Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which is a better 357 revolver: Python v SW 686 v Ruger GP100?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by el Godfather, Feb 5, 2013.

?

Which is a better 357 magnum revolver?

This poll will close on Jan 14, 2021 at 2:05 AM.
  1. Colt Python

    87 vote(s)
    23.5%
  2. SW 686

    141 vote(s)
    38.1%
  3. Ruger GP100

    90 vote(s)
    24.3%
  4. Tough call. They are at par with each other.

    52 vote(s)
    14.1%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    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.

    20050204-84051089.jpg

    .357 Mag perfection?
    20050204-84051106.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  2. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    NW Montana
    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.
     
  3. snooperman

    snooperman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    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.
     
  4. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,016
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    :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.
     
  5. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    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.
     
  6. lgcal20ga

    lgcal20ga Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    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??
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,146
    Location:
    CT
    As others have said, it's a really terrible question. Better for what purpose?
     
  8. Smith357

    Smith357 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,024
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    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.
     
  9. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,686
    Best all round.
     
  10. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    888
    Buy the 3-pack.
     
  11. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    3,495
    Location:
    SW Florida
    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.
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,015
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    How do you figure that?


    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).
     
  13. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,110
    Location:
    Georgia,C.S.A.
    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 ;).
     
  14. robowo

    robowo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Browns Summit, NC
    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 Files:

  15. bsms

    bsms Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Southern Arizona
    Never fired a Colt Python. I'd choose my 686+ over a GP100 just because it balances better in my hand.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,681
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area
    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.
     
  17. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,206
    Location:
    Hills west of Denver
    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.
     
  18. 03fatboy
    • Contributing Member

    03fatboy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Grand Island Nebraska
    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.
     
  19. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    888
    I think the GP100 might actually take the S&W in the durability category.
     
  20. HankB

    HankB Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,230
    Location:
    Central Texas
    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.
     
  21. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,015
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    How accurate is it? I hear folks say their gun is accurate all the time but it's rarely quantified.
     
  22. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    971
    Location:
    MO
    Mine is more accurate that I am
     
  23. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,015
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    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:

    Not so much:
     
  24. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Virginia
    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.
     
  25. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    MN
    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.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page