Colt Cobra VS Python

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Almost everything.

Pythons were hand built semi custom revolvers. Best action ever devised on a revolver. Cobra's look the same but are totally different guns with different mechanicals. Cobra's were built on an assembly line and machine fitted. Cobras have the modern transfer bar. KC is one of the strongest most durable guns you can find. Pythons when you can find them without forking over one of your kids or your house were strong but need a bit more care.

Pythons had a special bluing that Colt didn't use on any other gun.

This is a great description I borrowed from dfariswheel on the Colt Forum. He really knows his stuff

The Python action was originally designed in the 1890's and was finalized in the Colt Army Special of 1908.
The Army Special frame and action was used on all Colt medium frame revolvers up until the last Pythons were made in 2004.
The frame was identified after WWII by letter codes. The models fitted with the firing pin on the hammer were the Colt "E" frame, the Colt 3-5-7 Model and the Python both had the firing pin inside the frame and were the Colt "I" frame.
These guns all used the same frame and action design, so they are usually just known as the Colt "E&I" frame models.

The action uses a "Vee" spring to power the entire action, and has two internal safety devices.
One is the rebounding hammer, the second is a hammer block.
When the trigger is released, it's forced back, "rebounded" and locked so it can't move forward.
As an extra level of safety the Colt Positive Lock is a bar of steel that is moved downward when the trigger is pulled, clearing the path of the hammer to fire the gun.

These actions are very complex, with each part performing at least two totally different functions. This is why the old Colt action is often known as a "watchmakers gun" and why so few people are qualified to work on them today.
These actions are know for the smoothness and quality of the single action trigger pull, and the very smooth double action pull that "stacks" or gets heavier as the trigger is pulled.

These models were totally hand fitted at the factory using forged steel parts. A Master fitter assembled the action by stoning and even bending parts to get a working gun.
The Python received even more fitting and smoothing of the action by Colt's top Master fitters.
The Python received Colt's famous Royal Blue finish, later bright nickel, electroless nickel known as Royal Coltguard, and stainless steel in both satin and bright polish.
The Python was the finest finished double action revolver made in America and was more or less a semi-custom revolver, intended to be the best quality revolver made.

In 1969 Colt was pricing itself out of the revolver market due to the large amount of hand fitting needed just to assemble an old style revolver action.
So, in 1969 Colt introduced a totally new type or revolver using "machine fitted" parts.
Instead of stoning and bending parts, a lesser trained fitter assembled the gun by pulling parts from a bin and test fitting until a part fit.
These parts were not made of forged steel, but were cast using a form of powdered metal casting similar to todays MIM (Metal Injection Molding) process.
The parts are made to such tight tolerances, it's possible to assemble a gun by test fitting parts from a bin.
The Mark III was the worlds first "machine fitted" revolver.

The new gun known as the Mark III had a totally different action using a transfer bar safety-ignition system.
When the trigger is pulled, a steel bar rises up between the hammer and the firing pin and when the hammer drops the force is transfered by the bar to the firing pin.
When the trigger is released the bar is pulled down from between the hammer and firing pin and the hammer cannot physically touch the firing pin. This system worked so well, virtually every double action and many single action revolvers have basically copied Colt's design.
The new design used coil springs instead of the old "vee" spring action and the feel of the actions are quite different. These later guns don't have the smooth feel of the older guns, and the actual operation feels totally different.

The Mark III was a success and Colt used the basic design from then on in the Trooper Mark V, the King Cobra, the Anaconda, and in the stainless steel small framed models like the Magnum Carry.
These later Colt's are no where near the hand built quality of the Python and are not as well fitted or finished as the super premium Python.
If you were comparing cars to Colt's the Python was a Corvette, the Mark V was a very nice model Chevy.

Due in large part to the design of the action and how the cylinder is aligned with the bore, and the tapered bore, very high quality barrel, the Python is famous as America's most accurate double action revolver.
While the Mark V also has a high quality Colt barrel, the different action causes the Mark V to be less accurate then the Python.

So, the Trooper Mark V was intended to be Colt's best quality holster revolver for police and most civilian use, the Python was a super-premium absolute top of the line hand fitted semi-custom revolver.
 
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That's a great description of the King Cobra vs The Python. The original Cobra is a D frame lightweight version of the Detective Special which uses an action similar to the Python. It was to the best of my knowledge Colt's first aluminum framed revolver and was designed to compete against the S&W air weight series. The King Cobra came along much later. It is very rugged and durable. Which Cobra are you referring to?
 
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I don't know which one it is other than it's a 357, I saw it at that little gun shop right beside Manheim auction in Dighton.

Dean
 
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The Python is a great gun, but is an old design with a few flaws. The lock work is complex, hard to work on and the spring tends to stack on the DA stroke. If you are looking for a shooter, the S&W L frame is a better gun. If you are unsatisfied with the S&W, you can have it customized to your needs for a fraction of the cost of a Python. I own a Python and love it, but it has entered the realm of "beautiful antiques".
 
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The Python is a great gun, but is an old design with a few flaws. The lock work is complex, hard to work on and the spring tends to stack on the DA stroke. If you are looking for a shooter, the S&W L frame is a better gun. If you are unsatisfied with the S&W, you can have it customized to your needs for a fraction of the cost of a Python. I own a Python and love it, but it has entered the realm of "beautiful antiques".

I think you are on the money. I liken the Python to a sports car. Finely tuned, they must be maintained. They will go out of time and you just can't take them to any old gunsmith. I've had both mine go out of time over the years and have had to have them retimed.

S&W's used to come from the factory simply exquisite and today can be slicked up into really nice guns. For sheer durability and functionality, however, today, I tend to favor Rugers. I think they may offer the best value, although the actions might not be as refined.

If Colt were to still make the King Cobra or Trooper Series, they would have a great line of medium/large frame revolvers which would be great guns to own and shoot IMO.
 

jaypap

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My first revolver was a 6" King Cobra , I still have it. Later I came across a 4" Python in stainless at a great price. I just never shot the Python as well as the KC so eventually I parted with it to fund something else.

Everyone who shoots my King Cobra asks who did the trigger, but it is stock from the factory. If you can get the King Cobra at a good price they are very good guns.

Today the Pythons seem to be worth a small fortune. King Cobras are going up in value also, I bought mine for $379.00 new back in the eighties just to give you a reference point.
 
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