Cowboy Up! Modernized Colt Python ft. EMPIRE COTTONMOUTH

Authors Gun Reviews Mitchell Graf Revolvers
EMPIRE COTTONMOUTH topped with a Vortex Defender-CCW red dot

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Well, y’all, the space age is here, and EMPIRE is bringing a modern touch to the Colt Python. This exceptional piece of weaponry embodies a perfect blend of classic design and modern improvements, paying homage to the timeless allure of revolvers while integrating cutting-edge features. Meet the COTTONMOUTH, a revolver that not only attracts with its striking aesthetics, featuring a full-length top rail, a compact bottom rail, a sleek stonewashed finish, and carefully Cerakoted controls but also proves its worth in practicality.

With its recoil-reducing capabilities and versatile rails for optics and weapon light attachments, the COTTONMOUTH delivers both style and substance, improving accuracy and adaptability in low-light scenarios. The COTTONMOUTH is available in 3″, 4.25″, and 6″ versions. 


  • Colt Python base pistol
  • Stonewashed frame & deburred internals
  • Stonewashed Python Finish
  • Cerakote Elite Blackout Controls
  • Hand-polished & fitted action
  • 2 Tone Milspec Hard Anodized & Stonewashed KAGE billet Rail & Compensator System
  • Goon Tape wrapped grip
  • Range Bag

What is the COTTONMOUTH?

So what is the COTTONMOUTH? It is EMPIRE’s spin on what a modern revolver should be. They add their own custom parts to enhance performance, aesthetics, and corrosion resistance. While the COTTONMOUTH is only available as a completely decked out Colt Python, they offer individual components for upgrading your post-2020 manufactured Colt Pythons as well. One of these kits is their KAGE system which adds a full-length top rail, compact bottom rail, and compensator securely to your Colt Python manufactured in 2020 or later. However, while including the KAGE kit, the COTTONMOUTH goes above and beyond by hand polishing and fitting the action, Cerakoting the controls, and providing a stonewashed finish. 

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Out of the Box

When purchased from EMPIRE’s website, the COTTONMOUTH comes with a Savior Equipment range bag, the Colt Python with all factor included contents, and then the upgraded features integral to the revolver itself. 

EMPIRE COTTONMOUTH in the included Savior Equipment range bag

Muzzle Brake

Of all the great upgrades coming with the COTTONMOUTH, I have got to say I like the compensator the most. The contour fits seamlessly with the rail system, the raw aluminum looks great next to the stainless steel barrel, and obviously, it reduces the recoil of the revolver. It functions as it should, and it adds something not often seen on revolvers. 


Picatinny Rails

The most practical upgrade is the inclusion of a top Picatinny rail. This allows for mounting whatever optic your heart desires. To prove this point I made the video below: 

While some of the options in the video above may not be practical, that is beside the point. I do things because I can, and the COTTONMOUTH gives me plenty of options. It looks good and adds a lot of flexibility to the Colt Python. 

The COTTONMOUTH also comes with a bottom Picatinny rail. This allows for mounting lasers, weapon lights, or whatever else you may want. For the 6″ version which I have the bottom rail isn’t as useful as it would be on the shorter versions. It positions my weapon lights too far out to effectively reach the toggle switches. I have seen some people run pressure pads which is a valid solution, but that is more trouble hassle than I want to deal with.

Picatinny rail

Fit & Finish

EMPIRE also puts in the extra work to provide a stonewashed finish and deburred internals. They hand polish and fit the action. The overall fit and finish of the COTTONMOUTH is impressive, to say the least. 


In a bid to give both style and corrosion resistance, the COTTONMOUTH adorns key components, including the trigger, hammer, cylinder, cylinder release, and ejector rod, with a sleek black Cerakote finish. These carefully crafted accents contribute to the COTTONMOUTH’s distinctive appearance, setting it apart as a revolver unlike any other in the market.



While at its heart the COTTONMOUTH is still a Colt Python, this upgraded revolver is much more effective. I used a variety of Hornady 357 Magnum ammunition that varied from 125gr to 140gr without issue. The compensator reduces recoil to help tame the most powerful of .357 magnum cartridges. The Picatinny rail allowed me to use a variety of optics, but for the most part, I used a Vortex Defender-CCW red dot. This is a fairly minimalist configuration that helped me reach out to nearly 100 yards. Throughout my testing, everything worked flawlessly and no components worked themselves loose. 

EMPIRE COTTONMOUTH with Hornady ammunition


For those looking for a revolver that not only stands out in appearance but in performance as well, look no further, for the COTTONMOUTH is here. While adding custom parts to improve the performance of the Colt Python, EMPIRE crafted a stand-out piece that is sure to make all your friends jealous. The COTTONMOUTH has an MSRP of $1999.99 which adds just $500 to the sticker price of the Colt Python. While this includes hand-polishing, a stonewashed finish, and Cerakote, the compensator and Picatinny rails are sold as the KAGE kit for $249 which could be purchased all on their own. For those looking for a Colt Python, I think the COTTONMOUTH is a well-justified upgrade that adds a lot of versatility to the system. 

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  • Charles Wayne October 20, 2023, 5:05 pm

    Just because you can does’t mean you should.
    Looks like it’s out of Mad Max

  • Kathy Fields October 20, 2023, 11:31 am

    Not impressed. Just looks like something a Mexican cartel member would conjure up, sort of like those dingleberry balls they put in car interiors! Won’t be spending my money on one. You can get pretty much the same arrangement in a better caliber made by Taurus for half the money and not trash a beautiful classic.

  • Godfrey Daniel October 20, 2023, 11:12 am

    Kinda along the same lines of the abortion of the POF Tombstone lever gun.

  • Ger October 20, 2023, 10:15 am

    Ruined a perfectly good revolver. No thanks.
    We waited a long time for Colt to bring it back AS IS.
    Sorry guys, that stuff belongs on somebody’s 1911.

  • Dano October 18, 2023, 2:12 pm

    It will fail and be discontinued.
    In 30 years crazy Colt collectors will pay insane money for it.

    • Hondo October 19, 2023, 8:11 am

      You sound bitter.

  • John R. Johnson, D.V.M. October 17, 2023, 3:57 pm

    I have come in to possession of a Colt Anaconda 6 inch. Not sure if I am going to keep it, but if I can get it modified by Empire I might. I have not been able to find Empire’s website or contact information. Any advice?

  • Rick October 17, 2023, 3:14 pm

    Not my bag. A revolver needs a rear sight.

  • Bill K October 17, 2023, 2:16 pm

    Gerald gives my opinion to the letter. Let’s take a nice gun and jazz it up with ‘necessities’ for new U.S Space Force.

  • Mike in a Truck October 17, 2023, 2:10 pm

    Wow! I want one. Dont need the silly bottom rail- looks removable. I can just see me and my new Cottonmouth crawling within woodchuck range next June. Y’all just jealous as I dangle a freshly dressed whistle pig under your nose. Into the catcetori it goes.

  • Norman Farmer October 17, 2023, 9:22 am

    Buy a Korth NXS or a Performance center Smith if you want a purpose built revolver with a rail and they will function well. Why ruin an iconic handgun. That think is butt ugly! I would take it for free and still try to sell to someone with really poor taste.

  • Robert October 17, 2023, 6:15 am

    Why??? Should have called it the freakazoid. Two thumbs down 👎 👎

  • Gerald October 16, 2023, 10:36 pm

    Yuck. Sorry, guys, but this is a lot of unnecessary “stuff” on a perfectly good revolver.
    What it looks like is someone is trying to make a revolver look like a semi-auto by adding parts usually seen on one of those.
    If I wanted a gun with an RDS and the ability to add a gunlight, I sure wouldn’t pay $1500 for a Python plus the cost of the “extras” shown here to get it.
    I dunno, it might sell to some new guy who’s trying to shed his soyboy reputation and wants to look like Rambo. But for real gun people, this misses the mark. Boy does it miss the mark!

  • Hondo October 16, 2023, 8:58 pm

    Dang, tough crowd, I shoot the hell out of that, to be fair I like gaudy guns. YMMV

  • AlM October 16, 2023, 7:24 pm

    So, what is the trigger like? Is the SA pull creepy and heavy, like the factory trigger often is?

  • Randy W October 16, 2023, 2:11 pm

    Definitely the ugliest thing on the planet. One has to ask why?

  • Dur Poiguy October 16, 2023, 12:49 pm

    Not impressed. There are other platforms in better calibers to dress up with all that junk. This is just taking a beautiful classic gun and afro-ing it up. Looks like hooptie from some ghetto in Mexico.

  • Iron-Claw October 16, 2023, 11:48 am

    Lipstick on a pig. Try it on a Smith 629.

  • Grumpy Old Biker October 16, 2023, 11:12 am

    What a waste of a good Python. “The Space Age is here”? More like: the stupid age is here. If you doubt that, just read the news. Follow politics. Listen to a libtard.

  • August Bender October 16, 2023, 10:41 am

    EMPIRE needs to rethink and rework this concept. The Python is a great looking revolver. Adding a compensator and a mount for an optical sight certainly enhance the functionality. Mr. Graf writes about the compensator, “The contour fits seamlessly with the rail system, the raw aluminum looks great next to the stainless steel barrel…” I disagree, the contour is bulky, clumsy, ugly and unfinished aluminum is never a good idea – it will corrode with time and use and will become dirty and pitted. In this application a black hardcoat anodized finish would be a much better choice.
    The full length picatinny rail is just overkill, way too long and too bulky. All that’s needed is a small, low-profile mounting plate on the top of the frame for a mini red-dot sight. The tape wrapped around the grip is ugly and unnecessary.
    The author writes, “In a bid to give both style and corrosion resistance, the COTTONMOUTH adorns key components, including the trigger, hammer, cylinder, cylinder release, and ejector rod, with a sleek black Cerakote finish.” The revolver is stainless steel, it’s already very corrosion resistant and doesn’t need a Cerakote finish.
    Maybe EMPIRE needs a lesson in materials science: they’re adding a corrosion resistant finish to parts that are already corrosion resistant and putting no finish on an aluminum component that is very susceptible to corrosion.

    • Heavyguns31 October 16, 2023, 5:22 pm

      Smith Wesson has had a revolver out for years from their performance shop. It is optic ready, will accept a light or laser under barrel just like this one. Only thing is it holds EIGHT rds of 357 not 6 like this one and more importantly it doesn’t look this stupid. This looks like spare parts slapped together from a mad max movie. 👎

    • Kane October 18, 2023, 4:21 pm

      The muzzle brake looks like something that fell off a 1979 Datsun 210 hatchback, WTF.

  • Todd October 16, 2023, 9:41 am

    I get where they’re going but damn!

    Instead of looking like it was drug through an accessory parts bin…. how about a cohesive and deliberate look?

  • Dave October 16, 2023, 8:49 am

    Cotton mouth. How to take a classic and destroy it! Just buy a Glock and leave the Colts alone. A lover of the pure snake guns.

  • DOUG FELTON October 16, 2023, 7:31 am

    Heresy! Doing this to the most beautiful handgun ever? With all the revolvers out there to make into a “comp. gun” and you do this. Think ’67 ‘Vette split rear window with 20″ slicks, racing stripes, jacked up rear end and a Superbird style airfoil????????

    • Tex October 16, 2023, 8:28 am

      ’63 was the only Vette coupe with the split window. But I get your point.

  • Mike K October 16, 2023, 7:30 am

    So how did it group at 25, 50 and 100 yards. Only accurate guns are interesting.

  • Kane October 14, 2023, 12:36 pm

    “the raw aluminum looks great next to the stainless steel barrel”

    I would disagree, I would want the muzzle brake also in stainless steel.

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