python 6" royal blue given to me by my father in-law who bought it brand new, and fired a mere 12 rounds through it.

The thing is an absolute and true work of art.

I pull it out every once in a while just to admire the amazing quality and workmanship.

Of all my firearms, that's the one I will never part with.

SaxonPig
July 24, 2010, 01:42 AM
Hmmm...

Some observations in reply to some of the comments I have seen in this thread.

I agree that "best" is subjective if one is discussing the overall impression of a gun. Is best the most accurate? The strongest? The most compact for carry? What are the criteria for determining best?

But "best" certainly CAN be discerned when discussing fit and quality of finish and clearly the Python is superior to any other mass produced revolver. The Python was treated to substantial hand-fitting and polishing and that makes it look nicer. No way around that fact. I understand if you like your S&W or Ruger or whatever better than the Colt. But the Python was the most deluxe production revolver made in terms of quality of finish and denying it won't change the truth.

The Ford/Chevy argument doesn't work. It's more like Ford/Cadillac.

I do not understand why some people want to compare the 586/686 to the Python. Perhaps it is because the S&Ws use a vaguely similar barrel contour. But the 586/686 models were never, ever meant to be deluxe grade revolvers. They were built as service revolvers and are not in the same class as the Python. They are not even in the class directly below the Python. They are several rungs down the ladder in fit and finish. Again, if you like your 586/686 that's fine. But it simply does NOT compare to the Python.

The S&W "Register Magnum" was mentioned as competition for the Python. Problem is the RM was not a regular production gun. It was special order, only, and that disqualifies it from this discussion.

I love how some folks claim the Python is fragile but make no comment regarding the M19 when it is mentioned. I don't see the I frame Colt as weaker than the K frame Smith. Both are plenty strong. Yes, the Colt lockwork can go out of time due to the way it locks up. But this isn't the case with every Colt (I have only had 1 or 2 that suffered this malady) and when they do generally they still function OK, it's just irritating.

IMO the DA Rugers are just about the ugliest guns ever made. But that's just my opinion and Ruger owners swear by their guns so they must be good. Someone noted the massive design of the Ruger parts. They have to be bigger as they are cast rather than forged so they must be thicker to be as strong.

The Dan Wessons are noted for strength and accuracy. Again, is that what's best?

When someone asks which gun is best, and does not specify if he means best in terms of strength, or accuracy, or any other exact feature, I think in terms of fit and finish. That points to the Python in my book.

roaddog28
July 24, 2010, 12:43 PM
In short, if by "best" one means that if given a choice of which .357 one would personally choose if dumped out in the wilderness with 15,000 rounds of hot magnum ammo and had to depend on it all for the rest of his life. Not many, in my view, would pick a Colt Python or even a 686. Having said that, I think the Python is a bit more accurate, but I could hit clay pigeons at 100 yards with my Security-Six, and though cosmetically I preferred my 686 and probably would love a Python, I'd have to say that the 686 is a better gun than the Python in almost every respect except cosmetically, and even that is only a matter of taste.

If dropped into the wilderness with 15,000 hot magnum rounds of ammo, I don't think you would ever make it past 5,000 rounds without a Python going out of time. The frame would take the pounding just fine, but as that tiny pawl, or hand, began wearing, things would degrade rapidly. The cylinder would loosen considerably and the ratchet also would wear, making the problem worse.

In fact, if one person took a Ruger Security-Six and another person took two or even three Pythons, I suspect all three Pythons would not last as long as one Ruger. Now what some people have done is this: they have the pawls of their Pythons, as well as the ratchets, hard chromed. By doing this, neither the pawls or the ratchets wear significantly.

I tend to agree with Confederate on his above statement. Of all of my revolvers I have two choices if I was in the wilderness with 15,000 of magnum rounds. That would be my Police Service Six or Ruger GP100. They are durable and can take the pounding better than just about any revolver. Plus you can field strip them and to clean. Other revolvers I would not do.

And maybe again, if I was out in the wilderness I might rather have a Ruger New Model Blackhawk 357 in 4 7/8 inch barrel. That is even tougher than the Security Six or GP100. Again, best 357 revolver means different things to different folks.
Regards,
roaddog28

yeti
July 24, 2010, 01:04 PM
All Colt would have to do is follow Ruger's and S&W's leads.


http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/rugerbrasstop1.gif

Just goes to prove, there are fates worse than death.

brabham78
July 24, 2010, 01:56 PM
I ownd a Python or many years, and I've did some shooting with a GP100. The Python is a nice gun, but given the choice, even for equal money, I'd pick the GP100.

oldbear
July 24, 2010, 02:28 PM
The Python is an excellent revolver:),good looking with the full lug barrel, vented rib, and the Colt Royal bluing. Yet the Python never fit my hand, the target grips were to large and the standard sized grips were to small.

The Smith M- 27 is the best built revolver ever produced, the N frame Smiths of the 19th and 20th century were the high point of the metal workers art.:D

SwampWolf
July 25, 2010, 02:31 PM
The Best? Smith 'Registered' Magnum.


Yep, best in every sense of the word: finish, workmanship, material, design, handling, trigger pull-whatever category you choose to compare it with, the Registered is simply the best.

918v
July 26, 2010, 12:59 AM
http://homepage.mac.com/greggg/M28/after/M28_from_front.jpg



Why, oh why, did the man polish the frame with the sideplate off??? Now the sharp edges of the frame and sideplate that form that perfect hairline fit are gone. Who did this?

CWO USN
July 26, 2010, 03:08 PM
For the money, the S&W 27-2 in a five or six inch. Engineering design, as in exotic for its time, the Colt Python. Affordabability when new and nowadays, the S&W Model 19 or 66 (depending on the finish you like) along with the Colt Trooper Mk V. I wouldn't snob the Ruger .357 Magnums either. Great value and solid rock dependabiity. IMHO.

syr74
July 31, 2010, 02:30 AM
The Colt Python was the pinnacle of the classic colt lock-work and that lock-work was arguably the revolver counterpart to the 1911 semi-auto. To wit, there may be simpler designs that will take more abuse without complaint, but nothing else works so well in the hands of a knowledgeable owner.

The Python was truly a legend among legends.

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