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Colt Python 3 inch, handful of carry gun.

ByHunter Elliott

 MAY 3, 2022  Colt .357 MagnumColt .38 SpecialColt PythonColt Python 2022Colt Python 3 inchColt Python 4 1/4Colt Python reviewColt revolver

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January 1, 2020, Colt reintroduced the Python after a lengthy hiatus. The initial models were four and a quarter-inch and six-inch barrel versions. You can read the review of the Gunsite Media Day by following this link. 

A few months later, I received a four and a quarter barrel Python for review, and you can read that review by following this link. 

Several months ago, Colt expanded the Python line by adding a three-inch barrel, barely qualifying as a snubby.  I received a test sample just over three months ago. The Python line, aside from barrel length, they are the same, utilizing more robust material, with 30% material in the top strap. These updates have made this revolver stronger and more durable, able to handle the high-performance .357 Magnum ammunition. The original Python is a fine revolver but had a reputation of being a little delicate, and a steady diet of Magnum ammunition could get the revolver out of time. Finding a gunsmith with the skills to correctly retime a Python is a daunting task.

The Python is measured by the trigger pull, and the new one certainly has the trigger you would expect. This test sample double-action trigger was about pounds with no perceived stacking, and the single-action trigger broke about three pounds. Colt has reengineered the trigger mechanism using fewer parts and making those parts a bit more robust. This will add to the reliability of the revolver and give you a more consistent trigger pull from cylinder to cylinder.

The Python comes standard with outstanding target sights. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation, and the front has a user-changeable insert.

I have had trigger time with all three of the Python models, and of those three, I believe the three-inch is my favorite by a small margin. It is close to or as mechanically accurate as of the four and a quarter inch model but is far more conducive as a carry gun. With the lessened sight radius and barrel length, you may lose a hair’s breath of accuracy and gain a shade more perceived recoil impulse, but it is not night and day. However, as far as a carry gun, the three-inch model is far easier to conceal. Accuracy-wise, we had no problems at forty feet, keeping the rounds in a three-inch target.

Like the other Pythons, the barrel has a recessed target crown.

As compared to smaller revolvers such as the Ruger SP 101, it does have more capacity by one round, better sights, and is a bit more shootable. I see this version as a great middle-ground between a dedicated carry revolver and a dedicated target revolver.

After months of carrying this revolver and over three hundred rounds downrange, I am confident it is plenty reliable and accurate to be pressed into carry rotation.  I am thankful to see Colt has expanded their revolver line and especially the Python line. It is a legacy truly worth carrying on. With the original Pythons being hoarded, inflating the costs beyond what many an average firearm enthusiast can afford, it is nice you can get one now brand new, updated, and ready for the drag strip, so to speak. The 2022 Ford Mustang is not the same car as the 1965 Mustang, but both are still considered Mustangs, and I feel the same way about this new Python line. I have heard complaints of the lack of hand fitting on this new Colt, and while that is true, there is a good reason. The older Pythons were built on milling machines, and the parts had to be hand fit ones; the principal machining was over because that was what the technology dictated. The new Pythons are manufactured on CNC machines, a far more precise and consistent process. So the reason there is minimal hand fitting is that technology has advanced in such a way you don’t need it. Manufacturers take advantage of advances in metallurgy and machining processes at every opportunity; it would be foolish for Colt not to.  If you have been pining for that Colt Python but could not justify the collector prices, well, now is your chance to get your hands on one you can run hard and put up wet.

Specifications 

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum.
  • Capacity: 6 rounds.
  • Barrel: 3 inches, 1:14 LH twist, 6-groove.
  • Dimensions: 8.5-inches (L) x 5.5-inches (H) x 1.55-inches (W)
  • Frame: Stainless Steel.
  • Finish: Semi-bright.
  • Grip: Walnut.
  • Sights: Adjustable (windage and elevation) rear, interchangeable orange ramp front.
  • Weight 40 ounces
  • MSRP $1499

Acknowledgments 

Colt Manufacturing 

DoubleTap Ammunition 

Hornady 

Defender Ammunition 

Gunsite Academy 

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