Review: Colt Anaconda 4.25″ Barrel — A Pocket-Sized Powerhouse


Last year, I spoke with my good friend who works for Colt. The new 4.25-inch barrel Colt Anaconda had just been introduced. After the dust settled, I called him and asked for a test sample. I received the gun several months ago, but this was a revolver that required more than just a casual day or two of range testing.

Mechanically, the 4.25-inch barrel version is identical to the six- and eight-inch Anacondas, sans the barrel length of course.

Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver, with a rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The top strap is drilled and tapped for optics or scope mount.
Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver, with a rear adjustable for windage and elevation. The top strap is drilled and tapped for optics or scope mount.

The 4.25-inch Anaconda is the most visually appealing of the Anaconda line. It’s also wielded easier than the six- or eight-inch guns — in my opinion. Granted, with the 4.25-inch model you give up about 100 fps compared to the six-inch model. You also lose some sight radius. However, the accuracy of the 4.25-inch model was similar to the six-inch.

The trigger pull was under five pounds in single action and under 12 pounds when shooting double action — the same as the six-inch model. The Anaconda uses the same leaf spring technology found in the Python hammer/trigger, giving it a more consistent trigger pull from shot to shot. The widened trigger added comfort to the already smooth trigger pull.

Exceptional target sights adorn the top of the revolver — with the rear being adjustable for windage and elevation and an interchangeable orange/red insert for the front ramp. The top strap is drilled and tapped for a red dot optic or scope mounting.

The cylinder release is serrated, which made for easy purchase with the straight pull back to release the cylinder (traditionally found on Colt double-action revolvers).

Factory Hogue over-molded stocks are standard, but any stocks that will fit the Python will fit the new Anaconda. I added a set of Python walnut target stocks about a third of the way into the review. After testing, I found that I preferred them over the Hogue rubber stocks.

Accuracy

The 4.25-inch barrel Anaconda averaged about 2.5-inch groups from 25 yards using a shooting rest. Accuracy was similar to the six-inch barrel Anaconda, losing about a half-inch at most at 25 yards. Of course, that could be my error.

Load

Group (inches)

Doubletap 300-grain Hardcast 2.5
DoubleTap 240-grain Hardcast 2.25
DoubleTap 200-grain HP .44 SPL 2
Winchester 240-grain JSP 3
Sellier & Bellot 24-grain JSP 3
Blazer 200-grain JHP .44 SPL 2.5

Specifications

  • Barrel description: 1:20 LH, 6 grooves
  • Barrel length: 4.25 inches
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Finish: Semi-bright
  • Frame material: Stainless steel
  • Front sight: User-swappable orange insert
  • Rear sight: Target adjustable
  • Stocks: Rubber stocks
  • Height: 7.25 inches
  • Width: 1.55 inches
  • Overall length: 7.25 inches
  • Weight: 42 ounces

Conclusion

The 4.25-inch Anaconda is by far my favorite on the Colt .44 Magnums. It’s on par with the three-inch Python as my favorite Colt revolver. The reduced recoil of the .44 Special loads were so much fun. To simply say it was enjoyed by all, would be an understatement.

With the full-strength .44 Magnum loads, such as the DoubleTap, it was controllable but took a bit of effort and preparedness. I am sure the heft aided in taming some of the heavy recoil. However, the six-inch Anaconda had a bit of an advantage with these loads.

Colt Anaconda revolver in .44 mag with a loaded cylinder open
With the full house .44 Magnum, such as the DoubleTap, the Colt Anaconda was controllable but took a bit of effort and preparedness.

The trigger pull was quite nice and predictable, just a touch heavier than the 2020 Python, but equally as smooth. This revolver would be a superb option as a hunting sidearm or for woods carry, especially where dangerous animals may be present. Likewise, it could be pressed into everyday carry if needed — being the smallest Colt .44 Magnum.

While I love the newer generation of Python, there is something American about the obnoxious .44 Magnum in an Anaconda, making it one of my favorite revolver cartridges. Now, I know the .44 Magnum is big medicine for a carry gun, but swap in some .44 Special, and you are ready to be social. After some 300 rounds downrange — with zero issues — I firmly believe the Colt Anaconda is built to take your abuse.

Colt’s ‘Snake Guns” are legendary and should be in everyone’s collection — if only we could afford them all… Which one is your favorite? Which caliber would you prefer for carry or for home defense use? Share your answers in the Comment section.


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