View Full Version : Cobra derringers: half-cocked misfires, anyone?

Biff Tannen
June 14, 2011, 07:08 AM
Cobra derringers: (a long setup to a good question, please bear with me):o

When the hammer is in the neutral, uncocked position, the hammer rests on the firing pin, and can discharge if dropped or there is any impact.

If the gun is half-cocked, the firing pin does not rest on the firing pin.

When half-cocked from the neutral position, the gun will NOT fire if trigger is pulled.:)

BUT, when put in half cock from the fully cocked position MIGHT FIRE if trigger is pulled.:eek: (sometimes... you derringer guys know what I mean, there's a nitch that the hammers fall into, where they fire when they're technically not supposed to, I've seen this on Cobras, NAAs, and a few other brands)

Now, the gun needs to be half-cocked for the safety to be on, and the manufacturer recommends to carry half-cocked, with safety on.

HOWEVER, for faster draw for SD, many carry on half cock from the neutral position, without the safety on, since the gun will not fire, even though the safety is not on (If you've practiced drawing one, you know what I mean... Hitting the safety button adds a whole other step to the draw)...

I have a theory that the reason that the manufacturer recommends that the gun should be carried with safety on is that, perhaps they are accounting for human error, through which one can get mixed up between half-cocked from neutral, in which the gun cannot be fired, and half-cocked from the firing position, in which the gun can be fired... But my theory might be wrong...

Has anyone experienced a misfire from this gun, when the hammer was half-cocked from the neutral position, and the safety off???

June 14, 2011, 08:51 AM
I carry half cocked with the safety bar in place(I own a cobra 38 derringer). It is probably best just to do so in my opinion, but I guess I can't say that to the guy who only carries this weapon as a CCW. I use it as a back up gun. Yes, if people buy a cobra derringer and haven't read the manual, they can do some damage too. They can try to force safety while it is cocked or uncocked, but mainly they think the lever is hard to maneuver and force it. The lever inturn will not budge if the cobra derringer is not half cocked. Forgive me on the last part, I believe you load it and open it when it is half cocked, but it might be when it isn't cocked or something else. Anyways, its not hard as long as you don't force it, and it will only open up in the one set position. I do carry the old FBI/CIA loads(+P hollowpoints). It isn't recommended, but I have tested it to my satisfaction, and I do not shoot it as much as my other firearms. It is just ready to go in case I need those two shots aimed at a heart to save my life(I hope it never happens & don't foresee it happening). knock on wood

one will notice a little wear immediately upon firing this derringer also in the cylinders. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Bill DeShivs
June 14, 2011, 11:23 AM
Carrying most guns on half cock is ill advised. If the gun is dropped the half cock notch can shear off allowing the gun to fire. Owing to the "quality" nature of the Cobra guns, I suggest using the safety.

June 14, 2011, 11:26 AM
I'll admit they are appealing, the have a "neato" factor to them, but the open trigger on the Derringers scares me and I can't get a good feeling about them no matter what.

June 14, 2011, 11:31 AM
When the hammer is in the neutral, uncocked position, the hammer rests on the firing pin, and can discharge if dropped or there is any impact.

I know NAA 22lr has a resting slot you just place the hammer in that.

michael t
June 14, 2011, 12:00 PM
30 Years back a friend of mine dropped her Derringer (RG id I remember right) I was hammer down It fired and she took a 38 spl in her side. . These thing are dangerous If you must carry one carry 1/2 cock safety on.
The to many better choices out their ,than these . I will carry my 25 Beretta 950 Before I would ever put one of these 2 slow shot wonders in my pocket . As a back up and never for a primary

June 14, 2011, 12:08 PM
This sounds like a question for a Derringer forum. I don't want to derail the OP, but I've posted a few times how there are sub-combacts now that are almost the same size, or even smaller than Deringers.

So I won't post it again here.

June 14, 2011, 06:39 PM
I've never had my Cobra derringer fire from the half-cocked position, but then I very rarely kept it that way. Mainly got as novelty/range toy. There's many far better options for carry or even back-up.

Biff Tannen
June 15, 2011, 03:39 AM
Bill DeShivs wrote "If the gun is dropped the half cock notch can shear off allowing the gun to fire"
Yikes! I have never heard this before! This is good to know, thank you!

Master Blaster 2
June 15, 2011, 05:40 AM
Cobra derringers used to be Davis Derringers.
Can't be sold in some states becayse the metal used on the cheap ones are a Zinc metal base casting.
When i had my FFL back int the 80's I'd get the Davis derringers and ravens for $30.00 cost.