First of all, let's be clear about what this firearm is. It is an antique, novelty of a thing that is not designed with safety, reliability, or practicality in mind, and I strongly recommend not considering this for any form of personal defense.
The trigger's anti-leverage design is such that sometimes I couldn't even pull the trigger regardless of how loud I grunted or how hard I would grind my teeth. After taking the gun apart and polishing the matting surfaces on the trigger and hammer (twice), I finally got it to the point where I could always get the trigger pulled.
In the manual, they repeatedly warn you in big bold letters not the dry fire this gun, and I soon learned why. Basically, I've broken this gun in three different ways by accidentally letting the hammer fall on an empty chamber.
First, the firing pin selector broke off where in mounts in the hammer, so I had to replace that.
Then, where the hammer hit the safety, a slope was dented into the safety such that if the hammer ever fell on the safety again, it would kick the safety off track and cause the spring and ball that retains it to also fall out. So I had to replace the safety.
Then the firing pins dented the rims of the chamber, which I believe is causing the light strikes that I started experiencing.
Then there is the issue of the this gun's overall safety, which is bad enough that I would honestly recommend that only an experienced, knowledgeable gun owner ever handle this gun while loaded.
First, this is a positive firing pin, so NEVER carry it with the hammer down on a live round.
With that in mind, always carry the hammer in the half-cocked position, but make sure it's in the actual half-cocked position. One other dangerous thing about this gun is that there is a false-set between the half and fully cocked position that can fool you into thinking that it's half cocked when it's not. This occurs if you lower the hammer while releasing the trigger at just the right time, and you'll end up with the hammer resting on the trigger, while sort of looking like it's in the half-cocked position, but it hasn't reached that point yet. At this point, you can still pull the trigger and the hammer will drop. This is very dangerous if you intend to carry this half-cocked with the safety off.
So, in conclusion, this is a dangerous, cheaply made, unreliable gun that I think I'm actually going to keep just for laughs, and to show my friends as an example of what not to buy. It is a novelty, but a dangerous one that may very well end up with the hammer dropping when you don't expect it to. All the parts are made of cheap, pot-metal which have a tendency to break if the gun is ever dry-fired by accident, and the metal of the barrel is soft enough that the firing pins dented the rim noticeably, which I think is causing the frequent misfires due to there no longer being a good pinching effect on the rounds between the pin and the rim of the barrel.
I do, however, have to give credit to the good customer service I experienced when trying to resolve the misfire issues. They have a lifetime warranty, and I asked if they could sent me some replacement pins to see if that would maybe fix my misfire issues. They did send some, but unfortunately that didn't fix the problem, and I think I would probably need a new barrel to fix that, but why bother if it'll just get dented again. This little thing isn't worth spending any more money on, shipping or otherwise.
If you still want to get one of these standard frame Cobras after all of my bad-talk about them, I would suggest trying one of the centerfire versions. Maybe you'll have better luck with that. Just don't dry fire it! Ever!
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars!