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  #1  
Old 12-15-2010, 12:25 PM
mara5 mara5 is online now
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Anaconda




Was the Anaconda built to the same standards as the Python? If not where do they stand? i.e. As strong as Rugers, or are they more in line with Smith 629's? Any info would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:30 PM
greco greco is online now
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If I recall, the Anaconda was priced just a little higher than the .44 S&W model 629 (about $600 around here). I believe it was the Anacondas direct competitor. When it came out, large bore revolvers were really enjoying brisk sales. They were not as well refined as the Pythons, but then nothing else is either. It has different lockwork than the Python, which shares the lockwork with older Colts. I found it interesting that you could get the Anaconda in .44 as well as .45 Colt. You could shoot hotter loads out of the Colt than the S&W. I don't know if they were stronger than Rugers. I really hated to see them go out of production. But on the other hand I didn't buy one either ( I was hot into Sigs at the time-- which was a passing fad). Last ones I have seen are over $1000.

Last edited by greco; 12-15-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:59 PM
Brian Dover Brian Dover is offline
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I'll go out on a bit of a limb and guess that the Anacondas aren't built as tough as the Rugers in .44 magnum, be it a Blackhawk, Redhawk or the 'Super' versions of either gun.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:35 PM
M203Sniper M203Sniper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Dover View Post
I'll go out on a bit of a limb and guess that the Anacondas aren't built as tough as the Rugers in .44 magnum, be it a Blackhawk, Redhawk or the 'Super' versions of either gun.
Based on what?

The Anaconda was in fact a very late entry into the big revolver market, developed around an entirely different "AA" frame not the I frame of the Python and was built to compete with the Dan Wesson, ruger and s&w of the day. I would say that of the options available - the Colt Anaconda was the latest and greatest of the big 44's

I would also like to find one in 45 colt with a 4" barrel but that's just me -so far the finding and the money have not coincided.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2010, 11:59 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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The Anaconda was at least as strong as the Ruger due to the Colt's high grade forged and heat treated frames and cylinders.
Master gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen considered the Colt Trooper Mark III and King Cobra revolvers to be the strongest medium frame .357 revolvers ever built.
The Anaconda uses the same design and is in the same class as the King Cobra, of which it's more or less a giant version of. Strength is exceptional.

Standards wise, NO gun was built to Python standards.
The Python was always intended to be a semi-custom, hand built, hand fitted and tuned, and hand polished target grade revolver.
The Anaconda, like all other revolvers weren't built to that high standard.
The Colt revolvers were a step above other brands, and I'd put the Anaconda's quality of fit and finish a good step above a Ruger.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:14 AM
Torch1972 Torch1972 is offline
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Think I read somewhere that the Anaconda used MIM parts compared to the Python to save on cost.
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2010, 11:03 AM
King Commander King Commander is offline
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I can assure you that the Anaconda IS stronger than the S&W N frame and a bit stronger than the Rugers.
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2010, 11:59 AM
Gary1911A1 Gary1911A1 is offline
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This may be an urban myth, but I recall hearing the Colt wasn't as strong due to the way the cylinder turned. Anyone care to comment?
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:27 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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Actually, people claimed the Colt clockwise rotation was better because this forced the cylinder into the frame, where S&W and Ruger force it out of the frame.

As far as strength of the gun, which way the cylinder rotates has no bearing on it. What counts is design, steels used, heat treating, and thickness of the frame and cylinder.

The later Colt's like the Mark III, King Cobra, Anaconda, etc all used an early form of MIM known as "Sintered steel".
This is used only on internal parts that aren't under a lot of stress.
S&W now uses a LOT of MIM, and Ruger uses the lost wax cast steel process.
OF COURSE they use MIM and castings to cut cost.

The Python had to be made of all forged parts. Some of the internal parts also acted as springs and you can't do this with MIM or cast parts.
The Python action was designed in 1908 in an era of lots of hand fitting.
Unfortunately, the people who can hand fit these parts don't work for minimum wage.
The old Colt's just priced themselves out of the market.
The Mark III and later guns were a way of making good quality guns cheaper.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:39 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Dover View Post
I'll go out on a bit of a limb and guess that the Anacondas aren't built as tough as the Rugers in .44 magnum, be it a Blackhawk, Redhawk or the 'Super' versions of either gun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M203Sniper View Post
Based on what?

.
I guess it would be based on people like Bowen and Linebaugh building super caliber pistols on the Ruger frames. How many Anacondas have you seen turned into 454, 475, 480 or 500? How many were based on Ruger? About 99-100%. Even S&W had to design a completely new frame to handle the 460 and 500. So, I'd say that Brian's sitting on a pretty sturdy limb.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:42 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Commander View Post
I can assure you that the Anaconda IS stronger than the S&W N frame and a bit stronger than the Rugers.
Assure me then. I call BS.
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:44 PM
sanman28 sanman28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
I guess it would be based on people like Bowen and Linebaugh building super caliber pistols on the Ruger frames. How many Anacondas have you seen turned into 454, 475, 480 or 500? How many were based on Ruger? About 99-100%. Even S&W had to design a completely new frame to handle the 460 and 500. So, I'd say that Brian's sitting on a pretty sturdy limb.
This.
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:03 PM
LeMat LeMat is offline
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I've owned two Anaconda's, both in 45 Colt. One was a 6" and the other is the apparently elusive 4". They were both purchased in 1993. I only own the 4" currently.

I don't have a problem shooting heavier bullets with it. My woods load is a Cast Performance 300gr gas checked pill in front of 21.5gr of H110. It barks, but I don't see the Anaconda "shooting loose" any time soon. I don't shoot many, but who wants to?

It does, however very much like 250's with Red Dot. It is eerily accurate with this particular load.

Built to the same standards as a Python? I have found that dfariswheel is quite knowledgeable when it comes to Colts and defer to his answer.

Is it as strong as a Ruger? Maybe. I really couldn't say. If dfariswheel says it is, I tend to believe him. I do, however, feel that it is at least stronger than the S&W. That is simply my opinion.

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Last edited by LeMat; 12-16-2010 at 09:10 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:28 AM
FreeAmerican FreeAmerican is offline
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I have a King Cobra and an Anaconda. I can say by my eye, the Cobra is beefier than my Smith 686 and the Anaconda is beefier than my 629. Both of mine have triggers as good as any Smith, just not Python quality. I will say the hand and bolt are beefier than my Smiths.



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  #15  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:54 AM
King Commander King Commander is offline
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Glock 2740:

I am not usually questioned on my firearm knowledge but due to your screen name I can see why. So here goes:

A while back a usually reputable reloader reloaded some bad ammo. The jury is still out on what exactly was in the loads but suffice to say a beautiful 629 stainless paid the price with a kaboom. There were still five loaded shells when half of the cylinder was found and the other half stayed somewhat in the gun during the explosion. There were three boxes of this ammo that were distributed. The other two were given to myself and my friend who has shot his reloads before with no problems. These shells were loaded (up until now no knowledge of previous incident) into his Ruger Redhawk and My Colt Anaconda. I shot first, I did not notice or expect anything but I did notice that pulling back the hammer to single action fire seemed gritty and slightly harder to do. My Anaconda is as smooth as glass. I fired about two or three rounds when my friend next to me started shooting his Redhawk. I suddendly heard a weird sound that did not sound like a pistol should have. When I looked over I saw the cylinder of his Redhawk half blown out and the other half was still in the air falling into the grass. We both stopped to examine the gun and I questioned him what had happened. He said he was not sure. To make a long story short I took out the shells for safety reasons and later that night was when we found out about the 629 incident. So in reference to the bad loads it was: Colt 2-3, S&W 0, Ruger 0. Now to the techincal stuff. The metal used in the Anaconda series has slightly more density than what Smith and Ruger uses. Pick one up for yourself if you ever get the chance and you will see the difference. Hope this helps.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:51 PM
mara5 mara5 is online now
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Guys, thanks for the great info. Just purchased a Python (don't have it yet), and the Anaconda seemed very interesting. Wanted to confirm what I suspected. That is an excellent firearm to own, although they & the Python are getting pretty pricey.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2010, 02:31 PM
mara5 mara5 is online now
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Are any years better than others? Anything to stay clear of? Thx,Joe
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:42 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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No.
You judge a gun on it's own merits.
Guns are not vintages of wine, there are no "good" or "bad" years, just good or bad guns.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:55 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Commander View Post
Glock 2740:

I am not usually questioned on my firearm knowledge but due to your screen name I can see why. So here goes:

A while back a usually reputable reloader reloaded some bad ammo. The jury is still out on what exactly was in the loads but suffice to say a beautiful 629 stainless paid the price with a kaboom. There were still five loaded shells when half of the cylinder was found and the other half stayed somewhat in the gun during the explosion. There were three boxes of this ammo that were distributed. The other two were given to myself and my friend who has shot his reloads before with no problems. These shells were loaded (up until now no knowledge of previous incident) into his Ruger Redhawk and My Colt Anaconda. I shot first, I did not notice or expect anything but I did notice that pulling back the hammer to single action fire seemed gritty and slightly harder to do. My Anaconda is as smooth as glass. I fired about two or three rounds when my friend next to me started shooting his Redhawk. I suddendly heard a weird sound that did not sound like a pistol should have. When I looked over I saw the cylinder of his Redhawk half blown out and the other half was still in the air falling into the grass. We both stopped to examine the gun and I questioned him what had happened. He said he was not sure. To make a long story short I took out the shells for safety reasons and later that night was when we found out about the 629 incident. So in reference to the bad loads it was: Colt 2-3, S&W 0, Ruger 0. Now to the techincal stuff. The metal used in the Anaconda series has slightly more density than what Smith and Ruger uses. Pick one up for yourself if you ever get the chance and you will see the difference. Hope this helps.
Not to question your firearm knowledge, and BTW, my user name may be Glock2740, but I have many guns of different kinds in not only Glock, but 1911, M&P, XD/XDm, revolver..., anyway, I stand by my original statement. People like Bowen and Linebaugh build big time pressured, high calibered guns based on Ruger frames for a reason. They are STRONG. If you can show me an Anaconda that has been uploaded into a bigger caliber, then show me. I'm a Colt fan, and have a Python that I love dearly, but, you just don't see any smiths building high pressured, big calibered revolvers based on the Anaconda frame. Where as you see tons built on several Ruger frames. As for your story about the hot handloads, that really doesn't hold water to me, as you got lucky that your Colt wasn't blown apart and you may have came across a very few and far between Ruger with a weak frame. Do some research my friend. Rugers are used in big caliber conversions WAY more than Colts are. Period. There's a reason for that. Once again, like I said, I'm a Colt fan. But, at the same time, I truly beleive that Rugers are built ALOT stronger than Colts. Hands down. Call a serious big bore revolver smith and talk to him about it. And I'm pretty sure that he'll back up my statements.
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  #20  
Old 12-18-2010, 12:51 AM
LeMat LeMat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
People like Bowen and Linebaugh build big time pressured, high calibered guns based on Ruger frames for a reason. Rugers are used in big caliber conversions WAY more than Colts are. Period. There's a reason for that.
I would hazard a guess that part of that reason includes the fact that there are a substantially larger number of Redhawks than there are Anacondas. They've been making the Redhawk for 31 years now. Anaconda's were made for what, 9 years? Add another 4 years to that when it was available only as a Custom Shop gun - you've got a gun that ran for just about 13 years. A third of that time they weren't even being produced in a "mass produced" number.

I would also go so far as to say that the fact that the Rugers aren't as necessarily "refined" as Colts or S&W's leads me to believe that they are simply easier to work with. I can get parts for any Ruger from a plethora of places, Midway, Brownell's, even Ruger itself - not so with Colt. Pretty limited there.
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  #21  
Old 12-18-2010, 01:34 AM
lucky-gunner lucky-gunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMat View Post
I would hazard a guess that part of that reason includes the fact that there are a substantially larger number of Redhawks than there are Anacondas. They've been making the Redhawk for 31 years now. Anaconda's were made for what, 9 years? Add another 4 years to that when it was available only as a Custom Shop gun - you've got a gun that ran for just about 13 years. A third of that time they weren't even being produced in a "mass produced" number.
I would assume the same. Combined with the fact that the Ruger is much cheaper platform to start.

I think what most people do is associate a larger and less refined firearm as being stronger. Reminds me of the scene in Snatch, "weight is good, weight is reliable". Rugers are rugged, but you need less steel if the quality is higher from the start. I wouldn't have ever really notice had I not started to collect blade weapons.

King Commander is correct about the noticeable difference when you handle Colts. I only own a MKIII and King Cobra, also have 3 S&W .357. There is a definite difference in build quality and what abuse they will take. The MKIII is similar in quality to the standard 686. King Cobra is the same quality as my Performance Center R8.
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  #22  
Old 12-18-2010, 07:57 AM
FreeAmerican FreeAmerican is offline
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I have to agree with the above posts. Why would someone use an already less common if not rare pistol going for over 1k when you can pick up a Ruger anywhere for 6 bills.

You really have to handle and shoot the Anaconda to realize how big, beefy it is. LOL it is a beast!

I do not have a RedHawk but do have a Super BlackHawk, 629 and the Anaconda in the pic above. There is no question, the Anaconda is the top of the pile. Not to mention it may not have the lock work of the Python, but shooting off of bags it is the most accurate of the three.
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  #23  
Old 12-18-2010, 01:31 PM
mnyshrpknvs mnyshrpknvs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
Not to question your firearm knowledge, and BTW, my user name may be Glock2740, but I have many guns of different kinds in not only Glock, but 1911, M&P, XD/XDm, revolver..., anyway, I stand by my original statement. People like Bowen and Linebaugh build big time pressured, high calibered guns based on Ruger frames for a reason. They are STRONG. If you can show me an Anaconda that has been uploaded into a bigger caliber, then show me. I'm a Colt fan, and have a Python that I love dearly, but, you just don't see any smiths building high pressured, big calibered revolvers based on the Anaconda frame. Where as you see tons built on several Ruger frames. As for your story about the hot handloads, that really doesn't hold water to me, as you got lucky that your Colt wasn't blown apart and you may have came across a very few and far between Ruger with a weak frame. Do some research my friend. Rugers are used in big caliber conversions WAY more than Colts are. Period. There's a reason for that. Once again, like I said, I'm a Colt fan. But, at the same time, I truly beleive that Rugers are built ALOT stronger than Colts. Hands down. Call a serious big bore revolver smith and talk to him about it. And I'm pretty sure that he'll back up my statements.


I shot some Hot Loads through my Anaconda that were so obnoxious, I was asked to leave. It was an indoor range, they were reloads bought from another range, that created flames out from the cylinder and an extremely large fireball out of the barrel. This was after 25 rounds. Not one issue with its function or physical condition. Yeah, Rugers I feel are the heaviest built now, but an Anaconda is beefier.

As far as who makes what with what, there is not enough Anacondas and other Colts out there to pick from AND the cost of a used Colt is just NOT cost effective for modifying into a 460, 454 or 500. If they were $400 to $500 frames and plentiful, I'll bet they would be used.
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  #24  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:50 PM
glock2740 glock2740 is offline
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Super caliber revolvers are kind of rare too. Alot more rare than Anacondas. Show me just ONE that's been turned into something more powerful than a .44 Mag. I'm sure that Rugers are more readily available, but, if the Anaconda was up to it, I'm sure someone would have had one built up into a higher caliber. I have several 1911's that cost more than the cost of an Anaconda with the upgrade to at least a 454 Casull, much less anything bigger. They're not that "rare". Face it guys, Ruger makes the strongest framed revolver. I'm a Colt fan myself and love my Python, but it nor any other Colt is nowhere near as strong as a Ruger. Refined, yes. But that's not what we're talking about. Give Bowen or Linebaugh a call and ask if you can have your Anaconda built up into a 475 or 500. I'll be willing to bet that they tell you to get a Ruger. And I doubt very seriously that it's because there's more Rugers available.

Last edited by glock2740; 12-18-2010 at 11:52 PM.
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  #25  
Old 12-19-2010, 12:35 AM
guntotin_fool guntotin_fool is offline
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I bought an anaconda new in the box. It was a POS. It was sprung from the factory. The barrel gap was .011. It had burrs and areas of the frame and barrel where the buffer had completely missed. Because my dealer's distributor did not have any he had bought it from another distributor who only said send it back to Colt. (mind you, I am a Colt's junkie). I decided I was stuck and took it. I tried to load it and it took a mighty slap of the hand to lock it up. It shaved lead so bad I only shot two rounds. I could not get the cylinder loose. Finally with help of a rubber mallet, and another set of hands I was able to get it open.

Back it went to colt. NINE months later it came back. It had a new crane but it was still very bad. I sold it to a guy with full disclosure and took a three hundred dollar kick in the shorts.

Later I saw two NIB at a gun show, both showed real lapses in workmanship. If you are looking for one, really look hard and I would never buy one online without a clear return policy in place.
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