Gear Review: CrossBreed MicroClip IWB Holster for Kahr P380

MICROCLIP_KAHR2

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).

MICROCLIP_CONCEAL

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.

MICROCLIP_TSHIRT

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.

Options 
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.

Everyday Carry
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.

MICROCLIP_THUMB

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.

MICROCLIP_DRAW

(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.)

MICROCLIP_JCLIP

(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:

MicroClip: $58.50
Horsehide leather: $10.00
Extra J-hook clip: $5.00
Subtotal: $73.50
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.

comments

  1. avatar John M. says:

    Use cases? Join the Agile revolution, my friend. User stories: “As a concealed carrier, I need to carry my gun in a way that can be presented faster than pocket carry so that I can respond to threats in a timely manner.”

  2. avatar Roscoe says:

    “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…”

    Laugh!!
    I’ve realized and been lamenting that for a loooong time.

    Most recently, I’ve been trying to find a satisfactorily concealable sidearm holster that accommodates a rail mounted tac-light for my CZ P-01 automatic and doesn’t stick out like an operators…well, tactical holster. Trial and error, and money.

  3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Thanks for the review!

    1) With a pair of sheet metal shears you can make the “combat cut” yourself. You can even do it in small increments until you remove just the right amount of leather.

    2) If you use the J clip then the belt isn’t supporting the gun. Your pants are. So you could use it with a thinner belt.

    3) People fret way to much over the visibility of holster clips, anyway. The people you work with every day will figure out you’re carrying, sooner or later, regardless what holster you use.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Johannes had reason to fret because of an overly curious co-worker. Some workplaces frown on concealed carry. Mine does (official policy), and even though the only ones who would ID my belt clips are gun guys, I don’t know what kind of sticklers they are for policy. The VP of my company is a gun guy, but he approved the policy, so he might not be happy to see a Crossbreed metal belt clip on me.

      I used a matte knife and Dremel to cut away most of my Old Faithful leather. I prefer less material.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        That bulge on your waistline is going to get noticed eventually, regardless of holster. Violate company policy at your own risk. I feel your pain. I work in a “prohibited area,” which means carrying on the job would be a Class B Misdemeanor.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      That’s the one thing I don’t like about J clips–the weight of the pistol and holster is supported by the top of the pants, not the belt. The belt only keeps the holster from coming out when you draw. Someone makes a “C” shaped clip that attaches to both the top and bottom of the belt, eliminating this issue but retaining the near invisibility of the J. And the OP might try a thinner belt–that .380 weighs something like 12 oz and doesn’t need that much to hold it up.

      1. avatar Travis says:

        Wearing C-Hook clips with my Galco Kingtuk + RIA 1911 Tactical (5″).

        Can confirm the C-hooks work great, albeit only for 1 1/4″ belts

    3. avatar Joel says:

      A sharp razor knife works too…

      Leather can be sanded as well to clean the cut up a bit if needed.

  4. avatar Rokurota says:

    You’re going to end up with an entire drawer full of holsters before you find the right one.

    Ain’t that the gospel truthiness. After dozens of low-to-mid priced holsters, I discovered the joys of quality. I really enjoy my Mitch Rosen, and it’s made me stick with my current carry gun instead of trading around. So in the end, it’s saved me money.

    1. avatar John Smith says:

      Yeah, I went down that road too. And the Mitch Rosen ARG lies at the end of that road– when you try it, you’re done.

      Pony up the dough, and never look back. Look quizzically at those folks with “holster problems”….

  5. avatar Chrispy says:

    I ordered my Supertuck sans the combat cut, and ended up cutting it myself very carefully. Mine is not horsehide leather mind you, but I kept my pocket knife very sharp and took my time, before I knew it I had a perfect fit for me.

    I didn’t decide to do it myself to be a cheapskate, I chose that so I would end up with a custom fit, with the least amount of material removed as possible. I am very happy with the results.

    As far as the drawer full of holsters goes… Well the Crossbreed is my first and only one, I made up my mind to do a lot of research and get a quality holster the first time out. I do find myself eyeballing the Aliengear holsters now though…

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Well the Crossbreed is my first and only one, I made up my mind to do a lot of research and get a quality holster the first time out. “

      I dig my Crossbreed, so this is not a slam on them at all. But, the thing is, there simply is no way to predict if a given holster will work “acceptably” (personal thing) for a given gun+body shape+clothing choices+carry style.

      Research is good, so don’t get me wrong. But, even with a ton of research and high recommendations, there are no guarantees of comfort. I think this might go especially true for women shopping for carry holsters where the variables are even more…variable.

      1. avatar John M. says:

        I did my research too. My Crossbreed is super-duper comfy when I’m bumming around the house, walking or riding my bike. When I wear it in my Miata, it makes me feel like I’m going to piss blood. OWB just works better for me when I wear duty-sized guns in my Miata. (My Nano in a Talon IWB works fine in the Miata.)

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          That’s the Miata’s fault, not the holster’s.
          🙂

        2. avatar L , John says:

          I have an Aliengear IWB and like it. You might want to look at Stealthgear and Cooks holsters.

        3. avatar John M. says:

          Question of the day: Do you buy guns to suit your cars or cars to suit your guns? 🙂

          And I have a Cook’s IWB on my shortlist. I managed to pop my mag on the Nano squatting to change a diaper a few days ago. I was glad I was at home when it happened.

      2. avatar Chrispy says:

        I had to buy the Crossbreed being a complete noob, so I did my best to make an informed decision. Now that I’ve been through it once, I can agree with your assessments wholeheartedly. I like the holster, but I have some gripes with it. I can find spots where it rides comfortably enough I never notice it, and then if I have to do anything else it almost always needs to be adjusted to be comfortable. I think my big problem lies in the fact that I’m a skinny guy, and the Crossbreed holster seems a bit large for me.

    2. avatar West says:

      I’ve had an alien gear holster for my XDm 3.8 for 6 months and love it. Once you break in the leather you hardly notice it (unless sitting in a compact car).

  6. avatar Mark says:

    “… If you need to draw your firearm in anger, the holster has to be exactly where you expect it to be …”

    Ummm, don’t think you wanted to use the word “anger” there did you?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Using something “in anger” is a common phrase, meaning something (in this case, a gun, but I’ve heard the expression applied to many thing) being used “for real” vs. practice. It doesn’t necessarily mean “used while being angry”.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I would have preferred a different word as well. The anti gun folks read this and will point to the wording as proof we shouldn’t carry. So although I understand the reference, I would have preffered to have seen drawn in ; deterance, defense, protection, combat, actual use, etc rather than a word that would seem like the author is encouraging aggression.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          Which is just more evidence that we need to stop letting them control the language.

          If they have a problem understanding a phrase that has been in use a very long time, that just shows their ignorance and it is their problem.

          I’m sick of tip-toeing around them and trying to watch every little thing for how it might be interpreted by them.

        2. avatar Drew says:

          Oi! Hopefully John M never drives his Miata in anger, they might want to take that away too. It even has a thingie that goes up!! And a hundred and thirty horsepower is way to much for an untrained civilian to handle.

        3. avatar John M. says:

          @Drew: It’s the 2.0L with 170 horses and a 6-speed.

          It’s OK though, I have a license that I got when I was 16 for being able to find the “D” on the automatic transmission selector.

  7. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I’ve found for that long bike ride a triangular frame bag that fits at seat tube, top tube joint works best for me. Yes it is off body, but accessible and situational awareness makes up for most of that short coming. Where I ride I’m more likely to confront road ragers than someone trying to separate me from the bike.

  8. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Yea, Im a huge fan of Crossbreed as well. After having an AIWB holster for my xd for a couple years through all seasons, the horse hide gets just as funky as any leather would. But because CBH has AWESOME customer service, they sent me a brand new holster back after I started having issues with the clip rotating and the entire holster coming out on the draw as the rubber spacer was so deformed. I even made my own spacer out of a piece of old belt leather which worked good for a time.

    Im debating on getting another CBH for my shield as its the most comfy holster Ive ever used AIWB, but Im currently using a Garret Industries leather lined kydex AIWB rig and its great so far.

  9. avatar Jeremy S says:

    The HUGE size of the leather in comparison to the footprint of the actual pistol is why I have moved entirely away from these sorts of holsters. Just look how much material is below the muzzle, on either side of the gun, above the slide and to either side of the slide. For a small, light pistol it serves no freaking purpose and IT was the only thing that ever dug into me or caused any sort of other issue depending on body position and such, etc, plus can make you sweat in the area covered by the leather, adds weight, adds difficulty in putting the holster on, and more. I’ve made a complete and total switch to holsters like the Cook’s IWB for lightweight guns (and they make a tuckable version although I have no need for it so haven’t purchased one) and like the Theis EZ-Clip or Foxx mini for heavier guns. Well, heavy but still compact gun heavy. IF I ever carry a full-size, steel pistol like my SP-01 IWB again it’ll continue to go in a Supertuck-style holster (I have a White Hat).

  10. avatar MoveableDO says:

    My wife used to just ask, “Why are you selling another gun? You’ll just be buying another gun.” But now she’s seen the pattern and–wisely, but annoyingly–now asks, “Why are you selling that gun? Now you’ll just have to buy 3 more holsters for the new gun!”

    I’m up to two drawers because I’ve decided to outfit 4 different guns with every carry option…OUCH!

  11. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

    I had a microclip for my LCP, uuhhgg, it sucked so bad. I was always rotating on me and even turned upside down a couple times where the gun fell out of the holster, down my pants and out onto the ground….in public. Yes, I had a proper gun belt, the problem was that with only one clip on the holster, when you walk the holster would walk itself out of my pants and either flop down inside the pants or ride up and out of the pants. Worse holster I ever owned.

    1. avatar KCK says:

      I think you need to tighten up a notch on your belt. The micro clip clip is wide to resist what you describe, plus the rough leather against your body usually gives enough friction to keep in in place. (mine does) You must be a slippery dude.
      My problem is that it takes effort to get it on in the first place. My Comp-tac infidel slips right in. The infidel conveniently hangs on the bathroom stall locking latch so you can never open the door without putting the rig back in your pants. The Micro clip, I have to keep the holster on but remove the gun so it doesn’t sag my pants and show itself to the next stall holder.

  12. avatar Claymore says:

    I find my P-380 rides nicely in my pocket in suit pants or dress khakis, in a pocket holster.

  13. avatar PubliusS says:

    There ought to be a used holster bin at the range gun shop, where you can try on the holsters, like the gun, to see what fits your body style carry, just like what fits hand to shoot.

    I’ve got my share moldering in a drawer to donate…would trade ’em for a bag of reloads. Win-win.

  14. avatar Thesophist says:

    I so identify with this. Especially because my needs are so peculiar.

    I carry AIWB. That right there adds layers of complexity to carrying comfort. Great holsters with great reviews end up pinching just a bit in just the wrong place. 1/4″ makes a big difference with this style.

    I also have nickel allergies, meaning that I can’t have any metal contacting bare skin, else I break out in hives. That includes most of the screws used by holster makers. And it obviously rules out any minimalist holsters or clips, since that would have the metal of the slide touching. In fact, I need full coverage of the slide.

    Then, I live in Texas where summertime carry has to be in shorts and t-shirt and jackets are tough to pull off except for maybe three weeks in winter.

    All I can say is thank The Lord for Richard at Concealed Carry Concepts. 🙂

  15. avatar Joe says:

    I have a Crossbreed and like it a lot. But my new go to holster is a Stealthgear Onyx.
    I live in South Florida and it is over 80 most of the year. The Onyx is amazing for hot environments. It vents and is very comfortable. Check it out!

    1. avatar Sian says:

      It will take a lot for me to try anything that isn’t Stealthgear at this point. It’s just so amazingly comfortable.

  16. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    What Claymore said. This is a TINY gun. Get a nemesis or similar gear and pocket carry. I’ve carried a Kimber pepper blaster for 3 years and never was I noticed. It is thicker than your Kahr and a similar length. Weighs about half…or pretend it’s a giant cell phone. No one will ever notice your POCKET pistol in a galaxy case…also had a Taurus tcp of slightly larger dimensions and it disappeared in my pocket.

  17. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    Definitely look at V-Clips and a velcro lined gun belt. The Beltman makes them in 1.25 and 1.5″ configurations.

    I carry a Galco KingTuk with a double compact 9 and white hat holster V clips on a beltman belt. Tucked in, it’s near invisible. Your holster situation will likely be solved by ordering the V Clips from whitehat (or others). Even on wool slacks the V Clips keep the pistol supported well.

  18. avatar Sian says:

    “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,”

    You will if you’re like most people and try a half dozen cheap holsters before going out and getting the one you should have in the first place (Crossbreed, Stealthgear, Aliengear, etc)

    I’ve got exactly 2 holsters for my carry guns, a stealthgear and a remora. I’m sticking with that system cause it works pretty darn well.

    Also J clips are trouble.

  19. avatar Alex says:

    I really dislike the idea of exposed clips when carrying tucked – when concealing a firearm, I want to be as discrete as possible. The best solution I’ve found is the Remora with the tuckable option – this modification adds a flap into which you insert your tucked shirt (http://www.remoraholsterstore.com/tuckable-holster-s/4189.htm). With the Remora, there is absolutely nothing showing outside your concealment garments (a clip is included to assist with getting it on, but once everything is in place you can remove it). Second best would be the Milt Sparks IWB holsters with the tuckable kydex clips. The Milt Sparks clips grip your pants and go underneath the belt. With dark pants and a black belt, they are virtually invisible.

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