Cobra Denali...ran post

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by IDMTfirefighter, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. IDMTfirefighter

    IDMTfirefighter Member

    How did I get it to run smooth? After much trial and error and numerous ammo brands the answer came down to...only loading three rounds in the five round magazine.

    Even using my trusted Perfecta brand ammo when firing with a fully loaded five round mag the first round would load and fire fine...second round wound would almost always FTF or a delayed cycle of the slide back into battery...rounds three through five would fire fine. Hmmm so that got me thinking.

    I started to load three rounds in the magazine and the pistol fired perfectly every time...slow fire, rapid fire, mixed brands in the magazine etc. Not a singe FTF, FTE, slow return to battery...worked perfect.

    All I need to try now is one in the chamber with a three round mag to see if that is any different. May buy a couple extra magazines and try some J Dalton magazine spring tweaking
  2. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    You need to work with your mag. Compress it repeatedly until it moves up and down smoothly and adjust your feed lips until you have a good angle feeding forward. Loading three rounds is not a fix and it is unacceptable performance.

  3. eldarbeast

    eldarbeast Supporting Member

    I had a Cobra CA-380 that had magazine problems after being reloaded about 50 times.

    I fixed the magazine by replacing the springs purchased from Brownell's in Iowa.

    Helpful eldar
  4. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    Sounds like STIFF Springs, like KILN said!

    First one loads, from a locked slide, or hand racked, second one does not cycle, 3, 4, 5 all work fine. Springs too stiff! ;)
  5. I want one but getting mixed reviews. Is it worth buying?
  6. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    Depends on how much the shop is charging for it. Not being a wise a$$, it's the truth. Denalis will take a little breaking in, the combined recoil & buffer springs are quite stiff initially. And as pointed out earlier in this post, the magazines tend to be a weak spot. I couldn't stand 5 rounds so I upped the capacity (see pic below) Once it's broken in you should be fine. But it may strain your patience while you're debugging. Every now and then once of these Denalis escapes the QC checks and a 100% awesome pistol escapes the factory; you could get lucky.

    $89. to $99. - Buy it.
    $109. - Haggle for a free box of ammo.
    $119. and up? Walk away, save a few more bucks and buy CF 380.

    Oh, yeah... forgot to mention I collect Saturday Night Specials. I own three Denalis, and a number of their predecessors: two Cobra CA-380, two Davis P-380, and two Davis P-32. (My favorite? The P-32.)

    If you buy one, I can probably step you through de-bugging it.

    Denali with 7 round mag.jpg
    eldarbeast likes this.
  7. retread

    retread Member

    curious as to why the p-32, have some 32 ammo from an old derringer lying around and was thinking about getting a cheap sns in 32 to see if its fun to shoot in an auto.
  8. SWAGA

    SWAGA Lifetime Supporter

  9. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    If it's .32 auto it will work in the P32. If any other .32 ammo you're out of luck.
    The Davis P32 was the forerunner of the Cobra CA32; all parts will interchange. In my opinion, which is shared by other folks on the BJJA Forum, the .380 round is a tad too powerful for the Davis/Cobra design. Cobra did redesign the buffer spring but I still see pics of cracked slides on the CA380 (and there are LOTS of pics of cracked slides and frames on the Davis P380). The .32 auto round is much better suited for the gun's design, which is nothing more than a scaled up Raven MP-25.

    If you go with one of these in .380, get some extra recoil and buffer springs and swap 'em out every 500 rounds or so.

    Some pics for your viewing pleasure (Moonzie, cover yer eyes or go get a barf bag, LOL)

    Cobra CA380 with a cracked slide (covered by lifetime warranty):
    Cobra CA-380 cracked slide.jpg
    Davis P380 cracked slide (Davis is out of business, you have to replace with a Cobra slide)
    Davis P380 crack no3.jpg

    Davis P380 cracked frame (you are entirely out of luck if this happens)
    Davis P380 crack not mine 1.jpg

    Buffer redesign: Davis P380 vs Cobra CA380
    Davis P380 v Cobra CA380.jpg
    undeRGRound likes this.
  10. eldarbeast

    eldarbeast Supporting Member

    Change out the magazine spring - I had trouble with all three magazines for my CA-380 until I did this.
    They work fine now.

    adam01364 and lklawson like this.
  11. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    There's a Davis P-32 listing on Gunbroke right now that has the classic beginnings of slide failure. Kudos to the seller who even points it out:
    "I was able to test fire it and found some problems with the slide fitment causing some binding and malfunction. I noticed a hairline crack had formed on the front of the slide while attempting to troubleshoot the situation, which is just below the barrel (shown in photo). I took the pistol to Precision Guncrafters of Bowling Green, KY and refit the slide to the frame. The action is now smooth and flawless; no more binding or stress to slide. But then I was having some feed issues and jams. Again, I had Precision Guncrafters perform a reliability polish and tune-up to the chamber, breach face, feed ramp, and magazine feed lips. Now the gun shoots terrific!"
    Translation: Let me sell you my problem. (Moonzie, take away his kudos!!)
    See for yourself:
    If you are looking for a gun to shoot with, DO NOT BID ON THIS
    SWAGA, ichthyo and moona11 like this.
  12. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    I had to open mine up just a touch, and now they're fine as well
  13. I don't think so because I've been doing alot of reading up on it, and understand it would be a "work in progress".

    That's what I was hoping for and figured you'd chime in because when I was searching post's, I noticed you are very knowledgeable with this particular firearm.

    I'm seeing them new for $125, and I may not even purchase one. May spend a bit more and get a Ruger LCP 380, or a Diamondback DB380.
    moona11 likes this.
  14. ichthyo

    ichthyo Lifetime Supporter

    I really like the Phoenix Raven 25 ACP I bought recently.

    Since the P-32 is the precursor to the CA-32, would your opinion of the CA be good as well?
  15. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    Yup, they go for around $125 new, but I've see them advertised for $99.
    Hard to beat a LCP or a DB at today's prices though. Personally I'd love to get my mitts on a DB-9, I fondled one in Georgia a few years back but that's it.

    I got "into" the Denali because it was the first new SNS "something" to come along. It took me a long time, because the gun is not on the mA$$achusetts approved nanny-state roster, but eventually I ended up with three of them at the same time. :rolleyes:

    Truth be told, I got into SNS pistols because of the '68 GCA; a purely political action that spawned a whole bunch of new, cheap, Made in USA, give-Congress-the-bird guns. (Ever wonder why the first one was called a "Raven"?)

    Anyway, in the end, the Denali is a remade CA-380. 95% of the parts interchange. I've had the Denali slide on a CA380 and vise-versa. I was hoping for a more advanced pistol, but I can live with what it is.

    There's been a decent amount of curiosity about Denalis on the forum, it's nice to see a SNS generate a little interest! :)
    Troubleshooter and eldarbeast like this.
  16. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    The CA32 would be great in my opinion. I don't own one, but I own and carry the Davis P32. The .380? Meh.
  17. retread

    retread Member

    i've got 32 acp ammo, so thats why i asked, also an lcp, so looking for a cheap 32 auto. was looking at cobra ca and jimenez ja also built on their 380 ja. witch do you think would be more dependable?
  18. adam01364

    adam01364 Lifetime Supporter

    Retread, tough call. In .32 ACP my thinking is both the Cobra and Jimenez will be reliable. Personally, I like the Cobra better, it's the Raven design on steroids. However, I do think that Jimenez has better customer service, easier to get them on the phone. But both outfits have supplied me with parts under warranty, and both have replaced guns for me. The Cobra flings brass over your head, the Jimenez off to the side... I think if it were me, I'd go with the CA32.
    retread and eldarbeast like this.
  19. I think I'll just get a Cobra Big Bore Derringer in either 38 spl or .380.

    I'm just looking for an inexpensive small backup gun.
  20. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    Get a ruger or melted, or sccy. Don't waste your time on a cobra. For the price, ammo and comfort anything is better than a derringer
    undeRGRound likes this.