Firearms

The Colt Python Goes Blue!

Blued Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, right profile

We have been asking for a blued Python for quite some time now, and Colt has finally delivered. I was fortunate enough to have received an advanced copy from my friends at Colt. Since then, I’ve run about 150 rounds of various .357 Magnum and .38 Special through it. All was well. To be honest, being a Python, all was better than just ‘well.’

Aside from the finish, the blued Python is mechanically the same revolver as the stainless. However, the blued version does have one additional vent rib. The blued finish is quite attractive and a bit more understated.

Colt Python revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, left profile
Aside from the finish, the blued Python is mechanically the same revolver as the stainless. However, the blued version does have one additional vent rib.

The Python comes standard with exceptional target sights. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation, and the front has a user-changeable insert. The orange insert naturally draws your eye, adding contrast to the front and rear sight.

The Colt Python is externally very similar to the original, with the stocks being interchangeable. However, some subtle changes bring this revolver up to date. Since 2020, the Python has been made from a more robust material, with 30% more material in the top strap. These updates have made this revolver stronger, more durable, and better able to handle the high-performance .357 Magnum, such as DoubleTap ammunition.

The original Python is a fine revolver. However, it had a reputation for 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 daunting.

My test sample’s double-action trigger was just over eight pounds with no perceived stacking. The single-action trigger press broke under 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.

Is this revolver worth the Python roll mark?

That is the question everyone has, and it seems there are some heated conflicts on that very idea. I have some experience with the older Pythons, and they are fine revolvers. However, with so many collectors hoarding them for so long, the price has inflated past what many folks can afford. I have wanted a shooter-grade Python for many years but could not justify the cost. If there was a problem, having to find a gunsmith who can work on it would have been an issue. I have shot ones that belonged to friends and decided to do without.

Colt Python 357 roll mark
Some have questioned whether the new generation of Pythons are worthy of the roll mark or just lower priced collector pieces. Yes, it is worthy!

Accuracy Results

Load

Group (inches)

Colt 110-grain DoubleTap .382.5
Winchester 150-grain LRN .382.75
Hornady 125-grain CD2.25
DoubleTap 158-grain JHP2

Colt did what made sense. It updated the Python and reintroduced it. With the improvements, you can buy a new Python that you will not feel guilty running a box of .357 Magnum ammunition through. Even though it has been redesigned, it is still a Python and performs as expected.

So, yes, it is worthy of the roll mark. The older Pythons were built on milling machines, and the parts had to be hand-fit; the principal machining was over because that was what the technology at that time dictated. The new Pythons are now manufactured on CNC machines, a more precise and consistent process. So, there is minimal hand fitting because technology has advanced. (i.e. you don’t need it.)

Python Specs

  • Barrel description: 1:14 LH, 6 Grooves
  • Barrel length: 4.25 inches
  • Finish: Blued
  • Frame material: Stainless steel
  • Grips: Walnut target stocks
  • Height: 5.5 inches
  • Overall length: 9.75 inches
  • Weight: 42 ounces
  • Width: 1.55 inches
  • Capacity: 6 rounds

Manufacturers take advantage of advances in metallurgy and machining processes at every opportunity. It would be foolish for Colt not to do the same.

hammer view of the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver
My test sample’s double-action trigger was just over eight pounds with no perceived stacking. The single-action trigger press broke under three pounds.

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.

Have you been pining for a Colt Python but could not afford one? Does a blued shooter’s grade tickle your fancy? Share your review of the blued Python .357 Magnum in the Comment section.

  • Ramped front sight with orange insert on a revolver
  • Colt Python revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, right profile
  • Colt Python revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, left profile
  • hammer view of the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver
  • Colt Python 357 roll mark
  • Blued Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, right profile
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 (32)

  1. Handled a new python at the LGS…..not even close to the original “Royal Blue”. I cannot articulate how disappointed I was at the that soulless black lump.

  2. I refer back to a post by Doug H.on 18 June re: his disappointment in the polished “Royal
    Blue “ A Colt exclusive at the time referring to a mirror polished raw steel prior to the
    “Hot Blue “ process for the Python. I also owned a Royal Blue finished Colt Combat Commander in 9mm. Sweet auto. All hot bath blueing jobs result in a black or nearly black finish. If the steel components were mirror polished prior to the dip, the results would show a “Black Glass” final finish. In short, the blueing process is actually blue in name only.
    This process is undoubtedly a costly one, especially when you add the costs of hand building, fitting and finishing of the pistol. When I was working in West Hartford during the late 70’s, I had the opportunity to visit the Colt factory, and saw 1st hand the skills of the smith’s work all by hand. When I left the plant, I saw the strikers lines and job seekers line get a little tense. Interesting times.

  3. I never owned a Colt Python but have shot three of them at the range from people I didn’t even know – I just asked them if I can try one cylinder full and they could try my Colt Series 70 1911 and they all agreed and told me all about their Pythons. All the Pythons I shot were great shooters and had very smooth actions. Too expensive for me to own so I bought a used Ruger Police Service -Six and have had it now for many years(over 30) and really like it. The Ruger had only 6 shots fired through it when I bought it for $300.00 and it came with a nice Bianchi holster and one box of 357 ammo with 6 rounds missing. I’ll never ever sell this Ruger Police Service-Six, I’ll hand it down to my son when the angel of death comes for me and hopefully that won’t be for a while. I hope Colt has great success with this revolver.

  4. I can’t say that I am, or am not, a Colt Brand fan. Never owned one. That being said, I can’t help but wonder about the modern Colts QC, since they are Now Owned by CZ USA. I don’t hear many complaints about CZ. The fit, finish, and attention to detail seem to be unmatched on their Colts. I would only hope that CZ’s reputation for Reliability might also carry over to their Colt Products, as well. The Proof is in the…….Shooting……and lots of it.

  5. I have owned three of the older Pythons. Wish I had kept one. When these new models came out I was hoping a blued model would follow. Now I just have to scrape up the cash. By the time that happens the price will probably be even higher.

  6. My Dad collected guns. I had my eye on his nickel python arranged in his display. His was in rehab and was I staying at the house and would shoot regularly. I ask him if I could take his python to the range . I thought he was going to come up out of his bed when he responded. His answer “No, I rather you take the S&W 686!” My mouth dropped and my brain response was, I don’t want to shoot the S&W. Your going to die soon and it will be mine anyway. I was 64 years old, Dad was 96. Keep my mouth shut and listened to Dad….

  7. My 6 inch blued Colt Python is the 2nd pistol I bought when I got old enough to by a pistol. It’s the original Python that I bought in the early 1980’s. I think I paid somewhere around $350 brand new (that was a long time ago so I could be off by a few $). It is still my favorite pistol

  8. As a gun enthusiast, I like to keep up with the latest technology in firearms. Why can’t the price range be included in the information about the gun?

  9. As a gun enthusiast, I like to keep up with the latest technology in firearms. Why can’t the price range be included in the information about the gun?

  10. As a gun enthusiast, I like to keep up with the latest technology in firearms. Why can’t the price range be included in the information about the gun?

  11. Overpriced, overrated, and UGLY; all of Colt’s modern double action revolvers are ugly. Give me a S&W 686 or 29/629 any day.

  12. I’ve waited for this version of the Python since the re-release. Can anyone tell me what the idea behind the 3 vent rib was on the 4 inch? Just curious. Not really looking to get that one.I have a 1969 blued 4 inch and it looks right with the 2 vent. Probably get the 6 inch as it looks more traditional.

  13. I experienced all the things people have described here; trigger locking up when the gun heated up due to poor spacing between the forcing cone and cylinder face, failure to advance to the next round and a rear sight that was total trash. First unit was sent back twice, I eventually sold it. Tried it again and similar issues. I finally punted.

    I’ll stick with my S&W Model 28-3, Highway Patrolman from 1985. Sweet trigger and laser beam accuracy. Zero issues.

  14. I own a Colt trooper and a Ruger Gp 100 and a S&W 357 mag. I wanted to add a Colt python to my collection. I got a 4.75 in Colt Python and took it to my property range. It shot great for the first 75 rounds both 357 and 38. At around the 75 shot the trigger locked up and would not pull until you relised it and pulled it again. My dealer sent it back to Colt, 3 or 4 month went buy and the gun came back. It again locked up with only 1/2 box run through it. The dealer sent it back to Colt. Months later it came back. The gaps in the cylinder had been tighten and I thought Great it should be good. Only a few rounds proved me wrong. The trigger locked again I continued to try to see if it was a glitch but it did it over and over. Colt now has it again for the 3rd time. They have had it for 2+ months and not sent it back yet. The gun is very accurate and looks great. I recommend if you own one you get out and run a couple boxes through it. I would have never known the gun had a problem if I only shot a few rounds through it.

  15. I have been a Colt Python 357 for a long time. Truly a gun of beauty and function. The price seems high, but one must consider the colt Python is the model of perfection. We see this especially with prices of cars and many other examples. One holds a Colt Python in one’s hands and cannot just saying, “Ahhhhhh.” Doc Joe

  16. I’ve never owned a Colt Python, but I’ve shot a few. Always wanted one, just never had the money back then and for the reasons stated in the article why I remained hesitant. I have / had revolvers in the past. I’m now in my late 60’s and I just dont feel the need for one any longer. Now, if I can find a sweet deal on one, I might just do it.

  17. Overpriced and overrated. Too many light primer strikes. Too much emphasis on a light DA trigger press. It’s not dependable. I’d rather have my Ruger that fires every time regardless of ammo brand. The Python is pretty, for sure, but not a dependable firearm. I’m very disappointed in it.

  18. Overpriced and overrated. Too many light primer strikes. Too much emphasis on a light DA trigger press. It’s not dependable. I’d rather have my Ruger that fires every time regardless of ammo brand. The Python is pretty, for sure, but not a dependable firearm. I’m very disappointed in it.

  19. When I returned from Vietnam in 1974, I spent
    3 months waiting for my ETS at Ft. Benning as a cadre NCOIC, mostly taking care of the gomers in the new all volunteer Army. I caught the tail end of the draft. I fell in love with a 4” Colt Trooper, as it was less than half the price of the Python. (Approx $850 ??). The Trooper was precisely that—a trooper. I fired dozens of boxes of Super- Vels thru it with terrific accuracy and dependability. Still loved the Python and swore I’d have one someday, though. The Royal “ blue “ on the Python would almost give me a rise in my Levi’s. I’ve owned and customized several Colts in my life. BUT-
    I must be losing it as when I close eyeball 👀 the original vs. the new one, I just think there’s something missing. Maybe it’s the brainwashed “Panache” of the original- can’t put my finger on it. I wish Colt great success with the new snake gun, I’ll just continue to shoot the trooper and a NP S&W mod. 19. Also a great magnum. Just can’t justify the $1300 price tag for the Colt. Great intro for the new blue snake. I love the fact that I don’t have to buy another gun mag to get the 411 on a new gun. Keep it real -thanks

  20. Richard M. ,
    Timing refers to the alignment of the cylinder to the barrel in lockup. In a revolver that has become “out of time”, the chambers in the cylinder no longer line up properly with the forcing cone, either stopping slightly behind or ahead of it. This results in fired bullets not entering the forcing cone square and shaving metal off to the favored side (“spitting”), and if not corrected will ultimately grenade the gun when a shot can no longer slip into the forcing cone and goes into the frame instead.

    Timing drift can be the result of loosened/worn screws or parts, yes. It can also be from flexing of the frame or cylinder crane under the strain of heavy loads.

  21. “Manufacturers take advantage of advances in metallurgy and machining processes at every opportunity. It would be foolish for Colt not to do the same.” And yet one of the leaders in this technology, being Ruger, yet Ruger is still much more price competitive than the Colt using the same technology? Not a big fan of Colt stuff, mainly due to their love of using flat springs, ancient technology, compared to say Ruger coil springs, and feel Colt products are over priced, and overrated, with many of todays competitors. That said, in all fairness, there has just never been a more beautiful revolver ever made than the Python, and on looks alone, it is a long way to second place after the Python. Even though I would probably buy a Ruger GP100 over the Python, the Python is still more beautiful, and especially in that deep Colt Blue, but then the GP100 is capable of eating Magnums it’s whole life, which just may seem like one day short of forever. LOL

  22. I for one, love the new Pythons. In my hands, they are just as accurate as the older ones, the trigger is better and they handle a steady diet of .357. I can’t afford to collect Pythons for investment. I buy guns to shoot, not to look at… and shoot they do! There are aftermarket sights becoming available at this time (Wilson) and I hope to see more replacement sights in the future. I bought a couple of gold bead sights from Harrison Design, and give them high marks. I bought a 3″ Python when they became available, and added a 6″ version later. But then, Colt dropped the blued ones on us, and (of course) I HAD to get one (a 6″)! Did I blow this year’s gun budget on Pythons? Sure looks like it. Am I happy? You betcha! So in closing, I got 3 Pythons I can shoot for less $ than one I can’t.

  23. Back in the late 70’s my brother owned a 6 in. blued beauty Python, it was so fun to shoot and looked great. Forty years later they are remaking that same gun with better materials, I’m in. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still shoot my GP 100 Ruger as for the price it’s a great alternative.

  24. I always appreciate your posts, but please include the MSRP and any typical “street price” info in your reviews if you would.

    I love the looks of it, but with a Smith 686 4” and a Ruger GP-100 6” stainless I’m not sure I can justify it. Nothing to do with the Colt, but after July those of us here in the People’s Republik of California will have 11% more punitive tax added onto our firearm related purchases, so that has to be factored in. Thanks for the first look!

  25. My dad had a 4” Python in the 1960’s, and I still remember that beautiful deep blue finish. Like the author, I’ve never been able to justify that expense for a safe queen, but now I may have to at least look at one.

  26. I was thrilled to hear about the return of blued Pythons to add to my original nickel and stainless ones
    Until I saw them and discovered they’re black .
    I lost interest sorry to say .

  27. “Out of time” is a phrase unfamiliar to me gun-wise. Does it mean the heavy loads shake the gun to the point of screws loosen, pieces misallign, etc? I own the poor man’s Python, the Trooper Mark 2 and love it.

  28. I prefer blued handguns, but if this new Python has the same rear sight as their stainless version, I’ll pass. Given the size of the Python, I have to wonder if a seven-shot version is in the works.

  29. Did Colt ever correct the problems with rear sight? It would not hold the setting. I purchased a Wilson rear sight and it works great. Mine is an early stainless model.

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