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Posted: 3/13/2006 5:58:21 PM EDT
I'm going to buy a Colt Python and an Anaconda...which years should I avoid, which years should I look for? I like the stainless finish...
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 10:52:45 PM EDT
Guns are not vintages of wine.....There are NO "good" or "bad" years.
Good guns get made in bad years and bad guns get made when quality is supposed to be tops.

You have to look at each gun as an individual. If it looks good, and is mechanically OK....It IS good.

Stainless Pythons were first introduced in 1983, the Anaconda in 1991.

What you have to do is LOOK at guns. When you see one you like, BUY IT.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:02:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 7:05:27 AM EDT by warlord]
dfariswheel: WELCOME!

Jason_R: I figured that you're going to be in the market to buy a used gun, by this tiime all of the mechanical bugs should be worked out. I'm not an expert at this stuff, but here is my 2¢.

I do beg to differ with dfariswheel. Gun makers do go thru cycles of fits and starts over a period of time.

S&W for instance was shuffled back and forth between many owners and their quality went down as a result. Ever wondered why the Turaus revolvers externally look like the S&W revolvers, internally the Taraus are different. At one time Taraus and S&W were owned by the same companies.

Colt was in a huge labor dispute with their unions.

But from what I can see most of it is just in the final finishing which is mostly skille-labor hand polishing for the deep rich blue. Some people have noticed that some of the older S&W's top of the line revolvers had a deeper blue than the later manufactured one.

The Colt Pythons and Anacondas are literally two phyiscally different types of animals.

The Python is literally hand fitted. Parts of the Python are all make oversize each is hand fitted at the factory. The Anaconda is Colt's mass produced frame.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:13:02 AM EDT
hmm interesting. Unfortunately it's hard to find a python or anaconda locally, so I will probably buy one online or off of gunbroker, so I can't actually hold the gun... :(
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 12:47:33 PM EDT
Yes, gun makers do go through cycles were "general" quality goes up or down, but this is ONLY a general statement.

As examples on Colt's:
The absolutely TOP period for quality at Colt was in the 1930's.
Possibly the bottom was in the depths of the strike in the mid-80's.

A collector I knew on the West coast collected only factory oddities.
Guns that were mis-marked, had the wrong caliber barrels or cylinders, had wildly bad defects, etc.
He had some of the strangest guns I ever saw.

He owned a Colt Officer's Model .38 target revolver built in the 30's when quality was at it's best ever, AND this was Colt's top-of-the-line gun on which they lavished attention to insure it was the best.
This thing should never had been able to get outside the factory.
It actually looked like some workmen had decided to make a "joke gun" with as many defects as possible. Just about everything that could possible be wrong was.
Quality was horrific. How an inspector passed it is unbelievable.

On the other hand, I once inspected a Colt Python made during the big Colt strike that was very possible the finest Python I ever saw.
Fit, finish, action, and accuracy was as good as any Python I ever saw out of many hundreds.

Another Python made in a "bad" time was one made in 1999 just before Colt discontinued most of their revolvers in 2000. If you asked anyone they'd tell you all about how terrible the Python's made then were, and these were roundly declared to be absolute trash.

This was, again, one of the finest I ever saw. It shot groups that were astounding, and the bright stainless was as well polished as any early 50's blued model.

So, yes you can make general statements that the Python's of the 50's are "generally" better quality than guns made in the 90's, but buying a gun based on the year made will either cause you to pass up a great gun, or buy a dog.

LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUAL GUN. If it looks good, it IS.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 1:17:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
Yes, gun makers do go through cycles were "general" quality goes up or down, but this is ONLY a general statement.

As examples on Colt's:
The absolutely TOP period for quality at Colt was in the 1930's.
Possibly the bottom was in the depths of the strike in the mid-80's.

A collector I knew on the West coast collected only factory oddities.
Guns that were mis-marked, had the wrong caliber barrels or cylinders, had wildly bad defects, etc.
He had some of the strangest guns I ever saw.

He owned a Colt Officer's Model .38 target revolver built in the 30's when quality was at it's best ever, AND this was Colt's top-of-the-line gun on which they lavished attention to insure it was the best.
This thing should never had been able to get outside the factory.
It actually looked like some workmen had decided to make a "joke gun" with as many defects as possible. Just about everything that could possible be wrong was.
Quality was horrific. How an inspector passed it is unbelievable.

On the other hand, I once inspected a Colt Python made during the big Colt strike that was very possible the finest Python I ever saw.
Fit, finish, action, and accuracy was as good as any Python I ever saw out of many hundreds.

Another Python made in a "bad" time was one made in 1999 just before Colt discontinued most of their revolvers in 2000. If you asked anyone they'd tell you all about how terrible the Python's made then were, and these were roundly declared to be absolute trash.

This was, again, one of the finest I ever saw. It shot groups that were astounding, and the bright stainless was as well polished as any early 50's blued model.

So, yes you can make general statements that the Python's of the 50's are "generally" better quality than guns made in the 90's, but buying a gun based on the year made will either cause you to pass up a great gun, or buy a dog.

LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUAL GUN. If it looks good, it IS.



You're almost scaring me off of colt revolvers! I'll try to find one close by I can look at it. If not, is there anyway I can tell online if it's a good piece?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 1:48:30 PM EDT
The only way to truly know is to physically inspect it yourself.

Having said that, as a rule you shouldn't have much trouble with Pythons. Essentially a custom shop gun from day one. Anacondas I would frankly be leery of. Something of a flop in the marketplace. There's usually a good reason for that.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:05:22 PM EDT
So if there's one .44 mag I should buy, which one is it?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:08:01 PM EDT
Smith & Wesson. Ruger if you don't want to spend as much.

Nothing against Colt. I own a couple. But in big bore, Smith or Ruger.

Any particular reason you're wanting the Python? Nice guns, but way more money than I'd ever want to spend. Either Smith or Ruger will put bullets down range just as effectively for a lot less money. New Pythons are well over a grand (if you can find one). Nice used, well, not sure. Almost never seen used Pythons. Going to be well over $500 I would imagine.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:25:39 PM EDT
I don't mind paying the price...

I like the Python, I like the style, and I've heard good things about them. I'm not going to shoot them alot, hell I may just save them to put them on the wall, I dunno.

I already have a S&W 686 and a Ruger Redhawk.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 4:01:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 4:03:26 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By Jason_R:
I don't mind paying the price...

I like the Python, I like the style, and I've heard good things about them. I'm not going to shoot them alot, hell I may just save them to put them on the wall, I dunno.

I already have a S&W 686 and a Ruger Redhawk.


Cool. When I bought my first Colt 6" Python in brushed SS, it was $580, and with tax and DROS, the total price was a princely sum of $630. I would've bought the high polished bright SS Python but involved extra polishing which meant an extra $50. Back in 1985, it was a bit of stretch for me to buy this revolver because at the time, S&W 6" SS 686s were running around $300, and the Ruger Security-Sixes were running in the neighborhood $250 or so, plus tax and DROS.

If you buy one, do by all means go out and shoot the darn thing. You've earned it and you deserve it.

See if you find someone who has a Python than can let you fire a few cylinders full of ammo whether 38s or 357s doesn't matter. The feel of the trigger in a Python is a a bit different from that of S&W trigger and the Anaconda, the Python has a "stacking" type where the trigger pull increases toward the end of its travel, whereas the S&Ws have a straight through pull. Some Python owners don't like this "stacking" effect and actually have a gunsmith grind it out.

When my oldest son was born in 1986, I bought for him a NIB, a 8" Nickeled Python Target in 38spl to be given to him for his 21st birthday, and even today is unfired by me, but belive me the temptation is great, but next year he will be 21 when it will be his permanently.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 7:52:12 AM EDT
Cool, thanks!
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:50:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 5:53:52 PM EDT by dfariswheel]
"You're almost scaring me off of colt revolvers!"

Sorry, this holds for ALL guns, no matter who made them.

The top of quality for all American made guns was the 1930's. It was during this time that S&W and Colt turned out the finest quality pistols of all time.

Since then, it's been pretty much downhill for quality of workmanship, fit, and finish.

With that said, I've also seen junky S&W's made in the 30's and really fine guns made under Bangor Punta and even Lear-Sigler.

"Something of a flop in the marketplace"????
The Colt Anaconda was far from a flop.
It was one of Colt's best selling guns, and was the only DA revolver other than the Python that Colt kept after the 2000 discontinuance.

It's very possible the strongest .44 Magnum revolver ever made, due to Colt's high quality forged and heat treated frames and cylinders.
The Colt design was basically an up-sized King Cobra, and is stronger than the S&W "N" frame guns, due to the more massive frame and thicker cylinder.

The point to all this is, you can't judge a gun based on just the year made.

Your chances of getting a truly bad Python are really fairly low due to the Python being basically a true custom-made, hand built gun.
The Python you got from Colt was basically the revolver version of the custom 1911 you get from makers like Wilson, Clark, or any of the other top 1911 custom shops.

It's truly the worlds finest production DA revolver of all time, and is the Ferrari of the revolver world.

If you appreciate the finer things in life, and would like to own a legendary American firearm from the most famous and collectible gun company in history....buy yourself a Python.
You'll have the pleasure of owning something few people do, and which will never be again, since Colt will no longer be making Pythons OR Anacondas.

If you ever get bored sometime, ask and I'll tell you WHY the Python was the best DA revolver of all time, why it was the most accurate DA revolver ever made, and why it cost so much.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 7:55:51 PM EDT
So sounds like the Anaconda is a good gun afterall....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:16:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jason_R:
So sounds like the Anaconda is a good gun afterall....



There's nothing wrong with these guns I've had one for better than 10 years now with quite a few rounds though it and it hasn't fail me yet
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:58:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jason_R:
hmm interesting. Unfortunately it's hard to find a python or anaconda locally, so I will probably buy one online or off of gunbroker, so I can't actually hold the gun... :(

I bought a Python on Gunbroker about a month ago.The dealer said condition was 99% and gave you a 3 day inspection period-if you don't like it send it back.The pic he had online was horrible.I took a chance and bought it.After some research,gun was built in 1975-not a mark or blem on it, fired very little-came in original box-although end flap is torn off.I am extremely satisfied with this gun and hope I never have to sell it.I paid a little more than I originally intended to pay-but hey. I have a piece of American history.I do shoot her,but not as much as my 1911.If you can find one in good shape,get it -the prices for good Pythons are going up.
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