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Okay, in my highly advancing age, I have developed a different perspective of late on these kinds of things. I have bought just about every firearm I have ever wanted and have the ability now to buy pretty much any other I might want. Case in point: an acquaintance just bought one of those new, Original Mauser 98 Diplomats for $13K (!), and it is a thing to behold...and it has me Jonesing big time. I could buy one outright, probably, but, more likely, I would sell 5 or 6 prime specimens in the herd and be within easy striking distance. Too, my current inventory is pretty fluid, having sold and bought probably 20 guns in the past six months...more sold than bought, and the prospect of fewer but nicer rifles has become pretty appealing.

So, as I mull this Mauser over, instead of which is better, or which will hold its value, or which is worth more to others, or which am I likely to shoot more, my new approach to the decision is, "Which is more likely to stay longer?" Or, "Which has a better chance of still being here when I assume room temperature?" I have found I am a poor predictor of this, however, as I have recently liquidated what I thought were some pretty permanent residents.

For me, anything I have restocked, or rebarreled, or done anything to make mine (or my kids') seem to have the greatest staying power. Many of these were made specifically for my kids or grandkids, so they are permanent, but even those not destined for the Fam, that I have put my mark on, are pretty safe.

One other part of the staying power is the joy I derive from just looking at a rifle hanging on my wall above the TV, brining to mind things that can or will be possible.

I guess I'm rambling, but fewer and better seems to be the theme for me now.
 

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I'm glad you're happy with the outcome.

I know this will be viewed as blasphemy, but I have never felt the Pythons and Diamondbacks were ever really that great, especially regarding durability and tunability. Fit and finish were usually very good, but no one I knew shot them very much. The Python, in particular, would need work after a steady diet of .357 loads. Some believed this was intentional in the design.

In gunsmithing school, there were the usual Python fanboys, of course, but nobody really bothered with the Colt's, meaning using one as a basis for a full-blown custom build. There was an occasional "exceptional" Python, trigger action wise, but everyone focused on Smiths. Granted, these were the days of Dirty Harry and outrageous prices for M29s, with a coattail effect on the other Smiths, but the Python's full lugged, ventilated rib just looked cool. The fundamental design was nothing exceptional.

Do I wish I owned a bunch of Pythons? Absolutely! But all would have been sold when the prices went crazy.

Just my experience
 

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I've always heard some Python fans say that nothing compares to the feel of the Python double action when tuned right, but no one ever handed me one to try; it was always a gun owned by some friend whose gunsmith could perform the supernatural tune. I don't doubt the fine hand-fitting some claimed was done on Pythons, and that those craftsmen are gone, but, with the fragility of the tune and the action, that's exactly why we stayed away.

It was represented as some kind of unreproducible black magic, so what does one do when there is wear? And how many times can one retune without new parts, assuming that's even possible by us mere mortals? I know the hand holds the cylinder against the bolt, but that's usually where the wear and sloppiness develop. Did Colt mean for the hand to be replaced regularly? I've read that it did, but that sounds like excuse making to me. I guess it doesn't matter, though, with nice examples now bringing $3K or more, there won't be any wearing out happening, and what was once functional art is now just art.

I do agree with the quality of the fit and finish. I just sold a fairly well-worn Colt Second Issue Woodsman MT, and you really could see the jewel-like finish and feel the buttery smoothness.

Don't get me wrong. I never coveted a Python, but there was a time I would have given certain genitalia for a nice Diamondback .22 LR, but revolvers in general have critically fitted parts with relatively small surface areas, and until the advent of the robust Rugers, and then the incomparable Freedom Arms revolvers, they always seemed to me to be fairly fragile firearms exhibiting poor leverage.

I have been Jonesing for one of those M97 .22s with the match chambers...they're about $2500...hmmm...
TBR
 
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