Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Featured Gun: Cobray Model D

This is another combo post, a featured gun article as well as the start of another project.

This one is a little single shot pistol known as the Cobray Model D:

The Cobray name conjures two images in my mind. The first one is the 12 gauge Street Sweeper Shotgun, a copy of the Amsel Striker:

but mostly the Cobray copy of the Igram MAC-10, called the M-10/M-11
The Street Sweeper, though not anymore dangerous (to the shooter or person being shot) than any other shotgun, was none-the-less labeled a "destructive device" under the NFA and regulated out of existence because according to our Government it had "no sporting purpose"...which in my mind is a violation of the Supreme Law of the Land....., but I guess we have to pick our battles.

The Cobray firearms were originally made by S.W.D. out of Atlanta, Georgia. S.W.D. standing for the initials of the owners, Sylvia and Wayne Daniel. The company moved at one point to Tennessee and the name of the company changed a few times over the years including:
  • Leinad ( Daniel backwards )
  • F.M.J ( Full Metal Jacket arms) 
  • M.A.C (Mountain Accessories Corp) 
  • C.F.T, LLC
  • P.P.I.
  • Et. Cetera, LLC
  • Excalibur, LLC
The Cobray name and rights to some of the designs was sold and is now operated as a supplier of parts for those designs out of Bismark, North Dakota.

The gun we are looking at today is called the model D, it was a single shot, single action, break-open pistol that was sold as a complete gun and as a kit. The model D was chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge as well as the .410 Shotshell.

We can guess they named this the model D for "Derringer", they also made a double barrel model called the DD (double derringer?).
This design was also used for a marine flare pistol, as well as an over/under .410, a .22 over/.410 under and Pepperbox revolver with a manually advanced cylinder.

Model D Specs:
Action: Single Shot, Single Action, Break Open
Chamber: .45 Colt/.410 Shotgun (2 1/2")
O.A.L.: 6 3/4"
Barrel Length: 3 3/8"
Height: 3 1/2"

Weight: 14 ounces
Finish: Dark Gray Parkerizing
Grips: Black Plastic 
Sights: Fixed

The firing pin was fixed to a hammer with only one cocking notch. The safety was a half square/half round pin that the hammer pivoted from, when the half square part was pushed into the hammer's square hole, the hammer would be locked to the side plate, 1/4 of the way back. Pushing the pin back through the frame engaged the half round part which allowed the hammer to pivot normally.
The barrel, chamber and pivot lug were one piece made from cast steel. The frame plates and breech face are cut from 1/8" steel plate.
The sights consist of a ramp front and notch rear, neither are adjustable.

You could also buy of of the pistols in kit form, it came loose with no serial number on the frame plates as the breech plate came separate and needed to be welded to the frame plates to complete the pistol

I came across these frame plates in a bin marked "$1 each" at a gun show recently. 

I recognized what they were and bought them on a lark. 

After some internet research I found out that the company is still making the parts kits, sans frame and breech plates. See a dated version of their catalog here

A company called "The Flat Spot" will sell you one side plate pre-cut with all the necessary holes and one cut out but no holes (you drill the second set of holes) for $17 + $7.99 shipping.

I already had the side plates and figured I could build my own breech plate, so I ordered the parts kit from Excalibur. When I called, a lady with a southern accent answered the phone with a "hello", I had to ask if I had the right phone number. I get the impression, this business is operated out of a home.

I gave the frame plates and parts kit to my Father for Christmas, he has been wanting to build a gun from scratch for a while now and this is just the kick start we needed. 

Stay tuned as we assemble this gun, finish the metal pieces and test fire it.

Here are some pictures of Cobray pistols:

they made an 11" barrelled version of the model DD

and an 18" barrelled version with a stock

The manufacturer offers white grips if you prefer them over the black

This is the marine flare pistol version

The Pepperbox Revolver

 The DD (double barrel) model

Someone is apparently offering Zombie grips for these pistols
There are also this set of plow handle grips that resemble the Colt's

This owner chrome plated his Cobray

This owner turned a cheap Model DD into a very nice looking pistol.

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