This is our Colt Python review.
Colt has revived the iconic revolver that pioneered the Snake Series back in 1955. I have researched the good, the bad, and the ugly about this highly anticipated revolver.
I found the Colt Python to be a solid firearm that lives up to the Colt legacy for accuracy and durability. Its smooth action in both single and double-action shooting is one of its highest-rated features. The new Python is versatile, accommodating 357 magnum and .38 special ammunition. And it’s simply beautiful!
The new Python’s release at SHOT Show 2020 created the biggest buzz in decades among firearms enthusiasts.
In this review, I’ll tell you about the features of the new Python, who it’s for, the pros and cons, how it compares to the classic Colt Python, and how much it costs. You’ll also learn about a few alternatives if the Python just isn’t in your budget.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the rebirth of the Colt Python.
Overview of The Colt Python
Everyone expects precision, functionality, and beauty from a Colt revolver. Colt suspended the manufacture of the Python because hand-crafting every stainless steel piece became so expensive to make. Producing the high-quality product that customers expected would have been cost-prohibitive for the majority of buyers.
Modern metallurgy and some ingenuity allowed Colt to bring back the Python as impressive or better than before.
- Double action revolver
- 6-round barrel
- .357 magnum or .38 special
- 3”, 4.25”, or 6” barrel lengths
- Stainless steel alloy
- Walnut grip featuring Colt medallion
- Adjustable rear sight
- Interchangeable front sight
- Recessed target crown
The Colt Python is an ideal single or double action revolver on the range or in the woods.
Overall, the new Python is a superb revolver that will be the jewel of any collection. It meets the highest quality standards in the firearms industry.
- Available in three barrel lengths
- Shoots two calibers
- Well balanced
- Accurate even at long distances
- Interchangeable front sight
- Adjustable rear sight
- Recessed target crown
- some reports of cylinder lock-up from the factory
- some reports of light primer strikes
Let’s dig into some specific features Colt has meticulously designed into the new Python.
Stainless Steel Alloy Construction
I mentioned earlier that one reason Colt stopped making the Python in 2005 was the high cost of stainless steel. With new stainless steel alloy making up the bulk of this firearm, Colt could lower the cost and bake a sturdier product at the same time.
While the original Python was available in both blue and stainless steel, making the alloy limits the configuration of the new Python.
Various Barrel Lengths
Colt also decided to make the new Python in fewer barrel lengths than before. While you could get the original in 3”, 4.25”, 6”, and 8” barrel lengths, Colt forwent offering an 8” version of the new Python.
Vented Top Lug
They added a full-length bottom lug made of that strong steel alloy and vented the full top lug.
The original Colt Python was already a well-balanced revolver. The full-length lug above and below the barrel makes the new Python tougher than the original while maintaining excellent balance.
It is strong enough to handle your light-load .38 Special as well as your .357 Magnum.
Adjustable Rear Sight
Colt innovated in two ways with the rear sight on the new Python. There is 30% more steel under the adjustable rear sight.
A rear sight allows a shooter to be more accurate. Making it adjustable gives you greater precision. Colt revolvers are known for accuracy at long distances. The adjustable rear sight is one more feature aiding in that accuracy.
Interchangeable Front Sight
Colt didn’t stop improving with the rear sights. The front sight features an orange insert to help improve sight pictures.
Orange is one of the most highly-visible colors to human eyes. A brightly colored sight is easier to see in low-light situations such as dawn or dusk hunting or a self-defense scenario.
Colt thought ahead to give you options with this sight also. Remove the orange insert for no color on the front sight.
Shoots Single or Double Action
Shooting single action means you pull the hammer back and then pull the trigger. Pulling the hammer back rotates the cylinder so your next bullet is ready to fire.
You pull the trigger back in one smooth motion to advance the cylinder and fire the next shot when shooting double action.
You can shoot the new Colt Python either single or double action. You’ll find that the action is smooth and controllable with virtually no wobble when pulling through double action.
A smooth action provides for accuracy and comfort. Before semi-automatic pistols, many law enforcement officers carried the original Colt Pythons.
Recessed Target Crown
A recessed crown means that the muzzle is cut back from the end of the barrel leaving a rim of metal that protrudes slightly past the muzzle hole.
The muzzle is a critical part of any firearm. The edge can either help or hinder your accuracy. A gouge in the edge can cause an uneven release of the superheated gasses that propel the bullet forward, knocking the projectile off course.
A crowned muzzle is less likely to contact damaging surfaces or foreign substances. Transfer Bar Safety
The original Colt Python featured a hammer block safety. It was common in early revolvers for the hammer to be in contact with the primer in resting position. If the user dropped the gun, it could fire. Later models had a hammer block in which a spring moves the hammer back slightly after a shot is fired.
The next development in revolver safety was the transfer bar system. The transfer bar sits between the hammer and the firing pin. The trigger presses the transfer bar up and out of the way as the hammer flies forward.
Walnut Grip with the Colt Medallion
Some features are for function, and some features beautify a firearm.
The stainless steel body of the new Colt Python is accented by gorgeous Walnut grips and the iconic Colt medallion logo.
What most Colt owners love about this gun maker is how they perfectly marry form and function. That skill is exemplified in the Snake Series and the Python in particular.
The original Colt Python found its place on numerous TV and movie sets for its classic, “old west” look.
Alternatives to the Colt Python
The only thing that would keep revolver collectors from going for the Python is the price. Many satisfied Colt customers would tell you it’s worth every penny. But I will suggest two budget-friendly revolvers comparable to the Python.
The Taurus 66 is similar to the Python in size, weight, and balance. They both shoot .357 Magnum and .38 Special.
The main functional differences are the seven-shot cylinder on the 66, and it has a slightly less-smooth trigger pull. The trigger is also a bit lighter on the M66.
Cosmetically, the Python is much more visually appealing. The M66 comes with rubber grips, but you can replace them with wooden grips for about $80.
While the Python tops the price range for a .357 Magnum revolver at $1,400 you can pick up a Taurus 66 for about $400-$600.
If you want similar functionality and precision without the glamour and the price tag, the Taurus 66 is a fantastic alternative to the Colt Python.
Here we have another great revolver similar in form and function to the Colt Python. The S&W 686 can handle .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammunition. It shoots single and double action but is slightly stiffer from the factory. All firearms have a breaking in time, so don’t be afraid to put some rounds through your S&W 686.
Like the Taurus M66, this model chambers seven rounds and comes with rubber grips. A set of wooden replacement grips will cost you about $60.
The price of the S&W 686 puts it within the range of more budgets than the Python. You’ll find it for about $800.
The S&W 686 is another solid alternative to the Colt Python that will give you comparable function and accuracy. Many firearms enthusiasts want the Colt for both accuracy and iconography. It may be worth the price tag.
Colt has revived an iconic and superb firearm with the 2020 Python. It deserves all the hype created by its release.
While Colt limited some options for the new model, they more than made up for it with the improvements. You cannot get a new Python with an 8” barrel or blue steel. However, enhancements on the sights and balance of this revolver take it up a notch in accuracy and capability.
Early rumors of a recall proved to be false. A few users reported cylinder lock-up and light primer strikes. Only a handful of Pythons were actually returned to Colt, and later production models fixed any problems.
Add the new Colt Python to your collection as the perfect showpiece that will also impress out on the range. Buy your Colt Python here.