During the course of the first three books, Will Diaz carries the Colt 1911. He knows this weapon is one that most departments wouldn’t carry. It’s not that it isn’t a good weapon. It just takes a little extra training to use it. But since there’s no regulation against it, Will carries it. He states he carried it in two combat zones, it served him fine, and he’ll continue to carry it.
But he knows he has some problems. One, no one else is carrying the weapon. Most of the deputies and officers carry 38s, .357s, or 9mms. That means most could share ammo if they had to. Since his caliber is different, he can’t use what they have, and they can’t use his ammo.
At the end of The Judas Tree he ends up changing weapons. George, a local rancher who helps fund Will’s SRT team and Counter Drug Operations presents him with a nickel plated Colt Python. We establish early in the series that George’s brother was a deputy sheriff in New Mexico. The Python belonged to his brother, and since George has no son who’d want it, he asks Will to make it his duty weapon. Will accepts it and, until I stop writing Will Diaz stories, it will be one of his standard sidearms. Considering the way he dresses (black or blue jeans, cowboy boots, white shirt with a black vest), he now looks more like a gunfighter from the old west now than ever.
The Colt Python is called one of the great “Combat Magnums.” It’s also called the Cadillac of Revolvers. The Python first came out in 1955 and sold for a whopping $125.00. One of the most distinctive things about the Python is the ventilated rib that runs along the top of the barrel. The sights are adjustable, and the overall construction is beyond good. An example is that most revolver cylinders have a hint of looseness, even at half cock. Not so with the Python. The Python is nice and tight, even with older models, and this improves weapon accuracy and bullet velocity.
The Python with a 6 inch barrel was loved by law enforcement. Smaller version were carried by detectives and plain clothes officers. The Colorado State Patrol issued 4 inch Pythons until their switch to semi-autos. As a rookie officer I had a chance to buy one. I kick myself occasionally because I didn’t.
The weapon was also very collectible among celebrities and royalty. Elvis owned several, as did King Khalid of Saudi Arabia.
Colt stopped making the pistol in the early ’90s. Today, you can’t touch one for under two thousand dollars. So if I ever have a few grand that isn’t doing anything too exciting, I just might treat myself.