First produced in 1986 as a replacement for the respected but aging Trooper MK V, the Colt King Cobra was a very successful service revolver and is still popular on on the secondary gun market.
Originally produced from 1986-1992 and then again from 1994-1998 the gun was marketed to law enforcement agencies and civilian shooters alike. Adoption by various police outfits was spotty at best as the decade that spanned the production run of the King Cobra ran parallel to the mass conversion of law enforcement agencies from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols.
The gun itself is built on Colt's medium "V" frame which tended to build out well for the company's service revolvers. If a single word could be used to describe the King Cobra, it would be "reinforced". The revolver features a full length under barrel lug that shrouds the ejection rod as well as a thick rib set on atop the full length of the barrel. The gun itself was fashioned from high-grade carbon steel.
Throughout it's production run the King Cobra revolver was given a royal blued finish as well as a polished stainless and satin stainless finishes. Barrel lengths varied from 2.5 inches all the way up to 8 inches. Two grip styles were offered: a walnut wood target style grip and a black rubber combat style grip. Sights consist of a fixed front blade featuring a red insert and an adjustable rear sight.
All of these guns, regardless of barrel length and finish, were chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge which, of course, could also fire the .38 Special as well. All featured a Double-Action/Single-Action trigger setup and have a 6-shot cylinder.
Reviews of the Colt King Cobra service revolver are found below. All barrel lengths and finishes are included here. Please write a review of your own if you've had a chance to carry one of these guns and can shed some light on it's overall value.
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Just thought I'd go ahead and add on my Star rating.
Bought my 4" Stainless King Cobra in 88 (traded off the old S&W 19 4"). Aside from the added weight(which contributes to greater control), it is a far finer gun than the S&W 19! It serves as a great trail, camp or home-defense gun, capable of full-power loads but really performs with moderate loads. It's low-maintenance, rugged, dependable & very accurate. Would prefer the non-"Gripper" Pachmayr "Presentation" grip on those cold days with a gloved hand and a protective crown on the muzzle with a white sight! A note, it's better fit to a large hand. Certainly it's not the old Python but I've read that the more modern springs internally may be superior. Not as accurate as my Dan Wesson on the target range but great to pack around for defense or plinking. 25 Yrs. of casual use and I still love it -- Won't give it up!! It's a COLT after-all!!
Bought mine used at a Las Vegas firearms show. Pristine condition polished stainless steel. Very well built pistol mine has a 4" barrel with standard red ramp front sight and adjustable black rear notch. Long smooth DA trigger with clean break (just a bit of creep, roughness) at the point where the hammer falls. The SA pull is exactly 3 lbs and it breaks like glass. I have a Python and the SA pull is equal in smoothness to that. The only gripe I had/have is the POS grips supplied mine came apart shortly after my purchase. Replace with a Hogue Monogrip and everything was now perfect. 25 yards off the bench with Federal JHP 158grn I can easily hold a 3" group cylinder after cylinder. .38 match I can usually get under 2" at 25 yards though they shoot lower on the target. I don't mind the cylinder release it is easy to use and positive, cylinder fully shrouds the caseheads and the underlug really helps balance. Ejections rod will completely extract a .357 case so fast reloading can per done. Other than the crappy factory grip the only other issue is the bright stainless steel is hard to keep clean, powder residue, fingerprints, and sweat all cling to the surface. I'm still looking for a better way to keep it clean and scratch free besides some hope's 9 and a brillo pad.
I own a sw 686 plus 4" and a colt King Cobra 4" both stainless. I will never sell either one. The KC is enhanced drilled and tapped. The trigger is unbelievable. The KC is a great 357. I bought the KC in 1999 for $455.00 brand new in box. And the sw 686 in 99 for $520.00 brand new in box. Guess which one is worth more now as of 11-22-2012? THE COLT KING COBRA (SWEET).
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