Firearms

Review: Colt Anaconda 4.25″ Barrel — A Pocket-Sized Powerhouse

Colt Anaconda revolver, with a box of Double tap ammunition and stripper

Last year, I spoke with my good friend who works for Colt. The new 4.25-inch barrel Colt Anaconda had just been introduced. After the dust settled, I called him and asked for a test sample. I received the gun several months ago, but this was a revolver that required more than just a casual day or two of range testing.

Mechanically, the 4.25-inch barrel version is identical to the six- and eight-inch Anacondas, sans the barrel length of course.

Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver, with a rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The top strap is drilled and tapped for optics or scope mount.
Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver, with a rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The top strap is drilled and tapped for optics or scope mount.

The 4.25-inch Anaconda is the most visually appealing of the Anaconda line. It’s also wielded easier than the six- or eight-inch guns — in my opinion. Granted, with the 4.25-inch model you give up about 100 fps compared to the six-inch model. You also lose some sight radius. However, the accuracy of the 4.25-inch model was similar to the six-inch.

The trigger pull was under five pounds in single action and under 12 pounds when shooting double action — the same as the six-inch model. The Anaconda uses the same leaf spring technology found in the Python hammer/trigger, giving it a more consistent trigger pull from shot to shot. The widened trigger added comfort to the already smooth trigger pull.

Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver — with the rear being adjustable for windage and elevation and an interchangeable orange/red insert for the front ramp. The top strap is drilled and tapped for a red dot optic or scope mounting.

The cylinder release is serrated, which made for easy purchase with the straight pull back to release the cylinder (traditionally found on Colt double-action revolvers).

Factory Hogue over-molded stocks are standard, but any stocks that will fit the Python will fit the new Anaconda. I added a set of Python walnut target stocks about a third of the way into the review. After testing, I found that I preferred them over the Hogue rubber stocks.

Accuracy

The 4.25-inch barrel Anaconda averaged about 2.5-inch groups from 25 yards using a shooting rest. Accuracy was similar to the six-inch barrel Anaconda, losing about a half-inch at most at 25 yards. Of course, that could be my error.

Load

Group (inches)

Doubletap 300-grain Hardcast2.5
DoubleTap 240-grain Hardcast2.25
DoubleTap 200-grain HP .44 SPL2
Winchester 240-grain JSP3
Sellier & Bellot 24-grain JSP3
Blazer 200-grain JHP .44 SPL2.5

Specifications

  • Barrel description: 1:20 LH, 6 grooves
  • Barrel length: 4.25 inches
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Finish: Semi-bright
  • Frame material: Stainless steel
  • Front sight: User-swappable orange insert
  • Rear sight: Target adjustable
  • Stocks: Rubber stocks
  • Height: 7.25 inches
  • Width: 1.55 inches
  • Overall length: 7.25 inches
  • Weight: 42 ounces

Conclusion

The 4.25-inch Anaconda is by far my favorite on the Colt .44 Magnums. It’s on par with the three-inch Python as my favorite Colt revolver. The reduced recoil of the .44 Special loads were so much fun. To simply say it was enjoyed by all, would be an understatement.

With the full-strength .44 Magnum loads, such as the DoubleTap, it was controllable but took a bit of effort and preparedness. I am sure the heft aided in taming some of the heavy recoil. However, the six-inch Anaconda had a bit of an advantage with these loads.

Colt Anaconda revolver in .44 mag with a loaded cylinder open
With the full house .44 Magnum, such as the DoubleTap, the Colt Anaconda was controllable but took a bit of effort and preparedness.

The trigger pull was quite nice and predictable, just a touch heavier than the 2020 Python, but equally as smooth. This revolver would be a superb option as a hunting sidearm or for woods carry, especially where dangerous animals may be present. Likewise, it could be pressed into everyday carry if needed — being the smallest Colt .44 Magnum.

While I love the newer generation of Python, there is something American about the obnoxious .44 Magnum in an Anaconda, making it one of my favorite revolver cartridges. Now, I know the .44 Magnum is big medicine for a carry gun, but swap in some .44 Special, and you are ready to be social. After some 300 rounds downrange — with zero issues — I firmly believe the Colt Anaconda is built to take your abuse.

Colt’s ‘Snake Guns” are legendary and should be in everyone’s collection — if only we could afford them all… Which one is your favorite? Which caliber would you prefer for carry or for home defense use? Share your answers in the Comment section.

  • Colt logo and wood stocks on the anaconda revolver
  • Serrated cylinder release on the Colt Anaconda revolver
  • Colt Anaconda revolver, with a box of Double tap ammunition and stripper
  • Colt Anaconda revolver in .44 mag with a loaded cylinder open
  • Orange front target sight on a Colt Anaconda revolver
  • Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver, with a rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The top strap is drilled and tapped for optics or scope mount.
  • Colt Anaconda, right profile, with quickstrip speed loader
  • Colt Anaconda revolver, with a box of Double tap ammunition and stripper resting against a piece of deadwood
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (11)

  1. My favorite round for wheel guns is .357 magnum. I have not shot the colt anaconda in .44 mag. But my favorite wheel gun that i do own is the Kimber 4” target in .357. Manageable recoil in a slim easy to carry package. Maybe one day I would love to try this 4.25 in model.

  2. As far as Colts go, I would go for the Python, but I’m a fan of the .357 Mag. But then again, I have been a fan Of Ruger. My first handgun was a Ruger Security Six, and I loved that gun. Then I picked up a SP 101, and that was a good little handgun. Now I own a GP 100, which is another good handgun.
    what I like about Ruger’s is the fact I can handload hotter rounds than I would dare load for an S&W or Colt. Ruger’s are tough! now, don’t get me wrong, a Python is still a dream gun for me, but there are a lot of good handguns out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg to own.

  3. Owning several “snake” guns in various calibets, I admit I am sold on the accuracy, feel. And especially the looks.
    Yet over the years I carried S&W issued revolvers on duty – M15, M19, and M686 before transitioning to autos. I got to really appreciate the reliability and overall quality of a good Smith.

  4. I purchased a brand new- in- box a Colt Anaconda, 4 inch in 45 Colt caliber in1995.
    I put 50 rounds through it then I read a gun magazine that said they only made 500 of in that inch and caliber. Its been stowed away ever since.
    I’m glad they’re not making that 4-in barrel and in 45 Colt; it gives more value to mine.

  5. 4.25″ barrel on a 44 mag ideally should be normally shot with a 44 mag “LITE” load. As example. a 240 gr casted Keith style bullet over 8 gr of UNIQUE, seems to outperform a “hot” 357 load while having a lower felt recoil level. This new barrel length will be a great outdoor/hunting carry piece. Do you really need a 7 1/2″ barrel? That cast Keith bullet works on any type of varmint, 4 legged or two legged.

  6. I bought either a Python or a Diamondback back in the late 70’s. Don’t remember exactly which one it was, just that it was a Colt snake gun that I got for a very good price, its major selling point at the time.

    Unfortunately for Colt, I had fired a M28 S&W Highway Patrolman, not long before I shipped out to go play overseas. I say unfortunately for Colt because that M28 was, in my mind, the best higher dollar handgun I could aspire to at the time. (I had not had a chance to fire a M29, so I did not have that love affair yet.) Between the time with the M28 and the Colt, I fired a M29 and was hooked.

    Then I bought the Colt, mostly because of the price. I fired a couple of boxes through it and then sold it to one of the ER nurses I was working with. I just could not find anything to love about that Colt. She was happy and so was I, cuz she paid me what I paid for it. From my experience with Smiths, the Colt was bass-ackward, the cylinder release was wrong, etc., I could go on.

    Since then I have not really been tempted by Colts. I am NOT saying they are NOT good guns, just that they don’t trip MY trigger. Yeah, that pun was deliberate. I have owned several Smiths, both revolvers and semi-autos, from M36, M19, M59, M686, M29, M629, and a 1911 or so.

    I will let others grab up the Colts, I am doing just fine with my friends, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.

  7. “The Anaconda uses the same leaf spring technology found in the Python hammer/trigger, giving it a more consistent trigger pull from shot to shot.” Which also tend to crack/break/fail, more often than coil springs, making a complete set of spare springs, to be #1 on my list of spare parts to have on hand. Even with that fault, still one of the best looking revolvers in all of history. 🙂

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