My best friends mom's boyfriend was getting rid of some of his collection and he gave it to me for one hell of a deal! For being a 45 year old gun, its in great condition. Just a little bit of holster wear on the end of the barrel, and a light scratch under the cylinder release.
I know why the Python is regarded as such a fine firearm. The trigger, the finish, the cylinder lockup, just everything....you can tell this is high quality.
My grandfather gave me his Python about 2 months ago. It has the 4" barrel but identical otherwise. It is awesome. When that hammer is back, you better not be facing the wind. If it has been sitting for a while, take to your gunsmith for a good cleaning. I did and I could not believe how much smoother it was. IMO, this is one of the best .357 revolvers ever made. Shoot .38 specials in it and it feels like a .22. Keep it for life.
Personally, I like the way the wood grips look, but when you are shooting, especially .357's, the rubber feels better. If I start shooting mine more I may use rubber grips just to keep the wood's from getting buggered up. They are sweet to shoot.
If I was gonna leave the gun in the safe except when I took it to the range, I would have left the original grips on it, but I plan on carrying this thing and shooting frequently. The rubber grips are less bulky and will help me handle the .357 a little better.