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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently bought a nice colt Cobra - the one that looks like a Seventies Detective Special, but whose frame is aluminum. Everything was fine dry-firing - in fact, the timing was close to theoretical ideal.

The problem came when I put snap caps in the cylinder; it would occasionally freeze up in mid-trigger-stroke and be unable to complete the firing sequence. I finally tracked it back to the cylinder release latch protruding past the recoil shield - the top edge of the latch seemed to catch in the cartridge head near the "primer" and bind the cylinder. I could, in fact, clear the binding by moving the top of the latch backwards.

Compared to my Detective Special there were three differences. First, the DS latch appeared straight and level (rather than the Cobra's cocked out of alignment) and second, the DS sat flush with the recoil shield (rather than the Cobra's being too far forward, reducing cylinder clearance). Third and finally, the DS latch could be canted slightly forward at the top, but it would return to level when let go of, while the Cobra's would remain canted.

I'm returning the Cobra within my three-day return period, but it does seem to be a minor adjustment or possibly a spring issue. Any ideas about what causes this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That might be it, I guess. I haven't taken it apart, and select D-frames based up on indication that they've never been disassembled. In this case the sideplate screw and sideplate appear untouched.
 

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Snap caps are not suitable to check any firearms function.
Snap caps are not the exact size, shape, weight, or balance of live ammo.

To check functions you need Action Proving Dummies, available from Brownell's.
These do exactly duplicate the size, shape, weight, and balance of live ammo.
Snap caps may have out of spec edges and surfaces that can cause these problems.

In this case I'd suggest taking it to a range and seeing if live, quality American made ammo still has the issue.
If live, quality ammo still catches, the usual correction is to remove a slight amount of metal from the cylinder release where the cases are catching.
Any gunsmith worth the name can do this easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, but this had just arrived from a GunBroker purchase and I had a three-day, non-firing return warranty. I couldn't in good conscience take it apart, shoot it, or have a gunsmith work on it under those conditions, so I had to send it back today.

I had never heard of Action Proving Dummies, but if I decide to buy another I'll have some ready. Again, thanks.
 

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Jaywalker,

Are you close enough to Austin to go there to GT Distributers on 2545 Brockton Drive, #100, 78248 & north of Research Blvd/Hwy 183?
(NO, I do NOT work for GTD but I am a happy customer.)

IF you are they have had many used D-frame Colts (including Cobras), J & K-frame S&W, Ruger Speed & Service Sixes and a LOT of 9mm/.40 S&W/.45ACP pistols at LOW prices.
(For example, a month ago I bought a S&W Model 12 Airweight for 259.oo OTD & there were numerous other NICE revolvers for 209-325.oo.)

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sw, it's a little too far to go on spec, but I'll drop by when I'm up there for other reasons. I've been there once - I ordered a Blue Label Glock from there and picked it up about a year ago.

Unfortunately, I got caught in two different, massive traffic jams coming home, and it took me 3 - 4 hours to get back to SA, so I don't go up there just for fun. I'll call and ask what they have. Thanks.
 

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Fwiw

Several years ago, a couple I know bought the wife a NIB second-series (shrouded ejector rod), nickel-plated Cobra from an estate sale. They brought it over for me to see and I encountered repeated difficulty opening or closing the action, which I recall attributing to a problem with the movement of the cylinder release.

I don't know if that's an issue with those second-series Cobras. However, unlike with a S&W revolver, the trigger normally should be able to complete its stroke regardless of the position of the cylinder release (i.e., with the action open). The Cobra mentioned above may well have let the cylinder release move forward of the recoil shield but I don't recall attempting to dry-fire it with the action open. I've not seen this issue with any of my Colt DA revolvers.

Oh yeah, that couple took that Cobra back for a refund and, even though I know the guy who was selling the guns for the widow, I never asked him if he had sorted out the problem.
 
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