PDA

View Full Version : Looking for .357 Magnum Revolver


StephenhDMRS
10-07-2010, 10:04 AM
And i'm not sure what to get. At first I thought the Colt Python was going to be the end all be all. Then I read some things about a S&W with some trigger work could match a Python. And also, finding someone to work on a Python would be a job in itself and expensive to. So... Now I'm confused and lost about what to get. Get a Smith for cheaper and get it tuned? Or get a Python and call it done and I'll never know what I'm missing out on. I'm not even sure which Smith to look at. I don't mind used at all. I prefer used and old. Not sure what models to look for though.

Any help and suggestions would be great. I'm not trying to start a Python vs Smith debate(even though it'll probably end up as that). But I'm sure most of you guys own a Python and some smiths and can help me get running in the right way.

I really do love the way the Python looks though. I only have enough money for one.
Thanks!

RedFord150
10-07-2010, 10:44 AM
Smith 686 in Stainless with a 7 shot cylinder is about $730. Many guys say the S&W has a great trigger without tuning.
Ruger GP100 is $500 to $550 in my area. The trigger can be tuned very nice.
These are brand new guns and easy to find. The Ruger will NOT break. Period. The S&W is only slightly less durable.
The Python is hard to find, costs a lot more for used, and is probably not as durable as the S&W.
Personally, I chose the Ruger and did the trigger job. 20 great years and no regrets.

oghl888
10-07-2010, 10:52 AM
Python is a collector's item. If you want a shooter, a S&W with a good trigger job is the way to go. The best tuned trigger on a Ruger that I've seen is about the same as a stock S&W trigger (but with lighter DA pull due to spring changes).

I am not sure why a S&W would be less durable than a Ruger. More metal/heavier gun doesn't equal to more durability. I believe the S&W is forged, the Ruger is cast. I'll pick the S&W any day because I will enjoy shooting it so much more.

Personally, I have 4 S&W revolvers and one Ruger. I don't shoot the Ruger much any more.

bwiese
10-07-2010, 10:52 AM
Pythons are wonderful revolvers that have near-collector prices. They are not on the CA approved handgun Roster, so you'll either have to hunt for them from consignment sale at gunshops, or private party transfer from someone advertising one (say here on Calguns).

Pythons also have a small reputation for occasionally having the "cylinder get out of time" and then requiring a bit of gunsmithing.

You should buy a Python if you want a Python, not just because you're looking for a 357 revolver.

If you are looking for a quality double-action 357 revolver, I'd recommend "the industry standard", the S&W 686. The 686 is one of S&W's flagship wheelguns.

686s come in 2.5", 3", 4", 6" (and occasionally sometimes 5" and 7+") barrel lengths, and the 'plus' version cylinder holds 7 instead of 6 rounds.

Modern production 686s have wonderful triggers, tight assembly tolerances and accurate barrels.

Some purists/collectors won't buy any of the new ones with internal locks, but the only burst of guns having lock issues were way back at the start of the decade. So these folks subject themselves to an older fleet of guns having more hand assembly variations, etc. I'd bet these folks are not buying such guns for "go to" purposes.

I have a 1988 686 my dad got me and it's not as tight as my 2005 625 or other new 686s I've shot.

Another less-refined alternative is the Ruger GP100 (the gun with world's ugliest grips when Hogues are installed). GP100s are equally tough and reliable and have a certain unnecessary overbeefiness (a 357 revolver only has to be so tough, and the 686 got the necessary improvements in its L frame as it grew out of the Model 19/Model 66 K frame heritage).

Ruger GP100s will shoot well but the triggers aren't as good and the barrels may not be quite as good/accurate.

Also remember: if you have to use this gun for self-defense, (assuming all else goes well) do you want a valuable Python to be seized by police and hang out in the evidence room for a couple of years, with the cops maybe taking it out to the range every now & then for giggles?

Nick1236
10-07-2010, 10:55 AM
I bought a Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel and apsolutely love it. I paid $618 after all taxes and fees OTD at turners.

Kodemonkey
10-07-2010, 10:57 AM
I had the action job done from S&W and this is now a sweet 686P. The SA pull is really nice - my 1911 friends are jealous. It was pretty good out of the box, but the extra work done at the factory made this a totally different gun. I shoot it in IDPA every once in awhile (which is a little frustrating because the rules only allow you to shoot 6 rounds).

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae36/kodemonkey/IMG_6747.jpg

beerman
10-07-2010, 11:17 AM
Heres my read...If you are going to shoot the hell out of it,no question get a Smith and wesson. If you want to own the baddest gun on your block,get a python.But you will probobly find its to purdy and valuable to wear out shooting. (I know about this,thats why I bought 2 sigs,just to keep the miles off my Colt 1911s) As for Rugers,they work fine, but you can live in a trailer and still call it a house.

maschronic
10-07-2010, 11:30 AM
if you are ever curious on what a S&W with a trigger job feels like, let me know. I'll let you shoot mine. :) it is also for sale too. PM me if you are interested. I shoot at on target.

StephenhDMRS
10-07-2010, 12:02 PM
Thanks guys. I'll have to fondle a Ruger and see how I like it. As for the S&W 686, I have tried one. I only shot .38 out of a 6" barrel. My problem with a stock one is shooting it in DA. Pull, pull, pull and pull some more and man was it hard. SA was good but having to pull the hammer back each time was annoying to say the least.

I am looking for a good shooting .357. Something I can really enjoy shooting. Not for competition but it needs to have a really nice trigger. That's what drew me to the Python. Really good looking and a really nice trigger i've heard.

I really want something with a really nice DA. If I can get that with a tuned 686 i'll take a look at one. The 686 felt like it had a 15 lb trigger pull second stage. I do like how it feels, I would opt for a 4" because the 6" was too long and awkward to hold.

With that being said, am I expecting to much out of the Python? Would I be disappointed with that to? Swapping out the springs of a Ruger sounds really nice. The problem with the Ruger is no offense, it's kind of ugly.

Any other Smith's I should look at? Older models that are really good? maybe an older Colt?

Kodemonkey
10-07-2010, 12:27 PM
My 686 is in a 4" and I think it is balanced well. How old was the 686 you shot? Was it broken in? Mine got better with age, but the action job did wonders to the DA pull. Totally smooth all the way to lockup and a nice predictable break at the end. In SA, the break is kind of hard to find - it usually surprises me. But I shoot almost all DA because it is an IDPA gun.

Obviously, get what you want. I am just saying mine did break in after about 2000 rounds. I used to shoot almost exclusively 357 in it until I started using it for IDPA. It was a great gun on the magnum loads (and super easy on 38 of course). My wife shot it a lot as well and had no problem with the 357 loads.

Kodemonkey
10-07-2010, 12:29 PM
I should say that I think the pull is around 8-10 lbs now after being tuned. There are probably better tuners out there than S&W. I just didn't know of any at the time.

porky
10-07-2010, 12:45 PM
you should change the title of your post to "I want a Python and anything you say will just make me want it more".

If you already know what you want why ask? Get the Python and deal with it-

If you like Colt more than S&W fine -don't ask about them-

If you think the Ruger is ugly then don't get it-

Is there some magical manufacturer out there that makes a gun that you'll like better than the colt? Not with your obvious bias-

You should know that for the 357 there are basic choices
Ruger
S&W
Colt

If you feel the Colt is superior for some reason, get it.
But if you ask for advice and then discount it or argue against it in favor of your pre-ordained choice, why are you posting at all?

My advice-Get a Dan Wesson Pistol Pack- Oh let me answer for you-
" I know about the Wesson, but its rare and not the most collectible gun in the world. Besides the Colt Python is....Blah blah blah.

Carry on-

P.S. You KNOW the Python is one of the best 357 magnums ever- If you tend to buy the best in general, Get the python- you'll never regret it -If you buy something else, you may only see what makes it not a Python and you won't be happy with your purchase

StephenhDMRS
10-07-2010, 1:06 PM
I really didn't mean to come off that way. If I had known I had only three choices then I wouldn't have posted this up here. I really thought that maybe there was something better out there. I don't want a Python. If it's the best choice then it is what it is. If a 686 with a trigger job will be better than the Python then by all means I'll end up getting one. If a S&W tuned is better then I want to know.

I'm looking for a really nice trigger in a .357. Sorry if you took that as I want a Python. I have a tendency to look for the "best" and then try to find someone "equal for cheaper." If the trigger in a 686 is equal to the Python then I want the 686 for A LOT cheaper. I've never touched a Python so I don't know what it's really like. That's where i'm hoping you guys can help me.

I'm worried my expectations are too high for the Python. I don't have a colt nor like them really. They are expensive and I feel other companies out there can make something better for cheaper.

To answer Kodemonkey- It was a less than 400 round 686. About three years old.

Actually- I guess I was thinking the RUger GP100 was something else. I really like how it looks. So... I can't really go wrong with any of them right?

I'll look into the Dan Wesson. I've never heard anything about them or seen them.

Snapping Twig
10-07-2010, 1:14 PM
S&W make a K frame (small), L frame (medium) and N frame (large) in .357.

The K frame, model 19 (blue steel) or 66 (stainless) are hard to find. Add to that, they have a problem at the forcing cone making a steady diet of .357 troublesome. These were pressed into service to fire .357 as opposed to being designed around it. People that favor them say they fit the hand like no other.

The L frame is designed around the .357 and is S&W's answer to the Python. They even look similar. 586 (blue steel) and 686 (stainless) are superb revolvers. Older versions come in 6 shot and are considerably less than the new versions.

N frames are the big boys. Model 28 is called the Highway Patrolman and the 27 is called the... 27 and is known as a piece of art. Deep blue finish, hand checkered top strap, smooth action., but otherwise it is exactly the same as the 28, just a better finish.

Ruger makes single and double action revolvers in .357 and they are built like tanks. No one disagrees with this. What Ruger lacks is trigger feel. I understand this can be remedied, but not so easily and not ultimately to the level of S&W.

Python trigger "stacks", if you like the linear feel of an S&W, this is an issue, but in and of itself, not a deal breaker. Many prefer this trigger feel, so different choices for everyone and it's all good.

I am one of those that WILL NOT buy an S&W with the damnable lock. Go to the S&W forum and do a search for "lock failure". This is a log of actual malfunctions, not some guy's friend that knew someone who had a friend...

The lock is a problem and it can fail leaving a loaded revolver with the hammer back, cylinder frozen and a live round in the chamber. At best it's an inconvenience, at worst it fails in the heat of a dispute with a bad guy.

I rely on my pre lock, pre MIM, hammer mounted firing pin S&W's, they are 100% reliable, smooth of action and deadly accurate and best of all, you can buy one for far less than a new one and they are the better choice IMO. Revolvers don't wear out like you might think.

Look at all of them before you select one. When you find the one that suits you, you'll know it. There are no bad choices.

Andy Taylor
10-07-2010, 1:27 PM
I watched a woman pay $1800 for an 8" Python this morning. I stood next to her and paid $475 for a 4" Trooper. The Trooper (not the Trooper MKIII or MKV) is the same gun as a Python without the full lug/vent rib barrel and high polish finish.

zippo
10-07-2010, 1:32 PM
just want to pass info.

at AmmoBrother in Cerrito store had Ruger GP 100 4" SS for sale at $499
that is good price this time of year. Ruger is good strong shooting gun.

but if U have money S&W 686 is nice but is $250-300 more then Ruger.

Python is for look and collector, not want to shoot if U had it. for shoot just get SW or Ruger.

that my view

shooting4life
10-07-2010, 1:38 PM
Keep an eye out for a used 586/686. I found a used 586 no dash for 450.

porky
10-07-2010, 1:50 PM
Sorry about the tone:(

Don't get a Python if you really want to shoot it often- It costs a lot and will lose value if you shoot it extensively.

I own a 686 and love it! But the 357 I shoot the most and carry most is and old Taurus model 66 4inch- I can beat it to hell, it scrapes against boulders, trees etc out in the field and I don't care- I USE it

I wouldn't know what to do with a Python because to me its a collectible not to be shot much-
a 686 is beautiful and you can shoot it- but I'm still careful with mine

You can beat the hell out of a Ruger and its fine!

wamphyri13
10-07-2010, 1:52 PM
1)If I had known I had only three choices then I wouldn't have posted this up here. 2)I have a tendency to look for the "best" and then try to find someone "equal for cheaper." I don't have a colt nor like them really. They are expensive and I feel other companies out there can make something better for cheaper.
Actually- I guess I was thinking the RUger GP100 was something else. I really like how it looks. So... I can't really go wrong with any of them right?
I'll look into the Dan Wesson. I've never heard anything about them or seen them.

Here's my thoughts....
1)There are more than 3 choices. An older Taurus is an option too. Dan Wesson is fine, but any revolver will be done PPT as they don't make them anymore.
2)This statement is, without a doubt, the most honest and brilliant thing I've read this week. You are my brother from another mother! ;)

Colt revolvers are very fine weapons, but I agree the prices they fetch are phenomenal. I should know, I've sold several Colt's including an unfired Python Target.

Ruger GP100's are great guns too. As has already been stated, short of a nuclear blast, you can't break them.

Good luck in your search.
Ryan

StephenhDMRS
10-07-2010, 3:27 PM
Porky- It's all fine... I just don't want anyone thinking i'm a Fan boy of anything to be honest. I have found the more I search, I can find guns that are comparable to really nice guns but cheaper. I.E. browning hi power=Argentine hi power. Any 1911=RIA 1911. Call me cheap, thats fine. I don't want to simply pay for a name.

So... Based off of everyone's post it comes down to this
Colt Python-Buy, but don't shoot(unless you can find a beater already)
S&W 686/586- Get this, good trigger, can be tuned to make a great trigger, super accurate, cheaper, won't feel bad shooting
Ruger- Buy this if you can't afford the 686, may or may not be as accurate. Just as durable as a S&W. Cheap. Reliable.
Dan Wesson- Nobody has commented on to much so this is still up in the air.
Taurus- Good if you can find one.

But I can't go wrong with any of these is the sense I get. Except for the impracticality of the Python. So between S&W/Ruger I can't go wrong.

tankarian
10-07-2010, 3:32 PM
And i'm not sure what to get.


Get my 586 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=290931)

orion5457
10-07-2010, 3:50 PM
What ever happened to the Smith & Wesson boycott?...That just go away one day? I have not even looked at anything S&W since then...

Andy Taylor
10-07-2010, 3:51 PM
Porky- It's all fine... I just don't want anyone thinking i'm a Fan boy of anything to be honest. I have found the more I search, I can find guns that are comparable to really nice guns but cheaper. I.E. browning hi power=Argentine hi power. Any 1911=RIA 1911. Call me cheap, thats fine. I don't want to simply pay for a name.

So... Based off of everyone's post it comes down to this
Colt Python-Buy, but don't shoot(unless you can find a beater already)
S&W 686/586- Get this, good trigger, can be tuned to make a great trigger, super accurate, cheaper, won't feel bad shooting
Ruger- Buy this if you can't afford the 686, may or may not be as accurate. Just as durable as a S&W. Cheap. Reliable.
Dan Wesson- Nobody has commented on to much so this is still up in the air.
Taurus- Good if you can find one.

But I can't go wrong with any of these is the sense I get. Except for the impracticality of the Python. So between S&W/Ruger I can't go wrong.


Other choices from the same manufacturers exist as well
Colt-Trooper, Trooper MKIII ,Trooper MKV, Model 357 and King Cobra. None as expensive as a Python. All good guns. Trooper and Model 357 are same gun as the Python, with less bells and whistles
S&W K frame models 13/65 and 19/66. Good guns, not as robust as 586/686.
S&W N frame models 27/28. Same frame they make .44 magnums on. Also the M27 is the first .357
Dan Wesson-Has the unique feature of interchangable barrels. It is a robust & accurate revolver but attention needs to be given when changing barrels to the BC gap. These guns would routinely out shoot S&W and Colt at matches.

BigDogatPlay
10-07-2010, 3:59 PM
S&W make a K frame (small), L frame (medium) and N frame (large) in .357.

Slight correction.....

J = small
K = medium
L = medium large
N = large
X = extra large

The K frame, model 19 (blue steel) or 66 (stainless) are hard to find. Add to that, they have a problem at the forcing cone making a steady diet of .357 troublesome. These were pressed into service to fire .357 as opposed to being designed around it. People that favor them say they fit the hand like no other.

They do fit the hand like no other.... I own several K frames, and have owned many, many more. The issue is a combination of a bit thinner wall at the forcing cone and flame cutting of the top strap above the cylinder barrel gap.


Ruger makes single and double action revolvers in .357 and they are built like tanks. No one disagrees with this. What Ruger lacks is trigger feel. I understand this can be remedied, but not so easily and not ultimately to the level of S&W.

I would disagree to a point. I have owned a couple of Rugers and currently own a Redhawk which has an outstanding trigger. Very comparable to my N frame S&Ws. Rugers are actually really easy to work on, and very often a spring kit and some firing will break them in to a very smooth action.

But they still aren't a well worked in S&W. Those are the best triggers out of the box and they are designed to "wear in". Colts are not.

Python trigger "stacks", if you like the linear feel of an S&W, this is an issue, but in and of itself, not a deal breaker. Many prefer this trigger feel, so different choices for everyone and it's all good.

My first revolver was a six inch 1976 vintage Python. I'm the original owner and have had a very good trigger job done to it. But it still isn't anything like any of my S&W's as comes to the trigger.

Look at all of them before you select one. When you find the one that suits you, you'll know it. There are no bad choices.

Very good advice there.... +1000.

KillZone45
10-07-2010, 4:10 PM
I might have a Dan Wesson pistol pack for sale, PM me what you want to spend and maybe we can work something out.

FUBAR
10-07-2010, 4:34 PM
OK here we go. There are two models to choose from when picking a S&W 686. They are the 686-M and 686-4. These two models are pre-locks and MIM free. The 686-M has one of the slickest triggers around. I had a Colt Python and can honestly say it was just as good. I never liked the cylinder release on the Colt. Didn't feel natural. The 686-4 was the beginning of the plus models. If you want a 7 shooter then this is the one to get. I have the 686-M and will never part with it.

Some mentioned Ruger GP 100. Good guns but the trigger pull is a little rough. They are stronger than the S&W because the frame is one piece. The S&W are two pieces screwed on the right side of the frame.

So what I'm saying is get a used S&W. Don't compromise and get the revolver that you want.

westcoast362
10-07-2010, 4:49 PM
I have Pythons and S&W's. I would find an older S&W in a M-19 four inch, a M-28 four inch, or a M-27 any length. The M-19 is a K frame. The 27 and 28 are N frames.

ojisan
10-07-2010, 5:07 PM
What ever happened to the Smith & Wesson boycott?...That just go away one day? I have not even looked at anything S&W since then...

The boycott caused such trouble for S&W that the English guy who owned Smith back then sold it off to an American gun guy who put a quick end to the foolishness of his predecessor.
The new owner has done lots to rebuild the S&W product line and restore the name.
This happened 4-5 years ago.

Since you have been in a cave and unfairly avoiding buying any S&W products for so long, in pennance you should go buy a new Smith today.

It's simply the right thing to do.

;) :p


Smiths and Rugers...both excellent.
The Dan Wessons are great too. The interchangeable barrels and solid front-and-rear crane lock-up are a big plus.
I've seen a few newer Taurus lately, large frames and a LEO owned Judge. All were very nicely made, good tolerances, tight lock-up and seemed rock solid.

wamphyri13
10-07-2010, 5:09 PM
There is also the option of the S&W 620. Same gun as the 686+ but with a 4" barrel and half lug. That's what I have.
Ryan

six10
10-07-2010, 5:43 PM
S&W M627 8 rounds:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_39_71/products_id/53549

S&W M620 7 rounds:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/72/products_id/15073

Can't go wrong with either one, imo...

ilikerugers
10-07-2010, 8:22 PM
if you want a tool, get a ruger

if you want the bling, get a python

if you can't decide, get a smith :D

StephenhDMRS
10-07-2010, 10:53 PM
I have finally been convinced away from the Python. Which is a good thing... for now. I'm glad we really got some good inputs. I'll most likely look for a Smith. I truly thank everyone for pointing me in the right direction of WHAT to look for in a smith and also the models I want to take note of. I still have no idea which one I will pick. It'll probably be from the used section. But I have a better starting point.
Thanks everyone.

bluerider
10-07-2010, 11:21 PM
The best triger I have ever felt on a 357 is my friends 686 race gun with extensive work done by Apex Tactical. It would be cheaper to by a pristine Python than to duplicate that race gun but it also is much smoother than a Python. It also only shoots reloads with federal primers.

Fishslayer
10-08-2010, 7:48 AM
Get a 60's vintage M27 or M28 & you won't need no steenking "tuning.":D

I like my Smiths but no way would I knock back a Python... or any of the other snakes, really. Absolutely beautiful guns.

map
10-08-2010, 10:02 AM
I'm very happy with my S&W model 27. Good luck on your search.

orion5457
10-08-2010, 10:29 AM
[QUOTE=ojisan;5088161]The boycott caused such trouble for S&W that the English guy who owned Smith back then sold it off to an American gun guy who put a quick end to the foolishness of his predecessor.
The new owner has done lots to rebuild the S&W product line and restore the name.
This happened 4-5 years ago.

Since you have been in a cave and unfairly avoiding buying any S&W products for so long, in pennance you should go buy a new Smith today.

It's simply the right thing to do.

;) :p


Opps been in the man cave too long...Once I boycott something I really mean boycott! S&W has been dead to me for a long time...:eek:

Greg-Dawg
10-08-2010, 10:32 AM
Ruger GP100!!!!

madmike
10-08-2010, 10:43 AM
Buy them all. Start with the first one you find a great deal on. Who can have just one .357?
That's like having a closet full of the same shirt that you wear every day. Variety is the spice of life. I love .357 Mag, it's my favorite thing to shoot.

(for the GP100, look for and find IOWEGAN's Book Of Knowledge(IBOK), probably at ruger forums. Everything you ever wanted to know about the GP100 action.)

-madmike.

Legasat
10-08-2010, 2:38 PM
It's actually very simple,

If you buy a S&W or a Ruger, you get something that will last a lifetime (probably your childrens lifetimes also), and you won't regret it.

I have had a Ruger Security Six since the early 80's, and it is the gun I trust the most. The GP100 and SP101 are Ruger the follow-ons to mine, and both are tough as nails.

jessegpresley
10-08-2010, 2:55 PM
I picked up this S&W 627 Performance Center the other week. It's a lot of fun to shoot. It's an N frame with a 2 1/2" barrel and an 8 round cylinder. I added Nill grips.

http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/saintelvis/SWNill1.jpg

Volksgrenadier
10-08-2010, 3:10 PM
+1 to the Ruger GP100. Purchased mine in 1995 and have never regretted it. Thousands of rounds and fifteen years later, it is still a reliable workhorse; a veritable North Star made of stainless steel and whoop-***.

dadoody
10-08-2010, 3:13 PM
I like my Ruger with the Houge Tamer Grip. Very comfortable. You can easily perform simply spring replacement to get the trigger to wear you want it, and can google those instructions.

If you run out of ammunition, it can also double up as an unbending blunt object.

Kodemonkey
10-08-2010, 3:18 PM
I picked up this S&W 627 Performance Center the other week. It's a lot of fun to shoot. It's an N frame with a 2 1/2" barrel and an 8 round cylinder. I added Nill grips.

http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/saintelvis/SWNill1.jpg

Nice wheelgun!