Bite of the Cobra!

In all hilarity one of my more amusing discoveries for the NRA convention was my trip to the Cobra Booth. They got a LOT of press in the news about the convention because of their brightly colored pocket pistols, J-frame revolvers, and Derringers. I didn’t handle the Small Revolvers, but I’ll say the Pistols were pot-metal blow-back guns that appeared to be copies of Lorcin and Raven Arms “Junk Guns” of years past. And I’m not a huge fan of the Derringer as a self-defense weapon, their derringers solidify them as HORRIBLE defensive arms. I’ll just say that with the awkwardly long hammer stroke added with what feels like a single action trigger pull NORTH of TEN POUNDS, leads me to seriously question if the two shots and horrible reload ergonomics can be deployed to any use.

Maybe you keep a derringer for a fun range gun…your idea of fun is different than mine.

Still what amused me was the Patriot Series of Pistols. Here’s a picture of me holding one at the show.
Not at all pretty, but unlike the above guns this one was actually very light and compact, and they come in .380 Auto, 9x19mm, and .45 ACP, also they have a DA trigger with no external safety. So in design it didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Also they are VERY Inexpensive Guns

Then I felt the trigger.

HO-LEE-SHIT! This was hands DOWN the worst trigger I have EVER felt, and I have pulled quite a few, and had been pulling triggers all weekend. It was HEAVY, it was LONG, it was gritty as a dirt road, and the worst trigger slap I’ve ever felt. Essentially when the sear breaks the trigger suddenly slaps back into your finger with a force that gets you wondering if you’ve just been bitten by a mouse trap. This was so amazingly bad I was dragging bloggers from all over the floor just to feel it. I snapped this picture of Breda just after she’d dry fired the gun two or three times.
Look a little closer:

The photo doesn’t give the bruise on her finger justice. This is NOT a gun that will make practice pleasant. Also I found This Review who had test fired the Patriot 45.

The slide rides on polymer rails, not on metal inserts, which are common on many polymer-framed handguns. Although the expected life of the gun is unknown, Cobra reports firing more than 30,000 rounds through one of its test guns and it is still in use….Trigger pull was stiff, and after an extended range session my trigger finger had developed a blister. This may have contributed to some larger group sizes, but it should not be of concern to the owner who may practice occasionally.

I have some concerns about the longevity of a polymer gun that molds its rails out of plastic, as far as I know most polymer guns use a steel insert for the slide rails to mate with, and of course I wonder about a gun mag suggesting a user only “practice occasionally”.

Still where do I go from here? I’m a professional scientist I could simply save up a few hundred more and get a much better pistol But I’m not everybody. I personally have a friend who keeps a Hi-point in his nightstand. Dunno if he’s gotten around to getting his carry permit yet, but if he did, I’m sure he packs it in a cheap nylon holster.

You know what? His gun’s a piece of shit, but its better than harsh language, or even a good fighting knife if he ever needs to defend himself. And you know what? He bought the gun because he’s poor, and if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on guns, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on rent, meaning you might not live in the most pleasant part of town.

So if you can afford a better gun, I’d totally get one. Still a light subcompact gun in 9×19 or .45 ACP for under $300 new is quite impressive, still I have to wonder if this doesn’t have a better trigger pull.

An amusing bit of blog fodder if nothing else!


-Weer’d Beard

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32 Responses to Bite of the Cobra!

  1. Thomas says:

    If you are buying something to DEFEND YOUR LIFE AND THE LIFE OF YOUR FAMILY and you skimp on what you spend, except as an interim measure until you get a decent defensive arm, THOMAS WILL STILL THINK YOU AN IDIOT. Does your friend go out to eat? Go to a movie once in a while? Have broadband internet and a cellular phone? None of those things might save his life some day.

    Point taken? Yes, a gun is better than no gun. Intentionally carrying a lesser defensive weapon is tactically STUPID, especially if it’s uncomfortable to shoot or you are too cheap to buy range ammo so you never practice with it.

    People who do such things should re-evaluate their priorities. When you go up against a criminal, as often as not, it isn’t their first time. It will likely be your first defensive arms usage. Not putting as many points in your favor ahead of time is mind boggling.

    I was at friend’s shop the other week and a fellow was looking at a bottom feeder handgun in a lame caliber because he’d just got his CHL. He’d driven to the shop in a 5 class Mercedes. I looked at him like he was a space alien too.

    ANYBODY can afford a better gun if they so choose to.

    One more note on that tangent. Fellow at range not long ago had a Rigby he fired about 3 times and couldn’t handle the recoil so he didn’t practice anymore. He talked about going to Africa in 10 days on a Cape Buff hunt (figure a 20k+ excursion cost). “This ammo is real expensive and it’s not pleasant to shoot, I’ll save the rest for my hunt…” I shook my head and wandered off to go shoot more .375H&H in my pistol…

    You get what you pay for in life and if it’s important you should buy the best you can make yourself afford.

    When I was a line mechanic for most of my life people asked me why I bought good tools instead of craftsman, as they have the same warranty. Craftsman break. I’ve broken a LOT of their stuff, same with Cornwell, which also have the same warranty as Stahlwille, Hazet, Facom, and Snap-On. When you’re in the middle of a job and you get paid by the job, not for being on the clock, taking time out of your day because a tool or multiple tools broke during the course of attempting to flag a few more hours and then driving to SEARS to get them to warranty a tool on your lunch break causes you to re-evaluate whether or not you saved any money. I’ve got Hazet tools that are twice my age that still are pristine and were used hard every day for decades.

    To skimp when your life may depend on it is insane, or at the very least, shows an entire lack of seriously evaluating your reasons to own a defensive arm.


  2. RobertM says:

    If you can scrape $300 together, you can scrape $400 together with just a little more effort. For $400 you can easily get a used Glock or a brand new RIA 1911, both decent guns IMHO. Both would serve better than the Cobra Patriot from everything you’ve written above. Saving money is a good thing, but I like to save my money wisely.

  3. Dixie says:

    For around $300, you can get a good used Kel-Tec or a new LCP. I am not paying 3 Bennies for a POS with a trigger Samson couldn’t pull.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      A fair point, still from what I’ve heard (not that I’d know with our current gun laws) used Kel-Tecs are hard to find. And I’m betting that used Cobra’s are pretty easy. That being said with polymer frame rails I wonder the value to cost relationship….

      • Dixie says:

        Friend of mine wanted to buy a used P-11. Saw it on Friday, went back on Tuesday to buy it, and the guy had sold it. This is in a little, out-of-the-way shop. But, normally they are available, and if you can’t find one (or if they aren’t your cup of tea), other deals can be found.

        And I worry about polymer rails, too.

  4. Jay G. says:

    I’m with Thomas on this one. For $300, I bought a gorgeous S&W model 13 six-shot .357 Magnum revolver. I can hit a 4″ steel plate with it at 25 yards, and put all 6 shots in the black at 25 feet as well.

    Used J-frame revolvers run about the same price; S&W M&Ps a little more.

    And for home defense? I’ve seen Mossberg 500s selling as low as $150. That beats a Hi-Point all to hell…

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I’ve seen Mossy 500s in decent shape for $125 on more than a few occasions.

      Yeah the more I think about it the more I think these (and hi-points) are REALLY lousy deals.

    • Thomas says:

      Around hunting season, banks and auto dealers here in Texas often give away Mossbergs and mid-range rifles if you buy a truck or open a bank account. “Buy a truck and a gun rack and get a free shotgun or deer rifle” isn’t a redneck cartoon, it’s actually more or less normal around here 🙂

      Friend’s cousin is an instructor for Front Sight. They have an ongoing offer where they give you a FREE HANDGUN of QUALITY when you take one of their courses. Springfield XDs in our choice of caliber. Not the best or worst, but a serious step up from actually paying money for Lorcins and the like…

  5. Caleb says:

    Friends don’t let friends buy Hi Points – or Lorcins or Cobras or whatevers. Everyone who has said “if you can save up $300 for a Cobra, you can save up $350 for a used Glock or a wheelgun” is 100% correct. If your gun sucks so bad that you don’t ever want to shoot it, that’s a problem. If your gun is so inexpensive that it breaks after 1,000 rounds of practice, that’s a problem.

    But people skimp on important things while spending money on luxury items like TVs and other stuff. Guns can be luxury items, but your defensive firearm purchases should be treated with respect.

    Which is my way of saying “fuck Cobra anyway”.

  6. mike w. says:

    I’m with Caleb. Hell, as I pointed out in my post, you can buy a Bersa .380 for less than one of these Cobra’s and they’re avaliable all over the place.

    With that in mind, why would anyone want to buy one of these terrible guns?

    And seriously, polymer frame rails? Really?

  7. mike w. says:

    Y’know, I could definitely see one of these giving you a nasty blister after one box of ammo.

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  15. Mr. B says:

    Y’all can trash Cobra pistols all you want. Yer right.

    But the Hi-Points, besides being ugly and heavy, are actually great pistols. (I don’t carry one, but I own 2). Good sights, good triggers, excellent reliability (one has 4k+ rounds through it, the other 1200 so far with ZERO failure to feed or to fire.

    If you state otherwise, then you are judging something you have not tried.

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  17. snoopycomputer says:

    Hey look, Breda voted in Iraq. Oh, wait…

  18. kaveman says:

    Not sure you’ll have the oppurtunity in Mass, but if you ever get the chance to pull the trigger on a bull-pup AK, man that is true suckage.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      We actually have TONS of AKs here. I suspect that actually might be my next buy. But I haven’t seen anybody foolish enough to toss a bullpup stock on one.

      I’d imagine it would not just suck, but chew the cock.

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