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Five Favorite 1911 Holster Options for Everyday Carry

Are you a proud 1911 owner with a great 1911 holster? If so, congratulations on owning one of the most iconic firearms in US History. It’s hard to beat the legendary stories and influence the 1911 pistol carries with it. When I was younger, everyone wanted a 1911 handgun. They are very popular today as well, but newer designs are always looming, not far behind the legend.

John Browning’s design made shooting a .45 caliber handgun easy. From the grip angle to the trigger pull and overall balance, it’s just an easy gun to shoot. But carrying it concealed is a different story. Part of what helps with the recoil is the weight of the all-steel frame. Weight is a double-edged sword, though. It mitigates the felt recoil of a gun but makes lugging one around all day a bit of a challenge. Add in the large grip and 5-inch barrel, and it’s not fun.

With today’s modern touch to some 1911 pistols, many 1911 pistols are made from lighter materials, different sizes, and calibers. But the real trick to carrying a 1911 around every day is having a good holster. Over the years, I’ve tried many different 1911 holsters, and I’ve narrowed my search down to a few that seem to work for me. I’m sure there are plenty of other great options out there, but here are a few that I have used regularly over the years.

1. Craft/Falco Leather Shoulder Holster

One of my favorite ways to carry a 1911 is in a shoulder holster. This is partially because a shoulder holster distributes weight better and partially because of its history. I mean, if you’re going to carry a classic gun, why not carry it in a classic holster? A shoulder holster is ideal for handguns with longer barrels, too.

Craft/Falco Roto shoulder holster is a great rig for carrying a 1911 handgun. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

My Craft holster has the Vertical Roto system, which is cool. This design carries the gun vertically but rotates down, making it easier to draw. A single strap keeps the gun in place and the holster in the vertical position until you are ready to draw it. A double mag pouch on the opposite side allows you to carry extra ammo and helps offset the weight of the 1911.

A series of holes in the shoulder straps allow it to be adjusted for a custom fit. The belt straps on the bottom of the holster and mag pouch allow you to secure the bottom of the shoulder rig to your belt. If you carry a 1911 handgun daily, I would definitely recommend that you check out a shoulder holster.

2. Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster

One of the finest leather makers in the gun industry, Galco, makes a great 1911 belt holster. The Thunderclap is an open-top holster with a nice finish on the outside. One thing I like about this holster is that it comes pre-molded for a 1911. It’s common practice to mold a leather holster for your firearm, but in this case, Galco does it for you.

Galco leather Classic Flat Back Buckle
Galco 1911 Thunderclap holster with Galco Classic leather belt. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

As part of the Masterbuilt series, this hand-molded holster is made from premium steerhide. It’s lined on the inside, so it won’t wear the finish on your gun. It comes in black or tan, and you can select the type of 1911 pistol when ordering. In the wintertime, this is a great belt holster for your 1911 handgun. This is a holster that will last a lifetime.

3. A Pancake Holster

I know this is not a specific model of holster, but this one is more about the style than the brand. A good leather pancake holster is a great way to carry a 1911 pistol if you want minimum movement on your waist. Because the 1911 is so heavy and long, it’s hard to keep it from shifting the holster around on your belt. A pancake holster is typically an outside-the-waistband holster with belt loops on the far outside edges to provide maximum support while wearing it.

1911 leather pancake holster.
Leather pancake holsters are perfect for daily carry. There are a lot of companies that make great paddle holsters. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

A thumb snap provides some level of retention and allows the gun to be carried “locked and cocked.” This means the thumb snap goes behind the hammer (when cocked) and blocks the firing pin. This is a great way to carry a 1911 and have it ready to go when needed. Several companies make great pancake holsters, including Bianchi, Gould & Goodrich, Galco, and the 1791 Leather Company.

4. Falco Leather 1911 Paddle Holster

Another one of my favorites from Falco is the leather pancake holster with adjustable tension. When you’re in a hurry, putting a leather holster on and taking it off is a hassle. A paddle holster does have as much security or stability as a belt loop holster, but it’s quicker. Simply tuck the paddle behind your waistline, and the holster snaps in place.

Kimber KDS9c holsters.
Craft leather paddle holster for 1911 handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

This one specifically has adjustable posts that clip under the belt to keep it from pulling back off. The leather thumb break keeps your 1911 secure and allows it to be carried locked and cocked. There is a small tension screw just below the trigger area for adjusting the tension of the 1911 in the holster. For a small upcharge, you can even add your initials to the holster.

5. Blackhawk CQC 1911 Holster

The CQC (Close Quarter Concealment) is the only polymer holster on my list, but it’s convenient and practical. Molded to fit the Colt 1911 pistol, the CQC is a paddle holster with an automatic locking system for retention. The open-top design makes it easy to draw by pressing the lock-release button just below the top of the holster.

Blackhawk CQC 1911 paddle holster
The Blackhawk CQC 1911 paddle holster. Photo: Jason Mosher]

You can adjust the angle of the holster on the paddle if desired for different carry options. Although it doesn’t have the classic look of a leather 1911 holster, it’s nice for daily use. Drawing and re-holstering are simple with this holster, and it keeps the gun secure until you need it. It’s also the cheapest holster on this list, which makes it a great deal for the price.

What’s your favorite 1911?

One of the cool things about 1911 handguns today is that we have gobs of options with custom finishes to choose from. And yet, regardless of the modern touch, every 1911 handgun carries that distinct look that sets it apart from any other. It’s not just a reliable gun; it’s a part of our country’s history and a legendary gun designer’s handy work. The gun may be old, but it’s still a relevant design for self-defense in today’s world.

The post Five Favorite 1911 Holster Options for Everyday Carry appeared first on The Mag Life.

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