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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So here’s a post I made on another gun forum in Nov of 2019, the topic was something about shooting revolvers in double action.

“ There’s not a lot of things I find more fun than shooting steel plates as fast as I can (not very fast) in double action. My favourite guns to shoot in double action are my 108mm Murray Charlton custom M19, my 610 and 625 (also tuned by Murray) and my MR73 which just begs to be fired in double action.

Revolvers I don’t shoot in double action are Pythons and Anacondas. For that matter I don’t even shoot them in single action.”

So fast forward to January 1st, 2020 and my wife wakes up to me rambling on about the excitement of the Python 2020. It took about a day of fighting the urge before putting a deposit down on a 4.25” version that is supposed to be coming in March.

I believe I am one of those people that Colt was marketing towards when they eliminated the stacking on the Python 2020 and I look forward to putting the new gun through its paces as soon as I can.

My question is with an MR73 setting the bar very high as a baseline how do you think the Python 2020 will compare of course assuming that I don’t have any of the early issues identified with a very small fraction of the guns already released?

For anyone who has fired the Python 2020 and an MR73 what was your impression around how the Python compared? I was out at the range with my MR73 today and the thought crossed my mind that I should cancel my deposit cause there’s no way the Python will compare. Of course I haven’t and I won’t but am I setting myself up for disappointment or should I hold out hope?
 

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You should definitely cancel the Colt Python order. That'll free one up for somebody who really wants one.
 

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Well a very good marksman could probably print accurate targets with a pea shooter.
Your French revolver requires 12 hours of hand fitting per unit.
It's in its own category.
I look forward to your range comparison when the time arrives.
4inch MR73?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You should definitely cancel the Colt Python order. That'll free one up for somebody who really wants one.
Ha ha, I definitely want one and I’m optimistic about it. What I’m most optimistic about is the new double action trigger. I like the fact that Colt has recognized the limitations of the “legacy” Python’s trigger in double action and the fact that they have addressed it. From what I hear about the new double action is that it is much improved and I guess I’m just curious about how far it has come using the MR73 as a baseline comparison.

When I first got into revolver shooting I never fired them in double action. Back then I used to shoot groups with Python’s and Anaconda’s and was always impressed with their single actions and their ability to shoot the tiniest of groups. After many years of competing in 3-gun and other shooting sports I never fire my D/A revolvers in single action anymore which is why my snake guns have been sitting on the shelf. I am hoping that the new Python is going to be one of those guns that begs to be fired fast in double action and again am just curious about how it’ll stack up against what I consider to be the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well a very good marksman could probably print accurate targets with a pea shooter.
Your French revolver requires 12 hours of hand fitting per unit.
It's in its own category.
I look forward to your range comparison when the time arrives.
4inch MR73?
My MR73 is the 5.25” version. Not really an apples to apples comparison but I am hoping that the Python is in the ballpark (anyway you look at it I’m sure it’ll be fun to shoot).

As for a range report I’ll gladly post my results once I get a chance. Mine is expected late March if all goes to plan but I’m hoping someone else will chime in in the meantime.
 

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I like the fact that Colt has recognized the limitations of the “legacy” Python’s trigger in double action and the fact that they have addressed it.
I've been shooting Colt revolvers for thirty years and never felt there were any "limitations" to the double-action trigger in the Python or any other Colt with the leaf spring action. It is what it is...and it's well proven and is well capable of doing its job if the shooter does his. Like any other machine such as an automobile, it takes getting used to and mastering. The Colt is no more difficult than any other double-action revolver in operation and to learn. Since Colt had more or less deserted the law enforcement and commercial market going back as far as the 1960s, fewer shooters have even tried a Colt much less are using one. The action is simply a bit different in feel. Some might have a heavier trigger pull than others...Colt as well as all other makers have minimum and maximum trigger pull specs.

There are no "limitations" on the older Python action...that's an urban legend at best and crap at worst. That Colt decided to improve the action is to Colt's credit...but even then some will think it's a step backwards and they're free to believe that. While it's too early to say with certainly about the new design being an improvement time and use will tell. Fewer moving parts is usually considered a plus.
 

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I'm thinking if you can afford a Manurhin MR73 and several custom tuned S&Ws, a new Python should be something else to try. You can then decide if you like it after shooting it a bunch.

Most guns (or anything) are not perfect in every respect. You have other things to consider besides trigger pull. Angle of the grip compared to the trigger (does your finger point up, straight, or down) is one. Length of trigger pull another. Sights, balance, and much more are also factors that are very subjective.

Some of us prioritize one thing, others another. For example, I really like the trigger of my 1960s High Standard Trophy. But they changed the grip angle in those years to be more like a 1911. Some like the early, angled grip more, that is like a Luger. The Trophy has some flaws too, very picky with ammo and magazines, and known to have their frames crack if you shoot a lot of high velocity. Those are all the "bad" things, but the "good" is it's so accurate and the trigger is so good, I love the gun.
 

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I've been shooting Colt revolvers for thirty years and never felt there were any "limitations" to the double-action trigger in the Python or any other Colt with the leaf spring action. It is what it is...and it's well proven and is well capable of doing its job if the shooter does his. Like any other machine such as an automobile, it takes getting used to and mastering. The Colt is no more difficult than any other double-action revolver in operation and to learn. Since Colt had more or less deserted the law enforcement and commercial market going back as far as the 1960s, fewer shooters have even tried a Colt much less are using one. The action is simply a bit different in feel. Some might have a heavier trigger pull than others...Colt as well as all other makers have minimum and maximum trigger pull specs.

There are no "limitations" on the older Python action...that's an urban legend at best and crap at worst. That Colt decided to improve the action is to Colt's credit...but even then some will think it's a step backwards and they're free to believe that. While it's too early to say with certainly about the new design being an improvement time and use will tell. Fewer moving parts is usually considered a plus.
I have the new and old Python and the DA is definitely an improvement from the old Python. That was one of the biggest goals of the new Python to eliminate the stacking. They were successful.
 

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I often got a quiet laugh at some shooters who complained about the old Colt action's stacking.
Some of these people were PPC shooters who had rubber trigger stops on their guns to give..... a stacking type feel.

The origin of the Python action was in the 1890's, with the medium frame version the Army Special of 1908.
In short, the old Colt action was a design of TWO CENTURY'S ago.

Apparently when Colt decided to bring back a modern Python they made a decision to upgrade the action for modern production methods and to eliminate both the stacking feel, and the over stated "weak" action to one that would be far more durable.

From all accounts they've succeeded at three with the new Python.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for the comments and very valid points especially those around personal preferences. The more I think about it the point where I started shooting double action was right around the point where Python prices started going crazy. That being said I never really shot the snake guns a lot in double action because in my head I wanted to keep my “investments” in pristine condition. I didn’t worry about running my Smith and Wesson’s hard because they were not going up in value by the day. I actually wonder now had I started shooting snake guns exclusively in double action prior to Smith and Wesson’s if my point of view might be different today. As for the MR73 I purchased that one as a “keeper” and dedicated run it hard shooter fully accepting that it will wear as any working gun will.

Anyway you look at it I am excited to get my hands on a Python which for me will also be a dedicated shooter. What is yet to be seen is will it draw significant range time away from my MR73?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well that was a fun day at the range! Finally got my 2020 Python and had a chance to get it to the range. Initial impressions of the Python were great, the crown was clean, the screws tight (all except for the allen key set screw on the rear sight) and the finish looks great. I tried 4 different loads with both the MR73 and the Python just to compare accuracy and you can see the results. The loads were all with 158gr flat point plated bullets, with Titegroup, N340 and N320. Accuracy was comparable as you can see. Reliabililty with both guns was 100% and I put a couple hundred rounds through each. As far as function the action on the Python is definitely heavier than the MR73 (to be expected) but I will see if it loosens up over time and if not I will look at getting a trigger job. Overall I can say I am not disappointed with the Python. Luckily I don't have to answer any "if I could only have 1" questions so for now I will just enjoy shooting both!
 

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JohnnyMac that's some fine shooting with your new Python. My biggest gripe with the old ones was that they go out of time so easily. 30 years ago your friendly local gunsmith could correct it but nowadays hardly anyone including Colt will work on them. If the new 2020 Python maintains timing with some hard use that will be a major improvement. I just got an email today from Arms Unlimited that my new 4.25" Python has shipped so like you I look forward to put it to the test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
JohnnyMac that's some fine shooting with your new Python. My biggest gripe with the old ones was that they go out of time so easily. 30 years ago your friendly local gunsmith could correct it but nowadays hardly anyone including Colt will work on them. If the new 2020 Python maintains timing with some hard use that will be a major improvement. I just got an email today from Arms Unlimited that my new 4.25" Python has shipped so like you I look forward to put it to the test.
Thanks for that and yes not a lot of gunsmiths in Canada I’d trust with my Colts. I hope your new Python works out for you. Based on what I’ve seen so far I’m not worried about putting mine through some hard use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So just a little bit more on my range day. So I started out shooting the Python first. I started by sighting in the gun in single action at 15 yards off the bench. After 6 rounds I noticed it shooting a little high so I turned it 3 clicks down. 6 more rounds showed it was right on target, well that was easy. Next I just tried to get a feel for the double action trigger on paper at 15m and steel plates at 25m. The double action was heavier than I thought it would be based off of the reviews I have read and it showed as my first shot was the taped flyer to the right on the upper left bullseye on the target pictured above. I suspect my gun is one of the later Python’s produced after the fix for light primer strikes. For reference it is serial number ending in 413x and produced Feb 29th (go figure it’s leap year and a Saturday). The double action is a smooth pull though and I’m hoping that it will lighten up a bit with some use.

After getting a feel I decided to see what kind of groups I could get with some different loads I had brought. These groups (pictured above) were fired at 15m in single action. The single action was on the heavier side but had a very clean break.

Unlike other reports I have no problem with the rear sight and after installing a fibre optic front sight it is my preferred sight picture with a plain black rear and fibre optic front. The notch on the rear sight is narrow for my preference at .129” but that seems to be common on most factory guns. I also like the rounded edges on the rear sight.

Next up was the MR73. I started by shooting groups in single action on paper at 15m to confirm it was still shooting to point of aim (pictured above). The trigger break on the MR73 is hands down the best I have ever had. It’s clean but light and seems to break when your brain sends it’s first signal to your trigger finger. The rear sight has two white dots and the front sight is black. The only sight picture I like less is if the front sight had a white dot as well. I am tempted to black the dots out with a felt pen but haven’t brought myself to do it yet. The rear notch is a little wider at .141”, not quite as wide as I would like but wider than the Python. I need to mention the hammer on the MR73 is narrower and shorter than the Python making it harder to grasp with your thumb. That being said I hardly ever shoot it in single action so it’s a non-issue for me.

Next was steel plates at 25m, 35m and 50m all in double action. Shooting slowly, my hit rate averaged 5/6 at 25m and 35m but at 50m was closer to 50%. I didn’t measure the plates but I’m guessing they’re about 9 or 10”. The double action on the MR73 is also the best double action I have ever experienced making it a joy to shoot. The MR73 like the Python does have a longer reset and if you’re used to auto’s I could see how someone may start pulling the trigger again before the trigger has reset.

The grip feel of the MR73 is narrower than the Python and although longer barreled at 5.25” vs the 4.25” Python the MR73 feels lighter and maybe a little more agile. The grips have a distinct finger groove feel which some people like and others don’t. I am currently looking for a different set of grips for mine as I don’t really like the high-back of the Trausch grips however so far I like the overall feel of the MR73 better. That could just be because I shoot it a lot and it’s what I’m used to, however I suspect it is the narrower grip and the lighter feel of the gun that appeals to me (I do have small hands and for reference my S&W M19 fits my hands beautifully).

At this point I went back to the Python and started shooting plates again in double action. My first 6 shots at 25m resulted in only one hit. It probably didn’t help that the sight picture on the Python is shorter but I attribute the misses to the fact that the MR73 makes shooting in double action easy and when I got back to the Python I was being lazy with my technique. I loaded up again and refocused my efforts and managed to hit 4 out of 6, again at 25m. I continued to shoot plates at 25m, 35m and 50m. As I tightened up my technique my hit % went up but not as high as with the MR73. I think I can get there with more trigger time with this gun and I’m sure a lighter double action would help.

As you can see the accuracy of these guns while shooting single action is quite comparable. The ability to realize the full accuracy potential of the gun at speed and under stress is what really matters though when evaluating a firearm. Shooting steel plates in double action is obviously just one small step in understanding my ability to realize that potential. In this case the MR73 came out ahead but I am hoping with more trigger time with the Python I might be able to tighten that gap and hopefully at some point I will get to see how they stack up in a training or competitive course.
 

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In .357 Magnum I have three prewar S&W revolvers, two registered and one non-registered; a 1937 Colt Shooting Master and a 1957 Python; and three MR73 Manurhins. Here are my observations.
Colts are much better made and more precisely fitted, of finer and stronger materials, than Smith & Wessons.
The Smith & Wesson single stage lockup is not nearly as precise as, but much more durable than, the Colt double stage lockup. The Manurhin MR73 combines the quality and precision of the Colts with the ruggedness of the Smith & Wessons.
In a nutshell, an early Python is a better revolver than a Registered Magnum, in the same sense whereby a Ferrari 330 P3/4 is a better car than a Ford GT40. But the MR73 is the only revolver I would take in harm's way.
 

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In .357 Magnum I have three prewar S&W revolvers, two registered and one non-registered; a 1937 Colt Shooting Master and a 1957 Python; and three MR73 Manurhins. Here are my observations.
Colts are much better made and more precisely fitted, of finer and stronger materials, than Smith & Wessons.
The Smith & Wesson single stage lockup is not nearly as precise as, but much more durable than, the Colt double stage lockup. The Manurhin MR73 combines the quality and precision of the Colts with the ruggedness of the Smith & Wessons.
In a nutshell, an early Python is a better revolver than a Registered Magnum, in the same sense whereby a Ferrari 330 P3/4 is a better car than a Ford GT40. But the MR73 is the only revolver I would take in harm's way.
You are comparing apples and oranges. This is about a comparative with the new 2020 Python not one from 1957 which is Much different internally than the new ones.
 

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Talking guns.........................I do not think any are made now are as good as ones made in the fifties. Modern production methods in some ways have tried to make up for this, but it is what is. I do not know much about Manurhin revolvers other then I have read how great they are. If they are still made, a current one would not be as good as one made in the fifties. Even a Purdy produced today would not have as much, "Handwork" as a Purdy made in the fifties.
 

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Talking guns.........................I do not think any are made now are as good as ones made in the fifties. Modern production methods in some ways have tried to make up for this, but it is what is. I do not know much about Manurhin revolvers other then I have read how great they are. If they are still made, a current one would not be as good as one made in the fifties. Even a Purdy produced today would not have as much, "Handwork" as a Purdy made in the fifties.
I will trade what the human eve perceives as precision and a file to what modern materials and the equipment that machines are capable of holding measuring with lasers. Modern firearms production is no different that aerospace production from the 50's---it is on a different planet. A file and someone's eyeball not anymore. Not to say that touch labor is not required however, much much less is needed. Touch labor means looser tolerances and processes that cannot be repeated 100% every time. Love SPC better products and saves money.
 
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