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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. Think of it as the equivalent of the Citroën ZX at the Paris-Dakar rally.
And yet, the Ford GT-40 annihilated the Ferrari 330. People look at the Ferrari from that era and think; oh yeah, that's the car the Ford GT40 beat all the time.
 
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