The Colt Boa – The Forgotten Snake Gun

Colt’s Snake Guns are mostly defined by the Python. Amongst the brilliance of the Snake Guns, the Python has always been the standout revolver. Colt made a total of seven snake guns. The Colt snake revolvers are all prized by collectors, but some are a bit more rare than others. The Python tends to be the Marsha of Colt snake guns, but it’s far from the rarest. In fact, the rarest of the snake guns is a little gun known as the Boa. 

I’m not sure why Colt picked the various names for their snake guns. Anaconda makes sense because it’s the .44 Magnum variant. Other than that, it’s almost random. The name Boa makes a little sense, especially when you compare it to the Python. It’s easy to see why it’s named the Boa when compared to the Python. To adequately explain why the name makes sense, we have to dive deep into the elusive and rare Colt Boa. 

So What’s the Boa 

The Colt Boa is a six-shot, double-action, .357 Magnum revolver. Which is basically the same descriptor as the Python, but hold on. Colt always priced the Pythons high. It was their flagship revolver, their premium grade option. It was priced out of the hands of most people and certainly outside of the world of law enforcement. 

Colt made the Trooper models for law enforcement. Around the time of the Boa Colt had the Trooper MK V. The Trooper MK V chased those law enforcement contracts. Colt wanted to offer a lower-price snake gun that could be a defensive or duty gun. It couldn’t be too plain, so they decided to cross-breed the Trooper MK V with the Colt Python. 

Rock Island Auction

Colt used the Trooper MK V action and frame. This meant it was a mass-produced action that utilized a coil spring and machined parts. The Python used a hand-tuned and fitted action that more or less stuck to Colt’s 1890 design. It required extensive hand fitting and hand polishing. The Trooper was quicker and easier to put together and, therefore, cheaper. 

To give it the Snake Gun edge and to relate it to the Python, Colt gave it the full lug barrel and the famed vent ribbing. The Boa also got the famed, rich, blued finish that was used on the Python. 

Naming the Boa the Boa makes sense in relation to the Python. There isn’t a big difference between Pythons and Boas in nature. Pythons have an additional bone in their head and a few extra teeth. 

Why Is It So Rare? 

Colt originally designed the gun to be a catalog item but apparently changed their mind. Instead, they limited the run to a mere 1200 units. They were all sold through a single distributor. Colt produced 600 models of guns with 4-inch barrels and 600 models with 6-inch barrels. The guns were snatched up quickly as they were known to be collector’s items right off the jump. 

Rock Island Auction

Colt sold the guns with felt-lined wood boxes to really complete the rarity package. Serials start with BOA0001 and go to BOA1200. Out of curiosity, I looked up some online auctions. A Colt Boa went for an insane $41,125 dollars at the Rock Island Auction. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.