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I have been wondering this for a while . I will own a Python one day , but I am curious as to if any other Colt revolver or other manufacturer has ever came close to making a quality revolver as well. I have 2 Colt semi auto pistols that I think quit a bit of. Also have a S & W 686 , bought new 15 years ago. I have always liked it , looks , accuracy etc. Just looking to hear from some that are more knowledgable on this subject.
 

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Assuming you mean double action revolvers.......

Short of the brilliant Royal Blue finish of the Python and the even more tuned and smoothed action, Colt guns that come close to the Python for accuracy and quality are the:
357 Model.
Officer's Models.
Shooting Master.
Later original Troopers.

In other brands, some of the top end S&W's like the pre-war Registered Magnum and the Model 29.

In foreign guns the Korth and French Manurhin guns.
 

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I have been wondering this for a while . I will own a Python one day , but I am curious as to if any other Colt revolver or other manufacturer has ever came close to making a quality revolver as well.I have always liked it , looks , accuracy etc. Just looking to hear from some that are more knowledgable on this subject.
Colt did. The nearly 50 year production run of the Python was just the 2nd half of a nearly 100 year production run of the "modern" Colt double action revolver action design. It can be argued that there were only 3 major things that set the Python apart and that were responsible for it's successful and iconic status (a shiny finish, a fancy barrel, and a cool model name). All of which had almost no impact on shooting performance. If your lucky A1A will dig up a previous post discussing the history of the Colt DA lock work.

The I-Frame Python action was an evolution/improvement of the E-frame which dates back with the D-frame to the early 1900's when they where first introduced. Early in production the frames did not have letter designations. Colt offered 3 different sizes of frames with the same action lock work design for various chamberings. The "small frame" .38 caliber. The "mid-size frame" .41 caliber. And the "large frame" .45 caliber. The police positive and later "small frame" models that followed (pocket positive, Detective Special, Diamondback, etc.) had a production run spanning 1905 - the mid 1990's. The Army Special and later "mid-size frame" models that followed (official police, officers model, Model 357, python, etc.) had a production run spanning roughly 1908-2003. Finally the New Service and other "large frame" models (Shooting Master, etc.) had a production run spanning roughly 1898 - 1944.

So to answer you question, all of these revolver models made on the "modern" Colt D.A. small, medium, and large frames are close/similar quality revolvers to the Python because the action design are almost identical and they were all hand fit and tuned by craftsmen at Colt with a level of skill and expertise which will never be seen in large scale handgun production ever again. What all these other models lacked in one way or another: a shiny finish, a fancy barrel, and a cool model name. Well all except the Diamondback, but they command Python prices . . .
 

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Freedom Arms maybe
+1 This is what instantly popped in my head
I have owned and own many Pythons and they are a fantastic gun as far as fit and finish goes, actually one of the best of DA Revolvers I have ever saw. You all know I love them. However the couple Freedom Arms I owned were the best made handguns I have ever owned (not the minis, the mid and large frame Revolvers), and actually I dont even own one now. Guy offered me a ANIB Nickel Python for the last one I had so down the road it went. They are so tight if you shoot them about 50 times without cleaning, the cylinder can lock up on you. They are amazing pieces of work and most of them will flat out shoot!!! Of Course you will have to pay up for those also. I will say that I have been shooting quite a few Pythons lately and I have been disappointed in accuracy, not saying they have been bad, but about 2.5 inch to 3 inch 6 shot groups is all I can do at 25 yards on bags with them with various grain bullets/loads. It seems like I can get 3 or 4 in a good 1 inch to 1.5 inch group but I will always have a couple that fly off a couple of inchs. I have had several N-Frame Smith 357s (27 and 28s) that are what I can bull's eye guns, for me anyway. I could shoot a 1.5 to 2 inch 6 shoot group at 25 yards all day long. Maybe I just havent found the right Python yet, and I can't bring myself to shoot unfired (or factory test fired only) ones. My uncle said the same thing, he shot in some shooting matches, and he owned about 15 Pythons (a few bought new) through the years and he said he always had the same problem-one or two fliers. Of course the Python is THE BEST LOOKING DA Revolver to ever be made and there's nothing like them when you cock that buttery smooth hammer imo:p...
 

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I love Colts, but the finest-fitted gun I have ever handled is the Smith & Wesson Triple Lock. (The machining on the third lock looks like that found on a Swiss watch. If you have not inspected a Triple Lock, you have no idea of the excellence of the fitting.)

If the shiny finish on the Python is the standard to be judged, then most any Pre-War Smith & Wesson finish and the finish on 1950s Smith & Wesson .44 Magnums are the equal to any Python and superior to most. Most any Pre-War Colt has superior fit to any Python. I have an early 1980s Python from the Custom Shop that I bought new that has rounded edges and dished screw holes as bad as a bad "Bubba" refinish.

The Shooting Master is the pinnacle of Pre-war Colt double-action revolvers, and is superior to any Python.

Others may disagree, but the foregoing are my observations based on decades of comparing and collecting.
 

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JudgeColt may have a point. The Triple Lock is fascinating. I took my Smith & Wesson .44 Special visiting a Triple Lock a few years back

Here are a few photos of the design (bottom revolver) compared with a later Smith & Wesson Model of 1926 (Third Model) .44 Special shipped in 1932.



The Triple Lock's unique additional locking lug.


The Model of 1926 with conventional yoke and with the third lock deleted.


The right side of the two revolvers showing the Triple Lock (top) with the lock fitted into the frame.


As they were both 5-inch guns some silly dual-wielding shooting was accomplished along with more serious work with the revolvers. Both are very smooth revolvers but the Triple Lock's action feel and lock-up is to die for. The merest dimple of a U-notch rear sight was even less pronounced than that of a Model 1917 Smith & Wesson revolver and far inferior to the square notch rear sight of the Model of 1926. It is a bit harder to pick up. Nonetheless, the revolver is glorious to operate and fun to shoot.
 

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The 1925 Army Special chambered for .41 Long Colt that I picked up a couple years back has a smoother action and better trigger than my Python or any of several others that I've used.
 

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I agree, the Triple Lock is definetely a high point and very much a sought after revolver. . I'd love to have one and the looking does keep me interested. So far all I have is the stocks.

Rod
 

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Wait a minute!! You mean to tell me there are other brands out there besides Colt? Hmmmm, interesting. Nothing other than Colt will reside in my safe. I made sure I became a supporting member of this site when I found it, because of the way I feel about the brand and its history. Am I short sighted? You bet I am.:cool:
 

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"In some aspects the Python is overrated or more than a few other revolvers are underrated."

Agreed.

I personally don't understand all the current hype about the Python. Sure, it got some special hand fitting and the tapered rifled barrel, but as has been mention already, there were many other Colts and models that can and do outshoot the Python. It certainly isn't the best DA revolver ever made. And, oh yeah, they are WAY overpriced because of all the current hype.
 

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For your money: Taurus model 669 in blue .357 (don't knock it, these cats shoot great). Also, a Ruger SP101
 

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I agree. I recently got my first Python after wanting one for 40 years. It is a work of art in form and function, fit and finish and I am thrilled with it. I also have a S&W Registered Magnum with 3.5" bbl that I have had for many years and I can describe it with the same praise, I believe they are on par

sure, how about either a registered magnum or a triple lock smith and wesson?

all are gonna cost ya! :)
 

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I agree with the "Judge". My pre-war Colts and S&W's are MUCH finer shooting handguns that my Pythons (4). In fact, I have a couple of pre-war and 1 post-war S&W's that have a finish as nice as any Python. Of course, the only cool S&W's were the ones factory-fitted with ribbed barrel and "King" sight, and looked like a Python. This sight was remarkable, in that it was the Pre-war version of our modern high-vis sights. Inserted in the rib, was a 45-degree recess on which was mounted a mirror which, in-turn, reflected light onto the red insert front sight ..... lit it up in daylight! This WAS a S&W factory option.
My 38/44 Outdoorsman and my Model 53 4" gun have a finish that compares well with all the Pythons.....





I know this is a Colt site, but fact is fact.

Now, in terms of shooting....
My Freedom arms (line-bored) .454 Casull will outperform my Steyr Scout .308 rifle at 100 yards. Grant you, the rifle has a 2x power scout scope and the handgun has a 7x scope....but the gun holds 1" @ 100 yards.


At conservative ranges....25-50 yds. My Pythons performed poorly compared to my Registered Magnum (1935) or my S&W Performance Center revolvers. The later are the finest revolvers I have owned.




Terry
 
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