Colt Python Earns Top-Selling Revolver Slot in 2020

by
posted on January 27, 2021
colt-python.jpg

It was 1955 when Colt unveiled its soon-to-be-classic Python. The .357 Mag. chambering caught the attention of enthusiasts everywhere, but it was the timeless look and the company’s famed top-notch craftsmanship that made it destined to become a classic.

“No regular-production handgun ever got so much detailed attention as did the Python,” Wiley Clapp wrote for American Rifleman. “It was put together by the most skilled technicians in the Hartford factory. These were experienced Yankee craftsmen who took a bare frame and carefully fitted together oversized parts—made in house—using the files and stones on their benches.”

In 2005—five decades after the original appeared and five years after the model was relegated to special-order status—the company made the unpopular decision to cease production of the labor-intensive revolver. Prices for used specimens soared and more than a few aficionados resigned themselves to never owning one. The originals wore either 2.5", 3", 4", 6" or 8" barrels. The double actions came in a blue, nickel or satin or mirror stainless finish.

In January of 2020 a new Colt Python rolled out of the factory and it was the No. 1 selling revolver among FFLs using the services of GunBroker.com in 2020. Rising to the top in a single year is rare in the annual rankings, another testament to the original’s legacy.

Last year’s introduction is strikingly similar in appearance to the classic, but wears some subtle changes. “It is obvious that every dimension and contour on the new gun closely follows what was used on the original,” Clapp wrote. However, he added, “The top, front corner of the frame, where the lines of the barrel flow into it, are a little different. On the hammer, the cocking surface is laterally serrated and not checkered. And the muzzle crown is a little different.” It’s also been beefed up to handle today’s hotter loads. The wood grips are laminated, although they still sport the Colt Medallion. Clapp also found during testing that the double-action trigger is better than that of the original.

A visit to Colt’s website as this was written shows both the 6" and 4.25" barrels models are sold out. When the stainless steel double actions are finally back in stock, expect an MSRP of $1,499, although retailers factory-fresh inventory are currently commanding higher prices.

Latest

Nra Logo Blue
Nra Logo Blue

NRA Responds To New York Trial Verdict

A jury verdict in a high-profile New York trial confirms what the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) contended all along – that it was victimized by certain former vendors and “insiders” who abused the trust placed in them by the Association.

Gun Of The Week: Davidson’s Exclusive Ruger 10/22 Takedown Magpul FDE Backpacker

Six different configurations of the 10/22 Takedown are available through Davidson’s Gallery of Guns, and the FDE-finished model stands out among them. Watch this week's video to learn more.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 23, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Arming My Daughter Part II: Sampling Mid-Size Nines

As I went through all of the data for the previous article, now Part I, I saw how my daughter Laney struggled with micro 9s, so a natural question jumped out: How would she do with a larger 9 mm handgun?

Hornady Inducted To Nebraska Business Hall Of Fame, Announces Park Management

Industry legend Hornady is already experiencing a big year. On Feb. 1, for example, the Hornady family was inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame at the annual NE Chamber Hall of Fame Banquet held in Lincoln, Neb.

I Have This Old Gun: Burnside Carbine

In the American Civil War, there was an incredible variety of small arms used, particularly within cavalry units. One of the most popular cavalry carbines used throughout the war was the Burnside carbine.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.