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View Poll Results: Which is a better 357 magnum revolver?
Colt Python 86 23.69%
SW 686 136 37.47%
Ruger GP100 89 24.52%
Tough call. They are at par with each other. 52 14.33%
Voters: 363. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 7, 2013, 06:08 AM   #51
BrainOnSigs
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I own several S&W Model 27s and several Colt Pythons. My true "shooter" Python is a 4" I picked up at a gun show for a decent price maybe 15 years ago. The lock up was tight but the nickle finish had seen better days. I ended up sending the gun to Bob Coogan (Accurate Plating and Weaponry). I had them disassemble the gun and hard chrome everything including the internals. I added a set of Nill grips. I have put a couple 1,000 rounds of full power 158gr ammo thru it. It just keeps on ticking. Very accurate. Low maintenance. It ended up being the shooter I hoped for.

Just an interesting side note for those that may not know. A Colt cylinder rotates clockwise (into the frame...from the shooters perspective) and the rifling rotates counter-clockwise. On a Smith, the cylinder rotates counter-clockwise, and the rifling rotates clockwise. On a Colt Python, when you pull the trigger, the cylinder locks up steady as a rock, with no "play" in it at all.



.357 Mag perfection?

Last edited by BrainOnSigs; February 7, 2013 at 06:13 AM.
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Old February 7, 2013, 01:31 PM   #52
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I have a 4" Stainless Colt Python that I bought NIB in '91 and two stainless Ruger GP100s including 3" and 4.2" models. I would keep the Python if I had to choose ... no question. But I agree that Ruger has a better cylinder release. I only have one S&W and that's a 629 with a 4" barrel. It's a good revolver but not in the same class as the Python.
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Old February 7, 2013, 02:21 PM   #53
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I have all the ones you mentioned and quite a few others. My favorite is the older S&W model 27. Of the ones you mentioned , I like the Python the best.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:03 PM   #54
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:D You need to have TWO... :D

To do it right you NEED to have two....

1. Colt Python-Hands down the most refined .357 Magnum ever made.
In MY opinion these are better to look at, and let them sit in the safe and increase in value..

2. Ruger GP-100-For ME-Hands down the most "Shoot-able" .357 Magnum around-and for frame size, probably the strongest. I have four of these, in different models, have done action work on them, and shoot the snot out of them...Bill.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:36 PM   #55
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I love the 686+. The others are great also but for defense, another round won't hurt. 3" 686+ is one hell of a woods, SD gun.
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Old February 7, 2013, 08:09 PM   #56
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One of you needs to buy the Smython for sale on Gunbroker. Apparently some gunsmiths back then couldn't agree on which was better either, so they would mate a Colt Python barrel to a Smith frame, a Smython. Willie_TA has it for sale. Not cheap either. No relation but I have done business with him, good guy.

Oops, my bad, it was sold at the end of January. OK fess up, who bought it??
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Last edited by lgcal20ga; February 7, 2013 at 09:33 PM. Reason: correction
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Old February 7, 2013, 09:21 PM   #57
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As others have said, it's a really terrible question. Better for what purpose?
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Old February 7, 2013, 10:01 PM   #58
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Best What?

In a beauty contest the Python is the best.
In a ruggedness contest the Ruger is the best.
In a capacity contest the S&W is the best.
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Old February 8, 2013, 03:47 PM   #59
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Best all round.
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Old February 8, 2013, 04:21 PM   #60
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Buy the 3-pack.
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Old February 8, 2013, 04:48 PM   #61
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Better for looking at? Python

For daydreaming about? Python

For hunting? Python

For accuracy? Python

For action shooting? S&W

For a tackle box? GP 100

For concealed carry? S&W

For duty use? S&W

For mounting an optic? Ruger

For durability? S&W

As a basis for custom work? S&W

For resale value? Python

Best bang for the buck? S&W

Not all inclusive but definately giving the win to the Colt Python. I have owned all three, and carry a S&W mod 10 on most occassions but for a refined shooter its hard to beat a Snake gun.
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Old February 8, 2013, 05:16 PM   #62
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Quote:
For mounting an optic? Ruger
How do you figure that?


Quote:
As a basis for custom work? S&W
You can do virtually anything to the Ruger but I know of no gunsmiths doing custom five-shot conversions or installing custom barrels on S&W's (that are not PPC style guns).
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Old February 8, 2013, 06:00 PM   #63
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My 6" GP100 must be a rare exception or something, because it's as accurate as can be expected of a weapon of this type, the trigger is simply outstanding and has been remarked on by everyone that's fired it,and it locks up almost completely tight, any tighter and you'd think it WAS a python.
It's only failing is that it isn't as graceful and pretty looking as a Python or 686, but I don't think superficial appearances should have any consideration or standing at all in a discussion/poll like this.
Unless someone is a serious collector (which obviously changes the criteria), a gun is merely a tool, and the GP100 will perform it's job just as long and just as well as either of the other two......and do it for less money .
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:37 PM   #64
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The Ruger GP100 is actually very easy to mount optics on, especially if you use the Weigand rail which attaches by just removing the stock sights and using those mounting holes. No drilling or tapping required. Also very accurate. Over a sandbag rest at 50 yards I can put 6 shots in just under an inch and a half. I regularly shoot all 3 of my GP100's at up to 150 yards on 8" and 16 " steel targets.

While they may not have the best trigger right out of the box, I think they have as good a trigger as any revolvers currently made. It is also very easy to do a trigger/action job on them. It took me about an hour per revolver and they all have very nice smooth and light triggers now.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_2052sm.jpg (228.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:53 PM   #65
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Never fired a Colt Python. I'd choose my 686+ over a GP100 just because it balances better in my hand.

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Old February 8, 2013, 09:42 PM   #66
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Colts are pretty except for the ventilated rib, (my opinion) shotguns and vented ribs yes revolvers no.
I've had all three and the S&W or Ruger work better for me.
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Old February 9, 2013, 02:35 AM   #67
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I've only fired two of the above mentioned revolvers, the 686 and the Python, thats why the Python is the keeper! Having only paid $325 NIB for the 6" beauty, its here to stay. I do own an accurate Smith, a model 15-4 4" in .38 Spl., it still won't out shoot the Python, but its the most accurate Smith I've ever owned. The trigger on the Snake is amazing, the 15 is close, but no cigar.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:05 AM   #68
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colt

I have a colt python and love it!!! Nickel plated , trigger done and hammer work.

It shoots awesome, i don't let just anybody shoot it and i don't put hot loads though it.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:50 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by doc2rn View Post
For durability? S&W
I think the GP100 might actually take the S&W in the durability category.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:20 AM   #70
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Pythons always had a reputation for being nicely finished and hand fitted, but much of that hand fitting was needed because Colt's tooling wasn't really up to snuff even before the advent of CNC machining centers. The exception was the barrel, which contributed to the Python's well deserved reputation for fine out-of-the-box accuracy. Where the Python fall short is in the lockwork - though smooth, the trigger stacks, and under hard use, has a reputation for falling out of time. For this reason, very, very few PPC revolver shooters - guys who'd spend ANY amount of money to gain an edge - shot Pythons.

Ruger revolvers might easily be Russian weapons - big, heavy, unrefined, and solid. Strong and durable, they epitomize the "revolver is a tool" point of view. It's about as hard to get excited over a GP100 as it is over a hammer or screwdriver.

S&W's L-frame revolvers clearly borrow the Python's looks and "weight-forward" under rib, but they have lockwork that doesn't stack and is easier to smooth up. Out of the box a Python may well have a slicker trigger, but with a little work, the S&W becomes the hands-down choice of the pros. The caveat is that S&W quality has had its ups and downs over the years, and today's product with MIM parts and The Lock isn't what it could or should be. But it's still a better choice than a current production Python. (Which doesn't exist at all.)

In days of yore, there was a hybrid made by several 'smiths called the Smython - or sometimes the Smolt. This consisted of an S&W revolver to which a Colt Python barrel had been added to enhance accuracy. Considering the cost of such a conversion, it's illuminating to note that while Colt barrels were highly accurate, S&W mechanics were preferred over the Colt.

Also note that even before he was sponsored by S&W, Jerry Miculek did NOT choose a Python as his competition platform, and has no serious competition using anything but S&W revolvers.

So it's S&W for the win.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:07 PM   #71
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Quote:
...it's as accurate as can be expected...
How accurate is it? I hear folks say their gun is accurate all the time but it's rarely quantified.
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Old February 10, 2013, 09:13 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
How accurate is it? I hear folks say their gun is accurate all the time but it's rarely quantified.
Mine is more accurate that I am
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:46 AM   #73
CraigC
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Quote:
Mine is more accurate that I am
Until people learn how to shoot as well as a machine rest that will be pretty much a given with any firearm and doesn't help much.


Useful and relevant information:
Quote:
Over a sandbag rest at 50 yards I can put 6 shots in just under an inch and a half.

Not so much:
Quote:
...it's as accurate as can be expected...
Quote:
Mine is more accurate that I am
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:09 PM   #74
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I don't have the Ruger though I do mourn the passing of the divine Security Six.

I voted 686 because it is very attractive, stainless steel, very tough and accurate. However NOTHING can compare with the Python. It is a beautiful and slick revolver and - IMHO - the epitome of of a fine revolver.
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:21 PM   #75
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Theres a reason they call them RUGER LOADS ONLY. I have a Blackhawk, 4 686's and a 65. The Blackhawk is better for hunting and target shooting. I can push the hottest loads around all day and the Ruger will take it. Do not try that in a 686, python, or any of the K-framed S&Ws.
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