Handgun manufacturer Cobra Enterprises of Utah Inc. believes that personal protection is more than just prudent; it’s essential. Therefore, the Salt Lake City-based company manufactures small, concealable weapons for the “average Joe.” Dan Harvey reports how the company serves its target market with affordable and efficient firearms.
Although Cobra Enterprises of Utah Inc. is a fairly new company, as far as handgun manufacturers, it has associated itself was some of the most famous names in gun lore. Its line of Derringers is comprised of replicas of the original weapons made by legendary gun designer Henry Deringer back in the mid-1800s. (Oddly enough, Henry’s name was misspelled when placed upon his innovative pistol. So much for eponymy!)
“But we’ve not only resurrected older designs, we also offer new gun designs,” says Bill Gentry, president of the five year-old, Salt Lake City-based Cobra Enterprises. “For instance, our Patriot Series .45 model is one of the our new guns that make us most proud.”
That new pistol was designed by none other than Nehemia Sirkis, the world-famous Israeli handgun designer. “He’s the same gentleman who helped design the Uzi,” reveals Gentry.
Along with its Derringers, Cobra Enterprises produces single-action and double-action semi-automatic pistols for the thriving concealed weapons market niche. It targets its handguns to law enforcement personnel and, more significantly, to consumers seeking to protect themselves with effective and affordable firearms. “Personal protection is not a choice; it is a must,” the company states.
As such, Cobra Enterprises especially caters to the entry-level gun buyer, with its Derringers and less expensive automatics. “Our specialty is affordable firearms,” says Gentry. We’re a high-volume, low-cost company that produces handguns affordable to the masses.”
Not only does Cobra produce high powered handguns; many of Cobra’s guns are well suited for women. “Ladies like to buy our firearms because they can place them in their purses or nightstand drawers,” says Gentry.
Understandably, Cobra Enterprises sells many of its guns in states that have lenient conceal-and-carry laws. “Our Derringers are very small and highly concealable. They can easily be placed in a pocket or a car glove compartment, or wherever the user sees fit,” says Gentry.
At the same time, Cobra Enterprises won’t sacrifice quality and performance. That’s why the company sells a lot of its Derringers to law enforcement personnel, who often use them for their ankle holsters. “We also sell a lot of our Patriot Series guns to Law Enforcement as well, which they use for backup, off-duty weapons,” says Gentry. “But most of what we sell is used for personal protection. We make our guns affordable to the average Joe, so that they can protect themselves.”
Cobra’s offerings include three main product lines: the Derringer Series, Freedom Series and its newest line, the Patriot Series. But its most popular guns are its Derringers. “They’re our bread and butter,” comments Gentry.
All handguns in the Derringer Series come with a steel barrel, steel breach block insert, steel striker-type firing mechanisms, and a positive plunger-type safety with internal hammer block to help prevent unintended discharge. Available finish options include bright chrome, satin nickel and black powder coat, which is a non-reflective black satin color.
A subset of the Derringer line is the Big Bore Derringers, which include the .22-caliber magnum, as well as the .32 H&R magnum, .38 special, .380 and 9mm models. The small, dependable handgun (which weights 14 ounces when empty) features a barrel that measures only 2.75 inches. Overall length measures in at 4.65 inches while the overall height is 3.31 inches. Available grips include molded black synthetic and laminated rosewood.
The Derringer line also includes Cobra’s Long Bore Derringers, available in .22 magnum, .38 special and 9mm models. Weighing in at 16 ounces empty, they measure 3.5 inches in the barrel, and have respective 5.4-inch and 3.31-inch overall length and height. Grips include molded black synthetic or laminated rosewood.
The smaller Standard Series Derringers come in .22LR, .22 magnum, .25 and .32 automatic models. They have a 2.4-inch barrel length, 4-inch overall length, 2.8-inch overall height, and they weight 9.5 ounces when empty. The grips include unbreakable pearl (.22LR and .25 automatic) and laminated wood (.22 magnum and .32 automatic).
Highly Valued Freedom
The Freedom Series handguns are another highly touted line, and Cobra Enterprises indicate that the weapons possess some of the finest values in the handgun market. Their attractive finishes range from bright chrome, black powder coat, to satin nickel.
Freedom handguns come in .32- and .380-caliber ACP models. Larger than the Cobra Derringer’s, these weapons weigh 2.1 pounds empty, have a 3.5-inch barrel length and measure 6.4 inches in overall length and 5 inches in overall height. They feature a black molded plastic grip. As with the Derringer line, the finish options include bright chrome, black powder coat and satin nickel.
Other series models include the CA32 (.32-caliber automatic) and CA380 (.380-caliber automatic). These models have a 22-ounce empty weight, a 2.8-inch barrel length, 5.4-inch overall length and 4-inch overall height.
As Gentry previously indicated, Cobra Enterprises is extremely proud of its new Patriot Series line. “These are top-of-the-line, cutting-edge weapons,” says Gentry. “All Patriot models are composites made with stainless steel.”
The Patriot pistols represent a true double-action system, offering a crucial second-strike capability in the event of a misfire or hard primer, according to the company. They feature an ergonomically shaped grip and a non-slip trigger guard, which make the firearms comfortable and controllable even for large-handed users.
Models include the Patriot 9 (9mm) and Patriot 380 (.380 ACP). The weapons have a locked breech, a 10-round capacity and a 17-ounce empty weight. Dimensions include the 3.3-inch barrel length, 6-inch overall length and 4.4-inch overall height.
The aforementioned Patriot 45 is one of the most compact and light weight .45-calaber handgun produced today; it weighs less than 18 ounces when empty. With a 6-inch overall length, it comes with a stainless steel slide with a ultra strong polymer frame. It also features a one-inch width, 3.3-inch barrel length, 6-inch overall length and 4.74 overall height. In addition, it boasts 6+1, 7+1 or 10+1-round capacity magazine and a locked breech, and its continuous DAO trigger action requires no reset. Moreover, it has a reduced trigger pull that makes the gun highly desirable for law enforcement personnel, as it simplifies use during a possible gunfight. Ever since the weapon was introduced in 2004, sales have been excellent, the company reports.
In fact, the sales of nearly all Cobra Enterprises weapons have been brisk, reports Gentry. “Within the past two years, we’ve had to double our capabilities to meet our demand,” he points out.
Sales not only have been bolstered by the quality of the product and the value it represents to consumers, but by the company’s strong commitment to customer service as well. In this regard, Cobra Enterprise’s approach can best be summed up by an old but proven maxim: If you take care of the business, the business will take care of itself. “Our approach is that we want to take care of our current clients before we even think about getting new ones, and we take care of our current products before we even think about developing new ones,” informs Gentry. “For instance, if a gun comes in for repair, we’ll have it repaired in 48 hours and then shipped back overnight to the owner. This promotes good word of mouth, which can be one of the most powerful advertising messages you can send out.”
However, Cobra Enterprise’s products are so well made that less than half of 1 percent of its handguns are ever sent back for repairs. But if there are any problems with any weapons, the company has a lifetime product warranty that it observes with religious fervor. “We fully back and stand behind these guarantees,” Gentry states with pride.
He adds that Cobra Enterprises is also proud of the fact that all of its guns are “100 percent American made.” This applies to each and every component. Henry Derringer would no doubt be proud, too, if he could see how his legacy is being carried on in such capable hands.