Colt Anaconda (Snake Hunter)

“I hate snakes.” Snakes scare me. I don’t care what kind they are. I don’t care if they poisonous or not, good for rodent control, or even if they are kept as pets. Let’s be very clear on this point. I HATE SNAKES, all except one…

The snakes that are produced by Colt Manufacturing Company are fantastic. Somewhere down the line, some marketing salesperson decided that it would be catchy if they named their double action revolvers after snakes. This is the only kind of snakes I can readily accept, and I’m actually very fond of them. I wear the title of {snake hunter} with pride. My kind of snake hunting is extremely expensive though.

Colt stopped normal production runs of their double action revolvers in 1999. A few “new in box” samples still exist, but a second mortgage on the homestead is normally required to pay the cost for these highly collectable examples of American craftsmanship. The Colt Anaconda is a large framed double action revolver first introduced by the Colt manufacturing company in 1990. It was available in two calibers, .44 magnum and .45 Colt. The .45 Colt calibers were released in lesser numbers and it’s now the most rare and collectable of the two calibers. Manufactured only in stainless steel, Colt broke with standing tradition and never offered the Anaconda in blued or nickeled versions. The Anaconda was built on an entirely new and heavier Colt frame, called the AA frame.

The purpose of this new heavy revolver was to compete with the venerable Smith and Wesson Model #29 .44 magnum (double action revolver), the Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum (double action revolver), the Ruger Blackhawk .44 magnum (single action revolver), as well as several lesser known .44 magnum hand cannons offered by various other manufactures at the time. Handgun hunting as well as long range metallic silhouette shooting was in vogue at the time. The focus market niche for the Anaconda was sports enthusiasts’ shooters and hunters, as the weighty revolver was quite heavy and not something any but the “most hearty” law enforcement officers wanted to wear around their waist all day long.

The Anaconda is in my opinion a very beautiful gun. It resembles a marriage between a Colt King Cobra and the highly regarded and prized Colt Python. The vent rib along the top of the barrel (ala the Colt Python) in my opinion adds so much class to this revolver that it becomes a piece of sculpture. Without it there would no art form to it and it would be just another big heavy .44 magnum.

It was offered in four, six, and eight inch versions, and came in what’s call a matte stainless steel finish and an ultra bright stainless steel finish. The ultra bright is merely a highly hand polished version of the aforementioned, and it’s so bright and expensive not many who paid for that option actually shot the weapon for fear of marring the finish.


Another highly desirable option on this huge snake was the factory Mag-na-ported barrels. This means that near the muzzle of the barrel two cuts were made (generally trapezoids) in the barrel to allow gas from the burnt gunpowder to vent upwards thus holding the front of the barrel down during firing to reduce muzzle flip. (See photo at right.) While this is a highly desirable option on hard kicking hunting or sports oriented handguns, when discharged in a dark environment it could cause temporary loss of night vision to a law enforcement officer in a firefight. So, unless you are willing to practice shooting in the dark a lot, it’s not something I’d recommend as a self defense handgun.

My particular Anaconda is a four inch barrel version, .44 magnum with the factory Mag-na-ported barrel. It has the solid black Elliason fully adjustable rear sight, as well as a double pinned ramped black front sight. The trigger is the smooth combat variety, while the hammer is thoroughly stippled in case one wanted to cock it for a single action shot. It has the rubber Colt finger groove grips to absorb recoil, and the Rampant Colt emblem is on both sides.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve resisted the temptation to shoot my Colts because they say it reduces their value when it comes time to sell, but I just couldn’t resist shooting this Anaconda. One day I had the Boss, the #1 daughter, and her new husband with me and we went to the woods. I brought along a box of .44 magnum hand loads and set up some tin cans about fifteen yards away.

The cans were all lined up on a two by four sitting on a stump and firing single action, I made six in a row fly through the air with the greatest of ease. The recoil and muzzle flip was so manageable that I let my #1 daughter shoot a cylinder full, and she thought it was great. You could tell the revolver was way too heavy for her by the way she held it, but she said the recoil was nothing compared to what she thought it would be.

Then the Boss got involved and instead of being the shooter, I was reduced to being the new target setter. The Boss is a highly trained shooter, but the most powerful handgun she has ever fired was a .45acp Colt Combat Commander. She fired four rounds and hit the target every time. She had two rounds left and I challenged her. I told her if she could shoot one can two times before it stopped moving, she could be called top shot for the day. Naturally she chose the largest tin can to shoot, and sure enough she fired the first shot single action to send the can up in the air and pulled off a double action round to hit it again before it stopped moving.

I never dreamed she could do it with the Anaconda, but I guess the mild hand loads, the Mag-na-ported barrel, and her choosing the largest can made it happen for her. I had to listen to her verbally replay her feat of shooting skill all the way home. It was a long ride.

Until next time, shoot often, practice with an eye towards perfection, focus on the front sight, squeeze the trigger (don’t jerk it), and remember to join the NRA to protect your gun rights.

Junior’s Boy

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Tags: Colt Anaconda, Handgun Talk, Juniors Boy

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