Well, it would appear the prayers of Colt enthusiasts have been answered. It was Colt Media Day at Gunsite when the specs were released to a select group of members of the gun media. I was fortunate enough to be in the room and I was not the only person there with my mouth wide open is disbelief and excitement.  We were allowed plenty of time to examine the new Colt revolver up close then proceeded to the range for live fire.

Once I made it to the range, I decided to put enough time in on the new revolver in order to give a review on that gun. Allison and I both ran a dozen or so cylinders of Double Tap 148gr .38 Special wad cutter ammunition through the Colt Cobra as well as talking and filming others that were also spending a lot of time with the little revolver. Though similar to the original Cobra, there are some improvements made to update the design.


My friends Max and Kevin from Colt and Major Ed from Folds of Honor wringing out the new Colt Cobra.

Paul from Colt, who is as good as an instructor as he is shooter.



The major improvements over the original Cobra are an enhanced leaf mainspring, making the hammer throw smooth and even. A user changeable front sight with choices of a a brass bead, night sight, and a fiber optic. By simply removing a set screw at the muzzle, and pulling the front sight straight up it is an easy swap.


Enhanced trigger guard, being larger for more room inside while the location changed to avoid getting your fingers hammered between the guard and stocks during live fire. The trigger broke at eight pounds in double action and two pounds in single action. The trigger is very reminiscent of the original smooth Colt revolver triggers, and should satisfy even the most scrupulous Colt revolver fan.


Low profile hammer to reduce the chance of a snag and factory installed Hogue overmolded rubber stocks for added comfort when shooting +P .38 Special. The Cobra uses a transfer bar safety so the hammer can rest on a loaded cylinder safely.

It was no problem at all keeping six rounds in a six inch circle from twenty five feet, with double or single action. Being a revolver there were no reliability options through four different examples and hundreds of Double Tap rounds. When the revolver was introduced it was hinted this design could easily be scaled up to larger revolvers, so take that for what you will but I have all idea Colt is entering back into the revolver game with quality models that do the Colt lineage proud. I am confident this little Colt will serve well as a defensive revolver and I look forward to seeing what else Colt has in store for the future.

Estimated MSRP will be $699

The revolver is made from matte stainless steel, has a fully lugged,  six-groove, one in fourteen inches left-hand twist two inch barrel .

Capacity 6 rounds

Length 7.2” long,

Height 4.9”

Width  1.4”

weight 25 ozs.

trigger pull 8 pounds double action/2 pounds single action

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By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

44 thoughts on “New Colt Cobra .38 Special revolver”
  1. […] It was an excellent day spent at Gunsite with Colt and Double Tap ammunition   trying out the newest introductions to the Colt line. I am especially excited about the Colt Cobra and Delta Elite with the rail. You can see my review of the Colt Cobra by following this link. […]

      1. You asked what we’d like to see them produce next in the cobra format,,, 327 federal magnum is my dream— maybe with a 2 1/2 in barrel– or 3 I guess— that is my fantasy right there.

  2. Colt has heard my prayers! I MUST use revolvers due to disabilities with my hands. Years ago I stumbled upon a Colt Magnum Carry in 357 mag. I picked it up to replace my all time favorite series 3 Detective Spl, which I had dropped in river accidentally! It is the only revolver which I manipulate well enough to do a quasi-combat reload.
    Now I can pickup another to carry for a “New York reload”!

  3. I was a bit worried that Colt wouldn’t make it out of it’s money woes and when I read of the new financing I had stated that I wished they would start making their great revolvers again. Looks as prayers are being answered. You made my day,week,month,etc.

  4. Hunter – Thank you for another great review. The million dollar question is now (and I am betting

    the same question was asked during Range Day) when will the new Python be officially released

    and available?

  5. Just found your site today. Thanks for the review. Lots of people really excited about this. Was there any mention of a lightweight frame version?

      1. What? The 36..I don’t think it’s a fair price either. Taurus has done the industry a service by making these guns a lot more affordable..I know, you don’t have to tell me. I get it. Lots of lemons..or lots of malarkey. I don’t know because I don’t own one. But I mean, how these guns are priced, it’s like they don’t want anyone selling them. Hell, you can’t even catch a break on used ones. Dan Wessons are skyrocketing too.

        I’m grateful that colt decided to start making wheelguns again, but a snub for 700 (625 is my guess) that’s kind of a bummer..You can’t tell me the old heads from the yesteryears made these, they’re probably all dead. Hopefully they got some other offerings down the line, and this isn’t a stunt to cash in on an old legacy.

  6. Finally a new revolver with everything you need and nothing you dont! It has been years since I was excited by the introduction of a new revolver. S&w? Never heard of her.

    I hope Colt eats their lunch! S&w can stick their overpriced wind up guns that they have arrogantly shoved down our throats for the last 16 years. Best revolver news in over a decade!

    1. Funny you say Smith is overpriced..This gun will cost the same as a model 36 which is the Smith equivalent. Well, actually it’ll be way under msrp due to being a snub 38 and not selling quite well, or snatched up and thrown on secondary market at a huge premium due to the hype. Look at Dan Wessons today, it’s insane. This colt is also overpriced, just as the Smith is. You’re right about one thing, I’m sick to the back teeth of being expected to pay nearly a grand for a decent 357. Let alone a .44, I can build a serious AR, or buy two great semi’s for the price of some of these wheelguns. They aren’t hand made anymore. They’re starting to break more often and those god forsaken locks are nearly a safety hazard in themselves.

      Right now, for your money, I think a GP100 is the closest to a fair priced wheelgun. And they can take the punishment, just need some work on the trigger.

      1. No,,,, you’re kind of wrong,, look at the performance center model 637—- super reasonable and a fantastic trigger—— not all Smiths are insanely expensive..

  7. This is the best review I’ve found so far. Interesting.

    It looks as though rather than going with the simpler coil spring as in the last all stainless DS II and Magnum Carry revolvers, Colt returned to a V spring setup similar to the venerated Detective Special and Python models. Cool. It also looks like the barrel shroud shroud profile is a lighter, milled down version of the last small frame revolvers. Does that portend a heavy profile barrel reserved for the .357 version?

    I imagine that if they did eventually produce a .357, it would be priced somewhere between the S&W 640 Pro and the Kimber K6S. I don’t see the need for a .357 in this class of gun when modern .38 +P is so good, but options are nice.

    1. I don’t really see the “need” for this model to be chambered for 357 unless they offered a longer barrel. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t find a 2 inch Magnum very desirable. It’s perfect the way it is, just not really excited about another j frame sized 38. The 686 needs a serious competitor. Ruger makes a hell of a gun but their actions leave much to be desired. The smoothness of a colt would be much appreciated. I mean I’m looking for a Dan Wesson 15V right now because I can’t find anything new that excentuates the revolvers grace in shooting my favorite cartiage.

  8. Great News for 2017
    I don’t know about others but I would love to have a new Python in my collection and will be adding the Cobra ASAP

  9. Us wheelgun nutz are jazzed. I got a Smith 640 on Black Tuesday (11/8/08) and it’s worn in to match my Python’s trigger, so I’m going to pass on this one, but I’m holding my breath for the Anaconda. I even made room in my gun safe for the biggest snake.

  10. Good luck finding one anytime soon. They are already on allocation and impossible to find. I suspect the real price will be much higher than retail.

  11. I heard that one of the Colt models at Shot Show 2017 locked up and was taken out of the action for the rest of the show. Did Colt give an explanation for this? I love my father’s python and hope they come out with more of the snake line. But I worry that quality has and will suffer in the name of price.

  12. I heard that one of the Colt models at Shot Show 2017 locked up and was taken out of the action for the rest of the show. Did Colt give an explanation for this? I love my father’s python and hope they come out with more of the snake line. But I worry that quality has and will suffer in the name of price.

  13. I hope Colt re-introduces the Python to its revolver line. I’d like to see it with a 8 shot cylinder, and a 6 pound trigger pull for double action. If the cost doesn’t become too high, they should sell like hotcakes.

  14. Can’t wait to get one.

    One way that used to be taught to hold a revolver for right hand shooters, was to cross your left thumb over the back of your right thumb behind the hammer to get a good consistent grip that was repeatable for accuracy and helped control recoil. When semi-autos became popular, this grip hold could get and did cut many left thumbs as the slide sliced your thumb as it moved to the rear.

    A modified grip that worked for revolver shooters who regularly shot semi-autos, was and still should be is the grip being used by Hunter Elliot in this video. Instead of crossing your left thumb over the right behind the hammer, hold the right thumb down with the left thumb on the left side of the revolvers frame. This is a repeatable for accuracy and still controls a revolvers recoil. This grip works and has been proven to work with semi-autos too.

    Recently, semi-auto shooters are being taught to to run both thumbs along the frame of the semi-auto with the left thumb in front of the right.
    I strongly disagree with this grip hold. When used on a revolver, you are putting your left thumb by the front of the revolvers cylinder which can release a lot of the pressure when the round is fired which can cause severe injury to the shooters left and right thumbs especially if the cylinder fails if shooting over pressured rounds.

    The teaching of two different grips for handguns whether semi-auto or a revolver is not a good idea. During a high stress gunfight, you are going to grip it the way you shoot the most often. This could leave you trying to grip a very bloody and now slippery handgun which will certainly put you at a disadvantage. Learn to hold your handguns with the same grip to avoid this. I speak from experience on that one.

    The modified revolver semi-auto grip has won many shooting challenges, because it works.

    Watch this video and the shooters who run their thumbs along the frame are experiencing more recoil as they shoot the revolver with a semi-auto grip. You can see they are taking longer to get back on target because they are letting recoil control the sight timing.

    Happy trails….

  15. Oops bight my tongue. In the very beginning of the video, Hunter Elliot has the proper modified revolver grip mentioned above and in the very end of the video he uses the modified grip. You can see he has controlled the recoil and gets back on target quickly. Watch what happens elsewhere in the video when he tries to use the new semi-auto thumbs on the slide. Even though he should be able to muscle the recoil,it still has an effect on his sight times.

    Now what’s the best way to shoot single action…..

    Happy Trails…..

  16. I do like the Colt 38 spcl Night Cobra, 6r. I found many positive features. It is my choice for EDC for my own unique needs. The grips “do not” stick to clothes. Three down sides were the grips had a very light white bleach stain, but might darken with gun cleaner and gun oil. The pain on the hand was prominent after practicing. In comparison a competitor in the Taurus 38, the Taurus grips resulted in no hand pain at all. However, on the Colt as an EDC, since not using it much, pain on the hand is of little concern, because in a real emergency of 1-6 shots, there is no pain in the moment, and even if shooting 40-50 rounds, pain dissipates over a week. The one concern I experienced was the cylinder latch button lever is loose, it works fine but shakes when I touch it. I hope to take it to my favorite dealer, and or call Colt to see if it needs to be sent for a check and repair, which I need to learn is an OK thing to do and more than worth the investment of time, work, and possible be free repair, if it even warrants the need for repair. Out of the box, there was one inner internal scratch, not noticeable until one opens the cylinder, in a spot where it would not affect function, so I did not mind, it added character like a body scar. I did notice some of the black paint stripped off just outside and near the cylinder but on the left side of the body, along an edge, very slightly noticeable, after one month, and only using it at a range once, which I thought would have occurred one year into it. Still I did not mind that. Aside from that, very satisfied with the weight balance, look, feel, functionality and fit. After steel, I will never go back to aluminum, as I like the weight. There is minimal recoil on this Colt. Like they say about changing the oil and washing your car, clean your weapon, and oil it, and it will return in its work. Someone else said if Darth Vader had a 38 snub, this would be it. Perhaps Batman as well.

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