Cobra Arms Freedom .380 Review | An Affordable Concealed Carry Pistol!

Cobra Firearms have been making guns for over 15 years, building the most budget-friendly pistols on the handgun market today. The Cobra Arms Freedom .380 may leave something to be desired as a firearm, but it has its merits as a single-action, economical, and modest gun.

In this Cobra Arms Freedom .380 review, you'll see our shooting experience and the problems we experienced with the gun. I'll also show the gun features, unique specs, pros, and cons and see if it's a good option for self-defense. So, is Cobra Arms Freedom .380 worth the money? Let's have a look.

A gun and the ammo

Cobra Arms Freedom .380 Review: Product Description

Cobra Arms FS380 is a versatile and affordable pistol that is aesthetically appealing and light, ideal for concealed carry. Also, it's a semi-automatic pistol, part of the Cobra Freedom series of single-action semi-auto guns.

The Cobra FS380 is simple, with a striker-fired design and an interior almost like the 1911 handguns. The exterior features two controls made with lefties in mind. One is a rectangular-shaped ambidextrous mag release on the left side near the rear grip. The other control is the thumb safety on the left side as well.

The gun's interior had some rough machine marks, but this issue is not unique to this particular firearm, as even high-priced guns can have similar problems. However, the gun's flawless and bright exterior compensated for this flaw. Constructed with a steel alloy frame and slide, the surface of the gun was relatively attractive.

The Great Cobra Freedom .380, which also came with extra magazines, was a personal favorite of mine, having purchased it new around five years ago. It functioned well, especially with aluminum case ammunition, which is more affordable compared to other options. In my opinion, this gun is one of the best choices for beginners.

Although its accuracy is average, continuous practice can greatly improve it. Moreover, it is a reliable weapon suitable for home, auto, and homestead ranch self-defense. Its concealable size and durability, which I have witnessed over the course of a year, make it an excellent choice for those in need of a dependable firearm.

Cobra Arms Freedom .380 Features Review

It has a seven-round magazine capacity. The gun had issues while shooting; I thought it was the ammo and magazine. After smoothing and oiling the inside, it reduced the frequency of malfunctions at the range.

a handgun

Like the similar Bersa Thunder 380, it has a steel slide featuring a non-adjustable front and rear sight made directly into the slide’s frame. I rated the gun at 3.5 out of 5 on accuracy.

The 3.5-inch barrel facilitates the gun's direct-blowback action. It has a bit of recoil.

Cobra Freedom pot metal pistols feature slide serrations flanking the rear side, providing an improved grip while manually cycling the slide. Additionally, the polymer grip contours of the frame offer a comfortable hold. With a height of 4.8 inches and a length of 6.5 inches, this firearm is suitable for various concealed carry purposes, including use as a truck gun.

Its compact size allows for easy storage with the appropriate attire and holster. While the Hi-Point may be perceived as more reliable, the Cobra Freedom proves to be dependable, offering satisfactory accuracy for its caliber. Occasional magazine malfunctions can be avoided by regular cleaning on a weekly basis.

The gun boasts good sights and a slightly tight trigger that remains sensible. Considering its value, the FS380 is an excellent economical pistol that performs well. With 300 rounds fired through a new FS380 without any issues, it met expectations without the need for extensive maintenance or modifications. Notably, it is proudly made in the USA.

Shooting Range Experience

The gun went smoothly during the first few rounds at the shooting range, and I had no malfunctions. But as we went on, the gun had hitches and problems with feed within the first seven rounds.

The magazine and over 90-grain ammo affected the shooting range experience with this gun.

After polishing the interior feed ramp and oiling, the malfunctions reduced significantly. A friend advised on changing a few magazines and ammo, and the problem was half-solved. 

a person holding a gun

We only had a few stovepipe jams for the subsequent one thousand rounds, which were okay considering the gun.

I had no trouble shooting a man-sized target, and with a bit of effort, I achieved several x-mark hits on the target. The particular gun I used had a discreet and small thumb safety that required no manipulations, making it incredibly easy to handle. I loved the gun not only for its simplicity but also for its sticky yet stiff grip.

It provided a comfortable shooting experience due to its reduced recoil, weight, and barrel length. However, I had a similar shooting experience with the Glock 26 9mm, a semi-automatic gun lighter than the .380. It's important to note that this gun couldn't be compared to a full-size firearm and falls significantly below the size and shooting experience of a sub-compact pistol.

One of the advantages of using this gun is the affordability of its ammunition, but its heaviness can be tiring when held for extended periods. Despite that, the tight grip ensures minimal power loss when ejecting rounds. It operates using a blowback style, and I had a successful experience shooting two boxes of ammunition without any jams.

It's worth mentioning that breaking in the gun is essential for flawless operation. In my year of owning the Cobra Freedom .380, I have taken it to the range and fired approximately 300 rounds. Contrary to some opinions, it is not a terrible gun.

Prior to firing, dry firing it about 100 times and running the ammo cartridge with a pencil multiple times is crucial. Loosening the spring, using good oil, and properly cleaning it after every practice session ensures reliable performance. With these precautions in place, you're good to go.

Pros of Cobra Arms Freedom .380

  • The gun was accurate with a little effort.
  • A relatively lower recoil compared to other guns with a direct drawback mechanism
  • A light-carry gun
  • A blend of color and weight ideal for concealment

Cons of Cobra Arms Freedom .380

  • There was no last-round hold open, so I had to be keen on the number of rounds I fired. Also, the gun had no take-up, and the trigger pull felt long and stiff, which mattered little to most of us who had prior shooting experience.

Unique Specs


FS380 Semi-Auto




.380 ACP




Comes with one mag with a 7-round capacity


Synthetic Frame


33 OZ

What Does a Cobra .380 Cost?

The manufacturer's recommended retail price of the Cobra .380 is 123.73 dollars. The Cobra Freedom .380 handguns are the cheapest on the carry weapon market. The full-size and compact-size prices in the real gun shop are 103.17 dollars. If you want a used one, you can get it for 98.98 dollars.

Note: Some semi-auto handguns selling below $300 require a long interval and are likely a good deal of fluff & buff. Hi-Point, Jimenez Arms, Phoenix Arms, IO, and Kel-Tec deals are in that category. You'll require an out-of-the-box TLC to remove the marks, and polish sliding surfaces, chamber openings, and feed ramps. You'll also need deep cleaning and a good lube.

Is a .380 Enough for Self-Defense?

I can use the .380 as a supplementing handgun instead of the primary defensive pistol. That's because shooting larger ammunition causes more devastating bullet wounds that can damage the target's vital organs. They hit the target the hardest because of their size and thickness. However, you can still use this handgun for defense or sport or leave it in your truck.

Does a .380 Have Good Stopping Power?

No, the .380 doesn't have good stopping power. The Cobra Freedom .380 has no stopping power compared to the 9mm handguns or Glocks.

While using JHP-P loads on a 9mm and Cobra Freedom, the .380 performed 40% lower than a 9mm. It was less destructive and was only accurate in the short range. But in 15m and above yards and rapid firing, the .380 was significantly less than the 9mm pistol. It has less power, impact, and accuracy in more prolonged yards and with rapid firing. 

What Is the Best .380 Pistol on the Market Today?

If you're on a budget, the .380 Freedom pistol is okay. But the best overall .380 pistol on the market today is the SIG Sauer P238. 

The gun offers a classic firing pin chambered as a .380 ACP with a 1911 all-metal frame. It's also light and has a comfortable grip with an ideal caliber to produce less recoil. It's a good fit for shooting and handling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ammo Does a Cobra .380 Use?

Cobra Freedom uses .380 auto ACP ammo types. If a shooter goes for an inexpensive gun such as the Cobra .380, chances are they'll go for affordable ammo, and that's what .380 ACP such as the PMC bronze are. But we can't guarantee an exceptional shooting range experience.

How Powerful Is a .380 Auto?

The Cobra Freedom .380 auto's power is 980 FPS with energy at 194 MPa when you fire. Within 500m, the velocity drops to 893 FPS and 163 MPa. The time taken to reach 500 meters is 1600 milliseconds. But I liked that the Cobra Freedom .380 is not one of those Hi-point handguns. The Hi-point gun shot explodes like a grenade in your hand.

Are Cobra .380 a Good Gun?

Cobra Freedom .380 could not stand against an S&W, Ruger LCP, or Glock, and it is not in the top eight of the best firearms. But it's okay for what it brings to the table; a single-action, cheap, simple, and reliable backup gun for its price.

Is a .380 Easier to Shoot Than a 9MM?

Yes, it's easier shooting the .380 than the 9mm. It has a moderate pull and is easier to conceal than the .380. But irrefutably, the 9mm outperforms the .380, and it's more potent than the .380.

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