Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pocket Holster for a Kel-tec P-3AT

I'm not thin. Well, I'm not fat either, but I was starting to feel fat. Let me explain. I was lucky when I first got into guns a few years ago. When my wife and I were trying to determine what our first firearms were going to be we had a friend whose dad is a gun enthusiast. He was kind enough to invite us over to his house to explain some of the finer points. At the end of the visit he allowed us to take a number of his guns with us to try out at a local range. What can I say he helped fuel my own enthusiam. The guns consisted of a 4" S&W .357 Magnum, Sig P239 9mm, Ruger MarkII, and a 2" S&W .22lr Airlite. Needless to say we had a great time handling these wonderful firearms. When we returned his guns, he asked if I would be interested in purchasing the Sig. He didn't have to ask me twice. At that time I didn't even consider concealed carrying and it wasn't until much much later that I realized the significance of getting a P239 as my first gun.

Back to feeling fat... Out of the entire Sig Classic lineup, the P239 is almost ideal for concealed carry. I got my license and started carrying the only way that was really possible for me, inside the waistband. The requirements for IWB almost always include a larger pant size. For me, going out and purchasing all new pants a size larger just isn't reasonable. Yes, I already knew I need to lose a few pounds, but now it was getting ridiculous. Pants I could squeeze in before without a gun, I now didn't even get close to buttoning. I didn't want to walk the streets unarmed so I came to the conclusion that there were times when my beloved P239 wouldn't be able to accompany me.

Solution: Buy a smaller gun of course!

So that's what I did. Initially looking for a Kel-tec P11 to stick with the same caliber as my Sig, I came across a used P-3AT at a gunshow with my brother. Amazed at the size and weight of this tiny gun I bought it. For a take-any-where gun, it is about as perfect as it gets.

Now how am I going to carry it. Just shooving it into a pocket would be asking for an AD (accidental discharge). I had picked up an Uncle Mike's pocket holster, after reading a review that listed it as a best buy, for my Bersa Thunder22 and tried that out for a little while. It was a little too big and the tiny P-3AT would still print when the pocket was stretched against it while sitting. So instead of going out and buying another holster that fit, I decided to modify the one I had to be smaller and avoid printing. I first cut the bottom off to shorten it. Then I melted the frayed ends with a lighter. I then put a stitch in to close up the bottom underneath the trigger guard. I left the muzzle open to allow lint and stuff to fall out the bottom. Then I cut a piece of leather to cover the entire weapon including the grip. I used two chicago screws to attach the leather onto the bottom of the holster with the rough side out to help grab against the pocket.

Here's what the finished holster looks like:
I've been using it for a few months and it's worked exactly like it should. It's small enough to put in any of my pockets including a back pocket if I need to.

Now for those "fat" days I always have a weapon and method to carry it.

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