ARTV: Colt's New Python

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posted on June 16, 2022

Over the past several decades, Colt's "snake" guns have increased in both popularity and collectability. After a long production hiatus that started in 1999, the firm re-introduced one of its classic magnum revolver series in January 2020, the Python. That same year, American Rifleman staff had an opportunity to get a closer look and the new Python, and what Colt has worked on to improve upon the classic, .357 Mag chambered, design.

One of the newer production Colt Python revolvers chambered in .357 Mag.
One of the newer production Colt Python revolvers chambered in .357 Mag.

Over a two-year period, Colt worked to improve upon and update the Python design before its re-introduction. These changes did not alter the general outline and look of the new revolvers, and they bear a close resemblance to the older production guns. Some of the parts are even cross-compatible between the two generations, with the grips of the old and new Pythons able to fit both versions. The first new Pythons to be reintroduced were the 6" and 4 1/2" barreled versions, both made from stainless steel with a polished finish. 

A closer look at the stainless steel barrel and frame of the new production Colt Python, as seen from the left side.
A closer look at the stainless steel barrel and frame of the new production Colt Python, as seen from the left side.

Among the changes made to the newer production Colt Pythons are added features and refinements. Like the new production Colt Cobra and King Cobra, the new Pythons are fitted with a one-piece barrel, instead of a shrouded barrel. These barrels feature a recessed crown, to prevent any accuracy-degrading damage to the muzzle. The action was also reworked while keeping the leaf spring of the original design, incorporating a link between it and the hammer to reduce grit. This cut down on the number of total parts that comprise the action, and also omits the noticeable ledge that could be felt in the double-action trigger pull of the older examples, producing a more consistent trigger pull.

A close up view of a Python with the cylinder opened and in the process of loading.
A close up view of a Python with the cylinder opened and in the process of loading.

On top of the frame and barrel, the new Pythons also wear a new set of iron sights. The front sight is removable, like with the newer Cobra and King Cobra revolvers, which allows it to be easily swapped out if desired. The fully adjustable rear sight was largely redesigned to take up a smaller footprint on top of the frame, and as a result the newer Pythons have 30 percent more material in that section of the frame, resulting in overall greater strength of the part. Despite being able to fire both .357 Mag. and the more pleasant .38 Spl. cartridge, the new production Pythons have enough mass in the front to keep even .357 Mag. loads relatively tame.   

On the range with one of the new production Pythons.
On the range with one of the new production Pythons.

Since its re-introduction, Colt has added an additional variant, a 3" barreled model, to the Python series lineup in January 2022. Despite the three different barrel sizes, all three variants come with the same six-round cylinder, polished stainless steel finish and a set of checkered walnut stocks with Colt medallions set in. For more information on the new production Colt Python revolvers, along with the company's other revolver lines, visit colt.com

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

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