SWD (Cobray) Terminator spotted in the wild…

    Just in case you’ve never seen one of these, here it is. It’s the Terminator, manufactured by SWD in the 1980’s. It’s a single-shot shotgun that slam fires from an open bolt and has a telescoping “stock”. The rumor is that only 18 were ever made. It is 22 inches overall with the stock retracted and 35 inches overall, extended. Believe it or not, the barrel is 18.5 inches long.

    A round is inserted into the open chamber and when the trigger is depressed, the chamber/barrel slam rearward onto the firing pin, which is fixed at the back of the receiver tube. This accounts for why the barrel appears longer when the bolt is open.

    Clearly plans were made for a 20 gauge option.

    The Terminator supposedly retailed for $100.00 in the 1980’s. After seeing this in person, that seems high. Recently at various auctions, these guns have gone from $500.00 to $3000.00, but I have no way of determining if they were selling at the higher prices.

    The barrel shroud/receiver looks like that of a British Sten.

    I DID NOT fire this gun so I cannot attest to the (what I assume would be punishing) recoil. It certainly has an interesting design, but I cannot imagine a scenario where I would want to use it, unless I had nothing else. Still, I couldn’t help but want one, just because of how rare they are.

    Is it?

    My friend who told me about it approached it this way: if you had four hours to design and make a 12 gauge shotgun from scratch, what would you do? In a few hours, this is probably better than what I could do, but you get the point.

    There was also a rumor that BATFE shut down production because someone had attached a magazine and made one full auto. I do not see how that would be possible, but I’m no engineer. I’ve seen more done with less, so I guess it’s possible.


    I’m not advocating for the design or for pursuing ownership of the Terminator. However, it was cool seeing one and getting to handle it. Many thanks to my friend for letting me, and now you, see it.



    GD Crocker is a proud Southerner who has been shooting for decades. He is a competitive shooter, armorer, instructor and collector. He recently passed the bar exam and deals primarily with securities law. GD’s proudest moments are seeing his kids shoot and get excited about their 2nd Amendment rights. He’s no Rick Taylor, but then again, who is?