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Old 01-03-2017, 12:17 PM   #1
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Want a Colt Cobra?

Colt is making them again...a little different, but they don't look too bad.

"Course I haven't seen the price...



Sorry...MSRP is under $700

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...e-action-colt/

Last edited by IrishCop; 01-03-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:46 PM   #2
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I'm a sucker for any revolver with a short barrel...
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:38 PM   #3
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List MSRP is $699.

Cobra | Colt
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:29 PM   #4
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Is it really made by Colt or an import?

http://www.colt.com/Portals/0/Specs/...OBRA-SM2FO.pdf
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:13 PM   #5
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Sat'Major, the article in American Riflemen certainly indicates that it is a Colt designed and produced product, but I guess I wouldn't bet a paycheck on it. It doesn't mention the revolver being made to Colt specs by a contracting company.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:52 AM   #6
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I ask because for years it seems like Colt has priced their guns from 1911s to SAAs as collectors, not shooters.

I screwed up and sold my 1929 Detective Special. Oh, I love my j-frame Smiths and that one extra round Colt furnishes isn't that important to me. Just reminiscing.


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Old 01-04-2017, 07:10 AM   #7
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I really like the Detective Specials.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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Is this the old Mk. III action or was it Mk. IV?

The end time Colt revolvers were supposed to be designed for low cost manufacture.

I wonder if it will be as hard to find as the Kimber revolver?

Geoff
Who notes his Kimber dealer has yet to see one!
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:13 PM   #9
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The article in American Rifleman (there's a link to it kinda below my OP) say they started with the DS-2/SF-VI action and re-engineered it a bit.

As far as availability, I'll bet they do better than Kimber, but still not willing to put up a paycheck.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:44 PM   #10
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According to Brent Truchi, Colt's Custom Shop and Customer Service manager, the new Cobra is a Colt Hartford produced gun.

If this takes off, expect a .357 Magnum version, 3 and 4 inch barrel versions, "hammerless" versions, and who knows, possibly an adjustable sighted Colt "Diamondback II" version.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:05 AM   #11
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i have to get one of these before they get really expensive.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:28 PM   #12
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So how does an all steel SF-VI action get the name Cobra? Personally I think making it all steel has already sealed its fate. The first batch will be bought up quickly by the Colt collectors, in anticipation of this being a very short run before failure... you know, like the last all steel D frame revolver they made. The last one which was the Magnum Carry, and it was even a 357 magnum, which I would think would make it more attractive for an all steel gun...yet that revolver only lasted one production run. Catalogued for just one year.

Today's market is looking for a lightweight pocket revolver, not a heavy .38 Special. I hope they have plans on bringing this out in a 17 ounce lightweight version. If so it wasn't smart to lead with the less desirable version.

The SF-VI lockwork isn't nearly as good as the old school D frame lockwork, but it's not exactly bad either. If they MIM the internals, it could come out very smooth.

But not leading with the lightweight, that I'm afraid is a critical error in today's market. Colt has to stop relying on the people that bought colts back in the day when they were one of the finest makers in the world. Nostalgia buyers are a rapidly declining market. They need products that appeal to the much younger age groups.

The original Cobra was a successful revolver in its day because it was a superior product. The actions were smoother the lock up was tighter and the six shot D frame was only 1/2 ounce heavier than a five shot lightweight J frame...they had a better gun than S&W. Unfortunately that better gun was under the leadership of a company that has suffered very poor leadership for over 150 years.

Personally I think the current leadership at Colts is doing a pretty good job and they seem to be on the right track with most things but in my opinion they missed the mark with this one. I would be absolutely delighted to be completely wrong though.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:04 AM   #13
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Kevin, can you think of a production reason as to why they went with a steel frame versus an aluminum frame? Are there issues in the process that make it more difficult to go that route?

I did wonder why they didn't just come out with a .357, since Ruger has had a pretty good run with the SP-101. Seems to be a market for that.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishCop View Post
Kevin, can you think of a production reason as to why they went with a steel frame versus an aluminum frame? Are there issues in the process that make it more difficult to go that route?

I did wonder why they didn't just come out with a .357, since Ruger has had a pretty good run with the SP-101. Seems to be a market for that.
Production reason? I'm not sure. Strength wise, there are issues. Like the K frame was with .357 magnums, the DS or D frame is just a bit light for a full .38 Special load and really marginal for .38 Special +P.

The D frame is prone to cracking under the barrel threads where the cylinder yoke sits; both in steel and aluminum. But even in aluminum, it does take a few thousand rounds to accomplish this.

But the production of the gun is key to its success. Now Colt has always done a great job in making quality firearms, but they don't have the best record for doing so in an economical manner. I really don't know why they went with steel first. I assume the frames are first forged, then machine finished. I would imaging they still have original D frame forging dies to work with. Or they could be investment casting the frames & machine finishing. If they're investment casting the frames rather than forging, then that could explain why they're doing steel instead of aluminum. For casting, steel works out very well, but aluminum just isn't nearly as good for investment casting. So I guess perhaps that could be the reason, but that's just a wild guess.

But it seems to me the smart way to make them would be CNC'ing a forging. To me that makes sense because it works very well with carbon, stainless, or aluminum. And when done right, CNC machining a forging can still be done very cost effectively. S&W still makes it work just fine for them.

The biggest strength that Colt has is their workforce. Most gun people are extremely conservative and immediately dismiss any form of union labor. But at Colt, their union workers are VERY good at what they do and have consistently been the best asset Colt has. Most gun companies don't have a tremendous amount of experience on their production floors, and Colt's workforce have an average time on the job of nearly 15 years; where many other companies have an average employment time of half that or slightly under. So quality has never been their problem. Marketing, and basic business management; those have always been the issues for Colt.

Back to the gun...With today's metals, I can't see any reason why they couldn't make an aluminum frame version. Aluminum would be cheaper to make because it's way easier on milling equipment. And with modern 7 series aluminum they could make a LW Cobra that's stronger than ever.

Still, this is all just speculation on my part; I really don't know why they did steel, and I'm really bummed that they decided to go that route because I just don't think that's what the market is looking for.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:57 PM   #15
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I'm a big fan of the Cobra, I think it's the best concealable small frame revolver ever made.

Several years ago I found one in rough cosmetic shape, but perfect mechanical condition; I was looking for a working gun, not a collector. This is a first series Cobra with the longer grip, and I've added a Tyler T-Grip. I have tuned the action to be smoother than an out of the box Python. Great revolver.



Colt can be a small maker of high quality collectible guns, or they can try to appeal to the general buying public. They could make a 6 shot hammerless lightweight and really create some buzz in the industry.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:18 PM   #16
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Thanks, Kevin. They did it the past, but if there was some manufacturing or engineering reason for them to go this route. I owned a Cobra or two in the past and have a couple of Smith 442's, but being strictly a shooter and not versed in engineering or manufacturing, I was curious.

I know the lightweights with +P's aren't what I would choose for an afternoon of plinking, and I am not too recoil sensitive. I also prefer holster to pocket carry with either a 442 or my SP101. But that's me.

I really wish Colt well with this, simply because I'm an old wheelgun guy. They hold a special place in well used heart.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:05 PM   #17
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The last steel frame revolvers Colt made were not "D" frames.
The last of the "D" frames was the Detective Special of 1995 made from left over parts.
The last Colt revolvers were the "SF" framed SF-VI, DS-II, and Magnum Carry.

The Magnum Carry, along with all other Colt DA revolvers was discontinued in 2000 when Colt was in trouble and had to stop production of DA revolvers.
So, it wasn't just the Magnum Carry that was discontinued.
In fact, the Magnum Carry was an excellent seller for Colt but it had to go with all the other revolvers to allow Colt to stay in business.

Like many S&W "J" frames and the Ruger SP-101, the fact that the new Colt is steel won't hinder sales.
Many people prefer steel guns, and since the gun isn't aluminum, that sets Colt up perfectly for a .357 Magnum version.

I suspect that Colt has to ease back into the revolver market carefully, and that's why they went with steel. Steel can handle +P with no problems, and some people who don't like the recoil and blast of the Magnum rounds want to shoot +P ammo.
Colt stopped doing any refinish work on the aluminum "D" frame models years ago, because the aluminum frames tended to crack through the barrel threads if an attempt was made to remove the barrel.
This was apparently due to galling of the threads.
Making it from steel eliminates any chance of problems until they're certain there are no hidden issues.
Then possibly they'll go with an aluminum version.

As for the name "Cobra" Colt has a tendency to recycle very similar model names.
As example the Officer's Model target revolvers and the Officer's Model ACP auto.
The WWII parkerized version of the Official Police called the Commando, and the 1980's strike version of the Detective Special, the Commando Special.
I imagine that Colt simply wanted to continue with the widely known snake series name, Cobra for the good name recognition.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishCop View Post
I really wish Colt well with this, simply because I'm an old wheelgun guy. They hold a special place in well used heart.
My youngest son was here for Christmas and I showed him my photos of my handgun inventory. He laughed and called me old school because of my leaning toward wheel guns. I explained that if they miss fire you just pull the trigger again.

And my daily carry is a little Colt auto.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:08 AM   #19
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As for the name "Cobra" Colt has a tendency to recycle very similar model names.
...
I imagine that Colt simply wanted to continue with the widely known snake series name, Cobra for the good name recognition.
They just wanted to appeal to us old characters who remember that evil sexist Shell Scott with nostalgia.

Geoff
Who notes he has a S&W Model 38, because Matt Helm carried one.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:49 AM   #20
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I'm gonna hafta disagree with my old friend Kevin about this one. I like the all-steel construction, and the 25 oz weight puts it right in a sweet spot for me--not TOO heavy to carry, not TOO light to shoot. I like that it's stainless, US-made, and +P rated. Seven pigs MSRP isn't horrible for 2017.

I DON'T like the 2" barrel, the new trigger guard shape, or the Hogue grips, which don't seem to fit me on anything. (They're not horrible, but there are things I like the looks and feel of better, and I don't like their goofy attachment system). Still, give me a 3" barrel (do you suppose an old original second-gen DS 3" barrel will screw right on?) and I'm saving up my nickels.

On the other hand, there's THIS, a Philippine-made D-frame clone, at MSRP $275. Do you think I could get the barrel shortened, a new front sight attached, an action job, and hard chroming and be into it for less than seven pigs all told? I'm thinking I could. (I could even live without the hard chroming if I had to.)

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