An upcoming holster review is going to cover holster options for a Kahr CT380. Ahead of that article, I wanted to make a post about how I re-formed a holster designed for the Kahr P380 & CW380, to fit my CT380. That way, the next post can focus on the review, and link back to this article.
As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, I really like the pocket/clip holsters made by Braids. It’s a cool minimalist design, constructed of thin leather. The thinness of the material works well with small, light pistols and does not add much bulk. One thing that really irritates me is having to use a bulky holster with a tiny pistol. I would cite the belt holsters provided with the Sig Sauer P290 and P938 as examples. They are both very small pistols that the manufacturer packs with bulky OWB holsters, defeating the whole advantage of having a tiny pistol. Ugh! Anyway, back to the Braids Holster and the Kahr CT380.
The Kahr CT380 is a thin, light, concealable pistol in an adequate caliber for summer use and carry. I’ll talk more about the pistol in an upcoming review, but my situation called for an IWB holster that would work with a summer t-shirt and shorts. It also needed to be easily removed, or moved to cross draw for driving. A braids holster would fit the bill and if I bought the right model, I could also use if for pocket carry. The trouble was, Braids did not make a holster to fit the little Kahr. The closest they had was one for the P380 and CW380. Both of those little pistols from Kahr Arms have a barrel that is about 1/2″ shorter than the CT380. But looking at the holster, I thought I might be able to modify it to fit the CT. I figured if I cut the end off of the holster, the barrel would protrude a little, but everything else would fit fine (the dimensions around the trigger guard are the same on these three pistols, so the molding of the rest of the holster should fit fine).
The holster arrived four days later (fast shipping!) and I found that everything fit, holster to gun, except at the end of the barrel. Given the thin leather that this holster is made from, I wondered if I could wet it in water and remold it. However, I didn’t want to lose the nice molding around the trigger guard, so I decided to try to alter the bottom of the holster by itself. It ended up working PERFECTLY. Here’s how I did it:
First, I unloaded the little Kahr for safety reasons, but also to keep the ammo dry. I didn’t think to coat the metal parts of the gun with extra oil, before plunging it in a wet holster, but it was untarnished when I pulled it out. Still, you may want to do that with your own firearm.
I then dipped the holster in a bowl of warm water, up to the line shown in the drawing. Hold it in the water for about a min. The water does not need to be hot, just lukewarm. If your water is full of chlorine or minerals, you may want to use distilled water to avoid staining the leather. That said, I have well water and had no such issues.
After a minute, remove the holster end from the water and gently blot dry with a paper towel. You are just trying to avoid making a mess. The holster will retain enough water for this to work.
Now, insert the pistol and press the wet part of the holster up against the slide. If you have a little extra material around the gun, you can pinch it like I did. This whole process will take you about 2-3 min. Leave it somewhere where it can dry for about 48 hours. I put mine next to the dehumidifier, but any warm dry place should work. Before removing the pistol, check to see that the leather is dry. Then, carefully remove the gun and feel that the inside is dry too. If not, reinsert the gun carefully and let it dry for a couple more days. If you somehow alter the shape of the holster while it is wet, you can repeat the whole process.
I’ve been carrying the Kahr CT380 inside the waistband (strong side AND appendix IWB) for 6 months now and the little Braids holster is working great! It held its new shape and I expect it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. If you are looking for a holster for your Kahr CT380, I suggest you try this out! The Kahr site has a couple of holster options, but they are far bulkier than the expertly made Braids.
Had I thought about this ahead of time, I would have taken before and after pictures. However, if you decide to do this yourself, you’ll have the “before” picture when your holster arrives. You can then compare it with my own photos!
You can find Braids Holsters on Ebay, or at their store: http://www.braidsholsters.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
More about Braids Holsters
A few hours before this article went to print, I was contacted by Thomas Brady, the fellow who makes Braids Holsters. I’ve asked him to consider providing a discount code to our subscribers, once he gets caught up. In his email, he he gave me his backstory, which I thought was quite interesting. Note that a lot of the holsters you can buy are actually sourced from Chinese manufacturer, so it’s nice to see a regular guy making something in the USA. Keep that in mind when you buy your next holster.
Here is what Thomas told me:
“A little about me. I am 55 years old was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I been sewing since I was about 6 years old. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 6 years old. I worked at Serta Mattress Co. and at another mattress company for about 8 years sewing and assembling mattresses. Then I worked at a drapery company sewing drapes for about 2 years. Then I opened my own drapery company sales of custom drapes and custom blinds and installation. Only me no employees. I did that for 27 years. I moved to myrtle beach SC 8 years ago, and brought my drapery company down to South Carolina. I got my concealed carry permit in SC about 7 years ago, and when the economy crashed my drapery company was struggling. I started sewing a few holsters for myself, and any one I showed them to wanted one. The local gun shop in myrtle beach where I buy my shooting supplies started selling my holsters and sells them as their main line now for about 4 years. I closed down my drapery business and focused just on my holster business. I made them in my garage for about 2 years and now I have a shop and machines. I been in my shop close to two years now. I do every thing myself from start to finish and I produce about 5,000 holsters a year. I am actually overwhelmed and close to my individual production limit. There are 2 movie shows that contacted me and bought a few holsters off of me, and are going to be using them in their show. One show this year Hawaii 5 O, later in this season. They bought Glock 43 paddle holsters. The other show will be next year season 3 of the Last Ship on TNT. They bought for that show Glock 43 S.O.B holsters and pancake style holsters. I appreciate your offer for me to offer the discount code, that might be something I will do in the near future. Thank You for your interest in my holster designs. You can use any thing I said, in your holster reviews of my holsters.
coming soon: Sticky brand Holster Review (you can check them out on Amazon, ahead of time, by clicking the link), followed by Holster Options for a Kahr CT380