The Colt Cobra is a lightweight, aluminum-framed, double-action short-barrelled revolver, not to be confused with the Colt King Cobra. The Cobra was chambered in .38 Special, .38 New police, .32 Colt New Police, and .22 LR. It holds six shots of ammunition and was sold by Colt from 1950 until 1981. In December 2016, it was announced that Colt would be producing a new run of the Colt Cobra with a steel frame and a fiber optic front sight. This model was released in early 2017.
The Cobra was made in two models: the First Model, made from 1950-1971 and weighing 15 ounces unloaded with 2-inch barrel, and an improved Second Model, made from 1972-1981, recognizable by its shrouded ejector rod, with an unloaded weight of 16 ounces. The Cobra is the same overall size and configuration as the famous Colt Detective Special and uses the same size “D” frame, except that the Cobra’s frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum alloy as compared to the all-steel frame of the Detective Special. In the mid-1960s, the Detective Special’s and Cobra’s grip frame was shortened to the same size as that of the Agent. The Cobra was produced in calibers .38 Special, 32 Colt New Police, .22 LR, and a rare few in .38 S&W. The .38 Special Cobra was available in 2, 3, 4, and 5 inch barrel lengths. The .32 caliber version was available in 2- and 3-inch barrel lengths. The .22 LR Cobra was available only with the 3-inch barrel.
Standard Cobras were blued with round-butt grip frames. The .38 Special Cobra with a 2-inch barrel was available with a nickel finish at additional cost. Early models also had a square-butt option.
It was announced in 2016 that Colt would re-release the Colt Cobra in 2017. The Third Model (2017-present) is offered only as a 6 shot DA/SA revolver in .38 Special (+P Capable) with a 2″ barrel. This model will be offered with a Matte Stainless Steel finish and has an unloaded weight of 25 ounces. At the 2018 Shot Show, Colt debuted the Colt Night Cobra, which has a matte black finish and a front night sight. It is also double action only.