Firearm: Colt Night Cobra (MSRP: $899)
Custom-built for concealed carry, Colt’s Night Cobra features a host of options designed to optimize the carrying and shooting of this six-shot .38 Special revolver. These concealed-carry-friendly components include the G10 grips, designed to anchor the Night Cobra in the hand while being less likely to snag on cover garments, the bobbed hammer, 2-inch barrel and black DLC finish, which offers additional corrosion resistance. While some might be tempted to think of the revolver as old tech, this Night Cobra is clearly an exception.
The bobbed hammer means the Night Cobra is double-action-only, which is certainly fine in a fighting wheelgun. With the bob, it makes for a convenient rest for the thumb when reholstering – this allows greater control over the firearm at this critical point. Should something find its way into the trigger guard for any reason, the thumb will provide instantaneous feedback and also provide needed resistance. It’s just another piece of the safety puzzle – the more we can do to prevent loud noises when we don’t expect them, the better.
The Night Cobra is +P rated, and with the weight of the revolver shouldn’t present any difficulty in controlling even the hottest rounds. Six shots are on tap, which while less than a semi-automatic of a similar size and heft, are available in greater variety. As we’ve pointed out previously, one of the advantages of the revolver is the greater range of projectiles, from shot designed for snakes and other small critters to hard-cast options for larger. With the revolver’s action there’s no need to worry about light loads not cycling, or high-velocity rounds resulting in feeding problems.
In the end, the choice of a revolver is up to the individual. There’s any number of reasons someone might opt for a lower capacity option – one example would be someone with reduced grip strength that might have trouble cycling a slide. With the revolver, that’s not a problem. In any case, the Colt Night Cobra is a dedicated concealed-carry revolver, another great option in the self-defense toolbox.
Holster: Galco Combat Master (MSRP: $99)
While Galco’s Combat Master holster is an outside-the-waistband model, it’s designed to tuck in close to the body to help with concealment. When paired with a short-barreled revolver like the Night Cobra, concealing the rig is easily accomplished with a light jacket, sweatshirt or even slightly oversize polo shirt. Offering a slightly butt-forward cant, the Combat Master presents the handgun for a rapid and smooth draw. Retention is accomplished by custom molding the leather to the firearm, which may require a brief breaking-in period.
Combat Master holsters are available for up to 1 ¾ inch belts, for left- and right-handed shooters in black and tan leather options. While it’s not a concern with the Night Cobra, Galco does point out that this design is not compatible with red-dot optics, so if your carry gun is so equipped, a different model will be needed.
Knife: Kershaw Highball (MSRP: $69.99)
Okay, not gonna lie here, the name jumped out at me for, well, reasons. Kershaw’s Highball features a 2.8 inch, D2 steel drop-point blade with a gray PVD coating. The D2 steel offers greater wear resistance and good edge retention, while offering moderate toughness. Stainless steel scales flank the Highball, and the blade opens using a recessed groove along the top of the blade. A frame lock secures the blade when in use.
A quick note on the recessed groove to open the blade: practice with it, first. It took several tries initially to open with one hand, but once you get a feel for it, it’s not difficult. The trade-off is a streamlined look that doesn’t snag when retrieving from the pocket. Left-handed folks might have more initial success, as right-handed users will tend to put pressure on the frame lock, ironically making it harder to open.