Will I have problems with a Python?

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

  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    The Land that Time Forgot
    We all want what we want.

    But for the cost I’d pick up a S&W 686 or 627 variant, and ship it to a top gunsmith for work.

    You’ll have a great shooter and spend a lot less than you will on a Python.

    You could even go for a prelock gun.
    1MoreFord likes this.

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    NE FL
    I have never owned a Python. I was told by a number of gunsmiths back in the day that they easily go out of time with constant use of magnum ammo & you will play heck getting someone to work on one. Smiths have their problems too, but at least you have a factory that can fix them.

    JONWILL Member

    Apr 21, 2017
    I have owned a couple of Pythons and Diamondbacks
    They look nice but that is about it. My 8” Python suffered from light firing pin strikes. The solution was to replace the V-spring, which works the trigger and hammer.
    The One Revolver I really regret selling was my Smith and Wesson 27. Older model, Nickle finish
    Had the checkered top strap and target hammer and trigger
    That is what I would recommend you get.
  4. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    It seems to me that you really just want a Colt. Collectors secret: Colt made more than one .357 Magnum revolver, you know.
    The Colt Trooper MkIII, and I think the MkV. And a few others but the names of which have escaped me. The reason it's looked at as a 'secret' among Colt collectors is because they're every bit as good as the Python, but much cheaper because not as much people know about them. The reason the Python is so sought after is because it defined modern double action revolvers of the latter half of the 20th century, and the Royal Blue finish that's on them.
    Get a Colt Trooper MkIII. We'll say it one last time,
    Get a Colt Trooper .357
  5. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    And before you have 'doubts' about it, perhaps I should tell you concerning the history of the Trooper series:
    They were introduced in the 1950s to compete with the S&W model 57 (which we know you're not gonna get, even if it's pre-lock)
    It was a popular police issue gun, originally chambered for .38 Special. Believe me, even the .38 Special versions are great.
    In 1972, they released the MkIII variant, which was now in .357 Magnum and now the first revolver on the market that had a fully functional transfer bar.
    You can't go wrong with a popular police model gun.
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    G_d's Country, WI
    For what he wants, yes, and no. If he said I want to shoot 1000 rounds a year, the Trooper would be my first recommendation. The Trooper was a bit more robust that the Python, (I have owned and worked on both) but nowhere near even the 586/686, much less the GP-100. However, the reverse is true as far as classic beauty. If they were tanks, The Python is the Tiger, strong, classic, yet fragile. The 586/686 is the M60, good solid all-around tank. The Trooper is the T-72, sleek, yet not as sturdy as it's opposition. The S&W 19 is the Sherman; they made a million, but they had a weakness. (Frame stretching with lots of hot .357's) The S&W 27/28 are the T-34, solidly built, but klunky. The GP-100 is the M1A1 Abrams-Solid, takes the hits and keeps on coming, but not the prettiest thing out there. (Currently that would be the Leopard II.)
    2ndtimer and 1KPerDay like this.
  7. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

    May 5, 2016
    I had two Pythons.
    In retrospect I should have gotten a S&W M-28, but I've got to say Pythons are sure beautiful in that Colt Royal Blue!
    I imagine my situation would have been similar to having had a model ex-wife, LOL!
    entropy likes this.
  8. .38SuperMan

    .38SuperMan Member

    Jan 1, 2019
    I bought a new S&W 28-2 in the mid 70’s. A few years later found a new 6” blue Python that was just too pretty to pass up. I bought it and shot it for a number of years and then the prices got insane I sold it. I made about 6 times what I paid for it.

    I’d sold my brother the 28-2 and after selling the Python I bought my 28-2 back. No question the trigger on the Python was slick. I’m not sure in the real world it’s any better than my 28-2. It was just different. The Python is pretty but it always felt more fragile than the Smith. The Smith is a solid chunk of beautifully machined metal. It is a solid revolver that will handle hard constant use with full power loads and never choke.

    Although the trigger is different on the Smith it’s still smooth as glass and has a great DA/SA feel. After decades it’s still in time and is a joy to shoot. The Python might hold up but I’m less confident that it would.

    I agree S&W’s repair service is tops. I bought a very clean used 625-2 that turned out to be spitting lead. It appeared on close examination to be ok but shooting it proved otherwise.

    I contacted S&W and the sent a shipping label. They provided an estimate and I approved. It took a few weeks but when I received it back it functioned flawlessly. Smith replaced a couple of parts and addressed an issue I hadn’t seen. The cost including shipping was $160.

    I own 7 Smiths and other than the 625 which had a problem when I bought it I’ve ne er had to have one repaired in 45 years.

    I’d suggest a like new 28 or 27 and send it to Smith for a trigger job if you’re not happy with the way it feels. That N frame is strong and made to handle a lot of rounds.
    2ndtimer likes this.
  9. Matthew Clark

    Matthew Clark Member

    Sep 11, 2018
    Sedalia, Mo.
    I'll admit to what others have said that the GP100 isn't the prettiest revolver ever made. However, the OP cranks alot of rounds per year out of his hand cannons. At some point you have to decide if you want ooh and ahhs from your buddies when you unholster it or do you want the darn thing to fire when you pull the trigger. Smith's are tough but they will shoot loose faster than a Ruger. Argue away Smith owners but the truth will out. I shoot 180 gr cast bullets at Magnum velocities from a GP100 at very high rates per year and after 5 years she's as tight as she ever was and timing is perfect. Never owned a Python, never will. Too pricey for my use, but they are (pretty)!Good luck to the OP in your choosing.
  10. hollywood63

    hollywood63 Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    For the amount you shoot get a GP100 in a caliber you like and call it a day. If you shoot lead you'll need to have the throats opened up but that's alot easier then sending a whole gun in for repairs
    1KPerDay likes this.
  11. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

    Jan 7, 2018
    I've owned a Python that was purchased new in 1975 or 76. It has had at least 10k of not 20k rounds through it over the years. Probably 60% .38 and 40% .357 Mag. It has been carried on numerous hunting trips. Back in the 70's no one knew that they would appreciate in value like they did, so most of us carried and shot ours. Mine has been dropped in mud, been under 3 feet of muddy water for several hours. dropped on a concrete boat ramp and the finish got so rough that I had it bead blast blued. But it has never had one single misfire and timing is just as if left the factory. I am a Smith Fan down to the bone these days and it is my only Colt, but it has been a great one! I say if you want a Python, by all means get one. Don't settle for a Trooper or less gun if your heart is set. Would a L Frame S&W do the same thing at the range for a lot less money? Answer is yes but get what you want!!!
  12. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Oct 2, 2014
    If I wanted a 357 that would last next to forever with no problems, I would buy a Ruger Blackhawk. I bought mine used for $299 a few years ago. It had already been shot a lot, and I have shot it a lot more. It has been flawless. It is a simple and rugged machine. My kids will doubtless be shooting it long after I am gone.

    My FiL bought a brand-new Ruger GP100 two or three years ago. It has a surprisingly good trigger and he has been very pleased with it. He bought it because the frame cracked on his Dan Wesson. I doubt that the GP100 will give him any trouble. I think he paid less than $600 for it.

    Recently I bought a S&W Model 28. It is a big revolver that fits my XXL hands well. The trigger is extraordinary. I haven't owned it long enough to comment on its longevity, but it certainly looks and feels sturdy. IIIRC it is from the 1970's and looks to have been shot a fair amount. I spent some time haunting Gunbroker and only had to pay $450 for it.

    I honestly have never shot a Python. Maybe they are so good that my life would be totally transformed by one. But the three listed above are plenty good enough for me. I don't think I'm a good enough shooter to be more accurate with anything else.

  13. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    I have a 586 no dash with the factory “endurance kit” recall installed. It was my uncles since the 80s and now it’s mine. I have no issues with reliability or quality. Best part is the parts are common if you need one, which is important for high volume shooters.

    If you’re set on spending 3-4K, I think the python/anaconda/diamondback is high quality but overrated and worth 2k at most for the utility, but collectors value drives the price higher. If looking for a shooter at that price, might as well get a korth.
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I have had a Colt M357 for about 55 years. This is the same gun as the Python, without the cosmetics. I carried it in Viet Nam, and have shot many thousands of rounds of handloads through it, and it's as tight as ever,
    Rock185 and Rio Laxas like this.
  15. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

    Nov 4, 2018
    I bought my Python in 1972 or 73 (can't recall) as result of a one in a lifetime situation I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. I otherwise would have not been able to afford it. For many years it was my only center fire handgun. I shot alongside friends that owned Ruger Security Sixes (very good & affordable) & one that had a S&W Model 19. Not one of us ever had any trouble with our guns to this day.
    But I must add the following:
    1. We shot light 38 Special WC target loads most of the time. Very occasionally we would all put some money together & buy a box or two of 357 factory loads & each would shoot 10-20 rounds of the hot stuff. But only occasionally
    2. We shot single action 99% of the time. Double action was restricted because we could not afford wasting valuable ammo.
    3. We took meticulous care of our guns.
    These days my Python still looks like new & is semi-retired. Still shoots great, never been to a gunsmith & goes to the range two or three times a year to shoot a bullseye round or two.
    Like I said earlier I found mine during a freak incident but I could have never afforded it at retail prices even then.
    At today's prices I would buy a Python ONLY IF I had to have one, AND (VERY BIG IF) IF the price was not a problem to my finances. In my case I would not buy one & I would opt for more reasonably priced revolvers from other makers that are also great performers.
    As an alternate choice I suggest that you look at Dan Wesson revolvers. They are not cheap but are much lower priced than the Python. They have a great reputation for strength & accuracy as well as a beautiful blue finish that resembles the Python's. They also have interchangeable barrels which is a great feature. I know someone that shoots one & loves it.
    Good Luck!
  16. mushu

    mushu Member

    Feb 28, 2019
    i always wanted a python but love smiths and ruger's if i had 3000 bucks to blow i'd do it and find out if it was a good shooter myself, just saying
  17. km101

    km101 Member

    Oct 1, 2013
    Texas; The State Most Likely to Secede!
    Another vote for the 586/686 as a workhorse shooter. I have owned and shot pythons (late 70’s thru early 80’s), carried them as duty weapons and shot PPC and Bullseye competition with them. They did require regular tune-ups for timing and sometimes a spring replacement. This was during the time that Reeves Junkind was the armorer for Texas DPS in Austin so I knew who/where to send them.

    But these days the Pythons are ridiculously priced and trained gunsmiths are thin on the ground. My Pythons have been replaced by 686’s and 28’s that have given great service and have never met a gunsmith. Note: the newest of my 686’s is a -4, and my 28’s are a -2 & -4. I have little experience with the latest models.

    Unless you just have to have a Python there are some better options for the price out there. But if you have pony fever then go for it. In the final analysis it’s your money and your choice! Do what pleases YOU!
    Heir Kommt Die Sonne likes this.
  18. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

    May 13, 2018
    Qc took a nosedive during the democratic gun scare. Look at older all steel models. And pre-lock S&W if revolvers are your interest. I hope Ruger took good care of ya. Replacement is an option seldom used by some other companies which shall remain nameless (think zodiac). If you haven’t looked at Rock Island yet, they also make a good affordable product.
  19. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    burien WA
    Well you could go with a "poor/cheap man's Python" the Rossi Cyclops, but even those have a premium-ish price there westernrover.
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