After reviewing the new Colt Night Cobra .38 Special revolver back in November, I was so impressed that I decided to purchase it. Once I owned the Night Cobra, it was time to “make ready” for long-term concealed carry.
The Night Cobra came with serviceable G10 factory grips. However, I wanted to dress it up a bit in keeping with Colts of previous generations. I turned to the Altamont Company for a set of nice wood grips.
Firearm Grips for the Night Cobra
Altamont manufactures an extensive line of wood grips. It has models for previous-generation D-frame Colts as well as the newer 2017 Cobra Series. There are 11 grips to choose from for the 2017 Cobra.
I originally ordered a set of Altamont’s Oversize Fingergroove Super Rosewood Checkered grips with laser-etched Colt logo. The traditional checkering combines nicely with the laser-etched Colt snake logo. Shortly after I placed my order, Altamont notified me that the Super Rosewood grips were temporarily unavailable, so I substituted with the Super Walnut grips, which ended up being perfect.
The Altamont Oversize Fingergroove Checkered grips are as functional as they are attractive. They are as good as it gets ergonomically and are cut to be speedloader-friendly. The checkered sides keep the highly polished wood non-slip. Prices range from $42 to $72. As a bonus, Altamont offers what appears to be a machined aluminum pen with pocket clip but is actually a mini-toolkit housing four screwdriver bits for easy grip installation.
Next, it was time for new speedloaders. My new Colt Cobra can handle +P ammo with aplomb, but my vintage aluminum-frame Colt Cobra doesn’t. I wanted to be able to quickly differentiate loaders carrying +P ammo and those loaded with standard-pressure ammo. No problem: Speedloaders from 5 Star Firearms are available in 10 different colors.
I selected red speedloaders for the Night Cobra. The vintage Cobra loaders I already have are silver. The red loaders are kept loaded with +P ammo only, while the silver loaders are loaded with standard-pressure ammo.
I also purchased a Speed Loader Carrier from Wild Bill’s Concealment. This slimline pouch locks into place on the belt with negligible bulge and is the best on the market. It is available for a number of different revolvers in brown and black for $29.95.
The Night Cobra Needs the Right Holster
Finding an OWB holster that met my requirements took some time. Holsters designed for original D-frame Colts generally aren’t large enough for the new Cobras. Newer Cobras are larger, and the shape of the trigger guard was changed.
The spurless hammer — specific to the Night Cobra model — was another issue since I wanted a holster with a thumb break. The vast majority of thumb-break holsters keep the revolver retained by contact with the hammer spur. Obviously, this won’t work with the Night Cobra.
I initially found an open-top holster from a previously known manufacturer that was supposed to work with the new Cobras. Unfortunately, the holster was built without a tensioning screw and was too loose. The Cobra fell out when inverted.
An Amazon search for 2017 Cobra holsters solved the problem. I found what I believe is the most well-designed revolver holster on the market for only $28 from Cal38 holsters in Istanbul, Turkey.
The handcrafted, all-leather thumb-break belt holster from Cal38 is amazing. Instead of using a traditionally positioned thumb-break strap, Cal38 moved the strap to the rear of the holster. This secures the revolver via pressure on the grip! Cal38 revolver holsters can handle revolvers with or without hammer spurs.
Though I was worried that the Cal38 rig might not fit over the larger Altamont grips, my concern was unnecessary. The holster comes with two snaps on the thumb-release tab. The Night Cobra easily snapped securely in place.
The Cal38 rig carries the Cobra comfortably positioned high on the belt, allowing access to the front trouser pocket. It is simply a magnificent design. Holsters for automatics are also available.
I have been wearing the completed setup for several days now and am totally confident in all of my updates. Keep an eye out for a review of my new carry load for the Night Cobra.
About Scott W. Wagner
After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle and submachine gun.