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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #101  
Old 01-08-2019, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
I believe Colt was trying to up it's game to compete on the high end without directly taking on the Model 27. Seems more logical to me.
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Also, the L-frame is not considered S&W's flagship so there is no direct comparison.
Please correct me if I am wrong about any of the following. I was young and shooting a Ruger 22 when all of this was happening.

I think you are almost certainly correct, but didn't the Model 27 lose popularity because of the Python and then S&W gave up and created the 686 to directly compete with the Python? I've read stories about s&w owners creating Frankensteins to emulate the Python. So when the 686 came out, what else were you going to compare it to?

You often want to build a competitive product cheaper but have the public believe it has everything that its competitor has. To the public, the 686 was an acceptable alternative, and it was less expensive. Most didn't want to pay for the extra work Colt put into the Python. Some couldn't even see it. A retired Sheriff I know told me that they carried either a Python or a 686 and he by far preferred the 686...but some of his friends preferred the Python. It was all about functionality.
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  #102  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:42 PM
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I have no idea whether Model 27 sales were affected by the Python. As I stated before there were good reasons to bring out the L-frame that had nothing to do with Colt. Occasionally S&W listens to their customer base and this was one of those times they responded with a great product.

I understand that many man-hours went into producing each Python. This made for a finely tuned revolver that was very accurate. They do require more maintenance and spare parts. This put the Python into a different class from the rest of the Colt DA revolvers and most S&W wheelguns. You'd have to go back to pre-war examples to find a Smith with similar workmanship. This is why I think it is not a fair comparison.
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  #103  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:51 PM
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That's all true (your 2nd paragraph), and maybe the comparisons aren't fair, but it's easy for me to understand why people who are not as knowledgeable as you compare the two. As someone who owns one of each and has studied their history and realizes that technically it isn't a fair comparison, I think it's cool that the 686 makes that conversation anyway.

Last edited by runscott; 01-08-2019 at 08:54 PM.
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  #104  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
I have no idea whether Model 27 sales were affected by the Python. As I stated before there were good reasons to bring out the L-frame that had nothing to do with Colt. Occasionally S&W listens to their customer base and this was one of those times they responded with a great product.
I think it had everything to do with the Colt Python. Colt beat s&w to the punch and s&w eventually had to respond.
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  #105  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:59 PM
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Back in the 70's and 80's I had a friend that had a 6" Python and it was a nice gun. At that time I had only 1 pistol, which was a 5" 27-2 I had bought new in 1974. We would go out shooting the stuffings out of things and cutting trees down with our revolvers and after one such session he noticed his barrel was clocked. He'd never noticed it before then. So, was the barrel clocked all that time or did it turn a degree or 2 when we were shooting down a tree, which got both guns hot as a firecracker? His Python was a nice shooting gun and was accurate, but my 27-2 had a better trigger and was just as accurate.

As for comparing a Python to the 686, well that isn't a fair comparison. One sells for well less than $1000 and to play with the other is gonna cost you at least $2500-3000 minimum. If you want to compare the Python to something in it's price range, it would be more fair to compare it to a Korth than to a 686.
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  #106  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by runscott View Post
I think it had everything to do with the Colt Python. Colt beat s&w to the punch and s&w eventually had to respond.
You do know the predecessor of the model 27 was the Registered Magnum, which came out at the same time as the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935, right? You could say that the Python was Colt's late entry into the 357 Mag market instead.
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  #107  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
You do know the predecessor of the model 27 was the Registered Magnum, which came out at the same time as the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935, right? You could say that the Python was Colt's late entry into the 357 Mag market instead.
Sorry, I meant that Colt beat s&w to the punch on the Python/686 design, not on the .357 magnum cartridge.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the Colt 3-5-7 magnum was Colt's late entry, and it was comparable to the s&w 357 magnum. Colt changed its 357 magnum's name to the Trooper about the time s&w changed the .357 to the Model 27 and the Highway Patrolman to the Model 28. Colt didn't wait long after introducing the 3-5-7 and came out with the Python in 1954 or 1955 (I forget) while s&w stayed pat with their three .357 models.

I get that you all think the 686/Python comparison is an unfair comparison based on price and cost to produce. I'm trying to look at it from the consumer's viewpoint and from the manufacturer's customer perception goals, not from that of hardware junkies like us.

We know exactly what each gun actually is and because of price, if we had a mint 686 and a mint Python, the Python is going in the safe and the 686 gets used. We know the Python is overpriced, but still special and still worth more, so we don't think comparing them is fair. But when they were both being produced it was about a weapon that was going to be used, thus functionality and price. Consumers eventually weren't willing to pay extra for all the extra stuff behind the scenes in the Python, and Colt couldn't continue to produce the same quality gun for a reasonable price so the Python went away. I'm sure there were other reasons, as all Colts went away, but my understanding is that that is what happened. I've also read that the reason Colt doesn't re-introduce the Python is that it would be cost-prohibitive to re-create the production process.

Given that some of you (and my friends) prefer the 686 over the Python, but see similarities, I believe comparison based on functionality is valid. Bang for the buck, obviously no longer comparable.

Do you think a more valid comparison would be the Trooper vs the Model 27 or Highway Patrolman? I have never fired a Trooper or 3-5-7, or even held one, so I don't know, but a lot of people (most) who have say there is little or no difference in the action between a 1950's or early 1960's Trooper, and a Python of the same period. But that's just what I've read. Others say there is a difference.

I sincerely hope I haven't offended anyone. I'm a historian by nature, so before I purchased any old s&w's or the Python, I did a LOT of research - googling, purchasing books, reading the heck out of this forum and the Colt forum. But that was all done in a short time, so my apologies if you guys completely disagree with my assessment.

Last edited by runscott; 01-09-2019 at 12:35 AM.
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  #108  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:41 AM
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runscott, I'm not offended at all. But the fact of the matter is that the .357 Magnum cartridge's true name is the .357 S&W Magnum and was developed to counter Colt's .38 Super Automatic cartridge, according to Wikipedia. And the first pistol that was developed to use this cartridge was the Registered Magnum, which is basically the same N frame revolver that evolved into the Model 27. And the Model 27 was (and still is) the "Cadillac" offering of S&W, just like the Python was the "Cadillac" offering of Colt. So in my book, the more proper comparison would be Python to Model 27 and the Trooper would be more properly compared to the 686 or 586, since both are the less fancy lines from the 2 manufacturers. Now size-wise I will agree that the Python and the 686/586 compare very closely.

BTW, I'm not up of the history of the Colt .357 guns, but I know that any .357 Magnum offerings from them came after S&W, since S&W was the developer of the cartridge. You can't really go wrong with either, but I just never really warmed up to the Python as compared to my 27-2.
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  #109  
Old 01-09-2019, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
runscott, I'm not offended at all. But the fact of the matter is that the .357 Magnum cartridge's true name is the .357 S&W Magnum and was developed to counter Colt's .38 Super Automatic cartridge, according to Wikipedia. And the first pistol that was developed to use this cartridge was the Registered Magnum, which is basically the same N frame revolver that evolved into the Model 27. And the Model 27 was (and still is) the "Cadillac" offering of S&W, just like the Python was the "Cadillac" offering of Colt. So in my book, the more proper comparison would be Python to Model 27 and the Trooper would be more properly compared to the 686 or 586, since both are the less fancy lines from the 2 manufacturers. Now size-wise I will agree that the Python and the 686/586 compare very closely.

BTW, I'm not up of the history of the Colt .357 guns, but I know that any .357 Magnum offerings from them came after S&W, since S&W was the developer of the cartridge. You can't really go wrong with either, but I just never really warmed up to the Python as compared to my 27-2.
We both understand the history exactly the same, I was just trying to explain my thoughts as to why the comparisons are being made. Obviously anyone can compare anything they want to anything else they want, but the Trooper and 686 weren't in production at the same time and didn't look much alike either, so I'm having a hard time going with that comparison. But in any event, we disagree and that's fine. I've exhausted every ounce of knowledge I have on this subject, so I'll bow out now. Thanks for discussing.
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  #110  
Old 01-09-2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wantmoresmiths View Post
I have owned several Pythons over the years and will tell you that their reputation as a smooth and accurate gun is well deserved. The analogy of the Python being like a fine automobile which requires much more maintenance than your average Chevy or Ford is also very true. I have never owned a 686, but have owned a 4" model 27, and a 5" model 627PC, in addition to several other very fine S&W revolvers. Coming from a die hard Python lover, it is hard for me to say, but due to the scarcity/unavailability of Python parts, and the decreasing number of truly qualified gunsmiths who can maintain a Python, I would first suggest the 686. Actually, I would suggest the 627PC as my go to .357, then the 686.
wantmoresmiths pretty well sums up my feelings as well. That said, I have owned several Pythons over the years and wish I still had them.
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  #111  
Old 01-09-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
So in my book, the more proper comparison would be Python to Model 27 and the Trooper would be more properly compared to the 686 or 586, since both are the less fancy lines from the 2 manufacturers. Now size-wise I will agree that the Python and the 686/586 compare very closely.
Hey, I was wrong - the Trooper wiki page says it was manufactured from 1953 to 1985 (not 1969), so, assuming that end date is correct, there were about five years of overlap with the 686. I'm sure buyers would have been comparing all four .357s we've been discussing, plus the Highway Patrolman and possibly the Combat magnum.

I will be comparing my 1955 .357 magnum and 686 to a 1970 Python, 1954 Colt 3-5-7 and a 1958 Highway Patrolman. I don't have access to a Combat Magnum.
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  #112  
Old 01-09-2019, 11:30 PM
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That sounds great runscott. I do look forward to your thoughts on the various guns and how you think they compare.

I've never handled a Trooper, but my younger brother has a 2" barreled Lawman Mk III and I think the Lawman and the Trooper share the same internals. His Lawman is a hoot to shoot but a bit of a handful with full power 158 grain 357 Mags loaded up. I wouldn't mind one of those instead of a J frame; 1 more round.
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  #113  
Old 01-10-2019, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
That sounds great runscott. I do look forward to your thoughts on the various guns and how you think they compare.

I've never handled a Trooper, but my younger brother has a 2" barreled Lawman Mk III and I think the Lawman and the Trooper share the same internals. His Lawman is a hoot to shoot but a bit of a handful with full power 158 grain 357 Mags loaded up. I wouldn't mind one of those instead of a J frame; 1 more round.
I'm not a Colt guy so I haven't looked into anything other than the 3-5-7, Python and SAA, and all from a historical perspective so that I can better understand S&W revolvers, which is my real interest. Also, I only have one example of each - if I get a 'less-than-spectacular' example of one, or a 'super-spectacular' example of another, the test is really invalid. And I will have no idea if any example I shoot is living up to the model's true potential. But I can't wait to get after it!

The tests that really count are from the guys who have shot a lot of rounds out of both the 686 and the Python. The fact that there is disagreement among such people as to performance, given that we know they are mechanically different in function, means that we'll never have a definitive answer - it's always a matter of personal preference.
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  #114  
Old 01-10-2019, 09:08 AM
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I just bought a NIB 1970s 6" Python. It was never registered and was held by a dealer until he closed up his shop and finally sold it. The box and all the paperwork are prestine. I am not sure I am ever going to shoot it though. I have owned Pythons in the past and love them, but I have also owned S&W 19s, 66s an 27 and like my 6.5" Model 27 the best. A nice twin to one of my 29s.

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  #115  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:54 PM
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Bought a used 4" Python in the late 1980s and after all these years it was easily the most gorgeous handgun I had ever owned. I was impressed to say the least.

BUT - for what ever reason I could not shoot it very well compared to my 686 and even my GP100. Admittedly I did not experiment with a lot of different loads but in all the years I have shot 357s never had any that would not shoot very well with 158JHPs and classic magnum powders like 2400, H110 and 296. I traded it off not long afterwards.

In retrospect it would have been worth hanging on to as I would have been able to get my money back several times over!
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  #116  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
That sounds great runscott. I do look forward to your thoughts on the various guns and how you think they compare.

I've never handled a Trooper, but my younger brother has a 2" barreled Lawman Mk III and I think the Lawman and the Trooper share the same internals. His Lawman is a hoot to shoot but a bit of a handful with full power 158 grain 357 Mags loaded up. I wouldn't mind one of those instead of a J frame; 1 more round.
You're right - the Lawman is a lesser-grade Trooper. I did a little bit more research to make sure my dates lined up. This is all old news to most of you, but to keep things in perspective:

1935 - S&W registered .357 magnum (continued as 27)
1954 - S&W introduced the Highway Patrolman, removing features from the .357 (continued as 28)
1954 - Colt had started the 'Trooper' line of .38 special and .22 in 1953. In 1954 they introduced the 3-5-7 to that line, to compete with the Highway Patrolman. The Colt 3-5-7 was built on a smaller frame (same as the following year's Python) than the .357 magnum & Highway Patrolman.
1955 - 1st Python. It seems to me like Colt decided to address both ends of the .357 market with the 3-5-7 in 1954 and the Python to compete with the higher-end S&W .357
1955 - Ruger Blackhawk (traditional Cowboy design, unlike S&W and Colt models)
1957 - S&W Combat Magnum (19)
1981 - 686
1982 - Colt MK V ('V' frame - smaller than the Python & MK III, replacing the Trooper which hung on until 1983)

Generally, new products are an attempt to compete with an existing product (a response), or an innovation to grab a new niche. Sometimes these responses are delayed for a variety of reasons. I always read the 686 as a delayed response to the Python. It didn't have to be as good or as expensive - it just needed to take away market share, or to fill in a niche that didn't previously exist. Perhaps S&W couldn't build a perceived competitor for the Python until 1981 because they weren't willing to incur the cost, but when they could, they did. And didn't the 686 finally kind of kill the Python? (like a mongoose?)

Disclaimer: the above doesn't consider the impact that Ruger, etc., had on the dynamics of the .357 market.

edited to add Ruger Blackhawk to the mix
edited to add that the Colt 3-5-7 was built on a smaller frame than the .357 magnum & Highway Patrolman

Last edited by runscott; 01-14-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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  #117  
Old 01-10-2019, 09:34 PM
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Pythons have a reputation, but are high priced. Today I would chose the 686 because I value, value.

42 years ago I had a choice between a nickel police trade in Python for 200 bucks, and a Ruger Security Six new for slightly less. After handling both I chose the Ruger, though the Python would have been a good investment. To this day I do not buy guns as investments.

The gun was a former Indiana State Police revolver, some troopers I knew at the time complained of timing issues with the Python. I am sure they were exaggerated, but I picked the Ruger.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:13 PM
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The gun was a former Indiana State Police revolver, some troopers I knew at the time complained of timing issues with the Python. I am sure they were exaggerated, but I picked the Ruger.
When I went to buy a Blackhawk 357 they didn't have one, but they had the 686+. It didn't take much to sell me on it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:50 PM
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My 686 + “Super tuned” revo has at least the equal trigger to my 4” Colt python.
What are you wanting? Only a home defense weapon? There’s tons of them from all makes that will work if and when you need them.
If you want something more top of the line, hard to beat a good 686 for the $$$
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:08 PM
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OP: If you can find a NIB Python for "$2200" you should jump on it. That would be a hell of a good price.
Having said that, I've owned both. The S&W DA trigger is considerably better. The single action Python trigger is insane though and the action feels like it was made by a Swiss watch maker. That said, if they were all the same price, I'd take the 686. Now as an investment, definitely the Colt.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:13 PM
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All replies are exactly as I envisioned when I read the thread title
It is debatable that the 686 is possibly the most loved gun in this forum

I really would like to spend an afternoon w a Python , really really like to do that!
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  #122  
Old 01-17-2019, 12:20 AM
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sorry, too much information.

Last edited by runscott; 01-17-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:27 AM
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I love both my 686's and my Python's, but my Korth Mongoose holds a special place....
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:15 AM
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I've never held a Colt Python before but I'd like to. Not sure that I've ever even seen one on person.

It would be hard to find another brand that I preferred over S&W. I've held a few Rugers and Colts and didn't really care for them. I'm sure that both manufactures make something that I would like.

It would be hard to beat my 686. Or my 27.
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  #125  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:38 AM
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IMHO the 4" 686 has to be the most versatile duty/utility .357 one can own.
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  #126  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by runscott View Post
You're right - the Lawman is a lesser-grade Trooper. I did a little bit more research to make sure my dates lined up. This is all old news to most of you, but to keep things in perspective:

1935 - S&W registered .357 magnum (continued as 27)
1954 - S&W introduced the Highway Patrolman, removing features from the .357 (continued as 28)
1954 - Colt had started the 'Trooper' line of .38 special and .22 in 1953. In 1954 they introduced the 3-5-7 to that line, to compete with the Highway Patrolman. The Colt 3-5-7 was built on a smaller frame (same as the following year's Python) than the .357 magnum & Highway Patrolman.
1955 - 1st Python. It seems to me like Colt decided to address both ends of the .357 market with the 3-5-7 in 1954 and the Python to compete with the higher-end S&W .357
1955 - Ruger Blackhawk (traditional Cowboy design, unlike S&W and Colt models)
1957 - S&W Combat Magnum (19)
1981 - 686
1982 - Colt MK V ('V' frame - smaller than the Python & MK III, replacing the Trooper which hung on until 1983)



edited to add that the Colt 3-5-7 was built on a smaller frame than the .357 magnum & Highway Patrolman

One option you missed; Colt offered their large frame New Service Revolver in .357 magnum...... my Dad got one in 1938/39 and sent it off to Kings for adjustable sights and an action job...... all told, with shipping both ways, it was still $5-10 cheaper then a RM which was selling for $60-65.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by wnwitzell View Post
I love both my 686's and my Python's, but my Korth Mongoose holds a special place....
For the price of the Mongoose, I hope so. That is a beautiful wheel gun.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:25 AM
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IMHO The only reason to buy a Colt Python is for Bragging Rights.
You can Buy several new 686s for the $2K that a Decent Python goes for. A tuned 686, or 27 makes more sense to me.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:37 AM
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586/686 wins hands down. I have a python that I got new from the Colt custom shop in 1980. With moderate shooting it has went out of time twice. Both times I had to PEEN the hand to stretch it to get it back in time.
Where as I've never had any of my Smiths go out of time. For my use ANY Smith revolver is better for daily use than a python. 99.9 percent of today's python owners that wax eloquently about their pythons never tote or shoot them. They just lie in someone's safe to be bragged about. Truthfully they are really worth 30-40% of what they sell for now.

And shame on S&W that hired the full lug guy who put full lugs on everything including the water hose nozzle.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:18 PM
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This thread has been a welcome diversion from the famous 686 vs GP100 discussion. First off, I am over 70 years old and have lusted for a Python for many many years, but have never owned one, but I have owned numerous 586, 686, and yes GP100 revolvers. I guess the reason that I never bought the Python is that I knew that it would not be a shooter, but rather a safe queen that would lay there to be looked at occasionally and I just couldn't bring myself to pay the price for that purpose.

Truthfully, I have handled several Pythons, and I just don't think that the action and feel of the revolver compares to that of a pre-lock K or L frame Smith & Wesson, especially when equipped with target trigger and hammer. I also have enormous respect for the Ruger GP100 with the easily interchangeable front sights and trigger group that even the average shooter can do spring changes etc. and have a very nice shooting indestructible 357 magnum revolver.

I will continue to enjoy the comments on this subject.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:03 AM
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I always thought the Python was "sexy". Made by Colt, very cool name and ohh that vent rib. I loved the look but never held one in person. I believe I bought my 586 6" because it looked like a Python with a solid rib. Now to be honest, I purchased my 586 probably 30 years ago used for, I believe, $175. I believe it is a 1982 or 3. I did send it in for the mod so it's now stamped with the "M". Not holding a Python doesn't give me the ability to compare except for visual but I love my 586. It is very smooth and seems very well build. I carried it for years as a back up handgun while deer hunting. Mechanically it's never let me down and I won't part with it because I know I will regret it.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:14 PM
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I’ll just add that vent ribs belong on shotguns.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:11 PM
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I have a 686 no dash and a Ruger GP100, both which I bought in the 80s, both with 6 inch barrels.



I finally bought a Python shortly before Colt quit making them, also in 6 inch.



If I was going to use it as a truck gun I would pick the Ruger. The S&W is better for target shooting. The Python is lovely but these days it is like you want an armed guard with you if you take it to a public range to try and shoot it. The prices on them have become silly. Mine was about $1K new ordered through a LGS a little before Colt quit making them.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:35 PM
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dakota1911 you have 3 very nice revolvers there! Your Python has appreciated in value quite nicely for you.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:35 PM
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My Grandfather lived in Brazil for over a decade. When he and Grandma returned in the early 1960s they brought a Mossberg 153K. It was the first gun I ever fired. They also had a great big Python in their luggage.

To be precise, it was actually a Python hide - over 12-feet long.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:25 PM
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I owned a 38 Special Python Target 8" revolver. My only positive comment is, "It had a nice bluing job." The barrel was canted to the left so moving the rear sight full right allowed the gun to shoot 6" to the left of the bullseye at 50'. Colt Warranty sent the gun back to me unrepaired with the notation, "The barrel installation is within Colt specification."

I sent the Python to a Warranty Repair shop in Minnesota, barrel was cross threaded one thread (no charge for repair), and a 357 magnum cylinder was fitted for a small fee. Sold the gun for a $100 profit.

Pythons are over-rated. S&W L-frame revolvers are under-appreciated.

Lazarus has spoken. YMMV
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wproct View Post
This thread has been a welcome diversion from the famous 686 vs GP100 discussion.

..... I just don't think that the action and feel of the revolver compares to that of a pre-lock K or L frame Smith & Wesson, especially when equipped with target trigger and hammer. .
what a great opportunity to ask the following question.
being a lifelong buyer & user of bottom feeders (beretta 92's & PX4's & misc M&P) , i have not been interested in wheelguns until a year or so ago.
My firsts was a 642, which i still have but its not "fun" to shoot.
Back in the summer of 2018 I bought a 686+.

Yes, my life has changed. This gun is cool, it is fun , it is spot on accurate , it is "purty" , its is ...well ya have to own one to know....
so the question, mine (sku 164194) obviously has a lock.

what is so unbelievably cool about the old school pre-lock 686's?
I really do not see on how to improve upon what I own right now...
I gotta know guys!

Last edited by Chief Wiggums; 01-20-2019 at 06:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:46 PM
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Never a Colt fan.................................

Love my custom round butt 4" 686-nuttin......................

Early 586s...... and my 4" 586-(?) 1996 factory round butt are too die for .

But......................................

I've always wanted a 4" Smolt............ makes me
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:20 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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I drive Fords and I own mostly S&W handguns. Either the Colt or the S&W will serve you well. The Colt will cost you more and require more maintenance. You will also be able to sell it for more. I have Colt collecting friends and they swear by their Colts, and that they are superior to S&W. I am not an LEO, nor do I shoot competitively, but I see no significant difference when I shoot their Colts. The best bargain in 357 revolvers right now is the S&W Highway Patrolman or Model 28. Generally the Model 28 can be had for less than the S&W 686 and much less than Colt products. The Model 28 is fairly common on the used market and does everything that any other full size 357 magnum revolver can do. Rent the guns that interest you at the range and see if there is a difference to you. I swear by my S&W revolvers, others by their Colts. It is a matter of personal preference, neither is inherently the "right" gun for everyone.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:26 PM
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I recently took the Texas LTC course (license to carry) . It involved shooting 50 rounds at a paper target at varying distances , from about 7yds to 25 yds . I moved here from AZ and have the AZ permit , "BUT " many states do not honor a " non-resident " permit . When I lived in Az , I was a resident so no problem but when I moved to TX , I had to change it . Yes, TX does honor my permit but when traveling from here it would of been a problem.
Anyway , I took my 686 no dash 4 " to class as we were going to be doing the shooting portion just across the hall in an indoor shooting range . I'm not a competitive shooter but it tore the bullseye up and only 2 shots in the 9 ring , shooting double action . The guy next to me was shooting his glock 9mm . On the last 5 shot round he had 3 " FTF / FTE issues . My revolver never missed a beat . I was the only guy out of 17 with a revolver . I'm not a semi auto guy but I hear Glocks are great . I can admire a colt python , but the price is beyond my reach . I'll stay with my 686 . Regards, Paul

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Old 01-24-2019, 05:17 PM
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I used to shoot PPC and bull eye, earned my life time PPC master. I wore out my Highway Patrolman, had S&W rebuild my K 38. I heard a lot about the Pythons and tried a few, never found one to shoot to the quality of the S&W's. Did see there were quite a few Pythons with the new guys, but as you moved up in class the Pythons were pretty few and far between in favor of the S&W's.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:14 PM
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I love the Python, but not the price.
That said, I don't have any plans to sell my 586. It's a fantastic .357.
Silky smooth DA.
SA that feels barely there (but no push-off).

I love the look of the factory Python stocks, but the S&W target stocks feel a lot better in my hands.

My 586 is my favorite .357 that I own.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:26 PM
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I never owned a 686, but have had 586 & Python. Python is a finely built
revolver but a little on the fragile side of feeding it 357mgs. The 586s shot
as well but weren't as slick but more durable. I would rather have a S&W M-27 than either one if it was for shooting purposes. No doubt the Python is worth more just because of collectors market.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:06 PM
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I can admire a Python , but I probably never own one . Beyond the price issue , I have to say that I'm probably not able to appreciate it enough as I really like to shot my guns , a lot . I don't need a " safe queen " . I have only read about the mechanism , delicate -- or not . I will stick with my S&W's . I just have purchased my dream gun , a model 27 , 5" barrel that I could afford . I have a 686 , 4" barrel that I got from a retired LEO , did off shore boat patrol in Florida , narcotics . I am very satisfied with what I have . I enjoy looking at Python ads and always look for the seller saying that the timing is " spot on " . A fact rarely mentioned . Regards, Paul
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:49 AM
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Just acquired this old 686 dash 4 for steel games.
The 686_on Asphalt.jpg
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:25 AM
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Not a 686 or a Python, but the best of both the Smith and Colt worlds... a Smolt Highway Papython









A fun combo.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:40 AM
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In the past, I've had both a 686 (my first 'big boy gun in '91) and a 586, and wish I hadn't traded them away. A Python has always been on the wish list mainly because it is a Python. Fine, fine weapon, but now way above what I consider to be my comfortable price range. As much as I'd like to have one 'just because', I'm more than happy with my 27, my 28, and all the K-frames in my safe. I seriously don't see the need for a $2000 safe queen. I'd rather enhance my collection with 3 or 4 classic Smiths.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
Not a 686 or a Python, but the best of both the Smith and Colt worlds... a Smolt Highway Papython

A fun combo.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the combination that Sweeney described in 'The Gun Digest Book of Smith & Wesson' that he felt led to S&W creating the 586/686. Beautiful gun!

Since I revived this 'Necro' thread, I feel like I should at least post my thoughts now that I have in hand all revolvers related to the topic that I am likely to possess in the near future: 1955 s&w .357, 1958 Highway Patrolman, 1970 Python, 1954 Colt 3-5-7 and a 686-6+. I wanted to also get a Ruger and a Model 19, but funds are depleted.

I can't speak to long-term funtionality of any of these revolvers, and even if I can someday, I only have one example of each to compare, so still not a valid test compared to what many of you can conduct; however, here are my thoughts:

To me the 1955 s&w and the Python actually are the closest comparison, as opposed to the Python & 686 - both have incredible workmanship and blueing. I would give the nod to the s&w on blueing and design - I just prefer the larger frame and the larger cylinder. The N-frame is more comfortable to shoot for me, personally, but I love both guns. It's obvious that each is the best that their respective companies had to offer.

Everyone here knows the Highway Patrolman is a less-expensive version of the .357, so, as expected, they handle the same. I really love the 2-toned blueing on the HP, but it doesn't compare to the S&W .357, which is just a work of art. I want more early S&W .357s. Richard's photos are encouraging that need.

The Colt 3-5-7 also has the two-toned blueing - same quality as the Highway Patrolman. I like the HP better - mine needs some work on the action (I think it sat in a closet for 50 years), but it still feels fantastic and I'm accurate with it. The 4" Colt 3-5-7 has a really amazing trigger job, but just doesn't feel quite as good in my hands as the HP. I prefer the larger N-frame.

I bought my 686+ first, and I loved it. Now that I have the four older revolvers, I find that each feels better to hold, each is easier to shoot and I like the workmanship on each better as well. It's probable that the SS is throwing me off, as well as grips that are too small and the gun just hasn't had enough rounds put through it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:57 AM
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Nice thoughts, runscott. If you don't mind me suggesting, get yourself a set of Culina "Coke" Target stocks for your 686 and see how it feels. They will also fit K frame revolvers too. I don't own any L frames or K frames but I have 5 pairs of the Culina Targets on my N frames and they look great and also feel fantastic, even on my 44's with stout loads. They should make the K/L frames feel great too.

BTW, it seems like I told you that the Python would more properly compare to the Model 27 (or Pre 27 in your case) than to the 686 or 586. Both are the top of the line revolvers from each company, so should be compared to each other. I had a buddy in the 70's and 80's that had a Python and it was a great gun, but I still preferred my Model 27.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:05 AM
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The Colt owners swear that theirs is the best revolver, but they don't shoot them. S&W owners are at the range shooting their favorite revolvers because they won't wear out or go out of time.

An old guy with his S&W revolver will out shoot the plastic wonders every day. The only Colt's at the range are 1911s, also outshooting the plastic wonders.

There are more S&W guns than Colt guns. Roy told me so in Columbus, OH.
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