January 1, 2020, Colt reintroduced the Python after a lengthy hiatus. The initial models were four and a quarter-inch and six-inch barrel versions. You can read the review of the Gunsite Media Day by following this link. 

A few months later, I received a four and a quarter barrel Python for review, and you can read that review by following this link. 

Several months ago, Colt expanded the Python line by adding a three-inch barrel, barely qualifying as a snubby.  I received a test sample just over three months ago. The Python line, aside from barrel length, they are the same, utilizing more robust material, with 30% material in the top strap. These updates have made this revolver stronger and more durable, able to handle the high-performance .357 Magnum ammunition. The original Python is a fine revolver but had a reputation of 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 a daunting task.

The Python is measured by the trigger pull, and the new one certainly has the trigger you would expect. This test sample double-action trigger was about pounds with no perceived stacking, and the single-action trigger broke about 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.

 

The Python comes standard with outstanding target sights. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation, and the front has a user-changeable insert.

I have had trigger time with all three of the Python models, and of those three, I believe the three-inch is my favorite by a small margin. It is close to or as mechanically accurate as of the four and a quarter inch model but is far more conducive as a carry gun. With the lessened sight radius and barrel length, you may lose a hair’s breath of accuracy and gain a shade more perceived recoil impulse, but it is not night and day. However, as far as a carry gun, the three-inch model is far easier to conceal. Accuracy-wise, we had no problems at forty feet, keeping the rounds in a three-inch target.

Like the other Pythons, the barrel has a recessed target crown.

As compared to smaller revolvers such as the Ruger SP 101, it does have more capacity by one round, better sights, and is a bit more shootable. I see this version as a great middle-ground between a dedicated carry revolver and a dedicated target revolver.

After months of carrying this revolver and over three hundred rounds downrange, I am confident it is plenty reliable and accurate to be pressed into carry rotation.  I am thankful to see Colt has expanded their revolver line and especially the Python line. It is a legacy truly worth carrying on. With the original Pythons being hoarded, inflating the costs beyond what many an average firearm enthusiast can afford, it is nice you can get one now brand new, updated, and ready for the drag strip, so to speak. The 2022 Ford Mustang is not the same car as the 1965 Mustang, but both are still considered Mustangs, and I feel the same way about this new Python line. I have heard complaints of the lack of hand fitting on this new Colt, and while that is true, there is a good reason. The older Pythons were built on milling machines, and the parts had to be hand fit ones; the principal machining was over because that was what the technology dictated. The new Pythons are manufactured on CNC machines, a far more precise and consistent process. So the reason there is minimal hand fitting is that technology has advanced in such a way you don’t need it. Manufacturers take advantage of advances in metallurgy and machining processes at every opportunity; it would be foolish for Colt not to.  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.

Specifications 

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum.
  • Capacity: 6 rounds.
  • Barrel: 3 inches, 1:14 LH twist, 6-groove.
  • Dimensions: 8.5-inches (L) x 5.5-inches (H) x 1.55-inches (W)
  • Frame: Stainless Steel.
  • Finish: Semi-bright.
  • Grip: Walnut.
  • Sights: Adjustable (windage and elevation) rear, interchangeable orange ramp front.
  • Weight 40 ounces
  • MSRP $1499

Acknowledgments 

Colt Manufacturing 

DoubleTap Ammunition 

Hornady 

Defender Ammunition 

Gunsite Academy 

 

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

7 thoughts on “Colt Python 3 inch, handful of carry gun.”
  1. Enjoyed being a part of this review, looking for the next review to be involved. I enjoyed shooting this Colt Python

  2. Love the Pythons! I waited a year to get my 6″ after they came out for a couple of reasons. “Price and ironing out any possible “bugs.” Then I had to get the new Anaconda and did the same thing with the 8″ barrel. I absolutely love the new Python wood stocks, so they stayed on, but the Hogues on the Anaconda being more practical, lacked too much in the looks department. I decided to get some nice wood finger-groove Altamont stocks that will fit both Anaconda and Pythons. The ones I chose, are a little beefier than the original Python stocks, but they look fabulous and just right for the long-barreled Anaconda.

  3. Thirty percent increase in frame strength + redesigned robust trigger + 3 inch barrel (minus the vintage collector premium) = a sweet woods/field gun in a cross draw belt or chest holster (in glorious saddle tan or perhaps chocolate to match the walnut grips).

  4. Disappointed, Quality is not what I expected for Colt Python.
    I bought 2022 3″ bbl Python new from Authorized dealer.
    Upon inspection after purchase I found both side plate screws were Loose, I’m talking finger tight.
    Not sure what to expect from the rear sight down the road, lot of back and forth side play. I would think the tolerance would have been better. Colt make any attempt to bore sight at factory ?
    I’m also disappointed in the trigger pull especially double action, its smooth but heavy.
    My Ruger Redhawk has a better factory double action pull.
    .

  5. Add the very weak trigger return and poorly shaped stocks, especially the backstrap. In terms of performance, not worth the considerable premium over a S&W 686.

  6. I recently bought the 4.25 inch Python. it is a
    nice revolver with some tweaks. I changed out the sights and grips. I have a lot of shooting experience being a retired LE instructor. Back in the day, most LE used smiths, especially models 19 and 66. Very few officers carried colts. It was easy to find a LE armorer who could fine tune the action of the smiths. The latest Python has a good double action pull right out of the box. The single action is smooth but heavy. 99 percent of my shooting with a revolver is double action.

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