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Discussion Starter #1
I have my eyes on finding a Colt Cobra chambered for 22 LR. First there seems to be some issues with what constitutes the second edition of this gun. Some sites showing a second edition when they lengthened the ejector rod and shortened the grip. Other sites claim the second edition is the shrounded ejector rod version which is heavier in weight, and according to some reviews not as good as the earlier version. So first, who has had experience with any of the versions, which do you recommend, and yes although I prefer a Colt, I am a women with a small hand, I want a good reliable 22LR revolver small enough to carry when I get a permit, mainly in my yard at night when I walk the dog, we have critters around, and also for target practice at the range due to the cheapness of the 22 ammo.. Anything else I should look at that would be as reliable and well made as a Colt? And what would be a fair price to pay for a Cobra LR? Anyone have an extra one hanging around taking up valuable space? :D Thanks in advance for helping a new collector.
 

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The Cobra chambered in .22 LR was only available with the long grip frame, the non-shrouded barrel, and all have a 3" barrel. Don't think any were made with a nickel finish either. These guns are kind of hard to find. Good luck.

edit: After checking some old postings related to this firearm I learned that the Cobra 22 was also available with the post-66 short butt. I apologize for my inadvertent mistake.
 

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I have a Cobra .22 with a 3" barrel, which I believe is the only length barrel they came in...or at least catalogued for. I've not seen nor heard of a Cobra .22 that had a shrouded ejector rod. The grip frame was shortened about 1965 when all the D-frames were standardized.

Depending on condition, values can be anywhere from about $400 to the $800 range.

These are fine, well made revolvers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you, these reviews including Colt Fever have photos of the three "versions", all Cobras, with the middle version being the one several reviewers like due to a longer ejection rod, but not shrouded. But maybe that was only for the 38 special and/or the rare to find 32 versions? The few I have seen for sale so far are twice the highest price Snidely mentioned. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a Cobra .22 with a 3" barrel, which I believe is the only length barrel they came in...or at least catalogued for. I've not seen nor heard of a Cobra .22 that had a shrouded ejector rod. The grip frame was shortened about 1965 when all the D-frames were standardized.

So if I am understanding this right, there really was not a "second" version, but a generic grip shortening around 65, did they also lengthen the ejector rod at that time? Most of the reviews are for the 38 cal model, on that one they did both at the same time, shorter grip , longer rod and a larger barrel sight.
 

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According to some old notes in my file, the Cobra .22 always had a 3-inch barrel, and first appeared in the March 1959 catalog, and last appeared in the 1966 catalog. One set of notes says the Cobra .22 with 3-inch barrel was listed again in 1968. However, I have never seen a 1968 catalog (I do not believe there were any), so I do not know how I could have made that notation. I do find that the Cobra .22 was again mentioned in in the 1972 and 1973 catalogs, but no pictures are shown. It should be noted that the shrouded ejector rod first appeared on the Cobra in 1973, not in 1972 as on the Detective Special. It also should be noted that sometimes the Cobra .22 was shown in the catalogs, but not on the corresponding price lists.

I SPECULATE that the 1959-1966 run all had the full frame, and that the 1968 (?) and 1972 and 1973 vintages had the abbreviated butt frame, but I cannot confirm. I seem to recall a thread years ago where the issue was discussed, but do not recall the substance of the discussion. Anyone with a lettered 1966 or a lettered 1968 (?) or a lettered 1972 or a lettered 1973 Cobra .22, please comment on the butt frame style and ejector shroud issue on a 1973 vintage Cobra .22.
 

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Anything else I should look at that would be as reliable and well made as a Colt?
All quality revolvers will be equally reliable. You probably can find a 2-inch Smith & Wesson Kit Gun, in blue or nickel, in round or square butt, for less money than a .22 Cobra. My favorite Smith & Wesson .22 revolver is a 2-inch Model 317 Ladysmith. The Ladysmith has a "normal" hammer shape and a MUCH lighter main spring than the "regular" 2-inch Model 317. All 3-inch Model 317 revolvers have the lighter main spring. All Model 317 revolvers have an 8-shot cylinder, which I consider an important feature.
 

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Thank you, these reviews including Colt Fever have photos of the three "versions", all Cobras, with the middle version being the one several reviewers like due to a longer ejection rod, but not shrouded. But maybe that was only for the 38 special and/or the rare to find 32 versions? The few I have seen for sale so far are twice the highest price Snidely mentioned. Sigh.

I'm not sure if the "longer ejection rod" is really longer or Colt simply added a longer knurled end onto it. The standard ejector rod was always long enough to completely eject .38 Special cartridges so there really was no need to lengthen it further.

Super nice or NIB Cobras might go for more than the prices I mentioned, but that may be a result of the NRA article on the explosion in values of Colt Snake guns more than the real market value. .38 Special Cobras aren't rare...the .22 and .32 versions are much less common and condition is everything when it comes to values.
 

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Admire your desire for a .22 Colt Cobra (last one I saw on GB went for $1500) but adding to JudgeColt's recommendation, the S&W 351PD would be an excellent choice: 7 round, .22 Magnum, lightweight 2" bbl.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all, this is helping. Hope someone will answer the above requests on the Cobra. As to S&W, I have also been taking a look at the 34-1 model chambered for 22lr.which gets really good reviews among shooters. Anyone know any plus or minus on that one, price is high but lower than the Cobra and easier to find.
 

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The S&W M-34 is a great and proven gun. S&W also made a M-43 that had the alloy frame
like the Cobra. Those are usually harder to locate and more expensive. The newer S&W
22's are probably a good choice. Like the Judge says the LadySmith in the M-317 would
be a good candidate.
 

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Good choice! We collect the 34-1 in both barrel lengths and have one Nickel 2" that we shoot. It's extremely accurate with a smooth action. The target sights are a real plus. Good, used "shooters" are somewhat difficult to find at a reasonable price.
 

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You may want to consider the Police Positive Target chambered in .22. You get adjustable sights, compact frame, and Pre-War quality. These can still be found for fairly reasonable prices if you look. The only drawback would be they were only made with 6" barrels. These were the first swing-out cylinder revolver Colt chambered in the .22. These little gems are great shooting Colt DA revolvers.
 

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The Police Positive .22 Target is my most treasured pistol. It was my mom and dad's first firearm purchase after they married and the first that I fired at the ripe old age of 3 years. As Colt75 alludes, it has a small frame but the 6-inch barrel is not conducive to concealed carry.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you, I actually have the Poslive Positive, my first gun that was my fathers but it is a 38 special. And I really want something shorter.
 

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Why don't you just consider the 38spl Cobra/DS? Should be able to find a decent shooter for around $500.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good choice! We collect the 34-1 in both barrel lengths and have one Nickel 2" that we shoot. It's extremely accurate with a smooth action. The target sights are a real plus. Good, used "shooters" are somewhat difficult to find at a reasonable price.
Thanks, just bought this one, the 34-1 in nickel on the internet. Paid 795.00, that may have been high but then these are not that plentiful. Thanks for your help.

Would still like for anyone who knows any various versions of the Cobra to post that, for my information, might still want one later, and for other people's info as well. Thanks to all.
 

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Myfatherscolt, you looking for one to shoot or collect? I have a shooter. My Cobra 22's date 1961, 1966, and 1973 based on the serial numbers. No historical letters.

In former Cobra threads I have mentioned that I "saw" a shrouded 22 Cobra at a gun show. I only mention this because the only ones I was ever interested in were 22's. But am not sure and it could have been a 38. I don't believe there were any shrouded 22 Cobras made. As Judge said, Cobra's in 22LR seem to have been made in two groups with the last being about the time Colt added the shrouded ejector housing.

I have searched old Gun Digests for mention of the 22 Cobra and they do fall into two groups. Gun Digest is not the most authoritarian of reference sources as there guns were generally pulled from the previous year's catalog listings. I have just about all the Gun Digests between 1950 and 1990. I also have most of the catalogs during that time period. There was a colt brochure/catalog in 1968. It was the Colt's Handgun Rifles CP101, Rev 3-68 and there was a law enforcement "catalog" in 1968. The CP100 was the 1967 catalog/brochure. After 1950, there were no real catalogs other than the "1956 catalog" which I have been told was used for a number of years. The 1969 catalog (a bound catalog) came with two colored covers; one was a mustard yellow and the other a green cover. The 1970 catalog was similar and had a orange cover. To my knowledge, there was no catalog produced by Colt in 1971. From discussions here on the CF, the first 22 Cobra's show up in 1959 based on the serial numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
definitely was looking for one to shoot. Still interested in possibly finding a Cobra 22LR if it has the longer ejector rod and shorter grip like they did with the 38 models
 
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