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A Short History of the Iconic Colt Python

AmericanRifleman.org

The iconic Colt Python was born out of the end of World War II in an attempt to rejuvenate failing revenue for the famous firearms manufacturer.

As the greatest generation concluded the war against Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan, firearms manufacturers in the U.S. hit an instant business crisis as demand for their guns fell to almost zero. The sheer need to attempt to avoid bankruptcy is what spearheaded the manufacturing of the Colt Python, in an effort to appeal to civilian gun enthusiasts and law enforcement.

Colt went from manufacturing 30,000 1911s every month in early 1945 to virtually zero as the war wound down and demand for military guns lapsed.

Drawing on the example from Smith and Wesson and their manufacture of the .357 Magnum revolver with the Model 27, which gained fame as “Dirty Harry’s” gun of choice, Colt designed and released the Colt Python.

With Colt merging with Penn-Texas, a tool producer that also did barrel rifling for gun makers, the high quality I-Frame .357 was released in 1953, and named the Colt Python. It quickly became popular with law enforcement and gun enthusiasts and was renowned for its smooth trigger pull, accuracy and quality.

It likely was one of the finest handguns ever produced in the U.S. and its value more than tripled for gun collectors as the Python was eagerly sought out at gun shops.

While the chambering for .357 Magnum was the most popular there were some other offerings such as .38 Smith and Wesson, .41 Mag, .44 Spl and .256 Win Mag, and these Colt Pythons are now extremely rare and hard to find on the market.

Recently the Colt Python has taken on even more fame and recognition due to the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” as the favorite sidearm of the main hero thus driving up prices again for a very sought after double-action revolver.

It seems the iconic Colt Python will endure as one of the most famous American made handguns, even now that most of the gun manufacturers are geared to producing automatics.

 

 

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A Short History of the Iconic Colt Python