10 Best 1911 Holsters in 2019 – Guide to Choosing a Best Holster
There’s no question about the iconic status of the 1911 handgun platform. They’ve been in use for more than a hundred years, and they’re certainly proven their worth for accuracy and safety. They’re so good that to optimize their use you should keep them with you if you have a permit, instead of just leaving them at home. But that would mean looking for the best 1911 holsters for these guns.
A lot of people who don’t know much about guns in general seem to think that all holsters are the same. But that’s not exactly true, and a bad holster can be disastrous. If you have a bad holster, it may feel uncomfortable to carry and it may prove more difficult to draw. They may not even last all that long either.
So to cut a long story short, if you’re looking for fine 1911 holsters you should just get one from our list of excellent options:
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Best 1911 Holsters – Reviews
- 1.1 Top 5 IWB Holsters for 1911
- 1.2 1. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry
- 1.3 2. Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster Fits Most 1911 Style Handguns – Kimber – Colt – S & W – Sig Sauer – Remington – Ruger & More – Made in USA
- 1.4 3. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
- 1.5 4. Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Core Carry Pack
- 1.6 5. Galco Waistband Inside The Pant Holster for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
- 1.7 Top 5 OWB Holsters for 1911
- 1.8 1. BLACKHAWK! Serpa Sportster Holster
- 1.9 2. Galco Combat Master Belt Holster for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
- 1.10 3. OUTBAGS USA NSC04 Nylon OWB Outside Pants Carry Holster w/ Mag Pouch. Family owned & operated. Made in USA
- 1.11 4. Fobus 1911 Holster Paddle – BS3
- 1.12 5. 1791 GUNLEATHER 4-Way 1911 Holster – OWB and IWB CCW Holster Right Handed Leather Gun Holster – Fits All 3 to 5 inch 1911 Models SIG, COLT, Kimber, Ruger, Browning, Taurus and Remmington (Size 1)
- 2 Buyer’s Guide
- 3 Conclusion
10 Best 1911 Holsters – Reviews
Top 5 IWB Holsters for 1911
(Inside the Waistband Basics)
1. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry
No list of terrific 1911 holsters is complete without mentioning the ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster. It’s a bestseller with thousands of rave reviews, so chances are you’ll like it too.
First of all, it’s extremely versatile. This fits anyone up to a belly size of 44 inches. So it’s great for both men and women. The holster size is also good for a wide variety pistol sizes.
It can also be set in any carry position you want, whether it’s inside or outside the waistband of your trousers, cross draw or appendix, behind the hip at 5 o’clock, at the 12 o’clock position, or at the small of your back. You can even use this as a shoulder holster or with a concealed carry shirt.
You do need to pick a version for either a right or left hand draw. Either way, there’s a spare magazine pocket you can use. This holster also comes with a retention strap for extra support, though you can cut this off if you’re going for best speed.
What sets this apart is that it doesn’t use elastic. Instead, it’s made of neoprene. It’s soft against the skin and so comfortable that it is used for braces for your back or your knees. The neoprene material is also thicker, which makes it more suitable in handling the weight of the firearm.
This is one of the very few holsters that even women can use comfortably when they’re carrying a concealed weapon. It holds its place securely, even when you’re jogging while carrying.
- Fits in lots of pistol sizes
- Can fit small women with bellies up to 44 inches
- It’s extremely comfortable
- Can be used for many carry positions
- You can use it when running
2. Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster Fits Most 1911 Style Handguns – Kimber – Colt – S & W – Sig Sauer – Remington – Ruger & More – Made in USA
This is the iconic holster known as The Defender. This one is also popular, and in fact it’s extremely difficult to find any negative customer reviews. Every review seems to give it the highest praise. You can pick it in black, brown or charred oak and for either right-handed or left-handed draws. This is what you get when you want an inside the waist band holster.
This was made with great care, much like some craftsmen take pride in handcrafting baseball gloves. It’s also hand-made, and it’s made from authentic USA Bull hide leather. You just need to make sure you pick the right size out of the 5 size options.
Like baseball gloves, the leather of this holster means that you will need a break-in period. But then the leather molds itself to the shape of the gun, so eventually you have a perfect fit.
The retention is excellent, and so you will need a good belt to partner with this. At the same time, it allows you to draw your weapon in a quick and efficient manner. The IWB clop is also terrific, as it can fit snugly on the belt but not too tightly.
The construction is terrific, since it uses bull hide with double seams. The warranty is for a lifetime, so you know it’s meant to last for a very long time. There’s also a nice bit of space between the thumb safety and the top of the holster so that the safety can be used properly without any sort of interference.
- Top quality leather with double seams
- Can be broken in to let the leather mold its shape for the gun
- Offers an efficient draw
- Enables proper safety use
- Lifetime warranty
3. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
The “Alien Gear” brand name may seem presumptuous at first, but this really is a well-made holster made to carry inside the waistband. You can pick the specific size based on the gun for which you plan to use this, and the gun model menu list is a long one. You can also pick either the right or left hand orientation.
The backing layer of the holster base is made from special “CoolVent” neoprene. This is a neoprene layer with perforations. It’s designed to provide some cushioning, while it also breathes against the skin and wicks away moisture. It’s also edge-bound, which means the edges are covered with fabric. If you’re wearing this against your skin, the fabric cover makes it feel more comfortable.
The core of the holster base, on the other hand, is made from double layers of spring steel and woven ballistic nylon. This gives the holster the firmness it needs while still having a rather flexible spine. It will flex to fit your shape, and last for years of use.
The retention is special, as it is suited exactly for the kind of 1911 handgun you have. This makes the fit perfect right away, so there’s no need for any break-in period. This retention can still be adjusted so you’re able to get the hold you want. The holster belt clips are also adjustable so you can get the ride height and the grip angle you wish for.
The quality is superb, as it’s made in the USA. It comes with a “forever” warranty and you can get a lifetime’s worth of retention shell trades. There’s also a 30-day trial period so you can be very sure that it suits your needs.
- Perfect fit for your gun
- Extremely comfortable
- No break in period
- Forever warranty
4. Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Core Carry Pack
This one costs twice as much as the Cloak Tuck, but then it’s a higher grade holster. Yes, the Cloak Tuck is good. But the way the ShapeShift is designed makes it a much more comfortable holster.
The higher price is also because it’s a modular holster, which makes it a lot more versatile than your typical IWB 1911 holster. This holster offers 4 types of comfy carry styles, which include the regular IWB, the AIWB (appendix), the OWB belt slide, and the OWB paddle. This means you can carry your firearms openly, or you can carry it concealed if you have the appropriate permit.
The secret to this tool-less versatility starts with the Shift Shell. It’s made from a tough polymer that’s actually sometimes used to make actual semi-automatics.
The care Alien Gear uses in making this modular holster can also be seen in the IWB module holster. It has soft perforated neoprene to wick the sweat away from the holster. Ti’s durable because the material also contains ballistic nylon. There’s spring steel in the core to function as the backbone. Finally, there’s the thermoplastic elastomer front for resilience and drag.
- A lot more comfortable
- The modular design offers multiple carry options
- It’s extremely adjustable to suit your exact preferences
- The reliability is terrific
5. Galco Waistband Inside The Pant Holster for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
Are you using a 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, or Springfield? If that’s the case, then take a look at the holster specifically designed for those models. Basically, if it’s a 5-inch 1911 variant, this is the holster you need. The price is surprisingly low for its quality, which makes it an excellent value for money proposition.
The leather here is thinner, and that’s a good thing. This makes it easier to mold to your body, and when it does it’s much more comfortable to wear. When you need it, putting the holster and gun on is quite easy. When you’re home, taking out the holster and the gun is super easy too.
You will need some time to break this in though. The grip can be a bit too tight at first, but then after a while it should be merely snug after the break in. The retention snap also closes easily, regardless of whether the hammer is cocked or not.
The leather is also suitably wide so it covers the thumb safety when it’s engaged. The leather exterior is rough, and that’s to help keep the holster in place.
- Fits most full size 1911s
- The quality is amazing, especially when considering the price
- It’s easy to put on and remove
- It’s very comfortable to wear
Top 5 OWB Holsters for 1911
(Outside the Waistband Basics)
1. BLACKHAWK! Serpa Sportster Holster
This is meant for OWB carry, and it’s great for the range and for regular civilian carry. It uses the special patented SERPA design that you don’t see anywhere else.
You have a regular polymer material construction, which is common enough in most other injection-molded holsters. It’s a traditional material used because it’s strong and durable, and it doesn’t deform even after years of use.
This will also click in place at your waistband very securely. This means that even if you’re fidgety and move a lot, the holster won’t move from its spot. That means once you adjust it to fit you comfortably, it’ll stay there for the whole day.
Drawing the handgun is easy as well as fast, as you can just run your index finger along the latch. This keeps your finger right along the top of the slide, and it’s ready to fire any time you want.
Your comfort is also enhanced by the fact that there’s no wiggle room with the lock mechanism of the holster. You can adjust the belt size of this too. Even the draw can be adjusted, as there’s a draw tensioner that can adjust the resistance level of the draw.
- Adjusting the height and the angle of the carry is easy, so you can draw quickly and efficiently.
- As the fit is very snug in the holster, there’s no uncomfortable wiggle room that can affect your comfort and the safety.
- There’s an inside the pan lop, which prevents others to grab or snatch the gun from your holster. That’s crucial, since you really don’t want to unwittingly arm the bad guys.
- It’s of good quality, and it should last for a very long time.
2. Galco Combat Master Belt Holster for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
Galco is another one of those brands that many people trust. The quality of the holster is terrific, thanks to the use of saddle leather and double stitching in the seams. The fit is also hand-molded.
It comes with an open top design, so you’re able to draw very quickly. When you need to holster your gun, you can do so quickly as well, especially when there are cops around. You really don’t want a rookie cop to mistake you for a bad guy.
The detailed molding is excellent, as the retention is very secure and it keeps the gun in place. The butt-forward angle also lets you conceal the handgun more effectively, so you don’t alarm other people.
This fits belts of up to 1.75 inches, and it has an open muzzle. Basically, if you have a double action revolver or a semi-automatic pistol, you may want to take a look at this. It’s available for right and left hand carries, and you can get it in black or tan.
- A lot of military personnel and law enforcement officers use this
- It’s made completely of leather, so it is tough and durable
- It will mold to the shape of your gun.
- The leather is tough enough to use in adverse weather conditions
3. OUTBAGS USA NSC04 Nylon OWB Outside Pants Carry Holster w/ Mag Pouch. Family owned & operated. Made in USA
Outbags offers lots of holsters, but this is the only holster in its lineup that also comes with a magazine pouch. It’s made for both right and left hand shooters, and for revolvers and automatics. Basically, if you have a 1911 5-inch model without rail, this can work for your gun.
It’s made with 600-denier nylon for durability. There’s also a light velvet type of material inside the holster so it doesn’t scratch your gun.
This features a thumb break that keeps your gun secure in its holster. This is adjustable. At the same time, it allows for a speedier draw so you’re better able to defend yourself. The belt clip is removable, and you can use it for mounting to the belt or just the waistband. The belt loop is behind the belt clip, and it also offers a more secure mount to the belt.
The spine is webbed, which keeps the holster open so you can holster your gun quickly. Again, this is a crucial advantage when the cops arrive on the scene and they may not take kindly to you having a gun out.
- It comes with a magazine pouch, which is a nice bonus
- The excellent thumb break offers both a quick draw and a secure fit
- It’s easy to mount to your belt for concealed carry
4. Fobus 1911 Holster Paddle – BS3
This is explicitly for the Colt .45 C21 and other Colt .45, 1911-style models. However, it should fit all 1911s without the rail. If you do get it and it fits your gun, be ready to use it for the rest of your life, since it comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s even maintenance-free.
First of all, it’s designed for concealed carry. That’s evident from the low profile design and how it sits high so you can cover it with a jacket. The design also features passive retention around the trigger guard to keep the gun securely in place. This feature also helps you draw the gun more quickly and smoothly.
The toughness of this holster is legendary, which explains the lifetime warranty and the lack of maintenance needed. It has a steel reinforced rivet attachment with a rubberized paddle for extra stability. The paddle also improves both the stability of the firearm as well as your comfort level while wearing the holster.
- It holds the gun firmly so it’s stable
- A little jerk is all that’s needed to draw the gun, though some break in period will be nice too
- The value for money is excellent, as it’s extremely affordable
- This one comes with a lifetime warranty, which is unexpected for such a low price point
5. 1791 GUNLEATHER 4-Way 1911 Holster – OWB and IWB CCW Holster Right Handed Leather Gun Holster – Fits All 3 to 5 inch 1911 Models SIG, COLT, Kimber, Ruger, Browning, Taurus and Remmington (Size 1)
Now we’re back to a leather holster, which looks great in light or dark brown, and black. This one allows you to carry the gun concealed in 4 different ways. More specifically, you have 3 ways to carry it outside the waistband and the 4th is IWB.
This is made from 100% US steerhide leather, and it’s been reinforced and double stitched. It’s even handcrafted as well, to make sure that it’s easy to conceal while allowing for a quick draw. The exterior has been hand-molded as well, so that the retention, reliability, and durability remain excellent.
Artisans made this holster by hand, with the highest quality control standards in the industry. That’s why 1791 Gunleather has no problem offering it with a lifetime warranty with no-hassle return procedures. You’ll have no trouble returning it, because they have every confidence that you won’t.
- You’re able to carry it in 4 different ways while concealed
- The quality is amazing, and it’s evident that it’s been crafted by the hands of artisans
- The durability is unmatched, and it will last for a lifetime
So what factors should you consider when you’re buying a holster? Here are some factors that should be kept in mind:
You have to make sure that the holster is designed for the kind of gun you have. Some for example, are made for 5-inch guns. Others are specifically for the Colt .45. Then there are some manufacturers that let you pick your fun model from a menu so that you can get the holster size that provides a perfect fit.
How does it feel to wear the holster? It should be comfortable, especially when you wear it the whole day. You have to test it to see how it feels when you’re sitting, driving, or running around. You don’t want it to feel painful after a while.
Retention and Stability
It is best if the holster keeps the gun in place, because you really don’t want a loose gun around your waistband. That may allow other people to grab it, or for you to drop it and have it to accidentally discharge. If it’s securely in place, then it’s also a lot more comfortable to wear.
The retention and stability can be terrific with leather materials, which can mold to the precise shape of the gun. But this will require a break-in period.
You should be able to draw your weapon quickly when you have to. It helps if the holster can let you adjust the angle and the height of the carry so that it’s in the best position for you to draw.
This may not be important in the range, but in the civilian world it’s best if you can carry your gun in such a way that it’s effectively concealed so you don’t alarm other people.
How long will it last? The best ones will come with a very long warranty. Some will even offer a lifetime warranty.
If you’re not carrying concealed, it’s nice if the holster looks good on you.
Some of the better ones will obviously cost more, but there are lots of affordable holsters in good quality.
The holster is one of the most important accessories for your 1911, so you better pick the best 1911 holster you can afford. Consider all these factors and then settle on a holster that feels right and offers a quick draw. The 1911 is a classic model, and you need to treat it with respect by using a holster with impeccable quality.