Built on a new and heavier ‘AA’ frame, the Anaconda was designed to compete with .44 Magnum contemporaries such as the Smith & Wesson Model 29, the Sturm, Ruger & Co. Redhawk and Blackhawk, and the Dan Wesson Firearms Model 44. Unlike most other pistols introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, the Anaconda was never offered with a carbon steel blued finish, but was available only in stainless steel. When originally introduced Anacondas were plagued with poor accuracy, but changes to the barrels quickly corrected the problems to the point that Colt billed its new pistol as among the most accurate .44 Magnum revolvers in production. Anaconda revolvers were primarily marketed for sport enthusiast shooters and hunters, as they are too large and unwieldy for law enforcement, self-defense, or concealed-carry. Colt firearms announced the discontinuation of the Anaconda and many other double-action revolver models in October 1999, although made-to-order limited production versions of the gun continued to be available from the Colt custom gun shop until approximately 2003.
Originally chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge in 1993, the Anaconda began to be offered in .45 Colt as well. With its fine fit and finish and resembling an upsized King Cobra married to a ventilated-rib barrel reminiscent of the Python's, the Anaconda is regarded as a very beautiful firearm. Initially marketed with a satin brushed stainless finish, a highly-polished mirror-like option known as ‘ultra bright’ was also cataloged for a time. Anacondas came equipped with four, six, or eight inch barrels, neoprene synthetic rubber finger-grooved combat-style grips with nickel colored 'Rampant Colt' medallions, large target type hammers and triggers, as well as open iron sights with a red insert front and fully adjustable white outline rear. Some models were factory drilled and tapped for telescopic sight mounting, while others shipped with recoil reducing Mag-na-ported barrels. The trigger actions on these guns are rated as very high-quality, and the heavy-duty solid construction and weight tends to absorb recoil, making the Anaconda relatively easy to shoot with heavy loads.
Introduced in 1993, the Kodiak was similar to the Anaconda in that it was constructed entirely of stainless steel, but also offered the additional features of a recoil-reducing factory magna-ported barrel and unfluted cylinder.
There were 2000 Kodiaks made as a special run of Anacondas, breaking away from their long history of naming revolvers after snakes. A special run of 1000 King Cobras was also made about the same time, having the same Magna-Ported barrel and unflued cylinder and were called Grizzly.
The following results were achieved firing five shot groups with a red dot sight-mounted Anaconda at 25 yards.
|Black Hills 240 grain JHP||1 1/2 inches|
|Black Hills 300 grain JHP||1 3/8 inches|
|CCI Lawman 240 grain JHP||1 1/4 inches|
|Cor-Bon 260 grain JHP||1 3/4 inches|
|Federal 180 grain JHP||2 3/8 inches|
|Federal 220 grain FMJ||1 3/8 inches|
|Federal 240 grain JHP||1 1/4 inches|
|Federal 250 grain FMJ||1 1/2 inches|
| Hornady 240 grain XTP handload|
(25 grains WW 296 powder)
|1 1/8 inches|
| Sierra 240 grain JHP handload|
(25 grains WW 296)
|1 3/4 inches|