While most models of Colt's world-famous Python .357 Magnum were service-sized and longer, there were some more abbreviated variants made. 

First introduced to Colt's 1955 catalog for a price of $125 and pitched as "a finer gun than you actually need" to "a limited number of gun connoisseurs," the big double-action revolvers most common with barrel lengths in 6-inch and later 4-inch formats. 
 

Colt Python 4 inch model in a light box
This 4-inch Colt Python in the Guns.com Vault dates to 1969 and is an example of one of the more "standard" length models.
Colt Python 6 inch model in a light box
Some collectors prefer longer barreled Pythons, such as this 6-inch model in the Guns.com Vault, which dates to 1979.

 

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A few went even longer, with 8-inch Python Hunter, Python Silhouette, and Python Stalker models introduced over time. 

With the beefy I-frame revolver produced exclusively with a full lug barrel that carried a vented rib line along the length of its top, the Python always had a commanding and distinctive profile, making it seem even larger in the hand than its specs would belay. 
 

Colt Pythons next to a Guns.com trucker hat
Over the years, Colt ran several finishes on the Python ranging from the company's famous Royal Blue to E-nickel and stainless steel. We try to keep a good sample on hand but note the dearth of these vintage snakes with barrels shorter than 4-inch. 

 

Downsizing, Colt produced a few short runs of these vaunted revolvers with a 3-inch barrel known to collectors as "Combat Pythons," and, off and on between 1955 and 1994, the 2.5-inch model, which still sported full-sized grips.

And they are beautiful. 
 

Colt 2.5-inch snub nosed Python revolver in a lightbox
This still very sturdy "snub-nosed" Python dates to 1974.
Colt 2.5-inch snub nosed Python revolver in a lightbox
Make no mistake, the 2.5-inch revolver still has a lot of meat to it as it was designed to run full-house .357s and a "bank vault" lockup.
Colt 2.5-inch snub nosed Python revolver in a lightbox
However, this solid collectible remains in very good condition.

 

Colt Python snubs staked out a claim in gun culture in the 1960s and 70s with Det. James "Kimo" Carew (William Smith of "Wolverines" fame) on "Hawaii Five-O," and Philip Marlowe as portrayed by James Garner.

However, they have been out of production for more than 25 years, so CZ-Colt, if you are reading this, you should get on that. 

 

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