Colt has a big announcement for 2017. The company is getting back into double-action revolvers starting with the new Colt Cobra. The 2017 Cobra features a matte stainless frame and cylinder, wraparound rubber grip and fiber optic front sight. True to its heritage, the 2017 edition is chambered for .38 Special and has a 6-round capacity.
The new revolver weighs a little more at 25 ounces unloaded. That extra weight will help shooters load up with really hot overpressure loads. This gun is built for concealed-carry for use with modern self-defense ammunition.
American Rifleman’s Mark Keefe got some time in with Colt and the new Cobra. “Colt spent some serious time trying to get this gun right,” said Keefe. “They knew they only had one shot after a decades-long double-action hiatus. Some changes include trigger geometry. When you look at the new cobra you can see that the trigger rides on a pin more centrally located in the frame.”
Experienced Colt shooters shouldn’t expect a big change in trigger feel even with the new design. As a matter of fact, Colt designed the new Cobra’s trigger to feel like the standard-setting Colt Python.
“Colt wanted to use the trigger of the Python as the baseline for what it wanted in the new Cobra,” said Keefe. “They have graphs, charts other tests that resemble a pathological liar’s polygraph test saying that they have determined this revolver’s trigger is right in there with the well-regarded Pythons. I would add, perhaps, that looking at how the bolt and hand are put in, there may just be less chance of this gun going out of time like a Python.”
All eyes will be on the new Cobra’s performance and Colt is aware of this. Expectations for Colt have been riding high for years. Anything short of a gold star will be a letdown, at least for Colt’s die-hard revolver enthusiasts.
Still, with today’s computer-controlled manufacturing it’s entirely possible to produce top-flight revolvers with excellent mechanical precision one after the other. The trick is to perfect the process before going into large-scale manufacturing. This something that Colt has clearly been working on for some time.
The new Cobra is sure to be the first of a series of new-production double-action Colt revolvers. Revolver shooters around the world want to see Colt offer a full catalog of these guns including full-size and large-frame revolvers for competition, everyday carry and hunting. Concealed-carry is still a welcome start.
Measuring in at just over 7 inches long and just under 5 inches tall, the new Cobra sports a 2-inch barrel and full-size grip. With its 6-round cylinder it holds an extra cartridge compared to most compact revolvers. This gives it extra appeal to the concealed-carry market.
Almost as important as build quality and features is, ultimately, the bottom line: price. The new Colt Cobra carries a $699 MSRP which is very competitive. As always real-world prices will be lower — at least in time after the excitement wears off a bit.
Already, 2017 is off to an exciting start for gun enthusiasts.