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The Colt Cobra: A Capable Snub-Nosed Snake Gun

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The all-stainless steel Colt Cobra revolver is built for concealability. With its small frame, 2-inch barrel, an unloaded weight of 25-ounces, it makes for an ideal carry or backup gun.

A vintage Colt Cobra 2nd model located in the Vault.

Original Cobras were produced from 1950 to 1981. Some of these vintage gems can be found in the Vault. After a 36-year hiatus, and to much fanfare, Colt brought back the Cobra in 2017. They kept the same good looks but modernized the internals.

An astute study of the new Cobra’s internals reveals several Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, including the hammer and trigger. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Demand was so strong upon its release, the Cobra was often difficult to find. The success of the Cobra saw Colt bring two more of its iconic revolvers out of retirement. The King Cobra was re-released in 2019, and the Python in 2020. These two revolvers are chambered in .357 Magnum/.38 Special.

Shop King Cobra or Python

Although we expected no less than perfection, the Cobra fired all ammo with 100 percent reliability. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The double/single-action Cobra is the baby in Colt’s wheelgun lineup. It holds 6-rounds of .38 Special and is capable of firing the hotter +P ammunition as well. Many other guns in the same size category hold only five rounds. Hogue overmolded grips come standard and a red fiber optic front sight comes factory installed. Colt also offers a tritium front sight as an upgrade.

Trigger pull is rated from the factory between 7- and 9-pounds in double-action, and 3- to 4-pounds in single-action. writer Kristin Alberts took a Cobra for a test drive, discovering the Cobra’s trigger broke at 3.6-pounds in single, and a hair over 7-pounds in double-action. The extra-large trigger guard allowed ample room for gloved fingers and the hammer pull and mechanics were slick and sound.

Ergonomics on the Cobra are exceptional. The combination of the grip angle and rubber grip makes shooting controllable and comfortable. The revolver points easily and the fiber optic red front sight is quick to acquire.

The front fiber optic sight is held in place with the tiny Allen screw at the muzzle, which is easily removed or replaced with the use of the included wrench. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Muzzle jump and flip, commonly associated with small revolvers, is nonexistent on the Cobra. We fed a mix of ammo to the test Cobra with decent accuracy. Alberts achieved six-shot groups within a 2-inch circle at defense distances with no problem in single-action. The grouping opened up only slightly in double-action.

Six shots at 7 yards in double-action. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Colt spent many years carefully planning before re-entering the revolver market with the Cobra. With an MSRP of $699, the Colt Cobra is a capable, concealable, and smooth shooting snub-nosed snake gun.


Have a gun that’s collecting dust? Let us make you an offer! 

The Cobra holds 6-rounds, one more than many revolvers the same size. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The fixed rear sight and front red fiber optic. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The ejector rod is short, no doubt due to housing constraints of the snub barrel, but is more than adequate to push spent rounds far enough to dump the cylinder. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

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