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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm itchy for either a legendary Python or the later, larger bore Anaconda. Quick questions, because, while the Pythons are truly legendary for their incredibly smooth, short double-action, they are only chambered in a cartridge I just can't get excited about: the .357 M.

The Anaconda can of course fire one of my favorites, the .44 Special, as well as the .44 Mag. But....

Q: are they truly as smooth as the Python?

I once owned (and stupidly modified, and then even more stupidly, gave away...) a late-'70s S&W M29 in 4", with the rim-rebated cylinder. So very smooth, I can still remember it... sigh. Why oh why did I sell it..... [kix self in behind...]

I've also cycled the action on a new Python back in the early '80s, and was also very impressed. I've also heard that the Anaconda is not quite "there" at the Python level of build quality and smoothness, though I suppose someone like Cylinder & Slide could certainly slick it up for me. Really, I'd prefer to just go with a good factory piece.

Also, the used prices run around $1200 and up for a normal, 6" bbl'd Anaconda, in good to excellent condition. Is this about right?

Anyone with any experience with the larger model, please let me know. Otherwise I'll be itchin' and'a scratchin' all day and night!
 

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Python is an "old school" revolver, all machined bits and hand fitted. They're nice but a S&W 686 is probably more durable and can be made as slick or better than a Python.

Anaconda has more cast parts and has some fragile springs in it's lockwork. But it's generally more accurate.
 

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I bought an Anaconda last year and love it. The action is smooth and its a piece that I have no problems with if I needed to use it. I am going to hunt with it but I carry it when I don't want to carry a rifle but still want a lrg caliber
 

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My dad is an avid outdoorsman and has carried his 8" Anaconda as "bear spray" for years. He's put a ton of rounds through that thing (no count, but I'd guess 1000+ easily.) He hasn't had any trouble with it, and refuses to have any work done to the trigger.

It has a great single action, the double action may be a little longer than the Smith I have. The accuracy is outstanding. We set up some little green army men at about 75 yards and I don't think the old man missed one.

The complaints I have heard have been the double action of the trigger and not complete consistency pistol to pistol. My dad has a gem, and it is a great pistol.
 

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The only problem with the Python is the double action. The springs "stack" or get stiffer the further through the pull you get, making accurate double action shooting harder than with a Smith. Of course there is also the problem of the outrageous pricing, for the 1200+ that most people are asking, I will be buying a rifle.
The Anaconda is great, except some of the 1st ones out had problems with accuracy (or really no accuracy).
The worst problem is the Colt action is more complicated/delicate, and there were always fewer guys who were qualified to work on them. Its been nearly 20 years since Colt turned out any double action revolvers, and the number of people who can work on them and spare parts are dwindling quick.
My advice, get a S&W 27 (for a .357) or a 29. More robust and there are plenty of people to work on them.
 

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+1 for New Smith and Wesson 686, lots of folks can work on the trigger or get one the way you like from the custom shop.


My old 66 2-1/2 has a super slick action, and the lines, like the Python/Anaconda never goes out of style.
 

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Python

Have owned my 6" Python since 72. Dbl action work done by famous Python smith in Denver back when. No stacking in Dbl action! You need to grab something absorbent when trying the single action cause you'll wet your pants.The single most accurate revolver I've ever shot and I've owned a lot of Smiths. I admit I have a penchant for hand fitted revolvers, pistols and rifles.
 

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I bought a new 6 inch 44 mag Anaconda back in the 90s and it was a turd. The cylinder would lock up and the gun every now and then would give lite primer strikes. I sent that one back to the factory then soon after getting it back traded it off.

I would get a S&W before a Colt revolver any day of the week.
 

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The only problem with the Python is the double action. The springs "stack" or get stiffer the further through the pull you get, making accurate double action shooting harder than with a Smith. Of course there is also the problem of the outrageous pricing, for the 1200+ that most people are asking, I will be buying a rifle.
The Anaconda is great, except some of the 1st ones out had problems with accuracy (or really no accuracy).
The worst problem is the Colt action is more complicated/delicate, and there were always fewer guys who were qualified to work on them. Its been nearly 20 years since Colt turned out any double action revolvers, and the number of people who can work on them and spare parts are dwindling quick.

Colt still works on them
 

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I like my 4" stainless Python mighty well, but I've been through it and CAREFULLY worked over the DA pull. It's my third and newest one and the only one with me.

A couple of Anacondas, kept the 8", just because it's outrageously accurate at 100yds.
But 90% of the time I'm shooting Smiths. 99% carrying. The Colts are for special occasions. (?)
 

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I love my Python but worry about its durability so I treat it like a safe queen. It usually only makes it to the range if I am taking a "new shooter" along.
Single Action is incredible.
In DA I actually like the "stacking" of the spring because you can get the hammer back to a point where it will sit & then only a little more pressure will set it off. Makes DA accuracy great compared to some of the stiff triggered wheel guns I have shot.
DA pull is a little long, but very smooth.

1972 4in Nickle Plated wearing a set of Colt 150th Anniversary grips which I got with the gun ( currently it has the Hogue Monogrip installed )
couldn't find a pif of it by itself
.45 is a Para LTC ( steel ) with MilTac G10 grips



Python or Anaconda, they don't make them like they used to.
 

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Python or Anaconda, they don't make them like they used to.

I can see why they don't because mine sucked. They are not worth the money. Now or then.
 

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Mine and two others that I know of have been great, and accurate with some heavy loads. No problems.
 

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There are a lot of smiths who can tune a S&W. Not many familiar with Colt except some of the older, more experienced smiths. Parts may be an issue as well. I really don't ever regret selling my Python. The S&W pistols were always smoother so I never felt a loss. You rarely saw (from my perspective) Colts as PPC guns. There were mostly S&W. That alone should give you an idea of what gun has the smoothest action.

Collect the Colt...shoot the S&W.

Bruce
 

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Python or Anaconda, they don't make them like they used to.

I can see why they don't because mine sucked. They are not worth the money. Now or then.
Sorry to hear you were not impressed with your example. What were the specs & year built?

I'll admit I was very lucky in that the previous owner(s) of mine carried it often and shot it seldom. All the wear marks from years in a holster buffed right out & there was almost no etching in the cylinders or top strap. Clockwork was like new.

I'll partially agree with you on the $. I thought the price was bad 5yrs ago when I got mine........If I sold today I would easily double my money.
 

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Sorry to hear you were not impressed with your example. What were the specs & year built?

Wagn762 I bought the 44 mag 6 inch SS Anaconda in the mid to early 90s. I just can't get over that bad Colt revolver. I have bought 4 new Colts since I turned 21 and 2 were bad. I don't see all the Colt love they get. Now my new model 70 series 1911 is a great handgun that I will never sell. If it works then its a keeper if not its gone.

Colt could sell more rifles and handguns if they would build what the people want. They are starting to make 1911s with good sites and beaver tails. I would buy a repo WWII 1911A1 pistol if they made more then just a few like they did a few years back. Or say a M4 or AR15 rifles with bayonet lugs and flash hiders that are not made for lawenforcement.

I like Colts but don't drink there Koolaid.
 

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The Anaconda does not compare to the Python for smooth. Some people like a stacking trigger, some don't.

As for durability, for .357 revolvers, I believe there was a test a few decades ago. (The report can be had from the NRA which is where I got it.) The conclusion was the following: (Quoting from memory)

1. Python, GP100
2. S&W 686, Security Six.
3. S&W K - Did not survive the test.

Other than the price and the wear on that particular gun, I don't really see how you can go wrong with a Colt Python. If you don't already know, the forcing cone and (less so) the top strap are the places to look for wear on a .357 firing full power loads. Stainless Steel seems to resist the gas cutting better than Chrome-Moly, but I don't think either will run 10,000 rounds without showing significant wear.

- Ivan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Someone mentioned a Smith Mdl 66. I owned one for a while, and understand they were built on an intermediate sized frame, as a sort of ideal police carry revolver. Problem was that with a constant diet of hot .357 rounds, the frame would micro-fracture. The realization came over time that you had to shoot lighter loads, or .38 Spl, and save your man- and engine-block stopping loads for infrequent use.

Nice revolver, size & weight-wise, however. But also not nearly as smooth as the Colt I later tried out at my local gun shop.

Hmmm; well, you guys have sorta talked me out of the Colt Anaconda, unless I find and try one out that's particularly smooth. And as you say, I can buy a new Smith .44 mag or better yet, one chambered in .44 Spl, with a lighter bbl etc., and if necessary, have it nicely slicked up.

And you're right: no-one (almost) builds 'em like they used to.... sad, huh?
 
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