The Python is a double-action revolver which fires six rounds. It is very powerful, but it has a long reload time and low rate of fire. It has near perfect accuracy, but rapidly firing shots will cause accuracy to significantly decrease because of the weapon's fair amount of recoil.
The Colt Python can kill anything weaker than a Bullsquid and Overwatch Soldier (in Easy mode) in one shot. While this may sound tempting, it is better to conserve Colt Python ammo for foes that require multiple shots to take down, such as the Alien Grunt, Alien Controller, Poison Zombie, and Overwatch Elite. All of the enemies that can be killed with one Colt Python shot can also be killed with double a HECU Shotgun blast or one Combine Shotgun blast (as provided all pellets hits the target), which has much more ammo scattered throughout the game than the Colt Python does.
In Half-Life multiplayer and Half-Life: Source, the secondary fire button triggers a zoom which may be used for long-range sniper shots.
Since it has no built-in scope in Half-Life 2, the HEV Suit zoom can be used to aim for long distance shots. The player should zoom into the target and have the desired target in the center of their crosshair, then the zoom must be quickly released and the player must fire. Alternatively, a player may hold down the primary fire button while the zoom is being released to instantly fire a round and diminish jolting. This allows the Colt Python to be used as a makeshift sniping weapon until obtaining the Crossbow.
Ammunition for this weapon is very rare in all of the games, so one should use this weapon only when its pinpoint accuracy and stopping power is required, such as against Alien Grunts, Overwatch Elites, and Hunters standing far away. Its ammunition value increases in Half Life 2 and its Episodes by only allowing 12 shots outside of the main clip, instead of 36 like in Half-Life.
Be sure reload this weapon when not in combat as the Colt Python has long reload time. If forced during combat, either switch to suitable firearm or retreat and take cover while reloading.
Using this gun in the deathmatch modes can result in many easy kills at any range as long as one aims for the head.
Assuming ammunition is plentiful for other weapons, the Colt is good to use against Poison Headcrabs, as it will kill them in one hit at any range.
This is the most effective firearm against Hunters. The source code states that this is because players perceive the weapon as the strongest in the game.
As heard in the Half-Life sound file get_44pistol.wav and as seen on the cut ammo box model, the Half-Life Python was originally to be a .44 Magnum revolver.
The Half-Life Deathmatch Python model features an attachment under the barrel that resembles a laser pointer but acts as a scope and emits a fake laser (as a small red dot in the center of the screen). While that scope is not present in Half-Life Deathmatch: Source or Half-Life: Source, its function remains. This attachment was originally to appear in Half-Life's singleplayer mode as well.
In the Half-Life 2 series, all six bullets of the Python's cylinder are reloaded together, but there is no speedloader (the bullets just float in mid-air as a circular group). The animation is instead more suited for the application of a moon clip. Overall this is merely a design oversight.
TheHalf-Life 2 worldmodel hasn't changed since the non-HD Half-Life version, aside from a slight quality upgrade.
"Colt Python Elite" can be seen on the Source viewmodel. However, the worldmodel has the words "Colt Anaconda" on the side.
During the Python's reload animation in Half-Life 2, the casings ejected by the gun will not appear on the ground. This has been fixed in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
In Half-Life retail version (v126.96.36.199) there is a sound played during the reload animation that was, for unknown reasons, absent in later versions. This can also occur if the HD pack is enabled.
The Colt Python was not included in the leaked 2003 version of Half-Life 2.
This is one of the few weapons that cannot be used by NPCs, the other being the Crossbow.
In Half-Life: Source, it is possible to increase the rate of fire and skip the recoil animation by quickly pressing the quick switch button after each shot.
In the original Half-Life, the non-HD Colt Python appears to have a bluish metallic tint to it.