In honor of the Colt’s 150th Anniversary in 1986 a new revolver hit the market, the .357 Magnum Colt King Cobra.
Based on the company’s Mark V system shared by the medium-frame Trooper series of double-action six-shooters, the King Cobra got its name as an ode to smaller Colt Cobra wheelguns which dated back to the 1950s but were only chambered in .22LR, .32 Colt and .38.
Borrowing the solid rib heavy barrel/full underlug profile of Colt’s Python series but coming in at a more affordable $400 smackers at the time, it was half the price of the iconic serpent.
This made it appealing to budding target shooters, law enforcement, and personal protection. Likewise, the price point made more competitive with other full-lug magnums of the time, namely Ruger’s then-new GP-100, S&W’s Model 586, and Dan Wesson’s 15HB.
This Colt King Cobra, a 4-inch model with a serial number that dates to 1988 production, is in what the company billed as “Ultimate Bright Stainless,” a finish that was only used on this model for four years.
Today, this classic “snake gun” now is in at least its third generation, a transformation I cover more in my column at Guns.com.
Greetings from Las Vegas!
Colt’s rebooted King Cobra, in .357 Magnum with a 3-inch full lug barrel, is a shiny mid-size stainless wheel gun that could become a great revolver if it keeps on track.
I shot one at the range on Monday and, talking to Colt reps, they one of the demo guns that day cleared 2K rounds with nary an issue.
Stainless guns are pretty, but they do show that carbon once you start socking the rounds to them
More on the gun in my column over at Guns.com
In other news, I also found out that I can fit five NAA Mini-Revolvers on my hand. Of course, your mileage may vary with mitt size.
Offered in brushed stainless steel with a full-lug 3-inch barrel, the six-shot .357/.38SPL King Cobra was announced this week and will be officially on hand at SHOT at the end of the month.
The choice of barrel length on the new King Cobra is interesting. The original revolver was first introduced in 1986 and was made in 2, 2.5, 4, 6 and 8-inch variants across the revolver’s original commercial production, which ended in 1998. Just a few spec guns (less than 20) were made with a 3-inch format for various police tenders but they never went into production.
I’ve always liked the 3-inch barrel on a carry revolver as I have mentioned a few times before as it provides more velocity over a snub– not to mention a skosh longer sight radius– while being more concealable than a 4-inch combat gun. I have an old-school (pre-suck) Rossi full-lug stainless M720 in .44 Special that I have taken in the swamp several times as a hog hunting back up.
For more on the new Colt 3-inch King, head to my column at Guns.com.
Rock Island Auction has over 500 Colts up for their September Auction including 40 Pythons (!) and a bunch of really nice rares such as a Third Model Hartford London Dragoon, “D Company” Walker Model 1847, and a set of Model 1851 Navy “Squarebacks.”
This is my favorite, though:
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Stamped with “U.S.” marks and a silver-gray patina, this Single Action Army in .45LC includes a rare “Ropes” type flap holster of the type used during the Spanish-American War. If a gun could talk…