Firearm: Colt Python revolver (MSRP: $1,499)
Yeah, the Colt Python is definitely not our usual EDC firearm. It’s a six-shot .357 Magnum revolver in a 42-ounce, mid- to large-frame. There are plenty of lighter guns that carry far more rounds out there, that’s true. So why the Python? Well, first off, there’s no getting around the aesthetic and retro appeal. While that’s definitely something, it’s typically not enough on its own to merit swapping out a 24-ounce, 15+1 round G19. With the warmer months, though, we’re heading to the great outdoors, and that’s where the versatility of a .357 Magnum revolver gives us something to think about.
Remembering that a revolver chambered in .357 Magnum can also shoot .38 Special ammunition, there’s a wide range of projectiles and cartridges available. For those who live in areas where snakes might be encountered, CCI offers specialty shotshells for the .38 Special revolver. If there’s a chance you might encounter a large predator, Buffalo Bore makes some 180-grain, hardcast .357 Magnum rounds that should stop just about any animal attack in North America. Now, this presumes the shooter does their job, which leads into another advantage of the Python.
Yes, as we mentioned in a previous “I Carry” Spotlight, there are lighter .357 Magnum revolvers available. However, shooting them with full-power Magnum rounds is painful, plain and simple, and that decreases the likelihood we’ll practice as much as we could. With the larger, heftier Python, even full-power .357 Magnum rounds are quite controllable, meaning it’s more enjoyable on the range. Also, the Python has always been known for its accuracy, which has only been improved with the 2020 version. If you’re venturing into the wild, having a powerful handgun you can shoot accurately offers protection against attacks from everything from no legs to four legs (although I suppose you could use shotshells against spiders…)
While some pre-production models had issues ranging from light primer strikes to muzzle blemishes, production models we’ve tested have fortunately been without issue. I’m just glad Colt came out with the Python in stainless rather than the traditional blued finish, because I’d be tempted to sell a kidney or something…
Sure, there are other, less expensive .357 Magnum revolvers out there, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The Python offers a storied history, appealing aesthetics and superlative accuracy, at really what’s a pretty modest premium. Besides, you really need to shoot one of the new Pythons before dismissing it as mere nostalgia.
Holster: Galco Phoenix (MSRP: $159)
Since we’re leaning more toward aesthetics in this particular kit, we’re going with a leather holster rather than one made of Kydex or Boltaron. Galco’s Phoenix offers either strong side or crossdraw carry, adjustable retention and a reinforced thumb-break to keep your revolver secure while on the move. With an eye toward outdoor activities and having one’s sidearm readily available, the outside-the-waistband carry – or crossdraw – are both valid options, and there’s less concern about concealment. While it is possible with the right cover garments, it’s more problematic with a revolver the size of the Python.
And, yes, there’s definitely a touch of showing off with this kit. One doesn’t simply purchase a Colt Python to keep it in a drawer, and if you’re going to show it off, you want a holster that matches the Python in good looks. With the Phoenix, you’re getting a great looking leather holster that also provides the retention and security you need when pursuing active outdoor endeavors.
Knife: Buck 110 Slim Select (MSRP: $35)
Rounding out this kit is a knife that follows the same pattern. Buck’s 110 Slim Select knife is a familiar design, but updated with modern conveniences. There’s a demographic – not coincidentally separate from those that would gravitate toward the Colt Python in a leather holster – that remembers the Buck 110 as “the” knife – the classic brass bolsters, the wooden handle and the lockback mechanism. The 110 Slim Select keeps the same clip-point blade profile, but adds a thumbstud for faster deployment and a pocket clip – that’s even reversible.
Blade construction is 420 HC stainless with a tumbled finish, offering increased wear- and corrosion-resistance. Blade length is 3 ¾ inches, with a weight of 2.8 ounces. Scales are glass–filled nylon for durability and purchase under adverse conditions. For a personal touch, Buck will even engrave two lines of your choosing on the blade for a mere $7 surcharge. All this at a reasonable price and with a lifetime warranty.