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Discussion Starter #1
Been thinking on buying a new Python and just can't decide whether to get a 4" or 6" barrel. Curious what everyone's preference is.

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Joed, that is a pretty open ended question as you well know. The barrel length you choose is really dependant on the intended use of the gun.

From a purely aesthetic point of view I like a 6". It just looks properly proportioned. But if I were planning to pack my Python around out in the field for any period of time I'd rather have a 4". If I were planning on doing any kind of handgun hunting with a Python, an 8" would allow for better sight radius using open sights & maximize the 357 cartridge potential by achieving higher velocities than the shorter barrel lengths. The extra velocity could make the difference in dropping a deer in his tracks or having to track it down.

The 2 1/2" Python albeit cute just doesn't seem to be practical, IMHO. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to have one, but the fact of the matter is there are better more concealable 2" guns in 357 than the Python. No matter short you make the barrel, the Python is still a large frame gun.

So if you are taking votes, I go for the 6" as the best all around. But better still, why not have 1 in each barrel length? Hey, why not have 1 in every finish? Why not have one of every finish for every barrel length?

You didn't say money was an issue right?
 

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I find the 6 inch to be a bit muzzle heavy and the 8 inch to be very heavy. I do not have a 2-1/2 or 4 inch Pythons, the prices skyrocketed before I could complete my collection. For concealed carry, 2-1/2 inches is best. For open carry and casual target shooting, 4 inch revolvers are great, although some people can conceal a 4 inch revolver. For purely plinking and target shooting with hunting as a possiblity, go with the 6 inch. For dedicated hunting and longer range target shooting, the 8 inch would be fine.
 

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I always think that I prefer a 6" revolver. However, I have noticed that I shoot my 4" Python more than my 6". It just seems to balance better.


UncleDaveH
 

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joed, I've owned both and shot them alot. I carried a 6" for police duty for several years because I felt the sight radius gave me better accuracy and better use of the 158 grain Remington semi-jacket hollow points I used. I don't know how we'd ever adjudicate the call but I'd bet you a month's pay, if you had both settting in your trophy case, you'd go for the 4" about 80 or 90% of the time. Jeff Cooper mentions this in, "Cooper on Handguns," where he says he always thought he shot better with the six but had trouble proving it on paper! I certaily don't practice fast draw, but with a 6" gun, seems to me EVERYONE is automatically SLOW! Even robotic. My Colt pre-Python .357 is a 6" but that's simply because that's what was on the shelf. I'd much prefer the 4". There's a helpful project for some of our brothers here abouts ... how about a picture of looking down the sighting plane of a 4" and 6" P. gun? I bet you'd have a hard time telling which was which. The last pro outfit I know of to use only 6" guns was the Pennsylvania State Police in the late 60's and 70's. I know California CHP used some of each because their guys had to buy their own. In PD's I know of, where guys could carry what they wanted within limits, almost nobody used a 6" - except me! And I've changed my tune since. The thought's crossed my mind a time or two that better than settling on 4" and 6" as standard variables, 3" and 5" would have been better. The 6", I think, is better for hunting and target shooting but there it ends - and then, not by much. Two final things I DO know - the 6" LOOKs more lethal, if you want to put any money on that but the 4" is louder. .357 magnums, I think, are the most obnoxiously sharp sounding rounds going off - .45's and .38's are definitely less pitch-intense, but the 4" .357 just smacks my ears, protection and all, to beat heck. The 6" is a bit less, "blastissimo." For me, I've handled the 8" and thought they were great. I'd like to have one in .38 for target shooting. But, I'd trade my 6" .357 and several hundred buckaroos for a nice 2 1/2"! For my life now, it would work the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rcwambold:
I don't know how we'd ever adjudicate the call but I'd bet you a month's pay, if you had both settting in your trophy case, you'd go for the 4" about 80 or 90% of the time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


You're probably right. In my revolver collection I have a S&W 19 with 6" barrel and a used Python with 4" barrel. The Python sees more use. I also thought the 6" would be more accurate but I certainly can't prove it. I will say that between the 2 guns they both seem very well balanced or at least the mod 19 doesn't feel barrel heavy, but it also doesn't have a full underlug barrel. Would be really nice if they offered a 5" barrel, wonder how well that would sell?

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I've used two 4" Pythons and one 2". The 2" was issued and I had it for about 10 years.

We had to qualify with both but I could use the 2" in the 4" qualification course. Sometimes, if ammo was available, I'd go through twice, using the two different guns.

The only difference I noticed was at the 25 yard line, where the 4" shot better than the 2". The overall differnce in score was always less than 5 points.

John
 

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JCM298A, Now THAT'S interesting! I've often wondered about doing that but never had. Do you use the orignal, "service," stocks on the 2 1/2" er? <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCM298A:
I've used two 4" Pythons and one 2". The 2" was issued and I had it for about 10 years.

We had to qualify with both but I could use the 2" in the 4" qualification course. Sometimes, if ammo was available, I'd go through twice, using the two different guns.

The only difference I noticed was at the 25 yard line, where the 4" shot better than the 2". The overall differnce in score was always less than 5 points.

John
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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target and hunting 6 inch, carrying and handiness 4 inch.. the problem with big guns is if your not intending to use them you dont take them.. smaller guns end up being taken more.. best all around gun is 4 inch..for carrying, accuracy, weight, sight radius, weight, ballance, pointing and on and on.. ....if my life depended on it id want a 6 inch, but i probably will have a 2 1/2 inch blade pocket knife when my life depends on it.. good luck dave....
 

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rcwambold,

The grips were factory issue on both guns but sometimes I'd put on Hogue or Pachmeyer.

The 2 1/2" grips were the same as the 4".

I used to enjoy using the snub and outshooting the 4" Smiths that most people carried. It was very enjoyable when a "kid"
challanged me to try to beat his Sig. The "old man" beat him badly. When I got to try his Sig on the same course and beat his score, he realized that "old men" can still shoot.

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and in-experience".


John
 

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Aha! Sounds familiar, John! I think we may have a new sport? "GLOCKBUSTIN'!" Or "SIGBUSTIN," as the case may be. I was curious about your 2 1/2" grips because I learned to shoot on an Official Police with the skinny service grips. I find the factory stocks quite serviceable for the I frame Colts but I still flirt with the notion that using the skinny jobs puts you in better touch with the frame - no pun intended, and that SHOULD make me shoot better. I try them for awhile and then others but I usually go back to the large, factory target types for comfort with magnum loads. When I carried for uniform duty, I did usually use the skinny, service grips to keep out of the way better. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCM298A:
rcwambold,

The grips were factory issue on both guns but sometimes I'd put on Hogue or Pachmeyer.

The 2 1/2" grips were the same as the 4".

I used to enjoy using the snub and outshooting the 4" Smiths that most people carried. It was very enjoyable when a "kid"
challanged me to try to beat his Sig. The "old man" beat him badly. When I got to try his Sig on the same course and beat his score, he realized that "old men" can still shoot.

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and in-experience".


John
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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Grips are surely a subjective question, but it seems to me that the Colt target grips after the old fully checkered grips were discontinued, were about the poorest designed grips ever put on a handgun.

Didn't own a belt or pocket pistol without custom grips throughout the 60's, 70's, 80's but now I tend to like either the service grips or my old standby, the Jordan Troopers, largely from Herrett's.

The Jordan design really minimizes recoil if your hands are big enough to use them and the service grips allow one to really close in on the gun and lower the axis of recoil to the maximum. Both have their merits.

I've owned A 6" and A 2.5", but a number of 4's and 3's. The latter being my favorite since a handgun is primarily useful to me when it's carried comfortably on the belt, in the waistband, or under the arm. Takes a big man to carry a six inch barrel unless he's riding a horse--especially if he needs to sit in a chair or a vehicle. In my hands, I can't tell much difference on paper between 6,4, & 3 inch barrel performance and I think most past-40 eyes actually prefer the shorter barrels for rapid fire at least.

So much for a wordy 2 centavos on barrel and grips....
 

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Yessir, 256M-S. I agree. The older style Python grips that were checkered all the way up I just really like - better than anything else I've ever tried, except maybe the Herrett's Shooting Star - I think they're called? But the new Python grips don't give much of a grip for me either. Funny, but I think the same of the S&W's ... the first #19 I handled, in about '73 or so, felt wonderful. Today - I don't like their factory wood at all. Not from what I've seen, anyway. Welcome aboard, too! <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 256M-S:
Grips are surely a subjective question, but it seems to me that the Colt target grips after the old fully checkered grips were discontinued, were about the poorest designed grips ever put on a handgun.

Didn't own a belt or pocket pistol without custom grips throughout the 60's, 70's, 80's but now I tend to like either the service grips or my old standby, the Jordan Troopers, largely from Herrett's.

The Jordan design really minimizes recoil if your hands are big enough to use them and the service grips allow one to really close in on the gun and lower the axis of recoil to the maximum. Both have their merits.

I've owned A 6" and A 2.5", but a number of 4's and 3's. The latter being my favorite since a handgun is primarily useful to me when it's carried comfortably on the belt, in the waistband, or under the arm. Takes a big man to carry a six inch barrel unless he's riding a horse--especially if he needs to sit in a chair or a vehicle. In my hands, I can't tell much difference on paper between 6,4, & 3 inch barrel performance and I think most past-40 eyes actually prefer the shorter barrels for rapid fire at least.

So much for a wordy 2 centavos on barrel and grips....
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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RC, Thanks for the welcome.

I surely agree with you about the current grips. Colt OR S&W--they are awful. It's funny, though, to hear folks raving about the clunky Smith Target grips and Colt grips post the fully checkered versions now that rubber grips are so common. When I bought a new piece around FT Bragg in the sixties and seventies that had the target grips on them, the dealer I used would keep the target grips and discount the gun price by around 20 bucks or so---and another 25 for the wood box.

I thought that a right steal since if the grips were checkered, I replaced them with custom grips anyway and I couldn't afford to hang on to boxes and such given the amount of changing posts an officer did in those days.

You're surely right about those old Herrett's Shooting Stars too. They were a lot of grip for the money. I still pick them up occasionally at gunshows for a song. My preference was still the Herrett's Jordan Troopers but quality of wood started to suffer badly. Tried a set of Jordan's from Herrett's chief stockmaker who left and started his own outfit, but he just didn't have the Jordan design down pat and the grips were lovely but horrible in the hand.

I once ordered two pairs of Shooting Stars in the target configuration without finger grips or thumbrests from Herrett's. They were uncheckered walnut that was pretty humdrum in grain. Slimmed them down, shortened and rounded the rear of the grip and left the front just long enough for my little finger to grip and slimmed them a bit in the base. When they were sanded and oil finished, a beautiful grain pattern popped out that was as pretty as any presentation walnut custom stocks I've ever seen.

Made a lovely set of grips for a pair of 2.5 inch Model 19's. They were concealable and yet gave as good a grip as one could want on even larger holster guns. Kinda regret not pulling them when I got rid of the brace of stubby 357's when I found that I preferred fixed sight versions.

Now I'm too lazy to do all that reshaping and refinishing...but still looking for grips for the old Colt's New Services which I like more and more nowadays. Since I only carry because I think it an intrinsic good for a man to walk out armed in the tentative world in which we live, I can damn sure carry what gives me pleasure with no concern for logistical support or regulations.

Cheers...
 

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256M-S,
Yessir! I've wanted to try my hand at stock whittling, too, but always chickened out. I once had a first model Colt Trooper, second-hand, that someone had whittled away on the factory target stocks and I really liked 'em! I sure like your statement about no regulations or anyone telling us what we can have or carry ... at the same time, seems like I've spent so much of my life as somebody's subordinate, I NEED someone to say, "OK, &%^%#, go buy that .697 Captain Black Special and that Bingo Bros. holster and that's what you wear whenever you don't feel like dying!" Time was, I took a really dim view of people going around armed and without badges ... I always thought if I wasn't a cop, I'd never get in a position where I needed a gun! Thought I'd buy a blackjack and that would do. Well, THEY'RE illegal, too! And the situations are all over the place - Kansas, too.
 

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rcwambold,

Surely didn't mean by whittling on stocks that I did anything more significant than reshaping already inletted and uncheckered stocks and refinishing with an oil finish. I like quality work too much to want anything with my own effort beyond the most simple tasks.

It's amusing to listen to endless discussions about the optimal weapon and cartridge. It's fun to participate in such free wheeling round tables with friends. In the operational world, however, as opposed to the world of enthusiasts who simply carry because they choose to, the issue of weapons and ammunition choice tends to be moot and driven by either organizational regulations, legal restrictions, and/or ammo resupply. The latter two are especially important overseas.

Sometimes there IS a modicum of choice, but it's still driven by the above factors rather more than one's concept of what's arbitrarily best. Despite years of carrying either a 45 Swenson-Colt or one of a brace of Commanders, I ended up carrying for the bulk of 10 years in Africa, a 3 inch S&W 65 (my choice of weapon) because (1) my primary client was my overseas source of ammunition and the security folks used 357 revolvers with 110-grain USG spec ammunition and (2) it was easier to get a HC permit for a revolver than for an autoloading pistol. A third factor was that the other calibre option was 9mm ball...and that was not a good choice for me--though in another area I was ecstatic to have it as an option.

Didn't like the 357 load issued, but it was essential for practice purposes and for compatibility in an extended emergency. Did manage to acquire enough ammo of choice for duty use, but couldn't do so in quantities suitable for training.

Always liked some sort of club myself ranging from various saps to the ASP 26 inch to a collapsible PR-26. Just widens the parameters of available options. Learned a long time ago that unless you have a good script writer, that most anything is better than one's hands and feet and those things that you carefully select tend to be better than spur of the moment adaptations of whatever can be found.

Nice to see a teacher who's a gun enthusiast.

Cheers.

------------------
...for iron, cold iron is master of men all...
 
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