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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i recently purchased a colt cobra 38 special with nickel finish. the ejector rod is shrouded. i believe (from pictures i have seen on the web) it has the original wood grips. I have the serial number and have ran it on the colt web site but it does not really give me any info. this is my first colt. i own a s&w m&p 40, several deer rifles, shotguns and so on and on. what i am really looking for is some help from somebody concerning what model cobra do i have. colt website, if i am reading it right, tells me 1977 "COBRA MODEL/AIRCREWMAN/COURIER/AGENT & VIPER ""LW"" SUFFIX IS FOUND BELOW SERIAL STAMP" I'm no dummy but that doesn't tell me anything bout my investment. i have pics and have tried to upload them but can not get them to load to this thread. serial number of my colt is 94524M can anybody help me out or point me in the right direction thanks for any info
 

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Using proofhouse.com, your serial does chart to 1977. Yours is a Colt Cobra. The other variants of the Cobra ( Agent, Viper, etc) would be rollmarked on the barrel as such instead of Cobra. All are the lightweight framed (aluminum alloy) which basically is the difference between the Cobra and steel framed detective special of the same era. The Cobras from 1950-71 did not have a ejector shroud. Yours does and matches up as a 1972-1981 Cobra.
As an investment, condition is everything. A new in box (NIB) gun in original box and paperwork will bring much more money than your typical moderately to average used gun. Cobras were plentiful and not rare. However, the Viper was a 4” variant that didn’t sell well at all and only made for one year in 1977. Because of that, it’s very rare and will bring insane money, especially in new condition.
Cobras were plentiful and your average used blued Cobra is probably between $600-$700 (gun only). Your nickel is more sought after than blued and little more money.. but still, going by gunbroker actual sell prices.. beating around $1k for average condition Used. Maybe ranging from $800 to $1200. There is a good high water mark shown of a basically perfect conditioned nickel in (original box complete )sold by Lumberjack that went for $1600 and change. He’s a familiar seller that is known for quality Colts and typically gets a lot of bids and sets high water Mark sells, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for your reply. hope i understood you correct i have a standard alloy frame colt cobra (cobra is the model)? i don't sell guns once i buy them, wife says i have to many and i say whatever, but any idea value of my cobra? i have purchased it but not paid for it yet, got real good friends, they dont know anything about guns. i told them i was interested in gun but wanted to make sure i didn't get the shaft and that i didn't shaft them either. i can upload more pics if need to. thanks
 

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thank you for your reply. hope i understood you correct i have a standard alloy frame colt cobra (cobra is the model)? i don't sell guns once i buy them, wife says i have to many and i say whatever, but any idea value of my cobra? i have purchased it but not paid for it yet, got real good friends, they dont know anything about guns. i told them i was interested in gun but wanted to make sure i didn't get the shaft and that i didn't shaft them either. i can upload more pics if need to. thanks
If you don't want either of you to get the shaft, offer him $500 for it.

For some reason, folks on here value these D frames, including newer ones from the '70s, much higher than they are in real life areas.

I frequently see real Cobras for sale locally from $400-$600 all the time. Usually $500 or under. Right now there is a nice Agent for sale at $400, been listed for a month or so. Granted these are blue models, but how much "extra" does nickel really add?

Personally, I wouldn't pay over $600 for any D frame snubnose, and don't have any doubts of finding one for that or less if I really wanted one.

As to the night sights, the front ramp is integrated into the barrel, same with the fixed rear channel. The only way to add night sights would be to mill the front somehow to affix sights, and same with the rear if you wanted. The most I have ever seen done to these guns is the front sight milled for an insert.
 

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I believe for a short time Colt offered a tritium insert in the front sight on some fixed sight snubbies...I'm guessing it took a special fixture to maintain absolute rigidity in the barrel so the sight blade could be drilled properly. It wasn't offered for long...maybe poor sales or too high a scrap rate for mistakes.

I have a Detective Special that Colt installed an orange ramp insert on for me but I doubt if they do that anymore since they don't work anymore on legacy double-action revolvers.
 

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$500-$600 gun. Put some type of aftermarket front and rear sights on it and you can reduce the collector value. I guess it would depend on how unusual they would look on a collectable Colt as to how much you reduce the gun's value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hootch56 are you saying that the colt 38 i have is a collectable colt? i mean if that is the case then the sights will stay just as they are. I appreciate all the replies as for the value. I won't say what my friend wants for it as it is way below any amount that has been provided on this thread. like i said in my first post I don't sell guns once i obtain them and this is my very first colt and right know i love it. love it so much that i have put my smith & wesson m&p 40 in the same and the colt is my every day carry. hop to hear from you hootch56 on the collectible colt.
 

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hootch56 are you saying that the colt 38 i have is a collectable colt? i mean if that is the case then the sights will stay just as they are. I appreciate all the replies as for the value. I won't say what my friend wants for it as it is way below any amount that has been provided on this thread. like i said in my first post I don't sell guns once i obtain them and this is my very first colt and right know i love it. love it so much that i have put my smith & wesson m&p 40 in the same and the colt is my every day carry. hop to hear from you hootch56 on the collectible colt.
Yes it is. It will only increase in value. A gun like yours in 100% condition in the box could bring $1000 or more. Take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes sir i most defiantly will. well no changing the sights on it now. don't think i have ever had a collectible and to think my very first colt and i got lucky. thats a first. again thank you to everyone that replied and provided info for me. i greatly appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i got one more question and that is what is the best way to get the nickel plating to shine? there are some places that look like they have a dingy haze. i can't stand a dirty firearm and these spots are about to drive me nuts
 

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i got one more question and that is what is the best way to get the nickel plating to shine? there are some places that look like they have a dingy haze. i can't stand a dirty firearm and these spots are about to drive me nuts
Flitz then Renaissance Wax . Go real easy with the Flitz.
 

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Mike, lots of us with a nickel Colt's firearm with your "cloudiness", rely on Flitz polish, a soft cloth and a gentle hand....(EZDUZIT !!) Polish and Wax are different and accom-polish...( sp :D) two different endings.

While nickel is a hard finish, it is very thin on a gun, and too bold a scrubbing with an abrasive like Flitz will go through to the copper underlayment.
As a 1977 issue I believe your Cobra is still finished with the electrolytic method requiring a copper coating instead of the "electroless nickel" used in Colt's later years of nickel plating.

While we're here discussing your Cobra's nickel finish; discourse seldom gets far with out a caution against the use of Hoppe's #9 as a clean-up agent.
Since Hoppes main chore is to dissolve copper fouling in bores, it will do the same to the copper coating under your nickel-plate if it can access itself in any small opening. It will then allow the nickel to dislodge and flake away.

Back to the Flitz. While it is abrasive, it is less so than "Mother's Mag polish" or any of the other sometimes recommended metal polishes. Flitz comes in two forms, liquid and paste. I use the paste because the liquid clots in the bottle and you end up wasting most. They also now have jumped on the band-wagon of "gun waxes", and so far I find it to be inadequate as a real protective coating.

We usually don't get far in talking about protecting a gun finish without the name "Renaissance Wax" making it's presence known.
You didn't ask yet, but while It serves it's purpose of preserving "museum pieces" and seldom used guns;... for a carry piece as your's now is, I think a good coating of gun oil / silicon cloth wiping is the deal.
Most of us make sure our carry gun is fired often and works, and frankly I just like oil better than wax on a working gun.

edit to note: I don't want to seem contentious and in disagreement with previous poster, Colt 75, and actually started my posted reply about 9:30 but was called by a neighbor for a while. We are in agreement in answer to the poster's question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks ponyup for your info and thanks Colt75 for your info also. while i am carrying my cobra on a daily basis I'm leaning toward gun oil and silicon wiping cloth once a week. if, and granddaddy always said if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his butt every time he jumped, if i decided to =not carry cobra on a daily basis i may use the flitz and wax while it is in the safe.

as for firing and working well i got this colt this past saturday and the only day i have not shot was today, you know monday and had to go to the ole salt mine. between saturday and sunday i shot probably 50 rounds thru the cobra alone. another 25-30 thru my m&p 40 and would have shot some more but it was getting dark. so i believe in shooting just as much as i can.

with the sights fixed on my colt and now changing my mind about installing a set of after market sights i have no choice but to shoot it just as much as i can in order to get accustomed to the sights on it. but i don't mind doing that.

appreciate all your help gentlemen and may you and your family have a wonderful christmas
 
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