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Colt Python: This Revolver is a .357 Magnum Powerhouse

Colt Python
Image Creative Commons.

Colt Python,  A Short Primer: Colt is one of the United States’ oldest firearm manufacturers. Founded by Samuel Colt in 1855, the company built upon and improved older firearm designs that Colt had patented in the mid-1830s and is one of the companies responsible for moving firearm design from single-shot pistols and toward multi-shot revolvers.

Though the company’s current firearms have long since eclipsed their earlier designs, Colt still manufactures revolvers — and theirs are some of the best on the market. One of their revolvers, the Colt Python, is a particularly potent design.

Colt Python, A History

The Colt Python made its debut in 1955, when Colt introduced the revolver as a high-quality, premium line revolver. The company produced the revolver for nearly fifty years, though discontinued the Python line in 1999 as a money-saving measure. Colt resurrected the design in 2020 however, and the Python revolver is currently available in two main variants, a 4.25-inch barrel variant, as well as a 6-inch barrel variant.

The Python is immediately recognizable thanks to its full-length under-barrel lug, as well as the ventilation slots cut above the barrel which slightly aid in dissipating heat generated during firing. Out of the box, the Python comes with checkered wooden grips that are reminiscent of early revolver grips which tended to be wider at the base than today’s contoured synthetic grips.

The Python is chambered in the powerful .357 Magnum cartridge, a rimmed pistol cartridge that bridges the gap between high recoil and high muzzle energy. Like virtually all other revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum, the Python is also able to chamber and safely fire .38 Special P+ cartridges, as the .38 Special is a slightly shorter cartridge that fires a bullet with the same diameter as the more powerful .357 Magnum.

The cartridge versatility offered by revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum/.38 Special is particularly useful to shooters that would like less recoil than what the .357 Magnum generates, or plinkers wanting a more affordable cartridge when out at the range.

Though the Colt Python is indeed a well-made and a high-quality firearm, it is not without its detractors. One of the most significant criticisms of the revolver is its relatively high weight. Heavier firearms are naturally more comfortable to shoot, as increased mass helps to mitigate recoil and muzzle rise. They are however, just plain heavier and therefore less maneuverable and offer slower target acquisition.

One Expensive Gun

In sum, the Colt Python is a very high-quality revolver — though with a high price point. Colt lists the Python’s retail value on their website at $1,500. Still, considering Colt’s many years of gunsmithing experience, there’s no doubt that the Python is a powerful — and high quality — .357 Magnum revolver.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Dave Phillips

    November 25, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Love this revolver, want to own one SOON!

  2. James carte

    November 25, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    I own a 1980 6″ with the Royal Blue finish. This pistol is hands down the finest off-the-shelf revolver I’ve ever had or seen. I have not handled the new one, but have heard it’s even finer than the original by way of manufacturing technology and other advances . If the new Colt had the Blued finish, I’d be all over it. The trigger action is a marvel to behold and will last generations. Your grandchildren will end up passing along a great pistol.
    Even the $3,000 I’ve been offered is not close to what it would take for me to part with mine. Your mileage may vary.

  3. Mark Martinez

    November 25, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Anyone’s that has owned one will speak highly of it!My Python seemed like it was made just for me.the trigger pull was smooth as butter at a crisp 3lb.break,the adjustable rear site was perfect for me and I added a bright orange paint on the the front site for quick alignment.I was able to knock down a deer running flat out at 50yds.Too bad the price of these went sky high,but if you want a. great pistol,this is the one for.
    You!

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