|✅ Very realistic
|❌ Somewhat expensive
|✅ Large capacity for an airsoft revolver
|❌ Fixed hop up
|✅ Extremely well put together
|✅ Very gas efficient
|✅ Solid all around performance
|✅ Excellent sights
The Colt Python, also sometimes known as the Combat Magnum, is a highly popular gun that for years was the go-to revolver of choice for law enforcement agents and shooting enthusiasts alike.
So much so, in fact, that even today the Python continues to make appearances in popular media, usually in the hands of sheriffs, detectives and other security-minded types, notably popping up in the Walking Dead series, John Wick, Zombieland: Double Tap and so on.
The Tanaka Colt Python is one of the more popular and desirable airsoft Colt Python replicas out there today, having developed a winning reputation over the years for its realistic design, attractive looks and made-in-Japan reliable performance.
To find out if the Tanaka Colt Python really lives up to its reputation, and to help you figure out if it’s worth your time and money, we decided to take a closer look for ourselves.
|2.5 to 6 inches (63.5 – 152 mm)
|~8-11.5 inches (~210 – 292mm)
|~2 lbs (0.88 kg)
|Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic
It is worth noting that, much like the real steel Colt Python, the Tanaka Colt Python comes in a number of different variants, from snub-nosed to longer 6” models and from fanciful nickel plated models to more subdued matte blacks.
In general, there isn’t a huge difference between these variants (being largely the same platform with somewhat minor external differences) and for the purposes of this review, we looked at a rather standard 6” nickel model.
How does the Tanaka compare to a real steel Colt Python?
|Tanaka Colt Python 6”
|Colt Python R 6” revolver
|2.1 lbs (0.95 kg)
|2.8 lbs (1.3 kg)
|11.5 inches (292 mm)
|11.5 inches (292 mm)
|Aluminum alloy frame, some polymer materials and furniture
While Tanaka Colt Python airsoft revolvers can come in a variety of different barrel lengths and styles, from 2.5 inch matte black versions to full size 6 inch nickel plated models, by and large we feel they are a faithful airsoft reproduction of the modern Colt Python R series of revolvers.
In general, the Tanaka adheres pretty closely to its real steel inspiration, matching the various popular models of Python in terms of length, weight and design.
Similarly, the Tanaka replicates the Python R’s simplified lockwork, hammer mechanism, Novak-style adjustable rear sight, tritium front sight, vent rib barrel, shrouded ejector rod, serrated trigger face and more.
There are some notable differences to note, however, such as the Tanaka’s use of lighter weight aluminum alloy and plastic (in compliance with Japanese laws regarding airsoft), its imitation grips and, of course, its greater round capacity – 12+ rather than the usual 6.
Interestingly, and importantly for collectors and enthusiasts, the Tanaka does come with authentic Colt trades and markings, including the iconic “357 Python” engraved along the barrel.
The gun also sports the Colt logo embedded into (most of) the model’s grips and just behind the cylinder, which is pretty cool.
Tanaka Colt Python: How does it perform as an airsoft revolver?
Build Quality and Construction
On the whole, we feel the Tanaka Colt Python is a pretty well made airsoft revolver.
The gun is, adhering to Japan’s regulations concerning airsoft manufacturing, a mix of metal and ABS plastic.
While earlier models had an ABS alloy plastic body, newer models (particularly replicas of the Python R) are made with a sturdier milled aluminum alloy frame, an alloy cylinder, a bronze inner barrel, an alloy and ABS outer barrel and imitation plastic wood grips.
As a result, although it’s not a full metal build, the gun is durable enough for consistent airsoft use and has a nice heft to it that makes it feel a lot more realistic and less like a toy.
Where the gun really shines, however, is in its build quality.
The Tanaka Colt Python is put together very well, with all its components, such as its adjustable sights, trigger mechanism, grips and barrel shrouding, are tightly fitted together and properly installed, showing no signs of looseness that we could notice out of the box.
Perhaps more importantly for an airsoft revolver, some might say critically, the Tanaka’s cylinder rotates smoothly and locks properly into place without any undue wobbling or annoying rattling.
In addition, the variant we picked for this review, the 6 inch nickel model, had an authentic-looking nickel finish to it that, while perhaps not the most tactical choice, is nicely polished and simply looks great indoors or out.
Patterned after a classic revolver design there are, of course, no accessory rails on the Tanaka Colt Python, so you won’t be able to strap a laser or flashlight to this gun, nor is the outer barrel threaded, so any dreams of adding a suppressor to this old-school revolver will have to remain unfulfilled.
The gun’s cylinder is, however, quite interesting.
A full metal affair, the cylinder has six empty chambers, the back of which contain very realistic .357-style faux caps.
The sixth chamber (which is labeled “GAS” and is where users fill the gun) in the gun is actually a deeper well that can be filled with 14 BBS using an included speedloader and, with each trigger pull, uses a spring to load a BB into one of the other chambers.
Thus, in contrast to most better airsoft revolvers, the Tanaka doesn’t make use of revolver shells, but instead is direct-loaded like an airsoft lever-action or bolt-action rifle, using Tanaka’s PEGASAS system to operate.
While we are usually big fans of airsoft shells, finding that loading and using them gives airsoft revolvers a certain unique quality and cache, we must admit that we quickly warmed to the gun’s system.
Throughout our tests, the loading system worked smoothly and flawlessly, loading BBs into its empty chambers without any double feeding or jams, and allowed the gun to fire up to 14 rounds before reloading.
This last part makes the Tanaka Colt Python a far more capable airsoft revolver than its six-shooter alternatives on the field and, especially with its double-action trigger, actually makes it more similar in terms of on-field usability to a single-stack semi automatic, which is kind of cool. .
In terms of its sights, the Tanaka Colt Python we looked at is based on the more modern Colt Python R and so has fully adjustable rear 1911-style sights, which are quite cool, and a faux-tritium front post.
Compared to more old-school style revolvers, such as the Elite Force Smoke Wagon, these sights are a lot easier to use in order to draw a bead, especially in low light conditions where the brighter front sight stands out well on low-contrast targets.
Finally, it is worth noting that the Tanaka Colt Python comes with a fixed hop up unit.
While perhaps not as convenient and useful as the adjustable hop ups found on more performance-oriented airsoft revolvers like the H8R Gen 2 or later model Dan Wessons, it is functional at short to mid-range (as we discuss below) and a definite improvement over the many other hop up-less airsoft revolvers that are still out there.
While perhaps not what you might reach for as your day to day secondary, the Tanaka Colt Python is actually surprisingly decent when it comes to its performance as an airsoft gun.
When we chrono’ed the gun, using green gas and 0.20g BBs at room temperature, we found that the gun hit at around 290 FPS or so.
While not the most powerful airsoft pistol out there by far, it is very manageable and should do just fine being taken to just about any airsoft field regardless of any FPS restrictions they might have.
As mentioned previously, the gun does come with a hop up and it is fixed, which limits the gun’s effective range to under 100 or so feet (30 m).
That said, the gun’s hop up is quite good and is certainly capable of handling mid- and even heavier weight BBs (up to about 0.40g if you want to get crazy with it) without much of an issue and without too much loss in power and range.
Notably, we found the Tanaka Colt Python to be quite good on gas despite the relatively small size of its reservoir.
One fill of green gas was, in our experience, good for about 40 or so shots, or the equivalent of 3-4 mags per fill, which is pretty decent for a revolver and, alongside its 14 round capacity, makes the gun surprisingly competitive on the field all things considered.
Handling and Feel
Large and somewhat bulkier than a semi, a revolver isn’t usually anyone’s idea of a tactical weapon, but on the whole the Tanaka is fairly comfortable and easy to handle.
The gun has a lot of metal and, at over 2 lbs, has some heft to it, with most of that being located in the grip (even on the 6 inch model tested) thanks to some internal weights.
As a result, the gun feels very solid and realistic in-hand and is actually pretty easy to hold and shift around from target to target, which is always helpful.
The gun we looked at came with plastic grips that, while sadly only imitation wood, are pretty comfortable, with grippy diamond texturing and a nice curved form that should be easy for most hand sizes to hold and use.
One thing to note, of course, is that the Tanaka Colt Python, like most airsoft revolvers out there, doesn’t come with an external safety and is mostly right-hand oriented, at least when it comes to its cylinder and reloading.
The Tanaka Colt Python, like other airsoft revolvers, is fairly easy to maintain.
Most of the key parts of cleaning and lubrication are immediately accessible, and it’s not too hard to see (or feel) any damaged parts.
That said, the gun isn’t really one that lends itself to easy upgrades and modification.
Beyond the standard brass barrel, there aren’t a lot of 3rd party upgrades for most of the gun’s parts and it does use Tanaka’s proprietary gas system to operate.
Note: All prices correct as of writing, all prices in USD.
The Tanaka Colt Python isn’t exactly the cheapest airsoft revolver out there.
Typically sold for just under $300, it is considerably more expensive than most of its competitors, such as the Elite Force H8R, the Dan Wesson series, the KA Magnum and the Smoke Wagon.
That said, the Tanaka does offer a lot for the money.
It is extremely well made, performs well on the field, is well put-together, holds quite a few BBs, is gas efficient, is comfortable and generally looks, acts and feels very authentic.
Consequently, despite its rather steep price, it’s not hard to see why it is one of the more highly desirable revolvers in the airsoft community.
Advantages of the Tanaka Colt Python
With its realistic revolver action, true to life design, trade and roll marks and mostly metal build, the Tanaka Colt Python is a very close replica of a real steel .357 Python.
Solidly built and durable
Largely made of milled metal and with made-in-Japan quality, the Tanaka Colt Python is also durable and built for the long haul.
High quality sights
Unlike many other airsoft revolvers on the market, the Tanaka Colt Python has fully adjustable rear sights and a cool looking tritium-style front sight that can make aiming, especially in low light/low-contrast conditions, a lot easier.
Holds quite a few BBs
Unlike most other airsoft six-shooters, the Tanaka Colt Python holds around 14 BBs, which means you won’t have to stop for reloads quite as frequently.
The gun is also very gas efficient, offering about 40 or so shots per fill and letting you keep blasting for longer.
Decent all around performance
Hitting at almost 300 FPS on green gas and hitting targets to about 100 feet or so, the Tanaka Colt Python offers solid all around performance that makes it usable for most games and fields.
Not the cheapest
Often sold for nearly $300, the Tanaka Colt Python isn’t exactly a cheap buy and your wallet will feel this purchase.
Fixed hop up
While it is pretty solid and while it has been set to hit targets out to medium ranges, at the end of the day the Tanaka Colt Python’s fixed hop up isn’t quite as flexible as an adjustable model.
Well made, solidly built and beautiful to use and look at, the Tanaka Colt Python is an excellent and surprisingly capable replica of its famous Python R inspiration that can be a great addition to any airsoft revolver fan’s collection.
Ted Clark– Hailing from Florida, Ted has been an avid airsoft enthusiast since he was in middle school. When he’s not checking out and reviewing airsoft guns, he enjoys picking off his enemies one by one on the field as a sniper.