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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across a Colt Cobra 1st Issue 2" with the alloy frame. It's in 98%+ condition, no box or paperwork. What is it worth? Please don't tell me whatever someone is willing to pay for it. That's understood. Better, what is the market value?
 

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What constitutes a "First Issue" Cobra? I suspect that term came from the "Blue Book." The term "Issue" is apparently a creation of the "Blue Book," and is next to worthless for describing a particular Cobra. The term is not accepted or used in the Colt collector community.

The Cobra has a much shorter history than the Detective Special because it did not exist until Post-War. The Cobra was introduced in 1950 as an alloy-frame version of the Post-War Detective Special, already in its Third Generation by that time. These early Cobras had the “Dual Tone” finish and plastic stocks. I would call these guns "First Generation." The plastic stocks were changed to wood in the mid-1950s, and the “Dual Tone” finish was dropped. I do not consider the stock material or finish change as another generation, but some might. In 1966, the butt frame was shortened, which is Second Generation. In 1973, a year after the Detective Special got the shrouded ejector rod, the shrouded barrel was introduced on the Cobra, which I count as Third Generation. The Cobra last appeared in a Colt catalog in 1978, and was absent from the 1979 catalog.

Therefore, in my opinion, a "First Generation" ("Issue" if you insist) Cobra has to have the long butt frame and un-shrouded ejector rod, NOT just an un-shrouded ejector rod. With the plastic stocks and "Dual Tone" phasing out in the Mid-1950s, there are important variations within the First Generation Cobras that should be identified. Obviously, a 1950 Cobra is worth a lot more than a 1965 Cobra, even though both are "First Generation."

In order to estimate market value, the year of the Cobra in question is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What constitutes a "First Issue" Cobra? I suspect that term came from the "Blue Book." The term "Issue" is apparently a creation of the "Blue Book," and is next to worthless for describing a particular Cobra. The term is not accepted or used in the Colt collector community.

The Cobra has a much shorter history than the Detective Special because it did not exist until Post-War. The Cobra was introduced in 1950 as an alloy-frame version of the Post-War Detective Special, already in its Third Generation by that time. These early Cobras had the “Dual Tone” finish and plastic stocks. I would call these guns "First Generation." The plastic stocks were changed to wood in the mid-1950s, and the “Dual Tone” finish was dropped. I do not consider the stock material or finish change as another generation, but some might. In 1966, the butt frame was shortened, which is Second Generation. In 1973, a year after the Detective Special got the shrouded ejector rod, the shrouded barrel was introduced on the Cobra, which I count as Third Generation. The Cobra last appeared in a Colt catalog in 1978, and was absent from the 1979 catalog.

Therefore, in my opinion, a "First Generation" ("Issue" if you insist) Cobra has to have the long butt frame and un-shrouded ejector rod, NOT just an un-shrouded ejector rod. With the plastic stocks and "Dual Tone" phasing out in the Mid-1950s, there are important variations within the First Generation Cobras that should be identified. Obviously, a 1950 Cobra is worth a lot more than a 1965 Cobra, even though both are "First Generation."

In order to estimate market value, the year of the Cobra in question is needed.
Thanks JudgeColt. You are correct. The nomenclature I used is from the Blue Book. I believe the serial number (222804LW) puts it at 1967. It has an un-shrouded ejector rod and wood stocks.
 

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If it's 1967, it has a fairly unique feature for all D frames in this time frame that I personally don't care for. It has a spring or roll pin holding the firing pin in the hammer instead of the standard solid pin polished into the sides of the hammer. Colt used roll pin attached hammers on these D frames 1966-1969.

To me, it's about a $450-$475 gun as described, in lightly used condition and no box.
You may want to check out the closed auctions on Gun Broker to get an idea of what buyers have been willing to pay. Looking at the current listings won't help. You will see fair prices and you will see ridiculous prices.
 

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Trading seldom follows 'dollar for dollar' - the best way to figure out an evaluation fairly quickly is to review Gunbroker to see what prices are trending at.

What's it priced at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is not priced. I just want to make the guy a fair offer.

Trading seldom follows 'dollar for dollar' - the best way to figure out an evaluation fairly quickly is to review Gunbroker to see what prices are trending at.

What's it priced at?
 
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A 1967 has the abbreviated butt frame adopted in 1966, to me an undesirable shortcut. However, as shown by the Cobra of BigRix, some will install Post-1965 Agent stocks on a Cobra and end up with a virtual Agent, since the butt length and the barrel markings are the only difference between an Agent and a Cobra.

(Apologies to anyone offended by my "delivery.")
 

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I wonder if those really are Agent stocks on that BigRix Cobra? I have a short grip frame Cobra that looks just like his.
 

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It's just the perspective that makes them look short. They are full size.
Oops! I was trying to judge the amount of wood below the frame when I concluded that the stocks were Agent-size. Never mind!

(Apologies to anyone offended by my "delivery.")
 
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