Often pistols are enjoyable on the range and
others are a real chore to test. Heavy recoil and a heavy
trigger action combine to make testing rigorous. But these are
not target pistols or even service pistols but personal defense
pistols with a real purpose.
down service pistols are OK as far as the go but when it comes
to viability for personal defense a purpose designed compact is
often a better choice. The Cobra Patriot is a hammerless
double action only pistol with a polymer frame and snag free
profile. The DAO trigger action of the Patriot both cocks and
releases the striker. Unlike the partially prepped striker of
the Glock this makes for
a heavy but safer trigger action that makes close carry to the
body viable. Trigger compression is a smooth but heavy sixteen
pounds with no rough spots or creep. Backlash is not present and
reset is rapid. The grip angle of the Patriot allows good
leverage for the trigger finger. The Patriot trigger action is
controllable at moderate range, making it a good choice for
was impressed with the quality of workmanship and design detail
in a pistol that retails for less than three hundred dollars.
Initial disassembly shows minimal tool marks and rough spots. I
have used the pistol for a few months with good results. The
pistol has proven reliable overall but like many short slide
compacts it is more reliable with loads it likes. The owner’s
manual recommends only full metal jacketed ammunition. The
manual states that hollow point bullets may not feed in the
Patriot. The fact
is every standard load I tried in both 200 and 230 grain JHP
styles worked just fine. Reliability was good. However, quite a
few standard 230 grain round nose jacketed bullets did not
function the action. As a rule hardball is most often loaded
around 800-830 fps while the jacketed hollow point bullets are
usually loaded a bit hotter. The hotter loads worked just fine.
Initial failures to feed semi wadcutter bullets were cured by a
feed ramp polish with the Dremel. Few users of a pistol
like the Patriot will use hand loads, but the author uses his
lead bullet loads heavily in practice. And the caution
concerning standard hardball is certainly worth addressing. With
the 230 grain Winchester SXT as an example the pistol is
reliable and since the Patriot is chambered for the .45 ACP
cartridge effectiveness should be excellent.
firing tests the Patriot proved an easy pistol to use quickly.
The pistol weighs but twenty ounces, so it comes out of the belt
and onto the target quickly. The short sight radius makes for
rapid sight acquisition at three to seven yards and the sights
are adequate for close range combat. I quickly ate out the X
ring of a silhouette target at close range. Double taps are
easily managed. When firing the Patriot you will begin to
understand the cadence of fire that is necessary for good work.
Press the trigger smoothly, the piece fires, the slide resets
the trigger. Press, fire, reset, fire.
After a few trips to the range you will be able to lob
those pumpkin balls where they will do the most good.
longer ranges, ten to fifteen yards, more concentration is
demanded from the shooter. However, I found that the trigger
broke cleanly and with proper concentration I was able to
address man sized targets past fifteen yards. This type of
shooting demands concentration and recoil is more noticeable
when you are concentrating and holding the pistol in a ‘death
grip’. Remember, This is a pistol that weighs about as much as
a snub nose .38. Recoil is a bit more than the .38 but hit
potential at close range is greater. Do not compare the Patriot
to a 1911 or a Glock .45 but rather to a snub .38 or Makarov.
Then you will begin to appreciate the Patriot.
is not objectionable or painful but this is not a pistol you
will wish to spend hours on the range in sport shooting. If you
can handle an Officer’s Model .45 or snub .38 with +P loads
you will be OK with the Patriot. The Patriot is lighter and more
compact than an Officer’s Model and there is no exposed hammer
to snag. The Patriot has many advantages in light weight and a
smooth outline for concealed carry. The Patriot just may be
viable for Mexican style carry with no holster but you need at
least an inexpensive Uncle Mike’s inside the waistband
holster. It is not
too big for some pockets but probably a bit large for jeans
pockets. As a truck gun it is just about right for most dash
pockets. The slide is a little stout to rack quickly so
chamber-empty carry is not a good idea. If you do not like a
chamber loaded automatic pistol your best bet is a revolver.
good and practical touch is that the magazines are
interchangeable with 1911 magazines; at least the 1911 fits the
Patriot but extends from the grip handle. Metalform
magazines were used for the majority of the test with good
results. As for wound potential, the .45 automatic depends upon
frontal mass and bullet diameter to do the business. Expansion
is simply a plus if we can get it. I have worked extensively
with a viable alternative to the hollow point bullet that works
just fine in the Patriot. The Extreme
Shock bullet uses space age technology to create a
bullet that quickly expands and fragments and creates a
devastating wound. But Extreme Shock is manufactured in standard
weights at standard to plus P velocity, a neat trick.
the Patriot seems to be a workmanlike defense pistol for short
range personal defense. You could do a lot worse, especially
when it comes to caliber. This is a pistol well worth your
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