The Craziest Guns From Cobray

If Cobray was around today, they would be the ultimate meme gun company. They were rebellious before being rebellious was cool in the gun industry. When the Hughes Amendment was going into action, they worked around the clock to produce MAC machine guns to give a little more supply to the struggling market. Cobray is a company that went through a lot of names and a bit of legal trouble here and there, mostly regarding taxes and divorces. They were known as SWD and Leinad at times. 

They made a diverse group of guns. In fact, I can’t seem to find a fuel catalog of the crazy guns they produced. It seems like every now and then, something no one has ever seen or was barely ever seen pops up with the Cobray, Leinad, or SWD name attached to it. My goal in life is to one day start a Cobray museum with all these oddities, and these are the first five I want! 

The Craziest Guns From Cobray 

Cobray DS410 

We’ll start you guys off light. Most of you probably know Cobray made a .410/45 Colt Derringer. Those are silly but not unusual per se. Did you know that Cobray took that same derringer and turned it into a full-size double-barrel shotgun? Imagine those Cobray derringers with 18-inch barrels, smoothbore this time, of course. 

Cobray also added a rear stock to the gun, specifically a Zytel stock. Cobray famously used Zytel in tons of their guns. The stock was also an under-folding design that had a few spaces for some extra .410 shells. What was most impressive was the fact it weighed less than a couple of pounds. I would love to see a more modern, better-built variant of the DS410 as a survival shotgun. Maybe Bond will make a giant version of their .410 derringer. 

The Terminator 

Here is another shotgun that Cobray designed. The Terminator is certainly a name. This is a single-shot 12 gauge that is an absurd half-zip gun. The Terminator is an open-bolt design with a rather unusual operating system. The barrel and breach actually slam rearward against a fixed firing pin to fire the gun. Not only was this silly, but it increased felt recoil by the action of slamming forward. 

Overall it looks like it came from a dystopian future film. It has a collapsing stock described as painful but does make it a compact 22 inches long when the stock is collapsed. A perforated handguard gives you that TEC-9 vibe as well. It’s been described as the worst shotgun ever. I really hope I get the opportunity to own one. 

The Ladies’ Home Companion 

In an odd move in the 1990s, the Brady Campaign lobbied Lloyd Bentsen, the Treasury Secretary, to declare the Street Sweeper and Striker destructive devices under the NFA. Cobray produced the Street Sweeper, and this action killed its production. However, Cobray produced a handgun with a similar design to the Street Sweeper known as the Ladies Home Companion. This was a .45-70 and .410 caliber handgun. 

It was advertised as a defensive firearm. It lacked a stock and was essentially a large-format pistol. The Ladies Home Companion wasn’t banned but wasn’t popular either. It’s a rather absurd firearm and not very effective, but I can’t help but want one. 

Pocket Pal 

The Pocket Pal is a truly cool weapon. It’s a revolver, kind of, that has two barrels and comes with two cylinders. Users would have to swap the cylinders on damnd and could change the caliber. The cylinder completely enclosed the pistol, and it was a double-action-only setup that looked more like a small automatic than a revolver. 

Users opened the top and dropped either a three-shot .380 ACP cylinder in or a five-shot .22LR cylinder. It was fairly clever, and again would be neat to see a new variant from a more reputable company reach production. Although, I’d want something a little more than three rounds of .380 ACP. 

The Pepperbox 

Pepperboxes are nothing new. They were a bit of an in-between from single-shot handguns to revolvers. Cobray brought them back in a way that only Cobray could. They made two of them. One of them was a five-shot, single-action-only pepperbox that chambered .45 Colt and .410. The five-round shooter is built on the derringer frame with an absurdly small grip. 

A less common version of the Cobray Pepperbox is a ten-shot .22 Magnum pepperbox that’s also built on the derringer frame. There is some cleverness to the design. Each barrel has its own front and rear sights, and while silly, it’s likely a lot easier to shoot than the .45 Colt and .410 pepperbox. 

Cobray Strikes 

Cobray was too bright of a star that was too pure for this world. The Cobray series of handguns, shotguns, and other oddities are certainly interesting. Cobray didn’t make good guns, but they made unique ones. Sadly, Cobray is no longer around, and we can’t enjoy their craziness. Imagine the stuff they’d produce today? Bumpstocks? Forced Reset Triggers? 80% lower jigs?

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.