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Last fall, I bought an excellent condition (95%) mid 70’s 4” Python on a whim. The price was right and I’d always admired the looks of the gun. Despite lots of experience with S&W revolvers I had none with Colt and wanted to find out for myself whether the Python was really at the top of the revolver pyramid.

My initial reaction was disappointment. While the Python was accurate when fired in single action, the double action left a lot to be desired. It was gritty, heavy and stacked severely. I was beginning to think the Python wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be.

To make matters worse, after owning it a few months the firing pin broke. At this point I was convinced the Python was more myth than reality and planned to do a quick fix of the firing pin and sell the gun.

Reading the posts here and on other forums was extremely helpful particularly those from dfariswheel. I bought a copy of Kuhnhausen’s book and into the Python I went.

Once the gun was apart, I discovered it was pretty gummed up with old oil and dirt. Also, the main spring looked nothing like the pictures in the book. It had either been a bad factory job or was bent out of shape by a previous owner for no apparent reason.

Replacing the firing pin is easy enough provided you are cautious about removing the rear sight and not losing the ball detents in the elevation screw. Thankfully, I followed Kuhnhausen and not the exploded diagram on the Colt site. It was dfariswheel who noted in one of his posts that in the drawing the firing pin spring is shown backwards.

I debated leaving the mainspring alone but decided that there wasn’t much left to lose at this point. Following Kuhnhausen’s directions I carefully (and I mean CAREFULLY) worked on the spring until it more closely resembled the pictures in the book.

Then every nook, cranny and part of the gun was thoroughly cleaned. While I would have liked to take the cylinder apart completely, dfariswheel warns against it without the proper tool so instead it got a thorough spraying with gunscrubber and a touch of lubrication.

When back together the difference in the trigger pull was immediately noticeable. It was much smoother with only a modest bit of stacking at the end. The trigger was so good that I began to worry that I’d gone too far and wondered if the primers would ignite reliably. At the range however, the Python lit everything including reloads that sometimes won’t fire in my S&W fitted with a Wolfe spring kit.

The redemption of the Python came when I put all 6 rounds into the black of a slow fire bullseye target at 20 yards while firing fast (but not too fast) double action. Feeling it might have been a fluke I reloaded and did it second time. Now I understood what all the fuss was about. This revolver fires smoothly, is accurate, and puts the bullets where I want them to be.

In a few short weeks, I went from thinking the Python was overrated to liking them so much that I was immediately attracted to a 99 per cent specimen that showed up at my local dealer. Needless to say I checked this one out more thoroughly than my first and when it passed all the tests my credit card was pushed across the counter. I wasn’t all that surprised really. From what I’ve read on this site, Pythons it seems have a tendency to multiply.

There are many good revolvers in the world today but there is nothing quite like a Python.





[This message has been edited by PJR (edited 04-26-2005).]
 

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A good story with a happy ending.

Now if you would NOT have taken the time to clean and fix the Python, your feelings for the Python would have left a bad taste in your mouth and never would have believed the hype.
It's good to see you put the time in that was needed and you didn't just flip the gun and go on thinking that the Python was just an "urban legend".

Congrats.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

[This message has been edited by GUNKWAZY (edited 04-26-2005).]
 

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PJR,

That's a very good lesson. I picked up a 4" Python many years ago (never should have sold it, but that's another story) and the action and accuracy were, well, Python-like. It spoiled me on other revolvers for awhile. I recently picked up an 8" Python Target and after a short range session, off it went to PHH for "tuning". Now it's action and trigger are, well, Python-like.
 

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The Python spoiled me concerning what I expect from revolvers in general. Never really liked Rugers much after shooting a smooth Python. Didn't stop from buying them of course... still do. Smiths were always second best and continue to be second best. But, I do love my Model 57 a lot and it shoots real good.
 
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