About the Colt Python

26 January 2020   |   by Greg   |   Product Reviews

About the Python

Colt Bringing the Python Back in 2020

The first production run of the Pythons launched in 1955 and lasted until production ended in 2004, a half-century later. Note: the guns were available through the Colt Custom Gun Shop only from 1998 on up until 2006. During that 50 year span, approximately 750,000+ of the finest revolvers ever made were produced.

So with about three-quarters-of-a-million of these old guns floating around out there, I cringe a little bit when I see one advertised for sale with a description of "RARE." Call it what it is. Spectacular! Fabulous! The best and greatest revolver ever made! But don't call it rare.

Just for kicks, I just went to an online gun auction and performed a search and got 245 results that are available to purchase today... and almost 1/3 included the term "rare" in the description.
Colt Python
The guns were produced with barrels ranging from 2 1/2 to 8 inches; 2.5" 1963 or 4 on, 3" special and few (Note: there are some 3" non-factory guns out there.), 4" 1960 on, 6" entire time & 8" 1980 on. Over the years they were available in a choice of six different finishes:
  • Colt Blue (1955-2006)
  • Royal Blue (1955-2006)
  • Bright Nickel (1962-1985)
  • Royal Coltguard (Satin Nickel or Electroless Nickel) (1983-2004)
  • Matte Stainless Steel (1983-2004)
  • Ultimate Bright Stainless Steel (1984-1996)

Now before you start firing off an email to me, to let me know that Stainless Steel is not a finish, Colt advertised it that way and I have the documents to show it. My 1962 Colt is a Model I3641, the designation for 4" Nickel Pythons. The MSRP of this gun was $137.50 which was $12.50 more than the same gun in Colt Royal Blue finish, when it sold new in Thomasville, Georgia.

They're All Anniversary Editions - Back when I bought my first Corvette, it was a 1978 Silver Anniversary. I remember my excitement when I called up Zeke Jenkins to tell him. Zeke was well known as "The Corvette Expert" for miles around. I'll never forget what he said. "Greg, they're all anniversary models."

The same thing applies to these guns. They're all special. Just writing about it makes me want to get up and go over to the gun cabinet, get my old Python, empty the ammo and feel that silky smooth action when I cock it.

Mine has a hollow underlug, doesn't that make it rare? Umm. No. The first 50,000 to 75,000 Pythons all have a hollow lug. Mine is engraved, that makes it rare, right? Only if the Colt Archive Letter confirms it. If you own one of these guns, you own a real treasure. And if you want to learn about the history of the Colt Python, there are a few good books out there.

One of the best books from my library...


My MOS when I served in the United States Army was 76Y. For you non-military readers, the Military Occupational Specialty of 76 Yankee means that I was a Unit Armorer. While on REFORGER 85, I trained with German Paratroopers and qualified as "Expert" with the German G-3 rifle, the Israeli Uzi 9mm sub-machinegun and the 9mm handgun.