Gun Review: The 2020 Colt Pythons

New Colt Python review

JWT for TTAG

“Colt’s coming out with a new Pyth…”

“Putmeonthelistheresmymoney.”

And that’s the way the conversation went when a buddy of mine told me that Colt would soon be offering a new Python.

Colt got back in the double action revolver game with the Cobra. We all hoped. Then they released the King Cobra and we could see the writing on the wall. Finally, our impatience was rewarded when, earlier this year, Colt released the 6″ and 4.25″ Pythons.

New Colt Python review

Top to bottom: 2020 Python 6″, 4.25″, New Colt King Cobra (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I got on the order train as fast as I could, asking for both a 6″ and 4.25″ gun from my distributor. I knew they would sell out fast, and that it would likely be quite a while before the Colt marketing department got me a gun to review. (TTAG isn’t on the top of many major manufacturer’s Christmas card lists.) Of course, if I didn’t like it, there would be plenty of other fan boys to sell the guns off to. Not much risk there.

As I said in my King Cobra review, my dad carried a stainless Python, so the Python wasn’t just some other gun to me. It was a link back to my family.  It meant a little more than most of the guns I review.   I was unusually emotionally invested in an inanimate object, not for the object itself, but for the memories it evoked.  I’m betting we’ve all been there.

And I was worried Hartford would screw it all up releasing a sub-standard Python.  The gross tooling marks present under the top strap of my King Cobra did nothing to alleviate my concerns. If that kind of thing continued on the Python, I wouldn’t be disappointed, I’d be angry.  I was ready to be angry.

And then, in 2020, Colt released the best stainless steel revolver they’ve ever made.

New Colt Python review

New 6″ Pythons in from the distributor (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Months before Colt was able to get me guns to review, the guns from my buddy came in. I shot the heck out of one 6″ gun, but my friend also allowed me to photograph and measure several other new Pythons that came in.

He also very generously allowed me to photograph, measure, and generally play with the more than a dozen varied original model Pythons he owned. Some were of significant value.

After the initial release of the Pythons, a few reviewers pointed out some serious reliability issues with the Pythons they received from Colt. The documented problem was that the cylinder would intermittently fail to advance.

I was already shooting one of the guns, and talked with other folks who were shooting them as well. None of us were experiencing any issues at all.

New Colt Python review

Top strap detail after 500+ rounds and some cleaning. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I contacted Colt and asked for an explanation of these failures. Colt said that of all of the guns they had produced, only about 25 had been returned for any mechanical reliability issue. These guns had loose side plates that may have caused the malfunction.

Colt said that they had started using thread locker as well as tested to see if the side plates would come loose during firing. The tests from Colt showed that they did not jar loose in recoil, so the defective guns were probably not tightened down property at the factory.

I pulled the side plates from each of the new guns I had access to. The screws measured between 9 and 10 inch-pounds of torque required to loosen the plates. None of the threads on any of my guns included a thread locker material on them.

Colt says that if you have a problem with your Python, call them and they will send you a prepaid shipping label. For any mechanical issue, they should have it returned to you within 30 days. If it requires refinishing, it may take longer.

New Colt Python review

Each of these rounds would go through this gun over the course of the review. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

When I started this review, I hoped to have both the 6″ and 4.25″ guns on hand. Unfortunately, there was an almost four month gap between when I got to shoot the 6″ gun and the shorter barreled model. That ended up as a bonus to you, the reader.

I put the full 1,000 rounds I originally intended to shoot through two guns through one single 6″ gun. Then, right before I was going to publish, another 6″ and a 4.25″ Python came in from the Colt marketing department.

I put in 200 rounds of reloaded .357 Magnum through that new 6″ Python. Over a single long session of shooting, I put 300 rounds of reloaded .38 SPL and 200 rounds of .357 Magnum reloaded rounds through that 4.25″ gun prior to doing some brief accuracy testing.

New Colt Python review

2020 Colt Python detail (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I put an extremely wide range of ammunition through these three guns. The hundreds of rounds of my own reloaded .357 Magnum rounds were all 158gr Speer Gold Dot HP’s pushed by 15.3 grains of H110 powder. This is a stout and very capable load, with muzzle velocities in the 6″ gun over 1,200fps.

Commercial rounds included a 90gr FTX Critical Defense .38 SPL Lite load from Hornady, the Federal Premium 38 SPL +P 130gr Hydrashock, a wide variety of 158gr FMJs in .38SPL and .357 Magnum, the once again impressive Barnes Vor-TX 140gr XPB HP round, and many others.

New Colt Python review

Fresh 4.25″ Python (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

During all of that shooting — 1,700+ rounds — I found no issues at all with any of the guns. Nothing jarred loose. I never had any trigger hang-ups. The cylinder never failed to cycle in single or double action. (I did have one Armscor .357 Magnum 158gr FMJ round fail to fire, but it also failed to do so in two other guns.)

New Colt Python review

Sight picture. Note the bright red front ramp, well spaced between the rear sight. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

As always, I lubed the gun (in this case with the supplied Lucas Oil Gun Lube) prior to shooting. At no point did I clean or provide any maintenance to the guns in any way during the shooting. I didn’t lube them again or clean them until I was taking photos.

The cylinder on the 4.25″ gun was blasted and caked with powder burns after shooting it, so much so that the cylinder squeaked when I moved it. It never failed. Every photo you see in this review of the shorter barrel Python is after all of the shooting, and after it was cleaned.

Every gun ran perfectly.

The finish on all of the current Pythons is Colt’s standard brushed stainless. Like the King Cobra, it’s a brushed stainless like nobody else’s. There’s an even, not quite mirror quality polish throughout the gun.

The original model Colt Pythons didn’t offer a stainless finish until 1983. That was the “brushed stainless” finish then, to be followed by the “Ultimate Stainless” finish in 1984.

The current 2020 Python is closer to the “Ultimate Stainless” finish, and far more polished than the base stainless version. It is friggin’ gorgeous.  I was impressed with the finish on the King Cobra, and it looks even better when there’s more of it to look at.

New Colt Python review

Original model “Police Python” (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Of course, we are all looking forward to the “Royal Blue” like the one above. Many folks think that Colt has lost the level of expertise and attention to detail necessary to produce that finish. They haven’t.

For anyone who’s ordered a Single Action Army, or simply had a high polish put on by the Colt Custom Shop, they’ve seen what Colt is currently capable of.

I asked Colt “why stainless, and not blue”?  After all, it was decades before Colt released a stainless version of the originals. The reply was that stainless steel guns are what people will shoot.

As much as I bristle at that (I shoot the heck out of finely finished guns all the time), I’m afraid they’re right. Most buyers will go out and shoot their stainless guns, but many folks would relegate a blued Python to safe queen status like too many do with the Single Action Army.

New Colt Python review

An original model of some significant value. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Of course, the cost of a blued Python would be considerably more. I would guess 1/3rd of the cost of the gun more, and very few would be released. Even with the old Pythons, Colt made around 65 guns a day at their peak production. That number can be increased now that Colt is using a method of less hand fitting and more advanced manufacturing. But that all goes out the window with hand polishing.

I dearly hope we see a blued Python, and I’d fight a big man or a small old lady to be first in line for one, but I don’t think we will see them in significant numbers anytime soon. A fella can still hope.

The original Colt Python revolver was issued in one single barrel length, 6″.  They would continue to make the 6″ Python, in some number, all the way to 2006. Although Colt has yet to grace us with a blued version of the Python, they have released two separate barrel lengths, 6″ and 4.25″.

Although the 6″ model was also described as a “service weapon” from the earliest catalogs, the 4″ model would be described in advertisements as the “Police Python” when it was released in 1961.

I asked Colt why 4.25″ and not 4″ like the original release. My contact there said it was to comply with minimal barrel length restrictions in Canada. That may be good for Canadians, but not so great for those of us who can easily find holsters for 4″ guns that may not fit just right with that extra 1/4″ of barrel.

I suspect most will fit just fine, but many of the best holsters won’t. I’m currently unaware of any major holster manufacturers making well-fitted holsters for this revolver, so if any of you know of one, let us know in the comments.

New Colt Python review

2020 Colt Pythons, both barrel lengths. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The Python’s barrel is marked simply with the snake styled C in “Colt” and the location of manufacture on one side and “Python .357 Magnum” on the other. The 6″ model has the traditional three cut-outs in the rib, and the 4.25″ has the two sections more traditional to the 4″ older models.

In any barrel length, the tastefully done marks and the finish makes the Python stand out.

Those cut-out sections on the top of the rib were originally called “vents” by Colt. They are not vents. Different Colt catalogs throughout the decades described them as there to reduce weight or to dissipate heat.

They were put there because they look cool. And man, they do look cool. The full under-lug, combined with those rib vents complete a certain stout elegance. This is especially true of the 6″ model.

New Colt Python review

The signature 6″ Python “vented rib” barrel. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

As of this writing, Colt says they have produced about 5,000 Pythons and they are split about evenly in barrel lengths. That would explain the extreme prices they are going for in the resale market.

New-in-box 2020 Pythons, in either barrel length, are being sold for about twice the MSRP. A thing is worth exactly what someone will pay for it, and I’m glad I ordered early.

The Python has never been an inexpensive weapon. A 1956 catalogue lists a Colt Trooper at $71. The Python had a $125 MSRP (the same as the Single Action Army).  The average worker in the US would shell out nine days wages to pay for a Python in 1956. In a fascinating little bit of arithmetic, he would pay the same amount for the new Python in 2020.

More than an homage, the checkered walnut scales are so close to the originals that they can be interchanged with many of the older model Pythons. Good call Colt, good call.

Although the vented rib and full underlug on the I-Frame Colt may have given it a signature look, it’s that grip’s shape that gave the Python its signature feel.

New Colt Python review

6″ Python during trigger pull. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

These grips fill a single hand well, finishing just below the pinky of my size-large hand.  They put the hand in a perfect position to both manage recoil as well as get a proper finger position on the trigger.

During this review, I shot the guns in the rain and I shot them in weird Texas 85-degree winter muggy heat. The grips, with about 60% of the side surfaces checkered, never slipped or failed in any way. They lock right in the hand, and help make shooting the Python a joy.

New Colt Python review

Wide hammer spur and windage screw. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Another nod to the original Pythons is the hammer spur. Pythons have always included a wide, deeply serrated hammer spur as standard. The shooting hand thumb will find the spur with ease and surety.

That’s nice when you are cocking the gun for single action fire, but especially nice if you need to carefully lower the hammer on a loaded chamber without firing the gun.

New Colt Python review

The Python’s sight removal screw above the recessed target crown. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The front sights on all of the current Pythons are a complete break from the original pinned styles, and include the same interchangeable front sight setup as the Cobra series. In front of the sight, just above the muzzle, there is a very small screw. This releases the front sight, which can then be replaced with a different front sight.

This process is described the same way, and even on the same page (19) in the manual, with the King Cobra and the Python. It appears the sights are interchangeable, although obviously they are at different heights.

The stock Python’s front sight, in both barrel lengths, includes a red ramp front. The eye picks it up easily, and combined with the rear sight, it’s effective at making both quick and precise shots. At this time, Brownells is, once again, sold out of the replacement sights, and I can’t find them on Colt’s website or Midway USA either.

New Colt Python review

Adjustable rear sight and wide top strap. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The Python’s adjustable rear sight is very similar to the original. Colt notes that the rear of the top strap has more steel there than the originals, leading to a stronger revolver.

The new rear sight is tucked into the gun with the familiar long leaf, terminating with a top screw changing elevation, and the tiny side screw altering the windage via a thin black blade. On all of the guns I shot, the windage screw moves very easily. There are no “clicks” to the movement, a continuous turn yields continuous movement of the sight blade.

On the 4.25″ gun, I found the screw a little too loose. It never moved under recoil, it just moved so easily I found the lack or resistance made it a little harder to make fine adjustments. I put a teeny tiny bit of tacky silicon caulk on the threads to fix the (non) issue.

New Colt Python review

2020 Python cylinder detail. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

When I reviewed the new Colt King Cobra, I noted some concern over the cylinder end-shake, which measured at .003″. That concerned me because, if it was an old model Cobra, that would be the maximum end-shake we want to see from the factory.

My concern seems to be unfounded. I assigned that King Cobra to one of my older kids to learn to shoot with and between he and I, it now has thousands of rounds through it.  The end-shake still measures exactly the same.

New Colt Python review

End shake measurement. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The same feeler gauge that measured .003″ wouldn’t quite fit in the new Python. The .002″ seemed a little loose. I don’t understand how that’s even possible, and I’d probably the be the guy to argue that it’s not.

Still, I tried a different method, and measured the end-shake at just over .002″.  Considering my experience with the King Cobra, and how well I’d see the Pythons hold up during this review, I have no concern about the end-shake growing to an unacceptable level anytime soon.

New Colt Python review

Recoil shield and firing pin hole detail. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Unlike the King Cobra, and more like the original model Pythons, there was no discernible movement of the cylinder during full lock up. We are back to the famed “bank-vault” lockup of old.

I tested the end-shake with three different new Pythons and compared them to several old Pythons, including an unfired 4″ gun. The consistent and excellent result of all of the guns put a gun-nerd grin on my face.

New Colt Python review

1950’s Python parts catalogue. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The new Python took a pretty big change in the trigger mechanism from the original models. Much for the better. If you take a look at the King Cobra review, you’ll know just what the trigger mechanism is on the new Python. The mainspring is the same V-type as the King Cobra. It also exhibits the same lack of stack as the King Cobra.

New Colt Python review

Transfer bar mechanism. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The original in 1955 had a flat leaf style mainspring like the Trooper and not a plunging type. The new Python opts for a similar but different style rounded wire V shaped mainspring. The new model’s mainspring is a departure, but not a huge one.

The big change is that Colt ditched the hammer block. Instead, they went with a transfer bar system. This is the same system that has worked so well with the King Cobra and is now a well-proven and welcome change. As with the King Cobra review, I can’t do better justice to the operation of the transfer bar system than the Colt manual itself.

In either mode the functioning sequence is similar, when the trigger or hammer rotates rearward, the trigger unlocks the bolt from the cylinder, while the trigger lifts the hand to rotate the cylinder clockwise, the trigger also moves the transfer bar up behind the firing pin. When the hammer is approximately halfway to its cocked position the bolt is released from the trigger and rides on the outside of the cylinder. The cylinder continues to rotate until the bolt drops into the next cylinder notch assuring proper alignment of the chamber, barrel, and firing pin before the hammer is released. Once the hammer is released from the trigger, it rotates forward striking the transfer bar transferring energy to the firing pin to ignite the cartridge in the chamber. Once the trigger is released, the trigger will rotate back to its at rest position, pulling the transfer bar down from behind the firing pin, leaving a gap between the firing pin and hammer. Without the trigger holding the transfer bar up behind the firing pin there is no way for the hammer to contact the transfer bar or firing pin.

Colt advertises the trigger as falling “between 7 and 9 and half pounds.”  I find that lack of specificity disappointing, especially since Colt also touts that the new trigger has a more consistent weight and feel. Which is it? Is it a consistent weight, or is it somewhere between 7 and 9 and a half pounds?

New Colt Python review

Deeply textured trigger shoe. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I tested both a 6″ and a 4.25″ trigger. In double action, the lowest trigger pull of either gun was 8 lbs. 5.1 oz. The heaviest of either gun was 8 lbs 6.4 oz. Measured over 10 pulls of two different guns, there’s all of 1.3 oz of difference. In single action, the triggers’ average was 4 lbs 5 oz.

Beyond the straight back pull with very little stacking, and a now confirmed consistent weight and feel, the wide serrated trigger shoe completes its cycle without grit or mush.

I tested the new Python next to the original Python.  The single action trigger on that gun measured at 4lbs 8.2oz and the double action measured at 9lb 2.7oz. There’s no doubt the new trigger is better in every way. With the possible exception of the Korth guns, the new Python has the finest production trigger on the market right now.

New Colt Python review

4.25″ Python during trigger pull. (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Be advised, I did see a couple of people slowly let the trigger out, and then observe that the cylinder would freeze when they tried to bring it back in. This is because they weren’t actually allowing the trigger to return fully forward. They had instead stopped the forward travel right before the last “click” of the mechanism.

This is not a fault of the gun, but poor training for which I was once also a victim. Once the gun fires, there’s no reason to carefully bring the trigger forward. The only way to get a double action gun back in the game is to get that trigger forward as fast as possible.

Watch some of the revolver masters, like Patrick Sweeney, and you’ll see their trigger finger actually slap the inside of the trigger guard. They’re pushing as fast as they can to get that cylinder rotating again, with no loss in accuracy. The bullet has long left the barrel by the time your finger is moving out.

For those particularly interested, the cylinder throats measured at .358″ on a minus pin gauge set and the major bore diameter was dead on at .357″.

New Colt Python review

.9″ 5 shot 25 yard group from Barnes 140gr XPB round, 4.25″ gun(image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

When it comes to precision, the new Python easily lives up to the reputation of the original models. On both the 6″ and 4.25″ guns, the Armscor 158 gr FMJ in .38 SPL shot the best. This round produced consistent five-round groups of just under 1″.

The worst shooting group was also an Armscor 158 gr FMJ round. But those were the .357 Magnum loads and they printed, on average, 1.2″ groups. Several other rounds, like the Barnes 140 gr .357 Magnum XPB round scored under 1″ as well.

Every other round fell either on or between those two extremes. All groups were shot in single-action, seated off a bag at 25 yards, and the listed groups are averages of five rounds shot over four shot strings.

New Colt Python review

.9″ 5 shot 25 yard group from 158gr Armscor 38SPL round, 6″ gun (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The .357 Magnum can be a painful handful in a lightweight, snub-nosed revolver. Even the stoutest 158 gr loads are tamed by the Python. Although I find the 4.25″ more practical, there’s no denying the perfect balance and fast shooting of the 6″ version.

With .38 SPL target loads, recoil in either model new Python is very minimal and suitable for the most recoil adverse shooters. It isn’t until shooting the full pressure .357 Magnum loads that I can tell much of a difference between the recoil management of the 6″ and 4.25″ barrels. The recoil itself isn’t difficult to manage in either length, the 6″ gun just gets back on target faster, with very minimal muzzle rise.

New Colt Python review

158 gr .357 Magnum HP loaded cylinder (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Even though quite a few were issued as police department service weapons, the Colt Python has always been a target revolver at its heart. It was that marriage of the ergonomics of the duty-sized weapon with target accuracy that made the Python so sought after. They were, and are still, fast to draw, fast to fire, and with a competent marksman, sure to strike the intended target.

It’s that speed in shooting the full pressure .357 Magnum loads where the Python excels. The ergonomics of the grip, the outstanding trigger, the smooth action and simple weight of the 46 oz. 6″ gun makes fast double action follow-up shots feel natural. It just feels like the trigger wants to be pulled, like the gun wants to be shot.

At no point during any of the shooting did I feel like I was slogging through rounds to check off boxes. In fact, even after 500 rounds in one session through a revolver, I was surprised the rounds had been expended so fast. This isn’t just an accurate, good looking gun, it’s a fun one, too.

New Colt Python review

Original model Python Hunter with factory scope (top) (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

If the trend with the new generation of Pythons follows like the originals, the next barrel length should be 2 1/2″. This has always been a popular length in the Python platform since it was introduced in 1964.

Me, I’d be far more interested in the 8″ barreled version like the one introduced in 1980. Colt released a few different versions, The Hunter, Silhouette, and 10 Pointer in that barrel length. With the ease of mounting a scope on the rib, and the precision the gun has proven capable of, the potential of these guns to be outstanding for closer range deer and farther range varmint hunting is excellent.

The question that everyone will ask is, “Does the new Python live up to the name?” Yes. Unequivocally yes.

This is not the hand-fitted gun of the original models, and do I hope everyone can appreciate the level of work that goes into something like that. But ultimately, results matter most.

In every measurable way, the new Pythons perform just as well or better than the originals. When comparing the stainless guns’ fit and finish, they too, are just as good as anything we saw from Colt in the past. I’ll pester and pine away for a blued model, but I’m overjoyed this new stainless snake gun turned out to be everything I hoped it would.

Specifications: The New Colt Pythons

Colt Python 6″
Barrel Length: 6 in.
Capacity: 6 rds.
Finish: Semi-Bright
Frame Material: Stainless Steel
Grips: Walnut Target Stocks
Height: 5.5 in.
Width: 1.55 in.
Overall Length: 11.5 in.
Weight: 46 oz.
MSRP: $1,499

Colt Python 4.25″
Barrel Length: 4.25 in.
Finish: Semi-Bright
Frame Material: Stainless Steel
Grips: Walnut Target Stocks
Height: 5.5 in.
Overall Length: 9.75 in.
Weight: 42 oz.
Width: 1.55 in.
Capacity: 6 rds.
MSRP: $1,499

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * * *
It’s not blued, but it’s the best “brushed stainless” on the market. Classic Python style put six stars in this category before we even started.

Customization * * * * *
I didn’t expect high marks in this category. But the ability to interchange the front sights, as well as backwards compatibility with the old Python grips gives this revolver a leg up on the competition.

Reliability * * * * *
Across three guns and 1,700 plus rounds, perfect performance. I’d trust this gun with my life any day of the week, even if that day was decades away.

Accuracy * * * * *
Sub 1″ groups with both the 6″ and 4.25″ at 25 yards with a variety of ammunition.

Overall * * * * *
Colt didn’t screw it up. If anything, they’ve reminded us of what the company once produced, and what it still is capable of. My dad, like many of his generation, would be right to depend on this new Python as much or more than he ever did the older models. Now Colt, make more of them. A lot more….and then the Viper.

comments

  1. avatar Fun Gunner says:

    The vents do look pretty cool. They were one of the reason I picked an Anaconda back in the early 90’s for my first wheel gun, over a S&W or Ruger.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Ok… While not a big fan of obsolescent wheel guns, there is something about the Python and he Rhino that warms the dried up black walnut I call a heart. Definitely nice to see the wheel gun aficionados get a gun that actually justifies their love of the system.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Same here. I’m an admitted Glock fanboi with a bias for 1911s, but there’s something about a handsome wheelgun that just brings out the nostalgia. Like from an ’80s movie (or Stranger Things) where the trusty, crusty Sheriff ventures into the dark woods with his smokewagon in hand.

      Mine is a stainless 6″ model with full size grips. It’s also my wife’s favorite gun of the entire collection. There’s just something about seeing her petite self (with ponytail and shooter cap) holding big gun downrange and sending hot lead onto steel that makes me smile.

    2. avatar Marcus says:

      Still I want it in Royal Blue as that’s the hipster gun owner way.

    3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      pwrserge, obsolesent? You sound like you think semi-auto pistols are some kind of high tech new invention. Double action revolvers and semi-auto pistols were developed at about the same time. You know, before the turn of the last century. If you don’t own revolvers you have a serious hole in your handgun battery.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        To be fair, metallic cartridge revolvers predate practical semi-autos by almost half a century. Effective semi-autos (aka semi-autos in a useful caliber without performance issues) by a little more than that.

        And, no, I don’t consider the Volcanic to be a practical semi-auto because it’s a weird hybrid thing that doesn’t fit into any modern handgun category.

        Comparatively, semi-autos with effective loadings are a fairly new thing. Prior to the development of modern hollow-points even the good old .45 AARP had issues when compared against the monster cartridges you can load into a revolver frame. These days, high performance JHPs mean that while semi-autos still can’t keep up with enormous hunting cartridge revolvers, they are more than good enough to compete against .38 SPL self-defense revolvers. Given the myriad of advantages of semi-autos in a self-defense situation, yes that makes revolvers obsolescent.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          pweserge, spoken like someone long on theory and little real world experience.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Lol… ok. 👌

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          I said double action revolvers. Try to keep up with the conversation.

        4. avatar pwrserge says:

          Um… The double-action revolver predates metallic cartridges. I read what I thought you meant rather than what you wrote, because what you wrote is dumb.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaumont%E2%80%93Adams_revolver

        5. avatar GS650G says:

          Revolvers obsolete? That depends entirely on what you are looking to do. Fend of a 10 pack of starving Wuhan flu zombies ? use the Glock. Hunt deer humanely at distances of 100 yards I’d go with Ruger .44 SBH with a scope ( I have one).
          Beauty contest? No contest between a crafted steel revolver and a gun popped out of a mold. Not even in fancy colors.
          Reliability? Feeding issues plague Semi-Autos due to magazine issues, ammo differences, and wear items. You won’t be changing springs in a revolver very often if at all.
          Semi Autos are cheap, practical and suitable. Steel revolvers like this one are just worth the price.

        6. avatar Specialist38 says:

          The Volcanic was basically a lever action pistol.

        7. avatar pwrserge says:

          I can honestly say I’ve had about as many feeding issues with revolvers as semi-autos. My .454 Raging Judge once had the cylinder lock up on me… Given that there is no way to easily clear the weapon in that case, that was… exciting.

        8. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          pweserge, I’m speaking practically. Go back far enough and you can find damn near anything to support your argument. My handgun battery is about evenly split between revolvers and semi-autos. I even own a few Tubberware pistols. Thing is I don’t want to face down a 400 lb. boar with a Glock 17. I prefer a S&W .44 magnum. Yeah, done it.
          Don’t care to hear about 10mm. Of course, I was wishing I had a rifle.

        9. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          There is, IMHO, an intimidation factor involved with large frame revolvers. Perhaps because of the dirty Harry movies and others. When I see my trusty Glock 19 sitting in it’s place while not on me I see a semi-auto pistol.

          When I look at those Pythons or say something like a Colt Walker I see a freakin canon. Big black maw waiting to destroy my soul down to the sub atomic level.

          If I have this reaction, I’m sure Mr. Bad guy has it triple. Just something about a huge revolver..

  3. avatar Bob Campbell says:

    This is a better, more accurate, and better written review than what I have seen at Guns and Ammo or other big gun books. You covered the bases. I own both the old and the new Python. I carry my four inch gun from time to time. I love it. I was not able to find a four inch gun and grabbed the first six inch gun I saw. Really wanted the 4.25 inch barrel gun but then I realized- I have a four and a six inch Python now, not a bad place to be. The new Python is a better gun. A slight change in grip and trigger guard geometry allows better control firing heavy loads. You mentioned the difference in the actions. Yes, the Colt action is powered by a V spring that returns the trigger and the Smith and Wesson features a trigger return spring. You have to know how to shoot the Colt and it isn’t for everyone. For those that learn the action this is a great revolver, perhaps the greatest Colt ever. I have ran a 178 grain hard cast SWC at just over 1340 fps with excellent accuracy to 100 yards. Good shooting!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Thank you. Until this new generation, I struggled with the staging of the Colt trigger, and therefore preferred the Smith & Wesson style.
      I don’t have a heavy bullet mold for the 357. Do you have one to recommend or a particular bullet you like?

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        H&G #43 is a 160 grain.
        The 178 is classic Elmer Keith. Very proper.
        Lyman oven makes around a 190 grain mold.

  4. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Ah yeah,No.
    Colt in the past 40 years or so quality control lacks or is fairly non existent,can they be corrected yes but at a price and one shouldn’t have to with what colt charges for their product.
    Colt has changed from a manufacturing company to a brand marketing company, sadly the prancing pony isn’t what it used to be and made it’s name on, pass.

    1. avatar M says:

      This detailed review implies the contrary, according to the author it’s all good.

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        It’s so good that they had function problems with the shootable examples at Shot Show Media Day,cylinders failed to advance .

        1. avatar Draven says:

          which is addressed in the article

        2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          Any one is free to gamble with their funds as they see fit, isn’t AMERICA grand,as for myself I’ve gambled way too much to continue with any more colt products. Have at it, which reminds me of the adage “That is why they make Chevy’s and Fords”,everyone can have what they want.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Good story, but I still have the 4″ Python I bought NIB in 1973, works good, lasts a long time.

        4. avatar George from Alaska says:

          I second the “It was addressed in the article” comment.

    2. avatar Swarf says:

      Did you read, or even glance at, the review?

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        Yes a example that didn’t have the problem that many other examples did, just google New Colt Pythons problems,5 to 6 pages should get the point across.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          I followed your advice and did a search on Google. What I saw was a whole lot of people referring to the same malfunctioning guns over and over again.
          Colt certainly sent out guns that were defective. No doubt about that. They owned up to that and said that it was their fault.
          But it seems a lot like there are more people claiming that their Colt is bad than the number of guns that Colt actually sold

        2. avatar GS650G says:

          Another problem with the internet revealed. Too many recycled stories and a lack of depth. And the focus is always on the problem but never the resolution, or the manufacturers response. In this case Colt stepped up and made it right. No one got a brick.

          Once the buying fever dies down I’d like to buy one of those 6 inch models. I think it’s worth it to pay 1500 for a stainless gun manufactured to such high standards. Sure beats some of the plastic guns and ARs which are that price or more. I just hope Colt makes them for a while so all the fan boys can get their fix leaving the rest of us guns we can buy without waiting on a list for months.

        3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          “But it seems a lot like there are more people claiming that their Colt is bad than the number of guns that Colt actually sold”

          Kinda like the amount of people who say they were at the original Woodstock concert!

    3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Yeah, this gun is a hot mess. It’s frankly shocking that they release a revolver with very commonly seen reliability issues and people are trying to handwave it away because they’re so thirsty for a new “Python”.

      Even if it was mechanically sound, it looks like a plastic version of a Python rather than a real thing. Of all the things that should have been an absolute gimme for them, they couldn’t even get the profile right.

  5. avatar Louis V. says:

    I believe Colt also did some internal work around the hand on the new Python’s fix, muzzle work too.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Colt took less than perfect functioning examples to their big roll out at shot show, what manufacturing company doesn’t check out examples before a event like Shot for their premiere.

      1. avatar Louis V says:

        I would think only your best.

      2. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Yeah that was a huge fuk up and hopefully massive changes have been made since then. it was beyond me how somebody could screw that up.

      3. avatar 2020Sight says:

        That kind that rushes a product to completion, and that includes a lot of them, including my own. You’re looking for a company run by God. It isn’t the right thing to do but it is reality. If they own up to the problem(s) and fix it/them, then they’ve done well. I don’t care for the difficulty I read about getting in touch with them. You want to piss off and lose customers? Keep blowing the customer service, communication part of the job.

  6. avatar Carolus Rex says:

    Bought the very fist one I could get my hands on, picked it up January 6th. Fails to fire about half the time (light primer strikes). Spent two hours on hold with Colt before I got a living person on the line and they promised an RMA that never came. That was almost three months ago. Got busier since then and haven’t had time to fight with it.

    Heck of a startup for a 1600 dollar revolver, if you ask me.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      Manufacturers, retailers…if your actual, physical product does not include actual sincere and genuine customer service…you’re wasting the customers time and money. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

      1. avatar Carolus Rex says:

        Pretty shameful display so far, especially knowing I could buy a used Ruger with the same problem, dial a number, have it sent in, fixed, and back in my mitts in under two weeks.

    2. avatar Dan W says:

      Have you looked into what could be causing it? I got an old k frame that would lock up after a couple of rounds. There was a small bur around the firing pin hole that would stage on the fired case. Took about 10seconds with a stone to fix.

      Should it be there on a top shelf gun? Absolutely not.
      Is it better than spending hours on the phone? Maybe.

      1. avatar Carolus Rex says:

        I’ve looked it over and compared it to an original Python and there’s very little firing pin protrusion compared to the original. I think it’s a weak mainspring that’s mostly to blame (probably did that to simulate the original refined action) and/or a problem with the transfer bar/hammer. There’s lots more available travel for the firing pin without the transfer bar in the way.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Carolus Rex,

          What you are describing sounds like the exact same defect that I had on a Rossi break-action rifle. When the hammer went fully forward and rested against the receiver, it wasn’t pushing the transfer bar far enough and the firing pin was not extending far enough. I removed an additional 0.010 inches of material from the surface of the hammer that rests against the receiver and — voila! — no more light primer strikes.

          Saying it another way, I removed about 0.010 inches of material from the part of the hammer that contacts the receiver and stops further forward movement of the hammer. That allows the upper part of the hammer to move farther forward, which allows the lower part of the hammer to move farther forward, which pushes the transfer bar farther forward, which pushes the firing pin about 0.010 inches additionally forward. And now the firing ping pushes far enough forward to strike primers with the requisite force and distance to detonate primers reliably.

          Once I determined that I had removed enough material from the hammer, I polished it and re-blued it. Now it looks fantastic and it functions properly. (I am quite proud of how nicely I was able to polish and re-blue the hammer: unless you know that I did that, you would never notice it or think that it was anything other than factory original.)

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I have never had cause to call customer service for a repair for a Colt gun, but I did call them about the marks on the underside of the King Cobra for that review. I do remember being annoyed waiting, but I can’t remember how long it took.
      Please do call them back and let us know what they said.

      1. avatar Carolus Rex says:

        Called them today and couldn’t get through, as per usual. I’ll keep it up over the next few days and keep annoying them.

      2. avatar Carolus Rex says:

        Got an RMA today and the gun is in Fedex custody. Hoping they fix the thing.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Thanks for the update.

  7. avatar Dude says:

    Maybe they can make some money on this and finally afford to pay some college student $500 to design them a decent web site with futuristic features like complete specs and high resolution pictures.

  8. avatar blackforest hp says:

    Best review I’ve seen here in a LONG time. I have fond memories of my youth shooting several Pythons.

  9. avatar Dude says:

    Snarky comment aside, thanks for the review. I’m just pulling for Colt to make some improvements.

  10. avatar Florida Kracker says:

    S&W 686 + with that awesome SA trigger by smith and wesson…6″ 3″ (7 shot .357) and still only 800 dollars…guess I’m just a broke ass Florida Kracker. Nice colt wheelies thanks for the good article

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Kracker, I love me a S&W 686. In fact I prefer S&W revolvers to any other. But there is something about a Python. Oh, 686? 6″, no Hillary hole and six rounds only. Thank you very much.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Yup!
        Got my 686 as an OSP color guard trade in. Barely fired.

  11. avatar PTM says:

    Superbly well done review!

  12. avatar BusyBeef says:

    I don’t see any reason to spend twice as much on a Python as on a 586 or 686 with identical performance and the options of an additional round, porting, exotic materials, various barrel lengths and tons of other features in the various trims.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      They haven’t stuck a Hillary Hole on a Python yet to my knowledge?

      1. avatar MouseGun says:

        Remember when Colt shafted the civilian market, thinking it could exist on military contracts indefinitely?
        Pepperidge Farms remembers.

        1. avatar Rick in RI says:

          That was awesome

      2. avatar M10 says:

        Haha you beat me to it @Andrew Lias!!

  13. avatar BOhio says:

    A shamelessly pro-Colt and Python “review”. OTOH, some people loved the Mamma Mia movies… And I don’t think your groups are as small as claimed, based on the pics. Five bullet diameters between farthest-apart holes in .38 caliber cannot result in a 0.9″ group as one of your pictures shows. Seems to me that the Colt market has always been driven by collector and speculative interest, vs. performance for dollars spent. Colt and CT — that tax-loving state full of angry liberals (excuse the redundancy) — can KMA.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Re the group: this is why reviewers include the calipers in the picture, so people can see there’s no shenanigans.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Groups are measured center to center with a metal ruler.

  14. avatar DesertDude says:

    Great looking revolver! But, I just don’t like to pull on the cylinder release. Pushing is a far more natural action.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      That’s what she said.

  15. avatar MouseGun says:

    I have an unabashed love for revolvers, and while I admit it is nice looking gun, i can’t justify an MSRP that’s double the cost of it’s competition. I can see where the love of the old pythons come from, but these aren’t the old guns.
    The python had a lot of hand fitting and polishing, where as every piece on this gun was probably CNC machined. Adjusting for inflation, the prices on the old production guns and these cost about the same.
    Not to mention that this is Colt desperately trying to gain its following back after giving most of the civilian market the finger for years.

  16. avatar Mike says:

    Customization on a revolver is a package deal. New wood grips that you modified to fit you . Back in the day I used both eagle and mustang grips, lots of sanding and then a nice finish . Holsters need to be leather with some carving, basketweave is a good old school look. Look at simply rugged, frontier gunleather and Purdy gear . Then go shooting.

  17. avatar Bob Campbell says:

    Folks who buy this will buy Guncrafter 1911 pistols and the SIG P210.

    Tactically- or in the field- it wont do anything a Ruger GP100 wont do—
    But it is the finest Colt revolver made.

    I own the first Colt double action .357 Magnum, a New Service with 7.5 inch barrel, several Official Police revolvers, an original Python, the new Python, and I often carry a 1956 Colt Cobra. Got to understand the action and stick with it. One day the light goes off in your head and you realize just how good the piece really is.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    Nice gun-nice review. Not my thing or budget but fwiw American Rifleman gave it a good review too. I COULD get one with my theoretical porkulus cheque😏

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Hey, I’m ordering a couple, but I would not advise you to spend that particular check until it is not only received and deposited, but confirmed to have *cleared*!

      1. avatar Someone says:

        If you can’t trust the US treasure check these days, whom can you trust? How deep have we fallen?!

  19. avatar Billb says:

    The Python is the only revolver I’ve ever considered paying so much for. So far the ones I”ve seen are selling for over retail… sometimes a lot over. Strike one. There still seems to be some bugs to be worked out. Strike two. If they’re still being produced later, with no issues and they can be bought for retail or under, I’ll consider one. Until then I’ll run my 686+ and Ruger Match Champion.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Especially with the little trigger work, there’s nothing wrong with the Ruger match champion at all. Outstanding value.

  20. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

    “I put a teeny tiny bit of tacky silicon calk on the threads…”

    Nano-nit – It’s caulk, not calk, nless that’s a rural Texas thing I’m unaware of.

    “I assigned that King Cobra to one of my older kids to learn to shoot with and between he and I, it now has thousands of rounds through it.”

    Jon, have I told you how much I thing of you as my dad? 🙂

    (Not gonna work, is it? 🙁 )

  21. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    re: the “need” for thread locker on modern guns. As a gunsmith, I find thread locker in more and more and more places on modern firearms. I’m increasingly puzzled why this crap is there. I find it in the barrel-to-action threads on some modern rifles. I find it in screws. I find it on the castellated nuts on AR’s. I find it on muzzle brakes. On and on, this crap is seemingly everywhere on guns now. Some of the time, I have to take a propane torch to parts to get them to come apart (eg, red Loctite).

    How is it that Mauser made millions of bolt action rifles that went to hell and back for use and conditions, and they never needed thread locker? Same comment for 1903’s and A3’s. Same again for Winchesters and Remingtons of old. Same for Garands. Screws coming loose on a sideplate above? How is it that I’ve never heard of a S&W or Colt sideplate shooting loose in 100 years of production guns before this?

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      I would guess that the problems mentioned above are people not owning up to improper reassembly.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Nah. The problems were seen in guns either straight out of the box or having only been handled by Colt people (the SHOT show debacle). Victim blame all you want (like “they didn’t release the trigger all the way” in this review), this release is a mess and the problems were (are?) real.

      2. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Colt told me that they assumed the side plates had not been properly tightened from the factory.

        1. avatar The Same Old says:

          As a person who has worked in very high-end and state of the art modern manufacturing, that ALONE is a huge problem. Quality control now is heavily in the engineering and proactive assembly staging. That they came out with “improper assembly” itself is a joke. We are cranking out some CRAZY manufacturing designs and tolerances now and fantastic pieces from companies like Ruger that have updated most of their equipment with massive expenditures on equipment overhaul.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The new Pythons didn’t need thread locker. Of the guns I’ve looked at, none of them have it. They just needed to be put on right in the first place.

  22. avatar Joe P says:

    How does the new Python affect the value of the old Pythons?

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      At a guess I wouldn’t think it moves the needle. The original Pythons were expensive and genuinely premium pieces, this is just overpriced average (and that’s assuming they really have fixed the reliability issues).

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      It doesn’t.

  23. avatar George D. Taksery says:

    Definitely the most in-depth complete review I’ve seen so far on the new gun.
    I got my carry license in 1976 and bought a used Trooper MKIII blue 6″. Great gun I never should have sold. Of course, the Python was the Holy Grail but was always out of reach money-wise.
    In 1980 I saw a sidebar ad in one of the gun mags with a photo of the newly available 8″ barrel. I stared at that picture for months deciding that I had to own one of those guns. At the time published MSRP was $505. I scrimped and saved and by fall of ’81 had enough to pay full price plus sales tax. The few local gun shops I asked said they didn’t really deal in new Colts. This of course was way before the internet and I was frustrated. So one day in November, I picked up the phone and called Colt. A very nice customer service person told me where my nearest Colt dealer was and said he could have one shipped there for me. I told him I wanted a blue 8″ in .357 magnum. About a month later on December 14th I got a call that the gun was there. I’ll never forget sliding that Styrofoam out of the plain brown Colt box. To my delight, the store told me they usually take 10% off the MSRP but they were having a Christmas sale for an additional 10%. I walked out with the gun for $403.60 tax included.
    I own many guns now, but the Python is the centerpiece of my handgun collection. It’s not and never was a “safe queen”. I shoot it regularly and it’s still like a dream. I’ve always wanted a 2.5″ one and would buy one of the new ones if they offered the option. This review gives me a little more confidence in the new version.

  24. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    This gun looks fantastic and your review was one of the best I’ve read at TTAG in quite awhile.
    Don’t mind the negative Nancy’s who are complaining. There’s always a couple turds in the swimming pool.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      But how many of those turds floating in swimming pools are actually just Baby Ruth chocolate bars?

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Never enough. But there’s only one way to find out.

        1. avatar DinWA says:

          Audentes Fortuna Juvat

      2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

        +1

      3. avatar hawkeye says:

        From the perspective of a former swimming pool operator, there are just so many things wrong with this part of the conversation. Gonna have nightmares….;)

  25. avatar jwm says:

    Stainless steel is not as pretty as blued. But it is more utilitarian. My newest handgun is a stainless Ruger. It also has the 4.25 inch barrel. In CA we have to have a 4 inch tube to legally carry while hunting. So it doesn’t bother me. But then I haven’t ordered leather for it, yet.

    Maybe Colt will offer the blue from their custom shop? Gives real fans an option, at least.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      A stainless GP100 is one of the guns that I just can’t seem to keep. Not because I don’t like it, because everybody else around me does. They’re a fantastic value.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I just got mine right before all this lock down stuff. I’ve only had it to the range once. But I’m happy with it. I shoot it better than my g19.

        I like it well enough that once all this beer virus crap settles down I’m going to start looking for a lever gun in .357.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Altamont makes some grips for the GP100 that look great, and really class the gun up.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Well, the truth is, some stainless steels can be blued.

      I’ll let that sink in for a moment. A whole lot of people are starting to fire up their keyboards, telling me I’m wrong, yadda, yadda.

      Listen folks, the name of the alloy is “stainless” not “stainnone“. It is possible to blue stainless steel because it is possible to corrode stainless steel. You just have to work at it.

      Here’s a corrosive agent (ie, “blueing salts”) you couuld use for the job:

      https://du-lite.com/shop/du-lite-3-0-salts/

      There’s another blueing salt for stainless available through Brownells. This time, I figured I’d give Du-Lite a shout-out that gun people should know about.

      The downside of blueing stainless is that you have to fiddle with it. It isn’t like blueing 4140 steel, where you just clean all oil off a polished gun, rinse off the de-greasing bath, and dunk it into the blueing salts for 20+ minutes. Noooo. You have to do all the polishing and cleaning you would on steel, and then your fun starts. The blueing of stainless often requires you hit a narrow temperature range, sometimes you need to run the salt bath temp up and down through the range to get the blueing to start, then you need to sometimes agitate the salts a bit to keep them blueing the stainless, etc, etc. It’s a pain in the neck, but it can be done. And it looks nice when it is done.

      But it takes much more time (in my limited experience) than blueing steel. The subject comes up sometimes when re-finishing post-64 Winchester 94’s…

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Can you recommend anyone to do this work on say, a new 4.25″ Colt Python?
        I was also considering a high polish prior to nickle boron and then B coverage.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Sorry, no I don’t.

          I’d be curious which alloys Colt used in the New Python, BTW, if you happen to be talking to Colt and have an opportunity to ask them.

  26. avatar Robert Creamer says:

    Is their a reason why Colt can’t put the same surface on the new hammers that the original Python’s had?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Freaking EXCELLENT question. I bet I thumbed back a Python hammer 20,000 times, easy, and let it down on a live round hundreds of times as well, it was definitely a non-problem, why was it fixed? I haven’t seen a gun yet, but in pictures the hammer also appears slightly smaller, if so, supwifdat?

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      When you say surface, do you mean the finish, or the material, or the physical structure of it?
      I’ll assume you mean physical structure. I’ll also guess that it was easier to make this system than the old, from a manufacturing standpoint.

  27. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Those are some mighty fine looking revolvers.

    My only gripe is a personal styling preference: I don’t like full underlugs that extend all the way to the very tip/end of the barrel (muzzle). Rather, I like a full underlug that extends toward the muzzle and stops just short, angling up to the muzzle, like Ruger GP100 and Taurus revolvers.

  28. avatar john hussey says:

    Enjoyed reading your review (you’re not a Colt fan at all, are you?)

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I am completely up front about how big of a fan I am of Colt. I’ve also been upset front when they disappointed me, like with the King Cobra, although I have certainly warmed up to that gun.

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    When I get my government check, I’ll spend it on a Python. It’s not exactly what the Democrats wanted done with the money, which makes it all the more delightful. Hey, Nanking Nancy, lookee what I got!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I think I made too much money to qualify for that .gov cheese. 🙁

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Same here. 😢

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I’ve been careful with my money all my life and this is what it gets me. No free cheese. 🙂

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Good idea. I was going to buy another AR but the Colt seems more appropriate

  30. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    jwt, thanks for the review. Very through. Really. I’ve owned more than a few Pythons over the years. Only one 4″. If you mentioned it I missed it, but there is a difference in the frame. I understand that there was some criticism of the frame in the early models. I never understood it. When I ETSed in ’83 I bought a 6″ stainless Python. Happy out of the army to me! Never had an issue. Despite some very heavy hand loads. Colt should have stuck to the original. New one just doesn’t look right.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      There is definitely more metal to the top strap. But other than that there don’t seem to be any big noticeable changes.

      1. avatar Bob Campbell says:

        I use Mattsbullets.com

        Excellent quality, great 178 grain bullet

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Thanks, looking for the mould though.

    2. avatar DrewN says:

      The new gun is basically a Boa though, even if they are calling it a Python. So I can forgive the differences.

  31. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

    What brand dial indicator is that you’re using?
    I dont recognize those markings.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Imperial. #dierebelscum

      1. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

        Hahahahha🤣
        Now i feel dumb for not recognizing it!!
        Ive never calibrated one of those before.
        BTW, i hope you and Jeremy dont leave TTAG, hands down the best writers/reviewers here!

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Glad someone caught it. Thanks.

        2. avatar DinWA says:

          The small print in Aurebesh on the dial reads “Made on Lothal” which was a farming planet in the outer rim where the Empire installed mining and production facilities.
          LoL

  32. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Great review. I have ordered 2 of the 4.25″, hopefully consecutive numbers, though when I might see them in this environment, who can tell. I owned 2 6″ originals, never liked them, sold one to a pal for what I paid for it ($160) and sent the other back for a 4″ barrel. When I showed the American Rifleman review to the bride, all she had to say was “are you buying it?”, when I said yes she asked “Are you buying 2?” Damn shame she’s my wife, I’d love to marry her. I taught her to shoot around 1965, though she could never hit anything with the .25 acp I bought her. Then I taught her to shoot a 4″ Python with hot .357 loads around 1968, and she could not miss. She remembers that 50+ years later, the second one is for her.

  33. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Nice review. You seem a little “giddy” in your review. Ha.

    While I appreciated the build of a Python, I was never a fan.

    Never liked Colt’s trigger action or grip design as much as Smith & Wesson.

    I owned a 6 inch blue and 4 inch nickle and willfully parted with both.

    That said – nice to see Colt trying to “act like they’re somebody” and produce some nice iron.

    I not seen anyone address whether the new model has a tapered bore. I assume no, but have not seen it stated.

    I do wish they would bring back a lithe 38 Special like the Police Positive. And no, the Cobra and Kimg Cobra are not that gun.

    Thanks again for a nice review.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      We are of accord. Note the last 4 words of the review.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Yes. I am cautiously optimistic about the future of Colt.

        Their recent record indicates they may actually be interested in people who shoot for fun as well as defense.

  34. avatar rudukai13 says:

    The Python is cool. Now what they need to do is develop a 8-shot 357/38 revolver for competition shooters, like Ruger did with the Super GP100. Oh and a competitor to the S&W M&P R8, including optic and WML rails (Ruger needs to get on that one too)

  35. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    JW – thanks for a very informative review. Upon thinking about it, I might just get one of these this summer, just to have a gun that can handle full-power .357’s.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Thank you sir.

  36. avatar Sam says:

    This was going to be my first revolver. With the crappy rollout, I decided to get a Super Redhawk instead…..now if only I could find somewhere to shoot.

  37. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Great review Jon. Very thorough, and I suspect, took some time. Getting to handle those old beauties would be cool.
    I’m one of the lucky ones with an original blued piece. A few years back it was offered to me and the seller set the price. I couldn’t hit the bank fast enough.
    It’s my BBQ gun. And a great shooter. I had Ted Blocker leather make an appropriate holster for it.

    I’ve been waiting with great anticipation for a new 4” stainless. It may have just passed up my pinned barrel 29 I’ve been looking for as #1 to get.

    Bullet molds. Did some hunting on the net. Wow. A 178 H&G is going to be a tough find. Worth scouring the net for though.

  38. avatar Bob h says:

    Dear colt, 2.5” round butt, PVD black and you can have my $1499 😂

    1. avatar Bob h says:

      https://www.gunbroker.com/item/865604298 This Gun. COLT MAKE THIS ONE AGAIN

  39. avatar John Hull says:

    I have to say I was surprised to see Colt bringing the Python back. I was NOT surprised, however, at the way the gun press and Python addicts from the old days over reacted. Even back in the day I was never that impressed with the Python. I much preferred the S&W Model 27 for looks, and the Ruger Redhawk for pure brute strength. The Python grips never fit my hand right, and I’ve never seen a Colt yet that could hold a candle to a S&W as far as triggers go. When push comes to shove though, I’ve never been a big fan of the .357 either. I much prefer a .44 or .45 caliber. But the biggest strike against it in my book today is the same thing as the ‘legendary’ Python of old. Its simply too bloody expensive for what you get. If it makes your heart flutter and your blood pressure spike with joy, by all means, go for it. I’ll have to pass, thank you very much.

  40. avatar tfunk says:

    What’s the Viper you want them to make?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Slimmed down Cobra with a 4″ barrel, fixed trench style rear, thin G10 grips and a 2/3 underlug, much like the originals.
      I’d love to see it as light as possible. 38SPL P

  41. avatar Cowboy T says:

    First, let me say I was getting a little worried about Colt. With this Python 2020 effort, though…this is a good sign from the company. The key for them is to make it consistently, and to make enough of them to satisfy the market demand. This could be a nice money-maker for them, and they need that right now.

    I like and own both revolvers and semi-autos. Mostly we shoot .38 Spl and .357M, because that’s what the wife and I happen to reload most (she prefers .38 Spl for its ease of shooting). But ain’t nothin’ wrong with some .45 ACP in a good 1911 or a Glock-style pistol (e. g. Ruger SR45). Basically, if it goes “bang”, thumbs-up. 🙂

    Fired a customer’s Colt Python once while I was an RSO. It was sweet, no doubt. Also have a S&W Model 629 with a polished trigger. Both guns were (and are) lasers and were an absolute joy to shoot.

    Eventually the initial frenzy will die down, and we’ll see saner street prices for the new Python 2020. Not saying they’ll be inexpensive; the Python is definitely a premium wheelgun. But they will be more affordable as time goes.

    The main thing here is that Colt is back in the DA wheelgun game. Not saying that S&W and Ruger, the two big players in that space, are “bad” by any means (they’re not!). But it’s never bad to have another player, especially when the product is that good, and according to this review, the product *is* that good.

    Now, if Colt would make the “Anaconda 2021”, that would just be the bee’s knees, wouldn’t it? 🙂

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I take a different view than many people. There are several guns I’d love to see Colt bring back:

      – Colt Woodsman target .22 semi-auto. These were a very nice .22 target pistol in their day. They could be made to be “the” target pistol in the US market unless S&W brought back the Model 41.

      – The Colt Officer Target pistols, especially in .22 and .32.

      – I’d like to see Colt bring back some variant of a .45 Colt in a double-action, built strongly enough to allow for Ruger-level loads. People overlook the .45 Colt too much. With a modern handgun, using modern steels, a .45 Colt can be loaded to be the equivalent of a .44 RemMag – and then some.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Double action. 3/4 underlug. Fixed trench rear. Screw or pin replacable front sight. 5 shot .45 Colt capable of safely launching the “Ruger Only” loads. Wood 2 piece grip. Lanyard loop. Blue or brushed stainless. 5 1/2 barrel.
        Last handgun a man would ever need, anywhere, and look like it belonged on the hip of a Canadian Mounted Patrolman.

        1. avatar bontai Joe says:

          You made my heart flutter a bit with that description

  42. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I haven’t been here in a while due to health issues. Glad to see all is well, and I really enjoyed this review. Back in the late 1970’s I was toying with the idea of buying a Python, but when I saw the Dan Wesson .357 pistol pac, I emptied my wallet right away. I had a fella offer me a straight up trade of a Python for my DW after we shot each other’s guns at the range. I kept my Dan Wesson with no regrets. But in no way am I saying I dislike Colts, I just couldn’t afford both. The only Colt I ever owned was a SAA. I really liked that gun, but sold it many years ago to help pay for my house. I now have a varied collection of plastic autos, steel autos, and revolvers and I’m thinking I really need to get a Colt. And this Python just might be the one gun I need to add to the herd.

  43. avatar jock says:

    i left vietnam in jan of 72 and at the end of jan i bought my first 6″ blue python and still have to today and i can only say the the python is the greatest handgun ive ever had. the only thing is can’t find a new anywhere and double the price is crazy i think the 1499.00 price is right but try to find one its impossible and if they only made 2500 6″ pythons thats a frigin joke its gonna be the same thing again you want a python its gonna be 3000 period which is a real bummer were not like the lucky ones who get to find these guns and test them colt needs to ramp up the production on these pythons which won’t happen real bummer us average joe will never see one of these pythons jock

  44. avatar Archibald Barasol says:

    Very good review. Well-written and thorough.
    You asked about holsters; both Galco and DeSantis have holsters for the Python. I have a Galco Summer Comfort and a DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard for my Ruger GP100 4.2”. Both say they fit the Python and SW 686 as well. I am Happy with both holsters; one IWB, one OWB.

  45. avatar Jeff Sanders says:

    I shot a few Pythons back in the day, but couldn’t afford one myself. Carried S&W N and K frames for many years as a Peace Officer, but always kinda wanted a Python. I’m tempted by this new one, but it’s still pretty pricy. I’ll read a few more reviews and decide if that government check should go to Colt.

  46. avatar Ivan Abrams says:

    Brand new 2020 Python 4.25 inch. Proved to be very accurate, and fun to shoot–until it wasn’t. After approximately 150 rounds of CCI/Blazer brass case .38 SPL ammo, the cylinder locked up after the first round of a cylinder-load was fired, wouldn’t unlock unless I released the cylinder and swung it open. After closing, it would again fire the first round, and lock up again. It continued in that manner through another 50 rounds or so, certainly didn’t self-correct.

    It’s going back to Colt. I’ve shot revolvers, including Colts, for years. So has my shooting buddy, who experienced the same results when I asked him to verify what I was experiencing. We were allowing the trigger to fully return, are aware that trigger reset won’t happen unless that’s done. The gun wasn’t cooperating.

    Beautifully finished, great trigger, accurate–and broken. A bad combination and an expensive one at that. Not sure if I’ll keep it when it returns from Colt, as I’m concerned about reliability. The Serial Number is under 4000, and it was delivered to my dealer from the distributor one week ago. So, it seems that defective revolvers are still finding their way into circulation. Not good.

  47. avatar GaiusFrakkin'Baltar says:

    Thanks for the review. I have a 1980 Python that was handed down to me nearly unfired. I was really wondering about the new generation. Mine is a safe queen, and will remain that way while I beat the snot out of the rugers.

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