Launched in the mid-1950s by Colt's Manufacturing Company, the Colt Python is a chambered double-action lock revolver for the famous .357 magnum cartridge calibre. At the time of its launch, the factory, founded a century earlier in 1855 by Samuel Colt, was at the height of its fame and had nearly 15,000 employees. The Colt Python became its iconic model.
At the time of its launch, the Colt Python was available in different versions with a variable barrel length, adapted to its use.
In the United States, this revolver was used by the Colorado, Georgia and Florida police forces. But if it has become so famous, it is undoubtedly due to its very stylish and special design. In its most famous version, the Colt Python impresses with its long barrel, gleaming cylinder and powerful, well-finished grip. It is this aesthetics and impression of strength that inspired thriller writers, film and series directors to use the Colt Python as one of the building blocks of their characters' personalities.
In France, Alain Corneau named his 1976 film with Yves Montand "Police Python 357". The Colt Python is also the weapon of Jean-Paul Belmondo in the 1981 film "Le professionnel" by Georges Lautner. In the United States, the Colt Python is notably the weapon of David Soul in the famous "Starsky and Hutch" series. Its cinematographic fame has even prompted some European manufacturers to produce blank replicas for the cinema. But, as is often the case, an object that has become iconic also hides its share of setbacks.
The specialists at the Colt manufactory have no hesitation in saying that the Colt Python is the emblem of the brand. The quality of the materials used in its manufacture and the sophistication of its double-action system make it a luxurious weapon. But all these qualities also have their drawbacks.
First of all, the Colt Python is an expensive revolver to produce. This was a first brake on its mass sale, especially to the armed forces. Secondly, the quality of its materials makes it a 1.2 kg handgun, which is very heavy for this type of weapon. And then there were the criticisms of its double-action lock system. The lock is the set of parts ensuring the percussion. In the case of a double-action lock, the pressure on the trigger also arms the hammer until it reaches the release point which will cause the percussion. The Colt Python's system is very neat but some have pointed out that, in the case of continuous firing, the cylinder may not rotate fast enough and the cartridge may not end up in the axis of the barrel. This forced the shooter to stop to resynchronise the mechanism.
For all these reasons, the Colt Python is a perfect collector's item. Elegant, of very high quality, made almost glamorous by the arts and finally very little present on the battlefields of sinister memory, it is a weapon that bears the seal of know-how and aesthetics more than that of violence.
At Jean Pierre Fusil, we offer several replicas of Colt Python under the Crosman, Umarex, Kimar and Bruni brands. These are CO2 pellet revolvers used for leisure shooting and alarm revolvers used for home defence.