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COLT PYTHON ELITE

photo of Colt Python Elite in satin stainless steel with laminate finger groove grips


Colt first produced the Python in 1955. Its appearance was distinguished by its ventilated ribbed barrel with a full underlug. Its performance was distinguished by its exceptional target trigger and "Swiss watch" action. The Python models are hand-fitted pieces of art.

The Python was originally available in Colt's Royal Blue, a superbly deep and shiny finish that is the result of fine hand-polishing the metal before the bluing is applied. It was also available in a chrome-like nickel finish (see "beauty" photo below), which was discontinued in 1984, when Colt began offering the Python in a highly polished "Ultimate" stainless finish. Colt continued to produce the Python in Royal Blue and satin stainless until the end of Python production in 2005, when the company decided that it could no longer produce a hand-fitted target revolver like the Python and sell it at a price that most people would pay.

The Python was offered in 2.5 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch barrels. The 3 inch barrel is the rarest of the lengths. Colt also produced some limited production Pythons, such as the Python Hunter, which had an 8 inch barrel and came with a 2X Leupold scope, all packaged in an elite aluminum Halliburton case. Also offered was the Target Special, with an eight inch barrel and specially tuned trigger.

In 1997, Colt came out with the Python Elite. It had a satin stainless finish, and the grips were laminate wood with finger grooves (see photo above). Blued Pythons were a custom shop order only.

By the end of production in 2005, a new in box Python was selling for $1200 to $1500. Used models could be found for less than $1000, although "as new" older models fetched prices as much as or even more than actual new models.

As you might expect, prices for Pythons shot up after Colt announced it was discontinuing production. Today, a Python in decent condition can be found for $1200 to $2000, although models in excellent to new-in-box condition like the one below are going for $2500 to $4000.

Beauty photo of nickel python, showing the left side with the Python's cylinder latch. Also shown is the vent rib barrel, Python premium adjustable target sights, and the walnut grips with the gold Colt medallion. Photo is copyright 2008 by Dick Baker Advertising Photography Inc.

COLT PYTHON FEATURES:

  • .357 Magnum
  • Target hammer
  • Serrated service trigger
  • Ribbed barrel
  • Single / Double Action
  • Walnut grips
  • Red ramp front sight
  • White outline adjustable rear sight

PYTHON ELITE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Models: I3040CS, I3060CS, I3640CS, I3660CS
Name: Python Elite
Frame material: Stainless steel or Carbon steel
Frame finish: Stainless steel or Blue
Barrel lengths: 4", 6"
Overall length: 111⁄2", 131⁄2"
Caliber: .357 Magnum
Capacity: 6
Hammer: Target
Trigger: Serrated, service
Action: Double / Single
Front: sight Red Ramp
Rear sight: White Outline Adjustable
Grips: Walnut

Click here to visit Gunshopfinder.com's Colt page. Or to find a Colt dealer near you, select a state and then click "Submit."

Colt Python Reviews:

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By WillT, Atlanta, GA
June 11, 2015

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"II carried a 4" Nickle Python on duty as a Deputy Sheriff, it had "eyes", couldn't miss up to 80 yards, smooth and sweet but went out of time. Like a dingbat, I traded it for a new 4" Stainless Python. Not nearly a nice or sweet shooting piece. Then, traded that for my 3 and final 4" SS Python. Smiths are nice but nothing in double action compares to or shoots with a Python!"

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By SAM, Chicago, IL
October 28, 2014

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I have wanted a Python since I held a friend's in 1983. I just got a 1982 LNIB 6 Inch Bright Stainless. Like many others who have commented.... I will never sell this one. "

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By walter, Melbourne, FL
May 4, 2014

Primary use: Hunting

"This revolver is truly a master piece. The action is like silk. Love this gun would never sell it."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Scott, Henderson, NV
April 20, 2013

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I just picked up my 10 Python. These things are just so much fun to shoot. Still looking for a few more to round out the collection."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Scott, Henderson, NV
April 20, 2013

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I just picked up my 10 Python. These things are just so much fun to shoot. Still looking for a few more to round out the collection."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By xbugsy, Madison, WI
August 5, 2012

Primary use: Hunting

"I bought a new taurus stainless .357 6" and took it to the range to shoot. Saw a used Python in the rack and tried it out... Traded in my Taurus with less than one box through it for a used python and had to "up" pay an additional $300! Best deal I ever made."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Michael N, Denver, CO
August 5, 2012

Primary use: Target Shooting

"My Python is the nickle-finished with 4" barrel, and is hands down, the finest pistol I've ever owned. One of my big regrets is selling my first 6" blues Python, but am just as happy with this one. I've had numerous offers on it, but it's not going anywhere."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Big RN, Sinking Spring, PA
August 1, 2012

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I own a python in royal blue I purchased new in 1882.
Don't shoot it much anymore. It is my favorite handgun. The double action is so smooth & single action is perfect.
These are functionally & cosmetically the best revolver ever produced. Wish I had a 4 inch barrel is stainless or blued but 2 kids in college won't allow that. I do shoot my 4 inch barreled king cobra, very nice gun but not a python."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Mike, Parrish, FL
May 18, 2012

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I have a New In the Box 6" barrel stainless Python Elite. I paid $1300 for it in 1998. It is such a fine piece that I have never been able to bring myself to fire it. "

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Steve, Paint Rock, AL
March 27, 2012

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I was a cop in Gurley Al for about 3 yrs before I move to the Texas highway patrol. My 357 was and still is the best hand gun I have ever had and I have had lots of them. I wish they would start back making this gun. It is awsome ."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Python, Brazil, IN
September 29, 2011

"I purchased my Python 6" in blue in the early 70's for less than $300. I have been offered a lot of bucks for this weapon but would never think of selling it. The action is smooth as silk, which I have never found in another hand gun. This is without a doubt the Cadillac . My son will inherit this."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By IndependentRealist, Phoenix, AZ
September 17, 2011

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I carried this model Colt for a couple years concealed and in my shop. It is comfortable in the right quality holster and gives a pleasent sense of security all day long. I wanted the series 70 pistol. I know this gun and am comfortable with its action and design."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Docmag, Montgomery, AL
August 12, 2011

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I have multiple examples of Pythons. They were made between the late 1950's through mid 1970. They have given outstanding service. They could not have better fit and finish or be more accurate."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Alan K, Flint, MI
April 13, 2011

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I bought my Python way back in 1985. There is no way I would ever sell it. The Python is the Cadillac of revolvers, just like everybody says. My Python will out shoot any revolver I've ever tried. I love it."

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