Colt Python

The Umarex Colt Python Part 1

A different kind of Snake Gun

By Dennis Adler

A legendary Colt revolver returns with the .177 caliber Python. The Colt authorized Umarex wheelgun is a near perfect copy of the fabled .357 magnum revolver introduced in 1955.

A legendary Colt revolver returns with the .177 caliber Python. The Colt authorized Umarex wheelgun is a near perfect copy of the fabled .357 magnum revolver introduced in 1955.

Collectors call them “snake guns,” Pythons, Diamondbacks, Cobras, Anacondas, King Cobras, etc. Colt once had an entire lineup of famous double action revolvers named after snakes, and each and every one, in its own right, has become collectible, some more than others. At the top of the order was the Colt Python. Back in the 1950s and well into the late 20th Century, revolvers were king among law enforcement sidearms, and one of the most popular was the Colt Python .357 magnum revolver.

Introduced in 1955, the .357 Magnum Colt Python was one of two significant revolvers introduced, making it a very memorable year for Colt. The other was the second generation Single Action Army. The Python was a superbly designed and handcrafted gun, harder to manufacturer because it was built to a standard that only Colt could live up to; Pythons took longer to make than any other production pistol at the time because each one was hand fitted and hand polished to perfection. And they were unmistakable for any other revolver, bold in shape with a full length bull barrel, fully shrouded ejector rod and full length stippled vent rib. The grips were big and distinctively shaped to provide a firm hold on the heavy recoiling .357 magnum, which came with a standard 6-inch barrel.

the Pythons are available in a deep matte blued black or nickel (actually chrome) finish with authentic wood grained or black checkered plastic grips. The Python models come with six BB cartridges and speed loader.

The Pythons are available in a deep matte blued black or nickel (actually chrome) finish with authentic wood grained or black checkered plastic grips. The Python models come with six BB cartridges and speed loader.

An optional 4-inch barrel (popular with law enforcement) was also offered, a short-lived 3-inch barrel (Combat Python), long 8-inch target barrel length, and the very desirable compact model with a 2-1/2 inch barrel and smaller Colt Service grips for easier concealment. Add the standard fully adjustable white-outline rear sight, a 1/8-inch front ramp with red inset, handsome Colt Royal blue finish or high polish nickel, and you had guns with instant appeal. Built like a target pistol the Pythons came with a distinctive wide spur checkered hammer and grooved, curved trigger. Overall weight for the standard 6-inch model was 44 ounces, 41 ounces with the 4-inch barrel.

Used by the California Highway Patrol, Colorado and Georgia State Police, and Florida Highway Patrol, among others, the Python’s remained popular with civilians and law enforcement alike in the decades leading up to the transition to semi-autos in the 1980s. By the 1990s high capacity semi-autos sealed the fate of the revolver as a primary sidearm for the vast majority of law enforcement agencies. By the early 21st Century the Python and all Colt revolvers, save for the Single Action Army, had all been discontinued. Colt had forsaken much of its history in order to survive. Fortunately for airgun enthusiasts that history is being rebuilt, one gun at a time.

The Speed loaders are easy to operate and quickly drop six rounds into the cylinder.

The Speed loaders are easy to operate and quickly drop six rounds into the cylinder.

When the cartridges are inserted into the cylinder, the speed loader is pushed forward and a release on the front of the speed loader is activated dropping all six rounds at once.

When the cartridges are inserted into the cylinder, the speed loader is pushed forward and a release on the front of the speed loader is activated dropping all six rounds.

In 2015 Umarex got together with Colt’s to build an authentic copy of the famed Single Action Army. To make this gun as authentic as possible the six-shot Peacemaker was literally a six-shooter using brass BB-loading cartridges. The concept of the BB cartridge opened the door for Umarex and Colt’s to take the cartridge-loading air pistol to the next level and reproduce the second most famous Colt wheelgun in history, the Python. This double action, single action airgun is nearly identical is size, weight and operation and loads six rounds either individually or with an included speed loader. The guns have the original “PYTHON .357” and “.357 MAGNUM CTG” markings on the left side of the barrel and the Rampant Colt on the frame just below the cylinder release.

The new revolvers use a seating cap that unscrews from the base of the frame, allowing a CO2 capsule to be inserted without having to remove the grips.

The Pythons use a seating cap that unscrews from the base of the frame, allowing a CO2 capsule to be inserted without having to remove the grips.

Unlike many CO2 powered revolvers the Python does not require removing a grip panel to insert the 12 gr. cartridge; rather like semi-autos with interchangeable magazines, the base of the pistol grip has a recessed, threaded cover that unscrews allowing the CO2 to be inserted, and then with the cap replaced, it is turned tight with an enclosed hex head wrench to pierce the cartridge and ready the gun for firing. This keeps things looking and working more authentically since the grips are actually screwed to the frame and have Colt emblems. The Umarex Python is a window into Colt’s not too distant past and a look at the not too distant future of Colt branded air pistols.

In Part 2 the CO2-powered Python delivers on its promise.

A word about safety

Double Action/ Single Action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts. Most airguns, in general, look like cartrrige guns, the Colt Python more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

14 thoughts on “Colt Python

  1. I have the chrome 6 inch version . There USA 4 inch chrome version offered in Europe,but not here which is a shame .The 6 incher is very close to my 6 inch 357 .The trigger pull is excellent , but mine with maximum sight adjustment shoots an inch low .Two things should be changed .The valve area should be shortened so the frame is identical to the actual firearm , and wood grips rather than rubber.


    • I’m actually checking on the possible availability of the 4-inch model for the U.S. That would be very popular here. I’m no CO2 airgun engineer, but I think if the internals could have been shortened to get the exact height for a real Python, it would have been done in the first place. The difference is minor compared to everything else that is spot on. If I could have one change it would be the red insert for the front sight and a white outline for the rear.


      • I think there have been some advances in valve technology enabling shorter valves with a more streamlined look.The Nagant,The Webley and the ASG Dan Wesson 715are virtual cosmetic duplicates of the actual firearms. That being said the European videos of the 4 inchchrome Python show a nice looking revolver that would be welcomed here . Agree on the sights,I am a big fan of white outline rear and red ramp front sights




          • Kind of surprised they don’t market it here . Swiss Arms markets the non Colt marked version .Would think chrome finish Colt 4 incher,as well as bright blue would be nice .Could consider a black nickel or even gloss black finish like P38 .


          • Wonder what the rationale for not offering the 4 inch chrome version for US sales is . It is already being manufactured, so all they need to do is ship them . Pyramid should try and arrange an exclusive, since they are a major dealer, and test the waters with a hundred.


      • The only problem is that for some holsters ,this will preclude use. Most open top holsters without thumb straps will work , like a Desantis number 2. Would also suggest silver medallions for silver guns ,just looks more natural to me.


        • Yes that little difference can be a problem with some thumb break safety strap holsters. I had that issue with the Galco I used in the article. You can correct that for the Umarex Python fit (if you want to make it fit the CO2 model) by wetting the thumb break strap, putting the gun in a thin plastic bag to protect it, push it in the holster and stretch the wet leather strap pulling it enough to fit over the higher rise on the Umarex and then snap it closed. Let it set overnight and the next day when the strap is dry, it should be a tight fit, but it will close over the back of the gun. Open top rings are obviously no problem. Once you stretch the thumb strap though, it will not close as tightly over a .357 Magnum Python. I did it with the Galco to see if it could work, it does, but it is now kind of a dedicated airgun holster.


          • If you want to train with a thumb snap holster and a Python airgun, you can use an accumold type holster with velcro attached thumb snaps that can be adjusted for multiple handguns and hammer types. Not my favorites for carry , but for practice , are acceptable. Or you can pretend you are Detective Ken Hutchinson and practice out of a 6 inch shoulder holster.



          • Got one in silver finish . Bought a Crosman sbr with bb andpellet shells expecting a rifledbarrel but surprise is a smooth bore. A short barrel DanWesson 715 would be close


  2. this is a nice revolver for those who were around for the original Starsky and Hutch ,as well as Clint Eastwood’s second Dirty Harry movie , Magnum Force, a tour de Force of Pythons. Would be nice to see a 4 inch Diamondback in nickel, and yup , got one of those back in the day as a police trade in for $240 . A Colt Anaconda would be big enough for a 22 pellet revolver offering, and am holding out for Detective Special or Cobra. A four inch co2 pistol makes for a nice understudy for those who still like and use revolvers. A 3 inch Python air gun would be nice , chances of finding an affordable 357 are about zero.



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