The first time I witnessed Rick Grimes v his old-fashioned Colt Python top top AMC’s “The walking Dead”, my very first thought was, “Great, another show v lots of guns written by human being who don’t understand the first thing around guns”. While subsequent episodes have actually not readjusted my mind on that particular point, together the plot has unfolded, I’ve questioned my initial presumption that Grimes’ signature revolver is an ignorant and also impractical an option of weapon.

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What adheres to is a review of the history, factors, and also circumstances that adjusted my mind. For numerous shooting enthusiasts, I recognize this is a hard sell, yet bear through me and let us understand if you change your mind, too. Because that those of friend who already “get it”, well… you were a few steps ahead of me.

If you have a quick attention span like me and you desire to acquire the background and technical component over with, here’s a quick summary of the Colt Python’s background and also capabilities:

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Initial Skepticism

Remember, it’s a television Show

Like most guns enthusiasts, I frequently find myself resisting the advice to yell in ~ the screen any kind of time a movie or TV present commits some sort of gun-related “mistake”. I definitely had the urge as soon as I observed the pilot episode of “The wade Dead”. There’s our hero, Deputy Sheriff rick Grimes, authorized his other officers to shot and apprehend a couple of criminals in an extreme standoff. The various other cops are wielding heavy-hitting 12 gauge shotguns and also period-correct Glock pistols, both currently amongst the most usual law enforcement guns in the unified States.

Then, stack draws his total to join them and what does the have? A beautiful 6 inch stainless stole .357 magnum Colt Python.

After I spent about half a second ogling the sleek present on this timeless classic, I returned to ravenous shouting gun-fanboy mode and spat turn off a dozen reasons why the character must not and would no be delivering that particular firearm. Not just did cops avoid carrying revolvers ago in the 90’s, yet who brings a six-shot antique through them to fight turn off the many shambling hordes of undead?

Don’t worry, I’ve had a pair of periods to gain over it. If you can look past the obvious anachronism, the Python is, symbolically, a fitting weapon for our protagonist. It’s huge and intimidating and makes a an effective statement. The field of expertise with which stack handles the large gun reflects that the is in complete control.

The revolver’s legacy and history make that a practically perfect fit because that Rick Grimes’ persona.

“Rick is man Wayne writ modern. His trusty hand cannon the a Colt – along with his gold star, big ol’ hat, and also grim decision to perform what’s necessary over what’s an excellent – do him the 21st Century Duke. Rick picks up any number of different weapons over the course of his zombie death career, but, like every standard Western hero, will always go ago to his revolver,” Alex Brown, writer and reviewer of “The go Dead” for said.

Despite his occasional emotional volatility and also quest come cling to some kind of principles in a devastated new world, Rick’s prize of management is still embodied in his larger-than-life sidearm. The brief time the he doesn’t have it by his next is once he loans it come Otis; a time once Rick was absent as a leader, focused on his dice child. In early on episodes, rick is still acquiring his bearings and in many situations shows a desire come cling to a now outdated model of civilization.

His old-fashioned 6 shooter reminds united state that rick is at risk of ending up being an obsolete relic of a i delivered era. However Rick adapts, and his Colt continues to be his weapon that choice. In ~ the end of the show’s second season, Rick provides his well known “this is not a democracy” speech, the Python at his next reinforcing the he’s quiet the guy in charge.

The Colt Python was standing the test of Time

Top the the line once introduced; Today, a collector’s item

This vintage advertising run during the Colt’s arrival to shooters in 1955. (Image Courtesy: Colt)

The Python makes a an excellent symbol, but for folks choose me and my gun nerd pals, that fact by itself is just not gonna cut it. A wheel pistol is quiet a sub-optimal choice for the apocalypse, so why am i willing to pardon the display for equipping the hero therefore poorly? because the Colt Python is just plain awesome, and here is why:

The Python was first introduced in the mid-1950’s; a time as soon as revolvers were king in the united state handgun market, and also the Python was developed to become the king of the revolvers. V each gun gift hand-fitted by skilled craftsmen at Colt, the brand-new revolver was made to be a “premium-grade” target pistol. It to be an immediate hit with citizens searching for a self-defense gun, and an ext important because that its permanent success, cops loved it too.

The four and six inch barreled versions of the Python can soon be uncovered in the holsters the police officers everywhere the country. The high price sign meant couple of police departments inserted contract purchases for their whole force, yet many officers lugged their personally-owned Pythons ~ above duty; a status symbol to mark a lawman with an ext sophisticated taste than the median beat-walker.

Colt also produced an eight inch barreled version of the Python that was specifically designed through hunters in mind, and much shorter 2.5 and also three inch models for simpler concealed bring for plainclothes cops and permit-holding civilians. In the latter decades of the 20th century, America’s police force traded in your revolvers because that semi-automatics that might hold three times as much ammo prior to reloading. Revolver sales steadily declined and by 1999, Colt stopped constant production of the Python.

Still extremely regarded today, Pythons command a premium ~ above the used market, and also are prized by both collectors and also serious shooters. Colt priced the Python roughly $125 in 1955. In today’s dollars, that’s around an $1,100 investment, do it tough on the wallet to begin with. Yet the last couple of years have seen an increase in price on the an additional market and a offered Python will certainly run you everywhere from $1,500 for a well-used model, up to $6,000 for some of the much more scarce variants.

The Python’s Mystique

To shoot the Python is come love it

The Colt Python .357 magnum revolver. (Image Courtesy: Steve Z/; some legal rights reserved).

The revolver was extremely revered in that day and in many ways quiet is. However what renders the Python therefore great? Companies like Smith and Wesson and also Ruger likewise made terrific revolvers in the exact same time period, many of which are still in manufacturing today and also have their very own loyal following. But listen to a fan of Pythons and they talk as if firing the is a transcendental spiritual experience.

Even Andrew Lincoln, the actor that portrays rick Grimes, has a real appreciation because that the Python. In an digital Q&A with AMC, he said of the Python,

“I love mine cannon… The Colt Python is choose a Rolex: that will never ever fail you… It’s become component of mine body. I had actually to wrestle v the props department when they took it ago the last time.”

See what ns mean? It sounds favor the man has actually a romantic– probably even spiritual relationship v the Python, and he doesn’t even get come fire live ammo. Handgun experts echo this kind of praise. Colt historian and also author RL Wilson described the Colt Python together “the Rolls-Royce the Colt revolvers”.

According to popular opinion, there space a few characteristics the the Python that have actually lead come its mythical condition in the civilization of firearms. Beyond the previously-mentioned high typical of craftsmanship, over there is the caliber of ammo the Python fires: .357 magnum.

Ever since it was introduced in the 1930s, American shooters have had a love affair through the .357 magnum. There have been several larger and much more powerful handgun cartridges obtainable for numerous years, however .357 revolvers boast a remarkable balance that effectiveness, size, and controllability. All revolvers chambered in this cartridge additionally have the included benefit of gift able to fire the weaker .38 special ammo. With significantly less recoil and lower cost, .38s are an excellent for practice, and they no half-bad because that self-defense either. This adds a large practical benefit for .357 revolvers that many other firearms do no share.

But there are dozens of .357 magnum revolvers ~ above the market; also a few whose fit and finish rivals that of the Python. The secret to the Python’s success is one that deserve to only be appreciated by actually firing it. Any type of revolver shooter will tell you that of all the attributes that distinguish a an excellent revolver indigenous a an excellent one, the cause is the many significant. A stiff, heavy, or gritty-feeling cause will damage an otherwise perfect revolver.

The Colt’s trigger is not only smooth, but light too, so the it requires minimal push from the finger to fire. This method the gun is much more likely to stay on target and it’s much easier to struggle what you aiming at. The so late Col. Jeff Cooper, another notable fan of the Python and grandfather of modern handgun technique, had this to say about the Python’s operation:

“Its single action release is usually superb, combining with its weight and fine sights to administer excellent controllability. The Python is expensive, and also it need to be.”

Other famed Characters

Before rick Grimes and “The walking Dead” ~ above Television

Rick Grimes, the protaganist in the fight AMC present The wade Dead, stares under the barrel of a Colt Python throughout an episode in the show’s 2nd season. (Image Courtesy: AMC)

The Colt Python has been showcased in film and on television before but maybe never ever in as bright a light together what “The walking Dead” offers.

Denzel Washington was nominated for a golden Globe while moving the Python in the 2007 movie “American Gangster”, it has actually been featured in numerous blockbuster video games choose “Resident Evil”, “Call the Duty”, and “Counter Strike”, and also is a usual star on television programs prefer “CSI: brand-new York”, “Chappelle’s Show”, and also “Starsky and Hutch”, according to the net Movie weapons Database.

The iconic appearance that the Python makes it a media darling in enhancement to that is superb real-world performance.

Colt Python Performance

Disadvantages in a Walking Dead situation

Even with its mythic status and superior taking care of characteristics, the Python still has actually several disadvantages for someone in stack Grimes situation. Yet those shortcomings may be offset by a couple of less noticeable advantages. The most obvious problem with revolvers is their low ammo capacity. Not only are you restricted to 6 rounds through the Python, however it takes much much longer to reload than a magazine-fed semi-automatic. When encountering an encroaching load of hungry undead, it is a pretty far-reaching problem. Because that purists or pan of The wade Dead comic book series, the reloading process for a revolver would be particularly difficult for Grimes. The deputy sheriff loser his ideal hand in worry #28.

Grimes, at the bottom the the image, loses his hand as component of the comic book series. Whether he’ll salary the exact same price in the television series is however to it is in known. (Image Courtesy:

The Python is built slightly in different ways than most revolvers. Internally, the Colt is much an ext complex, which is both a burden and also blessing. The complexity leads to enhanced performance, fantastic when facing a life-or-death situation. However, the Colt is among the worst revolvers to own once it concerns the access of spare parts. The complicated mechanics of the firearm can be more susceptible to difficulties than less complicated and much more rugged revolver designs. Definitely in one apocalyptic situation, spare contents would be tough to come by and also the specialization of an proficient gunsmith would additionally be a rarely find.

Revolvers normally require very little cleaning and lubrication contrasted to various other options, but if friend neglect consistent maintenance for as well long, the results can be catastrophic. If you’re shooting a semi-automatic pistol and also something goes wrong, you have actually a an excellent chance of being able to clean the failure in a issue of seconds. Some types of problems are quickly cleared in a revolver too. However if, because that example, you’ve been also busy burying her dead-undead-former finest friend come clean her guns, the following time you walk to blast a couple of walkers, her revolver’s cylinder could lock up because of powder fouling, and you’re walking to need time and tools to gain it up and firing again. Because that someone that puts himself in instances like rick Grimes, any failure could typical death, or zombification.

The Python, like countless revolvers, generally does not need as lot cleaning and lubrication as pistols. (Image Courtesy: Steve Z/; some civil liberties reserved)


But let’s offer Rick the advantage of the doubt and assume for a moment that he is an pure prodigy v the Colt Python. Probably he rarely misses and can reload with unlikely-but-still-humanly-possible Jerry Miculek-like speed. The low ammo capacity is still a problem, however certainly less-so as soon as the revolver is in the hand of one expert. When you think about that the combo that the .357 magnum cartridge and the Python’s six-inch barrel offers the revolver one effective selection and valuable accuracy that approaches twice what you’d obtain out of the mean 9mm pistol, the revolver starts to look favor an attractive choice for maintaining walkers in ~ bay. A semi-automatic rifle v a 30+ ring magazine would certainly be the best selection for survival, and also a modern semi-automatic pistol gives the many rounds in the the smallest package. Yet Rick’s Python is an ext portable 보다 a rifle and more deadly at long range than the pistols and also shotguns the other characters use.

Also consider the flexibility of ammunition, specifically in time of survival, once ammo is a warm commodity and also the ability to fire anything is vital. Presume Rick has both .357 ammo and also .38 unique ammo, he can adapt the total to different situations. For picking turn off walkers in ~ long-range, the magnums room ideal. When he’s expecting a close-range threat, .38s will certainly do simply fine. If stealth is required, again, .38’s carry out an advantage because they do a tiny less noise, and if Rick has to fire, he deserve to reduce the danger of alerting much more walkers, or anyone rather nearby.

Despite the ease of access of more contemporary firearms, the Python transforms out to be not such a bad an option for searching the undead.

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Ultimately, a great signature weapon is more than a handy tool for the hero. It helps to define him. Even if it is it’s James Bonds’ sleek and also sexy Walther PPK, or Dirty harry “take-no-prisoner’s” .44 magnum, the noteworthy weapons wielded through our favourite heroes help to tell your story. End time, ns think stack Grimes’ Colt Python will come to be as much an symbol as these various other classics and they will be remembered as the man and also the pistol that made it through the end of the world.

Normally, lucky Gunner Labs is a place for rigorous and exhaustive testing, unique product reviews, how-to guides, and also data sharing. Well, this time, they made the failure of letting me compose a post. Ns hope girlfriend guys enjoyed it and I expect they permit me come back!

So, what carry out you think? Is the Colt Python a great fit for Rick Grimes or need to he it is in wielding a various weapon? Sound turn off in the comments!