This Weeks Handgun - Colt Anaconda



In 1956, Smith & Wesson surprised the shooting world with the introduction of the .44 Magnum. Gun writer Elmer Keith had asked Smith & Wesson for a 250 grain bullet at 1200 feet per second. He got much better, a 240 grain bullet at 1450 feet per second. This was to become a favorite for Keith. He soon retired his fine Colt and Smith & Wesson .44 Special sixguns and carried a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum daily until his stroke in 1981.
The other two of the big three sixgun manufacturers at the time were, Colt and Ruger. Ruger wasted no time coming out with their own 44 mag., a single action called the Super Blackhawk.
In the 70s the Dirty Harry movies had arrived and everyone seemingly had to have the gun that Clint Eastwood used as San Francisco cop Harry Callahan. Prices for Smith & Wesson .44 Magnums soared out of sight, and waiting lists were the norm.
Ruger Super Blackhawks had also became hard to get, as would be Smith & Wesson purchasers switched to the single action Ruger so they could at least have the proper cartridge if not the proper sixgun.
The time was ripe for the manufacture of other double action .44 Magnum sixguns, but Colt ignored the demand. It would be thirty-five plus years for Colt to enter the .44 magnum market. The new sixgun that took three plus decades to arrive is the double action Anaconda.
The Anaconda was available in four, six, and eight inch barrels. The Anaconda was produced in stainless steel only. It looks like the healthy offspring of the marriage between a stainless Python and a King Cobra with the barrel being pure Python, albeit larger in diameter and the rest of the gun definitely is descended from the King Cobra. Except for the King Cobra-shaped trigger guard, it is a strikingly handsome sixgun even better looking than either of its parents.
The stainless finish on the Anaconda is as good, and in many cases better, than that found on most stainless steel handguns. The entire gun is nicely polished. Sights are strictly King Cobra style which means the adjustable rear sight is white outline style and the ramp style front sight has a pale red insert.
The Anaconda was a well made and exceptionally accurate handgun. Sadly, it was taken out of production when Colt drastically cut back their production, and stopped producing all the double action models they had previously manufactured.


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