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The Python is a target grade revolver, with lockwork hand-fitted like a fine watch. Think Porsche or Ferrari. If you care for it, you can shoot it indefinitely before it gets "out of time". However, I was taught to always draw back the cylinder latch before closing the cylinder, and fire it single action only, unless an emergency. So no slammin' it shut, D.A. speed work, or other rough treatment. Keep it squeaky clean and lubed. I have a "shooter" mfg. 1970 that I have owned 25 years and run many, many, boxes of factory .357's through, with no apparent wear. If you are the type who takes care of his equipment and has pride of ownership, you will be well pleased. On the other hand, if you drive a beat-to-hell Yugo with a rusty 870 Remington rattling around in the trunk, buy something else. It ain't a good fit.
 

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Fragile? Bushwacker nailed it, as usual,as it all depends on how you treat,maintain and "respect" your gun(s).


I have fired thousands and thousands of rounds in Colt D.A. revolvers for the past 20+ years. Most were centerfire handloads,with hundreds of bricks of .22s. In that time,"1" (One) mainspring broke,and that was in a pretty beat up/modifies 1917,I bought for "parts' and a "project". I do recall reading,maybe it was Ayoob,telling of a cop who's Python broke the mainspring because he was cycling so fast in the D.A. mode in a close up encounter;his 125 jhps. did the job,so his disabled "snake" didn't cost him his life! I have had "2"S&W mainsprings break in that time.

Colt's may require more TLC to stay "in time",and the holding of the latch as you close it applies to ALL guns,but I "enjoy" cleaning my guns( I can't say the same for my car,after 4 months of Maine winter,with 12 to 20" forecast tonite/Saturday!).

I always felt that part of Colt's rational for the Mk.III series in 1969 at the new Rocky Hill facility,was NOT just only to save dollars,with less hand fitting,but also to try and make the gun "Fool"proof as far as the wear and tear. They are a stronger gun,but lack the "feel" and "fit" of the older ones. Just my "age" and the guns and people I grew up with. Bud
 

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That is good to hear, thank you. I take very good care of my firearms!

I will keep that Python on my "want list"!

[This message has been edited by Whirlybird (edited 03-11-2005).]
 

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Some Police Departments in the 70's wouldn't allow the Python as a service weapon because of its fragile lockwork. S&Ws are known for strength, (especially the N frame) whereas the Python is known for accuracy. I was told years ago that they have a tapered bore which gets tighter as the bullet goes toward the muzzle. I have both and carry the S&W and admire the Python.
 

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The older Colt action is the only one that truly locks up like a bank vault. To achieve this it uses the hand to lock the cylinder in place while firing. This small tip of metal takes a beating and in time (depending on how you shoot the revolver) it wears causing the revolver to go out of time. This is the only part that the so call fragility stories comes from. Rough handling or fast double action shooting (where the heavy cylinder must be stopped by small parts) speeds the wear on these small critical parts. The frame, crane, and barrel are massively constructed and have never been a problem.
The stories are legendary most often repeated by those who have never owned or shot the Pythons. You will hear it a lot from S&W fans, as they are great rivals, but they also fail to mention the same problem exists with the great N-frames. Revolvers with big massive cylinders wear parts faster when shot in a fast double action mode.
The Python is a premium grade target revolver, but with reasonable care it will last many thousands of rounds of .357 magnum ammo.
 

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My Python, bought NIB for $100.00 in 1965, was carried as a duty gun until 1985, when I was forced, kicking and screaming, to transition to a Sig. I never kept track of the rounds fired but we had to qualify four times a year. The ammo was mostly .38's but at least once a year, we used our carry/issued .357 ammo.

After 20 years of holster wear it needed re-blueing but I got a run around from Colt so I had a friend do it. I also told him to tune it if necessary.

When I picked it up, he told me that the gun was as good as new, had needed no parts, nothing needed adjustment, and it still shoots as well as the day I bought it.

Supposedly the Python can be damaged by shooting it too fast in DA. I never had a problem and I was usually the faster shooter on the line.

John
 

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I've read and heard this many times...that the Python albeit beautiful....is "fragile".
It is hard for me to equate a .357 with fragility, although they certainly are beautiful.
I want a gun that looks good....BUT...I want to be able to shoot it.
I understand why some guns are "safe queens" and should remain so as using them might detract from their value...
But can I find something both beautiful to behold AND a joy to shoot?
Should I consider a different make and model?
And can someone explain why Pythons are "fragile"? Is it just the Python?
Thanks


[This message has been edited by Whirlybird (edited 03-11-2005).]
 

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Welcome to the Forum,Pythonguy. Unless you have a Python Target chambered for .38 Special ONLY,I hope you know that prolonged shooting of the shorter .38 Special,will leave a 'ring" in the .357 chamber mouth,and unless it is completely cleaned after each firing,hard extraction,can result,with .357 rounds. Being a handloader,I rarely shoot "full house" loads in my .357s(esp. with 125 gr jhps.),but use the longer .357 cases loaded to about +P levels or with full wadcutters. Bud
 

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Hi all,

I only fire .38 specials in my Pythons and I expect they'll last a long time that way, at least that's what all the Colt experts tell me.
 
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