Accuracy - New Python vs Legacy Python features compared
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    Accuracy - New Python vs Legacy Python features compared

    I just took my 1961 "new to me" Python out for a more careful range session. Once I have a new Python I'll compare them for accuracy with the same loads and range condition (and shooter). But for now, I can compare features that were designed back in the late 1950s for Colt target revolvers.

    Both have:
    Ventilated rib. This shifts the center of gravity towards the front of the gun, making it muzzle heavy. The idea is that a longer, heavier barrel will not shake as much because it takes more force to move something with greater static potential energy. When King and others aftermarket smiths started adding ribs they were solid. Colt found the new design on the Python was too heavy, so cut square holes to relieve some weight. It's raised sight plane does nothing for the shooter, compared to raised ribs on shotguns who are sighted differently.

    Long sight radius. The rear sight hangs off the rear, the front is as far forward as the barrel allows. Lots of handguns do this, but not all, nor do all rifles.

    Light single action trigger. In the 1950s bullseye matches were shot single action, slow fire. Double wasn't used much at all. The legacy python has a fantastic single action trigger with a "glass rod breaking" let off.

    Double Action is different in the two eras. The Legacy DA is smooth and gets harder right before the end, allowing a shooter to "stack" the trigger in DA until right before it lets off, then pause until his sights are right on target, then he finishes the pull. The new Python has no stacking, it's just a pull until it goes off. Not sure which would be better for target shooting, but again people usually cock to fire on targets at long range and calm settings.

    Original (legacy) Pythons only have:

    A very smooth, lapped bore. The legacy Pythons had a proprietary process to create an internal taper or "choke" that got tighter towards the muzzle. It is very slight and hard to measure. Early target shooters believed a choked bore was more accurate. Harry Pope and others created this taper in their desirable target barrels. Anschuetz and a few other high end target guns still do. The new Python I'm sure does not. A smooth bore and rifling is critical for good accuracy.

    Shallow rifling. The original Python appears to have very shallow grooves. This was alleged to be more accurate than deep grooves.

    A hand fitted action for the lightest possible trigger and very good timing. This is a chicken and egg situation: you must do some hand honing and fitting to get a light trigger on the 20th century Colt action. I'd say the "target attribute" is that all original pythons had excellent actions out of the box. The new one does too with no hand fitting, but I've read a few say the Single Action pull is gritty (clean your gun). The old action will not get a very long cylinder line if you close the action carefully - it's leads are short. The new action leads are so long they almost meet the next notch on the cylinder. Kind of makes getting a cylinder line not an issue, but I suspect you'll have quite a "lead line."

    Bank vault lockup cylinder. The pressure on the trigger forces the cylinder to be into tight alignment as you fire. The cylinder notches do part of the work, the trigger hand the rest. This alignment is critical in revolvers for accuracy.

    Results of today's shoot. I found my 158 gr titegroup load was much more accurate than my Unique one at 15 and 25 yards.

    Last edited by azshot; 01-11-2020 at 04:45 PM.
    Silverreptile357 likes this.

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    "The legacy python has a fantastic single action trigger with a "glass rod breaking" let off."

    That is so true - a really beautiful sound. Wondering if anyone with a new one can give us a comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azshot View Post
    I just took my 1961 "new to me" Python out for a more careful range session. Once I have a new Python I'll compare them for accuracy with the same loads and range condition (and shooter). But for now, I can compare features that were designed back in the late 1950s for Colt target revolvers.

    Both have:
    Ventilated rib. This shifts the center of gravity towards the front of the gun, making it muzzle heavy. The idea is that a longer, heavier barrel will not shake as much because it takes more force to move something with greater static potential energy. When King and others aftermarket smiths started adding ribs they were solid. Colt found the new design on the Python was too heavy, so cut square holes to relieve some weight. It's raised sight plane does nothing for the shooter, compared to raised ribs on shotguns who are sighted differently.

    Long sight radius. The rear sight hangs off the rear, the front is as far forward as the barrel allows. Lots of handguns do this, but not all, nor do all rifles.

    Light single action trigger. In the 1950s bullseye matches were shot single action, slow fire. Double wasn't used much at all. The legacy python has a fantastic single action trigger with a "glass rod breaking" let off.

    Double Action is different in the two eras. The Legacy DA is smooth and gets harder right before the end, allowing a shooter to "stack" the trigger in DA until right before it lets off, then pause until his sights are right on target, then he finishes the pull. The new Python has no stacking, it's just a pull until it goes off. Not sure which would be better for target shooting, but again people usually cock to fire on targets at long range and calm settings.

    Original (legacy) Pythons only have:

    A very smooth, lapped bore. The legacy Pythons had a proprietary process to create an internal taper or "choke" that got tighter towards the muzzle. It is very slight and hard to measure. Early target shooters believed a choked bore was more accurate. Harry Pope and others created this taper in their desirable target barrels. Anschuetz and a few other high end target guns still do. The new Python I'm sure does not. A smooth bore and rifling is critical for good accuracy.

    Shallow rifling. The original Python appears to have very shallow grooves. This was alleged to be more accurate than deep grooves.

    A hand fitted action for the lightest possible trigger and very good timing. This is a chicken and egg situation: you must do some hand honing and fitting to get a light trigger on the 20th century Colt action. I'd say the "target attribute" is that all original pythons had excellent actions out of the box. The new one does too with no hand fitting, but I've read a few say the Single Action pull is gritty (clean your gun). The old action will not get a very long cylinder line if you close the action carefully - it's leads are short. The new action leads are so long they almost meet the next notch on the cylinder. Kind of makes getting a cylinder line not an issue, but I suspect you'll have quite a "lead line."

    Bank vault lockup cylinder. The pressure on the trigger forces the cylinder to be into tight alignment as you fire. The cylinder notches do part of the work, the trigger hand the rest. This alignment is critical in revolvers for accuracy.

    Results of today's shoot. I found my 158 gr titegroup load was much more accurate than my Unique one at 15 and 25 yards.

    Was that 15 yards from a gun rest? Nice shooting however you did it.

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    Why are you sure the new Python does not have the tapered bore?

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    Because if Colt did that they would say. And because people are reporting rough bores which wouldn't exhibit if it was a lapped bore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toucan View Post
    Was that 15 yards from a gun rest? Nice shooting however you did it.
    If you mean a Ransom rest, no. Just supported my hand on a sandbag. This one was when I first bought the gun, freehand at about 20 yds, paced off in the desert. The other was at a range marked.

    Last edited by azshot; 01-11-2020 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azshot View Post
    If you mean a Ransom rest, no. Just supported my hand on a sandbag. This one was when I first bought the gun, freehand at about 20 yds, paced off in the desert. The other was at a range marked.

    Great shooting! They are quite accurate especially when you have 8 inches... This is handheld, bench supported at 25 yards.

    0618B32F-55D6-4364-A422-0F537E36D67C.jpg8827B284-691E-43C3-83BD-5C4DD9A8A7C6.jpg
    Last edited by sublimert70; 01-11-2020 at 05:03 PM.

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    You guys are crazy good in my opinion. If I showed you my targets you'd ban me from posting and probably suggest I only shoot air pistols. And the funny thing is - I shoot a lot better than most of the guys around me at the range. If they had a 6" Python and a deer was casually walking by thirty feet away, they might scare it into running.

    Great targets. I look forward to getting to a point where I feel comfortable posting a target.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by runscott View Post
    You guys are crazy good in my opinion. If I showed you my targets you'd ban me from posting and probably suggest I only shoot air pistols. And the funny thing is - I shoot a lot better than most of the guys around me at the range. If they had a 6" Python and a deer was casually walking by thirty feet away, they might scare it into running.

    Great targets. I look forward to getting to a point where I feel comfortable posting a target.
    You’ll get there! A key element is that I reload so I have “fine tuned” what the gun likes... BTW, love your deer example!

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    Where is the 2020 Python target? Did I miss it?


 
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