Cobra Self-Cocking Crossbow Review

ModelDraw WeightVelocityCrossbow Weight
Cobra Pistol Crossbow

Cobra Self-cocking xbow
Check Price on
80 lbs.150 FPS1 lbs.


  • High-powered pistol crossbow
  • Well balanced to reduce front heaviness
  • Wicked look
  • Very good price for the value


  • Assembly instructions leave quite a bit to be desired
  • Safety does not always engage when cocking
  • No bow stringer included

Package Contents

Welcome to our review of the Cobra 80 lb. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow. This inexpensive pistol crossbow is a joy to shoot, and is a very powerful mini crossbow. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow, including riser and prod
  • Polyester bowstring
  • Vibration dampening pads
  • Compression plate
  • Allen key
  • 3 aluminum crossbow darts (some packages will include an extra 15 darts)

Assembling The Crossbow

Assembling this pistol crossbow isn’t difficult until the time comes to string the bow. A rank novice crossbow shooter, though, could make some mistakes due to the poor assembly instructions printed on the box.

This pistol crossbow ships with two vibration dampening pads and a compression plate, but the instructions do not tell the proper use of these parts. The two vibration dampening pads should go on either side of the prod, so that one vibration dampener is at the front of the prod and the other at the rear. Once you have slid the prod and vibration dampening pads into position in the riser, insert the compression pad towards the front of the crossbow – the retention screw is supposed to screw into the compression plate.

Once the prod and riser have been joined, it’s time to string the crossbow. This is more difficult than the instructions suggest, but it is still doable. You can either use a bow stringer to help stringing it, or employ an extra person to bend the prod enough to get the string over the second limb tip. My wife, who has slightly above-average strength, was able to bend the prod enough for me to finish stringing the bow assembly. With the two of us working together, we made short work of stringing the bow. In total, assembly of this pistol crossbow took less than 10 minutes.

Accuracy And Power

The Cobra 80 lbs. self-cocking crossbow is rated at shooting crossbow darts at 150 fps. The included darts weigh approximately 12.5 gr, so the pistol crossbow generates approximately 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. From 30 yards, this was more than enough to drive the dart approximately 1 1/2 inches into a thick, healthy tree.

Sighting in the pistol crossbow might be tedious, because the adjustable site has a bit of horizontal play that can happen if you bump the sight with your hands. Retightening the sight mechanism screws helps alleviate this problem, so make sure to do that before you try sighting in the crossbow.

Once I was sighted in, I was able to maintain 1/2” groupings from 10 yards and 2” groupings from 30 yards. I was quite pleased with the balance of the pistol crossbow, which was so well done that I noticed almost none of the frontal heaviness that many crossbows, especially pistol crossbows, are famous for.

Toy or Tool?

I’d call this crossbow a little bit of both. It is partially a toy simply because of its tiny appearance. However, the Cobra 80 lbs.packs a wallop strong enough that I would advise against letting your children shoot this in the back yard without any supervision.

Hunting: What To Expect

At 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, the Cobra 80 lbs. self-cocking pistol crossbow is lethal enough to take on some small game, as long as you have developed enough accuracy with it to hit the vital organs. Most sources agree that you need 5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy to take down a rabbit or squirrel, so the Cobra 80 lbs. is more than powerful enough for these small game animals. I have used mine to bag several rabbits and squirrels, and found that my shots almost inevitably went straight through the animal, passing through the vitals and making a humane kill.

Cocking The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow

The cocking mechanism on the Cobra works very well and cocking the pistol crossbow is quick and easy. Once you depress the latch just beneath the grip, the cocking lever is released and you can pull it down and back to pull the cocking arms back, thus cocking the string. It takes less than 20 seconds to cock and load this pistol weapon, once you’ve gotten used to the way it works.

One major safety issue with cocking this pistol crossbow, though, is the failure of the safety to engage after you draw the string. In my tests, I found the safety to automatically engage after only 2 out of 10 draws. To avoid a misfire or dry fire, make sure you maintain proper trigger control and check the safety for yourself before you even begin to load a dart into the rail.

The Crossbow Sight

The sight on the Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow is a simple device, but it allows for adjustments to windage and elevation by turning the exposed knobs. Unfortunately, however, the sight is not made to the same quality standards as you might expect, and it becomes easily misaligned by bumping the crossbow sight ever so softly during transport. Other than that difficulty, the pistol crossbow sight is easy to zero in, and makes the product very accurate for the price.


The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking crossbow comes with 3 6.25” crossbow darts, and some packages on will even come with an extra pack of a dozen aluminum crossbow darts. The manufacturer doesn’t really describe what crossbow bolts to look for, so just make sure they have at least field tip points on them and are a good 6.25” long. I have not yet been able to find broad heads that would fit these arrows, so if you want to use broad heads you will have to machine your own arrows and heads.

Safety and Design

The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking crossbow is lightweight and easy to shoot, but it can be dangerous if left in the unsupervised hands of a child or novice to archery. Since the safety does not reliably set itself when you cock the weapon, leaving the archer to realize this fact and set the safety before each and every shot.


The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Crossbow ships with a 1-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. If you buy this bow from a reputable source, such as Amazon, make sure to ask them what warranty coverage they will provide you with if you purchase directly from them.

Pistol Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our review of the pistol crossbow. This crossbow looks like a toy, but its stainless steel design makes it sturdy and reliable. Mine has seen use in controlling the squirrel and rabbit population in my acreage, and it is easy to carry and have at the ready. You can check’s price on the Cobra if you want to order online.


Add a Comment
  1. This may sound bizarre but here is what I am looking for. My wife and I do a great deal of wilderness type hiking and I am looking to have something with me for protection. I do not want to carry a gun in any form so was wondering if a Crossbow Pistol might fit the bill.

    1. Hi Jim,

      A crossbow pistol would only provide you with “fake” protection, as in it would make you feel safer when in fact you shouldn’t. Crossbow pistols are way too weak to fend off a large angry animal (the type you would be attempting to protect your wife and yourself from). I definitely would not recommend using a crossbow pistol for protection purposes.

      1. Hi guys, I have had my cobra pistol for about a year now. My safety mechanism always engages when cocked and I highly disagree that it doesn’t provide adequate defense. The pointed bolt tips are lethal in my opinion.

        1. Late af but whatever, had to comment. Yeah, go ahead friend, shoot the large angry animal with it. After all, with such a powerful shot, what could possibly go wrong? Jesus…

  2. These are fun xbows, and while they likely would not be lethal or effective (unless you get a lucky shot) in a real self defense role they might fend off attackers that are less than committed to the attack.

  3. I just picked up the Cobra 80lb good one and it’s fun to shoot. But I need a front sight for it does anyone know how to get one?

    1. Did you buy it new? If so, was it from a local retailer? I’ve bought several from Sportsmans Warehouse, and they replaced my entire package with a new one. No questions asked.

    2. They sell a very nice red dot sight that fits the weaver rail on the just remove the original sight and mount the red dot easy peasy. Works like a charm and only 14’00 dollars. It’s made by Hammer and sells on Amazon usually in the same page as the cobra pistol. It is far and above a better sight.

  4. I bought one about a week ago I assembled it correctly and everything it fired correctly the first two times but now when ever I cock it, it just fires without warning. I just can’t figure it out.

  5. so far so good have two days of shooting on it about 25 to 30 shots each day and it is fairly accurate, 50 feet within 2 inches if you brace it so it does not pull with the trigger which is pretty stiff. so far no false release and mine engages the safety each time cocked so check assembly if yours does not cock into safety.

  6. Yes this crossbow can take down someone if needed for self defense. Anyone who thinks others wise is miss informed.

    Very powerful little crossbow.

  7. Please DO NOT even consider a pistol crossbow for self defence, or for humane hunting anything bigger than a rabbit beyond about 10 yards (head shot with the little bolts or darts, or body with broadhead only).

    If people are interested, there are medical Doctors accounts on the internet of injuries to people caused by these crossbows, and none have been listed as lethal or even potentially lethal. Indeed, ijuries appear less serious than being shot by a high power pellet gun (over 12ft lbs) as the bolt can be easily removed (unlike a lead pellet) and does not cause any hydrostatic shock (unlike an 800fps+ lead pellet).
    There are hundreds of photos on the internet of animals from ducks to dogs having being shot with the small bolts / darts these things shoot, and they walk around for days on end until a vet removes them, sometimes with little long term effect.
    I use pistol crossbows for target practice, plinking, and for introducing people to crossbow shooting. In that they excell.
    There are much, much better choices for self defence or hunting than a pistol crossbow, but you dont have to take my word for it.

  8. Good because i never would since i know better i myself have shot an intruder with an 80 lb pistol and it did stop him the solar plexus is an awesome target.

  9. I shot an intruder in my house with a. 80 lb pistol loaded with a broadhead and it did not end well for him, I am so tired of ignorant people and their uninformed comments. No I would not hunt an elk with one but humans are not that tough to penetrate with an 80 lb pistol.

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