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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 11-03-2013, 11:28 PM
mjolnir2 mjolnir2 is offline
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Default S&W 586/686 Versus Python

I just read a thread regarding tuning up a 586 and one poster stated "Get that crown jewel S&W custom revolver for less total cost than a python, and then show those "devout" Colt followers what accuracy and precision looks like."

So… how many forum members have a Python curled up inside the safe?

Back in the 1980's when my father in law bought his first S&W 586, I wanted something different and paid $100 more for the Python ($475). Yes, we know about the current price craziness of the Python and investment angle, but how do they really compare out of the box? What did you get for the extra $100?

My impression/thoughts… I know you guys are not going to like this… but the action of the Python was better than the period S&W 586. My father in law had to send his 586 out for a $125 action job before it was on par with the Python. Fit on the 586 was on par with the Python; however, the finish (i.e., bluing) on the Python was so so well done it appeared black.

What say ye forum members?

Last edited by mjolnir2; 11-03-2013 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:37 PM
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I continue to kick myself in the arse for not buying a Python back in the day. There was nothing like the late 60's, early 70's "Snakes". Maybe the best production handgun in the world. I keep hoping I will run into a unique situation and will be able to get one without cringing at the inflated price tag.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:52 PM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is offline
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Saw a 6" NIB Royal Blue Python for sale at a Vegas show today. I asked the owner how much, he replied "There's no point in asking." Strange. He finally let on in a roundabout way that he wanted $2700.

Problem with the Python is that it is essentially out-of-print and parts and competent smiths to handle it are becoming hard to come by. Don "Ted" Tedford of Colt's and his screwdriver are long gone, I understand. Does anyone else remember him?

Smith parts are still available and the 686, albeit in a modified form, is still made. Shooting it in a regular manner is practical, as it can be serviced. Also, for many, the Colt grip is a smidge larger than the K/L grip, forcing us to grip it slightly to one side. A minor point, perhaps, but it does not feel as comfy as the SB K/L.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:54 PM
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Well,my python is a prettier gun than my 586 ( both are 99%) and the python has a smoother action.The 586 is an accurate gun,but I just don't have the heart to dirty up that 45 year old Colt :-D
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:00 AM
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pythons are better then the l frames in fit, finish, and in my opinion, accuracy. of course they used to cost about twice what the l frames did too. yes, I do know who ted tedford is. I own a python tuned by him. colt gunsmiths are available, just not everywhere like the smith guys are.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:01 AM
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I bought a new Python in 1981 for $440. It was nice, but they have to be the most over-rated gun in history. They are not exceptionally accurate; no more so than most, but certainly not inaccurate. The full lug, ventilated rib barrel looks ridiculous (my opinion) and I was so surprised that S&W copied that look for their L frame guns (I never have owned an L framed gun for that reason).

If the shiny blue is what really gives you a chubby, then, yes, the Python has "bling" going for it, but "pretty is as pretty does". And yes, Pythons do have a very nice, smooth trigger right from the factory.

After my father died I inherited his Model 28-2. A while after that I sold my Python and have never regretted it. I still have the M 28, along with more N, L, and J frame revolvers.

Incidentally, the Colt Army Special (I have one of these, also inherited from my dad), the Official Police (same gun, different name), the 3 5 7 (same gun, but with adjustable sights), and some other Colts share the Python frame, yet no one rants and raves about these. Minus the dude finish and pimp barrel, and adjustable sights (on some models) these are the same gun as the Python. There is just nothing about the Python that warrants its fame, except "they aren't making them any more". Of course, the same thing would be said about the other Colts I mentioned. I don't get it.

Just my opinion, for what it is worth.

Last edited by Warren Sear; 11-04-2013 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:08 AM
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I actually like my Colt Army Special (D.o.B. is 1927) better than I did my Python exactly BECAUSE it does not have the pimped-out look of the Python. This is what a man's gun should look like:
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Last edited by Warren Sear; 11-04-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:37 AM
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I had a LNIB 6" blue Python for a while...let it go. Yes, excellent action and beautiful gun overall, but while the action was smooth it did stack a bit and the reach to the trigger was too long to be comfortable for me. I only shot it once...shot fine but I enjoy my 586's more. I just can't own and shoot guns that cost that much.

I traded the Python for a 3" 66 (before they got expensive) plus some cash...turned the extra cash into another gun. I don't miss the Python...it was really only good for looking at.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:54 AM
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I've never been a fan of Colt revolvers, and the Python never did look that good to me. Nice bluing, but the vent rib and full underlug, with a teeny .357" hole, looked a bit over done to me. They shoot nice, but they are not worth the $$$. I'll take a Registered Magnum, Pre-27, or Model 27 over a snake any day. But that is me.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:54 AM
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A python from the '70s and earlier is a wonderful revolver, far better than a S&W

Tuning a S&W to Colt standards of that age required more money and luck in finding a good gunsmith than buying a factory Python

No S & W came close to the Pythons.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:01 AM
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Why exactly did they stop making them? And I once heard that the 686 and 586 were based on the Python.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:14 AM
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Of the four or five Pythons I've had (only two right now) none had as good a DA pull as your average S&W. Ejector stroke is shorter than any S&W with a barrel 3" or longer, so it's easier to foul up a quick reload. The Colt Accro sights aren't as good as the S&W's but the Elliason sight is excellent. That's providing the roll pin on either Colt rear sight doesn't fail. Single action pulls aren't too different. Can't load Keith type bullets as far out in the Colt, so some downloading is required. Cylinder throat diameter consistency is about the same, tending larger in the Pythons.

Have found that the Colt's shoot with fairly consistant accuracy in my small sampling over the years, but I've some S&Ws that are far better! (That's at 25 to 100yards.)

Did swap two S&Ws for one 6" Python recently, but only because the two Smiths weren't up to expectations. (One of 'em, a 629 PC, just because it looked "funny" and felt nose light!) Quite frankly, the "new" late 1970ish Python isn't all that exciting, either. The 4" stainless Colt has been the most satisfying of the lot, but it needed a fair amount of internal massaging to make it so.



Heck, this old Army Special 32-20 has a far better action than any Python I've ever hefted!:


And the factory Colt Grips on the Python? Wretched! But that's too subjective to get all wound up about:


Generally, I'd rather have a 586 or 686. The Colts linger about mostly as reminders of that opinion.

Last edited by jaymoore; 11-04-2013 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:17 AM
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The 586 was a less expensive copy of the Python.The latter required more hand fitting and a higher level of skill to produce and just became too expensive.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:35 AM
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Not to mention that the S&W will still be working long after the Python. The action was designed by Rube Goldberg and it needs attention far more frequently than the Smith.

Depends upon what you want: an investment or a shooter?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:29 AM
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I bought a Python 38 Spl Target revolver in 1987 from a LGS. One customer had brought in 30 guns because of a divorce settlement, angry ex-wife to be, and a poor choice for a lawyer. I paid $400 for a gun that shot off the paper at 25 yards. The barrel rib did not line up with the top strap. Contacted Colt, sent it in, came back with a factory letter saying it was in spec .

Gun went to Ahlman's in Morris, MN for repair, fitted with a 357 mag cylinder, and now shot to point of aim with rear sight centered. Average trigger at best, in fact my old Ruger Security Six had a better DA and SA trigger pull. The blueing was exceptional compared to M586 at the time, but not much better than a M27 of the day. The Python went to the first Colt collector I met with more money than what I had in it. He was not nearly as happy as I was .

The Python was grossly over-rated in my opinion. I had two Trooper Mk IIIs (very different actions) that held their own against that Python. Python blue is just cosmetics, just like the painted lady -- price to be determined. Ultimately the market place determined the real value. Colt Pythons are gone, and S&W is still in production.

Colt Python, Corvette StingRay, Hemi Cuda, Camaro SS 396 are collector pieces not every day working models. I want a car / truck I can drive and a gun I can shoot. I have three Gold Cups and a Government model all bought because the price was right -- not because they say COLT with a pony on the slide.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:17 AM
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Having learned double action shooting on the S&W trigger in the Air Force, I could never learn to like the Colt trigger. I owned a 6" stainless Python and a really nice 2 1/2" 357 in the mid 90s, but sold them because of the different trigger feel. The Python trigger was smooth and light, but just never felt right. The 357 trigger was a heavier version of the Python. Something about the angle of my grip in relation to the trigger pull just didn't work for good double action shooting. So I sold both and kept happily buying and shooting Smiths.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:19 AM
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In 1983 I walked into Charles Greenblatt's Gun Store in Commack, Long Island to but a new 6" Python. The sales person was Louie Greenblatt himself and when he showed me one and told me the price was $475 my stomach was churning! I was about to do an about face and leave, but I guess Louie realized the Pythons was out of my league at the time so he said in his grumbly voice - "wait here kid I want to show you something".

Louie brought me out a 6" Smith & Wesson Model 586 which was relatively new at the time and the designers must have been going after the Python market judging from the full underlug Python barrel it has. He told me he would sell me the gun for $265 and throw in a pistol rug too. I noticed that the action was VERY smooth, crisp, and was almost as good as the Python's. The Target grips had just enough character to grab my eyes attention and within 2 minutes the gun was being processed and on paper.

Well that's my Python story, but NOW I wished I had coughed up enough coin to buy the Python - UNDER $500 BUCKS, can you imagine?!! I still have my M586 and the action is as smooth as silk and still performs 100%. I have shot 10's of thousands of rounds through it and it is still in perfect time, still looks great, and I have never regretted buy it, but what I do regret is NOT buying a Python.

Each time I look at them the prices jump another few hundred bucks and I always wonder if & when the Python bubble will burst.

One of these days............
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:30 AM
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I only have one Colt left in my collection. I wouldn't trade any of my 586/686s or Sec Six/GPs for a Python. Nothing against those that enjoy the Snake but I prefer more robust working guns.

My Colt had to be sent back because the bore was drilled at an angle. Something you could see with your eye and it shot terrible. This was an 80s gun and it shot fine when I got it back but nothing to write home about.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:54 AM
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The cylinder release always seemed counter intuitive to me, and when I was first shopping for revolvers in the late 1990's the Colts were notorious for Q.C. issues.

I'm afraid this is as close to a Python as I was willing to get:



I've had great luck with S&W, though they became very unpopular for a time right after I purchased the first two, with the whole Clinton debacle.

I've always preferred the N frames and never warmed up to the K and especially L frames myself.

Of course, once anything becomes unavailable, they are more sought after. I have no interest in collectibles myself. If the Colt trigger was so superior they'd have been sought after in competition circles as well. To my understanding they were often not used as many felt the lockwork was too delicate for hard use.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
In 1983 I walked into Charles Greenblatt's Gun Store in Commack, Long Island to but a new 6" Python. The sales person was Louie Greenblatt himself and when he showed me one and told me the price was $475 my stomach was churning! I was about to do an about face and leave, but I guess Louie realized the Pythons was out of my league at the time so he said in his grumbly voice - "wait here kid I want to show you something".

Louie brought me out a 6" Smith & Wesson Model 586 which was relatively new at the time and the designers must have been going after the Python market judging from the full underlug Python barrel it has. He told me he would sell me the gun for $265 and throw in a pistol rug too. I noticed that the action was VERY smooth, crisp, and was almost as good as the Python's. The Target grips had just enough character to grab my eyes attention and within 2 minutes the gun was being processed and on paper.

Well that's my Python story, but NOW I wished I had coughed up enough coin to buy the Python - UNDER $500 BUCKS, can you imagine?!! I still have my M586 and the action is as smooth as silk and still performs 100%. I have shot 10's of thousands of rounds through it and it is still in perfect time, still looks great, and I have never regretted buy it, but what I do regret is NOT buying a Python.

Each time I look at them the prices jump another few hundred bucks and I always wonder if & when the Python bubble will burst.

One of these days............
Technically, factoring inflation into the equation, Python prices have remained steady, not risen.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:00 AM
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I've said it before, but in my opinion, the Python looks rather cartoon-ish. The vented rib, the exaggerated thumb spur of the hammer, the bisley-eque grips.

As far as the function, I have a close friend who owns a Python, and he has had more than one issue with it. It seems to have a problem with timing and the mainspring isn't as long-lived as a Smith.

Now, the Smith L frame, in my opinion, is a much more handsome piece. It is the model of doing more with less. Everything you need, with nothing you don't. No special ribs, beveled-off cylinders, oddly shaped grips, excessive hammer spurs. I don't believe that the Smiths require an action job, per se. Just shooting it smooths it out (no one will be afraid to shoot a $600-ish gun). My 686+ was extremely crisp and smooth. I didn't have a ton of rounds through it. Besides, who wants to shoot/carry a $2700 handgun? I'd be afraid to even handle it just standing at the safe door for fear of dropping/scratching/smudging it.

As an aside, I speak of my 686+ in past tense because I traded it for a M19-3 with a 4" in nickel. Someday I'll replace it with a 586/686 with a 6" barrel. What can I say, I have a sickness for K frames...
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjolnir2 View Post
I just read a thread regarding tuning up a 586 and one poster stated "Get that crown jewel S&W custom revolver for less total cost than a python, and then show those "devout" Colt followers what accuracy and precision looks like."

So… how many forum members have a Python curled up inside the safe?

Back in the 1980's when my father in law bought his first S&W 586, I wanted something different and paid $100 more for the Python ($475). Yes, we know about the current price craziness of the Python and investment angle, but how do they really compare out of the box? What did you get for the extra $100?

My impression/thoughts… I know you guys are not going to like this… but the action of the Python was better than the period S&W 586. My father in law had to send his 586 out for a $125 action job before it was on par with the Python. Fit on the 586 was on par with the Python; however, the finish (i.e., bluing) on the Python was so so well done it appeared black.

What say ye forum members?
That's so funny- I saw that post also and went on line to see
if i should send my SW rev. to have it customized. I don't own
any Colt Rev. I really like my SW 686 -I own 3 of them. They shoot great. I don't know if having the trigger work done is a good think. Having the trigger pull lighten is not safe --For me----
PS -every gun i have sold--i'm sorry i did that!!!!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:30 AM
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Pythons are over-styled and vastly overrated. Of the E and I frame Colts kept around here, the Python isn't even near the top for smoothness of action and its action is typical of garden variety factory Pythons. No better or no worse.

This 1978 Python isn't as fine as this 1953 3 5 7.


The 1925 .41 Army Special (second from top) beats all the other Colt E and I frame revolvers and the 1957 Officers Model Match at bottom is also ahead of the Python for fineness of action. The plebeian 1953 Official Police (second from bottom) is fully equal to a Python.


The Colt double-action trigger characteristics are "nothing to write home about" to a finger so programed to a fine Smith & Wesson double-action pull. The .41 Long Colt chambered Army Special here gives the best Colt double-action performance in the Colt stable.

I will say that I wholly dislike the full underlug barrel on both Pythons and L-Frame Smith & Wessons.

The Colts "unbuttoned." The only difference in E-Frame Colts and I-Frame Colts is the firing pin is on the hammer nose on the E-Frame models but is frame-mounted on I-Frame models.


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Old 11-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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Back in 1980 I bought my Dad a 6" blued Python and had Reeves Jungkind tune it. It's a wonderful shooter but it's more of a safe queen. Don't even remember when the last time it was shot.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:54 AM
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I'm looking for a Python here in Italy, the lowest price I've seen so far is 1400$ about 1000€

There is a gunshop that has one and if it's still around next month I'll grab it

but how many of you would shoot some Full Magnums in a Python?

Last saturday I tried my 686 with some 110 grain FMJ with 22 grains of H110.
Would you try that load in a Python?
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:07 AM
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Exclamation Smith vs Colt. Warning. Controversial

Take a read of Chuck Hawks opinion. Warning! This is a controversial diatribe from a well known gun writer who obviously has issues with Smith and Wesson. I have no dog in this hunt.
I apologize in advance if this stirs the pot.

The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

Last edited by big&slow; 11-04-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Adding
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:33 AM
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Blonde or brunette?
This pic needs a combat magnum.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:55 AM
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I have a 2.5 Inch 686 as well as a Stainless Python in 4" the Python has a Much smoother DA Trigger & the DA Pull is considerably lighter,Both guns are in Stock Factory Condition with no Trigger work.


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Old 11-04-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big&slow View Post
Take a read of Chuck Hawks opinion. Warning! This is a controversial diatribe from a well known gun writer who obviously has issues with Smith and Wesson. I have no dog in this hunt.
I apologize in advance if this stirs the pot.

The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson
Hahahhahahahaaaa!!!!! Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wildenout View Post
Why exactly did they stop making them? And I once heard that the 686 and 586 were based on the Python.
As in every business decision of that type, Colt stopped making the Python because it became unprofitable. It would seem the time is nigh to re-think that decision.

The 686 and 586 have absolutely nothing in common with the Python, other than visual similarity where S&W copied the Python "look" with apparent great success.

From the day I got it until I sold it, I always wanted to cut the barrel lug off my Python, but it would still have the stupid ventilated rib, so why bother?

Has S&W manufactured any L framed guns without the lug?

I do like the beveled face on the front of the Python's cylinder. It allows smoother re-holstering.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:06 PM
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The desirability of most things not made any more goes up as the "haves" praise it to agitate the "have nots". Pre Locks, walnut stocks, machined steel receivers and trigger groups, Pythons, in the world of guns the list is endless.
I like my 686, it oooozes quality, cocking the hammer sounds like music, they still make um. I accept what is available to me at a price I can afford and continue on with my life seldom looking back.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:14 PM
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I suspect a lot,if not most,python holders that never shoot them are aging baby boomers that couldn't justify buying them when we were young ( mortgages,babies,etc) and now that we have them,that urge to shoot every gun we touch,has passed.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
In 1983 I walked into Charles Greenblatt's Gun Store in Commack, Long Island to but a new 6" Python. The sales person was Louie Greenblatt himself and when he showed me one and told me the price was $475 my stomach was churning! I was about to do an about face and leave, but I guess Louie realized the Pythons was out of my league at the time so he said in his grumbly voice - "wait here kid I want to show you something".

Louie brought me out a 6" Smith & Wesson Model 586 which was relatively new at the time and the designers must have been going after the Python market judging from the full underlug Python barrel it has. He told me he would sell me the gun for $265 and throw in a pistol rug too. I noticed that the action was VERY smooth, crisp, and was almost as good as the Python's. The Target grips had just enough character to grab my eyes attention and within 2 minutes the gun was being processed and on paper.

Well that's my Python story, but NOW I wished I had coughed up enough coin to buy the Python - UNDER $500 BUCKS, can you imagine?!! I still have my M586 and the action is as smooth as silk and still performs 100%. I have shot 10's of thousands of rounds through it and it is still in perfect time, still looks great, and I have never regretted buy it, but what I do regret is NOT buying a Python.

Each time I look at them the prices jump another few hundred bucks and I always wonder if & when the Python bubble will burst.

One of these days............
About the same time (1981) as I bought my new Python for $440, my sister bought a house for about $40,000. What do you suppose that house is worth today?

Almost anyone could arrange the funds to buy a Python if they wanted to badly enough. They aren't that hard to find for under $2000. Once you scratch that itch, you too will probably wonder what all the hype was about. That's OK, because you should be able to quickly re-sell at at a profit (for now, anyway...)

Better yet, just get one of the Colt Army Special, Official Police or 3 5 7 revolvers mentioned above.

I like Colt revolvers, including the Python, but I hate Bull Squeezin's.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rpg View Post
A python from the '70s and earlier is a wonderful revolver, far better than a S&W

Tuning a S&W to Colt standards of that age required more money and luck in finding a good gunsmith than buying a factory Python

No S & W came close to the Pythons.
Ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-iht...
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:45 PM
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Tom, you said that better than I ever could! Heaven knows I tried above. Got a great Python story, but it's not for now.

Stay safe, partner.

Alan (Kaaskop49
Shield# 5103)
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:35 PM
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I have always thought that the Python was the best looking double action revolver ever, and have always had the desire to own one. However, I just never did pull the trigger on one before the prices just started going crazy. I have always owned a 586 or 686 and am totally content.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:45 PM
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I bought my first handgun about 1986. At the time I had several LEO friends and they helped me quite a bit regarding selecting my first revolver. At the time the 686 was known as the poor man's Python. Also, at that time the $150 difference between the 686 and Python was a substantial amount for those of us on limited budgets or with new families. So I chose the 686. Never regretted the choice, never looked back. Now I have 5 S&W revolvers, including a 686 I bought in 1988
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  #38  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:51 PM
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I don't shoot either one of these but I would have to agree that for appearance the python wins.




Oh I forgot the thread was about 586/686 vs the python so I had to add a photo of a 586 & 686. The 686 is a great shooter.


Last edited by 00Buck2; 11-04-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:10 PM
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I don't have a 586,or 686. Although I have shot them , some years ago.
My python has not been shot for at least 14 years. But I can honestly say that ...my python, and a friend's Boa , were the revolvers that would shoot a x ring in the bullseye on the first shot... cold bore shot.
This happened very often, in my , good earlier years and with my sharper younger eyes. my 30's.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:16 PM
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I have a tuned 6" Python. It is smooth and accurate. I bought it before the prices climbed the stairway to heaven. I have owned 4 Python's. All were made in the 60's and great. I carried a 4" when a LEO.

I still carry and shoot my 6". My Late father had an early 586. I shot it a lot, when Dad passed my brother asked for it. It was basically as accurate as a Python and I did like the 586. My lucky brother bought another 4" Nickel 586 no dash with the M stamp recently for just under $300 and won't sell it.

I've been looking for a 4 or 6" 586 but they too they have turned very expensive. If I find one and like it I probably will sell the Python. But would not trade the Python for an unknown 586 and cash.

I have owned a 6" SW 19-2 that had an action job, it was the equal of the Python for accuracy and every bit as smooth. Sold it due to having other 6" 357's.

For 1 year I owned a 98% Colt 3-5-7. It was a Python with out the trim. It was a very nice gun. The original owner wanted it back and offered me twice what I had paid him.

The Python was originally set up to be a target gun in 38 Special. That is why it had the rib and under lug. Colt brought it out in 357 Mag. Maybe because they had a set up for 3-5-7 cylinders....

This is the old which is best, Ford or Chevy. Both S&W and Colt have great positives. The big difference is, except for the SAA, Colt revolvers are like extinct orphans and collectors love them.

I love both too, but I now have 8 or 10 S&W's and 1 Python. I enjoy what each brings to the range or hunting fields.

Last edited by model70hunter; 11-04-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:18 PM
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I would have to disagree with you, 00Buck2. While your Python looks as good as any full underlug revolver I would take that 27 any day and twice on Sunday!

Nice 2 1/2" 586 by the way...
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
I would have to disagree with you, 00Buck2. While your Python looks as good as any full underlug revolver I would take that 27 any day and twice on Sunday!

Nice 2 1/2" 586 by the way...
Don't say that too loud

If Bobby aka: fattom see's this thread he will post a photo of his snub python. I would trade both my 27's for that snub python he has.

He is probably too busy chasing tail, whitetail that is, to see this thread anyway

P.S. the rut is in full swing in Indiana right now. I'm headed back to the tree stand.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:54 PM
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You know this always comes up on the S&W Forum and I get a laugh out of the insecurities of several members who cannot help but diminish the Python to nothing more than a weak, ugly, overrated, inaccurate, horribly finished piece of junk. Yet, look at what they bring on GunBroker and ask yourself if all of those people would be paying those prices for a gun with the aforementioned characteristics? Make no mistake, I love my S&W's they are great guns- as are my Colts. Everyone has an opinion, but it's not a crime to like both!
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:20 PM
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in the late 80's I got my 686 with the 8 3/8 bbl. and my friend got the python also with the 8 3/8 bbl. and we would go out and shoot the **** out of them. both shot great and we would trade back and forth to see who could shoot better with either gun. we always called it a tie. the part I liked best was I paid a lot less for a gun that would do every thing, the python could do. but today the python is worth a lot more.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:29 PM
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Default S&W 586/686 Versus Python

That $100 price difference in 1985 equals $217 today.I'm not seeing any 98% pythons selling for $8-$900 ;-)
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:33 PM
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Way back in 1990 I was Lucky enough to purchase a NIB 8 inch Royal Blue Python (mfd 1980) for $400. I put a set of fancy wood Hogue grips on it in place of the Colt/Pachmayer rubber. I loved the looks and the feel of that gun. Smooth as butter and was darned accurate too, especially with 148 grain wadcutters in a magnum case.
The cylinder was a bit short, even shorter than the S&W model 27-2, so certain loads wouldn't work due to OAL. Also, that Royal blue was the hardest to clean surface I've ever encountered. Finally, I cleaned it and put it back in its box to keep as eye candy and to show off.
Started a new job in 1993 and need to buy a camera and other tools, so I sold that Python for $750.

I now own several L frame Smiths. All are just as accurate with most loads as the Python. Some have very smooth actions and superb single action triggers, though none have the 'gliding on glass' feel of the V spring Colt action. I'll take the ease of service and durability of the L frame. I can (have) purchased three nice L frames for the price of a single nice Python. Now, I do have a couple of Colt's with actions nearly as smooth as the P-Snake. The Colt Official Police. Accurate, smooth as silk and fun to shoot and they are still available at under $500.

Would I buy another Python? Not in my current earning bracket. I'll leave the Snakes, SAA's and the $250 a bottle Scotch to those with true disposable income and stick with my Smiths and my Bourbon!
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
As in every business decision of that type, Colt stopped making the Python because it became unprofitable. It would seem the time is nigh to re-think that decision.
Is there even a Colt organization around to re-start production?
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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Blued guns are by far the prettiest but a royal pain to keep that way ;-)
All of my regular shooters are stainless or painted except for a pair of ruger 22s.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:45 PM
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I have worked selling guns on and off over the years. Have seen Colts break, have seen Smiths break. Both at about the same frequency. Purely mechanical objects have inherent flaws, usually at about the same frequencies.

I had a customer back in the mid-70's who was a LEO in the Bay Area. His Python broke, a simple repair. He was so superstitious that he sold the broken gun at a discount just to be able to buy a "new" Python.

Gunshops make money on our "feelings," our passions and prejudices. But, that is part of what makes the world go around.
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Last edited by sac-gunslinger; 11-05-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:50 PM
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Baby Python!

I worked on a federal contract in Nevada in the early 80's. Had to carry a 38 Special (loaded with 158 grain round-nose lead ammo). Bought a 4" Diamondback for the task. Cool looking gun with the Python barrel on a Detective Special/Police Positive frame. Finish was just about as good as the Pythons. Odd shaped uncomfortable grips. Action was classic Detective Special stiff. Diamondbacks now fetch almost as much as Pythons. Must have done its job well, I am still here.
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