PRODUCTS COME AND GO, AND THE COLT Python came to us in 1955, the same year as the S&W Model 29. Sadly, all good things end, and in October of 1999 Colt terminated the production of this famous revolver after a production run of more than 40 years.
It was literally a handcrafted gun--cited by many as one of the most challenging and difficult handguns to manufacture--so rising costs and a changing market made the decision easy for Colt. Yet surprisingly, the custom shop was making Pythons on special order for several years thereafter--ceasing, I assume, after its stockpile of frames and parts ran out.
My Python was made in late 1977, and it came with a letter detailing the serial number, barrel length, caliber and other items signed by H.S. Huber, then the company historian. I have used the gun in PPC competition with lead bullets on indoor ranges, some small game hunting and just shooting for pleasure. I still enjoy it immensely; it is as tight and accurate as ever.
The Python is a double-action revolver that started out as an offshoot of the Colt Officer's Model, which was built on the "I" frame that was also the basis for the Trooper and Lawman guns.
At first, Colt made the guns with a hollow underlug, but it later reversed course, leaving the underlug solid. In the beginning, the top rib was solid as well, but the Python was initially marketed as a target gun, and the two features combined to make the gun too heavy to shoot for an entire match. Colt wound up milling the rib to a vent rib configuration, something appreciated by all, balancing the gun perfectly.
Another interesting feature is the way the cylinder locks up during the strike of the hammer. At full cock, you can feel the lateral movement of the cylinder, but when the hammer falls, everything tightens right up.
The Python is a joy to shoot. The trigger pull is outstanding thanks to all the handwork. The Elliason rear sight is perfect in every way with a notch that mates flawlessly with the front blade. At 50 feet, I can shoot 1.25-inch groups.
In the course of its run, the gun was available with 2.5-, 3-, 4-, 6-and 8-inch barrels although I have never seen one with the three-inch tube. Rare, maybe; definitely highly collectable. Naturally, a gun of this pedigree has to have many finishes to choose from including Royal Blue, nickel, stainless and a bright stainless that comes darn close to being nickel in appearance.
To many the Colt Python is often termed as "the best revolver in the world." I happen to be one of the many.