Kids, do I have something for you this week. These days you would think that the world revolved, no pun intended, around black plastic pistols and rifles. Highly functional but cookie cutter guns, “…there are many like it but this one is mine.” Well back in my day, a gun could be both highly functional and look awesome. In those days, Tupperware was for leftovers and metal was for guns. Much as the P-51 Mustang was to the propeller-driven fighter, this gun was to revolvers, the end of an era. Ending an era with the very best ever made. Nothing would surpass it, so back to the drawing board. This gun is functional art. This gun is practical and deadly. This gun is the Colt Python.
From its birth in 1955, all other revolvers were second best. Out of the box the Colt Python trigger pull has no equals. This not only true then but today as well. If you have never squeezed the trigger on one of these guns, then your life is incomplete. Shooting one is a near religious experience for a gun nut.
That same year another iconic revolver made its appearance, the Smith and Wesson Model 29 Combat Magnum. The Model 29, however, was in the massive .44 Magnum, which made it impractical for civilian urban law enforcement, unless you were Dirty Harry. A high-water mark year for revolvers and the Chevy Bel Air, the best there ever was as well.
If not for the price at the time, the Python should have been coiled in the holster of every police officer from the mid-1950s through the 1980s. When a Smith and Wesson Model 10, 15 or 19 went for $200 – $350, the Colt Python was going for about $700. It is as though every single one was custom made.
Why the vented rib along the top? I will tell you why-because it was so cool. Smith and Wesson’s front sight was very practical but it always looked like it was a weather vain on the front end of the barrel. If a vented rib looks good on a shotgun why not a handgun? This brought the front sight up with style. Frankly, any gun awesome enough for Samuel L. Jackson, is good enough for me.
Available in Royal Blue, Bright Nickel, and later Satin Stainless as the nickel was a little too bright, impractical and marred easily.
Unfortunately, like many things we enjoy, the lawsuits continued to mount against Colt and other gun makers in the Dark Ages of constitutional reason, the late 1990s. Colt saw fit to eliminate this piece of art in 1999. If you were lucky enough to own one you have seen your investment in art rise and at least double in price. You own the end of an era when things were made by artists in the industry, not by accountants. Yes kids, those were the days.