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Good day all! At my place of business, we offer custom trigger and action work, accuracy tuning, and repair service on S&W, DW, and Colt brands of revolvers (along with repair of the Woodsman series). Now that we've had a significant number of the NEW (2017 and later) Colt double-action revolvers come here for trigger and action jobs (and/or tuning) I thought I would leave a little feedback concerning how the lineup appears at this stage of the game. Just to qualify myself, if you haven't already read it, I have been in business for 32 years and I have worked on Colt double-action revolvers longer than that. I'm not in ANY way bragging, I am "qualifying" myself to you folks. Also, please note that anywhere I say "new" I am speaking of the 2017 and later Colt double-action revolvers. "Old" obviously means before 2017. Wow. The Python was gone roughly 12 years...

HOW MANY HAVE COME HERE?

At this stage of the game, we have (in addition to our 'Smith and DW work) performed well North of 1,000 custom action and trigger tuning services for the new DA Colts. I have become intimately familiar with the strengths, weaknesses, consistency, and general traits of the new Cobra, King Cobra, Python, and Anaconda. I HOPE to see a 4.25" and 6" 22lr Diamondback added to this stable soon. Hopefully, it will have the raked hammer spur of the old Diamondback. Also, because the Diamondback is/was supposed to be a "target" revolver, a wider trigger (wider than that on the Cobra and King Cobra) would become available.

HOW MANY HAS COLT MADE? I know an "insider" who has made it clear he'll have to kill me if I reveal his identity (just kidding). I would lose my "insider" though and I don't want that. He has told me that the serial numbers can be a bit confusing, but he had approximate numbers regarding the total number of Colt DA revolvers built since 2017 and it's astounding.

Cobra: 170,000
King Cobra: 70,000
Python: 60,000
Anaconda: 11,000

WHAT ARE THOSE INTERNAL PARTS LIKE?

They are amazingly consistent in dimension, finish, and hardness. There are some MIM parts used throughout the line, but it has been proven that MIM parts reduce warranty claims and they are much more consistent. The Python and Anaconda do feature polished internal parts to reduce friction. It's important to note that Colt does NOT make the MIM parts for its DA revolvers, they're made by Smith & Wesson (Just kidding!!). They are made by an aerospace company that manufactures among other things, parts for fighter jet engines. This company will also make MIM parts for anyone willing to pay for them in significant quantities. So, why would Colt go this route? For one thing, the firearms industry has displayed a long history of better quality control going along with sub-contracting. Look at Browning for example. They actually don't manufacture anything. As time has gone by this company buying that company and so on has resulted in Browning kind of manufacturing stuff, but most items? No. Browning's rejection rate is astonishingly low. It's because they can say "This doesn't meet spec. We don't want it." and it doesn't cost them a dime to do it. Another advantage specific to Colt in this instance is HOW the MIM parts are made. This aerospace company invented a method and the machines that make MIM parts that are hard inside to outside. I know that the parts tear my diamond files up! The parts have already proven themselves to be virtually indestructible. I have also noticed that the new Colt DA revolvers that have been shot extensively in DA mode do NOT exhibit peening on the cylinder's bolt locking notches. Colt's new steel in their new DA revolvers is wicked-tough.

HOW'S THE DESIGN WORKING OUT?

Fantastic! Colt's new DA revolvers can be best described as a leaf spring Colt action and a coil spring Colt action meeting up and having a child who inherited the best of both parents. Virtually everything is built a little heavier. Many elements from the old leaf spring design were retained. The cylinder locking bolt is similar to what was used in Colt's coil spring DA revolvers like the Anaconda. The other major topology change is rather than a hammer-blocking drop safety on the old leaf spring revolvers, the new DA revolvers use a transfer bar. The rest? Pretty similar to the Classic Colt Design and it works exceptionally well.

HOW IS THE ACCURACY?

The new Colt DA revolvers are at least as accurate as any Colt DA revolver ever made. I have repeatedly proven this with extensive Ransom Machine Rest testing. Like the old DA revolvers by Colt, they tend to favor heavier bullets. A note of interest, the new Python still uses broached rifling and choke boring. At this time, I don't know about the new Anaconda. I can tell you this: Comparable Smith & Wesson revolvers do not possess the accuracy of the new Colts. I have to apply our Precision Accuracy Tuning© to a new 'Smith 19, 686, and 629 (even their PC guns) to get them up there with the Colts. When we Accuracy Tune a new Colt, that becomes its own animal. When it comes to the complex trigger to hand to ratchet to cylinder to cylinder stop to chamber to barrel alignment, the new DA Colt revolvers are the most uniform and consistent I have ever seen regardless of price. This alignment helps with accuracy. Their tolerances are frankly incredible. Colt has a good thing going here!

WHAT ABOUT THE TRIGGER PULL?

Well, that can be a source of aggravation among all of the praise I have heaped onto the lineup. The Cobra and King Cobra typically have crisp SA trigger pulls of sensible weight. The DA trigger pulls are typically smooth and of sensible weight. Both of them will however still benefit from tuning particularly if you're going to shoot them in DA mode. You may find they're the fastest revolvers you own after the tuning. Now, the Python... The SA trigger is consistently too heavy and it has some creep. Blame the insurance companies. The DA trigger is consistently too heavy. In summary however, the old Python has a better SA trigger than the new Python and the new Python has a better DA trigger than the old Python. The action of the new Python is very smooth, but QUALIFIED action and trigger tuning will make a profound difference. We get the SA trigger pull down to a crisp 2.75 - 3.00 lbs and the DA trigger pull down to a smooth and slick 8.75 lbs WITHOUT sacrificing hammer impact. Complete reliability is what we'll give you. It can be done! The old Pythons benefit from action and trigger tuning as well so it's of no penalty that the new one does too. Try it; you'll love it! The Anaconda exhibits similar behavior and similar techniques will improve the situation. The Anaconda feels "lighter", but it's due to the larger parts offering more leverage, but there is still smoothness to be gained and a crisper and lighter SA trigger (there is creep present) to be gained (along with a lighter DA trigger by going the tuning route). I have noticed that with ALL of Colt's new DA revolvers, as the serial numbers climb higher they keep getting better. With all of the new Colt DA revolvers I have tuned, I have NEVER found so much a 1 defective part. Colt currently has the best American-made DA revolvers on the market.

IN CLOSING...

I hope this is found to be helpful. I think it can be rather frustrating right now to get an accurate assessment of a firearm right now; unless it's plastic and the shooting is conducted at 7 yards. I have seen several reviews of the new Python and the only thorough review was in American Rifleman. Any revolver that costs $1500 deserves a thorough review. There was a review in another publication where the reviewer was CLEARLY not qualified to review a target-grade Colt revolver. In general, lots of reviewers suck. I really miss Skeeter and Bill and Layne and Jack and Elmer along with several others (some of you won't even know who those guys were-they were the guys who shaped the industry and seriously knew their stuff). Don't get me wrong, the newer Smith & Wessons are very nice. I bought a new one not that long ago and I love it (I DID have to perform a minor repair on it though). The new Colts however are the superior revolver, but you do pay for that. Please remember my friends, it's usually that last 5%-10% that costs the most. HAPPY & SAFE SHOOTING TO YOU ALL. -Michael A. Heffron
 

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Thanks for the information...good to know.
 

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Thank you for your detailed review on the new revolvers as I have been considering purchasing the King Cobra. They had one in stock at the local gun shop not long ago but I passed on it since there wasn’t much information out there on quality and functionality. After reading your detailed review I will definitely be adding one to my collection as soon as one becomes available. May have to send it your way for some tuning on the trigger pull as it sounds like you can work magic on them. From your review it sounds as if this will be a great shooter tuned or untuned Thanks again
 

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VERY informative assessment. Since I'm not gunsmithing anymore (other than just tinkering on my own stuff), I haven't been inside a new Python.

Regarding MIM. In 2015 I think it was...
I was at a luncheon with the CEO and the Product Manager of Revolvers for S&W (I want to say this was the rollout of the .460 but my memory is crap sometimes) The subject of MIM came up and Herb (the product manager) informed me that the use of MIM has made the single largest impact to their factory returns. Their return rate plummeted when they went to MIM. The CEO (I don't recall his name, we didn't talk all that much) informed me that the switch to MIM was financially motivated but not in the way most think. They weren't trying to get the individual parts cost down, they were trying to cut their factory return rates down, because they have a big impact on profitability and reputation.

Contrary to internet lore, MIM is NOT inexpensive. Setup is excruciatingly expensive for just one part and things only get cheap when you make a LOT of whatever you're making. MIM is also a very technical process, so its not unusual that Colt doesn't do it in house; most gun manufacturers outsource their MIM to companies who make that their core competency.

When I was writing for gun magazines I had a talk with the CEO of Kahr arms (I was doing the first article for AH on the Kahr .45). And while he didn't reveal the actual cost, he did say that Kahr had to take out a loan for the setup on switching to MIM for their magazine catches; that's ONE part. So imagine the setup cost for a gun with a dozen MIM parts.

MIM doesn't offend me in the least, it's a very good technology.
 

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From the owner reports on the new Colt Python it appears the following holds true........

1. Accuracy is as good if not better then the original.

2. Double action trigger pull is better then the original, but SA is not.

3. It's probably the strongest, most durable Colt ever made, exceeding the Mark III through King Cobra.

4. With somewhat normal new product start up boggles, quality seems to be exceptionable and better then any other American made DA revolver.

5. A new Python owner is as well armed as it's possible to be with a DA revolver.

6. MIM has come of age in gunmaking. When done correctly it's as good as forged or cast steel.
Traditionalists complain it's not forged and milled, but then the cost is less while giving a superior product.
The owner will not notice any difference in the part, so it comes down to nothing more then the idea it's not forged.

7. It appears that Colt and the double action revolver's demise was greatly exaggerated and both are coming back strong.

Now if I could just figure out some way to fund a new Python. Being old, retired, and poor is hell when you have that Colt itch that you just can't scratch.
 

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Thanks for the write-up, very informative.
 
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Nice write up. Great info on the new revolvers. Colt has certainly been putting full force into their new snake revolver production. May I inquire as to the name of your place of business, Mr Heffron?
I haven’t had any of my new snake guns “slicked up” as they say, and it may just be what I need to keep a smile on my face and a pep in my step.
sounds like you all have done a lot of them and that’s how they say you get to Carnegie Hall… practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice write up. Great info on the new revolvers. Colt has certainly been putting full force into their new snake revolver production. May I inquire as to the name of your place of business, Mr Heffron?
I haven’t had any of my new snake guns “slicked up” as they say, and it may just be what I need to keep a smile on my face and a pep in my step.
sounds like you all have done a lot of them and that’s how they say you get to Carnegie Hall… practice.
Heffron Precision is the name of my company. It was started in 1989. We do have a website. www.heffronprecision.com
 

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MIM doesn't offend me in the least, it's a very good technology.
[/QUOTE]
According to Mike Heffron, Colt contracted with Pratt & Whitney, the famous makers of American Fighter Plane and Commercial Piston and Jet engines, to make their MIM parts. They are said to use a patented and secret process in the formulation and production of those MIM parts that demonstrate a super and consistent hardness from the center to the surface. Heffron states the parts are so hard they tear up his diamond files pretty quickly. Contrast that with the old forged and heat treated parts. The hardness was only a few thousandths thick. Go through that layer and you had to re-heat treat the steel. I Love the look and feel of forged and blued or Case Hardened Hammers and Triggers... Each part must be made of the correct steel for its use... Internal MIM definitely has a WIDE application. But I love those beautiful color case hardened S&W hammers. And Turnbulls work is true Art.
 

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I just got my Colt Anaconda 6” back from Mike Heffron. The single action pull is 3lbs and crisp like a glass rod with no creep. The double action pull is 7.75lbs and is smooth as silk/butter. It’s every bit as good as my Python that Mike did for me. He also did my Colt SAA which turned out fantastic. I can’t say enough about Heffron Precision and Mike’s quality work and character. I highly recommend his work on Colt revolvers. And S&W too for that matter since he did a beautiful job on my 629 Classic. Thanks Mike!
 
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