The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Colt Python
Colt Python from Umarex looks like the real deal!

Part 1

This report addresses:

• Loading BBs into the cartridges
• Loading CO2 into the gun
• Velocity in both single- and double-action
• Trigger-pull in single- and double-action
• Shot count per CO2 cylinder

Today, I’ll test the power of the Colt Python BB revolver from Umarex. Thanks to Umarex Director of Marketing Justin Biddle, I was able to begin testing this revolver for you before they hit the market here in the U.S. But they’re now in stock, and your dreams can finally be fulfilled.

Cartridges
As you know, this air pistol loads the BBs into individual cartridges — one BB per cartridge. Where a bullet would go in a regular firearm cartridge, there’s a rubber plug with a hole to accept 1 BB. You can’t put more than a single BB into each cartridge.

Colt Python BB revolver cartridges
Two loaded BB cartridges and a .357 Magnum round for comparison. The BB cartridges are slightly larger than the .357 Magnum cartridge; but as you can see, they’re very close.

The revolver comes with a spring-loaded speedloader that lets you load all 6 cartridges into the gun’s cylinder at the same time. It worked perfectly, but I found that loading each cartridge singly was just as convenient. Perhaps, if I had more than 6 cartridges, the speedloader would become handier. Of course, it’s possible to purchase additional cartridges for this revolver, though at the present time they must come in batches of 6 with a speedloader. Maybe when supplies catch up to demand, they’ll become available individually — we hope.

And, before anyone asks, no, you cannot use other BB-gun revolver cartridges in this revolver. They’ll function, but Pyramyd Air techs have determined that you’ll lose a lot of velocity.

Loading the CO2
As you learned in Part 1, the CO2 cartridge is loaded through a port in the bottom of the grip, rather than in the conventional way of one grip panel coming off. That allows the grip panels to remain tight on the gun — something many readers said they care about.

When I installed the first cartridge, I put a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip to ensure positive sealing. The cartridge sealed instantly, with just a quick hiss as I used the large Allen wrench that came with the gun to tighten the CO2 plug in the bottom of the grip.

Loading
As we learned when testing the Dan Wesson BB revolver, there’s a fast way to load the BB cartridges. Spread an even layer of BBs in the top of an empty pellet tin and load all 6 empty cartridges into the speedloader. Then press the tips of the cartridges down into the layer of BBs like you’re cutting cookie dough.

Colt Python BBs
A layer of BBs in a pellet tin lid makes multiple loading easy!

Colt Python speedloadewr
Push the speedloader with cartridges into the BBs, and every cartridge will be loaded at the same time.

The rubber plugs in the end of the cartridges are tough, and it takes some pressure to pop a BB past the lip. You feel it when it pops into place. After loading, check all your cartridges to ensure all the BBs have been properly seated.

Velocity
The revolver operates in both the single-action and double-action mode, so naturally I tested both. In single-action, the revolver shot Umarex Precision steel BBs at an average 394 f.p.s. The low was 381 f.p.s., and the high was 421 f.p.s.; so the spread was 40 f.p.s. I allowed about 10 seconds between each shot to offset the cooling effect of the CO2 gas.

In the double-action mode, the revolver averaged 400 f.p.s., with a low of 380 f.p.s. and a high of 410 f.p.s. The spread was 10 f.p.s. less, and the average was 6 f.p.s. faster, indicating the gun is more effective in the double-action mode.

Trigger-pull
Unfortunately for Umarex, the Colt Python is legendary for the smoothness and lightness of its action. Each one was tuned by human hands before leaving the factory, and there’s no way this CO2 revolver can equal that. You may liken it to a paint-by-numbers copy of the Mona Lisa — you can’t get there from here.

For an air pistol, however, the trigger-pull in single-action (when the hammer is manually cocked before the trigger is pulled) is crisp. It breaks at 5 lbs., 4 oz. In the double-action mode (just pull the trigger to fire the gun each time), it breaks at 9 lbs., 4 oz. which is very light for a revolver. As I mentioned in Part 1, the trigger does not stack (increase in pull pressure sharply near the end of the pull) like a real Colt trigger.

Shot count
Shooting indoors in a climate-controlled environment at 70˚F, I got 70 good shots from one CO2 cartridge before the velocity began to drop off dangerously. The final shot registered 287 f.p.s. through the chronograph, which is a good place to stop before you jam any BBs in the barrel.

Evaluation
The Colt Python BB pistol is something several people have asked for over the years. It’s as nice as the S&W 586 pellet revolver, in many respects, but sells at less than half the price. The trigger is nice, and the way the cartridges load is realistic. The revolver hangs in the hand nicely. If there’s any benefit from not imitating the Python exactly, it has to be that the air pistol’s 38-oz. weight is lighter than the firearm’s 43.5 oz. in the same barrel length. That’s what you get when metals other than steel are used.

Accuracy testing comes next, and I see those adjustable sights give me the ability to really zero this handgun. Let’s hope they mean it!

57 thoughts on “The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 2

  1. This may be ridiculous to ask, but any chance you can suggest to Umarex to make a replica of the Colt SIngle Action Army Bisley model? I know Umarex has considered about making a replica of the traditional SAA Peacemaker, but the CO2 cartridge will not fit in the grip. On the Bisley version, the unusual grip shape can easily accommodate a CO2 cartridge. The only downfall however, is that it is not suited for Wild West style shooting b/c of its unusual hammer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mvvmIYYXkg


  2. BB,
    You mention the possibility of jamming a bb in the barrel. Is the bore really that tight? That would be sweet.


  3. Off subject, but I attended my first Project Appleseed Shoot his past weekend. It was one of those things I had wanted to do for sometime, but scheduling issues kept getting in the way. Appleseed teaches shooting fundamentals (rifle) with some interesting American History thrown in during breaks through out the day. I would encourage folks of all ages and skill levels interested in the shooting sports to look into one of these events.



      • Matt61, as odd as it my sound they give you a lesson in Revolutionary War history. Think more Ken Burns PBS Civil War style history, but about the start of Revolutionary War, ie battles of Lexington and Concord. Very interesting stuff, plus this past Saturday April 19 was the 239th anniversary of the start of the War which made it even better. I first heard about Project Appleseed in Shotgun News if I recall correctly. Anyway, just google “Project Appleseed Shoot” and check out their web page. They have matches throughout the year. Their web site has an easy to follow state by state schedule of events listed with most being two day events with a few one day events thrown in. Bub


  4. This question was sent to the wrong address, so I am posting it here.

    Hello,

    I would like to convert an airgun that I have that uses CO2 capsules (2) to power the gun. What Output pressure did you use to convert your CO2 gun to HP ?

    I am from the paintball world originally.

    Thanks John


    • John,

      I presume you are asking about the $100 precharged air rifle we recently built? That one operates on air at 2,000 psi. But another one like it operates on air at 1,500 psi. So those pressures will work, if you balance the valve springs correctly.

      B.B.


      • No,
        The airgun in question is the daisy /Winchester M14 (cheapo gun) I modded a nice airsoft M14 Plastic stock to it. (1 hr Dremel time) I would like to put a small 13 ci 3000 psi 2in dia. paintaball tank to it with a on off valve to save on replacing co2 cartridges. I have heard everything from 850 psi to 900 psi. I can adjust the output pressure of the tank obviously but I would like a starting pressure to work with. (Don’t want to blow the guts out of the thing.) I can drill tap and braze a magaline(300 psi) to the cartridge so I do not need to touch the gun per say.


        • Plink54,

          The Winchester M14 is unsuited for conversion to high pressure air. But if you can balance the firing valve correctly it could be done.

          I would certainly try to balance the valve for pressure as low as possible. Two thousand psi sounds too high for this application, to me. An all plastic gun doesn’t have the integrity that a steel gun does. I was pushing the limit with the $100 PCP when I went to 2,000 psi.

          The whole secret is to balance the firing valve and striker weight/spring strength. Done correctly 800 psi will give the same velocity as 2,000 psi, as long as the barrel is long enough.

          B.B.


      • No,
        The airgun in question is the daisy /Winchester M14 (cheapo gun) I modded a nice airsoft M14 Plastic stock to it. (1 hr Dremel time) I would like to put a small 13 ci 3000 psi 2in dia. paintaball tank to it with a on off valve to save on replacing co2 cartridges. I have heard everything from 850 psi to 900 psi. I can adjust the output pressure of the tank obviously but I would like a starting pressure to work with. (Don’t want to blow the guts out of the thing.) I can drill tap and braze a magaline(3000 psi) to the cartridge so I do not need to touch the gun per say.


        • CO2 will vary in pressure depending on ambient temperature. If you regulate the tank’s ouput at under 1000 PSI, you should be fine.


  5. Hi BB and all,

    I’ve got a technical question about the foot-pound rating system. Well, I’m just not understanding it.

    According to the American Standard Scientific Dictionary, one foot pound is, “A unit of work equal to the work or energy needed to lift a one-pound weight a distance of one foot against the force of the Earth’s gravity.”

    I started thinking about that and couldn’t imagine it to be true in practice, but maybe it is, or maybe I’m just not understanding the term properly. As I see it, that would mean a rifle shooting 10 foot pounds would raise 10 pounds off the ground one foot. Likewise, a rifle firing 100 foot pounds would raise a weight of 100 pounds, and a firearm firing 2500 foot pounds would lift the same.

    But those numbers seem extraordinary. I can’t imagine firing my 15 foot pound airgun up into a 15 pound weight and it actually lifting the weight one foot off the ground!? Is it correct that it would or am I messed up? This seems like a job for the mythbusters but I thought I’d start here first.


    • Rob,

      The answer is that you are not accounting for all the energy your pellet imparts. When it strikes something, the pellet, itself, deforms. That uses energy, too. Sometimes, the pellet breaks apart, using more energy. In the case of your rifle the pellet vaporizes into heat (often seen as a spark) and lead dust. Lots of energy used there, too.

      That definition of a foot-pound of work is correct, but also very misleading for the reason you mention.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Very succinct.

        You condensed Cardew’s book into 6 sentences. You have an economy with words that I greatly admire.

        You should be a writer.

        kevin


      • Well, I thought of that (heat, deformation, etc–though I didn’t say it), and I was still left wondering if in a perfect world with the perfect pellet…and in a vacuum/whatever it takes…a pellet of some kind shot out of a fifteen foot pound gun could raise 15 pounds to exactly one foot (from the muzzle or from wherever one measured foot pounds)???

        I’d like to seean illustration of that. Does anyone know of any video illustrating the principle? (Yes, I’ve already looked…).

        Thanks!



      • Mass measured in what,, velocity measured in what,, and KE, measured in what. One needs to be specific when giving formulae,, else it has no value. Besides,, I’m curious.

        Ed


        • Short answer: in whatever units are compatible with your desired result…

          ft-lbs means velocity in feet and mass in pounds (though lbs is technically a weight meaning it is relative to gravitational force). And in this notation — it probably really means “pound force”. And then there are slugs (I have no idea of how that term came about, but I always read it as “standard pound unit of gravity” — one slug being ~32lbs; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug_%28mass%29

          newton-meters would have velocity in meters, and force in newtons.


    • If you research a ballistic pendulum you will see the formula in action as it applies to projectiles. A one pound weight is moved just half of an inch to have absorbed say ten pounds of energy. Not exact numbers, but I promise it will be worth learning about, and if you build one and are able to figure out the insane math involved, they are very accurate and fun to use.


  6. I have a question, does the bbs being loaded into the nose waste a little co2 because of the casing needing to be filled with pressure? The hollow barrel of the casing would use some co2 where if they loaded into the base of the case like a primer would it have gained alittle?


  7. B.B.

    You can buy bb cartridges only for the Dan Wesson and S&W TRR8 bb revolvers (same cartridge for both). I wonder if these would fit the Colt Python?

    G&G




  8. To All,

    As you (all) may remember in an earlier post I asked if anyone new of any airgun clubs in North Florida (Jacksonville). Kevin told me about a gentleman named Al in Yulee(45 min. from me) and gave me his e-mail address. I contacted Al and to make a long story short he invited me to come shoot with them. My first shoot with them was this past Saturday. So now I am a very excited member of North Florida Shooters.

    I had an absolute blast. Really, the most fun I’ve ever had shooting. I didn’t really need any motivation to shoot but this has me really going now. Thanks to Kevin, I really appreciate it.

    By the way, the competition part was (25) 1/2″ bullseyes at 35 yards. Shame on me, I only missed one bullseye.

    Thanks for listening. I just felt the need to share this with you.

    G & G


    • G & G,

      Thanks for the update.

      Congratulations on your terrific shooting on your first time out.

      Yep, you’re an airgunner.

      kevin


    • G&G
      Sounds like you had fun. And you mean you missed that one bullseye. What the heck. ;)

      But its kind of funny. I would go with my dad to the shooting range when I was a kid. Even though we had about 40 acres it was nice to go shoot and hang out with other people.

      And some of the people I work with came over Saturday to my house and we shot airguns and BBQ’d. Oh and my neighbors on each side of me that is borrowing two of my airguns came over also and thier grandkids.

      It was kind of fun to watch people slow down as they were driving by and see around 12 people standing in the back yards with guns shooting at the different types of targets in front of the bails of hay. Hmm maybe I should of invited them now that I think about it.


      • Gunfun 1,

        As far as I’m concerned the more the merrier and not just more but more that are much better than me. That’s how I’ll improve. Plus I got to see some guns I would never have seen. One rifle (out of many) I saw for the first time was the BSA R10 Mark II. The stock on that gun is absolutely beautiful. One of the best I’ve ever seen. Not to mention it shoots at competition level. I am considering it.

        It was more than just fun. It was exhilarating.


        • G&G
          Thats what I like about shooting with other people. You get to see diferent types of guns and how people have them set up. And how the guns perform.

          And almost always somebody has a interesting story to tell.

          But yep cool stuff.


  9. With the popularity of the Colt Python, you think they would bring back limited editions as has been done for the Winchester 94 at high prices, but there has been no sign of that. Perhaps it’s because of all the expensive handwork which is why it was discontinued in the first place. The trigger on my SW686 is awfully nice. Does anyone know how it compares to the Python?

    I’ve haven’t tried bb speedloaders but the ones for firearms cartridges are great. They’re a lot of fun to practice with snap caps and bring you awfully close to the ease and speed of semiautos.

    Gearheads take note. The Porsche 918 Spyder just broke 7 minutes at the Nurburbring Circuit, the first production car in history to do so. But even better than that is that this is a hybrid car with unheard of acceleration. The powerplants are mated perfectly so that you have world-class performance and a comfortable ride. At $900,000 it’s a bit out of reach, but hopefully the technology will trickle down sooner rather than later.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      I agree with you about better (more expensive) replica airguns. I have the Walther Lever 1894 rifle. It is a great rifle.(CO2 powerplant). It’s not the most accurate but it is beautiful and really fun to shoot. I would love to see more airguns like this. But it just occurred to me you may be talking about firearms?

      G&G


    • Matt61
      I realy think that will be the next wave of hotroding.The electric motors tend to make a good amount of tourqe that could help the car accelerate fast. Then have a turbo charged fuel engine working on the top end to make horspower to keep the car pulling. Sounds like fun to me. :)


    • Never been a car enthusiast,, so a question. How can a vehicle with a $900,000 price tag be called production? Could there possibly be that many billionaires buying sports cars. I had heard, at one time, the 1000 number with relation to “production” classification.
      Ed


      • Homologation (which in some languages may not have the “h”)… The number that had to be available to the public to qualify as a “stock” car (NASCAR — the old towel-rack Superbird). The difference between a GT (grand touring) and a GTO (grand tour omologato or some such); the latter being essentially a special racing version of which enough were provided for sales to qualify in certain classes of road racing.

        Most of those models you refer to don’t have a “normal” public version to start with… The Superbird base model was a Plymouth Road Runner. The Superbird was basically a Road Runner modified just for racing, but to be “stock” it had to be available to the public.


        • GTO in Italian means. Gran Turismo Omologato.

          Grand Tour of the Town. That’s how the Pontiac Tempest became the grand tour of the town. :)


  10. Hope everyone has been out enjoying the spring weather depending on where you are located. I’ve been having a really good time actually getting outside in the fresh air after being cooped up indoors all winter long due to Ohio’s wonderful winter season. I’ve been considering tearing down my Slavia 631 for a clean and simple lube tune in order to press it back into plinking duties. I’ve been concocting some ideas for putting together a little mini-sniping sort of backyard course too for the heck of it despite the fairly small size of my yard. And with my birthday coming up soon, I’m hoping a chronograph will make its way to my possession to complete my airgun toolbox for this years pellet slinging activites. Hope everyone is well.


    • And all well to you as well. I don’t know how I’ve gotten along without a chrony this long. Wondering what the guns are doing and what changes any modifications have made. Good luck on getting your birthday wishes! I know a chronys going on my Christmas list!


      • Oh I know I’ve been remiss in not getting one up until now. Its been a classic case of whenever I had disposable income it went towards more airguns and pellets, but now that I have a pretty good stable of decent guns for the most part I need to take the plunge and pick one up. I’ve also been thinking about building a nice little shooting bench also. I’m going to make the table/work surface in the rough shape of a “T” so that both righties and lefties can use it. After seeing all the fine data everyone has handy with their chronographs and awesome benchrested groups, I feel like I need to step up my airgun-game a little more just to have some data of my own to share with you fine folks, especially with all these new pellets I picked up at the Findlay show.


  11. Just ordered a bunch of .22 pellets for the np, and guess what!? Crosman has a new stock- on its way! Can you see me jumping up and down? Besides a beautiful day, this is great. Going to go shoot the rest of the benji mix pack to clear room in the ammo box, four tins, of course, coming. Jsbs rws dome mags, and two beeman domed. The beemans were the filler to get the free tin, but I had their pointeds before and actually really liked em. Really soft.


    • RDNA
      You should test all your pellets that you have with the original stock. Then put your new stock on and see if it makes a difference. Take some pictures of the targets and add that in with the next part of your review for your next guest blog you submit to BB.


      • Aaah, see how the hold on the stick affects accuracy.. good thinkin’! I think I’ve settled on two guns, determined by when I buy. First is the H125 sniper. If my next is bought soon the lower price of the hatsan will have a thirty pound springer in my hands soon, if the purchase is forgoed it my be a much loftier purchase, a foursixty underlever and/or pcp- aka -Connor,marauder,Evanix bullpup- :) That will be a whole different set of decisions as the near future holds an availability of funds as my house has never seen yet, thank the gods. Like new truck and mortgage payment availability.



        • RDNA
          Yep thats what I was thinking.

          Write notes on your targets for the distance you shoot and what pellet. And wind direction and how fast its blowing. Or try to make your shot when the wind is at a calm moment.

          Then after both stocks with all your pellets are tryed you can lay all the targets out on a table next to each other and compare. Oh and dont only shoot 3 shots at each target. Shoot at the very least 5 shots to get a fair idea about the pellet. And pick the distance for your targets to be at and stick with that for your test. I usally pick the farthest distance I will normaly take a shot at when I m hunting. Dont change your distance until you get that string of tests done.

          The more info you write the better. Oh and doent base your test on one day of shooting. I find my guns to be better than I am on some days. :)


          • Oh you know it. I’ll get a good setup for a proper test, 10 shots at 10 or 20 yrds, though 20 yards might embarrass me, we’ll see… ;)


            • RDNA
              Is 20 yrds. the farthest out you shoot when you hunt? If so thats what I would test my pellets at.
              Dont get caught up shooting in closer to make your group look better. That wont give you true information about what that pellet will do when you want it to hit that 1 inch kill zone when your out hunting. Remeber you have to make that shot with the intension it will dispatch that animal with only one shot.


              • No, not the furthest, but 20-30 yards is definitely the average distance I come upon a squirrel. I don’t have many get away, that’s for sure, not for a long time. I was just kidding, it will be a 20 yard test, might be the first groups for record with each pellet if the stock gets here first, that would be cool. As far as hunting range goes if we are talking rabbits than it would be a 10 yard test, I seem to get real lucky when I go out for them. Got a new bushnell TRKR flashlight to test out so hopefully we get some of that good luck in the next few nights. If you haven’t seen these new flashlights bushnells got, check them out, they are unbelievable for the price.


                • RDNA
                  That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Do the 20 yrd test if that’s your farthest target for the most part. Groups tend to grow as the distance gets farther away. So if you come up with a good pellet at the longer distance it will probably place them even tighter at 10 yards.

                  And no I haven’t seen that flashlight. I will have to check it out. And kind of funny you mention flashlights. The neighbor that owns the woods behind my house collects flashlights and spot lights. He was showing them off one night a while back. (pun intended) But seriously he has some flashlights old and new. So I will tell him to check it out also.

                  And I don’t know what kind of squirrels you got. But the ones by me have like 18 senses if you know what I mean. If I get within 30 yards of them I’m lucky.

                  And I will be waiting for a pellet test update also.


                  • I do pride myself on a bit of a stealthy step, but the other day was walking normally and came around a tree onto one right there at the base I didn’t see till 3′ away! That thing shot like a rocket and didn’t stop. Just kept on goin like a locomotive, couldn’t find a trace. Bummer.


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