WATCH: All About Modern Colt Revolvers

How Colt resurrected old revolver names and designs, all while improving its legacy platforms and building them with modern machinery and techniques.

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posted on February 26, 2024

After ending production of the custom-shop-produced Pythons in the early 2000s, now Colt has returned to its revolver heritage with the revival of the Cobra, King Cobra and Anaconda, as well as the Python. In this “American Rifleman Television” clip, learn how Colt found a way to resurrect old names and designs, while simultaneously improving on legacy platforms and building them with modern machinery and techniques. (Watch the video above or click here.)

Colt began its quest by relaunching the Cobra compact double-action/single-action revolver chambered in .38 Spl. The design harkened back to the lightweight revolver of the same name produced by Colt in 1950, although this new Cobra sports a stainless-steel frame instead of the original aluminum frame. More changes were seen inside the gun, thanks to new manufacturing processes used to build them.

Colt Revolver
The new Colt Python frame is about 35 percent stronger than the original.

 

“In the back of my mind, the grand idea was to bring back the heritage of revolvers that we had at Colt, and I remember distinctly, I was in a shop in Minnesota, I passed on a Python back in the mid-1990s and was kicking myself ever since,” Paul Spitale, executive vice president of commercial business at Colt said. “When I came to Colt, part of it was, ‘How could we bring back the Colt revolver story?’”

In 2020, Colt released its new Python with a redesigned internal mechanism, beefier frame, enlarged trigger guard and more. The design was improved upon previous Python revolvers, while also eliminating any reliance on the hand-fitting required in past models.

“This is not your father’s or your grandfather’s Python,” Team Colt shooter Mark Redl said. “This is a better gun—it’s stronger and it’s made with modern machining capability. The action is smoother. There’s less parts in the action because we redesigned it.”

Mark Redl and Colt revolver
Team Colt shooter Mark Redl was involved in the testing of the new Colt Python.

 

Since the revamped Colt Python is made with modern machining technology, it is a solid revolver. In testing, Colt went through 25,000 double-action cycles on a machine without any wear or breakage.

“I did a lot of test-fire on this gun. We shot 15,000 rounds of .357 Mag,” Redl added. “We measured everything on it, from the forcing cone to any stretch in the frame that might happen. There was none. We were able to make this frame about 35 percent stronger than the original one.”

Colt Revolver exploded view
“Part of the magic of the new Colt double-action revolvers is really where the design meets modern manufacturing,” Justin Baldini, production director at Colt said.

 

You can watch complete segments of past episodes of “American Rifleman TV” at americanrifleman.org/artv. To watch all-new episodes, tune in Wednesday nights to the Outdoor Channel at 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Learn more about Colt at colt.com.

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