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Police Force Pythons

ndbillyndbilly Member Posts: 1,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2003 in Ask the Experts
Back when police departments carried revolvers, does anyone know if a major city police force ever adopted the Python as a duty weapon? If so, which department?

Thanks.

Comments

  • SunraySunray Member Posts: 773 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Highly unlikely given the high cost of them. Pythons generally spent more time being put together and you'd have to be a pretty slick Chief of Police to justify the added expense.
  • KdubKdub Member Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I carried one, but paid for it myself. When the dept. went to the S&W Mod 66 in .357 Mag, I retired it and carried the Smith.

    Keep off the Ridgeline
  • CFPythonCFPython Member Posts: 413 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Florida Highway Patrol had 4" nickle Pythons as issue duty guns back in the '80's before they went to auto pistols. I read somewhere that Denver may have issued them in the '70's but I could be wrong on that one. I carried one for a while when I worked in S. Fla. because I didn't want to carry the Ruger Service Six my city issued. While I still love my Python, the stainless Ruger was actually a pretty good choice for down here with the salt air on the beach.

    The only thing worse than lawbreakers, are lawmakers.
  • KhegglieKhegglie Member Posts: 330 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Kdub....... which was better?
  • KdubKdub Member Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hands down, the Python is the better firearm as far as quality.

    The Colts were held to some fine tolerances while the Smiths had a little more slop in them. This meant that a slightly high seated primer, or a slightly enlarged crimp would run through the Smith, whereas the Colt would lock up. So - it's a matter of apples and oranges. I could always shoot a higher score with the Python due to longer barrel and sighting radius, balance and smoothness of action. While on duty, the Smith was less bulky, rugged and always ready to drag the ammo and cylinder through with every pull.

    Keep off the Ridgeline
  • KhegglieKhegglie Member Posts: 330 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Kdub and CfPython........they sound almost too good to carry as service gun.... I'd hate to batter one up in a scuffle!![:0]
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,715 ******
    edited November -1
    Python's have always been too expensive for a typical police agency to issue to its officers- the bean counters have the final say on nearly everything a department issues. Back in the mid to late 1970's, when I first got involved in the firearms business, the revolver was in its final stages as the standard police duty weapon; by the early eighties most new LEO's had begun to think only of automatics and the wheel guns were being cherished only by the "old timers". Within the decade the revolver was pretty much finished and you seldom saw one in the roll call room by other than plain clothes or station personel.

    Of course there were quite a few individual officers who were willing to pony up the bucks to own and carry a Python as a duty weapon and as a status symbol. As an LE dealer I've come across lots of LEO's who had to give up coffee and donunts for the duration in order to buy a Python and most of these guys carried those Python's into retirement. To give you an example of the costs invovled: A new blued Python cost right around $300 back in 1978- outragous at a cops salary during that time period! A Colt Trooper was only $200 and the basic Lawman MK III could be had for just $150, about the same cost as a Ruger Security-Six or an S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman. Even the top of the line S&W Model 27 N-frame sold for only $250.

    While these numbers sound small by todays standards, back then $50 was a lot of cash for a cop and with the pay so low most officers were moon lighting as security gaurds and bouncers just to make ends meet- how about you Kdub and CF? When it came down to costs a department (like CFPython's) could purchase TWO Ruger's for the cost of a single Colt Python. It does not take much education in "tax payer economics 101" to see which direction the budget dollars for side arms were going to go. Now a days there are many many officers I've done demos for who have never carried a DA revolver of any type. To these guys carrying Colt Trooper would seem as odd as carrying a Colt Single Action Army. Times have changed tremendously in the law enforcement business, both in equipment and personel...damned near every new hire has a BA degree and these guys (and girls) are already planning on becoming a lieutenant when they finish their probation!





    Mark T. Christian
  • KdubKdub Member Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, Mark - 2 jobs AND enrolled in college courses.

    My Python (nickle, 4 1/2"bbl) came to me by fluke. A fellow member at a gun club had bought the gun new and a box of reloaded ammo. He was extremely dissatisfied with the results and exclaimed to everyone on the line that he'd sell it for half what he paid. Since I was closest and managed to grab his arm first, a check was cut and the gun handed to me, box and about half the box of reloads! This was in 1963 when a $5 bill bought a tank full of gas.

    Keep off the Ridgeline
  • CFPythonCFPython Member Posts: 413 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was a little more fortunate. Wages for police in South Florida were actually very good in the mid '80's. I lived rent free (as a lot of cops do being security at an apartment complex) so money was not much of a problem (until I got my FFL and started buying guns). Bought a 4" blue Python used for $350 in '88. It was in great shape except for a little holster wear which I would make worse in a breakfront holster. Still have it, and would not hesitate to carry it again as a duty gun (I have an issued Mini-14 in the trunk for serious problems). The .357 still speaks with authority, and the Python always had that certain intimidation factor that most fixed sighted service revolvers didn't have. Mark's right about one thing, the new kids for the most part have never shot a wheelgun, and most consider them antiques.

    The only thing worse than lawbreakers, are lawmakers.
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