Colt python vs s&w 686.


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ms6852
April 23, 2011, 05:46 PM
My FAVORITE brother just now gave me the Colt Python for my birthday. Some one here had suggested I shoot have a shoot off between the python and the 686. Any ideas as to how to conduct this? Pictures and a range report will follow. I will be conducting this tests on Monday and Tuesday. Thanks for your help.

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shiftyer1
April 23, 2011, 05:56 PM
He'd be my favorite brother also with a gift like that :) Happy birthday

PapaG
April 23, 2011, 06:17 PM
Had/have both. Two different kinds of guns, one mass produced and of great quality, the other hand fitted and of similar quality. Colts lock up tighter than Smiths due to the double hand, also the Python had a slight taper to the bore which contributed to accuracy. Only problem I ever had with a Python was loading longer bullets....cylinder is relatively short.

I'd go for carefully resting on bags and shooting an assortment of ammo all the way from 148 grain hbwc in 38 special on up to 158 gr jhps in 357. I'd start at 25, then go to 50 and if your eyes are good enough, out to 100 yards.

I doubt there will be much difference. Possibly show up off a Ransom rest. I'll bet on a slight edge for the Python if it has good lockup. My 686+ is a tack driver when I'm on.

Go for it and let us know how it works out.

ms6852
April 23, 2011, 06:56 PM
He'd be my favorite brother also with a gift like that :) Happy birthday
Thanks

ms6852
April 23, 2011, 06:59 PM
PapaG I too am thinking that there may be a slight advantage over the Python when shooting it DA vs SA. After dry firing it, it feels like the trigger pull on the Colt is about one pound lighter than the 686 and shorter stroke.

InkEd
April 23, 2011, 08:56 PM
The current 686 evolved from the old Combat Masterpiece, which may have been the greatest .357magnum of all time. The Pythons were great but IMHO aren't as rugged as the Combat Masterpiece. The short cylinder doesn't allow for certain styles of ammo. The Python is a little nicer for the range but I don't think it is rough & tumble as the old S&W workhorse.

L-Frame
April 23, 2011, 09:02 PM
Both of those guns are VERY accurate. As stated above, the Python has a slight taper to the barrel so it should have a slim advantage, but, all else being equal, the python advantage at 25 yards MAY be at most 1/2 an inch over either a 686 or a GP100.

Ala Dan
April 23, 2011, 09:16 PM
Also, most Colts [including Pythons] will suffer timing issues much faster~! :scrutiny: :eek: ;)

PapaG
April 23, 2011, 10:33 PM
The 686 is a different frame than the Combat Masterpiece...CM is a 19 which is a K. 686 is an L frame, necessary because the Ks couldn't take heavy full house 357 use.

O.K. guys, now tell me how you've fired hundreds of thousands of full house loads and your K frames are still as tight as new. Facts are facts. My model 19, an early model, has had probably ten thousand 38s of various kinds through it and maybe a thousand 357s, mostly 158 grain jhps and is not quite as tight as it was when I bought it from dad in 78...it was his deputy sheriff's carry gun and I don't know how much he shot it but most of the time it was with specials.

Check with Brian Pearce on his tests of K frame guns. Safe but not as tough as L frame. If you want the best in the three fifty seven...get a 27, the original N frame.

4v50 Gary
April 23, 2011, 10:40 PM
I disagree that Colt Pythons suffer from timing actions much faster. Colt uses 4140 steel to make the lockwork. That's good stuff. To re-time, a lot of times you peen the part to lengthen it to fit. Older S&W had case hardened parts and newer ones have MIM. Neither will hold up as long as 4140. A properly tuned Colt will outlast a S&W. The operative phrase is "properly tuned." The trouble today is that there's few gunsmiths who are qualified to work on an older Colt and that many Colts are worked on by folks who aren't properly trained.

Now, the major difference is that a S&W lockwork is easy to fix and one can fix about three or four S&W in the time it takes to get a Colt to work. Colt lockwork is very much a late nineteenth century design and S&W is an early twentieth century design that has been copied in one form or another by many of today's makers.

Toforo
April 23, 2011, 11:21 PM
The 686 is better OF COURSE 'cuz it has the Hillary Hole - right?


:scrutiny:

GLOOB
April 23, 2011, 11:56 PM
I'd be more interested in hearing your personal impressions as to the feel of the gun regarding trigger, cylinder release, extractor, what's better: CCW or CW and why, etc. - rather than hearing which one shoots a hair tighter group on any given Sunday with one particular load for one particular shooter.

4v50 Gary
April 24, 2011, 01:05 AM
Gloob, since you asked.... S&W used to have a sear that was very similar to the Pythons. It was an arched teardrop shape. The advantage of this shape is similar to the roller installed on the German Korth. It allowed for a long contact between the the trigger and the sear. A short short will result in a more abrupt trigger pull. The older S&W and the Colt Python and the German Korth has a longer contact period, thus allowing for the weight to be applied more gradually. This is why the trigger feels silkly smooth on the Python, the Korth and the older S&W.

The pre-MIM S&W was a bit more abrupt, but could be worked on and smoothed out. However, it would never rival the Python as it once did.

I haven't seen the MIM sears but I would imagine that S&W could make a mim sear similar to the older arched tear drop shape.

Along the lines of CCW or CW, let me address this with the old arguments back in the '60s and early '70s as to which was superior - the Colt or the S&W. One point some folks argued over was the cylinder release. The Colt had to be pulled back and the S&W's pushed forward to open the cylinder. The pro-S&W nitpickers argued that the Colt's was less secure because the gun's recoil naturally pushed the Colt's cylinder release back, thereby creating an opportunity for the cylinder to pop open. Contrast to the operation of the S&W which naturally pushed forward and was therefore more secure.

The Colt folks would retort that since the Colt's cylinder is rotated clockwise (as seen by the shooter), it would rotate the cylinder towards the frame, making it more secure than the S&W. The S&W rotated its cylinder counter-clockwise, against the cylinder release, thus making it more prone to releasing.

The S&W would argue that the Colt's skinny ejector rod was subject to being bent under stress, and therefore wasn't as good as a police weapon as the S&W revolvers were. The Colt folks argued that how many cases of bent ejector rods were there and furthermore, that the S&W ejector rod was prone to unscrew on itself, thereby locking up the cylinder such that one could not open it.

In reality, both are fine guns and I own both but carried a Ruger Security Six.

L-Frame
April 24, 2011, 01:12 AM
In regards to the timing, I've talked to 3 different gunsmiths that I know and respect and they all said that Pythons go out of time quicker than S&W's and are much harder to put back into time. I also sold a Python years ago to a collector who showed me MANY pictures of his Pythons. His goal was to continue to have the same number of Pythons as his age and he was in his mid 40's at the time. He spent by far the most time checking the timing on mine. I asked him if the stories of Pythons going out of time was true and he said absolutely yes. He told me that he was constantly on the lookout for nice pythons and was constantly seeing out of time Pythons. He said they tended to be owned by people who said that they fired them quickly, as opposed to slow target shooting.

4v50 Gary
April 24, 2011, 01:23 AM
L-Frame. It is true that it's easier to work on a S&W, Ruger or even the more modern Colt Trooper/Anaconda action than the older Python. One can fix three of any of those guns faster than a Python. The Python is more difficult to work on as one must have a greater understanding of the multi-tasked parts in the gun. Change one thing, and you might have three adverse results.

Fitting the Colt's rebound lever is the biggest PITA a gunsmith may work with. The rebound lever not only returns the trigger to its position of rest, it also operates the bolt and the safety. It provides a bearing surface for the V spring to push against and push the hammer forward. Because it is connected with the trigger, it also affects the hand.

Here's a thread that describes the older Colt lockwork: Link (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=587736)

MrBorland
April 24, 2011, 10:51 AM
I'd be more interested in hearing your personal impressions as to the feel of the gun regarding trigger, cylinder release, extractor, what's better: CCW or CW and why, etc. - rather than hearing which one shoots a hair tighter group on any given Sunday with one particular load for one particular shooter.

Agreed.

I'm an accuracy nut, and look forward to an accuracy report, but there's more to a revolver than accuracy alone. For instance, which is easier and/or faster to get effective hits with? El Prez (http://www.shootingillustrated.com/429/el-presidente/)would be an excellent drill for this, as it tests the draw & first shot on target, trigger & transition speed, and reloads. The differences in the DA trigger pull and cylinder release latch, if they are functionally different, may show up under these conditions. Use a par timer so you can see individual split times. And don't forget to include raw times and "points down", too. If one allows you to be faster, but less accurate, that'd be important information to know.

ms6852
April 24, 2011, 03:00 PM
I'd be more interested in hearing your personal impressions as to the feel of the gun regarding trigger, cylinder release, extractor, what's better: CCW or CW and why, etc. - rather than hearing which one shoots a hair tighter group on any given Sunday with one particular load for one particular shooter.
I would like to accommodate your request but I will be shooting at a public range and I do not believe the safety commandos will allow me to do some rapid firing. I can tell you that the colt feels a little lighter than my 686 and that the handles are almost have an identical feeling.

My 686 is the old model, almost 30 years old and the action is very smooth but not as smooth as it should be. This is my fault since I mainly carry a 1911 and my 686 was a back up home defense gun. The 686 has less than 500 rounds through it. The action on the colt is clearly smoother and lighter and the trigger pull is approximately one pound to one and a half pounds lighter and it seems like a much shorter pull too.

I find that the sight on my 686 are much easier to line up to target than those of the python, but while doing dry firing exercises the colt seems to keep point of aim better than the 686. This could be due to the smoother action of the python and the few ounces that makes it lighter than my 686. The lightness of the gun could be a disadvantage eventually in the range when recoil comes into play and the 686 may absorb it better than the python since it is heavier, we shall see.

Ruger Redhawk
April 24, 2011, 03:56 PM
I worked for a gun shop about 30 years ago. We were a Colt Distr. I saw a few brand new Pythons out of time from the factory. I got a great deal on one. The guy had just bought it. He put 6 357's and 50 38 spls through it.I bought it from him and a couple days later I traded it for a Sako rifle. The Pythons are a beautiful gun but they do have their timing problems.

GLOOB
April 24, 2011, 04:23 PM
Hmm. Don't be afraid to get too nerdy with the details. For example, this is what I would have say between my 686-1 and Ruger GP100:

DA trigger pull: both about equal in length, smoothness, and weight. The biggest difference is the Smith has a tiny hitch right before it breaks, whereas the Ruger breaks clean without any notice. I don't prefer one over the other. Both good. I notice the Smith's cylinder locks very early in the pull, whereas the Ruger cylinder locks up almost at the end of the pull. This would be a good indicator of when the trigger is about to break on the GP, except it doesn't occur at the same point, pull-to-pull, even on the same chamber.

Trigger Reset: Smith has this all over the Ruger. The Smith reset is much more positive. Even after dryfiring the Ruger thousands of times, I can still accidentally short-stroke the Ruger when trying to fire very rapidly. (No surprise to me that Jerry Miiculek used a modified 686 to set his world records.)

Single Action Trigger: Smith wins by a mile. Smith has no pre-travel and no effective post-travel. Ruger has a little bit of creep and a little bit of post-travel.

Thumbing the hammer: The Smith is smoother. But it's also seen a lot more rounds. Too early to tell. The GP might smooth out over time.

Cylinder latch: The nod goes to Ruger. The Smith works fine and it just as fast. The GP is just a little eaiser to do. And the checkering on the Smith will chew up my thumb if I hold the gun wrong. I can easily open either gun with just my left hand, while cradling the cylinder. I am curious if the Colt could be operated with left hand, only?

Lockup: Smith wins here. The Smith has a little bit of rotational play in lockup in the CW direction, but it moves back to the same position after you let go. It has very little side-side play. The Ruger has more play rotational play, and it stays where you leave it. I was surprised to find it has just as much or more side-side play, too, despite the double lockup.

Ejection rod: My Smith ejects smoother, but the stupid rod turns out every time I shoot it. I guess I need to buy some locktite.

Aesthetics: I like 'em both, but to me the Ruger wins with the thicker recoil shield and top strap, as well as the shape of the hammer and shroud. The Smith looks more like a snake that swallowed a cow.

Other: My Smith has a restriction just past the forcing cone which is very noticeable with a new bore brush. My Ruger does not.

golden
April 24, 2011, 04:39 PM
I think they are both great guns, but if I had to buy one, it would be the 686.

I can get a larger variety of accesories. If you do not think this is important, try to find a nice, compact set of rubber grips for a COLT DETECTIVE SPECIAL.

Also, I can get a 7 shot 686. I used to carry a 681 (the fixed sight version of the 686) and getting that 7th round not only increases your magazine capacity, it also lightens an already too heavy gun. Wear one for 10 or 12 hours and you may agree with me.

For the cost difference, I can get a 686 MAGNA PORTED and have a TRIGGER TUNING by MAGNA PORT.
I came across a used 6 inch 586, about 7 years ago. I was not interested in another revolver, but when I saw the ports, I got curios. So I tried the action and discovered a near perfect TRIGGER SLICK. The action is a smooth as glass.

If I could discover an old PYTHON with a trigger as smooth, then it might be a different matter. There is not doubt in my mind that the PYTHON was one of the prettiest revolvers ever made.

Money is another thing. PYTHON'S in my area start for @$1100 to $1200 for an adverage piece. A really mint will cost you $2000.


Oh, for a comparison, I would try a few drills plus a side by side qualification drill. Do the drill with WADCUTTERS, then 158 grain +P lswhp and finally with the 125 grain jhp loads. You would have 3 different recoil levels to see what sets them apart.

Jim

4v50 Gary
April 24, 2011, 04:45 PM
[B]rand new Pythons out of time from the factory. I got a great deal on one. The guy had just bought it. He put 6 357's and 50 38 spls through it.I bought it from him and a couple days later I traded it for a Sako rifle. The Pythons are a beautiful gun but they do have their timing problems.

Not at all surprising and you're right Ruger Redhawk. As the older gun assemblers died off, there were fewer employees at Colt who could assemble and time the older D, E or I frame action. Many of us "kids" remember how in the late '70s the quality was slipping. First it was the finish (like the face of the cylinder) which wasn't so high polish and then other less noticeable parts weren't as well polished. The timing became an issue in the late '70s and '80s as the old timers retired. Newer Pythons of the '80s were rarely of the quality and fit as the older ones. Colt developed the Trooper MK III action to simplify the lockwork and to simplify things for its less skilled workforce. Recall that the older Troopers had a Python type lockwork and but for the finish and a slight difference in the frame (it was stepped down where the frame met the muzzle), could if rebarrelled pass itself off as a Python.

My teacher, Rob Dunlap, used to refer to the newer lockwork as something blind high school drop outs on drugs could work on.

Guillermo
April 24, 2011, 04:55 PM
I have both living at my house.

My current wife has a 3inch 686 (the 7 shot) that is a nice enough gun.

She works from home and is not incredibly security minded so I picked up a 4 inch 686 police trade in to live on her desk. (she would hate to have a burglar get her 3inch but would not cry if the old Victoria Police revolver were lost)

I also have a 4 inch LN Python. While I have never put them in a Ransom Rest to see, I can tell you that the Python is easier to shoot accurately.

As to the Python's timing issues there is a lot of garbage floating around the net. Some folks that have never seen a Python claim to have knowledge on the subject.

Be careful as to who you listen to.

Grant Cunningham explains it
http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/colt_python_delicate.html

ColtPythonElite
April 24, 2011, 06:36 PM
Congrats on your new gun. Shoot it and enjoy it. Don't be afraid of all the "timing issues" scary stories. Sure, they can go out of time. Sure, good gunsmiths are hard to find these days. However, Colt still works on them every day and at a reasonable rate....That is if you ever have trouble. Python's have been around for over half a century. Colt wouldn't have made them as long as they did and been able to sell them at a premium price if they were as troublesome as some folks will lead you to believe.

I have two shooter Pythons that see rounds by the bag full. FWIW, they are pretty darn old models, too. Both still shoot like a lazer. I'm not gonna let them sitting around collecting dust worrying about a lot of what ifs.

FWIW, I wouldn't trade either one of these old girls for a brand new in the box 686 of whatever vintage S&W guys find most desireable...No offense S&W guys.

Guillermo
April 24, 2011, 06:43 PM
Colt wouldn't have made them as long as they did and been able to sell them at a premium price if they were as troublesome as some folks will lead you to believe

truer words were never spoken

GRIZ22
April 24, 2011, 07:05 PM
I doubt there will be much difference. Possibly show up off a Ransom rest.

Using a Ransom Rest is teh only way you can prevent experimenter's bias in accuracy testing.

Ruger Redhawk
April 25, 2011, 02:30 PM
Not at all surprising and you're right Ruger Redhawk. As the older gun assemblers died off, there were fewer employees at Colt who could assemble and time the older D, E or I frame action. Many of us "kids" remember how in the late '70s the quality was slipping. First it was the finish (like the face of the cylinder) which wasn't so high polish and then other less noticeable parts weren't as well polished. The timing became an issue in the late '70s and '80s as the old timers retired. Newer Pythons of the '80s were rarely of the quality and fit as the older ones. Colt developed the Trooper MK III action to simplify the lockwork and to simplify things for its less skilled workforce. Recall that the older Troopers had a Python type lockwork and but for the finish and a slight difference in the frame (it was stepped down where the frame met the muzzle), could if rebarrelled pass itself off as a Python.

My teacher, Rob Dunlap, used to refer to the newer lockwork as something blind high school drop outs on drugs could work on.
Yeah it's sad the way all the old Craftmen have long since gone. I used to be a S&W fan back in the mid to late 70's. Little by little you could see a change in their quality.

I wouldn't mind finding a old Python but not for what they are asking for them today. I have a few older Colts. I have a NIB unfired 6" Diamondback in 22 LR and NIB Unfired Trooper in 22mag. Then I have a couple of the older Detective Spls. One is unfired NIB and the other looks to be unfired with the non shouded ejector rod in 32 New Police.

357 Terms
April 25, 2011, 03:24 PM
OP ? are you dry-firing that Colt with snap caps? if not Stop!

MachIVshooter
April 25, 2011, 08:32 PM
I doub't you'll notice much difference beyond what is personal preference. Both have their subtle strengths and weaknesses, but both are top shelf revolvers. I personally prefer the S&W's slightly smoother action (that does depend on vintage) and more intuitive forward cylinder release.

Lucky Derby
April 26, 2011, 12:28 PM
The Combat Masterpeice is a .38 (M15/67) or a .22 (M18). The Combat Magnum (M19/66) evolved from the Combat Masterpiece. These are all K frames.

The Distinguished Service Magnum (M586/686) is different frame (L) and along with the Service Magnum (M581/681) were the first to use this frame.

As to the original post, congrats. That's one awesome brother you have.
I would guess in a shootoff, the Colt would have a slight advantage, assuming both guns are stock of course.

788Ham
April 27, 2011, 12:54 AM
Guillermo,

Thanks for posting the web site on Grant Cunningham, VERY informative. Appreciate the info served up on THR, you're alright!

riflenut
April 27, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have owned both ,and love both colt & smiths, but to this day the Colt Python is the KING of 357 Revolvers!!! great balance, feels good in hand,very accurate,know one touches its smooth action and its just plain pretty.

riflenut
April 27, 2011, 01:49 AM
hey also read on these post about timing issues with the Colt Pythons,I bought a 6" blue python new in 1979 ,and to this day never had any timing issues with it. My Colt is the only revolver out of many i have owned that you could rapid fire all 6 and hold true to target down range.

Guillermo
April 27, 2011, 08:21 AM
the web site on Grant Cunningham, VERY informative

Grant is a very talented "smith" and is unquestionably a Colt expert. He also writes in a clear, concise way. Good stuff. Glad you enjoy.

Canazes9
April 27, 2011, 09:10 PM
I have both living at my house.

My current wife has a 3inch 686 (the 7 shot) that is a nice enough gun.

She works from home and is not incredibly security minded so I picked up a 4 inch 686 police trade in to live on her desk. (she would hate to have a burglar get her 3inch but would not cry if the old Victoria Police revolver were lost)

I also have a 4 inch LN Python. While I have never put them in a Ransom Rest to see, I can tell you that the Python is easier to shoot accurately.

As to the Python's timing issues there is a lot of garbage floating around the net. Some folks that have never seen a Python claim to have knowledge on the subject.

Be careful as to who you listen to.

Grant Cunningham explains it
http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/colt_python_delicate.html

Let me see if I understand this correctly. According to GC, the Colts are NOT delicate compared to the Smiths, it's a problem with some Colt owners not understanding the following:

1) Colts have wearable parts (that don't wear in the Smith design) that must be replaced at regular intervals.

2) Colt actions will beat themselves completely out of time operating w/ 1/2 the slop that Smiths will operate day in and day out with.

3) Colt actions are "refined" and cannot be set up properly by gunsmiths that have not had in depth training in Colt's precision mechanism (unlike the S&W design).


Right........................

If you want to argue that your Colt has a better trigger, fits your hand better or provides a higher level of fit/finish, well, you may be right. But you Colt owners that want to believe your Colts aren't delicate and point to that blog entry as proof? He basically proves just the opposite with his blog entry - the Colts are not as robust, require regular maintenance that Smiths don't and are difficult to repair.

Somebody please explain what I've missed....

David

Guillermo
April 27, 2011, 11:38 PM
Grand Cunningham did not say that which you assert.

It seems that you are too much of a smith fanboy to have an open mind.

Enjoy your Smiths. Until the wheels fell off the bus in the late 1990's they produced some very good revolvers.

L-Frame
April 28, 2011, 12:11 AM
Well I just read your Grant Cunningham thread and that's exactly what he says. He states that regular maintenance of the python is necessary to keep it in good working order, unlike a Smith, and if there is any slop at all it will beat itself out of time if you continue to shoot it. In other words, it's a very tough gun as long as you replace the delicate parts regularly.

It's no shame to say that the Python has a more delicate lockwork than a S&W or Ruger. The fact is that it does. Even Grant says so.

Guillermo
April 28, 2011, 12:42 AM
it is very sad that reading comprehension is a thing of the past

L-Frame
April 28, 2011, 12:53 AM
I couldn't agree more.

Canazes9
April 28, 2011, 08:30 AM
Grand Cunningham did not say that which you assert.

It seems that you are too much of a smith fanboy to have an open mind.

Enjoy your Smiths. Until the wheels fell off the bus in the late 1990's they produced some very good revolvers.

Smith STILL produces some very good revolvers, I have some recent production models and they work well, as expected, right out of the box.

Conversely Colt produces what exactly?

There is nothing wrong with my reading comprehension. I conceded that there are some aspects of the python that may be superior.

I think that perhaps you may want to reflect inwardly and examine exactly who in this discussion is too much of a "fanboy to have an open mind".

David

bullseye717
May 6, 2011, 04:48 AM
Colt is just a name that people like to pat themselves on the back for believing they have a superior product. In truth, it's just another gun that some mythologize and gloss over their flaws. I know there are guns that are worth four digits and the Python is not of them.

Sevenfaces
May 6, 2011, 05:19 AM
Theres always going to be a differing opinion. I've shot a 7shot 686 4" and I own a 4" 1981 blue python, aswell as a 4" king cobra. I don't think you can compare the 686 to the python.

I think its fair to compare it to the King Cobra, and I've heard of the stories of the colt factory strikes and the gradual slip of quality as america became more about profit and less about quality as the 20th century wound down, that being said Ill take the KC over the 686 any day. I'd put my KC up against a GP100 as well. and I'd damn sure take the Python above any others.

I shoot my Python. it was a LEO's duty gun before being mine, it's seen years of use, it has flaws in its finish, and thus far it has never had a single issue.

and to the fellow arguing about S&Ws being more durable than Colts based on what someone on the internet said, someone else on the internet also said the King Cobra was the strongest double action revolver ever made, if I cared enough about how you feel regarding Colts I might google the quote and post it here, but I'm about as interested in changing your mind as I am about having teeth pulled. I'm fully aware of all the accusations about Colt's DA revolvers, and with the two I own, I can tell you there is no issue.

mrbro
May 6, 2011, 07:19 AM
...the Python is not of them.

I disagree.

Back in the day there was nothing from a factory as smooth as a Colt Custom Shop Python. Even the "standard" Python had a feel to it when new that others did not have. While the looks sold most of them, the Python with that 14" twist barrel and the underlug was very good at the .38 wadcutter games in play at the time.

People bought Smiths when they needed a solid working tool to use every day. If Smith had a Performance Center 686 40 years ago there would be a lot less Pythons in the world, but I do not recall them offering any factory tuning to the general public as an option and the L frame didn't exist at all. True or not, the impression at the time was, for .357s, the N frames were too heavy and the K frames weren't durable enough.

Given what $1000 buys new these days, I think a nice Python is still a good buy on the used market. The only problem I see is the loss of gunsmith knowledge necessary to renew one thats buggered up.

Usmc-1
May 6, 2011, 08:37 AM
@ Guillermo , then again , Taurus has been around a long time producing the same garbage year after year! Im not saying all of there guns are junk , it just seems there more complaints about there firearms than any other manufacturer !

Since this Python was a gift , enjoy it , its really hard to compare two great weapons, because unfortunately your gonna have fan boys of both , I usually look at the reviews that the guys who have both, talk about!

Guillermo
May 6, 2011, 10:25 AM
it just seems there more complaints about there firearms than any other manufacturer

not sure that such is real scientific.

in my experience, Smith's revolvers are hit and miss...as are Taurus'.

That seems to be backed up on this board.

My point was that I don't think that Smith is producing, these days, decent revolvers. I opine that they are trash. In my experience with a Taurus Tracker and a ul snubby Taurus is producing better revolvers than Smith. Even if they were equal, the price factor goes to the Brazilian.

The last 3 new Smith revolvers that I shot had factory defects. (2 related to the barrel, one had a crane so poorly fitted it would almost cut your finger)

Add the lock which may be the most idiotic design ever conceived since the nuclear rifle (that would not shoot past its blast zone.) Seriously, what kind of a moron would design the movement of the lock to work on the same, the OPPOSITE, axis to the recoil of the weapon? That a company is willing to continue that speaks volumes.

I am NOT in the market for a new revolver. Old Smiths and Colts are what I want. But if I were I would look to Ruger and Taurus.

psyshack
May 6, 2011, 08:15 PM
Lock and blast zone???? I find myself lost over that one.

If I was pushed in a corner over a revolver. DW hands down. As a past colt, ruger, dw and current new production smith owner. I can't fault the smith. Yeah the lock sucks. But the over all design is solid, mim and all. The lock work is simple as can be and tunes up very well. Smith also puts out some great bores. And also have the best cylinder release system ever made.

There is a reason colt does not produce a revolver any more. :)

savit260
May 7, 2011, 01:09 AM
Smith also puts out some great bores

I agree. Their current S&W line up sure inspires boredom. ;)


And also have the best cylinder release system ever made.
You mean the one with the screw that constantly backs itself out?

There is a reason colt does not produce a revolver any more

Colt still makes revolvers, and sells every one they build.

Guillermo
May 7, 2011, 11:27 AM
Smith also puts out some great bores

Too bad they rarely point straight

oldbear
May 7, 2011, 03:53 PM
As others have suggested both are very well built revolvers, but the Python was a semi-custom produced handgun and the 686 is a mass produced handgun. So all other things being even I believe that Python should win any reasonable comparison. Now if you want an apples to apples comparison test the Python Vs. the S&W M-27.

Guillermo
May 8, 2011, 10:04 AM
Old Bear summed it up

L-Frame
May 8, 2011, 05:10 PM
No matter what it still comes down to personal preference. I've owned 2 pythons in my life, both with very nice action jobs, and many S&W's. I currently own a 686-5 tuned by S&W and I've always liked a good tuned S&W over a Python action. And, concerning "winning any reasonable comparison" a Python may group 1/2 inch better at 25 yards than my 686, and considering that it will cost 2-3 times what my S&W costs, that's not much of a win in my book.

There is a reason people experimented with the Smython/Smolt revolver in the 60's. Smith action and Python barrel. The best of both worlds, in my opinion.

Fishslayer
May 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
The 686 is better OF COURSE 'cuz it has the Hillary Hole - right?


Ummm.... not on mine there isn't. ;)

Sandy50
May 9, 2011, 06:47 PM
It has been my pleasure to own and shoot both. My Colt Python is Royal Blue....magnificent, incredibly accurate, and the action is glass smooth. The S&W 686 has a super tuned action from the S&W Performance Center. While the Python is far more pleasing to the eye, the S&W 686 super tuned action may well allowed it to be smoother than the Python, and that's quite an accomplishment. So the bottom line may well be a function of how much you can invest. The Pythons will set you back up to $2,000, while the S&W 686 can be had for around $800.

I also own a Diamondback and Cobra. The Cobra is truly a classic CCW, while the Diamondback will allow you to shoot +P rounds. The Diamondback is a joy the shoot. The Cobra will pound you more because of it's light weight, around 16 oz.

Hope my humble observation help!

MtnSpur
May 9, 2011, 06:50 PM
As a wise man once told me: "Bring the right tool for the job but it also needs to be in the right hands, don't hand a plumber a hammer and don't hand a carpenter a wrench".

No matter if you shoot a Smith, Colt, or Ruger it's the craftperson behind the tool that makes it work.

gil moreno
September 29, 2011, 09:37 PM
I agree with you. I had a similar experience with a K frame model 19 purchased new in 1964. I fired nothing but full house .357 mag shells in it. After shooting only 200 rounds the gun got so hot the cylinder would bind. I sold it on the spot. The N frame is the most rugged and the 686 is a very good compromise. I have a model 66 (SS K frame) that I bought in 1995 but only shoot 125gr bullets at 925fps. Actually that's all I shoot through my 686-6 plus.

MachIVshooter
September 29, 2011, 10:20 PM
I agree with you. I had a similar experience with a K frame model 19 purchased new in 1964. I fired nothing but full house .357 mag shells in it. After shooting only 200 rounds the gun got so hot the cylinder would bind.

You sure it wasn't just lead and carbon build-up on the cylinder face/forcing cone? A '64 K-frame was a hand-fitted, P&R gun with tight tolerances.

I had a P&R 19-4, didn't shoot it all that much before trading it for a 1966 Dodge Pick-up, but it ran fine with mag loads. My M65 has also seen plenty with no ill effects, as has my sister's 65LS.

With a 686 and 586 on hand, I don't typically punish myself with hot loads in the small, light K-frame these days when I have larger framed guns that make it more comfortable. But I also don't hesitate to load K's with such ammo if I want to carry something lighter & slimmer.

The N frame is the most rugged and the 686 is a very good compromise

The L-frame is no compromise; The very heavy cylinder of the N-frame in .357 causes them to batter the stops with rapid DA firing. The L-frame was designed to handle any .357 load without being unnecessarily large and heavy, a task that it excels at. The L is a very robust firearm.

As to the original topic, old as this thread is, I'll offer my take:

The 686/586 are known as the "poor man's Python" or "working man's Python" for a reason. I like Colts just fine, but when I can buy a nice pre-lock L-frame for 1/3 the price that shoots just as well and is a simpler, more robust firearm (albeit not quite as pretty), it's simple math. In point of fact, given the choice between the two and not incorporating price, I'd still take the L frame.

I also have never cared for Colt's backward cylinder release. It's just counter-intuitive.

However, owning 2 L's already, if I saw a Python and a 586 in the case for similar money, I'd grab the Python. That won't happen, of course, but just sayin'.....

roaddog28
September 29, 2011, 11:11 PM
Interesting thread but its like comparing Apples versus Oranges. The Colt Python was made in the time where there was more attention to detail and craftsmanship. Same with older S&W revolvers like the 27, M&P 38 special, K38 masterpiece the old outdoormans. The S&W 686 is a modern production revolver. Same as the GP100. Alot of the craftsmanship was lost by the 1980s. I give the edge to the Python but if the revolver needs work, good luck finding a gunsmith than can actually work on this fine revolver.
Regards,
Howard

788Ham
September 30, 2011, 12:24 AM
Then you'd best go back and read what ColtPythonElite wrote about sending them back to the Colt factory to have them worked on. They still work on them, they're just not produced anymore. You wouldn't take a Rolex to K-Mart to have it checked out would you? Well...........

TwoWheelFiend
September 30, 2011, 07:32 AM
At one point i had a Python and a 586. I ended up selling the Python...... The 586 shot better and was smoother. Maybe i had a lemon Python :)

roaddog28
September 30, 2011, 09:17 AM
Then you'd best go back and read what ColtPythonElite wrote about sending them back to the Colt factory to have them worked on. They still work on them, they're just not produced anymore. You wouldn't take a Rolex to K-Mart to have it checked out would you? Well...........

Did not know that Colt still worked on them. I don't own but I think they are at the top as far as a 357 magnum. But I wonder how good Colt is nowadays fixing them. A lot of the oldtimers are gone now just like Smith and Wesson. The repair department at S&W is to me not as good as it once was fixing revolvers. If Colt can really fix the Python thats great.
Regards,
Howard

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