Revisiting the Python Part 2

Revisiting the Python Part 2

A snakey situation

By Dennis Adler

It seems that as hard as Umarex tried to make an authentic Python, the foundation was a little flawed in its dimensions in order to accommodate the CO2 firing mechanism, but for the time it was quite good. We have come a long way in a very few years with guns like the ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 and the almost flawless Webley & Scott MK VI, along with a few others like the Peacemaker and Schofield, but the Umarex Colt Python is still a very eye catching CO2 revolver, and with the use of Peacemaker pellet cartridges and alloy pellets can deliver impressive velocity. Currently, the Chrome model is selling for $129.99 (MSRP $149.99 and presently the original black finish CO2 model is not available).

Dressed up with the black hard rubber grips the Umarex looks very close to the real guns. It also fits well into some leather holsters like this Galco Dual Position Phoenix holster which is compatible with the Python, Dan Wesson 6-inch, and S&W L Frame 586. Loaded with Umarex Peacemaker pellet shells and high quality alloy pellets, the gun can deliver at 21 feet, but is no match for some of the competition.
The Peacemaker shells have slightly heavier rims than the BBs shells for the Python and will not fit in the speed loader. They do work in .38 caliber speed strips, however. With rear loading shells you get a little extra velocity and the Python will break 400 fps with H&N Sport Match Green 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters.

The real steel

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The .357 Magnum models had their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, and were carried by the California Highway Patrol, Colorado and Georgia State Police, and Florida Highway Patrol, among others. The Python also remained popular with civilians and law enforcement in the years leading up to the transition to semi-autos in the 1980s, but by the 1990s high-capacity semi-autos sealed the fate of the .357 Magnum as a primary sidearm for the vast majority of law enforcement agencies.

Chrome purse

As the old Scottish saying goes, “Ye can ne make a Silk-Purse of a Sowe’s Luggs” or as we know it today, a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But you can make a fairly decent CO2 powered Python out of the Umarex with a switch to the Peacemaker’s pellet-loading shells and alloy pellets.

I originally set up a baseline for the Python in 2017 when I chronographed velocities with the gun’s front loading BB cartridges and Umarex .177 caliber steel BBs. Average velocity was 364 fps with a high of 370 fps, and a low of 348 fps for six consecutive shots. Switching to the rear-loading Peacemaker pellet cartridges with Meisterkugeln Professional line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters, average velocity from the Python’s 6-inch (5.75 inch internal length) smoothbore barrel dropped to 315 fps with a high of 322 fps. Disappointing but not surprising given the increased grain weight of the lead wadcutters. I then shot with Sig Sauer Match Ballistic alloy pellets, which weigh 5.25 gr., just 0.15 grains more than a .177 caliber steel BB. The top velocity with the Sig Sauer alloy pellets was an impressive 395 fps with average speeds of 387 fps, 383 fps, to a low of 367 fps. This is a noteworthy increase, not only over the Meisterkugeln lead pellets but over steel BBs as well. To update this I am shooting today’s test with H&N Sport Match Green 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters.            

At 21 feet using a Weaver stance and two-handed hold, I put six shots under an inch with four overlapping in a line through the bullseye. POA was just under the bullseye and held slightly right to hit the center. The sights were left as adjusted back in 2017 when I wrote the last Python article.
And this was my best group at 10 yards…the Python looses accuracy that far out even with target grade pellets. It’s a good 21 foot shooter with BBs or pellets, but that’s the line in the sand for this slightly dated CO2 pistol.

Average velocity for six shots with the lightweight alloy H&N was 409 fps with a high of 415 fps, and a low of 397 fps. The H&N are faster in the Python with the Peacemaker shells than the Sig Sauer alloy (which is no longer offered, so pretty much a moot point). With an average of over 400 fps, at 21 feet the Python should be a tack driver with the H&N and it holds its own at that distance. Six rounds fired at a Shoot-N-C (with POA just below the bullseye) gave me a group of 0.875 inches. At over 400 fps, 10 yards should be doable with a pellet revolver, but with a smoothbore barrel, the extra distance could make a difference, and it does. At 10 yards my best six shot group had a spread of 2.625 inches, not horrible, but compared to the ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 with 6-inch barrel or a Peacemaker with a 7-inch barrel, the Python is no match except for looks.

5 thoughts on “Revisiting the Python Part 2”

  1. Hi Denis
    More on the M17 pistol.
    A year ago when I purchased the M17 Co2 pistol I found a YouTube Video that addressed some of the shortcomings I was experiencing.
    It showed how to properly tighten the barrel attachment to the reciever and how to stop the slide from rubbing on the top of the reciever. Mods not applicable to my gun I think due to improved slide castings.
    Other mods showed the slide floating up and down as the trigger was pulled. As the front of the slide was floating around the barrel the POA was constantly changing throughout the trigger pull.
    The video presenter had developed a shim for the front of the slide that removed almost all of the slop and was selling them for £5.00 – about US $8.00 or $9.00.
    I bought one of the shims last summer and promptly forgot about it untill I found it again this morning. It took all of two minutes to install! The accuracy improvement was phenominal !
    Meisterkugeln 7.0gn. pellet groups at 7 yards went from over 2″ bag rested to a caliper measured 0.687″ shot off hand. A remarkable improvement from plain old plinker to almost being a target gun.
    When I get the 1000 breakin shots finished I’m hoping the groups may be even tighter but if they stay as they are now I will still be happy.
    To find the video on YouTube do a search on ‘M17 Co2 pistol mods by Jerry Irwin’.

    • While we all sometimes get off topic I believe it would be better not to insist on it. We can find the proper place to comment.
      Regarding the Co2 Python it seems that Lawman 67 below nailed it.

      • Hi Bill
        I agree. Maybe Denis needs to add a general blog section.
        The reasons I never bought a Python when they first came out was because of poor reviews. Pretty just doesn’t cut it!
        A couple years ago I bought one of the Umarex Colt Python 2.5″ dual ammo polymer pistols. With 10 shot clips for both BB’s and pellets and a rifled barrel I use’d it exclusively with BB’s. It’s a great little fun plinker. It must have hexagonal rifling because when I set it up yesterday to shoot pellets for the first time I was surprised at It’s accuracy with Daisy 7.9gn. wadcutters. Seems a little more accurate than the Python covered in this blog. Not bad for a 2.5″ barrel. The trick Is to seat the pellets.
        If you really need a Python that shoots fairly well at under $50 this may be the way to go!

      • Thanks Bill. With the long awaited reintroduction of the 357 Python , pictured in part one an improved Python would be a winner out of the gate . Despite the excellent shooting by Dennis at 21 feet, the current version Python cannot perform well beyond that ,like a revolver of this type should. Considering that Colt will probably not offer a 22 rimfire version, a quality airgun replica would make sense. With rifled barrel and an exact profile, even if prices at MSRP of $175, and offered in get this 2.5 inch, 4 inch and 6 inch versions in high polish chrome and the deluxe bright blue like theDan Wesson 6 inch 715 would sell well. Rumor has it that Colt has plans to scale up the Python into a 44 mag and 45 Colt Anaconda. If Umarex wanted to be proactive they could offer that revolver in a “ big bore”. 22 caliber version now

  2. Looks better with those grips, but still looks better than it shoots. Does better than mine which doesn’t shoot well with bbs or pellets. The Python should be redesigned with more accurate lines and a rifled barrel , doubt it will happen. It looks like at least for the present, no new Da or sa replicas are coming out

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