Colt was very late to the modern, double-action .44 Magnum game and then really only stuck around for a little while. Only after both Smith & Wesson and Ruger had become well established in that market did Colt even enter the game with its single offering—the Colt Anaconda revolver.
The shooter who wants a lot of power without too much barrel length doesn’t have a lot of choices among revolvers. Most of today’s bigger-bore revolvers are more commonly outfitted with barrels measuring 5 inches or longer. Instead, Gun Tests magazine wanted to find a gun with a good old fashioned “duty length” 4-inch barrel for easier carry, but that was chambered for rounds that will do everything from self-protection in the urban wilderness to self-protection in the traditional wilderness.
Built by Colt Mfg. from 1991 to 1999, the Colt Anaconda has earned a reputation as one of the most accurate .44 Magnum handguns on the market. Although the recoil can be startling to some shooters, the special grip design and heavy barrel and frame weight make it one of the most comfortable .44 Magnums to shoot. Big-bore shooters have come to expect the top performance and durability of this powerhouse. But, the light, smooth trigger pull of the Anaconda still takes them by surprise. The free-floating ejector rod and full length housing enhance balance and portability. Shooters like the wide spurred, deep grooved hammer. Offset bolt notches and clockwise cylinder turn add strength and durability, while the integral ventilated barrel rib dissipates heat for clear sighting and allows easy scope mounting. The Anaconda was produced in 4 barrel lengths: 4", 6", 8" and the hard to find 5". All models were made of stainless steel and came with a brushed finish although some First Edition and several custom order Anaconda's were produced with an ultra bright finish. The ultra bright guns also had a polished trigger and hammer.