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Discussion Starter #1
Im just starting to get interested in Colt Revolvers. One of the local shops has a King Cobra .357 with a six inch barrel for $495. How is this price? I know it depends on condition but give me a ballpark to work with. Also what is the difference between King Cobras and Pythons? Any info would be helpful.
 

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For a really good one, the price is still a little too high.

The Colt Python and the King Cobra are totally different actions.

The Python uses the old Colt hammer blocking safety system, and has an action that locks the cylinder tightly at the instant of firing.

The King Cobra uses the modern transfer bar safety system pioneered by Colt with the 1969 Trooper Mark III "J" frame series guns. The KC has an action closer to the S&W and Ruger system, in which the cylinder is free to rotate slightly at the moment of firing.

The Python has an action that's composed of a number of small parts, each of which do at least two functions. The Python has a reputation, (largely overstated) of being a "weak" action that goes out of time too easily.

The KC has a very simple action using large, tough parts. It has the reputation of being as tough as an anvil.

The Python is a smoother action, but the King Cobra is a tank.
Master gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen is of the opinion that the King Cobra may well be the toughest, strongest mid-frame revolver ever built. He attributed this to Colt's superior forged frames and cylinders, and their high quality heat treating.
 

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This past summer I bought an exc. 6" K.C with blue plastic box & papers for $350. It's a later model w/ a banner on the Pachmayer's. It's accurate & strong; it seems closer in size to an L-frame S&W 686 than a Python. The few K.C.'s that I've found for sale were in the price range you mentioned, some higher. I got lucky.

K.C.'s have a very different action than a Python - simpler, probably stronger or less prone to problems if abused, easier to repair, but lack the buttery SA trigger of a Python, & have a so-so DA trigger. Pythons' are basically in a class by themselves in fit & finish & more accurate than K.C.

For $495 or less you could find a good N-frame S&W M27 or M28. They're also excellent & I like shooting mine more than the K.C. Not a Colt, though. But, you'll be happy w/ the K.C. if it's in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I went into the store in question after work. My memory was mistaken they did have a King Cobra for $495, but it wasn't the gun I had in mind, what I had in mind was a 4 inch Python that had some holster wear for $595. Its action was smooth as butter, but that isn't what I ended up buying. I ended up buying a blue Series 70 repro. I never thought I would buy one but it was used, unfired for around $200 off what I have seen them sell for around here.
 

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Go back to the dealer in question and put a deposit down on the Python. Then go to your local blood bank to arrange a financing plan. Depending on the holster wear the Python's price may be fair. But a buttery smooth action is worth more. You should consider adding the Python to your collection.

Also the information dfariswheel gave you about Python actions going weak and getting out of time is true, this is grossly overstated. Unless they were not set up properly to begin with, or adjusted by someone that did now know what they were doing, by the time a Python is shot to the point where is is loose and not timed properly you have used and refurbished two or three S&W's.

To check the Pythons action do the following.

1. Pull the hammer back, pull the trigger (on an unloaded chamber naturally), and hold it tight.

2. While holding the trigger, try to move the cylinder fore & aft, or rotate it. If there is no motion to the cylinder the Python is still tight. Trying this with the KC will not work as its coil spring action allows a fair bit of play in the cylinder, where there should be none in a Python.

3. Release the trigger.

I hope this helps.
Str8_Shot
 
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