Day One of our Ballistic Best Reader’s Choice Awards saw the SIG P320 XCompact take home the “Best Compact Semi-Auto Pistol” category. For Day Two, we move onto the “Best Revolver” category. Again, “Reader’s Choice” means you were the ones who determined the winner.

“Revolvers are obsolete!” Read some internet blogs and posts, and you’ll see that this is a common refrain. After a while, you may even come to believe the stories. But we’re here to assure you that the revolver market is strong and in good hands. The major indicator is the number of companies continuing to produce wheelguns and introduce new models.

Nominees in the Reader’s Choice poll for “Best Revolver” category were:

Here’s a breakdown of all the categories in the mix and winners so far:

In total, we saw 7,107 votes from our readers in the “Best Revolver” category. And the winner — receiving more than 43 percent of the votes — is the Colt King Cobra.

Colt King Cobra Details

The following was written by contributor Rob Garrett as a part of the 2019 Ballistic’s Best issue. Want to find out the winners our staff chose? Grab digital and/or physical copies of “Ballistic’s Best 2019” at

The Colt King Cobra, Kimber K6s DASA and Ruger LCRx are all medium-frame DA/SA revolvers. They’re designed for personal defense and can chamber either .357 Magnum rounds or softer-shooting .38 Specials. The Colt and Kimber both have six-round cylinders while the Ruger has a capacity of five rounds. We ran all three revolvers hard during this test, too, with each digesting over 200 full-power .357 Magnum rounds. Despite that, there were no malfunctions or breakages during the evaluation.

First up was the standard Colt King Cobra, a .357 Magnum version of the earlier Cobra. This six-shot revolver weighs in at 28 ounces unloaded. It has an attractive stainless finish, and our test model didn’t have any sharp edges to snag on skin or clothing. The action was also smooth, but in typical Colt fashion, the trigger started to stack toward the end of its travel. That said, the trigger was polished with nicely rounded edges.

The rear sight notch is machined into the topstrap, and the front sight is pinned from the front and features a brass bead insert. The mechanics are traditional Colt; the cylinder rotates clockwise, and the cylinder release is pushed rearward. The triggerguard on the King Cobra is also oddly shaped, but the design allows for a straighter trigger design. Finally, the Hogue rubber grips fill the hand and do a great job of absorbing the hotter .357 Magnum loads. For more information, please visit

Colt King Cobra Specs

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Barrel: 3 inches
  • Overall Length: 8.3 inches
  • Weight: 28 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Hogue rubber
  • Sights: Brass bead front, notch rear
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Finish: Stainless
  • Capacity: 6
  • MSRP: $899

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