Gary Reeder
each brand of revolvers have their own good points and
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 15:07

not so good points. The Python got it's reputation back in the '50s and was called the Cadillac of revolvers, a name I am sure Colt got started. S&W had their law enforcement contracts and their great model 10 was king of the cop guns. S&W had introduced their Model 27 years earlier but it has a sort of cult following. Their Model 29 in 44 mag came out and was accepted by handgun hunters like Al Goerg in the early '60s and a few others. Most others thought it was too much gun. At the time the Python was still the smoothest double action revolver going.

As the '70s hit, Dirty Harry changed everything. The model 29 in 44 Magnum was king and everybody wanted one. The Python was pretty much ignored. Colt had a chance to put out a big frame 44 but their inept management decided not to. They had the big frame and the knowledge but passed on it.

The model 29 was so popular they were going for 2 and 3 times retail. Other companies were bringing the 44 magnum out to fill in. Even High Standard brought out their Crusader in 44 Magnum although they were few and far between. Dan Wesson was another great double action 44 Magnum so shooters and hunters had a good selection. A lot of handgunners were grabbing the single actions like the super smooth old model Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 magnum. Colt still languished on the sidelines with their Python, that nobody wanted. Handgun hunters opted for the much stronger S&W model 27 instead of the weaker sister Colt.

In '76 the silhouette game was getting started and again Colt lagged behind with their fragile Python. The silhouette game required strong guns and the S&Ws were king in the double action while Ruger held first place in the single action group. The Auto Mags were getting started, in fact the first major silhouette match was put on by Lee Jurras to promote the Auto Mag. So now people had lots of choices. And still Colt was sitting on their thumbs on the sidelines.

In the early '80s Ruger brought out the Redhawk in 44 magnum and that was the last nail in the coffin for Colt. They tried to get the magnum shooters back in their corner with the Anaconda which didn't do well at all. As John Taffin said, they shot great, if you put a new barrel on them and waved a magic wand over them, but again it was too little, too late for Colt. Several bankruptcys and new ownerships were in Colt's future and their products got less and less in demand. Their bread and butter was in their military M-16 contracts and they could care less about the revolvers in their line up.

Anyway, that was the tale as I saw it from a gun shop owner and custom gun maker's prospective.

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