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The classic .38 Special Colt Cobra 6-shooter was produced from 1950 to 1981. The double-action revolver used a blued aluminum frame, 2” barrel, wooden grip, shrouded ejector rod and a ramp sight. Unloaded, it was a feathery 15 ounces! The architecture was fairly standard with round butt or square butt options, a backward bullet fluted barrel, etc. Other configurations for longer barrels, other ammunition types, etc., were added over the years so one could also purchase the gun in 3”, 4” and 5” barrels. Ammunition choices expanded to cover .38 New Police, .32 Colt New Police and .22 LR ammunition.

After a 36 year interregnum market hiatus, the Colt Cobra was reimagined and reborn in 2017 as a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) 6-shooter with a 2” barrel, matte stainless steel finish, rubber wrapped grip and weighing 22 ounces. The frame has been changed so that the grip sits further back than in classic revolvers. The shape is still an arc, but a longer one and the cylinder still has backward bullet fluting. At the bottom is an angular oval trigger guard in place of the more common egg-shaped oval. The angled bottom bulge leaves a bit more room for gloved operations.

There are six variants. Let’s examine them.

The base Cobra 38SPL has all the aforementioned characteristics. It has a Hogue black overmolded rubber grip. It uses a fiber optic front sight and a frame trench rear one. Frame trench means it’s a long square cut trench over the cylinder housing. Overall length is 7.25”!

The second model is nearly identical, except it has a brushed stainless steel finish and a brass bead front sight. A third model uses wood grips punctuated with the Colt medallion. The fourth uses good looking Hyena Brown G10 polymer grips made by VZ Grips. These abstract wood with dark organic knotting. And, bonus, the cylinder has a very elegant black DLC (diamond-like coating).

The most luxurious of the sextet is the Colt Bright Cobra 38SPL. It has a high-polish mirror-like stainless finish. At first glance, the black grips look rubber, but, in fact, they are composites with nice texturing in back and finger recesses along the front. These grips also feature the Colt logo, but it’s at the top of the grip instead of at center.

The sixth model is the Night Cobra. It released in 2018, is mid-pack in price and stands out visually. It featured a bobbed flat-top spurless hammer that enhances its snag-free use. It also has a corrosion resistant matte-black DLC (diamond-like coating) exterior finish. It has a steel Tritium night sight in front and the great looking understated all matte-black Custom Colt G10 grips.

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