the return of the son of korth and manurhin revolvers
Concerning Python accuracy, Colt used to advertise its Python Elite as accurized to shoot a 2" group at 15 yards. By contrast, Manurhin tested the MR73 to shoot within 25mm (<1") at 25 meters (>25 yards). I am not sure whether or not this disparity in factory requirements makes Pythons less than a third as accurate as their Old World competitors. To the contrary, thus spake Massad Ayoob:
How accurate? From a Ransom rest with Match ammo, the Python will generally deliver about 1 3/8" groups at fifty yards. This is about what you get out of a custom made PPC revolver with one-inch diameter Douglas barrel. My 8" matte stainless Python with Bausch & Lomb scope in J.D. Jones’ T’SOB mount has given me 2 1/4" groups at 100 yards with Federal’s generic American Eagle 158 grain softpoint .357 ammo. The same gun, with Federal Match 148 grain .38 wadcutters, once put three bullets into a hole that measured .450" in diameter when calipered. That’s three .38 slugs in a hole a couple of thousandths of an inch smaller in diameter than a single .45 auto bullet.
I am not sure what to make of this testimonial. Please stay tuned while I gear up for my own round of Ransom rest testing. As for the Korth, here is the official factory statement:
In order to give a statistically covered statement of the shooting performance of our weapon, numerous test series need to be performed. Single shooting results are therefore subjective. For this reason, we abstain from including an original target.
As an aside, this worry didn’t prevent SIG from including an original target with its early P210 pistols, putting ten shots well within a 50mm circle at 50 meters. On the other hand, as I previously mentioned, Willi Korth used to guarantee his revolvers to maintain “the same accuracy even after 50,000 shots fired”. I cannot fathom how this guarantee comports with the more recent disclaimer by his successors, of “a statistically covered statement of the shooting performance of our weapon”. Be it as it may, in an otherwise inaccurate review, Gun Tests reported five-shot groups fired from a bench rest, measuring at the most between 1.6" and 2.2", depending on the ammunition used. While I cannot duplicate these results with a Korth by aiming each shot individually with iron sights, I can easily do so with a 6" MR73 topped with a Docter sight.
As for the relative strength, in my experience Colt Python, Manurhin MR73, and Korth frames are immune to stretching commonly observed in S&W frames. I am sorry to report having personally experienced a forcing cone fracture in my prized 1957 Python. Regardless of round counts, I’ve yet to see such breakage in a Korth or an MR73, despite their dimensional similarity to the notoriously fragile S&W M19. In GIGN service, none of the S&W revolvers could handle the daily practice regimen of 150 rounds of Norma 158 grain .357 S&W Magnum ammo. The MR73 was originally tested with this ammunition. Its torture test was abandoned without observing appreciable wear after firing 170,000 full power Norma .357 rounds. Numerous published tests witness this capacity. According to an article in Cible No. 342 on the MR73, its rectangle of shot dispersion remained the same after firing 20,000 Magnum rounds. The writer concluded that it would take at least 300,000 Magnum rounds for the bore to begin to wear. Several French police armorers confirmed this estimate from their experience with high round counts in service revolvers. Make of their claims what you will.