Saw my first 5" 1st generation .38 Cobra today at a local show. I've seen the 2", 3", and 4" but never a 5". The gun is nice (96-98%) but no box. How "rare" are these? The guy is asking $1000 (too steep) but I'm going to try for $700...
It is my understanding that most of the 5" barreled Cobras were for a contract with one of the South American governments (maybe Venezuela?). They saw hard use and are seldom encountered in high condition. If condition is as stated, probably worth the $1000 but of course you try for lower price. If someone has better information on this scarce barrel length Cobra please correct any inadvertent errors on my part. Please post some pictures if you get it.
I have one of the Venezuelan 5" Cobras and indeed it does look like it was ridden hard and put up wet. Someone put fake stag grips on it that were slightly too small and then they tried to grind the frame to fit the grips. They gave up pretty quick and didn't do too much damage. It also looks like they tried to make it a two tone by removing part of the bluing with steel wool. This must have been popular as I have seen two other South American cobras with similar two tone jobs. I only paid a little oveer $100.00 for it at an auction. It still shoots well and is kind of a novelty. If it is a Venezuelan Cobra it should be clearly marked. Do you think the fake box guy has a box and papers in spanish?
They are rare. I have only seen one (non-Venezuelan) for sale some years ago, and it used to belong to Forum member Addicted. You might be able to find an old thread on that gun. I would say 1K is about right...
I ended up buying the gun for $600 and a set of Python grips. The gun might be unfired and is at least 97 to 98% condition and dates to 1960. I'm going away for a couple days but will post pics when I return.
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