By Johannes P.
I’ll never forget my first bit of formal training with firearms. I didn’t even own a handgun yet (I was borrowing the instructor’s GLOCK), and during one of the breaks, I mentioned to someone that given all of the options available, it might take me a while before I had the gun that suited my needs. The instructor overheard me and just laughed. “It doesn’t stop with the gun,” he snorted. “You’re going to end up with an entire drawer full of holsters before you find the right one. You’re gonna spend as much on holsters as you did on the gun! And you should. The holster’s just as important as the gun,” he firmly advised . . .
The man had a point. You’re counting on your holster to keep your gun secure and (typically) hidden from view in all kinds of conditions. If you need to draw your firearm in anger, the holster has to be exactly where you expect it to be, and has to allow you to draw smoothly and quickly. You don’t know what works and what doesn’t until you’ve given it a try, and sometimes given it several tries. You also find that your needs change over time, too.
Even though my GLOCK 19 has been my go-to-gun for several years now, in the last few months, I’ve found myself reaching instead for my Kahr P380 before I head out beyond the wire. Part of it has to do with a change in employment. I previously worked for a technology startup, where I could wear blue jeans, an untucked t-shirt or sweatshirt and a baseball cap with my GLOCK in an OWB holster (and still be one of the better-dressed people in the building). My more recent gig, however, has me working at a more traditional firm downtown where the sartorial expectations are, at a minimum, dress slacks and a button-down shirt (tucked in, natch).
So…no more OWB carry unless I commit to wearing a blazer all day long–which means almost never outside of winter. I continued to carry the GLOCK 19 in my Crossbreed SuperTuck (a wonderfully comfortable and stable holster in its own right, which I whole heartedly endorse) for a while. But then I noticed one of my co-workers (a friend and fellow person of the gun) checking out the standard black Crossbeed “SnapLok” clips on my belt and the obvious-if-you-know-what-you’re-looking-for bulge at my hip one day and giving me a knowing smirk. That’s when I decided that it was time to reevaluate my carry options for work, particularly in the summer months.
Now, I’ve always thought mouse guns were cool, but I never was thrilled with pocket carry. While it’s certainly more convenient to slip a pistol in one’s pocket (in a proper pocket holster,) versus fiddling with a belt and IWB holster, they don’t give me my fastest presentation times, especially given that all of my formal training and most of my range time is spent practicing draws from my strong-side hip.
I’ve also found it a little uncomfortable to have a big hunk of metal in my pocket if I’m engaging in any kind of physical activity. Because my new office is only six miles from my home, and because a number of bike trails connect my neighborhood to downtown, I started bicycling to work in the summer and fall for exercise and to avoid the headaches and stress that comes along with downtown parking or public transportation. I also occasionally take my wife out salsa dancing, too, and in either case, I just don’t like carrying one in the pocket.
So with all that in mind, I decided to give the Crossbreed MicroClip a try. Unlike the SuperTuck, the MicroClip has just one clip that holds it in place on your belt, but is a fully ‘tuckable’ holster in its own right. The MicroClips are intended for smaller pistols that aren’t very heavy to begin with, and for when concealment is important.
Use Case for the Product
(a) Replace pocket carry for my P380 for both comfort, more rapid presentation, and ease of re-holstering.
(b) Use in professional office environment, where concealment is a high priority and I would be wearing a button down dress shirt tucked in and may not always be wearing a covering jacket.
(c) The holster will be used while engaged in physical activity (such as cycling or dancing) and therefore should be relatively sweat-resistant.
I opted to get horsehide leather for the backing, as my understanding was that it would be much more sweat-resistant. Having been a user of the SuperTuck with the regular cowhide, I can testify that it’s very comfortable, but would get drenched with sweat and wouldn’t be effective with my intended use.
I also opted to purchase an extra “J” clip. One of the things I’ve liked about my SuperTuck is the fact that the clips go on easily and are very stable. One of the things I’ve disliked is that the clips come with the distinctive Crossbreed cross logo. Since the purpose of the holster is deep concealment, that little bit of flair seems to advertise what you’re wearing to the cognoscenti. So if the “J” clip worked well, it would definitely enhance concealment.
No carry method is ideal and given that I use the MicroClip as a deep carry option, here’s what I’ve found:
(1) Issues with speed of presentation. I requested a “combat cut” when I ordered my SuperTuck. Crossbreed’s combat cut removes the bit of the leather backing from around the grip of the pistol. It makes it easier for my hand to get a solid grip because I don’t have to wedge my thumb between the leather backing and the pistol grip.
This was a selectable option on the SuperTuck, but not on the MicroClip. I probably could’ve asked Crossbreed to cut this for me, but I (in retrospect, foolishly) did not. This has actually created an issue for me because I opted for the stiffer horsehide leather, which means that my thumb is really fighting the leather backing when I’m trying to grip the pistol. Throw in the facts that this is a mouse gun with a tiny grip to begin with, and I wear it under a tucked shirt and any hoped-for presentation speed advantage over pocket carry has more or less evaporated. I have since reached out to Crossbreed to see if I can return the leather backing to have this cut made.
(Crossbreed’s website states that the combat cut “sacrifices a little bit of comfort” for a faster draw, but I have not found the SuperTuck with the cut to be uncomfortable at all.)
(2) Issues with the “J” clip. The “J” clip just doesn’t work with my preferred belts, which are Filson double bridle leather belts. I prefer using these particular belts for their strength and stability when I hang my gear from them, and because they also go well with either casual or more formal dress. Unfortunately, the edge of the “J” clip is just too narrow for them. Worse, the clip is made of plastic and has somewhat sharp edges; when I tried to wear the holster with the “J”, it ended up scuffing the leather of the belt when I tried to make the clip stay in place. Which it didn’t. And that meant that for most of the day, the holster was held in place just by the “J” clip hanging on my pants. Hardly an ideal situation.
Crossbreed also offers what they call a “V” clip, which secures the holster to an adhesive velcro strip that you install on the inside of your belt. I haven’t tried this option yet.
(3) Use while engaging in physical activity. The holster is comfortable and has worked very well while biking, dancing, and chasing after a toddler. The horsehide leather is reasonably sweat-repellent – a long bike ride in the hot sun leaves it a little damp, of course (it’s leather; it’s not sweat-proof,) but it met my expectations.
(4) It is comfortable. I’ve also found that I don’t really need to ‘upsize’ my pants when wearing my Kahr in this holster.
Total cost as tested:
Horsehide leather: $10.00
Extra J-hook clip: $5.00
Less 10% discount for NRA membership -$7.35
Total purchase price: $66.15
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish * * * * *
The quality of the materials is great, just what I’ve come to expect from Crossbreed. The gun fit snugly into the Kydex sheath. The leather was high-quality. No complaints here.
Concealability * * * * *
It’s a small holster intended for small pistols, so it’s very concealable to begin with. When using the regular-issue Crossbreed clips, however, someone who knows what they’re looking for will easily spot it. When using the “J” clip, that same someone would need to be very observant. With my shirt tucked in (even a T-shirt,) it pretty much disappears, and it would take someone giving you a hug from the side to really notice it.
Retention * * * * *
It’s an IWB holster; they have to see it to try to grab it in the first place, and as mentioned above, it’s pretty concealable.
Presentation * *
It’s comfortable and very concealable. But without a combat cut and worn under deep concealment, you won’t be drawing your gun very quickly.
Overall: * * 1/2
When I was using the regular clip, it was stable, very comfortable, very concealable, and the horsehide leather was very sweat-repellent. The MicroClip would have received a higher rating from me, but the fact that getting a good grip on the pistol can sometimes be a little difficult due to the stiffness of the leather has meant that the holster is relegated to those times when I am biking and want to carry my Kahr P380. I have since contacted Crossbreed to ask them to alter the holster with a combat cut, and if they are agreeable, hopefully that will eliminate my main bone of contention.