Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together an ideal everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Colt Cobra .38 Spl. revolver in a Galco Gunleather Combat Master holster. We also have a 5.11 Tactical belt, a DeSantis Speedloader holder, a Camillus Tanto 2 folding knife, a Coast rechargeable flashlight and an HKS speedloader.
Colt Cobra .38 Spl. +P (MSRP: $699)
Colt brought back its double-action revolver line in 2017 with the six-shot, 25-ounce Cobra in .38 Spl. +P. With greater capacity, a full firing grip and an improved front sight, the Cobra offers quite a bit in an entry-level revolver. Even the double-action trigger pull is reasonable, coming in only slightly heavier than most striker-fired triggers, but with the smooth action for which Colt revolvers are known.
Even the smallest of centerfire revolvers can be difficult to carry in a pocket holster and quite often wind up carried on a belt or in an ankle rig. In that case, the Cobra’s extra few ounces won’t be noticed, and the extra round will certainly be appreciated. On the belt, the short barrel aids in concealment, with only minimal protrusion below the belt line. Covering the Cobra in an outside-the-waistband can be accomplished with a sweatshirt, untucked polo shirt or other assorted cover garments. Be aware, though, that the rubber grips might catch on garments and dress appropriately.
Colt’s new Cobra might at first glance seem to be an appeal to nostalgia, but make no mistake. The company has done its homework in producing a smart and useful revolver for the concealed-carry holder. For a modest increase in size and weight, the Cobra brings more capacity, easier shooting and upgraded sights to the table.
Galco Combat Master Belt Holster (MSRP: $91.95)
Galco’s Combat Master belt holster is a great fit for the Cobra. Offering a double-stitched, premium steerhide construction with a butt-forward cant, the Combat Master also provides full protection at the muzzle. Fitting belts up to 1 ¾-inches wide, this traditional pancake design keeps the holster tight to the body to minimize printing. This particular version not only fits the new Cobra but also the original model, the Detective Special and the Ruger SP 101.
5.11 Tactical Basketweave Leather Belt (MSRP: $39.99)
Holding this gear together is 5.11 Tactical’s Basketweave leather belt, a more-traditional design available in black or tan leather. Like the company’s Casual belt, the Basketweave is constructed of full-grain leather, reinforced with the company’s PermaStiff insert, and features a finished-brass buckle. For fans of traditional design, like the Colt Cobra, the Basketweave will certainly appeal.
Coast PX1R Flashlight (MSRP: $120)
Lighting up this gear is an interesting choice. Coast’s PX1R flashlight features two different power options: there’s a standard three AAA unit with a 2-hour run time on high (330 lumens) or 24 hours on low (40 lumens); but also a rechargeable lithium ion power source that gives a 460-lumen high setting (3 ½ hour run time) or a 50-lumen low setting (14 hours). The rechargeable battery uses a simple micro-USB charger, and can be accessed on the battery itself or through a port on the flashlight. High and low settings are toggled on the tail cap switch, and the beam can be focused from spotlight to floodlight.
Camillus Knives Tanto 2 Knife (MSRP: $52.98)
Camillus Knives’ Tanto 2 offers a sharp, sturdy blade, G10 handles, liner lock and thumbstud opening in an economic package. The carbonitride titanium blade is claimed to offer up to ten times the hardness of an untreated blade, and the tanto profile is a perennial favorite. Offering simplicity and utility, the Tanto 2 is a good complement to any EDC kit.
HKS Speedloader (MSRP: $9.99); DeSantis Second Six Speedloader Carrier (MSRP: $42.99)
Recharging the Cobra can be accomplished quickly and easily with the HKS speedloader, which instantly drops six rounds into the cylinder with the twist of a knob. Speedloaders are bulkier than speedstrips, which is why a carrier like DeSantis’ Second Six makes a lot of sense. This ingenious carrier straddles the belt so that the bulk of the speedloader is split between inside and outside the belt. A sturdy snap ensures it stays in place, and is quick to release when needed.