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I have been eyeballing Pythons for years and I am considering purchasing one in the near future. I think they are a nice collectors item and I have always liked them. I do however intend to shoot it and not let it sit in the safe. Does anyone have any expirience with them good or bad. I would like any and all input. Thanks guys.
 

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I bought one when they first came out. It was a 357 with a 6" barrel. I could never shoot it as well as my buddy could shoot his Ruger Blackhawk .44 mag nor as well as I could shoot my Woodsman.

It was too barrel heavy for me. I wasted money on special grips by Herretts as well.

The barrel split at the forcing cone and Colt put a new one on for me in Hartford while I watched.

I sold it and as you can tell I don't miss it.
 

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I owned and carried a Colt Phyton for 25 years! It was tops at pistol shoots in my hay day and I shot my best score with that pistol. It's a classic beautiful pistol in my eyes. I paid $175 dollars for it years ago and wish I would have bought another 2 to keep it company.

The used to come with a certified target from the factory in the box and signed by the tester. Most of those Pythons would clover leaf 3 shots at 15 yards from a rest, mine was no exception, it shot great and I even shot lots of Super Vel (hot ammo) in that pistol too. Never had one single problem with that particular handgun.
 

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I’ve owned several Pythons, currently have a 4 inch royal blue and a 6 inch polished stainless. These last 2 were both purchased new and will never leave my possession. On the plus side, Pythons are a very smooth accurate revolver. On the minus side, they have a somewhat finicky lock-work prone to timing issues. A well cared for Python, even firing only mild loads, will most likely need a hand replacement somewhere down the road. I would rank a Python as slightly more accurate than a S&W or Ruger, marginal in toughness with a S&W as they have mechanical issues also but not any where near the Ruger. If you just have to have a Python and can stand the price, they can be nice shooters and parts are still available.
 

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I only have one, a blued 6". It is my favorite handgun and is deadly accurate. I've used it on deer and hogs, with 170 grain bullets and it works just fine. Every now and then I'll take it out and compare it to my Dan Wesson, Ruger and Smith and there really is no comparison, in my opinion at least. I do not abuse my guns and typically will shoot reduced loads for practice and only shoot full power loads for a reason, hunting or, in the past, silhouette. Some will say that a Python loosens up but mine has not.
I guess once you have one, shoot it and handle it, everything else seems slightly inferior. I know that there are other handguns but I must be biased. From the prices you see, alot of others are, too! It is probably in the "TOP 10" of collected handguns behind 1911s and SAA Colts!
 

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Some will say that a Python loosens up but mine has not.
Colt designed the Python to stand up to full power .357 loads, I don’t believe frame strength has ever been much of a problem. The hand fitted mechanism is/was the weak link. I once read that Colt mostly lost money on the Python due to the labor intensive hand work required to fit and time the guns, could be true I guess? I suspect many Pythons are on the verge of timing issues without the owners knowledge because of the two step hand. The first step should rotate the cylinder until the latch engages when slowly cocking the hammer. The second step locks the cylinder against the latch as the trigger is pulled. The first sign of a timing issue is when the cylinder does not lock until the trigger is pulled and of course wear will continue to the point that they shave lead. Don’t mean to be all gloom and doom as they are easy to fix and certainly worth fixing if you have one. Any nice used model should be inspected by very slowly thumb cocking, checking for lock-up with hammer movement only and once the trigger is pulled while holding the hammer back, the cylinder should lock tightly against the latch. If it flunks this test, either pass on the purchase or deduct a reasonable repair fee.
 

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I swapped a Colt Combat Commander for a 6 inch Python that had a rust spot on the cyclinder, even up. Never regreted the deal.
After I got it I ordered an over sized cyclinder stop and polished it down to fit the cyclinder cuts exactly. At the same time I got a pawl that was over long and to thick so that I could polish it down to an exact fit the the window in the frame. I polished the pawl's length to tightly hold the cyclinder against the cyclinder stop.
Since I was shooting cast bullets only, I lapped the barrel to remove the tight spot where the barrel screws into the frame.
That was 20 years ago.
I've not had to do anything to the pistol outside of general maintainance every thousand rounds and clean the lube and powder gunk out of the lock work once a year.
I like the Python.

Jim
 

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I've had mine over 20 years as well. The 4 inch blue model got a new hand a few years ago, the stainless model has never had a problem. I should have used the correct parts names in case someone looks at a schematic and is curious. The bar that locks the cylinder is called the bolt on a Colt. The thumb piece that opens the cylinder is called the latch.
 

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I bought one ten years ago when my girlfriend married some other jerk.

What is funny is that they were divorced in three years but I still have my python.
I paid $700 for it. It's a four inch Stainless model.
I used to tell myself that the Python was overpriced and that an L frame was just as good. But wait till you handle them side by side and wait till you shoot them side by side and you will learn why the Python cost twice as much. It was three times better of a gun!

The Python's hand fitted action is just unbeleivable. Smooth as silk!
Its also a lot better balanced than the L frame too.
Take care of it, clean it and don't go nutty with the hot handloads and it should last a lifetime. One of my friends is a competitve shooter and he has put tens of thousands of rounds through his own stainless Python with no wear or tear or timing issues.
When I was a kid, my dad was a cop and Pythons were very popular among guys on his department. Most of them shot full power loads too.

I know that the hand fitted old style lockwork is not as rugged as a Ruger and may not withstand the abuse an L frame will, but still it should stand up to a lifetime of reasonable shooting.
If you chronograph, you will find another Python advantage besides hand fitted parts and better balance than the competitors.
The Python is rifled for high speed rounds whereas Smiths are rifled for low speed .38s, so you get higher velocities from your Python.

I realy wish I had bought a second Python, preferaby the snubby version for CCW now.
 

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I've owned my 6" blue Python since 1970. Finest built firearm I've ever owned. Bluing is still beautiful after over 6000 rounds, still accurate as I can shoot. Killed 4 deer with it but the 357 is not my idea of a deer cartridge.Probably 5000 rounds were reduced loads, even hunting I never carried it in a holster. Taken maybe 50 hogs with it. Haven't hunted with it in 10yrs as I use a blackhawk 45colt. Will cut cards for my 3 kids to see who gets it when I'm gone as I'll keep it to the last. Sold the one I bought in 1972, stupid move on my part. price in 1970 $177, 1972 $225. see ya, Bill
 

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I have one my dad bought new in 1970. I believe he gave $150 for it. He carried it on duty for about 15 years and it has a little bluing wear around the muzzle from the leather, other than that it is like new. It is the smoothest revolver I have even fired and something I will never part with. Sure wish we could buy one now for $150.
 

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Kudu-61, we all have a lax moment in life when it comes to guns! Yep, I once traded off my Colt Python and Colt Diamond Back 38 spl. back in the late 80's. Two days later I went to purchase them back but they were long gone. So much is life in general I suppose. Grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. :D
 

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Sunwheel......hate to say this. I think I paid $175 for mine. That shows you how the dollar has fallen in value. One like it just sold on an internet site for $1250 or so. No box but with the manual. I wish I kept all the papers and the box but I've seen the owner's manual fetch over $100 by itself. I have Colt smooth ebony grips....kept the originals, too. Collecting Pythons is probably not too bad an investment. I wonder if you can do that with a self-directed IRA? I stopped having my 401k invested by fund managers as all they ever did was lose money. I've never lost a penny on my guns, even my stock 10/22has appreciated!
 

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Carried a 4 inch polished nickel with factory blue sights off and on for 5 years. I loved it. It was the most accurate handgun I ever owned. Not saying my massaged 1911's were slouches either. I wish I still had the Python.
 

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Since the mid 1960's to the present I have owned two 6" Pythons. The first from new was sold around1980. It was replaced at that time with another.I still use the second Python.

From personal experience the Python shoots at its best with heavier loads especially jacketed. This was when comparing it with similar Smith & Wesson K and other frame models. I always found the S&W's had a slight advantage with target loads and lead.

In years past we shot informal steel matches with 6" revolvers. Two classes , 357 then 41 and over.
Also paper matches and police/ service type. Usually these were with un- modified revolvers, 38 factory type loads with the exception of paper targets . The latter was with light 25yd target loads

The S&W did well on paper with target loads.There were more of them and they were more readily able to be tuned for target paper. This was especially true with the Mod 14 single action K model S&W.

In tandem with the Python I used S&W 52 Master in 38Spl wadcutter. Again I had two of these.One replaced with each Python.

I had a foot in the S&W as well the Colt camp. I personally regard the Master top of the line with target loads excluding some specialised limited production self loaders

Also had a Colt Trooper during both Python year spans . My wife used the first Trooper on paper with excellent results. We purchased a new Trooper in the late 80,s . This one did no perform as well as the earlier Trooper. it was heavier. She always felt the Python was too muzzle heavy for her.
 

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Your comment on the Colt Python becoming more and more a collectible firearm is very introspective. I have felt this for years and as the new factory models came out in the early 2000's at close to $1,000 a copy, I knew I needed to find a goood used specimen if I was ever going to own one. I begin a search on the Internet and found one for just over $300. However, it was not a "good used" Python. It was a much older one that had been really "rode hard and put away wet"....!!! Looking for a good restoration project, I took a chance and declared this my "reclamation project" for the next several months. I completely dissambled her...checked and cleaned all parts...only had to replace a couple of internal parts and slowly started to reassemble her. I did a professional type "Spray and Bake" job on all the external parts with an authentic Colt blue color from KG products and replaced the old ugly soft rubber after market stocks with a used pair of wooden factory stocks. I put ONE cylinder load of .38 Spl. through her.....cleaned her up one more time and she is now a certifible "Safe Queen"...!!! Why..??? Because I accomplished what I set out to do.....I converted a "sow's ear into a silk purse"....in my mind, atleast..!! She had undergone a transformation in my eyes and assumed the look of a collectible firearm that I did not, under any circumstances, ever wish to fire in my lifetime. Albeit, she does not have the value of a Python that was never "touched" with a restoration of any sorts and her present value reflects her present condition. I just checked on her in the safe about two weeks ago....She still looks perfect.......!!!
 
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