SHOT Show 2017 Best of the Day: Monday Range day – Colt’s New Cobra By: Dr. Martin D. Topper

The Colt Cobra follows in the line of great snake Colts like the Python and Diamondback. Its six shots, weight and trigger pull make it the equal of the best CCW autos.

Some said Colt would never build another double-action revolver.  After all, the Colt double action system many of us have learned to love was just too expensive to build with its complex timing and need for hand-fitting.  But this year attendees at the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range left convinced that Colt had not lost the old magic.

The new Cobra holds six rounds of .38 Spl. +P.

The new Colt Cobra snubnose is the reason.  This fitting descendent to the old Detective Special/Cobra/Agent line of snubnose revolvers is really turning heads.  This new six-shooter is built on Colt’s well-balanced “D” frame and holds a full six shots of .38 Special ammo as opposed to most of the other snubbies which hold only five. It’s all stainless steel and rated for the modern +P loads that most of us carry when we pack a small wheelgun.  It also comes with polymer Hogue Monogrips that are hand-filling and a lot more comfortable than the miniscule boot grips that make even large statured people complain about the recoil of even standard pressure .38s.

Even though it has the fit and feel of the old Colt snubbies, don’t let that fool you.  This is an entirely new gun.  Yes it has the “v”-shaped leaf spring trigger system, but the hours of hand-fitting required to build the original Colt DA system is no longer required.  In addition, it is made of what Colt engineers call “aircraft quality” stainless steel which is a lot stronger than earlier 416 Stainless. It’s a gun that’s built to last and also built so that it doesn’t take a master gunsmith to repair, in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong.

The new fiber optic front site is a useful update from what is a classical and hugely proven snub nose .38 pistol that has been carried by cops, and CCW holders for untold billions of hours.

Shooting the new Cobra turned out to be a real pleasure.  Its fiber-optic front sight (optional night sight available) showed up clearly against a steel silhouette at 15 yds. It’s double action straight-back trigger stroke was short, smooth and relatively light at about 9 pounds. I fired six rounds in as many seconds at the center of mass from an isosceles stance.  The silhouette rang loudly each time.  It was then that the Colt representative held up the palm of his hand and told me that all six shots could fit within it.  Remarkable for a gun I’d never fired before!

This new Colt revolver is bound to interest folks looking for a light and concealable six-shooter.  My only question is what will come next?  Colt engineers tell me that the design is scalable and that they have the ability to produce the gun in stainless or carbon steel.  Perhaps we may someday see a Python II, but what I can say is that at a retail price of $699 it’s likely to be very popular.

Image 6848: Colt’s new Cobra has the classic look and feel of the DA Colt snubbies of days gone by with a few upgrades such as the fiber optic front sight and Hogue grips.   However, its smooth DA action is as good as ever.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Topper was able to accurately place all six shots using full-length double action trigger pulls from the snub nose Colt quickly in a tight group. Why is this important? A lot of striker-fired autos like the new Taurus Spectrum (that we will review as well) have a VERY similar trigger so the real takeaway is that for most CCW holders their list of possible options of effective pistols has just expanded from small auto to now small revolvers! I went by Alessi Holsters and found that their EXCELLENT leather holsters are a GREAT match for snub nose revolvers such as the Colt Agent. While Kydex is useful and functional have this in a high-quality leather holster like an Alessi holster turns CCW carry into a very COOL CCW carry!   

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