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Old March 31, 2010, 01:54 PM   #1
j frame
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Agent vs. Cobra

I just bought a Colt Agent made in 1975. It has the blue finish and shrouded ejector rod. I understand the Agent was the same as the Cobra in the early Sixties, except the butt was shortened even more. When Colt made the butts on the Cobra, Agent, and Detective Special the same in the mid Sixties, what became the major difference in the Agent and the Cobra? Grips look the same length to me. In 1982, the Agent became matte finished, so they're easy to tell then. But mine is polished blue.
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Old March 31, 2010, 07:06 PM   #2
TenRing
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The Agent was not finished to the same level of detail as the Cobra. While the Cobra was finished internally and externally to the same detail as the Detective Special, the Agent was meant to be a budget revolver and its finishing and grips were minimalist.

The Agents were a couple of ounces lighter than the Cobras because they used aluminum alloy frames and cylinders and steel barrels. The Cobras used aluminum alloy frames and blued steel barrels and cylinders.

The main reasons to buy an Agent over a Cobra back in the 1970s were to save money and to get a lighter gun. However, in buying the Agent, you sacrificed finer finishing and durability as compared to the Cobra. The Agent was considered less durable because it did not have a steel cylinder.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:11 PM   #3
Erich
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I think that might be backwards about the finish - I had a lovely blued (factory hammer shroud) second-issue Agent ('76) at the time that Cobras were coming out with Parkerized finishes.

Sorry, I only have an ancient webcam photo of it.



Quote:
The Agent was considered less durable because it did not have a steel cylinder.
And all Agents had steel cylinders. You might want to get a Colt book. I'd recommend The Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms by Rick Sapp as a nice starter volume.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:24 PM   #4
KyJim
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The Agents came in two finishes, polished blue and a matte or parkerized blue. Below is my Agent with the matte blue finish. You can tell the cylinder is steel by the variation in color from the frame. BTW, it has about the slickest action you could want in a revolver:



Cobras came in both blue and nickel. Below is my nickel Cobra. While I carry the Agent, the Cobra mostly just sits in a safe.

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Old March 31, 2010, 10:23 PM   #5
Dfariswheel
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The Agent was intended to be as small as possible for use as a deep cover revolver, thus the name "Agent".
It was of the same quality inside and out as the Detective Special and Cobra.

The early post-war Detective Special and aluminum Cobra had the old long grips frame, while the Agent had a "stubby" frame.
In 1965-66 Colt changed all the "D" frame revolvers to the same stubby grip frame.
The Detective Special and Cobra used longer grips that overlapped on the bottom, while the Agent still used the short grips that were even with the stubby frame.
After 1966, the only difference between the Agent and Cobra was the barrel stamp and the type of grips.

The Cobra and Agent had aluminum frames and steel cylinders and barrels. The only Colt made with an aluminum cylinder was the special run for the US Air Force and known as the Aircrewman. The aluminum cylinders didn't stand up to use. It's believed that only 25 or so of the Aircrewman revolvers survived being destroyed.
The Agent was originally made in the same bright blue or nickel finish as the Cobra. After 1982 the Agent was only available with a matte black finish.
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Old April 1, 2010, 08:36 AM   #6
j frame
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Thanks for all the replies! Mine has the rubber grips, and I think that's why it's so hard to conceal. I need to find some small boot grips or something to fit flush with the frame.
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Old April 1, 2010, 04:41 PM   #7
Erich
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Badger boot grips work well for me . . .








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Old April 1, 2010, 11:38 PM   #8
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I find the old Agent factory grips good for pocket carry. With these, I can carry the 6 shooters in a pocket holster as well as my Smith 37.
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Old April 2, 2010, 11:01 AM   #9
Erich
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Yet another area of agreement between myself and my man Chesster! (Hombre, you and I need to get together for a cup of coffee sometime. ) I am able to use the same Mika pocket holster for my J-frames and my D-frames.
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