Colt had a new revolver at NRAAM last weekend. A “King Cobra” Target model that looks and feels a lot like a .38/.357 but is actually a 10-shot 22LR.
The King Cobra Target 22 LR is crafted from forged stainless steel construction with a one-piece barrel topped with an adjustable target rear sight and fiber optic front sight. It comes standard with Hogue overmolded rubber grips and is available with 4-inch and 6-inch barrel lengths, both featuring a 1:16RH twist.
Of course, it could have just been called the Diamondback.
While the current King Cobra series, reincarnated in 2019, hit the market as a 6-Shot .357 Magnum big brother of the new line of Cobra wheel guns, the new King Cobra Target .22LR is a return to the company offering double-action rimfire revolvers. Not the first rimfire “snake” gun– Colt marketed the original circa 1950s first issue Cobra in .22LR and made a .22LR Diamondback into the early 1990s– the new Baby Snake fills a hole the company had in its catalog, and by extension is a first for CZ as well.
This 1985-production Diamondback is a 6-inch .22LR model. Surely, it would have been easier and better for Colt to reboot this name than to call the new model a King Cobra of all things…
MSRP on the new King Cobra Target .22LR models is $999. When compared to other DA/SA rimfire revolvers, this is on par with the S&W 63 and 617.
Centered around a CZ 455 Varmint, the package includes interchangeable 17.2-inch heavy barrels in .22LR and .17HMR, each with 1/2x28TPI threads to accept the matching SilencerCo Sparrow suppressor. Each barrel is serialized to the receiver.
I must admit, I do like the aesthic of old world craftsmanship with hand-rubbed walnut furniture, and a nice CNC can.
In the 1980s, Browning had a great 22 pistol with a lineage that went back to the company’s namesake’s original design. Fresh out of ideas to compete with Ruger and others, they took their well-bred plinker and started over. What we got was the Browning Buck mark–perhaps the bench mark for semi-automatic rimfires.