During SHOT Show 2024 I made multiple stops at the Colt booth. I'm a sucker for revolvers, and Colt's guns have largely remained a mystery to me. Despite briefly owning a Trooper MkV and an Official Police, I haven't had much time on their modern offerings. Something about them has kept Colt lingering in my mind over the days and weeks since the conclusion of SHOT. One topic that stays near the forefront is how I would configure my "perfect" Colt revolvers. This ranges from carry guns to competition, and more.
With that in mind, I've written down specs for how I would set up a few Colt revolvers for specific purposes. The names are notional, things that I've come up with. Some images are rudimentary photoshop by me, done to illustrate my thoughts.
Colt Competition Python
Colt revolvers are largely absent from the competition scene. While USPSA nearly requires an 8-shot wheelgun to be competitive, IDPA, ICORE, Steel Challenge, and more are a bit more friendly to a six shooter. In a market dominated by Ruger and S&W, I think Colt could stand to make a foothold with a few modifications. We start with a Python revolver. This gives us a full size offering already in production to use as a base.
First thing that needs done is swapping out the factory presentation grips. While attractive, the wooden Colt stocks interfere with speed loaders, and don't do much to cushion or redistribute recoil. We're looking for something that provides a solid two-handed grip. The bell-shape of most classic stocks isn't great for action shooting, especially at higher levels. One of the biggest advantages of a revolver is easily changing grips to suit the shooter, but a lack of quality options won't help you beat the competition, on or off the range.
Hogue already supports the modern Python, and does reasonably well with loaders. These rubber grips are commonplace in the wheelgun world, though something like their Big Butt would be a welcome addition. VZ is another great option for those looking for non-rubber stocks, though they currently only support the Cobra line. I use VZ grips on my medium frame revolvers, finding them to be excellent with moist hands, helping to keep recoil under control. VZ also does a fantastic job at integrating with virtually every loader on the market, something critical in the competition world.
High Visibility Sights
Sights are nearly as individual of a choice as grips. That said, there are common threads when looking at competitive shooters. We want a high visibility front sight, that is relatively narrow for precision work when necessary. Fiber optics are a natural choice, being bright in daylight, while also helping to collect light in less than ideal conditions. Shooters can easily swap between red or green fiber to suit their vision, without breaking the bank.
Another option is the classic gold bead front sight. While not as popular as fiber optics, these maintain a dedicated user base. The first time I picked up a gun with a gold bead, I was floored by the quality of my sight picture, despite an overcast sky. At the very least, Colt could offer this as an extra to be purchased by the user. You'll also earn some cool points and stay a little closer to your Python's heritage with a gold bead.
Chamfered Charge Holes
The reload is one of the most difficult aspects of running a revolver well. Every little advantage we can get helps to stack the deck in our favor, increasing the odds of victory. An easy way to help things here is to chamfer the charge holes on our cylinder. Very slight beveling will guide rounds into place, shaving off precious time from the reload. Ruger does it on the GP100 Match Champion, S&W does it on the 686 SSR, and Colt needs it on the Competition Python.
Reshaped Trigger Face
The modern Colt trigger is somewhat square on the edges. It's not sharp or jagged, but it certainly doesn't seem designed with high round counts in mind. After several trigger presses, especially under heavier recoil, your finger begins to take notice of the shape. For a fairly light IDPA match you're looking at just under 100 trigger presses. A reshaping is in order, maybe slightly wider, and certainly more smoothed out, without serrations as well.
This is something that I feel all modern Colt revolvers could benefit from. The Colt Competition Python is going to be a high round count gun, and as such, it will absolutely need this modification to keep users coming back.
Colt Carry Elite Python
I first laid eyes upon the Colt Combat Elite I immediately saw potential for a seriously good gun. The Combat Elite is a stellar platform for minor modifications, possibly one of the best in the Colt lineup. That said, there are some changes to be made to bring it into the top tier for carry guns. I propose a modification, the Colt Carry Elite Python.
I was really impressed by the Combat Elite's grip shape, easily allowing for a solid two-handed grip. That said, they're a little short for my taste. If Colt could get VZ to bring the same grips from the Night Cobra to the Carry Elite, it'd be a match made in heaven. The rounded profile aids concealment, while also offering a full-finger grip for better shooting. Additionally, these grips are cut for speed loaders, a great advantage in competition or training. Even simply extending the grips down to give the pinky a little room would be a great update here.
As a carry focused revolver, we have to take concealment and comfort into consideration. Single action shooting isn't much of a factor here, and as such, bobbing the hammer is an important modification. Removing the hammer spur will help reduce snagging potential during the drawstroke, something we absolutely need to avoid. Comfort will also be improved here, especially for those carrying AIWB.
Colt already does this with the Night Cobra and King Cobra DAO, so it's not without precedent.
Reshaped Trigger Face
Much like with my Colt Competition Python, the Carry Elite could use an updated trigger. Being a steel frame, 3" gun, this will be capable of holding its own in competition, classes and more. With the potential for higher round counts, smoothing the trigger face will be important.
When Colt reintroduced the Cobra line, they opted to make them steel frame guns, along the lines of the old Detective Special. While that makes them far more shootable than their predecessors, it can impact how well they carry. With lightweight revolvers still holding their own as carry gun, especially in backup roles, Colt doesn't have anything in their lineup to meet that demand. With the Cobra name already in use, I suggest bringing back another classic, the Agent.
The new Colt Agent will be a six shot, aluminum frame revolver rated for continuous use of .38 Special +P. The only direct competitors with comparable capacity will be the Kimber K6XS and the Taurus 856 Ultra Lite. Consider the Agent a "Goldilocks" gun, sitting between those two price points with solid quality. One more round versus a Ruger or Smith & Wesson revolver gives you 20% more capability, and the smooth Colt action outclasses the standard 856.
Use the modern Cobra as an outline to get things started. Try to maintain compatibility with stocks, sights, loaders, and most parts to reduce costs and avoid proprietary purchases for users. With an aluminum frame, the weight should be kept below 16 ounces. This will help keep it as a contender for alternative carry positions such as in a pocket or on an ankle. Sights can be fixed, with something like an orange dot on the front sight for visibility. Ideally I'd like to see sights regulated for a quality defensive round like 135gr +P Gold Dot or 148gr Gold Medal Match.
Grips can be what is featured on the Night Cobra, or a trimmed down boot grip for additional concealment. I prefer a bobbed hammer to reduce snagging, which could also save a miniscule amount of weight. Smoothing out the trigger face would be nice, but less of an issue since these won't be high round count guns.
One big adjustment I'd like to see is on the ejector rod. Across the Cobra and King Cobra lines, the serrations on the ejector rod get stuck in its housing when reloading with any amount of force. This can hurt par times, or be a serious issue on the streets, so making this texturing flush with the rest of the ejector would be a big improvement.
Wrapping Up The Top 3 Revolvers Colt Needs to Make Now
From conceal carry, to back up guns, and competition, I see several ways that Colt could move to dominate the revolver market. What do you think of my suggestions? Are there things you'd do differently than what I came up with? Or maybe you have entirely new designs you'd like to see put into place. Let us know in the comments!
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