Super Gun or a Dud? How Does the Colt Python Revolver Stack Up?

Super Gun or a Dud? How Does the Colt Python Revolver Stack Up?

Kyle Mizokami

Technology, Americas

By Stephen Z - Colt Target Python, CC BY-SA 2.0,

An instant classic.

Key point: The Colt Python is a very successful revolver and people loved it.

In the world of firearms, which gun is truly the best is difficult to quantify. The sheer amount of innovation and the multitude of designs over nearly two hundred years of handgun development makes for a crowded field. However, in the world of revolvers, there is one that is clearly head and shoulders above the competition: The Colt Python. It is almost certainly the perfect revolver.

In many ways, it is natural for the perfect revolver to come from Colt. Founded by inventor Samuel Colt as the Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company, Colt specialized in revolving firearms. One of Samuel Colt’s first mass produced firearms, the Walker Colt was a large, iron framed, six cylinder .44 caliber black powder revolver. A nine-inch barrel made it the firearm of choice for mounted cavalry, and Colt’s follow-up was the more refined Dragoon series of revolvers.

More than a hundred years after Colt’s successful line of cavalry pistols the company released a new revolver: the Colt Python. One of seven mid-20th century Colt handguns named after snakes, the Python was introduced in 1955. The Python was a beefy, all steel and wood revolver chambered in .357 Magnum. The revolver had a six-shot cylinder and originally came with either a bright nickel or royal blue finish.

The Python was exactly what people imagined a revolver to be. The Python had a slightly oversized, stout .41 caliber frame with beautiful, beveled edges. The trigger well was large and capable of accommodating gloved fingers. The revolver was most commonly sold with a six-inch barrel, although two, three, four, and eight-inch barrels were also available.

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