Colt’s King Cobra Target: The Mini Python?

Colt King Cobra Target

Colt’s new Cobra is proving to be a popular revolver.

With a super smooth double-action trigger press, a six-shot cylinder and good sights, the Cobra is a good defense revolver.

An even more interesting addition to the line was the .357 Magnum carry version.

With a three-inch barrel and hand-filling grip, this is a fine all-around revolver.

The new King Cobra Target is a mid-size frame revolver with a 4.25-inch barrel, heavy underlug, adjustable sights and a smooth action.

When the revolver is hefted, the fit, finish and balance are impressive. The trigger action is outstanding.

The new Cobra revolvers use a linear spring design and completely redesigned lockwork.

While the new guns feel like older Colt revolvers and are very smooth, they are much more modern and rugged.

Colts were always smooth, but sometimes went out of time more quickly in constant use. Colt has addressed these issues while maintaining the silky-smooth Colt fit and feel.

Old and New Revolver
The King Cobra Target compared to the Colt Peacekeeper. The heavier revolver may kick less, while the lighter King Cobra Target is much easier to carry. 

King Cobra Features

The new gun features a strong reinforced frame compared to any earlier Colt revolver this frame size.

The enlarged trigger guard allows control in double-action fire when wearing gloves.

This is an important feature for outdoorsmen hunting in all weather conditions.

The lighter Cobra versions weigh less than thirty ounces, the new Target model balances well at 36 ounces.

The shorter-barrel revolvers feature Hogue rubber grips. This makes for excellent control. The Target model features beautiful wood stocks.

These stocks look nice on a stainless-steel revolver. However, as I learned, they demand a strong hold.

The smooth wood stocks tend to creep up during recoil. I replaced my grips with VZ composite grips for shooting.

The walnut grips are better suited to single-action target shooting. 

Colt King Cobra Target
The Colt King Cobra Target is a formidable revolver in many ways and among the most attractive modern revolvers. 

The King Cobra Target features fully-adjustable rear sights.

These sights allow precise sighting with loads of 125 to 180-grains, common weights in the .357 Magnum range.

I have loaded handloads with bullets as light as 90-grains and hard-hitting flat-nose hard-cast bullets of 202-grains have quite a wallop.

The Colt King Cobra Target allows the shooter to precisely sight the revolver for their chosen loading.

This revolver is neither as expensive nor as heavy as the Python, and not quite as accurate, but it is much easier to carry.

The barrel runs .703 inches diameter. The barrel crown, in common with the Python, is carefully crowned and recessed. 

Snub Nose Colt
The original two-inch barrel Cobra .38 Special is a fine all-around defensive handgun. 

Firing the Colt Cobra

The proof of any handgun is in the firing. The Colt Cobra is a fast-handling revolver. The linear spring allows for very fast-paced shooting.

Remember, with the Colt action, it is vital to allow the trigger to completely reset after firing.

Learn the Colt trigger and you will be pleased with the smoothness and speed to an accurate first-shot hit.

The double-action trigger is very smooth at just over nine pounds, while the single-action trigger breaks at a clean 4.3 pounds on the Lyman trigger-pull gauge.

I used a good many handloads with this revolver, mostly 148 to 160-grain lead bullets. I also fired a few factory loads.

A standout is the Hornady .357 Magnum XTP. This load breaks over 1,400 fps. Recoil is stout.

The Remington Golden Saber is a medium-velocity loading that breaks 1,200 fps with a 125-grain bullet, ideal for personal-defense use.

I also fired the formidable Winchester 145-grain Silvertip. There were no failures to chamber, cycle or fire.

Accuracy is excellent, with a five-shot group of two inches average when the revolver was fired from a solid MTM firing rest at 25 yards.

This means the Colt King Cobra Target is accurate enough for small-game hunting or pest and predator control.     

Conclusion: Colt King Cobra Target Review

I think that a .357 Magnum revolver this weight class should be fired mostly with .38 Special ammunition.

There are .38 Special loads such as the 148-grain wadcutter at 700 fps that offer real accuracy and a gentle shove when firing.

There are powerful +P .38 Special loads suitable for home defense, and the Remington Golden Saber loading is a reasonable choice in .357 Magnum.

For protection in the wild against animals, the heavier magnum loads represent an excellent balance of power against weight in this formidable revolver.

For pride of ownership, we have a revolver that cannot be matched in most ways. 

What do you think of the Colt King Cobra? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  1. It has a very skinny hammer. It is very uncharacteristic for a target revolver. That hammer ruins the shooting experience.

  2. I love the look and feel of any colt, especially the king cobra and the python in stainless.May have to buy one or two when available in my area.

  3. The rear sight windage adjustment screw on my Colt King Cobra TGT 357/38 does not have “click stops”. The adjustment screw just turns with no effort. Is this correct? Thanks

  4. You should slap the person who was your source of the name “linear spring.” You don’t need to be ocd to be annoyed by the use of a made-up machine component. Your options are compression, extension, torsion, and leaf. Please use one of these.

  5. I have always wanted the Python – but for that price tag I could never bring myself to pull the trigger.

    Then I saw the COLT king Cobra Target – wow – what a beautiful pistol.

    After I realized I could get very close to the look and quality of the Python – with the same .357 caliber and roughly half the price – it seemed like a WIN WIN all the way around.

    Now I know its not a PYTHON. but its a COLT snake gun, and its gorgeous.

    I am a happy camper. Good job COLT.

  6. Recently bought Colt King Cobra Target chambered in 357 mag. I want to use it as a bear protection gun out in the bushes. Any advise on if this gun is strong and accurate enough to shoot heavy hardcast bullets?

  7. Bought this few months ago. Has anyone fired 357 mag hardcast bullets through it? Would you recommend to use it as a bear protection with 357 hardcast hardcast bullets?

  8. I Have Been Enjoying My king Cobra For About Six Months.
    She Has As A Great Factory Trigger , Smooth And Quick.
    I Also Have A Early Open Ejection Rod Cobra That Has Been My Right Hand For 20 Years.
    Colts Only Get Smoother And Slicker With Age.
    Same Applies To The Automatics

  9. These revolvers are gorgeous. I’m considering getting one of these or the new Anaconda that was just released if they are ever in stock again. The Anaconda/Python is one of my favorite guns of all time.

  10. I’ve had the older version 6-1/2” barrel for 30 years. It is a pleasure to shoot. Colt makes a very nice looking and well built revolver. The versatility of the King Cobra is appealing with the variety of loads. Shooting 38 Special is not much more kick than my Ruger Mark II 22 pistol. 357 Mag has quite a bit more punch and being double action, it is good for home defense. I’m still glad that I bought mine years ago.

  11. “Everything Old is New Again” by Peter Allen comes to mind whenever I read about a new revolver. I’m happy to see that Colt’s apparently believes there’s still a market for a relatively expensive, high quality medium frame 357 magnum revolver. I wish them commercial success with their new Cobra line.

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