Colt Continues To Spin Out Revolvers With King Cobra Target

Colt Continues To Spin Out Revolvers With King Cobra Target

Colt King Cobra 1

The newest member of the “snake gun” line, the Colt King Cobra Target comes upgraded for precision work.

How The King Cobra Target Is Upgraded:

  • Longer 4.25-inch barrel
  • Fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sights
  • Attractive Altamont wood grips
  • Redesigned LL2 trigger that eliminates stacking

Fans of Colt double-action revolvers have had plenty to jaw about the past few years. Rebooting its “snake guns” line, the Connecticut gunmaker has breathed some life into a corner of the market that oftentimes grows a bit stale. Guess that’s the breaks when you’re dealing with a more than century-old design.

Colt’s latest hotshot was the .357 Magnum King Cobra, which hit the scene just before SHOT Show 2019. And while there was plenty to like about the concealed-carry configured revolver, many shooters might have wondered if Colt’s serpentine line would simply slither along a defensive angle. Brass tacks, that’s where shooters' interests lie and what makes money today. But it would be nice to have a more versatile option on the table, maybe something that would work just as well target shooting or in competition as it does defending your person.

Colt King Cobra 2

Thankfully, Colt was thinking on these same lines, as is apparent with the recent release of the King Cobra Target.

As the name implies, Colt has enhanced the King Cobra for more deliberative and precise shooting. Though, it’s not so outrageously reconfigured as to negate it for defensive duty, if you don’t mind carrying a slightly larger revolver. And they didn’t get so carried away as to ruin what has, as far, been a winning formula.

To specifics, the King Cobra Target’s most notable difference is its 4.25-inch barrel, a full 1.25-inches longer than existing iterations. Extending the sight radius and giving the .357 Magnum a bit more bore to play with (typically a plus with the cartridge), the revolver has all the makings of tack driver. Additionally, it gives the stainless-steel framed revolver a little more heft, particularly up front, making snappier loads more manageable — especially pertaining to muzzle flip. All in all, it's fair to expect the Target model to be more accurate and expedient shot to shot. A side note, it also has a full lug, which should appease countless shooters’ aesthetic sensibilities.

Take Another Spin With Our Revolver Content:

Colt has also seen fit to outfit the 6-round Target model with appropriate sights: the front is an elevated fiber-optic (replaceable, incidentally) and the rear fully adjustable. Previously, the King Cobra came with an integral rear and brass bead front. Not horrible by any stretch of the imagination and understandable for a gun meant for defense. I shot this configuration at SHOT and it was right on the money and intuitive. However, I was hoping to see the company offer the option of target sights somewhere along the line.

Finally, the King Cobra Target boasts a set of eye-catching Altamont grips any shooter would be proud to have on their revolver. Altamont has a long history of turning out options for the original King Cobra – generally with finger grooves. Those are notably missing, instead, the custom gold medallion grips have a fine pebble stippling that should make the gun stick to the hand. Though, the Hogue Overmolded grips that have been standard on earlier models were plenty comfortable.

As to what Colt retained from previous King Cobras, pretty much everything else. Excellent news, indeed. The controls on the revolver are Colt all the way and the Target has the line’s redesigned fire-control system. More or less, the company addressed some geometry issues that made older Colts (pre-reboot) stack. At least from my experience, they’ve done a good job. I walked away fairly impressed with the double-action trigger pull on the King Cobra. It was consistent and smooth, which goes a long way given its weight. Though, I’d wager the Target will see plenty of use in single action.

Colt King Cobra 3

The MSRP on the Colt King Cobra Target is $999, which puts it right around other comparable models. While there’s no word on what the future holds for Colt’s revolvers lines, the company has been moving in the right direction. Only time will tell if it has another snake gun up its sleeve.

More From Colt:

WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – Colt continues to develop its re-imagined family of “snake guns” with the release of the much-anticipated King Cobra Target. Featuring a 4¼” barrel, adjustable rear sight, elevated fiber optic front sight, and custom wood medallion grips, this revolver was thoughtfully engineered to adapt the powerful .357 magnum King Cobra to the competitive range. The new King Cobra Target is available now through the Colt dealer network for $999 MSRP.

Forged from American stainless steel, the 6-round capacity, double-action revolver is the third model in the modern King Cobra series. Colt reintroduced King Cobra .357 in January 2019, followed by the King Cobra Carry in May of 2019. Colt’s snake guns continue to be popular for defense, target shooting, and with collectors.

“After releasing the King Cobra earlier this year we received a flood of requests for a 4” model with adjustable sights. Our customers are excited to bring their Colts to the range and the King Cobra Target is engineered for accurate and enjoyable shooting. The longer barrel and custom wood grips also just look fantastic,” said Justin Baldini, Director of Marketing at Colt. “We’ve precisely tweaked this revolver to get it exactly where we want it and know our customers will feel the difference.”


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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