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Will I have problems with a Python?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by westernrover, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I'm interested in Colt Python, but I want to know how much trouble I should expect. I'm looking for a revolver to shoot, not a collector. I've always admired the Python. I shot one back in the 90's and every time I've handled one I was impressed. But when I went to buy a revolver last year, I was turned off by collector prices. I bought S&W, again and again and had nothing but trouble -- very bad quality and appalling reliability. I did learn that I like large double-action revolvers with a 5 or 6" barrel. So now I'm thinking maybe I need to spend for a Python.

    I'm afraid I'll pay $3000 for a Python and then immediately need to spend more to fix it. I'm afraid if I spend $4000 for a Python, I'll shoot a couple thousand rounds and then be looking for a gunsmith that can work on it. I shot 4000 rounds through revolvers last year and I would have doubled that if the guns weren't always going back to S&W.

    What will happen to a Python if I shoot 10000 rounds through it? Is it going to go out of time? Can I just replace the hand or does this require a good gunsmith? In the next 5 years, I'll shoot 40 or 50 thousand rounds. Should I do it with a Python or should I leave them for the collectors?
     
  2. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I can’t weigh in on the Python but if you try a single action pistol like a Blackhawk you might find you like it and you can get a really nice modified one easily at 1/4 and less the cost of $4000.
    I’m not saying the Blackhawk is a nicer pistol than the Python, just a whole lot cheaper and a really nice pistol.
     
  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Trouble is not many people know how to work on them properly anymore.

    No reason not to shoot it. But for volume use choose Ruger IMO. Mine spits lead but I don't know whom to send it to and I'm not sure I want to let it out if my hands.
     
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  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Blackhawk will not sate a desire for Python.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    In your place, I would get a sound older Smith.
    My Outdoorsman lacks nothing in quality.
    There are many more gunsmiths who know their way around the Smith, if needed.

    If you just want to spend more money, Nighthawk will sell you a current Korth in the upper middle Python range.
    https://www.nighthawkcustom.com/revolvers-20/mongoose-357

    I found a source for a new Manurhin MR73 for just a little less.
    https://www.gunsinternational.com/g...8-5-1-4----6----in-stock.cfm?gun_id=101142742

    Oh, by the way, I own Pythons, shot regularly in PPC, IPSC, and IDPA competition.
    They are neither as delicate as you read... or as wonderful.
    These days, if a revolver is wanted, I pick up Smith rather than Colt.

    But 1K is right, no SA will do what a good DA will.
    I've been there, too.
     
  6. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Pythons are nice guns, but even if cost were the same, I'd take an L or N frame Smith every time. If you want a really sweet shooter, grab a model 27 or it's less flashy and cheaper counterpart, the model 28. If those are a bit large for your liking, an older 586 or 686 will do nicely. I have a 586-4, a 686 no dash and a 28-2. They're not going anywhere.
     
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  7. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    S&W failed me 4 times in a row now. My new 686+ is misfiring with increasing frequency and it spits. It hit me in the thumb twice (and no I didn't have it over the gap) and it hit my ear. I was a fool to buy another Smith after they had already struck out with the previous three.
     
  8. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Why not buy a nice Ruger GP100 and be done with it?
     
  9. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Were they new Smith's (after 2002) or old Smith's (before 2002)?
     
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  10. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I have had more than one Python shooter and have never had trouble.

    I like Pythons, but first I wouldn't pay 3 grand for one to shoot and second wouldn't buy one to put 50k rounds through in a relatively short period of time. There are better options for one reason or another...For that kinda shooting, I would look for a King Cobra if I just had to have a Colt. If it didn't have to be a Colt, I would get a 686. My 686 shooters have been used a lot and abused according to some peoples standards. Never had an issue with either new or old.
     
  11. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

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    I’d send my S&W in to the performance center if it was spitting lead at me. Pretty good indicator that it’s outta timing. All revolvers will eventually need maintenance. Ruger is second to none at customer service. And yes they can take a lot of use because they are built for rugged use.
     
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Why didn't you send them in? S&W takes care of their customers.

    Personally, I'd have to see to believe 4 out of 4 S&W revolvers you owned were problematic. Any company can put out a lemon, but I currently own or have owned over two dozen S&W firearms, and the only one that ever had an issue was a used 5906 that had a broken firing pin as received. I hammered a model 65-3 with loads that internet wisdom says should wreck the timing of a K frame, and it still locked up tight and shot straight after years of that.

    If you just don't like S&W, that's your prerogative, but I'm not buying the justification unless you've been running compressed loads of Red Dot or Titewad or something else that would beat the hell out of any double action smaller than an N frame or Redhawk.
     
  13. coonbait

    coonbait Member

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    buy a S&W 586 or 686 and shoot the crap out of it, with the money you saved you can get a lot of ammo. if you must have a colt look for the older trooper or 357, a little different lock work but just as smooth and a lot cheaper. I have the python and the 586 and 686 and they all shoot nice,(the 686 gets shot the most) as stated if something goes wrong with the python good luck finding someone to fix it, they are out there but hard to find one to trust to fix it right. I have a few Rugers and like them also, but they just aren't as smooth as the smiths or colts without some work.
     
    Heir Kommt Die Sonne likes this.
  14. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Manurhin Model 73 is made in 5 inch and will stand up to your shooting.
    Cost is roughly what a Python would cost. Having owned three Pythons and competed with Smiths I have had the same issues with high round count issues. I'm able to work on my own toys and I still needed a back up 625 when it was the USPSA revolver of choice.
     
    Rio Laxas likes this.
  15. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    The Question:

    Will I have problems with a Python?

    The Answer:

     
  16. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    If you want a Colt and have the means to buy one - have at it. Don't be afraid to shoot it - it's a gun, that's what it is for.

    This -
    -is beyond my comprehension.
     
    George P likes this.
  17. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The "+" is your problem.

    Get a prelock 586 or 686, be happy forever.
     
  18. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Member

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    I would suggest finding a Colt "357" or the first version of the Colt Trooper. Both can be had for much less than a Python and have the same lockwork. I have two Colt "357" revolvers, a well worn 4" and a better condition 6", and one pristine Python that I inherited. I foolishly sold off an older Trooper and wish I still had it.

    I enjoy shooting the "357" more than the Python. High round counts will require the hand to be replaced at some point. Frank Glenn does excellent work on Colt revolvers. He worked on both of my "357" revolvers soon after I bought them.

    http://www.glenncustom.com/index.html

    The MR73 is an excellent, durable revolver and is by far my favorite .357. I have the 5-1/4" version currently being made by Chapuis and also a 4" older fixed sight police trade-in model. The MR73 uses S&W style lock work but was designed to hold up to very high round counts. I have heard that the older Korths are a little better in terms of fit and finish, but it's hard to top a Manurhin for sheer durability. The police trade in MR73s can be had for a reasonable amount of money. My 5-1/4" MR73 cost about the same as the going rate for a Python.

    Don't discount older S&Ws. I intentionally don't own any of the new ones, but my pre-war .44 Special revolvers are among my favorite handguns to shoot. If I were looking for a S&W .357 Mag, I would look closely at a Pre-27, 27-2, or 28-2. I have all three and they are great revolvers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
    2ndtimer, NIGHTLORD40K and Starter52 like this.
  19. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I can believe it. I had five straight Rugers go back. They replaced two of them because they couldn’t fix them. I’ve had awful luck with new guns bought after 2012.
     
  20. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Python lockwork parts are made of 4140 steel. They'll last a long time. When it needed fixing, it generally meant stretching it by peening.

    Go ahead and shoot it. Don't be like a relative of mine who kept sending it to idjit gunsmiths who didn't know what they were doing. Cylinder & Slide is about one of the few I would trust if I couldn't work on my own (as does a classmate of mine).
     
  21. George P

    George P Member

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    Pythons are not supported by Colt so repairs can be stupidly expensive; personally, Colts are vastly over rated and over priced
     
  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Get a S&w 586 or 686. I say this as a Python lover. Not the best gun for LOTS of shooting.

    It WILL go out of time.

    Yes.

    Python parts are not drop-in. And there are Dang few gunsmiths left that know how to work on them properly. No, I will not work on yours, and I don't own any anymore, so I probably will never work on another one. Thirty years ago, I could time a Python better than a Rolex, but skills perish if not practiced.

    Buy one if you must, but baby it. Take it out once a year and put a box or two through it. The 586/686 and the GP-100 are solid workhorses that you can shoot the # of rounds you are looking for.
     
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  23. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Had both a Python and a Trooper Mk V (aka "Peacekeeper"); neither ever showed signs of failing or of parts so flimsy as to wind up bent, or out of alignment or the like.

    And, they were everyday shooters, not safe queens.
     
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  24. hemiram

    hemiram Member

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    My 4" blued Python was pretty, but I did have to have the hand replaced. It's a fragile looking part and mine broke soon after I shot it the first time. The gun never really was like "WOW!" to me and when I got offered a decent profit on it, bye bye. Never had the desire for another one.
     
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Oh, I understand that. The reason I advise to baby it is qualified smiths for working on it are few and far between. I used to put compressed loads of Blue dot with 125 JHP's through my Trooper and Pythons; I did have to re-time (new hand) my 4" Python before I traded it for a Redhawk to hunt with.
     
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