Autry Museum of the American West

Experimental Cobra Model Revolver

left side

left side

Circa 1951; serial number 3098LW
Manufacturer: Colt's Manufacturing Company

The materials used to construct the Colt revolver changed over time as a result of improved research and technology. A notable development in the middle of the twentieth century was the use of light-weight aluminum alloy. Steel had historically been used to manufacture firearms, but in 1950, Colt introduced the Cobra Model Revolver, a gun with an aluminum-alloy frame. Although similar in design to the lightweight Detective Special Model Revolver, which weighed twenty-one ounces, the Cobra Model weighed a mere fifteen ounces. In an attempt to further reduce the weight, experiments such as serial number 3098LW were conducted with an aluminum frame and cylinder. Initial tests proved positive, but the aluminum cylinder was never incorporated into the production line.

  • right side

    right side


Jeffrey Richardson

Web Development

Gary Cannone

Electronic Cataloging and Imaging

Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

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