For those of us on the double-action bandwagon that have been waiting for Colt to produce something in a large-frame like the wheelguns of old, this is it. Colt has been taking their sweet time starting with the smaller, snubby Cobra offerings and have finally built their way to the King Cobra Target. This intermediate size of a 4.25″ barrel gives shooters the potential to carry it as a sidearm, and simultaneously take it to the range for competitions as the “Target” name implies. On a previous Wheelgun Wednesday, we shared a lot of photos of this revolver with you in early December in our “An Intimate Look at the Colt King Cobra Target.” Hopefully, that primed your appetite for more because today we are going to take a deep dive into the Colt King Cobra Target with a full TFB Review. Let’s dive in!
SPECIFICATIONS: COLT KING COBRA TARGET .357 MAGNUM
The Colt King Cobra Target has not been out a full year yet, but people are excited that it is finally reincarnated and brought back! For the time being, there is just one iteration being offered by Colt, but that could always change in the future. They have just excitingly announced the Colt Python as well so you never know. For now, let’s take a look at the specifications of the King Cobra Target as presented by Colt:
- Action: Double-Action
- Capacity: 6-Round Cylinder
- Finish: Matte Stainless Steel
- Grip: Altamont Wood Medallion w/ Pressed Checkering
- Sights: Ramped Orange Fiber Optic Front & Black Blade Adjustable Rear
- Barrel Length: 4.25″ Full Lug w/ Recessed Crown Muzzle
- Overall Length: 9.25″
- Weight: 36 Ounces
The Colt King Cobra Target, similar to other Cobra offerings, utilizes Colt’s LL2 Linear Leaf Mainspring Design. It also boasts forged American stainless steel throughout its frame and barrel. Unfortunately for our brothers and sisters in arms in Massachusetts and Maryland, it is restricted in their states. The current MSRP is benchmarked at $999 for anyone wanting to pony up for this new Colt.
The King is back! Following the successful introduction of the Colt Cobra revolver in 2017, and marking Colt’s re-entry into the category they once dominated, snake number two has arrived. Colt’s King Cobra is reincarnated for 2019 as the 6-Shot .357 Magnum big brother of the Colt Cobra Double Action revolver. Sporting a heavy-duty frame, and brushed stainless steel construction, the King Cobra secures a new place in the legendary heritage that makes Colt double-action revolvers some of the hottest collectible firearms today.
At this time, this snake gun is as rare and difficult-to-find as you might imagine, but with the announcement of the Colt Python on January 1st that may actually aid in improving the stock of the King Cobra Target. With the dawn of a new year, new decade, and SHOT Show 2020 hopefully more become available very soon for all of us.
FIRST LOOK: COLT KING COBRA TARGET .357 MAGNUM
Traditionally, I like to get everyone acquainted with the firearm we are reviewing before diving into a range session, but we previously walked through this Colt with our “Wheelgun Wednesday: An Intimate Look at the Colt King Cobra Target” pretty thoroughly. There are some highlights worth noting for those who may not be familiar with Colt’s phoenix that has risen from the ashes.
When you pop open the box the King Cobra Target immediately has that head-turning appeal that you would expect from a shiny little pony like this. It is advertised as a matte stainless steel finish and it is done impeccably. There are no machining or polishing marks that can sometimes be seen on cheaply completed stainless finishes.
The seams across the frame join flawlessly and when you gently run a finger across it you never catch or feel an edge. This is a nod to Colt and how the little details can truly set apart one firearm from another. When turning the cylinder either by hand or while dry-firing the timing is very crisp and definitive; there is no slop or play whatsoever. From a single-action or double-action trigger pull, the timing is matched perfectly.
A final quick observation without shooting this revolver yet is the weight. With it being a shade over 2 Lbs (36 ounces), it has the mass and feel of something more substantial than a typical carry gun, but it is not on par with a heavy 6″ plus revolver. It walks the middle ground of size, handling, and weight very well.
RANGE TIME: COLT KING COBRA TARGET .357 MAGNUM
Finally, time for the lead slinging portion of our date with the Colt King Cobra Target. The ammunition I shot through this was some CCI Blazer Brass in two different flavors to see if it would impact vastly different with varying grain weights and cartridges:
- CCI Blazer Brass .357 Magnum 158 Grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow-Point)
- CCI Blazer Brass .38 Special 125 Grain FMJ-FN (Full Metal Jacket – Flat Nose)
Both of these ammunition types I was shooting at plate racks or steel gongs from varying distances of 5 yards to 30 yards. The smallest plate being a 3″ plate at the close distance of 5 yards, and the largest plate being 6″ at the further distance of 30 yards. There might be better shooters in the reading audience than myself thinking 30 yards is not very far, and you are right, but all of this shooting was done off-hand. I also have come to acknowledge that my failings as an evolving 32 year old shooter far outweigh any infinitesimal imperfections any firearm might have that I am holding.
With all of the excuses out of the way, this revolver had point-and-hit type accuracy. As long as I held steady and suppressed my inhaled pot of coffee, the King Cobra Target hit gongs from all distances at will. This is exactly what I would expect from a $1K revolver from one of the most reputable revolver companies in the industry. If someone were to employ a shooting rest or simply rest the wheelgun on bags, it would not surprise me whatsoever to see successful hits out to 50 yards.
The only limiting factor I see in the accuracy of this target revolver is any given shooter’s eyesight or the black blade rear sight. It would have been nice to see Colt put a fiber optic rear sight on this revolver since they already have an orange fiber optic front sight. This is something I would guess could be replaced or changed out by a competent gunsmith. I am unaware at this time if any household, name-brand manufacturers make a replacement rear sight for this revolver.
FINAL THOUGHTS: COLT KING COBRA TARGET .357 MAGNUM
So, now that enough people like myself have been clamoring for Colt to bring back more and more snake guns we have been blessed with the King Cobra Target. What are my final thoughts and who is going to buy this revolver?… Well, without a doubt people who are nostalgic about old double-action revolvers will gladly open their wallets for this wheelgun. Can good quality, 4″ revolvers be found for less than $1K out in the marketplace from competing brands? Of course, but none of them carry the brand name recognition, legacy, and that highly sought after pony on the side.
Collectors will love this wheelgun and simultaneously be surprised by the accuracy you can push out of a mid-size revolver. Whether it was .38 Special, .357 Magnum, light loads, heavy loads, target projectiles, or hollow-points, essentially it did not matter the ammo type, this revolver drives tacks!
Other than my personal complaint/suggestion of the rear sight, there is not much to dislike about this revolver except maybe the price point. Would it be fantastic to buy this revolver for $500? You bet! (I’ll take 10 please). Is the asking price of $999 out of line? Not at all. Quality comes at a cost and I would absolutely consider this wheelgun worth it.
In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to Colt for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their Colt King Cobra Target .357 Magnum! That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Colt King Cobra Target is something worth spending your money on? Would you carry it? Shoot a league with it? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.