Colt King Cobra 22 Long Rifle Revolver: A Quick Review

The return of Colt’s classic snake guns with serpent-named revolvers like Cobra, Python, and Anaconda is now old news and it seems as though they are readily available for purchase. The much-anticipated King Cobra revolver in 22 Long Rifle (22 LR) was announced in 2022 and it took a while to get here. I immediately put in an order and was told at last year’s SHOT Show that I would likely see it later in the year, which I did.

Boy was it worth the wait! This is a classy little ten-shot stainless-steel, double-action (DA) revolver. It comes with a well-balanced and easy-packing 4.25-inch barrel, an adjustable rear sight, and an easy-to-see red fiber optic front sight. The wrap-around black rubber grips have finger grooves that ensure a positive and comfortable grip on the gun.

Testing and Shooting

The single-action (SA) trigger breaks crisp and clean at around 3.5 pounds on my Wheeler Engineering Trigger Pull Scale. I can’t measure the DA pull, but it is smooth and sufficiently clean for fast, accurate DA shooting. The polished stainless finish on the King Cobra is bright enough that you could shave by viewing your reflection in the side plate and what could have been sharp edges on the gun are neatly polished radiuses. The left side of the barrel has “King Cobra” etched into it with a depiction of a cobra with an extended hood between the words. Of course, the classic Rampant Colt is found below the cylinder latch.

King Cobra is neatly etched into the barrel with the hooded cobra in the center.
King Cobra is neatly etched into the barrel with the hooded cobra in the center.

Accuracy Tests

For accuracy tests, I fired 10-shot groups (a full cylinder) at 1-inch orange target stickers from a bag rest while seated at 15 yards with six different loads, including Remington’s Thunderbolt and Bucket O’Bullets ammo, CCI Mini Mags, Eley’s Club, Browning’s Pro 22 and Winchester Power-Points. I will admit that some brands were not as impressive as others. It’s important to remember that 22 LR guns, like most others, will group certain brands and loads better than other manufacturer’s brands or loads. It’s a good idea to try a variety of ammunition to see which one(s) your particular firearm shoots best with. This particular revolver shot the Browning Pro 22 load the best during group shooting.

Browning's Pro 22 load performed best in the King Cobra.
Browning’s Pro 22 load performed best in the King Cobra.

All of this ammunition performed well enough to easily hit steel targets during real-world shooting sessions on the range. After shooting for groups, I did some standing, two-handed drills on the steel torso targets from 15 to 50 yards and had no problem ringing steel firing both single and double-action.

Shane Jahn found the King Cobra to be a top-shelf revolver.
Shane Jahn found the King Cobra to be a top-shelf revolver.

Practical Shooting

Taking a liking to this Colt, I packed it in my hunting gear when I headed to the Harkins Ranch for a little deer hunting in hopes of finding time midday to take it out on the ranch’s steel pistol range. My buddy, Jase, is a Colt revolver fan and he suggested we take on the Texas Star, a metal contraption that has been known to make grown men cry as the first plate hit causes the tortuous contraption to spin out of control, inducing rapid jerks to the trigger and phrases uttered through gritted teeth that would make a salty, sea-hardened sailor blush!

The red fiber optic sight and good double-action pull made the Texas Star an easy target.
The red fiber optic sight and good double-action pull made the Texas Star an easy target.

I went first, hoping not to embarrass myself too much, squared off on the targets, quickly found the bright red fiber optic sight, and thanks to the buttery-smooth double-action, cleaned the five targets in as many shots. Jase’s turn produced the same rapid results.

The King Cobra is small enough for even my 11-year-old daughter to shoot, yet large enough for grown men to grip easily. Its medium-sized frame lends it to be a perfect candidate as an easy-packing woods gun, a handgun light, handy, and accurate to be carried in a good belt holster or a handy chest rig. A good 22 LR handgun like the King Cobra 22 is a boon to enhancing one’s marksmanship, offering cheap practice. It’s especially handy if you carry a similar Colt King Cobra in 357 Magnum or another Colt DA revolver for personal protection.

I am privileged with a raft of great friends, many of whom are extremely knowledgeable about a variety of firearms. These fine folks know a good gun when they see one and to date, I have not had one person who handled the King Cobra 22 not like it. Most of them want to buy it right there on the spot!

It’s a keeper.

Shane Jahn is a freelance writer whose firearms interests encompass revolvers, lever actions, Ruger No. 1s, and traditional rifles. He is an avid outdoorsman and hunter and enjoys taking these types of guns to the field. He is a former firearms instructor and has been a lawman on the U.S./Mexico border for over twenty years.

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