In 1996, Colt came out with what is now a very rare variant of the most excellent Anaconda revolver. The Anaconda being a larger framed ( for 44mag) version of the Python .357 magnum revolver. This limited edition was made in only 1,500 examples supposedly and was truly a “system”.
The gun came from the factory with the 8inch barrel, a Redfield 5 star pistol optic. rubber grips , base and rings, with the optic and gun finished in Real Tree camo. This was a collaboration between Colt and Realtree (Bill Jordan of Georgia), with design assistance from famed Wildlife Biologist, “Mr. Whitetail” Larry Weishuun.
Beyond the revolver and optic is also came with a colt belt buckle, Zippo colt Anaconda lighter, original Team Colt Realtree heavy duty canvas carry bag and matching bandoleir holster. It was and is a heck of a nice kit. The gun is rare enough to not be well known even in the gun world. In fact I have only seen two with my own eyes counting this one.
Even in picture you can see the camo finish is very nice and rare enough for my tastes, pleasing to the eye. And I am not a fan of commercial hunting camo patterns.
While I have this rare animal we will take a look at it in some detail.
The optic is a then top of the line 5 star redfield. At that period of time, Redfield was a well thought of and quality maker of weapons optics. Now the company name is owned by Leupold and of course that speaks for itself. But at that time they were a competitor.
The scope of course came with the Redfield flip up scope covers.
Above you can see the 2x-7x power ring. The variable power in that range is very useful for a hunting pistol in my opinion. I find it is just enough and not too much. It is clear and as durable as every other Redfield 5 star optic I have used from that era.
The elevation and windage adjustments are vintage Redfield style. They did give you some one of a positive adjustment and beat the Leupold friction plate which I detest.
You can also see the scope rings that hold the optic one. I have seen some of these guns with matching camo rings. But I can not offer up any reason why some are, some aren’t beyond speculation.
The base and rings are very sturdy as anything holding a scope to a 44magnum handgun would need to be.
Now moving on to the gun. First is a very nicely recessed target crowned muzzle.
You can see from the picture that the Anaconda did have the ability to add iron sights to it though this example did not come with them that I am aware of. I have been told that colt did sell some of the guns without the optic but with irons instead.
Of course the Anaconda has all the inner workings you would recognize from all other colt anacondas and pythons. Parts not finished in camo are a very nice durable flat matte black. This includes the hammer, trigger, cylinder release etc.
The action of the gun is smooth as glass. I would also assume that the action on these editions were given some hand care before leaving the factory because it certainly feels like it.
The 8 inch barrel has the roll markings on the left side. Letting you know you have a Colt realtree Anaconda.
The accuracy of the gun is everything you would want it to be. I am no big bore handgun game hunter so I can’t give much insight into that. I do know an accurate handgun when I see it though. I don’t need to be Taffin to come to the conclusion either.
Not feeling a need to prove how manly i am or put up with the recoil of a 44 mag while sitting on the bench concentrating for all I am worth for hours at a time, I used .44special handloads of a now deceased friend who was a real genius at casting his own lead bullets for handguns.
At this time these loads are the only .44spl loads I have access to so i can’t show any other loads. If I get my hands on some more stuff I will update this post or make a part 2.
I fired from a bench with bags and a rest for the first three groups. And I did cock the hammer for single action firing for accuracy. I am NO wheel gun guy and my short tiny little fingers will forever be incapable of the ability to fire a double action revolver with ease. So sue me.
The last 5 rounds I had, I used for 100 yards. Since it wasn’t enough to shoot a few warm up groups and not enough for a full 6 shots I decided to shoot the gun sitting down with crossed sticks. I have seen hunting shows and magazine articles of pistol hunters firing from this way in the field so I decided to reproduce it. I am not sure what is considered a long shot for big bore handgun hunting and I am too lazy to sift through millions of hunting forum opinion posts on what is long and too long and what ranges are ethical shots. So I apologize if 100 yards is considered a joke for you handgun hunters or if it is beyond what many feel comfortable taking a field shot on game. I am not hunting and paper rarely complains anyway. If you are a HG hunter, do chime in below and I will see what I can to satisfy the testing requirements for you fellows.
Above is the final 5 rounds fired sitting from crossed sticks. I feel pretty good about it. My palm would have covered the group. I suppose it is even good enough for a head shot on a whitetail deer if one was dumb enough to do it.
You see the kind of accuracy one could expect from this fine bigbore six-shooter. I have really enjoyed it as the 44spl loads are soft and pleasant. And accurate.
I will try to gather up a bigger variety of ammo and shoot it at any requested distances before it has to leave my hands. So if you want to see something post your wishes in the comments.
If you want one of these masterpieces, I can’t offer up an ideas of where to get one or really how much. A quick search has shown the examples with all the other goodies go for between 2,500 to 2,800. Maybe one could be had cheaper but that would also mean it is in rough shape. The owner of this model has never told me the painful amount he gave for it. However it was a “grail gun” for him and worth the price, As long as I have known him he had talked about wanting one. He finally found this one at a local shop and made sure he left home with it. If you are happy with the gun you bought the price is always worth it no matter what is was.