Improving on a number of aspects of the original, the 2021 Colt Anaconda keeps the Snake Gun line rolling.
Since Colt dusted off its popular line of “Snake Guns” in 2017 with the Cobra, folks have pondered how far back it’d reach. There’s plenty of serpentine superstars worth rebooting, though a great majority of shooters were satisfied with the rebirth of the Python a year ago. Luckily, Colt isn’t finished revamping and releasing its classic revolvers, in fact, with its latest release the gunmaker has gone bigger than ever before. Welcome back the Colt Anaconda.
It’s been almost 20-years since the last large-framed (MM frame in Colt parlance) rolled off the lines in West Hartford, Conn., discontinued in 2003. And while it doesn’t quite command the awe of the Python, the Anaconda has perhaps only been second to the icon in Colt fans demanding its return. Understandable, given the massive wheelie drew comparisons to other great .44 Magnums—particularly the Smith & Wesson Model 29. At least it was after Colt ironed out some initial accuracy issues on the original model, which required tweaks to the barrel design. Though, it never faired well against the competition, which in the 1990s were well established and sucked much of the air out of the double-action .44 Magnum market.
Revamping The Serpent
Does the new Colt Anaconda face similar hurdles this time around? Its old competitors are still around, not to mention some upstarts that have joined the scene since. Could be, but Colt doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels, essentially redesigning the revolver, outside of tweaking its original aesthetics.
Essentially, the new Anaconda is a scaled version of the new Python, bulked up of course. It’s not surprising either, given Colt’s reboot of its revolver line is centered around a scalable frame. In addition to this, the gun utilizes the gunmaker's revamped dual-action leaf-spring found in the .357—again enlarged. A refresher, it’s a “U” shaped spring that emulates the Python’s original “V” shaped spring but is more conducive to mechanized mass production. The design improved the Python’s double-action trigger pull considerably from the original, however, it came at the expense of the revolver’s renowned single-action trip.
Nevertheless, the overhauled system should play well in the new Anaconda, especially given the original’s was less than desirable. Expect a similar pull weight in the .44 Magnum to the .357, which is around 5-pounds in single-action and 10-pounds in double-action.
Shedding Its Skin
Overall, the Colt Anaconda cuts a nearly identical profile to its forbearer—a good thing, for all its initial stumbles the gun was always good looking. The six-round revolver frame, barrel and cylinder are machined from stainless steel, and polished to a high shine—what Colt calls “Semi-Bright”. It boasts a full under-lug and vent-ribbed design of the last iteration of the gun and appears to have a full-length ejection rod. The barrel is target crowned, adding a touch of protection to the bore.
Gone, however, is the walnut. Instead, Colt opted to outfit the Anaconda with a set of rubberized Hogue over-molded grips, which many won’t complain about. The finger-grove grip might not have the class of hardwood, but should offer superior control and some recoil mitigation on what is known as a hard-kicking caliber. However, traditionalists can swap the rubber for walnut, as the grip is compatible with the new Paython's panels.
The revolver is outfitted with a ramp front sight with red insert and a fully adjustable rear, a very passable system for most shooters. If not, the sights are simply replaced with little more than an Allen Key. Additionally, the Anaconda is drilled and tapped standard for the addition of a scope—no the case on all of the first-generation models. But given the popularity of handgun hunting a logical upgrade for the line.
As for barrel choice, the Colt Anaconda comes in 8- and 6-inch models, however, a 4-inch model is missing in the initial launch. The revolvers come with the expected heft of a large-framed gun with sizable barrels, 59- and 53-ounces respectively.
And, on a final note, both the trigger and hammer spur provide ample width for quick and comfortable manipulation.
Despite a few bumps in the road, Colt’s relaunch of its Snake Guns has struck a nerve with the shooting public and proven wildly popular. Adding the Anaconda seems like the right move at present, given heavy-hitting calibers have become more popular over recent years. There’s no word if Colt plans to branch out in chamberings (the old gun also came in .45 Colt), but the possibility is there. Even so, .44 Magnum alone has the potential to attract plenty of attention.
As to price, well it’s a Colt so expect to open your wallet; both the 8- and 6-inch barrel Anacondas have MSRPs of $1,499. Still, with the hubbub over Snake Guns, for many that will still prove a value.
Colt Anaconda Specs
Caliber: .44 Magnum
Frame Material: Stainless Steel
Rifling: 1:20″, 6 Groove
Barrel Lenghts: 8 inches, 6 inches
Overall Lengths: 15 inches, 13 inches
Height: 7.25 inches
Width: 2.75 inches
Front Sight: Red Ramp
Rear Sight: Target Adjusable
Grip: Hogue Overmolded
Weight Unloaded: 59 ounces; 53 ounces
For more information on the Colt Anaconda, please visit colt.com.
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