Four years ago, Cobalt Kinetics invited me to a private shooting event in Las Vegas, Nevada, to let me try out a few of their new rifles that provided a fresh take on the venerable AR-15. These bold new designs had it in the looks department as well as in performance. Beyond the flashy colors were some real innovations like a six-port muzzle brake that kept your rifle flat-shooting, an impressive buffer system, a dual forward assist that functioned as a bolt drop, and the ability to drop your empty magazines automatically.
Yesterday Cobalt Kinetics announced the cessation of manufacturing these rifles. They are setting their sights on another iconic firearm, the M1911 pistol.
I had known about the project for about two years, but I never thought they would stop making the rifles that put them on the map. I had to confirm with the Vice president and marketing director at Cobalt, Skylar Stewart.
He said, “We are sorry to have to take the BAMF out of production. We all worked tirelessly to create it and get it out into the world and establish and grow the market for the super-premium AR-15. But times change, market demand shifts, and we’re only looking forward. We have really been wanting to expand our offering for a long time, and this shift gives us the chance to make good on that plan. Our pistol-smith, Dave Lake, has a lot of experience and has given us a healthy head start on this thing. We’re going to hit the ground running. We plan to break some rules, turn some heads, and make our mark on the firearm industry again.”
From the looks of the 1911s that I have seen, these pistols will turn some heads.
I happen to know David Lake as well. He is one hell of a gunsmith and engineer with close to 2 decades of study and on-the-job experience in the craft. He has built competition handguns for world champions in various shooting disciplines and has a loyal following as a builder of precision bolt-action target rifles.
Cobalt will be releasing a complete line of these handguns, including a Commander-sized carry pistol, a suppressor-ready tactical pistol, and a few USPSA competition pistols. While the exact features and details of each model are still refined- Cobalt insists that they’re willing and able to make good on most any custom requests from interested parties. This would indicate that these pistols are being built by hand in a custom fashion rather than being mass produced on a manufacturing line.
From what I can deduce by the information on hand:
- All pistols will be available in either 9mm or 45 ACP and are double stack.
- The cocking serrations have a very unique pattern.
- The Commander, sized options areis, called the Contra and appears to have an Ambi safety and no front cocking serrations. The front of the slide looks a bit squarish, so finding holsters initially may be a challenge.
- The Tactical versions are called the Ultra.
- The Competition version is called the Adeptus and looks ported.
Cobalt has not given a timeline for delivery of these new handguns, nor will they confirm the prices at this time. But based on the BAMF rifles, these new pistols will not be in the Armscor or Rock Island price ranges. I expect them to come in at the level anywhere from a Dan Wesson or Les Baer to a Cabot Arms price tag and will command a premium at market.
The company does still have a standing inventory of new and used rifles. The new guns are exactly that – new boxed inventory, while the used guns are all trade show samples and range demo rifles in various conditions ranging from bearing a few slight handling marks to heavy cosmetic damage from extreme use. Cobalt maintains that each of these last 200 new guns will be sold with a full factory warranty. For a list of available rifles, contact Cobalt’s sales team at [email protected]
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About Mike Searson
Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for several magazines, websites, and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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