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Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, you will learn how to clean the Colt Python, a popular firearm. We will provide you with a step-by-step guide, complete with a video and detailed instructions. Additionally, you will gain some historical context about the Colt Python and its significance. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how to properly clean this firearm.

Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide


Importance of cleaning firearms

Maintaining firearms is not only crucial for their longevity and performance but also for your safety. Regular cleaning ensures that your Colt Python, a classic and highly regarded revolver, remains in top condition and functions properly. Cleaning your firearm helps remove debris, prevent corrosion, and minimize malfunctions. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of cleaning your Colt Python, ensuring you have the necessary tools, knowledge, and safety precautions in place.

Overview of Colt Python

The Colt Python is a double-action revolver produced by Colt Manufacturing Company from 1955 to 2005. It is known for its elegant design, smooth action, and accuracy. The Python is chambered in .357 Magnum, making it a popular choice among firearms collectors, enthusiasts, and even law enforcement officers. Its iconic appearance and reputation for superior quality make it a prized possession for many gun enthusiasts.


Gather necessary tools and supplies

Before beginning the cleaning process, gather the following tools and supplies:

  • Cleaning solvent:
    • Gun-specific solvent or a solvent designed for removing carbon buildup
    • Lubricant: High-quality firearm lubricant or CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, Protectant)
    • Bore brushes: .357 caliber brushes for the barrel and cylinder chambers
    • Cleaning patches or cloth: Soft, lint-free patches or cloth for wiping down parts
    • Toothbrush or nylon brush: For scrubbing hard-to-reach areas
    • Cotton swabs: For cleaning small crevices and intricate parts
    • Cleaning rod: Appropriate length for the gun’s barrel
    • Punch or pin: To remove pins or disassemble certain parts (if necessary)
    • Safety glasses and gloves: To protect your eyes and hands during the cleaning process

Create a safe cleaning environment

Before beginning the cleaning process, ensure a safe and well-ventilated area. Clear off any clutter and ensure that there are no distractions or disturbances. It’s important to work in an area where firearms and cleaning supplies will not be within reach of children or unauthorized individuals. Additionally, ensure that you have a stable surface to work on, such as a cleaning mat or bench, to prevent accidental damage to your firearm or surrounding objects.

Field Stripping

Identify and clear the firearm

To begin field stripping your Colt Python, ensure that it is unloaded and the cylinder is open. Visually inspect the cylinder chambers to confirm that they are empty, and check to ensure there is no ammunition in the vicinity. Once you have confirmed that the firearm is unloaded, proceed with disassembly.

Remove the cylinder assembly

To remove the cylinder assembly, push the cylinder release latch forward and swing the cylinder out to the side. Gently lift the cylinder out of the frame and set it aside.

Extract the barrel

To extract the barrel, push the barrel release latch forward and lift the barrel up and out of the frame. Be cautious as you remove the barrel, as it is an integral part of your firearm and should be handled with care.

Disassemble the sideplate

To disassemble the sideplate, you may need to remove screws or pins, depending on the specific model of your Colt Python. Use an appropriate tool, such as a punch or pin, to carefully remove any necessary fasteners. Once removed, gently lift the sideplate away from the frame, being mindful of any delicate internal components.

Cleaning the Parts

Use proper cleaning solvents

When cleaning your Colt Python, it is important to use solvents specifically designed for firearms. These solvents are formulated to effectively remove carbon buildup, dirt, and residue without damaging the finish or internal components of the gun. Apply the solvent to a cleaning patch or cloth and thoroughly clean the barrel, cylinder, and other parts.

Clean the barrel and cylinder

Using a cleaning rod and appropriate bore brush, apply solvent to the brush and insert it into the barrel. Move the brush back and forth several times to loosen any fouling or residue. After brushing, run clean patches through the barrel until they come out clean. Repeat the same process for each cylinder chamber.

Remove residue from internal parts

To clean the internal parts of your Colt Python, use a toothbrush or nylon brush to scrub away any carbon or residue. Pay close attention to areas such as the frame, trigger mechanism, and any other components that may accumulate debris during use.

Utilize brushes and patches

Use brushes and patches to clean hard-to-reach areas and tight corners. Dip the brushes into the solvent and scrub away any grime or buildup. Use cotton swabs dipped in solvent to clean small crevices and intricate parts.

Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide

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Inspecting and Lubricating

Inspect for wear and damage

While cleaning your Colt Python, take the opportunity to inspect the firearm for any signs of wear or damage. Check for cracks, loose parts, or excessive wear on the barrel, frame, and internal components. If you notice anything of concern, consult a qualified gunsmith for further evaluation and repair.

Apply lubrication to moving parts

Once your Colt Python is clean and free of debris, apply a suitable firearm lubricant to the moving parts. Pay attention to areas such as the cylinder crane, hammer, trigger, and any other components that require lubrication for optimal performance.

Ensure smooth operation

After applying lubrication, manually cycle the action of your Colt Python to ensure that all moving parts are properly lubricated and functioning smoothly. Check the cylinder’s rotation, trigger pull, and hammer operation to confirm that the lubrication has been evenly distributed.


Put back the sideplate

Carefully align the sideplate with the frame and gently press it back into place. If necessary, reinstall any screws or pins that were removed during disassembly. Ensure that all fasteners are securely tightened but be cautious not to overtighten.

Reinstall the barrel and cylinder

To reinstall the barrel, align the barrel lug with the frame and gently press it back into place. Push the barrel release latch forward to lock it securely into position. Next, return the cylinder to its original location, making sure it fits snugly and correctly into the frame. Swing the cylinder back into place and push the cylinder release latch back, ensuring that it is fully engaged.

Check for proper alignment

After reassembling the major components of your Colt Python, perform a visual inspection to ensure that everything is correctly aligned and seated. Check the fit of the sideplate, barrel, and cylinder to guarantee that there are no gaps or signs of misalignment.

Reattach the grips

If you removed the grips during the disassembly process, carefully reattach them by aligning the screw holes with the corresponding holes on the frame. Gently tighten the grip screws until they are snug, being careful not to overtighten.

Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide

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Final Touches

Wipe down the firearm

With the Colt Python fully assembled, use a clean and dry cloth or cleaning patch to wipe down the entire firearm. This will help remove any remaining solvent, residue, or fingerprints.

Remove any excess lubricant

Inspect the firearm for any excess lubricant that may have accumulated during the cleaning process. Use a clean cloth or patch to remove any excess lubrication, ensuring that all surfaces are clean and dry to the touch.

Perform function tests

Before storing your Colt Python, perform function tests to ensure that it operates as intended. Check the trigger pull, cylinder rotation, and hammer operation to confirm that everything is functioning smoothly and safely.

Safety Considerations

Always practice proper firearm safety

Throughout the cleaning process, and any time you handle firearms, it is essential to prioritize safety. Always follow the basic rules of firearm safety, including treating every firearm as if it is loaded, pointing it in a safe direction, keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and being aware of your target and what is beyond it.

Keep ammunition away during cleaning

During the cleaning process, it is important to keep ammunition away from your cleaning area. Ensure that no live ammunition is present, and double-check that your Colt Python is unloaded before beginning disassembly.

Store firearms securely

When you have finished cleaning your Colt Python, ensure that it is stored securely. Utilize a gun safe, lockable case, or other secure storage method to prevent unauthorized access and ensure the safety of those around you.

Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide

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Identify common issues

During the field stripping and cleaning process, you may encounter common issues such as stubborn residue, broken parts, or unfamiliar mechanisms. Research and become familiar with your firearm’s manual and seek guidance from knowledgeable sources to troubleshoot any problems you encounter.

Solutions to malfunctions

If you encounter malfunctions or issues during the cleaning process that you are unable to resolve, it is recommended that you consult a qualified gunsmith for assistance. Attempting to repair or fix complex issues without proper knowledge or experience can potentially cause further damage to your Colt Python.


Regularly cleaning and maintaining your Colt Python is essential to preserve its functionality, appearance, and value. By following this step-by-step guide and adhering to proper safety precautions, you can ensure that your Colt Python remains in optimal condition, allowing you to appreciate its craftsmanship and enjoy its superior performance for years to come. Remember, cleaning your firearm is not only a necessary task but also an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and connection with your beloved Colt Python.

Cleaning the Colt Python: Step-by-Step Guide

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