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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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  #1  
Old 12-23-2009, 01:24 PM
DandyDon1 DandyDon1 is offline
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Default SW 686 versus COLT Python?

I am a "newbie" to the Forum and am interested in buying a quality large frame .357 revolver for home defense and occasional target shooting. I'm not a collector but appreciate quality built firearms and take good care of my guns.

Coly Pythons have intrigued me, but the crazy prices are a big turn off.
Fair quality guns go from a "low" of $900-1100 and NIB the stuff is as much as $2200; with everything and anything in between.

The SW 686 (or 627) seems like a very solid piece for a lot less $$$.
Of course the Colt guys claim there's no comparison and the Python is far superior.

There are a lot more experienced folks on this Forum than me.

Any thoughts on a comparison of these two guns?

Thanks- DandyDon1
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:45 PM
cobra44 cobra44 is offline
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Hello
I have owned them both. I no ,longer have any Pythons.
The Python has a really good trigger pull, very smooth. That being said, when they get dirty, especially when using Bullseye powder, they get very hard to fire. It is probably because of the close specs on the internals.
The 686, will eat about any type of powder. The trigger might not be as good as the Python from the factory, but it can be fixed to be smoother.
Don't get me wrong, the Python is a very good revolver. It feels much different than the 686 when firing. And as you stated the price is crazy on them. I have seen some lately that are more reasonable, but still too high from what they should be.
The 627 is a very fine revolver also. It is an N frame as compared to an L frame on the 686.
My choice, the 686.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:47 PM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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Default I like the S&W much better

Hi,

I owned a 6" Python about 25 years ago. Very accurate and quality craftmanship. Traded it away for a M27-3 4" and never looked back - the Smith is probably even more accurate, the trigger was better off the box and it is a real solid gun. Only some weeks ago I was offered to sight in a Python for a guy on the shooting range - never had a Python in my hands for about 22 years: I was disappointed how it handles and cocking the hammer felt as if there were some old and tired springs (which in fact were'nt). It was like driving a Volkswagen after running many miles in a Mercedes. The N-Frame .357 is nothing short of the most desirable and solid piece of steel for this cartridge, but that's just my personal opinion...

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Old 12-23-2009, 01:55 PM
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If I had to shoot a match, I wouldn't trade the 686 for four colts.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:58 PM
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As a Weapon NO PYTHON ( I own 3 of them) is a match for my 686's.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:18 PM
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I have the Colt in a blued 6inch version. Since I don't have an L frame Smith, I can't make a direct comparison. But, if I had a Python in one hand and a 686 in the other, and had to choose, I'm not believing anyone that says they would take the 686. Not that the Smith isn't a fine gun, but if for no other reason that you could sell the Python and buy a couple 686's. That said, I have a the Smith N frame in 27-2 and pre 27. Also 2 PC 627's with 8 round capacity and 5 inch barrels. I wouldn't trade a PC 627 for the Python, and they are about the same value. The PC 627 has the absolute best single action trigger of any revolver I've owned. I paid $500 for my pre 27 about 2 months ago, and I wouldn't trade it for the Colt either. I've completely disassemble both the Colt and Smith. The Colt mechanics are more complex. I won't debate which one is more reliable. I know I'll never shoot any revolver enough to test it's durability. I will say that the cylinder lockup is superior to the Smith. Colt has a lever that, when the trigger is pulled, completely locks up the cylinder. Absolutely no play. You'll buy the Smith and be very happy with it.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:29 PM
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My first choice would be a 27. Its a heavier made gun that both the others, prettier too! Next pick--- if I absolutely had to would be the python, not as durable as the 686 but fits my hand better. I'm not a 686 fan at all.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:30 PM
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I see no reason to deal with the expense of a Python. A good 686 will do everything needed. A pre-lock 686 is preferable to current versions which have an internal lock. One other gun to consider is a Ruger GP100, which is rock solid and has no internal lock. I dont even think its possible to wear out a GP100, but Im sure that some people are trying. The Rugers slick up with wear and compare very favorably if not superior to current production S&W particularly in terms of durability.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:32 PM
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"I am a "newbie" to the Forum and am interested in buying a quality large frame .357 revolver for home defense and occasional target shooting."

If you truly want a large frame .357 Magnum then go for the Smith & Wesson Model 27 or Model 28. These revolvers are a joy to shoot and completely handle any sane (and a few insane) full power .357 Magnum loads. The big N-Frame .357 Magnums balance so well in the hand and they still soak up recoil like a sponge. Not everyone cares for the front-heavy feel of the L-Frame revolver or the Python. I'd have been a fan of the L-Frame .357 if they hadn't insisted marketing it only with that chunk of a barrel.

I have a 6-inch Model 27 and a 6-inch Python. Though the Python is accurate and has a wonderful single action trigger I don't care for the full lug barrel and the double action pull is off-putting. I'll take the N-Frame Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver above all others.

Pythons aren't necessarily as delicate as rumor has it around the internet. Should you get one it'll serve you well because you take care of your guns.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:05 PM
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Default First off, the Python like the k-frame S&W

is a medium frame not a large frame revolver. That being said, the 686 would be more forgiving if you plan on shooting handloaded ammunition as the Colt's cylinder is a bit shorter. It will handle all commercial ammo, as far as I know, but some handloads with long nosed SWC bullets won't allow the cylinder to close unless you crimp forward of the crimping groove.

The hand fitted action on the older Colts is a thing of wonder but the same can be said of the old 27's. As a shooter, I prefer the S&W trigger pull but the Python is truly lovely.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:17 PM
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Colt cylinders rotate the wrong way for me...
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:41 PM
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The Python is a beautiful, wonderfuly finished gun. But it's no longer made, way overpriced and is not a tool anymore but a collector's item.
I would go with a pre-lock 686 if you can find one, if nothing else just because parts for the Python are hard to get.
I'm gonna get flammed for that but you may also want to consider the Ruger GP100, not as refined as the other two but a solid value.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:50 PM
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I've shot both, having had my father-in-law's Python for a while, and now owning a 686+. The Python is a sweet gun, awesome trigger and just looks sharp, but it's not worth twice the price of a 686. The trigger on my 686+ is almost as smooth, but considering mine is new and has only had about 100 rounds through it, I think it will be just as good.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:43 PM
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Don.
The Python started back in the 50's. Been the trend setter ever since. The 586/686 series was made to compete with the Python. Look at the shape of them. A lot of guns are compared to the Python, why, who wants to get compared to #2.
A Model 27 is a fair comparison to a Python. They both have their merits.
L Frames were designed to be S&W version of a Python. The average shooter is not going to shoot either of them out of tune.
Get a Python and have the original. Or get a 686 and have a knock off clone.
You will always hear some S&W guy saying that his S&W shooter is as good as a Python. You will never hear a Python shooter saying his Python is as good as a S&W 686.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:18 PM
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all of the guns mentioned will certainly do the job...the python is a great shooter and beautiful...i love mine..pick up a 686....they shoot great,look great and will fill your stated need...i just saw a 686-2 wooden stock grips for $400.00...whats not to like!
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:30 PM
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Let me say that all my revolvers now are Smiths but I used to own a 6" Python in factory high polish stainless. I don't own a 686 anymore but I owned one for years.

The Python was the best shooting revolver I've ever owned, period. By that I mean the smoothest trigger and the most accurate revolver I've ever had the pleasure of shooting. I purchased it new in the mid '80's and the only reason I don't own it anymore is that a gent offered me about 3 times more than I paid for it and in a moment of weakness, I gave in.

That said, for the difference in price for a Python and a 686, I say go for the 686 and you'll be happy.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:39 PM
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Counting just my .357s I have owned 19, 586, 686, 27 and 28 . I have always wanted a Python and a NIB E-type Jag . The Smiths and my pick ups are worth the price they are going for . Even though I have an econ background , I have enough soul left to understand the difference between price and value .
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RdrBill View Post
Don.
The Python started back in the 50's. Been the trend setter ever since. The 586/686 series was made to compete with the Python. Look at the shape of them. A lot of guns are compared to the Python, why, who wants to get compared to #2.
A Model 27 is a fair comparison to a Python. They both have their merits.
L Frames were designed to be S&W version of a Python. The average shooter is not going to shoot either of them out of tune.
Get a Python and have the original. Or get a 686 and have a knock off clone.
You will always hear some S&W guy saying that his S&W shooter is as good as a Python. You will never hear a Python shooter saying his Python is as good as a S&W 686.
Bill@Yuma
I think you are WRONG in your thinking, the "L" frame was made to handle the loads that the "K" frame was having trouble with, not to copy a colt. Everything that colt ever made was a copy of something. The colt ranks #2 and when out because they couldn't be #1, I can take the action of a new S&W and have it slicker and better than any over price colt. So if what you say is true, then why don't they make any more "K" frames in the 357?
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:49 PM
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A good friend of mine owned a mint 6 inch Python and I always lusted after it and when he died unexpectedly I tried to buy it from his family but a brother wanted it. I was determined to buy one and I started looking and the prices drove me away and when I started buying S&W revolvers and fell in love with the Model 27 and I can't see giving up 2 or 3 Model 27-2's for one mint Python. I love the S&W 27-2 and that's my main girl and will always be. I like all N frame S&W's but to me the most beautiful is the Model 27.

I own a 686 and it's a wonderful gun but it's not a Model 27 either.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:20 PM
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fyimo the "N" frame is a great gun but they just don't feel right to me, I have five or six of them and shoot them very little. Since I screwed up my right hand and had to go left handed the "L" shoots the best for me. I have big hands and the "K/L" frame stock just fits better. But if it isn't a S&W you are playing with second best.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:34 PM
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I shoot the heck out of my revolvers except for a pristine model 57. Love the looks of the Python but I'll put my 586 up against one any day of the week for accuracy and durability.

They are not worth the high prices IMO.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:42 PM
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My .02 cents,I prefere the Python.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:06 PM
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I have some Python's, 686's, 586's 27's, 28's,19's,66's I like them all, but the Pythons are special, that being said I would not buy a Python again at today's prices.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default 686 vs. Python

I've owned both. I currently own 3 L-Frames; 686 4", 686 6" and a PC681. I've owned both a 4" and 6" Python. There's a reason I still own my Smiths and don't own any Pythons (didn't say "Colts". I have a 3rd generation Detective Special and a number of Colt 1911's).
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Python vs 686

I have both a Python and a 686 and a 28 . Python was and is way overpriced but is most definately the sweetest shooter . After thousands of rounds my 686 started locking up . But the 28 is the gun I use for plates . Great trigger /look/and heck ,,,,even here in Mass it only cost a little more than 3 bills . Find an old 28 that has been carried a lot and shot a little and put a nice set of grips on it and enjoy .
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:57 PM
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Welcome. I have 2 Pythons (one 6" and one 4"), a 4" S&W 686, and a 4" S&W 28-2. While I love my Pythons and do carry them but there are some advantages to the S&Ws. The Python is no longer being produced so parts may become scarce and qualified gunsmiths who really know how to work on them are few and far between. The S&W 28 is no longer produced but parts from a 27 should work in a pinch. The S&W 686 is still in production. With either S&W there are a large number of gunsmiths that can do quality work on them. Another advantage is the S&Ws trigger is more consistant than the Python. The Python takes some getting used to because of the stacking effect (starts out light but gets slightly heavier as you pull until it releases). Many years ago I did private security work and started with a 6" Python (carried for 2 1/2 - 3 years) then went to a S&W 28 after I buldged the Python barrel. I also carried the 686 and prefer it as a duty weapon. Mine did patrol duties with me many nights. I was in security for a total of 15 years and stayed with a S&W as a duty weapon for most of those years changing to a Beretta 92F for a short time. As a Police Officer I have to carry on duty what my agency issues (Beretta 92FS).
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:14 PM
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Default hmm

i dunno i just put a 2x on my leupold and the last 3 shots that i fired at the hundred yard range off bags went under 2 inches. how much better can a python shoot? 586's shoot even if you figure in alittle luck into my group.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:21 AM
RdrBill RdrBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye Smith View Post
I think you are WRONG in your thinking, the "L" frame was made to handle the loads that the "K" frame was having trouble with, not to copy a colt. Everything that colt ever made was a copy of something. The colt ranks #2 and when out because they couldn't be #1, I can take the action of a new S&W and have it slicker and better than any over price colt. So if what you say is true, then why don't they make any more "K" frames in the 357?
Gee! there BS.
I am not sure where to begin with you. I was tempted to just ignore your rambling noise. I'm not sure if you are serious or just having fun with me.

Thank you for informing me I was thinking WRONG, I was thinking maybe we would at least have a difference of opinion. Live and learn.

"the "L" frame was made to handle the loads that the "K" frame was having trouble with, not to copy a colt."
I agree with the idea that an L frame is a beefed up K frame. When the 586 was introduced, it just happened to fit old Python holsters, and just happened to have a full length underlug. I did not say it was a direct copy. S&W borrowed some good cosmetic Colt engineering. It was also a good marketing feat by S&W. Python folks could save money on accessories if they switched to a S&W 586.

"Everything that colt ever made was a copy of something. The colt ranks #2 and when out because they couldn't be #1, "
If you say so, it could be true. I am certain that Colt worked out the Patent infringement issues. Not many Patents on Colt products.

"I can take the action of a new S&W and have it slicker and better than any over price colt."
I am glad that you have that talent, America needs to have talented people. The shooting community needs to have talented gunsmiths. I do not know what was wrong with all those finely engineered S&W's that you feel the need to tuneup. I leave 99% of mine alone. Thank you for doing it though, I am certain there are some appreciative shooters out there.

"So if what you say is true, then why don't they make any more "K" frames in the 357"
Are you sure I said something about a K frame in my original reply to the OP? Also, I never said that anything I said was true; the Op asked for opinions, I gave him my opinion. My opinion is probably as full of **** as yours. My best guess as to the lack of current K frame .357 Magnums is that S&W did market research and found there was not enough demand. They seem to be making a crop of J frames in that caliber. They are in the business to make a profit.

Well there, BS
Was nice to converse with you. I own several Colts and I own a few S&W's. About 16 S&W's for every Colt. I carry a S&W Model 28, 4 inch, about 5 days a week. I made sure it had a nice smooth action also.

Enjoy your L frames. I did not say they were a bad thing, I bought my first one about a month ago. Heck, I bought one of those shiny, pocket toy, 696's. Makes a great hot tub gun.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:57 AM
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I was doing a little of both with you, each to his own on the colt, S&W has alway been #1 for me and as the song says " Thats my story and I'm sticking with it" . The colt six gun was the real McCoy, to many in that area to talk about, the 45 1911 was off the browning design, the ar was bought , so how many did they design from the ground up like S&W. If it wasn't from S&W the winchester 94 may have never came about. I can take a smith down to 3.5 pounds double action without a miss fire on federal primers and 5 pounds on CCI primers. we both were right and wrong .
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:12 AM
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Default RdrBill has made this thread awsome

When you come to S&W forum and ask if a Colt is better than a Smith what do you think you are going to hear. Of course a bunch of Smith collectors are going to say that Smith's are the best. Rdr has just said a lot of the things I have heard and thought before.

Pythons have a sort of mystique about them. I own a blue 4" one and people give me the "oh, really" look when I tell them I own one. I have never got that look when I talk about my 4" 586. I mostly have to explain that it is the blue version of a 686. Then usually it's something like "yeah, I've shot my brothers 686. It's nice." I also have a 627 that I like better than both of those guns because it has 8 holes in the cylinder and a gold dot front sight.

The python has the best action/trigger of the three but I also hate it's sights. The back sight is fine but I like gold dot front sights and haven't been able to find one for my python. The factory stocks also feel funny but a $20 set of rubbers fixed that. I don't care so much that the cylinder rotates the wrong way as much as it annoys me that the cylinder release is backwards.

I have no real complaints about the 586. It's just a good shootin' gun and I also have a set of rubber combats on it to make it feel right. I plan to look for a no lock 686 to be its kiss'n cousin. I hate always worring about scratching the blue.

My 627 feels good in my hand shoots great and was worth every penny. As far as N-frames being ultra tough, it also the only one that I have shot out of time. That is not any kind of catastrophic failure but is annoying being that it was wizard tuned by performance center from the factory. I like its sights and it came with small finger groove wood grips and a set of rubber hogues. I think it is the best value for dollar.

If you are thinking about shooting any kind of competition(which I recommend because its fun) buy a 686. revolver classes usually have some sort of six shot rule. The 686/586 handle nice and are tough. It is still made and is serviceable. The 627 is a great gun. And if you shoot bowling pins or steel you get two more chances before a reload. They are awsome guns. If you occasionally shoot and like to wow other occasional shooters buy the python. It will almost always bring the money you spent on it unless you absolutly needed that $2000 1958 n.i.b. to turn into a shooter or store it in a brine tank. They all are nice, accurate and can be tuned. It all depends on how you want to spend your hard earned $.
Ryan
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:26 AM
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I don't care so much that the cylinder rotates the wrong way

Ryan
Honestly, the Colt action (cylinder spins clockwise)
is a stronger and much smarter way of doing things. In no way will a Colt cylinder pop open under recoil like a S&W could. Sure S&W went thru many changes to remedy the problem.
I'm not sure but it could be a patent thing is why one rotates one way and the other rotates the other.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:08 PM
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My wife can't decide between her 586 no dash or her Python. I prefer the 586 because it has a better trigger, but the Python is, well, a Python. And hers is a goodie, a nickle gun made in 1968 with beautiful Mustang grips.


It's true Pythons cost a lot, but it IS a hand-fitted gun. They cost more largely because they are labor intensive, and because they are Colt Pythons. But if I had to choose, I'd take a Smith any day of the week (Apologies to Python fans.)

The wife was drooling over a nice Smith at a local gun show recently, but we were broke. I told her, "Hell, honey, he'd probably take your Python in trade."

Just to look at her, you'd never know she could punch that hard....
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:13 PM
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When you come to S&W forum and ask if a Colt is better than a Smith what do you think you are going to hear. Of course a bunch of Smith collectors are going to say that Smith's are the best. Rdr has just said a lot of the things I have heard and thought before.

Pythons have a sort of mystique about them. I own a blue 4" one and people give me the "oh, really" look when I tell them I own one. I have never got that look when I talk about my 4" 586. I mostly have to explain that it is the blue version of a 686. Then usually it's something like "yeah, I've shot my brothers 686. It's nice." I also have a 627 that I like better than both of those guns because it has 8 holes in the cylinder and a gold dot front sight.

The python has the best action/trigger of the three but I also hate it's sights. The back sight is fine but I like gold dot front sights and haven't been able to find one for my python. The factory stocks also feel funny but a $20 set of rubbers fixed that. I don't care so much that the cylinder rotates the wrong way as much as it annoys me that the cylinder release is backwards.

I have no real complaints about the 586. It's just a good shootin' gun and I also have a set of rubber combats on it to make it feel right. I plan to look for a no lock 686 to be its kiss'n cousin. I hate always worring about scratching the blue.

My 627 feels good in my hand shoots great and was worth every penny. As far as N-frames being ultra tough, it also the only one that I have shot out of time. That is not any kind of catastrophic failure but is annoying being that it was wizard tuned by performance center from the factory. I like its sights and it came with small finger groove wood grips and a set of rubber hogues. I think it is the best value for dollar.

If you are thinking about shooting any kind of competition(which I recommend because its fun) buy a 686. revolver classes usually have some sort of six shot rule. The 686/586 handle nice and are tough. It is still made and is serviceable. The 627 is a great gun. And if you shoot bowling pins or steel you get two more chances before a reload. They are awsome guns. If you occasionally shoot and like to wow other occasional shooters buy the python. It will almost always bring the money you spent on it unless you absolutly needed that $2000 1958 n.i.b. to turn into a shooter or store it in a brine tank. They all are nice, accurate and can be tuned. It all depends on how you want to spend your hard earned $.
Ryan
Sorry guys;didn't mean to raise anyone's blood pressure. I think this quote sums it all up very nicely----.

The Python is definitely a great gun but it is becoming too pricey for the casual shooter (like myself) and ends up being a "safe queen".

I'm also into collector cars;and certain models are so pricey the owners never take them out of the garage to enjoy them.
Life is too short---- You end up keeping it nice for the next guy.

I think I see a 686, a 627, or a 27 in my future.

Just for giggles-----I ought to post the same topic on the Colt Forum and see what happens!

Thanks all- DandyDon1
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:20 PM
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I've never fired a Colt, but then again, I've never met a 357 I didn't like.
I do have and love my 686+ 3 inch barrel. Great trigger right from the factory, at 21 feet I can put 7 shots in a 1 inch group shooting it DA. Sure she's heavy, but she is my favorite carry gun.
For a casual shooter, you can't go wrong with a 686( or a 27 or a 65 or anything else that bears the S&W logo).
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:50 PM
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I have a nice SS 6-inch Python and a whole bunch of Smiths. I just had to have that one Python, for the looks, the way the trigger feels (I like that stacking) and the way the finish feels in my hand. But that one Python is enough for me. I have never felt that way about Smith revolvers! I can't imagine saying that I have all the K frames that I lust after. Besides, I can work on a Smith -- after doing some reading I can't imagine wanting to disassemble and reassemble my Python! And it's hard enough to find a good gunsmith for Smiths, it is a real bear to find someone to work on a Colt.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:26 PM
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I have a nice SS 6-inch Python and a whole bunch of Smiths. I just had to have that one Python, for the looks, the way the trigger feels (I like that stacking) and the way the finish feels in my hand. But that one Python is enough for me. I have never felt that way about Smith revolvers! I can't imagine saying that I have all the K frames that I lust after. Besides, I can work on a Smith -- after doing some reading I can't imagine wanting to disassemble and reassemble my Python! And it's hard enough to find a good gunsmith for Smiths, it is a real bear to find someone to work on a Colt.

i must agree...i have a 6"blue python...gorgeous gun! i feel every revolver guy should own a python...as someone mentioned they have always been pricey and these days they are really high!
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:48 PM
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I have owned two COLT Python .357 Magnum revolvers. Both were very accurate. I was not impressed with the action. The SA offered no improvement to a well-fitted 686. I did not care for the DA. The sights were good, but offered no improvement over the 686. I did not care for the grip. After the second one, I decided to stick with the S&W. I do not consider that the Python offers good value for the money. In comparison with a well-fitted 686, I prefer the 686. JMHO. Sincerely. brucev.
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Old 12-26-2009, 03:32 PM
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Many good opinions expressed in this thread, so I might as well add another or to what others have already stated.

If you're looking for art and have that kind of money, buy the Python. They are things of beauty and great shooters, but if you break one, be prepared to spend a lot of time and money bringing it back to life.

If you want good looks and functionality, the S&W can't be beat, be it an "L" or "N" frame. It will hit the same target with the same degree of accuracy, just as reliably, and has considerably better service support than the Colt. So, to use an analogy, you would own a Cadillac instead of a Rolls, still gets you where you want to go for considerably fewer $$$.

If you're looking for a daily driver, follow the advise of several other members (you may include me in that group), and get a Ruger GP100. They do all the above (accuracy, reliability), the triggers are greatly improved, and can be made very good with little effort by anyone with average mechanical skills. Plus, they are tanks. If you can find a factory load that will destroy a Ruger, let me know, because I've seen stupidly insane re-loads that couldn't do it. The other real advantages are if you scratch a Ruger, you won't cry, if you pack it to the boonies, it is incredibly easy to break down and clean, and a brand new one will cost about the same or less than anything mentioned above used. If a Buick will meet your needs, this is the one to consider.

All good guns, so it's a matter of how much your wallet will tolerate and how much the brand name means when you pull the trigger.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:03 PM
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What Gunny said about Rugers. If you don't care for the looks of the contemporary Ruger revolvers, think about the Security Six, Service Six or Speed Six, their immediate predecessors. Great guns, accurate, and, in my opinion, alot nicer looking than the GP100 or SP101, and very affordable. Too heavy a trigger out the box, but they are easy to work on (if I can do it...) A fair number of Smith collectors are fans of these older Rugers.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:29 PM
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In 357s I got a bunch. Amoung those are
a 27, 28, 686, 19, OM flattop Ruger and several NM Rugers. Notice the lack of any Colts. I had a Python and a Trooper Mk III. The Python was fantastic but I just couldn't shoot it well. The Trooper was, in my opinion, a better revolver. It seemed less fragile. I know that sounds subjective but "I'm just saying". Also, I like functionality above all and I could not understand the vent rib on the Python.

I think the most useful 357 in my safe is the model 28. It has a 4" barrel and even full-house 158 gr. bad boys shoot like a 38 in one of my K frames. It has a good trigger and I know it will never wear.

My advice is forget about names and try to find one that you shoot well. After all, nothing else really counts.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:39 PM
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I have them both, for shooting, you will want the 686

Pythons or mostly a collectors item these days due to the name and the fact that its difficult to find parts or someone to work on them that knows what they are doing.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:44 PM
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I have owned many blue and nickel Pythons during the past 35 years, 2.5-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch. I always bought them because I thought that I should have at least one example, but because they never really jazzed me, I would dump one and get another variation hoping that it would be "the one." My last one was an ANIB 1967 blue 4-inch, but it didn't do it for me either.

My best .357 is a 3.5-inch PC 27-8. Although it doesn't have the vintage charisma of the Smiths of Olde, and it doesn't have, as one member appropriately remarked, the mystique of the Python, the PC 27-8 has everything I want (including something I don't want -- the IL).

Perhaps I am out of step with the rest of the world, but Colts, including the Python, just don't float my boat. With the exception of the historical Victorian charm of the single action army, I just don't think they are interesting guns. The only two I would want now are the .45 Colt New Service and the 1908 .380 "hammerless" pocket auto, but of course these haven't been made since WWII. Smiths, on the other hand, are interesting; they have panache and have so many different models and variations that they are just plain fascinating.

Here are a few of my observations between Colt and Smith & Wesson. They are, of course, not really practical day-to-day concerns, but they do highlight a few differences between the brands:

Colt:

1. Cylinder rotates in same direction it closes, so cylinder rotation and lockup push against the frame (probably a negligible benefit considering modern manufacturing).

2. Cylinder stop notches are offset from the chambers, so the stop won't peen the metal into the cylinder, like what happened to one of my M15s.

3. Very simple cylinder locking mechanism: one large-diameter bin at the back of the cylinder. Unlike the Smith, Colt doesn't rely on opposing pins and springs for lockup. The ejector rod doesn't have those parts to bind, and a damaged ejector rod won't render the gun inoperable.

Smith & Wesson:

1. I like the lockwork better than Colt's; it operates smoother without the need to flex parts (Colt's "shelf and lever" gizmo).

2. Smith has a single-leaf mainspring, unlike Colt's "V"-shaped mainspring. I had these springs break at the point of the "V" in two old Colts I once had.

3. Even though more complicated than Colt, the fore-and-aft cylinder lockup on the Smith seems like a better idea, even with the drawbacks noted above. (As an aside, my 27-8 doesn't have an under-barrel locking pin; it has a ball detent on the front of the yoke that locks into a "V" notch in the barrel shroud.)

That said, I would go with the Smith. I agree with the other members' assessments of the Python, but I can't recommend buying one just because it is a Python. The Smith will be every bit as durable, parts availability and factory service should be good, and properly cared for, the Smith will likely give you many years of reliable service.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:59 PM
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I have owned many blue and nickel Pythons during the past 35 years, 2.5-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch. I always bought them because I thought that I should have at least one example, but because they never really jazzed me, I would dump one and get another variation hoping that it would be "the one." My last one was an ANIB 1967 blue 4-inch, but it didn't do it for me either.

My best .357 is a 3.5-inch PC 27-8. Although it doesn't have the vintage charisma of the Smiths of Olde, and it doesn't have, as one member appropriately remarked, the mystique of the Python, the PC 27-8 has everything I want (including something I don't want -- the IL).

Perhaps I am out of step with the rest of the world, but Colts, including the Python, just don't float my boat. With the exception of the historical Victorian charm of the single action army, I just don't think they are interesting guns. The only two I would want now are the .45 Colt New Service and the 1908 .380 "hammerless" pocket auto, but of course these haven't been made since WWII. Smiths, on the other hand, are interesting; they have panache and have so many different models and variations that they are just plain fascinating.

Here are a few of my observations between Colt and Smith & Wesson. They are, of course, not really practical day-to-day concerns, but they do highlight a few differences between the brands:

Colt:

1. Cylinder rotates in same direction it closes, so cylinder rotation and lockup push against the frame (probably a negligible benefit considering modern manufacturing).

2. Cylinder stop notches are offset from the chambers, so the stop won't peen the metal into the cylinder, like what happened to one of my M15s.

3. Very simple cylinder locking mechanism: one large-diameter bin at the back of the cylinder. Unlike the Smith, Colt doesn't rely on opposing pins and springs for lockup. The ejector rod doesn't have those parts to bind, and a damaged ejector rod won't render the gun inoperable.

Smith & Wesson:

1. I like the lockwork better than Colt's; it operates smoother without the need to flex parts (Colt's "shelf and lever" gizmo).

2. Smith has a single-leaf mainspring, unlike Colt's "V"-shaped mainspring. I had these springs break at the point of the "V" in two old Colts I once had.

3. Even though more complicated than Colt, the fore-and-aft cylinder lockup on the Smith seems like a better idea, even with the drawbacks noted above. (As an aside, my 27-8 doesn't have an under-barrel locking pin; it has a ball detent on the front of the yoke that locks into a "V" notch in the barrel shroud.)

That said, I would go with the Smith. I agree with the other members' assessments of the Python, but I can't recommend buying one just because it is a Python. The Smith will be every bit as durable, parts availability and factory service should be good, and properly cared for, the Smith will likely give you many years of reliable service.

Just my humble opinion.
S&W 27-2 5" and a Colt python 4" to me are the perfect matching pair hard to beat and of course S&W model 66 3inch.
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:20 PM
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How can you compare them? Get the one you like when you can afford it.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:46 PM
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I had a hard time walking away from a 6 inch 686 today. If only I didn't have a $1200 doctor bill to pay. $550 OTD.

The Model 19-5 that I chose made more sense financially for my personal use.

You wont regret the purchase.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:43 PM
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FWIW, first off both the Python and S&W .357's are great guns IMHO.

It is a very tough call IMHO.

There are differences in the actions and I like the old double actions of the Colts.

However, I did a little stoning here and there on my 686+ and it has a wonderful action IMHO.

If you can afford it though, I'd buy the Python now and the S&W .357's later due to availability.

But your question is very, very hard to answer because I believe both manufacturers make/made very nice .357 revolvers.

It is a subjective thing, but I favor, by a little bit, the old double action Colt revolver lockwork more than the S&W. I mean a VERY LITTLE BIT!!

You might look around for old Official Police revolvers made by Colt until 1969. I recently got a tack driver for only $225. It was an unrealistically good deal from my FFL friend but, it's action is as good as some Pythons I have fired. It isn't as robust or nice of a gun as the Python though. PLUS, the Official Police is .38 Special ONLY.

Alot of Official Police revolvers were made and alot are out there for MUCH less cost.

Maybe try one of those and buy the S&W .357 types also? (You'll have a nice .38 Special and a nice .357 that way.) Just a thought.

Here's an example of an Official Police on gunsamerica. Cost quite a bit more than I paid for but you will get the general idea:

http://www.gunsamerica.com/908516975...ial_Police.htm

Last edited by RDak; 12-27-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:53 PM
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buy em both... the python is a safe queen. smith makes a superior revolver all the way...
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:47 PM
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I'm just a novice compared to most of you guys, but I'll chime in! I only own (13) handguns total and only (3) are S&W's. However, there is one Colt Python in the group. Its a 4" blue manufactured in 1967 and is like new. I bought it at a small community estate auction in 2001 for $250!!!!! Since the purchase, its been fired less than (20) rounds! Its so damn pretty its strictly a safe queen! So my advice would be to buy a Smith, Ruger, or whatever if you intend to shoot it.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:24 AM
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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.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:24 AM
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The German KORTH is the Ferrari of 357's and has a price to match. It takes 4 to 6 months to make and is handbuilt.

That said Python/S&W your nit picking, both are simply excellent pistols.

The vent rib thing comes from the old King Sight Colt and Smith Super King conversions. I have the trifecta in Colt Officers Model King Super conversions...38, 32 & 22...even have one in the 22 Offical Police.

I also have my share of pythons, 686's, pre war 357's, pre 27's and even a Colt Shooting Master in 357.
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