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.
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.