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Thread: Browning Cobra Compound bow...date?

  1. #1

    Browning Cobra Compound bow...date?

    In 1990 I visited Virginia and bought a compound bow from a woman placing an ad in the paper. She said it had been her brothers and had been in her garage for "many years". The bow is identified as a Browning Cobra compound, serial number FOA3856. It is a one piece, glass-backed wooden bow with round wheels. There are no other manufacture markings on the bow. When I put it on a scale years ago, it was 47# with a 28" draw.

    I contacted Browning Archery, which has been bought out by PSE. They do not have any records of serial numbers, but she said it was probably manufactured between 1979-1986.
    I have alkso looked at www.archeryhistory.com and there are no photos or reference to this bow or any single piece compound bow, as they all have limbs bolted to riser.
    This bow is very light weight, accurate and a dream to shoot.

    Does anybody out there have any information for me on this bow?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hermosa SD
    First, thanks for your service to our country. If you do a Google web search AND an image search on Browning Compound Cobra, you may get a little more information.
    Black Widow PMA III

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Armpit of the midwest
    My cousin got his Safari back before we graduated (82). They had the Explorer 4 wheelers, the Safari 2 wheelers and maybe the Cobras up to then, they might have been discontinued around that time.

  4. #4
    Commander Cody,
    You are welcome. We all have a part to play, and for a shy bit over 20 years, I did mine.
    Thank you for your suggestion. I did an image search and a Google search, but all I could come up with was a Cobra and a Cobra II available on eBay, with very little information about them. Did you have some specifics in mind, or those generic searches?

    Thank you for your input, but it still leaves me no closer to finding the details than when I started my search

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Browning Cobra

    I also have a Cobra and a couple of its little brothers the Bantam. One of the interesting features of these bows is that the wheels are helical and move the cables away from the string to provide fletch clearance when the arrow fletch passes the cables. A seperate cable bar wasn't needed, making the bow easier to hunt with its lighter weight. I learned recently that not all Cobra/Bantam bows had that feature. They are not real complicated, the Cobra was sure easier to shoot than my Bantam, though!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Armpit of the midwest
    Watch those later helix wheel jobbies, back in their day they had a higher than average failure rate.

    Dunno if that was due to some error in operation (blown nock/near dry fire or what) causing a problem that later surfaced, or if there was a manufacturing defect or design issue.

    I know of a couple that blew up.

    One right next to me (neat sound btw). Never cared for fiberglass, especially when it flies into my hide at some speed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Armpit of the midwest
    What was that green metal riser Browning back then, wasn't it called the XLM 60?

    I remember going to Norm's Sport Shop, seeing one new in the rack. The glass case below had a few of those serpentine Browning broadheads too.

    Been a while

  8. #8
    But....does anybody know when it was manufactured?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hancock County,Indiana
    cant help ya there, but thanks for bringing back the memory. I had one of those in the early 80's. It was a pleasure to shoot!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Springfield, OR
    Can't help ya ... But I had one in 82' or so ... My very first bow ... I actually borrowed it.
    Hoyt RKT Matrix
    It's just a bow.. Shoot it
    Gut Piles Make Me Happy™

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I still have one.Was my first bow in the mid 80s. Sorry no info for you

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    browning cobra

    length 43" axel to axel,wt 2 lbs, draw weight 50/60 lbs 35% to 50% letoff, draw length 29 to 31" 2 or 2 1/4" eccentric wheels, came with custom black dacron string, monofilament serving,4 3/4" sight window shedua handle,full pistol grip,accessory bushings, black face,black limbs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Hudson, FL
    This was my very first compound $50 bucks back in 91. AND I was bit ever since.
    In God we Trust all others pay CASH

    I message from my phone...so posts are short and sweet . No need for grammar , figure it out man.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Walworth Co. Wisconsin
    I got a bantam in 79 or 80 and my buddy had a Cobra about that same time. My Bantam broke at full draw after shooting it all summer just 1 weekend before opening deer the 1st year I had it. They sent me a replacement and that one broke a few years later. My buddies Cobra broke around the same time my second one did. We shot a lot and I know mine where well taken care of. I don't think I'd shoot one of those given thier age and knowing the nice gash acroos the nose they can leave. They were a cool looking bow back in the day.
    '06 Bowtech Tribute 70# - '07 Hoyt Vulcan 63#
    Wac-em XL, SlickTrick Mag, Viper and Razor tricks - favorite fixed

    1st bowkill deer 10-10-1977 / with a 1976 Bear Whitetail Hunter - Still have it!
    I love Wisconsin. We have 2 seasons!! Hunting Season and Fishing Season!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Muscle Shoals Al.
    Very strange for me to have come across this, as I was just on E-Bay looking at some recurve bow and found this Cobra for sale. It was also my very first real bow. I mail ordered it in 1980 in 50lb, then bought another in 60lb and later got one of the Bantams. The Cobras were much better shooters.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Crackerized" 06' Bowtech Tribute, 08' General
    ****** CSS
    Extreme RT 900 >>>------------->
    N.A.P. Sizzor
    Alpine Soft-Loc

  16. #16
    My dad had one, now its mine (still had paperwork) mid 70's. used it two years ago (nostalgia), long draw compared to my Mathews.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    East Oregon
    I shot a Cobra in '84. It replaced the Bear Whitetail Hunter I started with. Great bow, wished I still had it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    I love old Browning bows and the Cobra Compound is my favorite. I want one bad!!! I see them on the bay from time to time but they are always right handed and I shoot left handed. I do have an old 4 wheel Browning Explorer II XL that I like a lot but I'm still tuning on it.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Murrysville, PA
    I had one that was the shorter draw length and my draw length was right at the end of what I remember to be 28-30. I used it off and on for awhile. When I started up again about 10 years ago, it quickly went out of kilter. The top wheel would go sideways and rub against the bow at draw. I bought a replacement off of Ebay for about $50 of the longer draw length version but its been sitting in my basement. I need to get my wife to look at it at full draw and see if it is rubbing too.

    At any rate, I too feel that this is one of the best bows ever made - I love all of the all wood compounds and this one the most. If my "new" one has the same failure mode as my original I intend to try to repair it or build an equivalent.

    The modern bows with their aggressive draw force curves do not match a persons strength curve very well and I consider them as mainly marketing gimmicks without real advantage. Right? The fastest arrow with the smallest peak draw weight is an artificial metric.


    Oh yeah, I bought mine well before '80.

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