I have a 686 plus and have always loved it, the fact it hold 7 rounds instead of 6 is still fascinating to me even after all the years of ownership. As for the Python, it gets a regular workout at the range several times a year, but I do not use it as heavily as I did the previous Colts….guess I’m “babying” it somewhat. They share the same grip angle. The python is a different story I see it as a basic single action only because I really don’t like it’s double action & it is really hard to tune. Most are classic designs from the revolutionary period between the development of the brass cartridge and the second world war. My 4″ nickel plated snake has pachmayr grips and a florescent front site. A lot alike. The new Pythons and King Cobras do not have the issues of the earlier releases. If one were blindfolded holding a 686 equipped with similar Pachmayr presentation grips, it would be difficult to tell them apart. I don’t shoot them much, but if someone needs a -cheap- 357 to pull the trigger on, try a Taurus/Rossi 972. Even with good metallurgy, they quickly wore down and required the TLC of a really good revolversmith. Finish: Blued But we’re there. Has never failed to fire and pulls double action at about 8 pounds. Introduced in 1980, Smith & Wesson’s 686 “L frame” was designed specifically for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Then asked him to pick the best one from those two. All businesses have to make bottom line decisions, like it or not. The weights are equal. I never bought a python but always wanted a ultimate stainless 8 3/8 barrel. Once an inherently simpler and more trouble-free mechanism got the benefit of the post war design upgrades and better metallurgy, the war between the two revolver giants was over, even though it took decades to finally play out. Ruger has a long track record of success with their GP100 line. The 686 is my go-to wheel gun. I have both a Smith and Wesson 686 and a Colt Python. Sold mine after changing careers, sad mistake. In fact other than a 8″ Dan Wesson i owned, it is the most accurate .357 I ever shot. I can get a Colt trigger lighter and smoother than a Smith just because of the difference in design. The rules of our economy can’t be ignored. The lack of overt partisan point of view is nice to see. If you always regret missing out on the opportunity to buy a Colt Python this is the Revolver for you. I sold those first two years ago and moved to semi-autos, but kept the Python. The double is a long steady and smooth 10 pound pull. Firearms can be extremely dangerous if not used safely. We have a sweet little Detective Special and a King Cobra and the only real reason we haven’t let them go is that we do not use them in a crisis-reload scenario. Some of the cost-cutting changes they’ve made have been OK — practically speaking, the recessed chambers in the cylinder and the barrel pins weren’t missed, but the other cuts have hurt the utility and reliability of the guns, and they need to take corrective action and put things right again. I just don’t think I could have done any better. If there was one gun we had to see and shoot at SHOT Show 2020 “Media Day at the Range” it was, of course, the COLT PYTHON. The people reading this article and writing comments need to stop the Colt vs S&W, or Python vs. 686 argument. I haven’t monkeyed with either of the guns. When it comes to winning, winners are going to shoot what works best. The 686 can try, but it will never make it. These are fantastic revolvers. Dont let that ridiculous noise keep you from buying this gun that once you put it in hand and feel the weight and experience its top notch trigger you will be completely satisified. I’ve owned newer and older model smiths, and have greatly noticed that the personal touch to detail, fit & finish, as well as dependability just isn’t what used to be. Why not the Python? The give away for me, if I can se the left side is the cylinder release. If you find any S&W you can afford. . Otherwise, they are open to being knocked off their pedestal by a lean Ruger, which makes a very good, albeit Spartan, DA product. I also own a 686 (not a plus) I purchased later.. I think the 686 is a great gun, and I have a couple, but both of them have forged hammers and triggers, as well as one piece barrels. So for me I do not expect Colt to make an effort to satisify the legion of fans that want the company to be the company of days gone by. Not one mention in the article or comments on a decent and affordable S&W 686 proxy gun – the Taurus 66. If you want a 686 they are out there. Easy. Buy one on GunsAmerica: Yeah right. What the author didn’t touch on is the facts. He had the gun slicked up a bit and it handled very nicely. I have both, but since the Colt is no longer in production it sadly stays in the safe insanely appreciating in value. Barrel Length: 6″ / 15.2 cm On the ever-popular Smith & Wesson frame scale, the King Cobra sits right in the middle between the J-frame and the K-frame guns. He gave me his card and said, \”Buy the gun. Range day, targets were run the Department routine and I smoked the others. I liked the review and after having a nice collection of Semi autos, I felt the need for a revolver. I totally agree! I love Colt but I don’t love what Colt has become any more than I love what Freedom Arms has done to Marlin, Remington and many other brands that were gobbled up exploited and ruined on the name of a quick buck. Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=dan%20wesson%20357. The Ruger goes with me in a bug out bag, but I’m elated to have a Python in the safe. The cylinder release is much easier on the S/W. Let me start off by saying I own all of the following revolver brands & models (Colt Python, S&W 686-3, 686-4, 686-6+, 686-7, and Ruger GP-100). As is, they’re visually distinct. Barrel Length: 6″ In particular due to the fact that a certain TV show made the gun incredibly popular with generations that didn’t really know what the gun was. The new Stainless Colt Python with 4'' barrel. Both guns function flawlessly. Well, the Python hasn’t made a comeback, not yet anyway, but the new Colt I have at hand is a .357 Magnum with a … Even so, the 686 just couldn’t quite match the accuracy of the Python. I would really like the “snakes” be produced again. I have one coming soon thru a dealer in Idaho , and I would like to know your opinion about it After about 500 rounds, I started seeing some lead shavings at the chamber so … I called Bob. It has the second smoothest trigger I have owned and it has never failed me. I also admit my Old S&W revolvers shoot very like the Pythons, but not the newer S&W’s. Out of the box the trigger is absolutly amazing. I pretty sure he meant mm (millimeters). And let’s face it back in those days, when you could afford it, and were not biased on brand name, most of us bought what was both reliable AND the best looking too. Copyright © 2020 GunStreamer. Back to new python, if colt was to build these models the lock work would be way cheaper. I own a the Python these days only for investment purposes and to say I have one. Smith and Wesson 586 (blued 686) and 2020 Colt Python. If they’d had the same finish and grips attached, I doubt many of us could pick them apart at any distance. The facts are that years ago Colt foolishly turned there plant into a union run manufacture. It is the Standard for revolvers to which everything else is compared. So how would I make a direct comparison when it boiled down to accuracy? Agree with Joe the 686 Smith is the gun to keep. The reason most smiths won’t “tune” a Colt is because that the parts are not available if you ruin one. Sad. . I’ve been looking for a 686 for several years and NO ONE has one for sale! I put many thousands of rounds through the Trooper and Diamondback – with never a hitch. None of them can come close to comparison to my !970 made Python. Read the Python Review–https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/best-revolver-ever-made-colts-python-review/, A .357 Shoot off with a semi-auto twist?–https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/357-shoot-off-coonan-vs-python/, The 686 Review–https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/smith-686/, Why do this to a S&W?–https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/coating-a-stainless-revolver-wmds-686/. Or better yet, both. I found a nice stainless .357 Magnum with a 6″ barrel made by Rossi for under $300 and wondered why you didn’t list it as an option? They both shoot so well that I’m really hard pressed to choose one over the other. Front Sight: Red Ramp However, I do alternate it with a M66, 6in to not beat it up too much. Capacity: 7 Rounds I bought one as well, and its major flaw was that it wasn’t quite as light and smooth in the trigger pull department as my K-22s were. have had one since 1980, never been much on S & W so can’t fairly judge them, but will take a 6 shot Python going up against glock gangbangers, any day….! It’s the blued version of the 686, or the 686 is the stainless version of the 586. Fabulous gun, and the only MIM S&W revolver I’ve ever been able to warm up to. I still shoot the 686 better in single action mode. It is about like the Remington 700 in various Benchrest competitions compared to the Winchester model 70, any Mauser, Etc. Guns, When it was repaired, I no longer trusted the weapon and, because then I could not afford more than one gun, I traded it off (badly). I’ve watched from the sidelines as revolvers come and go – those that desperately need work, and those that need just .0004″ shaved from the sear before the competition shooter is finally happy. Action: Single/Double Action To compare these fine revolvers against each other isn’t really a fair test. than the Colt Diamondback comes close to the craftsmanship, a Colt benchmark. Also a Colt locks the cylinder tighter at the time of ignition than a Smith and that adds consistency. The .32 Colt, .32 Smith and Wesson, .38 Colt, and .38 Smith and Wesson were among these. But if you have a budget for a Python, you have a budget for one of these. Thank you for your knowledge and looking forward to read more of your work. Front Sight: Black Ramp Bottom line, in my mind, if you can’t/shouldn’t use it, don’t buy it ! The Python is a high maintenance race car compared to the 686/596 and Ruger GP100 type revolvers. Unlike Ruger and Smith & Wesson, companies that often use two-piece barrel designs to cut costs, and like Kimber’s K6s, Colt is sticking with a one-piece barrel machined from stainless steel bar stock. I would be remiss not to point out that the quality of the Python certainly does deteriorate once production moves toward 1980. Both are chambered in .357 Magnum with four-inch barrels. If it takes more than 4 weeks, call me back with the tracking number and I\’ll either expedite it or send you a new gun back to the dealer for pickup.\” I was hesitant but agreed – after all, he did take my call this time. I’ve shot them, and I put them head to head with the 686 any day. This is where the comparison ends. The poly grips are as comfortable as any Hogues I\’ve ever handled and I can get SA groups all day long along the same lines as the author, shooting .38+P and .357 ammo. If you want a revolver that you can shoot endlessly without worrying about what’s happening to your investment, test drive a 686. nough said. I much prefer the S/W’s I even have a 10.5 inch Model 29. I’ve not modified the trigger at all. What then? Let\’s run this through the normal channels. It’s identical to the 686 but it’s a blued, carbon steel gun. I think that they are fantastic guns and were a great bargain. It’s now a second generation pass down. Loved my model 29. The 686 was re-worked and re-issued by S&W, and is now offered in a blued version. 6″/ 15.2 cm? You won’t regret it. It is easy to understand the appeal both of these have for Hollywood. If I had to pick between my old Smith and my old Python, it would have been the Python. I have owned numerous handguns of numerous makes over the years, many of them foreign in origin. I was speaking more towards Colt’s DA revolver design weaknesses in my comment, and those will show up no matter whether the parts and/or steel itself is up to spec, or not. It is my go to hunting handgun now. Buy a Python–https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=python, Buy a S&W 686–https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=686. Overall, I like the 2020 Python version better. As you mentioned, the Colt snake guns are all safe queens now, and can only be afforded by people with a lot of money to spend. The 586/686 simply struck me as the better gun. I’d still prefer my GLOCK for that. Stick with a Ruger and you won’t ever regret it, and you can probably afford it! So the question is this: if the expense of producing the Colt Python was too much, how is Smith pulling it off with the 686? To Etph trying to compare the two. Get on a waiting list at your FFL. Sure wish I could wave a magic wand, and have a forged hammer and trigger in that 617. Weight Empty: 43.9 oz, Model: Python Today’s 686 is not yesterday’s 686. I know, the weight, the 6″ barrel etc, is where that difference is. The last Colt I had was a Trooper Mark III .357. That being said I’ll give my view as a smith that works on both Colts and Smiths and I’ll agree with some of the points that the writer made. I purchased one from Shooters in Jax, Fl two weeks ago. In my opinion the only reason there are so many Colt “safe queens” for sale is because if they are used, they are usually used up. These changes have resulted in less accurate, more breakable guns — not what anyone wants to see. I completely agree. The cylinder release is not so well thought out. I own Colts and many S/W’s. Can just about shoot 2 inch @ 100 yds, outshoots me anyway. Carried my 4″ Colt Python on duty for 8 years. And with prices of decent used Pythons up in the $3,000 range, a new Python could fetch a pretty high price, if Colt did it right. I own a Python, a 686, a 586, a GP 100 and a Taurus Model 66. It’s like comparing a corvette to a pick-up truck…………send me all your unwanted Pythons for less than $2k…. Otherwise, they both feature 6″ barrels and full-sized frames. It is my “go to” gun for farm work or hunting, though not for social carry. Due to our backlog we have limited to gun model selection to the most popular models that make up more than 90% of our sales. Smith&Wesson was smarter in many ways than Colt, especially in the area of contracts, where you sell multiple guns, (witness the mdl. Buy it. I have taken both to the range and using the same loads fired them side by side. The other gun nut in the lab (who was peering over my shoulder) said , “see how it functions…” I was not expecting much from that old rust bucket, but I pulled it out and the action was still smooth as butter. When I shoot my Pythons, I feel the smooth results of true craftsman’s work, a Real pleasure, both in my hand and on target. Why did the guns fade away? The other day a Colt Diamondback came in and I was just heartbroken when I opened the box to find a very heavily rusted and pitted revolver. The only thing making the colt valuable is the greed and speculation behind people collecting something no longer in production. Thanks for reading, Big Al. Gave a friend the six to pick what he thought were the two best. Would have been a better comparison. Could it be the best .357 isn’t a revolver? You didn’t know which gun was made by which company. Now days I don’t even consider buying a S&W that does NOT have a pinned barrel. And the rubber is easy to hold onto. It was made in 1961, the first year of 4″ manufacture. Good article, but why just mention the GP-100 in passing? “All good things must come to pass”. I have a Colt Trooper that the double action trigger comes in at just over five pounds, a Smith trigger at that weight will not set off a primmer. The changeover to MIM parts was terribly ill advised, as was the addition of two-part barrels. I have a Colt Trooper that the double action trigger comes in at just over five pounds, a Smith trigger at that weight will not set off a primmer. Founded in the early 1950s by Willi Korth, a railway engineer, Korth-Waffen is a luxury firearms manufacturer based in… Hopefully they slow down and it’s smooth sailing from here. Other shooters think I’m nuts for shooting the Python. The 6″ barrels deliver the same velocity. I don’t miss that blinding glare that was typical for the stainless model. The stainless is about $50 more. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Totally agree Todd. On 25 yard line, on bags, single action. Would a new production Python be expense to manufacture? I doubt Colt ever had more than a few police contracts, whereas S&W had, not only most cities and states, but also FBI and other feds. A more logical discussion would be why does Colt simply refuse to bring back their classic Snake revolvers? Hell, I distinctly prefer even Dan Wesson’s style to the counter-intuitive operation of the Colt. I sent it back, they fixed the out-of-time issue, but not the sticking. I like Colt snake guns. 2.54 cm to the inch. This article takes me back. Thank you for this review on Python and Smith 686 the colt is a loser., s&w beat the hell out of them., get with it daddy., s &w use to be used by watt earp! Bull, guns were made to shoot, and shoot this one I do. I met Bob Morrison, then CEO of Taurus and a real live gun man if ever there was one, at the gun store where I was making the purchase, told him what I\’d heard and read, and asked what he thought of it. Overall watching the reviews of the new Python I was hesitant buying the gun but I have encountered 0 issues with it functionally with over 100 rounds of .357 magnums, .38 special, and dry firing with snap caps. The Python is back. Grip: Synthetic Once bought six Python’s. made guns. My shooting partner purchased one of the first 686 revolvers out. A cylinder gap of 8 to 10 thousandths is “to spec” for S&W where the old ones were kept to 3 to 5. I purchased a factory tuned Colt Python new in about 1982/83. What if you had these two guns, side-by-side, with the same finish and grips, but with no branding? The Colt is a great gun but the Smith is a little heaver and the action is a little smoother. I always wanted a 6 inch but never got the deal I needed. If your looking for a .357 revolver that is accurate, fun to shoot and won’t break the bank; you will find the Taurus hard to beat. As for the Ruger, the Security/Service Six was the gun at that time. This came after S&W learned that extensive use of hot magnum loads through .357 Magnum chambered K frames (models 13, 19, 65, 66) dished out more battering than the smaller guns could handle. Getting old is a b**ch! Both companies have made outstanding contributions to revolver technology. There’s nothing compact about these brutes.The grips are the other major variation. I gave it over to a pistolsmith for some work, and now it runs like the old blued 6″ K-22s. Smith 686 or wait to spend $500~ more on the 2020 Colt Python? Basically, saying trying to prove one revolver is better or worse than the other is a waste of time, that horse has been beat to death 150 times over already. There is no competition when it comes to the Python. The company was sold to an outside owner and run by a megalomaniac that had no respect for the customers or the legacy craftsmen that made Colt such a great American icon. A big change occurred with the introduction of the Smith and Wesson Military and Police .38 revolver. Please tell me more. S+W, no thanks! Then you got to shoot them. Now she’s even easier to keep clean. Rear Sight: Adjustable White Outline So if you want the best brute, buy a nicely used 686 with forged parts. The Smith is a bit heavier than that for the double-action–tripping at 10 pounds, and 2.5 pounds for the single action pull. Smith & Wesson used a protected system for this part. In short, the 686 is a workhorse (if you’ll pardon the equine metaphor we’d typically reserve for Colt’s marketing strategies). All the 2 1/2 ” Pythons fall in this manufacturing period. Still shoot the 686 even consider buying a Python but have a King Cobra and Anacondas to. N frames to manufacture the conversation and said, \ ” colt python 2020 vs smith and wesson 686 you what the GP 100 and a gun! Work or hunting, though not for social carry... Smith & produces... ’ ve owned/own multiple Colt and Smith & Wesson produces a wide variety of issues against palm! Colt benchmark looking for a safe queen and put 1,000 rounds through it and see how fast it apart! 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