The .357 Magnum Colt King Cobra Makes Its Return

The .357 Magnum Colt King Cobra Makes Its Return

Thanks to the Colt King Cobra, the gunmaker will once again have a .357 Magnum double-action revolver in its catalog.

How the King Cobra is geared toward carry:

  • 3-inch barrel
  • Brass bead front sight
  • 28-ounces in weight
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel frame and cylinder
  • Controllable Hogue Overmolded grips

Alas, it’s not the rebirth of the iconic Python. Nevertheless, Colt will once again have a .357 Magnum double-action revolver in its catalog.

New Colt King Cobra with 3-inch barrel.
New Colt King Cobra with 3-inch barrel.

Bone Up On Legendary Colt Firearms

With a planned unveiling at the upcoming 2019 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the Colt King Cobra marks the fifth gun in the company’s rebooted revolver line and the first DA .357 Magnum it’s produced in a spell. Up to this point, the Cobra line, introduced in 2017, has focused on snubbie .38 Special revolvers. Though, since its inception, the guns have sparked hope a magnum chambering would someday be in the works.

Released in 1986, the original King Cobra had a fitful production run that came to an end in 1998. While it looked and was named like it was spawn of the mighty Python, in actuality, it was based off an older revolver design – the Trooper Mark V. In essence, the medium-sized “V” frame King Cobra was the same gun as its parent, except made from stainless steel and boasting an upgraded barrel; this included a thicker solid rib on top and a full-length ejector rod housing below. Despite a relatively short run, the 6-round revolver made a name for itself as extremely strong, with a fast and short hammer drop. Recently, like most Colt revolvers, the original King Cobra has enjoyed a price spike as collector’s interest in anything snake gun has peaked.

Orig King Cobra
Original Colt King Cobra with 6-inch barrel. Photo: Wikipedia — Picanox

Staying fairly true to its namesake, the new Colt King Cobra has many of the appealing points of its predecessor, yet is updated to appeal to modern revolver enthusiasts. Where this is especially evident is it's exclusively a 3-inch barrel gun and has what appears to be an integral rear sight (the original had an adjustable white outline rear). Most definitely, its terse size is meant to increase the 28-ounce .357’s appeal with the concealed carry crowd, which the rest of the Cobra line is also geared. Other notables of the King Cobra include Hogue Overmolded grips, brass bead front sight (user replaceable), 6-round capacity and the Cobra line's Linear Leaf spring trigger.

The Colt King Cobra leans to the more expensive side of the market, though not drastically so, with an MSRP of $899. However, it's hard to believe price will prove much of hurdle for shooter’s looking to drop the hammer on a Colt .357 Magnum. Except, maybe, souls hopefully holding out for the re-release of the Python.

Colt's press release:

WEST HARTFORD, CONN – Following Colt’s successful re-entry into the Double-Action

Revolver market in 2017, Colt introduces the all-new King Cobra in .357 Magnum. The King Cobra will be available in January 2019 through Colt stocking dealers.

The all-new King Cobra features American Stainless Steel construction, a heavy duty frame with a full lug 3 in. barrel, and the 6-round capacity that differentiates Colt small frame revolvers from the competition. The King Cobra also features the same user-replaceable front sight and Linear Leaf spring trigger (LL2™) as the rest of the Cobra family. MSRP for the all-new King Cobra is $899.

“Our customers started asking for a .357 version of our Cobra immediately after the release, and at that moment we knew we had to prioritize this great addition to the Cobra family” said Justin Baldini, Product Director at Colt. “We couldn’t be more excited to add the power of .357 Magnum back into Colt’s Double Action Revolver lineup.”

Colt King Cobra Specs:
Barrel Length: 3 in.
Capacity: 6 rounds
Sights: Brass Bead Front
Frame Material: Stainless Steel
Frame Finish: Brushed Stainless
Grips: Hogue Overmolded
Action: Double-Action
Weight: 28 oz.

Find Out More About Iconic Colt


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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.


  1. I have one of the first New King Cobras in my area( low s/n). This is an excellent carry gun. I enjoy shooting this and I can keep six in side a 6 inch circle at 50 feet single handed. Dennis I can’t help that you can not shoot, that is not a fault of the gun. Learn to shoot it. I take it to the range at least every two months. The only gun I shoot more is one of my many Anacondas

  2. I just bought a King Cobra 357. Lately, the reviews I have been reading including these above are not good. I haven’t even picked up my gun yet and I am already regretting it. Again, based on the reviews. Some were misfiring problems. Others, the trigger release and sticking.
    Someone please out there, tell me, did I make a mistake or am I reading into this too much. I try to make my own judgement, but looking at YouTube reviews and this review, I’m thinking I made a mistake.
    When I retired, I was told I could carry any weapon per my retired CCW and I choose the King Cobra 357. I don’t want to jeopardies my safety or someone’s else’s safety on a POS gun I can not depend on or defend myself with.

  3. I have bought one of these and have dubbed it my latest P.O.S. ! It will not hit the side of a barn from the inside – accuracy with this “gun” is terrible and I had my rangemaster verify this by shooting the gun ! I have sent it back to COLT for some kind of repairs and COLT stated that they will probably be able to “look at it” in maybe FOUR MONTHS !
    Wonderful to have spent about $900.00 on a new gun and instead received a POS that the company knows is defective and will stonewall me for at least four months. This four months is at “my” expense and COLT could care less about “warranty” by their very attitude !
    Good luck to all that read this marvelous “review” ! Br wary of “new” offerings from COLT , they are living on their reputation !

  4. Eh…A bit late to the plate with this article, but I “HAD” (SADLY) a 1992 King Cobra.
    [thinking of a certain 1992 (?) political debate]: I knew the King Cobra. The King Cobra was a friend of mine. This is no King Cobra. That King Cobra was an easy to aim, shoot 4″ barreled, adjustable sight, shot well with anything due to bore diamwter of .355 easy shooting BEAST..that my wife liked more than I! This piece of revolver posery? NO-GO!

  5. A “King Cobra” that weighs only 28oz. are you kidding? The original King Cobra is a big burly brute of a gun that can swallow a steady diet of full power .357 Magnum like a GP100, Manhurin or Korth not a lightweight hipster gun named after the real thing! If you want a lightweight .357 get a Ruger SP101 it weighs 27oz. with a 3″ barrel but Ruger achieves this weight savings by going to a a five shot cylinder not compromising the strength of the gun!


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