Davis P-32 and P-380 barrel fitting

Discussion in 'Cobra/Davis/Lorcin' started by adam01364, May 8, 2020.

  1. It's been discovered that swapping out barrels in the old Davis P-32 & P-380 pistols is a bit of a crap shoot. As someone who has been down this rabbit hole, I can vouch for this issue.

    When I commented that the barrel pins were not aligning on the old BJJA forum, a former Davis employee chimed in with the answer. He explained there wasn't any fixture used to position and align the pistol prior to drilling the hole for the barrel pin. They just drilled a hole and pressed in a pin. A little to the left, a little to the right... as long as they drilled a hole and a pin was inserted, it was good to go.

    Complicating matters further, the barrel design was changed early on; older barrels had a boss where the barrel met the frame; this feature was removed but there are no records indicating which serial number this change happened.

  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    So....the Davis is a hand made custom built gun? Who knew?:confused:
    ichthyo likes this.

  3. ichthyo

    ichthyo Lifetime Supporter

    Adam01364 were the P32s more durable and reliable than the .380 version? I would think the frame didn't take as much abuse.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  4. From what I've seen, they were, and I think for the exact reason you stated.
    lklawson and ichthyo like this.
  5. Quavodus

    Quavodus Member

    Yes, custom. Hand built. :eek:
  6. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    Is this case with the CA 380 and CA 32? Same frame but different barrels?
  7. Yup.
  8. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member


    That is cool. Has anyone really put one to the test, both 32 and 380 with one frame?
  9. Yup, me. It's not a simple swap and go, but it's doable.
    The recoil springs are identical for both calibers, however Cobra does specify different bumper springs as follows: C503-2 Bumper Spring (.380 only) and C503-4 Bumper Spring (.32 only). Additionally the location of the barrel pinning tends to be inconsistent from gun to gun and they'll need to be carefully matched.

    EDIT: Cobra also specifies two different extractor springs for the two calibers but it was never an issue for me so I never bothered to swap them out.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    ratchowmein likes this.
  10. Parts list for Cobra CA32 and CA380
    C102-9A Trigger Assembly
    C103-1 Black Grips
    C103-2 White Grips
    C103-3 Pink Grips
    C202-2 .32 Slide (Specify Black, Chrome or Satin)
    C202-2 .32 Slide (Specify Custom Colors)
    C202-3 Safety
    C203-2 .380 Slide (Specify Black, Chrome or Satin)
    C203-2 .380 Slide (Specify Colored Chromes)
    C203-5 Magazine Release
    C302-1 Extractor (Black or Chrome)
    C302-12 Cam
    C402-1 Retainer
    C402-2 Firing Pin
    C402-3 Sear
    C402-4 Barrel Press Pin/Mag Catch Pin
    C402-6 Extractor Pin
    C402-9 Trigger Pin & Bumper Spring Pin
    C402-13 Bumper
    C404-17 Grip Screw
    C500-8 Extractor Spring (.32 only)
    C502-1 Recoil Spring
    C502-3 Trigger Spring
    C502-4 Magazine Catch Spring
    C502-5 Extractor Spring (.380 only)
    C502-6 Safety Spring
    C502-8 Sear Spring
    C516-3 Firing Pin Spring
    C503-2 Bumper Spring (.380 only)
    C503-4 Bumper Spring (.32 only)
    C603-1 .32(6 Rnd)/.380(5 Rnd) Magazine
    C700-20 Blue Plastic Lockable Lined Case
    C702-1 CA Instruction Manual
    C703-2 Gun Cable Lock
    C800-26 Black Cordura Belt Holster
  11. BTW Cobra was sued into bankruptcy so getting parts from the factory is problematic. Bearman might be a source.
  12. ratchowmein

    ratchowmein Member

    I guess depending on how far the pin is off, you could always re-drill an oversized hole and use an oversized pin, using the original hole as a pilot.
    Or fill the pinhole on the barrel with a solid pin of similar zinc material and re-drill the original frame hole to use the original pin.
    Edit: or is it aluminum, don’t know.
  13. This is exactly what I did when I ran into the problem.
    (The first time I did it, everything matched right up.)
    Yeah it's a Zamak frame.

    The only aluminum framed ring of fire SNS (meaning Raven/Jennings/Davis/Lorcin/Sundance) was the Lorcin LT-25 pistol. The frame was cast in aluminum in an attempt to circumnavigate melting point laws. What's that??? You say you're never heard of a Lorcin LT-25?? Goes to show how successful the effort was!
    ratchowmein likes this.
  14. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    Thank you for the information.

    I did not know that about Cobra, I knew JA was sued (although I am not sure where that stands). Was Cobra sued for the same reasons JA was?

    The Bearman website does say call for parts but I think I called Cobra a couple of times and I never spoke to anyone. And it took them forever to replace the Denali magazines that broke.

    That sucks, I just got a 6 pack of Davis/Cobra 380s. I am pretty certain I have one complete CA 380. But the rest I will need to get parts for. And the 3 of the Davis slides are cracked and one Davis frame is cracked (need to find a gun buyback).
  15. Different lawsuits, different reasons. IIRC, Jimenez A got sued for allegedly selling guns to a non FFL in KC. Cobra got sued by a clown who shot himself with his derringer. I suspect that's why the new Bearman derringers have got those butt ugly trigger guards.

    Cobra was never as responsive as Jimenez or Hi-Point. And they were constantly jacking up their prices. Last time I ordered from Cobra I did it by mail.

    Wow, a six pack of busted P380/CA380s. I should be so lucky.

    The Denali was built with parts pilfered from the CA-380. The magazine is nothing but a CA-380 mag with a pinkie extension and a notch cut in it for the mag release. The grips are slightly modified CA-380 grips. And the firing pin is the same firing pin used in Raven P-25 / MP-25s.

    Springs are critical on these pistols to keep the frame and slide from cracking. I'm talking recoil springs, buffer springs, and the firing pin spring; they work in concert to absorb recoil. The cracks on the frames are nearly always from the extractor smacking into the frame; the cracked slides are nearly always the result of the slide smashing backward into the frame. I have NEVER had a slide failure or frame failure on these guns, but I've bought plenty that did have serious damage.

    Here's some pics to entertain you.
    Davis P380 magazine and Lorcin L380 magazine modded for a Denali:

    Davis P380 grips modded to fit a Denali:

    Another area to examine on the slide:

    Buffer comparison Davis vs. Cobra:
  16. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    I was wondering why the trigger guards were making an appearance. I have sort of grown to find them interesting (don't have one though). Did the lawsuit happen around the same time as JA or before?

    I did email JA and ask questions about a Jennings J22 and they responded fairly quickly but other than I have not dealt with them. I would really like to get a J25 but they have been going for more than I am willing to spend. Have not had to contact HP, but have read good things about their customer service.

    I probably shouldn't have bought the 6 pack but it was a pretty good deal and I have found tinkering with SNS (only Ravens and Davis/Cobra) to be fun. I used to read the BJJA forum very regularly and found it to be a wealth of information.

    I got a Denali for a really good price. It is not a bad gun (have over 800 rounds through it) but the magazines suck! I did find a place that makes after market ones, they almost look like Diamondback magazines (not real sure though). Have not had a chance to use it on the range yet but it does not seem to lock into place when inserted (although I am not sure yet if it is the gun or the magazine).

    The springs lesson/issue is one that I took from reading the BJJA forum. Interesting, the Denali recoil spring after over 800 rounds is still almost the same length as a new one.

    Thank you for the pictures and the heads up in regards to the bumper springs.
  17. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    Here is a picture of the P380. 14904.jpg
  18. The JA lawsuit and the Cobra lawsuits are totally separate.

    Jimenez: The KC lawsuit in January 2020 takes aim at an alleged gun trafficking scheme led by James Samuels, a former KC Firefighter. Samuel was charged with federal gun crimes in October 2018. According to the lawsuit, Samuels repeatedly placed orders for firearms from Jimenez Arms and had them shipped to a previously licensed local gun dealer called Conceal & Carry that had been dissolved by the state of Missouri. Samuels is awaiting trial on related criminal charges in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. Alla Lefkowitz, the director of affirmative litigation at Everytown Law alleges that on two occasions Jimenez Arms shipped guns directly to Samuels’ home, “knowing that he was not a licensed dealer and knowing that he was going to resell these guns,”
    Source: www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article239013948.html

    My hunch: Once the dust settles and the lawyers take their pound of flesh, that the Bryco/Jennings/Jimenez firearms will re-emerge under a different name/owner.

    Cobra: Travis Barthel, a school teacher, was shot on Feb. 29 of 2016 when his Cobra derringer was jostled. The lawsuit against Cobra claims the gun was defective. According to his lawsuit, Barthel routinely carried a Derringer around his property for personal protection. Barthel had his Derringer in a jacket he was holding as he entered his garage to take out the garbage. When he placed the jacket on a table, one of the barrels fired, striking him in the abdomen with a 9mm slug. The wound resulted in a large amount of blood loss, and medical personnel needed 16 units of blood to keep him alive. The lawsuit contends that the Derringer has a manufacturing defect that can lead to unintentional firing. When the firearm is not cocked, the hammer rests on the firing pin, which in turn rests on the primer. The lawsuit alleged that the "direct contact allows the gun to unexpectedly discharge without any purposeful movement of the trigger or hammer as the design of the Derringer is such that no momentum is necessary to initiate firing of the handgun.” Additionally, the lawsuit also alleged that Cobra bought the design and equipment used to manufacture the Derringers from Davis Industries, which filed for bankruptcy in 1999 amid lawsuits accusing the company of failing to include enough safety features on its firearms and of negligently marketing them. Cobra, the lawsuit says, did not add any additional safety features to the guns. The Barthel lawsuit was resolved "amicably" with undisclosed terms in March of 2019.
    Source: www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/03/12/gunshot-victim-settles-suit-against-cobra-enterprises/3134463002/

    My take: Prior to the lawsuit, Cobra had already been struggling. They had made efforts to rebrand themselves as Kodiak Industries, which kind of stalled.
    Kodiak was working on a hand print grip that only allowed designated shooters to fire the gun, pissed off many many people in the firearms industry. Interestingly enough, early Denali pistols were stamped "Kodiak Industries", while later guns were stamped "Cobra Industries". The lawsuit just added more stress. My guess is the ugly trigger guard is part of the lawsuit settlement, perhaps at the insurance company's insistence.
  19. Yup, the classic P-380/CA-380 frame crack. I've always wondered if a deeper, rounded (as opposed to square) recess would help mitigate this problem.
  20. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    Thank you for the information in regards to the lawsuits.

    I hope someone is able to pick up the pieces and rebuild both companies.
    Quavodus and adam01364 like this.