Gear Review Update: Kholster Crescent IWB Holster

Last month’s review of the Kholster Crescent IWB hybrid holster generated a tremendous response from our readers. Your comments were numerous and well-reasoned (h/t to Rabbi) and showed me the enormity of the Kholster’s only significant fault: the difficulty of obtaining a proper firing grip before drawing your pistol. That fault became more and more bothersome to me as I trained with the holster, and I needed to fix it or get a new holster…

The photo above shows the Kholster Crescent as it came from the manufacturer. Its rounded Pac-Man shape hints at why it’s called the ‘Crescent’, but also shows how the upper leather presses against your CCW pistol’s grip and messes with your presentation.

Acting on your suggestions, I decided to see if I could improve the Kholster design by triming away the excess leather. I traced an enlarged outline of the slide onto the leather backing, took a deep breath, and cut along the line with a wood chisel.

I chopped away the leather next to the pistol’s grip, leaving only a large tab to keep the slide from rubbing against me. Cutting through the full-grain leather was difficult; my 3/4″ chisel took four or five solid whacks with a plastic mallet to make a clean cut.

The end product would look more polished if I had some proper leather-working tools, but your suggestions have led to a vastly improved holster. It’s more concealable than the stock Crescent pattern, since there’s much less light-colored cowhide trying to peek out from beneath your cover garment or print through it.

More importantly, it now allows a proper presentation. Instead of forcing me to make an awkward presentation and then adjust my grip, I can now draw the pistol and bring it to bear instantly with a proper firing grip.

I’ll be forwarding both of these articles to Kholster and suggesting that they might want to offer these modifications themselves.

41 Responses to Gear Review Update: Kholster Crescent IWB Holster

  1. avatarVan says:

    Isn’t that what another manufacturer calls a “combat cut”?

    • avatarHulley says:

      Yes, I have two IWB and one OWB from that Manufacturer, CBH.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing as I glanced down at my right hip…

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      Or White Hat Holsters, or Tucker Gun Leather, or Theis Holsters, or Galco, or any number of holster manufacturers.

      • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

        Which is to say: quality, fit and price should be the determining factors if you’re in the market for an IWB leather/kydex hybrid holster. Who cares who makes it if it doesn’t work for you?

  2. avatarBalckforest hp says:

    Your holster is now very close to resembling my Looper Leather “Best Tuckin’ Holster”. I never thought I would give up my Milt Sparks Versa Max until I started using the Looper on a daily basis. Now it is all I carry my 1911 in. Very comfortable, concealable and easy to present your handgun from.

  3. avatarBarbicane says:

    Um… a Custom fit holster that is nearly perfect, and all it took was $50 and a good pair of shears… yet you suggest Kholster adjust it’s basic (very basic) design? leather is easy to trim/cut, and we are, for the most part, all different, so why not give ample leather for any conceivable application of the product, and allow the end user to make final adjustments?

    imho kholsters are impressive in design and fill a niche that is skipped by many other makers previously listed in these comments.

    • avatarfrankgon4 says:

      Agreed. Easy enough to make this modification and not every gun is the same. Easier for each owner to modify and get satisfaction.

  4. avatarBig J says:

    I want to see somebody bring out a holster design like this in which the kydex mold can be changed out too, so I can buy one platform that will hold several guns.

  5. avatarRon says:

    How does this modification affect comfort?
    Crossbreed has a similar option on their holster.
    They claim about 20% of buyers like the option, with 80% either having no preference or feeling it sacrifices too much comfort.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      My ‘circumsized’ Kholster is just as comfortable as it was before I trimmed it. The grip doesn’t dig into my side, but I’m fairly fit (6′, 185#) and it might not be so comfortable if my beltline were bigger.

      • avatarpair-o-dee says:

        Wood chisel and plastic mallet, eh? Hmmmm. :-)

        • avatarChris Dumm says:

          When it came to cutting full-grain cowhide, scissors (literally) just don’t cut it. As I said, proper leather-working tools would have been pretty helpful.

        • avatarLear says:

          Next time, an x-acto knife with a fresh blade will have serve you well. Just got slow, don’t force it, and expect to take 2-3 passes.

          (Made many leather archery bracers in my day.)

        • avatarUtah Rob says:

          Yeah, I did a similar mod on my Kholster using an X-acto knife. No problem at all; I was surprised at how well it sliced through that thick leather.

  6. avataradouglas says:

    When I bought a CrossBreed SuperTuck I got it without the cut, because a) it was less expensive, b) I had no idea if I’d want it or not and c) geez, I can cut leather. It took me about 20 minutes to decide that the cut is the way to go, for precisely the reasons stated here.

  7. avatarRalph says:

    Okay, it works. But does it have to be so damn ugly?

  8. avatarBruce says:

    OK, this article just sets me off…

    You bought the cheapest IWB tuckable holster on the market. Why is the cheapest? Because they went with the most basic design and allow YOU to finish it to your liking. Now you want them to change the design for you? If you can’t even Scout up enough to shape leather, WTF are you carrying a gun for? You’d be better off hiring a security guard, you’d obviously never be able to pull the trigger on your own.

    • avatarRalph says:

      FLAMED DELETED

      • avatarpair-o-dee says:

        Ralph,

        I blame the adoption of the ‘Professional Military’ and the elimination of the concept of the citizen-soldier. I think this has crippled our political common sense, encouraged military adventurism on the part of our once-conservative-but-no-longer Republican Party, and generally made the current generation of youths into a bunch of videogame-playing loud mouthed pussies. Add that to anonymous commenting on Internet forums, and you end up with non-entities like the guy above.

        Bring back the draft, now, before we end up like Rome.

        • avatarRalph says:

          @pair-o-dee, that was a very well thought out and articulate comment, and I agree with most of it.

          FLAME DELETED

      • avatarBruce says:

        Normally I’m a lot more polite with my postings, but if you wanted a combat cut holster and didn’t want to do it yourself, there are two dozen other makers out there that will sell you one.

        • avatarRon says:

          Again your comments are irrelevant.
          I am begining to wonder if you even read Mr.Dumm’s post. If so it is obvious you did not understand what you read.

          When Mr. Dumm bought his holster he did not know that he wanted a combat cut holster. After buying the holster he decided it needed to be modified. It is also obvious he did want to do it himself.

          As for there being ” two dozen other makers ”
          Mr. Dumm wanted a Kholster. By design Kholster holsters don’t come with a combat cut option.
          If you go to the Crossbreed site you will see they recommend that unless you are positive you want the combat cut option, you should try the full size model first. This only makes sense as it is much easier to cut away than to put back.

          Mr. Dumm now has a holster he is satisfied with and saved some money in the process.
          What is wrong about that?

    • avatarRon says:

      Bruce I have no idea why you are upset.

      Mr. Dumm bought a holster he thought he might like and decided to share his experience.
      Then he made a modification in the hope that it would improve his ability to draw his weapon, again sharing his findings.
      He was pleased with the result and thought the manufacture might be interested in his modification.
      What about any of the above is upsetting?

      Then you allow yourself to become so “set off ” that you cast aspersions on MR. Dumm’s gun handling abilities and decision to carry, based solely on his purchase of a single “cheap” holster and inability to “Scout up enought to shape leather”.
      What does either of these have to do with your perception of Mr. Dumm’s defensive abilities? What about any of this even remotely suggest that Mr. Dumm would “obviously (?) never be able to pull the trigger”?

      After reading your comment I have come to two conclusions.
      MR. Dumm has shown great maturity and restraint by not telling you to kiss his ass.
      You on the other hand have criticized the abilities of a man of whom you know nothing and shown a complete lack of ability to control your emotions.
      Even to something as unimportant as another man’s choice of holster.

      I suggest it is you who should reassess his decision to go armed.

  9. avatarJimmy says:

    Chris – thank you for the honest and well written review. I’m glad you found our product worthy of your time and efforts. And thanks to everyone else for your candid feedback.

    Kholster (pronounced coalster – yes it does sound a bit Farsi – LOL), was founded on 3 guiding principles: 1) deliver the most comfortable IWB holster in the universe, 2) deliver the most value to our customers, and 3) treat every customer as if they are our only customer. I think we’ve done a pretty good job in each of these areas and hope our customers agree.

    With reference to our first principle, we will not compromise when it comes to comfort. And neither should you; unless you want to. This is why we designed our line of holsters to cover most (or all) of the grip with leather. This keeps the grip from rubbing you raw and I have not found any problems drawing my gun quickly. In fact, the way I grab it allows me to flip the safety off with my thumb as I bring the weapon up. But that’s just my experience. Everyone’s hand, hip, weight, height, experience, preference, etc. etc. is different. That’s why we use all that ugly leather; it gives everyone the freedom to have what they want. You can trim it if you want or you can leave it alone. Customers have 90 days to return it no questions asked. We won’t ever ask why. Really. I promise. But we do like good stories so if you feel inclined to tell how your dog ate it (yes this did happen) or you drove over it with your dump truck, or you left it in on the dash in south Texas July, or whatever, we’d love to hear it. We all need a good laugh now and again.

    So here’s the really cool part about all of this. None of it affects the 90 day return policy. You can cut, stain, trim, melt, paint, or do whatever you want to it and still return your Kholster product for a full refund or replacement within the first 90 days. All it will ever cost you is return shipping. And if your Kholster product ever fails you, just let us know and we will fix or repair it for free under our limited lifetime warranty.

    Thank you all again for your honest feedback. I personally read and respond to every email we receive so free to drop me a line if you have a question or suggestion. I really appreciate the opportunity to serve you and will always do my best to make you a raving fan of our products and service.
    Very Sincerely,
    Jimmy McDonnell
    Owner and Head Honcho
    Kholster LLC, St. Louis, MO
    http://www.kholster.com
    “we’ve got you covered”

    • avatarDirk Diggler says:

      Damn good customer service response. makes me want to buy one, and I live in the STL area. . . . .

    • avatarIng says:

      Sort of raising this thing from the dead, but thought I’d leave a note in case it’s useful to someone…

      This article — and the economical price — convinced me to buy Kholsters for my wife and I. I wasn’t sure about the “combat cut” stuff, I had only just gotten my concealed carry license, and I needed something comfortable and secure.

      A year later, I have no regrets. If my Springfield XDm wasn’t so dang heavy, I could forget I was carrying at all. And I did recently trim the leather to fit — I’m packing a bit of a paunch, and after several months under pressure from the love handles (minimal though they are) the wide leather backing folded over to where it was starting to print. I traced a line that would leave enough leather to cover the slide and most of the handle, got out a sharp utility/drywall knife, and customized it easy as pie.

      For what it’s worth, I can see the worries that Chris and others had about getting a proper grip on the draw, but it hasn’t been an issue for me. I’ve just trained myself to really jam my thumb down between the handle and the leather when I draw; no problem at all.

  10. avatarracer88 says:

    I have a “full cut” Crossbreed Supertuck and White Hat Maxtuck. I can achieve a full grip EASILY without cutting leather out of the way. And, I really like the comfort of the leather coverage. Actually, if I could… I’d add MORE leather to extend the full length of the grip, if I could.

    • avatarJames St. John says:

      Sounds like you need to try the Kholster.

    • avatarJames St. John says:

      Sounds like you need to try the Kholster. I own 4 of them for 3 guns, I have an extra weak side for when I want a backup. The extra leather does a wonderful job of keeping the gun off me and preventing rusting and pitting, no plastic toys for me, full metal frames all the way.

  11. avatarNCG says:

    Chris Dumm, thanks. I’m accumulating all the CHL wisdom I can find, from the masters (Ayoob, etc.), and from TTAG. I know you’re never going to clue me in to that sweet shooting spot near Estacada (I’m not in your tribe), but I’ll probably find it on my own. My boys are really bugging me about going shooting, and the Memaloose road is snowed in, when it’s not scary.

    I’m amazed by how many people are afraid to mess with stuff – even taking some shears to some leather. Kudos.

  12. avatarJimmy says:

    Here’s my take on trimming. Wear your new Kholster for at least a week to break it in a bit. Then if you still want to trim it, the easiest way using a utility knife (new blade) and a cutting board. Draw your outline with pencil and cut less than you think you want. Then remove small amounts of leather until you get it just the way you want it. When you are done, hit the sharp edges of the leather with sand paper to make them soft. In the end, give it a nice coat of mink oil on both sides. Mink oil will soften the leather and water proof it while still making it breathable. I don’t know the magic of this stuff but it is amazing. Do this twice a year and your Kholster will last you a lifetime. If your lether washers get squeeky (we do coat them before leaving the factory), put some vaseline or mink oil on them where they touch the metal clips and they will quiet down instantly. Hope this helps!

    Ready to Serve,
    Jimmy McDonnell
    Owner and Head Honcho
    Kholster LLC, St. Louis, MO
    http://www.kholster.com
    “we’ve got you covered”

  13. avatarBLX says:

    I have been happy with my Milt Sparks VersaMax-2 for about 14 years. It still squeeks a bit with the Milt Sparks dress belt. This is my only beef with this combo to date. Will try the mink oil/vaseline suggestion…

  14. avatarJason says:

    I own 4 Kholsters and am ordering a 5th today for my new CCW LCR.

    I can attest to the comfort, fit, finish and most of all customer service!

    Jimmy is a self started single handed holster making machine.
    He has hand molded and assembled a holster for me when he didn’t have a new model in production yet while we sat and talked.

    All of his models can be ordered in combat cut as that is the way I order all of mine.
    I have no problems drawing from them, or with the leather upper interfering with my grip.

    My worst problem is that I still haven’t mastered tucking and not printing, but I just dress accordingly.

    Also, take note that Jimmy has created a non-profit organization to provide holsters to wounded soldiers. http://www.holstersforsoldiers.org/

    He’s not out on a yacht toasting champagne.
    He’s a guy like us, feeding his family, raising his kids and helping the world be a safer place.

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