Before you can carry your 1911 you need a holster. For the new 1911 owner this is both good news and bad news. The good news – there are plenty of options available. The bad news- not all of them are equal. Some are not even worth the time it takes to drive to the store. That is why we have compiled a list of the best 1911 holsters.
The 1911 is an iconic firearm. It is also one of the most popular models available. Owners carry it for personal protection, as a duty weapon, and in a wide range of competitions. But before they can do any of that there is one more item they need – a quality holster.
You can spend all the money in the world on a firearm, but if you do not match it with an equally impressive holster, it is all for not. The holster is what allows your 1911 to become something more than a conversation piece to be displayed in your home. It is what allows it to be used for what it was designed- shooting.
Because the 1911 is such a popular firearm there are literally countless options when it comes to holsters. You have your choice of carry locations, materials, designs, and price ranges. But which is best? How do you pick one holster when there are so many available?
This is where we come in. We have compiled a list of the best 1911 holsters on the market. Each offers the features that you need, and some that make them a bit better than others. But before we get to our list lets take a look at what you need to consider when purchasing your holster.
How to select a holster
A good holster does more than carry a firearm. A good holster secures the firearm. If you are going to carry a firearm in any capacity, it is your responsibility to make sure it is not lost, and this is why you use a holster rather than simply tucking it into your waistband(IWB or OWB).
New gun owners may be asking “How could I lose my firearm?” Experienced gun owners will answer “You would be surprised!” Running, climbing in or out of your vehicle, even bending over to pick up your child can result in a dropped or lost firearm-if you have an inferior holster.
Your holster also needs to be secured. Again, a poorly constructed holster leaves you facing the possibility it may break free during vigorous activity. Even if it does not break free it may slide out of place making it nearly impossible to utilize your firearm if the time comes.
The second most important task your holster performs is protecting the trigger. A good holster will prevent a finger or stray foreign object from slipping in and causing an accidental discharge. It will also prevent YOU from placing your finger on the trigger until the firearm is completely unholstered and ready to use.
If you are considering a holster that does not protect the trigger stop and keep shopping. No matter what else the holster can do if it cannot accomplish this most basic of tasks it is not worth your time or money.
If you are going to carry your firearm with any frequency it is important you purchase a holster that will last. After all, you do not want to be buying a new holster every few months or worrying about when the one you have will fail.
Today’s holsters are constructed from a wide range of materials ranging from traditional leather to high speed Kydex. No matter what your preference there is no doubt one available. No matter the material it is important you inspect the quality of the construction. Look as stitching, welds, seams, and connection points. Are materials cut cleanly? Are accessories attached with high grade fasteners? Are belt clips metal or plastic?
Although a quality holster will cost more but it is worth every penny.
Ease of Use
The final consideration when selecting your holster is the ease with which it can be used. Can you get your firearm out quickly under stress? Does it all you to get a proper grip before your firearm is drawn? If not, it might as well be a lock box.
How about when it comes time reholster that firearm? Too many firearms owners overlook this, but every drawn gun eventually needs to be reholstered. If you holster collapses on itself when the firearm is removed, required two hand to reholster, or otherwise prevent a safe return of the firearm it will not be easy to use.
Many of today’s holsters are equipped with a variety of adjustments. Retention, position, and belt connections can all be customized but how hard is it to do so? If these features are so complicated that you cannot make use of them what good are they?
Our picks for best 1911 holsters
It’s now time to reveal our picks for Best 1911 Holsters.
1.Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck 3.0
When it comes to concealed carry Inside the Waist Band (IWB) is one of the most popular options. Not only does it provide a secure means of carrying your firearm, but it also provides the element of surprise. You adversary cannot snatch your firearm and are less likely to see you have it until it is too late.
One of the best IWB holsters on the market is the Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck 3.0 and it is available to fit many of the most popular mid or compact model 1911s. The hybrid Kydex material is comfortable and nearly indestructible. The twin belt clips secure easily to a large range of belts, even larger tactical designs. The passive retention system ensures your firearm will stay in the holster until you need it while allowing quick, easy drawing when the time comes.
- Designed for the more comfortable IWB carry option.
- The hybrid Kydex material makes for an extremely light weight, yet rugged design.
- Mounts easily to a variety of belt sizes.
- Passive retention system secure firearm during vigorous activity.
- Plastic clips are not as strong as the metal design used by some competitors.
- Molded design prevents use with multiple weapons.
2.Galco Combat Master Belt Holster
The Combat Master is another extraordinarily successful design by Galco, and one of the best means of concealing a full frame 1911. More importantly, if is as functional as it is elegant.
Hiding, and being able to access, a large frame firearm can be a challenge. This is even more difficult when choosing an outside the waist band holster. But the Combat Master is up to the task. The but-forward cant and open muzzle design offers just the right placement to reduce printing. Plus, this is a near perfect position for a quick, accurate draw time after time.
Although many shooters may believe leather is a thing of the past, it is one of the keys to this holster’s success. Not only is it more comfortable against the body but it also provides a natural level of retention and durability. All in all, this a holster that is worth far more than you will pay.
- Premium leather construction with double stitching for a lifetime of use.
- Forward cant and open muzzle allow for near perfect draw each time.
- Available in black or brown.
- Can only be worn in limited waist locations.
- Is a bit heavier than similar synthetic construction designs.
3.Blackhawk Serpa Sportster Holster
Blackhawk may have come from humble beginnings, but a combination of quality construction and superior design has allowed it to become a leader in the holster industry. It should come as no surprise they would have earn a spot on the list of best 1911 Holsters.
Blackhawk is known for their patented Serpa retention system, design to be easy for the user to deactivate and nearly impossible for an attacker to overcome. However, one of the best features of the Sportster is its versatility. This holster can be adjusted to fit almost any shooting style.
Users have the option of a paddle or belt loop mount. Both can be adjusted for draw height and draw angle. The patented Serpa retention system can also be adjusted, making it easier for smaller shooters to use. Plus, all adjustments are made with a single included allen wrench.
- Superior retention system.
- Very adjustable to fit your individual style.
- Affordable price any shooter can afford.
- Limited body placement available.
- Serpa retention system does require some practice to master.
4.Galco Miami Classic II
If you prefer a shoulder holster it is going to be hard to beat the Miami Classic. Not only is the most recognized model, but it is also one of the best constructed.
The key to a good shoulder holster is comfort. Although it may not seem like much, the weight of a full-size handgun hanging from your body is not natural. Not only can it restrict movement it can also lead to some serious back pain before the day is over.
The Miami Classic is specifically designed to overcome the standard shoulder rig complaints, and does a wonderful job doing so. The 1.5” straps distribute the weight across the shoulders. The swivel connections allow each strap to move independently. A double magazine pouch on the opposite side offsets the weight of a full frame 1911. Add the genuine leather construction, thumb break retention and quality construction and you get a design that has stood the test of time.
- Top quality construction that will last.
- Designed to carry large frame firearms with ease.
- Comfortable enough to wear all day.
- One of the more costly holsters on the market
- Can be difficult to conceal, even under a sport coat.
5.Crossbreed Super Tuck
Kydex has become one of the industry favorites when it comes to construction materials. But it can be uncomfortable against the skin. So how do you make an IWB Kydex holster that is comfortable enough to carry a 1911 for extended periods? You add leather.
The Super Tuck uses a standard molded Kydex holster, giving you the benefits of a custom fit and excellent retention. But they mounted it to a leather backer. This provides increased comfort and protects the gun from sweat.
But what about when it comes time to draw you 1911? No worries here either. The large powder coated retention clips hold everything in place and allow the firearm to be presented without problem. Plus, they can be adjusted for draw height, cant, and even be swapped for different sizes.
- Leather provides for increased comfort against the skin.
- Large, powder coated clips hold everything securely.
- Can be adjusted to fit your draw style.
- Only available in black.
- Smaller framed users may have difficulty finding a suitable waist location.
There are as many 1911 holster options as there are 1911 models and variants. Obviously, some are better than others and none are perfect for every situation. Although it is impossible to review every option available, we believe we have presented the best of the best. From IWB to shoulder rigs, no matter what your preferred method may be our list has a suggestion for you. Once you have reviewed what it is you need in a holster and compared it to what is offered by these Best 1911 Holsters, there is not doubt one of them will be the perfect fit for you.
Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include the outdoors and shooting sports. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season.