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Old October 31, 2020, 04:54 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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Cobra derringers

What do you think about them?

I recently "sold" a Cobray over/under .410 derringer (never buy one btw, they're the worst derringers Cobray makes) and in the past couple days I suddenly found an interest in a Cobra derringer, specifically .32 Magnum.

Part of it is I am a big .32 fan, part of it is I like the idea of the interchangeable barrels, part of it is I feel a spare .38 barrel loaded with snake shot is more practical than a heavy, clunky Cobray loaded with .410, and a big part of it is the price.

Bond Arms makes a great product, but the price, size, and weight of their derringers is impractical and I feel make them novelty guns. Can't say the Cobra derringers aren't also novelty guns, they kind of are, but they're more practical IMO and the price reflects their use more as a tool and less a shiny, pretty object.

One is not likely to care if their $125 derringer gets scratched, but will be upset if their $500 Snake Slayer is.

Another part of it is I could use up the pound of Lil' Gun powder I bought that eats forcing cones for breakfast shooting the .32 Mag (there is load data available on Hodgdon's website) and could shoot that up in the Cobra. Even if it eats the bore, I won't care much because it's easy to replace the barrel and it doesn't cost much.
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Old October 31, 2020, 05:37 PM   #2
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Cobras derringers are crap.
I've owned three. (And more barrels.)
One worked about 85% of the time with one set of barrels; maybe 25% of the time with another set.
The others usually worked about 10-20% of the time, if at all.

The company's customer service was even worse and doesn't exist any more.
I don't know if they went belly-up, or if they just don't care about their customers any more. But they still owe me a barrel that took 3 years to ship the first time. And when it arrived, was the wrong barrel.


If all of that sounds like a good time, then go for it. Experience the Cobra life.
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Old October 31, 2020, 06:33 PM   #3
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Pass on these !!

Quote:
Cobras derringers are crap.

I don't like bashing anyone's choice but this one is at the bottom of;
"You get what you pay for". .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 31, 2020, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
Cobras derringers are crap.
I've owned three. (And more barrels.)
One worked about 85% of the time with one set of barrels; maybe 25% of the time with another set.
The others usually worked about 10-20% of the time, if at all.

The company's customer service was even worse and doesn't exist any more.
I don't know if they went belly-up, or if they just don't care about their customers any more. But they still owe me a barrel that took 3 years to ship the first time. And when it arrived, was the wrong barrel.


If all of that sounds like a good time, then go for it. Experience the Cobra life.
What calibers were the barrels?
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Old October 31, 2020, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
One worked about 85% of the time with one set of barrels; maybe 25% of the time with another set.
The others usually worked about 10-20% of the time, if at all.
Truth ^^^^^

I shot (or more accurately, tried to shoot) Frankenmauser’s several times.

If they’d have worked, they could have been a neat little range toy, or maybe a throw it in your pocket while you check the mail kinda gun.

But they didn’t work.

Could have gotten a high point for the same money, which may have been uglier, heavier, and clunkier, but at least it would have gone bang when you pulled the trigger.

They were made with pot metal you could dent with a finger nail, their customer service was a joke..............but at least they were cheap.
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Old October 31, 2020, 10:40 PM   #6
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I did some investigating and it seems like the two big issues are the trigger's pull weight and the misfires and that both can be corrected with minor DIY work.

I don't care if they're made of pot metal, I'm not exactly looking to shoot nuclear loads from it.

The time it takes to get a spare barrel is off putting tho, I would like to have a .32 and a .38 barrel.

No interest in other calibers.
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Old November 1, 2020, 01:46 PM   #7
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The die cast zinc frames and barrels (steel lined) wear rapidly at the lockup point, and there is no fixing it.
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Old November 1, 2020, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
What calibers were the barrels?
.22 LR
.22 WMR (small frame)
.22 WMR (large frame)
.380 Auto (x2)
.38 Special
9mm (the incorrect barrel that I received so long after the order that I didn't even own the derringer any more)

---

Making that list reminded me that Cobra still owes me *two* barrels.
I never received paid-for .25 Auto (small frame) and .32 Auto (large frame) barrels.
(There was also a rimfire/centerfire conversion kit that was outstanding for at least a ridiculous 3 years. But I do think I eventually received that. I'm pretty sure I have it in my parts box.)

I was trying to put together a comedic presentation set (as a 'meme', if you will) of red, white (chrome), and blue, with the option for any combination of those colors, based on the color of a given frame.

Out of the box, they were .22 LR (small frame, of course), .22 WMR large frame, and .380 large frame.

Among continuing failures of various kinds, like light strikes and off-center strikes, were some other notable issues:
The .380 frame and barrels were the biggest pieces of crap in the whole ensemble. Never worked right, even when converted to rimfire with the .22 WMR barrels.
.38 Special went bang about 20% of the time on the .380's original frame, but extraction required a hammer and punch 99% of the time.

The small frame wouldn't fire on one chamber, right out of the box. I had to clean up the ratchet mechanism and remove flashing inside the frame.

I had to fit the extractors on most of them: .22 LR, .22 WMR (both), and .380s.
-The .22 WMR barrels would not chamber cartridges, at all, until the extractors were relieved to match the ID of the chamber.

-The .22 LR wouldn't extract until I drilled and tapped the extractor screw hole deeper, trimmed the screw, and added a spring washer; so the extractor would actually sit flush against the barrel. The .22 LR was also peening the chamber and extractor (even before I fixed extraction), and had to be "ironed", reamed (for rim relief), and/or touched up with files many times.

-The .380s had massively oversized extractors that had to be treated the same as the .22 WMRs before they would even chamber cartridges. But, of course, it's a rimless cartridge in a firearm designed for rimmed cartridges. Most of the time, fired cases could not be removed from the chamber(s) without removing the extractor from the barrels. So, the .380 barrels were often fired without the extractors installed.


In the end, I was so frustrated with the smoldering garbage, and fed up with Cobra continuing to offer the worst customer service possible, that I sold the large frames and barrels. I kept the small frame for another year or so as a "deep concealment" CC option. But it ended up being traded away, too, when a single-shot H&R .30-30 came available at a very low price. (Which, coincidentally, is now owned by Crankylove. It's the circle of life. Or strife, maybe.)
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Old November 1, 2020, 06:21 PM   #9
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Of all the derringers I tried I think the most usable and practical are the BJT, and later ADC DA-38, which was available in 38 Spl, 357 Mag, 9mm, and 40 S&W. I think that's all of them. The DA stands for double action. They look a lot like a larger Hi Standard DA 22 derringer. 38 Spl would be my pick, and snake shot isn't hard to find. They aren't cheap.
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Old November 1, 2020, 07:38 PM   #10
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Well, I had a reason to go to an LGS today and while there I got to fondle a Bond Arms derringer and OMG, what a brick. Like, the trigger was terrible, the sights were hard to see, the grips were crap.

$550 for that is robbery. Holding that hunk of chunk confirmed everything I thought about Bond derringers.
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Old November 1, 2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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The Bond guns are terribly clunky.
The American Derringer guns were very much like the original Remington.
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