Obscure Object of Desire: Cobray Pocket Pal .22 LR/.380 ACP Revolver


By Jeremy S.

Cobray Company, best known for manufacturing versions of the MAC series of pistols and the infamous Street Sweeper back in the 70’s and 80’s, also apparently spit out a few of these unique little gems – the Pocket Pal. I say apparently, because all Pocket Pals carry the “P.P.I., Ducktown, TN” mark. Does that stand for Pocket Pal Inc? Who knows. But, we do know Cobray sold some of these weird little twin-barrel revolvers, which fire both .22 LR and .380 ACP. Why anybody actually bought them is another mystery entirely . . .


Quality is low, as the gun is clearly sand cast from some sort of “steel” with practically no cleanup after the casting process. The surface is covered with more pits and imperfections than Danny Trejo’s face. And it’s not due to their age — that’s exactly how they looked back in the day when they were brand spankin’ new. Where machining is physically necessary, it looks just good enough to probably function. The exception here is the cylinders – one for .22 and one for .380 – which appear to be quality stainless steel with quality machine work.


Press on the top latch to break open the gun, insert the cylinder of your choice, [and if you’re strong enough to pull the extremely long, 15+ lb trigger] blast away. Well, you’ll get three rounds of .380 or five rounds of .22, and then the trigger and cylinder lock. All you have to do is open the gun up again, remove the cylinder, pick the empties out, reload the cylinder, line the notches up properly, put the cylinder back in, close the gun, tell your attacker that the “time out” is over, and resume shooting. Easy.


Best of all, it’s exactly as accurate as you think it is. Clearly intended for pocket carry and contact distances, there’s no worry about pushing it out of battery if you press the muzzle against something. And not much worry about accidentally pulling that weird trigger.

Although it’s very compact, thanks to the fairly thick, cast metal frame it simply weighs far too much for its size by 2013 standards. I’m not sure what possessed somebody to sit down in the 70’s or 80’s and, um, borrow from the circa-1920 Mossberg Brownie design, but the result, is easily the most obscure, least reliable, silliest paperweight gun in my collection.


  1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    so the barrel is for .380? and .22s just shoot out of the cylinder into a much larger barrel?

    1. avatar Mauser says:

      It has two barrels. I’m guessing the top barrel is for .380 and the bottom one is for .22

    2. avatar Brian says:

      It has a lower and upper barrel. 22 out of one, 380 out the other

    3. Actually, the gun has two barrels; one for the .22 and the other for .380. That’s why you have to carefully line up the cylinders each time you reload. If you look at the gun, the two barrels can be seen, the larger one on top…

      1. I posted another picture from Jeremy that shows the two barrels.

  2. avatar JMS says:

    Two barrels: https://www.box.com/s/tjhx8m7vrcvxf823fwbv

    Only one way to insert each cylinder so you can’t mess it up.

  3. avatar S_J says:

    All that extra heft must be handy for throwing it at the assailant, which is probably the most effective course of action with this thing. At least the similarly unpleasant to shoot and thoroughly impractical .357 COP was chambered in a serious self-defense cartridge.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      The latter day pepper box was also at least well-built.

      1. avatar Jake F. says:

        My grandmother has one of those COP pistols. It’s a pretty nice little gun aside from the weight.

        1. avatar S_J says:

          Trigger pull on the COP is as bad as the Cobray’s, and the recoil of a standard .357 Mag or even a hot .38 load out of one will batter your hands more than a flyweight S&W. Which has 1-2 more rounds, is more accurate in theory (one barrel = one POI), isn’t much bulkier if at all and is compatible with a speedloader. So the COP was a solution to a nonexistent problem. Least it looks cool. *shrug*

        2. avatar JMS says:

          I have a weird thing for pepperbox pistols and I totally dig the COP as well. Would definitely like to own one, but those have some collector value for sure. Fortunately, the Cobray was in a price range that it was just impossible to say no to haha

  4. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Hmmm… a time capsule from the days of Disco, Logan’s Run and the eight cent postcard.

    ‘Twas a strange and problematic time.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      William F. Nolan is one of the sci-fi demigods.

  5. avatar Ensitue says:

    The perfect blend of 3 kinds of unobtainium!

  6. avatar David says:

    Concept wise I like this gun. But as has already been pointed out the quaility is low. I think the Heizer Double tap derringer (if you can get your hands on it) is closer to a functioning firearm that fills roughly the same niche.

  7. avatar C says:

    That screams “oxy-dealer”

  8. avatar Swarf says:

    It’ll match your DeLorean perfectly.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Look up “pocket pal” in the Urban Dictionary.

  10. Wow, I didn’t think it was possible to design a handgun uglier than a Glock. Guess I was wrong.

  11. avatar geoffb says:

    Saw one of these at a gun show this weekend.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    Why? A Walther ppk or j frame Smith is just too much to carry?

  13. avatar Jake F. says:

    I actually really like the look of the thing. It’s a shame it looks so low quality otherwise I would try to find one. Maybe if I found one cheap enough.

    1. avatar JMS says:

      Honestly I probably ragged on it a little too much. Aesthetically the frame could certainly have used some cleaning up after the casting process. Other than that, though, it’s actually not bad. Fitment is good, the cylinders themselves are extremely nice, and it feels solid enough. It does say “shoot only standard .380 acp,” which I take to mean don’t use +P, which I take to mean the gun isn’t strong enough for it… but it DOES actually function reliably and you can hit center mass on a target 7 yards away at least most of the time ;-)… so… what’s not to like? It’s cool. And, yes, if you can find one you can expect it to be like $200 these days. So I wouldn’t call that cheap, but they certainly don’t have much collector cache that makes them into some sort of expensive safe queen.

  14. avatar AIROSOK says:

    geoffb – where did you see it at a gun show??
    I traded for one at a gun show TODAY!!

  15. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Oh jeez, a weird, highly obscure never-before-seen topbreak revolver. Now I’ve got to have one. Thanks a bunch, Dan – another impossible quest.

    Fortunately, I already have a Mossberg Brownie. And a couple of Merwin-Hulberts. And a Marlin topbreak revolver (bet you didn’t know they made one.) Let’s not even talk about the S&W topbreaks, OK?

  16. avatar FowlHunter13 says:

    I have one of these little guns and actually love it. I have always been one to love the ugly or strange looking weapons and I was drawn to this one when I saw it for sale. That and the $125 price tag that was on it from a local forum. The strangest thing about the gun, as mentioned is the outward look of the gun is cheap and unfinished. However, the internal design and finish is awesome and very clean. It does have some positives in relation to a semi auto or even revolver for a CCW. With no external moving parts, this weapon can be fired from a pocket or a holster without the chance of getting locked up or jamming on your clothing. It is like a three shot semi auto derringer. It was also suprisingly accurate even with the super heavy and long trigger pull. I mainly use it for my tractor gun with the .22 cylinder loaded with rat shot. I can’t count how many snakes have met their maker on my hunting lease and at home due to this little gun. I don’t know if it will ever become a collector piece, but it has become part of my collection and will be there for some time. That is unless someone makes me an offer I just can’t refuse.

  17. avatar AIROSOK says:

    Well, It’s no longer a virgin!
    A dozen .380s and a box of .22s.
    Talk about getting dirty!!!!!! I would suggest you wear plastic gloves.
    Removing the cylinder each time and “Picking” the .22s is the main source.
    The unfired rounds went in fine but I had a little wooden dowell I used for the extractor. Fingernails wouldn’t get the job done.
    My “PP” shoots upper left and it’s either the gun or my squeezing what seems like three inches of trigger travel.
    The .380s did fine and I just adjusted my POA. Nice little holes.
    BUT…………… the .22s tumbled!! EVERY SHOT the rounds hit on their side. Nice little side view shape of the projectile holes. I didn’t see a single round hole.
    Maybe it’s designed to hit sideways to give a broader impact, like one finger of a Black Talon?????
    Anyway It’s something that I had never seen, nor have any of my Buds.
    So, I’ll keep it until something else “Trips My Trigger”………….

  18. avatar richard says:

    thank you very much. Pls how can i get one of the gun Pocket Pal Inc ? because i need it as my personal security,safety and dangerous arena. Please email me how much it cost me to buy or you can referee me to the gun dealer so that i can get my choice. Thank you and have a good day.

  19. Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This website gives valuable facts to us, keep it up.|

  20. avatar glen says:

    Less is more in the case of this revolver. With a little smithing, this revolver has proven to be an excellent conceal carry. The hammer spring can be adjusted, but not much, as the action is fairly short and requires most of the spring’s force to discharge a round.

    The weight of the revolver is at first a surprise, but on final analysis, a god-send. Recoil from the 380 round in such a small firearm is usually painful, especially if in a really light frame like the Double Tap (see http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/07/jeremy-s/gun-review-doubletap-tactical-pocket-pistol/). The Cobray’s heavy frame is what makes using the 380 rounds a pleasure. Without the weight, the hand would be receiving all of its significant recoil.

    The trigger hole was a major issue at first. However, after fitting a brass pipe liner into the hole, plenty of surface area is now available to make the firm trigger pull more pleasurable. It is also possible to smith the action to improve the feel all the way to the hammers release. Actually, there is an simple adjustment made with a file that allows the hammer to reach an initial point of release, sort of a semi-stop, after which the remaining pull drops the hammer.

    I hope I never have to use this for its intended purpose. But, there is an old scout law, BE PREPARED.

    A fine little weapon, when properly fitted for duty.

  21. avatar PeterK says:

    Weird. I would actually love to make a zig-zag revolver more mainstream. It should be cheap and reliable in my mind. Eschews a bunch of clockwork for a simple mechanical system, though I guess fouling in the zigs and zags could affect reliability. I figure modern manufacturing should be able to churn out a dead simple zigzag revolver at an appallingly low price. Arm the masses I say. Just be sure to teach them the four rules first.

    1. avatar PeterK says:

      I don’t know. Milling out the zigs and zags is probably always going to be the expensive part. And machine time still isn’t cheap. So I may just be straight up wrong about how to make these. :p

      1. avatar Miguel Raton says:

        CNC turning center is doing to churn out those Webley-Fosberry style cylinders on the cheap. Since they’re all internal to the firearm, make’em out of cheap carbon steel, nitride’em and keep’em greased. Easy-peasy, cheaper and faster than stainless and should be just about as long lasting given their protected location.

  22. avatar ovrTHhil says:

    Best personal carry around. The weight is there to keep the response in the hand to a minimum. The trigger is easy to upgrade by installing a section of brass pipe threaded into the too damn narrow device. Properly trimmed and fitted to your finger its a no brainer. Since the Pocket Pall sits inside my belt and pants, added a Kahr belt clip to the top handle screw, the finish is of no particular interest. I carry two rat shot rounds in the first chambers to be emptied, then three hollow points to finish the job. First ya blind the threat to your life, then send a few rounds to rattle around in its cranial cavity. No, no one needs to know you are armed until the event becomes life threatening. Wouldn’t be without my little Leinad, hands down the best little pocket pistol on the market. Yes, the 380’s are kept in reserve, should the situation become more dire. Its not for every threat on your life, but then, its better than a pocket knife. Be sure to properly address the barrels release lever for fitment. Its always about the details. Be safe out there, better prepared than sorry, or worse yet, gone.

  23. avatar ovrTHhil says:

    One caution, do not drop the revolver when its loaded. Notice the projecting dimple at the base of the handle, that is the lever for the firing pin. If dropped on that projecting dimple, the round will fire. Simple fix is to grind off the dimple so that it is flush with the butt of the grip. Problem solved, unless you drop it on a pointed rock. It may not be as pretty as my Dan Wesson, but its easy to carry, especially if a belt clip is added to the upper frame so that it hangs just right inside your belt. Nice little surprise, handy if ever faced with a real threat.

  24. avatar g porter says:

    Weighted for responding to the .380 rounds as they leaves the chamber doing all the heavy lifting, moving down the bore is hardly a problem, whatever the charge might be behind it. Forget the discomfort of a too thin trigger pull, used a brass pipe coupling threaded into the pull hole and massaged it a bit to be more comfortable. Now that’s a fix worth your troubles. Having small hands and fingers, finally an advantage. The grip it to danged short even for small hands. What the heck, lengthen it. So I did, then covered the lower grip with a leather sleeve to provide more character and better feel. Now, its the perfect conceal carry. Added a belt clip to the top assembly screw and it comfortably tucks inside my jeans and across my leather belt. Cylinder of choice for the carry mode is the .22, first two rounds bird shot, the rest hollow points. .380 rides in my watch pocket as a backup should additional persuasion become an issue. I’ve never had the need to use the thing, its just rides around with me for that rare moment that a rabid fox and I cross paths. Don’t ya just love American ingenuity? Best little conceal carry on the market, well, it was on the market. Yes, do take your conceal carry course for local licensing.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email