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Pythons are amply strong for the cartridge. The frame is quite durable in the barrel and crane area (stress points in a revolver).
They take a beating with a lot of fast double action shooting (like any other revolver), but that may cause it to lose time not blow up.
The frame is slightly larger than the OMM IMO, but the lockwork is the same.
As the revolvers were designed for usage of a certain cartridge I can't see someone saying they can't handle the pressures. What would handle the pressures? Anyone can push beyond standards, but no fault can be put upon a platform when fed a diet of overloads.
For all those detractors of the Python just ask them how did it survive for almost 50 years of continuous production, with it's known reputation for accuracy, if it has a design flaw?
 

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No,I didn't mean to say that Python has a "design flaw." What I meant was, first, I have heard, or read (or imagined) that revolvers--all revolvers--are in the last analysis not too great for cartridges with chamber pressures in the 35,000 psi range. I dunno.

Second, my specific question is, compared to other revolvers--and I guess I have in mind the big Smiths like the Models 27 and 28--how well does the smaller frame Python hold up over time, not with overloads, but with normal 357's? The K-frame Smith Model is thought by some to be too light and prone to "shoot loose" after awhile.

I will always mostly shoot 38's (light full and semi-wadcutter loads) in my Pythons, but I'm just curious and would like to hear from shooters who have shot A LOT of 357's in their Pythons over time.

Bill A
 

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Welcome, Bill A and good question, too. Can't help you, though ... I've never owned any one gun long enough to tell! For me, though, I DO think if 100's of rounds a week is normal for a guy and he doesn't shoot almost exclusively .22's, ... well, I'd like him to marry my daughter and support me in my old age!
 

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Yup, I agree. I do go through periods where I shoot hundreds of rounds a week (mostly in free pistols and 22 target semi-autos) and even that gets pricey enough!

I had an acquaintance who had a beloved Python and he shot it about as much as I shoot my target 22's. I don't believe I ever saw him shoot anything other than 38 semi-wadcutter reloads.

I suppose in a way my original question is kinda silly, since anybody who shoots his Python a lot is almost certainly going to use 38's for reason of economy and because they're so much more pleasant to shoot than full house 357's.

Still, would like to know if anybody out there HAS shot lots and lots of 357's and what the long-term effect was.

Bill A
 

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I've shot a BUNCH of Magnum rounds through my Pythons with Zero problems or wear.

Actually, the Python has an extremely sturdy frame and barrel.
Colt's frame is beefier than most mid-frame revolvers, and their cylinder is not only bigger, the locking notches are off-set over the strongest part of the cylinder.

The main gun that got a reputation for developing frame problems was the S&W Model 19/66. When the police stopped practicing with light .38 Special loads, and started doing all their shooting with Magnums, the guns started developing premature wear.

This is why S&W developed the Model 686, which was as close a copy of Colt's frame size and cylinder diameter as they could get.
In the 686's case, they still didn't quite come up with as strong a unit as Colt, because their locking notches are over the WEAKEST part of the cylinder.

Most of the stories about the "weak" Python concerns the LOCK WORK. Some Colt's seem to develop timing problems in the action, especially if abused.

NO WHERE will you find problems with the Python frame or cylinder, unless it's in a gun that's been fired with way over-pressure hand loaded ammo.

The problem manifests itself in the form of ejector "chatter" marks or ratchet-peening.
In this case, the recoil face will actually have indentations where the ejector has been literally hammered into the recoil face.

In really extreme cases, the frame can actually get stretched.

This kind of abuse, NO handgun can take, but the Python's superior forged frame and heat treating makes it MORE able to take it than most pistols.

Modern revolvers can take an unlimited amount of Magnum ammo, but trouble can show up in the form of eroded and cracked forcing cones, rarely in frame or cylinder problems.

A Colt Python, S&W 686, or a Ruger GP 100 will stand up to any sensible Magnum round, with the provision, that the Python may develop timing issues.....and maybe NOT.

Mine certainly haven't, but then, I re-set the timing on mine to OPTIMUM specs, and I don't abuse them.
 

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Hello--

I have a number of .357's, in which I mostly shoot .38's (I'm an old bullseye shooter, mainly fire at paper, have no need for magnum power). Here's my question: How well does the medium-frame Python hold up to .357 loads? It's a big, heavy gun, all right, but most of that weight is in the barrel lug and rib. How are the frame and/or lockwork any different from, say, the OMM?

I once read somewhere that revolvers in general were not really suited to the kind of pressures that magnums generate. Makes intuitive sense to me, but I have no data. Opinions on heavy use of 357's in the Python?

Bill A

[This message has been edited by Bill A (edited 01-15-2004).]
 

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I think the Python will handle 357 Magnum loads as long as they are not overloads. Probably the best thing to do is to use 158 grain bullets and do not engage in rapid double action shooting or really fast cocking of the hammer. The cylinder has great mass and momentum and the sudden stop at lock up probably does wear the lock work. I think a lot of the stories of Pythons going out of time come from people who shoot fast, maybe fast and hard. Fast double action shooting is hard on any revolver, like fanning a Colt SAA.

My Pythons usually see wadcutter and semi-wadcutter loads, magnum brass, but loaded to 38 Special ballistics. Mine were bought because I like them and I wanted accuracy. If I want to go blasting with hot loads, I have a Ruger GP-100 for that duty.

[This message has been edited by stans (edited 01-16-2004).]
 

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Thanks, great info!

In my experience, timing problems are also common with the Officers Model and Official Police, which use the same lock work.

Bill A
 

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My experience with Pythons is pretty much the same as dfariswheel's. The ones that I've seen that are loose and beat up didn't get that way overnight. If you get some cylinder endshake and continue to shoot it, especially with magnum loads, the endshake and other wear will accelerate. The cylinder gets a "running start" before it hits the frame. This is where you will get ratchet impressions on the breech and other wear and it's not just with Pythons but almost any revolver will do that under the same conditions.
 
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