My Cobra CA-380 Overhaul (how to)

My Cobra CA-380 Overhaul (how to)

This is a discussion on My Cobra CA-380 Overhaul (how to) within the Reference & "How To" Forum forums, part of the Related Topics category; I recently bought a new Cobra CA-380 for my girlfriend. Pretty little gun with pink grips and everything, scored me lots of brownie points. Attachment ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    My Cobra CA-380 Overhaul (how to)

    I recently bought a new Cobra CA-380 for my girlfriend. Pretty little gun with pink grips and everything, scored me lots of brownie points. Attachment 90754Attachment 90755 Turns out the gun had loads of flaws that needed addressing before I would allow her to even shoot it. These problems and flaws are all over the internet, but as of now I haven't found a decent guide on how to clean this gun up. I am not a gunsmith by profession, but have been tinkering for years. This is just what I had to do to get this gun fully functional.

    1. Firing pin and slide
    This was the biggest issue. upon releasing the slide to chamber the first round, the slide would hang and have to be nudged or bumped forward slightly to dislodge the round from the magazine and chamber it. What was happening was that when the slide was pulled back and the firing pin caught the sear, the firing pin was hanging on the rough machining marks inside the slide when trying to slide back forward. This was fixed by sanding the machining marks off the inside of the slide where the pin travels and two spots on the pin itself. The two spots on the firing pin are crucial as you don't want to mess with the contact point for the sear. I personally just rolled up a piece of 800 grit to tightly fit inside the slide and hand sanded it down. I would NOT recommend a dremel or similar tool unless you can find a way to sand the entire inside surface evenly, and only enough to remove the machining marks. You are not trying to make a bigger travel space for the firing pin to travel, just a perfectly smooth path to travel in. Attachment 90759Attachment 90760

    2.Extractor
    This is dangerous territory. I would only attempt this if your gun will not or is having trouble ejecting the spent rounds and you can visibly see it is having this problem. The extractor has a "hook" on it to catch the rearmost lip of the round and pull it back. my problem was that, 60% of the time id say, when the slide was fully forward the extractor would hang, its spring loaded, on the top of the lip unless the slide was bumped forward slightly. I fixed this by sanding a very small portion off the hook on the extractor. This is a very touchy procedure and must be done exactly right for the extractor to "hook" the round as it should. It is VERY important to maintain the angle the "hook" is at. Only sand a very small amount. You only want to sand it down to where it will catch 100% of the time, no more. ex.jpg


    3. Feed ramp
    If you own this gun you've probably already noticed this. The feed ramp had HORRIBLE machine marks covering it that the rounds loved to catch on. This should be polished to as close to a mirror shine as possible. I do this on my guns all the same way. 400 grit, to 800 grit, to 1000+ then polish with a dremel with a cotton wheel and metal polish.ramp.jpg

    4. Magazine
    This was an odd one. I haven't read about anyone else having this problem, but it did. while working with this gun I noticed all the casings had two deep scars on them. Turns out the magazine had pretty bad sharp edges in it that where clawing into the rounds as they slid forward to be chambered. Smoothed off the two edges and now no more scars on the casings and the whole shot process (I know theres a term for it, mind blank) feels "cleaner".clip.jpg

    5. Other bits
    The above 4 issues where the only ones that ever affected the guns functionality. The extra sanding I did was only on visible contact points and areas I thought could use it. extra 1.jpg extra 2.jpg

    Hope this helps someone out. This is actually an awesome gun if you put a little TLC into it.


  2. #2
    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    Just realized some of the pictures did not show up. I will try to upload the rest of the photos soon.

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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Also hold the gun sidewasy when you shoot it .. It will run better...No I am not joking that was covered in the review ..And I am not surprise by the ammont of work needed on these Gun Review: Cobra CA380 ? The Cheapest Handgun in America! | The Truth About Guns


    After all that how did it run ?
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Looking at the review you may want to white dot the sites in the front as well ...

    Maybe smoth up the slide as it sound like this guns has sharp parts that can bite
    "Vous ne les laisserez pas passer, mes camarades"
    I am not a lawyer .. Just a dog typing on the internet ..Spelling media apparatus male portatili. Malo me non reprehendo
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    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    If the extractor is fixed as it should be there is no need to hold the gun sideways. The force from the next round more than sends the spent casing flying upward after shooting. Also the white dot idea is probably good for the black frame design, but the matte silver finish on this gun makes the sight very easy to see. Runs flawlessly now.

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    The very first handgun I bought myself when I turned 21 was an old Lorcin 380. Not sure if it's the same Company now, but the Cobras are the exact gun. Sure, it was cheap. I think I spent maybe $115 for it 20 or so years ago. But it was mine! Surprisingly it cycled and fired fine every time. I must have got lucky.
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    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    Yeah youre right. same company same guns, just says cobra now. how was the overall life of the gun. or while you had it?

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    The Gun itself was good. The mags left something to be desired. Real cheap, and seemed like the follower was too small for the mag. If you weren't mindful of them and handled it with care the follower would come out of the opening of the magazine.

    Amusing plot twist... I just got rid of that gun last year after having it for 20 years. I took it to the Gun Shop one day to see if it had any trade in value and the guy behind the counter was nearly laughing. Wouldn't even trade it for a box of ammo. I ended up taking it to the local police station and giving it to them along with an old box of PMC ball ammunition. They said they would give the ammo to the Fire Dept for training purposes and the gun would more than likely be destroyed.
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    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    haha, how about that. Im glad you enjoyed the gun, makes me feel better knowing there is someone else in the world that actually enjoyed one. The mag on this one isn't the best either, but after the touch up I haven't had any problems with it.

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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crittergitter View Post
    haha, how about that. Im glad you enjoyed the gun, makes me feel better knowing there is someone else in the world that actually enjoyed one. The mag on this one isn't the best either, but after the touch up I haven't had any problems with it.


    I should have added that I do kind of collect these old ghetto blaster .. I oddly very much like them at least for plinking .. Would I carry one no but I oddly never had any real issue with any of them ...


    So happy you got it to work ... How was the recoil ?
    "Vous ne les laisserez pas passer, mes camarades"
    I am not a lawyer .. Just a dog typing on the internet ..Spelling media apparatus male portatili. Malo me non reprehendo
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    New Member Array crittergitter's Avatar
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    I definitely wouldn't have carried this gun as it came, let alone my significant other. Now... I would and I let her. Gun has had about 300 rounds through her straight since the cleanup without a hiccup. Of many different brands. Cheap to expensive. Honestly. The recoil is actually more than you'd expect from a gun this heavy. I kind of like it.

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    Thank you for your excellent review and guide, crittergitter! I just got an email from Grabagun with the Cobra listed for $99 (!) and my first thought was "I gotta check this out on DC." So it looks like it will cost $99 plus a lot of elbow grease, but it could be a good little backup gun.
    Ben

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Too each their own, but I have never understood how these cheap guns are worth all of the effort and time invested to possibly make them run right. Even if it work perfectly I still wouldnt trust. That said, it sounds like to me that you had a good time tinkering with it and your SO is happy with it.
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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I still have a Raven 25 that I bought in '83. It has never once hicuped! Never failed, Even once! I paid $34 for it. It shoots any ammo I've ever found. I would have a hard time getting rid of it. I also have a Colt and a Baby Browning in 25 acp. Neither of them have been flawless. At the time I bought it I was making $150 a week, So $34 was what I could afford. I even carried it for a few years. Would I carry it again? Probably not. But I wouldn't carry the other two either!

    To the OP, Shoot it, enjoy it, now that you have armed her don't piss her off! DR

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