Best 1911 Holsters – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: August 3, 2021

The 1911 is a classic – full stop.

Between 1911 and 1985, the Colt 1911 was the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces. It accompanied soldiers from WWI to Vietnam.

We’ve put together a reliable guide of the best 1911 holsters out there, just for you. 

Comparison of the Best 1911 Holsters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • It is Rated as the Best Overall For its Amazing Features
  • Adjustable Belt Size Allows You to Place This at Your Waist Securely
  • Regular Polymer Material Construction Makes it Strong and Durable
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  • OWB Leather Belt Ensures Security and Convenience
  • Lifetime Warranty Adds On to Reliability and Perfection
  • This Holster is Ranked as the Runner-Up With Similar Features as the Top One
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  • Made With 100% Leather to Offer Durability
  • Utilized By Both Left and Right-Handed Users
  • It is Categorized as the Best For the Money For the Amazing Features it Offers at This Price Point
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  • High-Tech Polymer Construction Marks Durability
  • Fully Adjustable and 360 Rotations Adjust According to Your Withdraw Angle
  • Categorized as the Best OWB Holster For 1911 Because of its Stunning Features
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  • Lifetime Warranty Ensures Durability and Reliability
  • Made With Bull Hide Leather to Offer a High-Quality Product
  • It is Ranked as the Best IWB Holster For 1911 Due to the Features it Offers
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  • Lifetime Warranty Guarantees Reliability and Perfection
  • Best Appendix Carry Holster For 1911 That is Quite Comfortable Too
  • Waterproof Neoprene Backing Layer Enhances the Quality of the Product
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What Size of Holster Do I Need?

Size is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a holster. As you know, 1911 is an interestingly shaped pistol, which makes it unique. It also means that many holsters won’t fit the gun comfortably. 

You’ll need to know the details of your handgun to answer this question because 1911s vary in size. Government models have a barrel length of about 5”, whereas the Officer model is just 3.5”. Generally speaking, the 1911 is less than an inch wide. 

Check the dimensions of your gun before buying a holster – you’ll want to ensure that you have solid retention and sufficient length.

What Should I Look For When Buying a 1911 Holster?

The selection process for a holster for the 1911 is much the same as the process for any other gun. The important things to look for include comfort, position, size, material, trigger guard, cant angle, retention adjustability, and locking mechanism.

When picking out a holster, you need to think, first, about how you will be carrying the gun. Ask yourself some basic questions. Do you carry every day? Are you on the job? How long do you need to carry for?

After that, you need to factor in the more functional questions: Do you need adjustable cant? What retention level do you like? Will the gun sit inside or outside your waistband?

You should also get familiar with the 1911 itself – figure out how it draws. Will you be comfortable drawing cross? Will you be comfortable drawing from the ankle? 

We can’t state this enough – buy a holster designed for 1911 to improve security, fit, comfort, retention level, and support. A poorly fitted holster will be awkward, and potentially, dangerous. The last thing you want to be concerned about when you need to access your firearm is whether or not you’ll be able to draw it safely.

Review of the Best 1911 Holsters

There is a wide range of holsters available for 1911, which should come as no surprise. With its history, 1911 is a popular gun. 

Fortunately for you, we’ve gone through the available holsters and put together a complete round-up of the best options. Take a look:

Best Overall

BlackHawk Sportster SERPA Paddle Holster

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What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, recent buyer feedback is positive. People stand by this product. Buyers love the fit, the feel, and the security of the holster. It is military-grade but designed for civilian use – users find that it gives the best of both worlds.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

When we decided to check out the BlackHawk Sportster SERPA Paddle Holster, we expected to like what we found. We didn’t expect to like it this much. SERPA means quality, and this is no exception. The Kydex material feels durable and long-lasting. 

We loved the fit of the paddle. It is comfortable and secure as an OWB carry. It fits like a glove and gives the optimal level of retention for a secure and smooth draw. Whether you take this to the range or the job, you’ll feel safe knowing that the Sportster won’t fail.

Bottom Line

The BlackHawk SERPA Paddle is the best holster we reviewed. It fits comfortably, holds your gun securely, and encourages a smooth and safe draw. Its quality is also unmatched. As far as we’re concerned, this is the way to go.

Pros

Great lock

Injection-molded

Very comfortable wear

Naturally aligned detention

Two-level retention system

Cons

Paddle mount only

Arrives disassembled

Runner-up

1791 GUNLEATHER 1911 Holster

1791 Gunleather 1911 Holster - Thumb Break Leather Holster - Cocked and Locked Carry - Right Hand OWB Holster for Belts - Fit 4' and 5' Barrels

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What Recent Buyers Report

It seems like nobody has a bad thing to say about this holster. Buyers report that it truly is a top of the line product. The leather is incredibly well crafted and of very high quality. Some customers muse that it could even outlast the gun itself.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If we ran this contest on looks alone, 1791 would win by a mile. It is a beautiful holster. That said, the American steer hide not only looks awesome, but is durable, long-lasting, and well crafted. 

This holster secures to your belt and sits outside your waistband. As a result, it’s not an entirely concealed carry unless your coat or jacket covers the gun. Therefore, it’s a better option for those who carry open or work with a firearm.

The leather molds perfectly to the gun, which means your holster is not just tailor-made for the 1911 but is tailored specifically to your 1911.  

Bottom Line

We love this holster. The American steer hide leather is high quality and well crafted. It looks great and fits 1911 perfectly, with optimal retention and a custom mold. This one is a very close runner-up to the BlackHawk.

Pros

Steerhide leather

Dual-position option

Reinforced stitching

Fortified thumb break

Fits both 4” or 5” barrels

Cons

Right hand only

Belt loops not adjustable

Best for the Money

Relentless Tactical Comfort Carry Leather Holster & Mag Pouch Combo

Relentless Tactical Comfort Carry Leather Holster & Mag Pouch Combo | Made in USA | Fits Glock 17 19 22 23 32 33 | Springfield XD & XDS | S&W M&P Shield | Fits Most 1911 Style Handguns

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What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, feedback is very good. People love the option to carry a second magazine. The fit seems to be comfortable and secure. However, some people have found it to ride a little high.

In terms of holsters in its price range, the consensus is that The Defender takes the cake – hands down.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Comfort Carry caught our eye right away. Of course, our first concern was the price point of this little rig. That said, we never look for cost alone. Unless a cheap holster also comes with quality, it’s no use. A poorly crafted holster is no good to anyone. With The Comfort Carry, Relentless Tactical brings both affordability and reliable design. 

As far as basic holsters go, this is a strong contender. It has a separate pouch to carry an extra magazine and has effective retention on most 1911s. While we generally don’t recommend opting for a generic holster, The Defender seems to have accounted for the 1911s unusual shape. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a bang for your buck, check out Relentless Tactical’s Comfort Carry. It is a reliable, baseline holster that fits 1911 well. That said, it doesn’t have all of the advantages as some of the top-tier models on our list.

Pros

Low cost

Very easy draw

Lifetime warranty

Extra mag capability

Fits a wide range of guns

Cons

Not tailor-made for the 1911

No locking mechanism or clasp

Best 1911 Shoulder Holster

Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers consistently praise the premium steer hide leather of this gun holster. People also find the entire system to be comfortable, practical, and well-fitted. After following the break-in procedure suggested by the manufacturer, buyers had no difficulty fitting their guns snugly into the leather. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you think of shoulder holsters, what comes to mind? Smokey rooms, dark alleyways, and grizzled private eyes – noir film. With the Jackass Shoulder Rig, Galco hit the nail on the head. 

This harness comes with a handy ammo pouch on the right-hand side, which means easy access for loading and reloading. It also means you don’t have to worry about running back to the car for an extra clip if you ever need to use your EDC. 

Shoulder holsters are timeless and pair wonderfully with a classic gun like 1911. If you want to look the part, stop your search right here.

Bottom Line

Galco’s holster is an impressive piece of equipment. It looks great, fits well, and is well-manufactured. The leather is both premium quality and stylish in appearance. If you’re looking for a shoulder holster, this is our number one pick.

Pros

Leather harness

Premium steer hide

Adjustable carry position

Includes an ammo carrier

Shoulder straps are very good

Cons

Right hand only

Short retainer strap

Best 1911 Leather Holster

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster - Fits Most 1911 Style Handguns - Kimber - Colt - S & W - Sig Sauer - Remington - Ruger & More - Made in USA - Charred Oak Left Handed

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What Recent Buyers Report

Feedback for Relentless Tactical’s The Defender is impressive. The holsters use high-quality, American leather. The craftsmanship is beautiful. Furthermore, the holster fits a wide range of guns comfortably and securely.

Buyers speak warmly of the great experience, the care instructions provided, and the reassuring lifetime warranty.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Defender immediately caught our eye. At first, we focused on the sheer aesthetic beauty of this piece. From the light brown, charred oak to the equally cool Whiskey Barrel Brown, we were very impressed with the options available. After discovering that the leather was handcrafted, we were sold.

Don’t let its looks overwhelm you – The Defender is a great holster all around. It attaches to the belt with a reliable clip and easily fits inside the waistband. The leather is sturdy, dependable, and form-fitting, which gives it the perfect middle ground – allowing it to hold your firearm against your waist with no discomfort or obstruction. 

Bottom Line

The Defender is a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship and a wonderful holster. The leather molds easily to 1911. Overall, it demonstrates that you really can have it both ways. It looks great and works just as well.

Pros

Lifetime warranty

Available in three colors

Beautiful bull hide leather 

Fits a wide range of pistols

Handmade and high quality

Cons

No adjustable cant

No adjustable retention

Best 1911 IWB Holster

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster

Alien Gear holsters S&W Bodyguard .380 Auto Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Hoslter (Left Hand)

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What Recent Buyers Report

Feedback is positive regarding Alien Gear’s holster. Customers report that the retention level is great, the draw is smooth and easy, and that the holster itself is highly adjustable. It seems like the only downside is the size, which is slightly larger than comparable holsters.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Alien Gear’s Cloak Tuck IWB is a great holster. The materials and construction are both high quality. Also, it is very comfortable to wear. Though the size and shape had us a little concerned at first, we were very impressed by just how concealable this holster was. 

Despite not being designed specifically for 1911, we had no issues with the fit because the particular model you receive is custom-fitted to your gun. 

If you’re looking for an IWB holster, this is our number one pick. It is durable, flexible, and highly adjustable.

Bottom Line

This product is the best IWB holster we came across. It fits securely and comfortably beneath the beltline. Also, it draws smoothly and quickly. We loved how customizable it was, with numerous adjustment options at the turn of a screw.

Pros

Highly concealable

Adjustable ride height

Hard neoprene material

Custom fitted to the pistol

Sweat-wicked and breathable

Cons

Not ShapeShift Compatible

Larger than others on the list

Best 1911 Drop Leg Holster

Nehostertfy Drop Leg Holster

Drop Leg Holster, Right Handed Tactical Thigh Pistol Gun Holster Leg Harness

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What Recent Buyers Report

We have yet to see any serious criticism of this drop leg holster. The tactical appearance is not just for show – it stands up to trial. From lawmen to security professionals, people stand by this product. In particular, commendations focus on its adaptability and convenience. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We should note that this is not a concealed carry holster. If you can’t open carry, this is probably not the holster to choose. For anyone else, we highly recommend it.

We loved how this holster fit. Unlike many drop leg holsters, Nehostferty’s holster keeps your gun from swinging. It feels secure and can be adapted easily with several adjustable straps. The material itself is soft and flexible, making this ideal for active movement or long days. 

The quick-release buckle is a handy feature. If you want to unstrap quickly, you only need to unclip the latch and pull it off.

Bottom Line

Nehostertfy’s drop leg holster is a serious contender, even beyond the bounds of its category. It is convenient, secure, and durable. If you’re in the market for a thigh strapped holster, check this out before going anywhere else.

Pros

Very adjustable

Dual thigh straps

Great tactical look

Can attach to the waist

Extra mag pouch included

Cons

One size fits all

Designed for the right hand

Best 1911 Kydex Holster

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster fits 1911 3.5' Officer (NR) (Non-Sig) | Left | Black

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What Recent Buyers Report

Once again, Concealment Express’s product has a loyal fan base. The Kydex holster is very easy to conceal, highly adjustable, and well built. Many people do suggest that it might take a little fiddling and adjusting to get the holster to fit your gun, initially. After that, it’s smooth sailing. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Kydex is very popular at the moment. It is light, durable, and long-lasting. Concealment Express’ IWB Kydex holster is no exception to the rule. It is fiber reinforced, aluminum molded, and crafted in the USA.

We were particularly impressed by just how easy this was to conceal. It takes up barely more space than the gun itself. As a result, it is practically as close to bare as you can get without just sticking your gun in your waistband. Of course, that’s out of the question. 

If you’re looking for a Kydex holster, check this one out. We are big fans.

Bottom Line

The 1911 fits snugly into this holster. Once again, this holster is not built specifically for 1911; however, it gets the job done. It is durable, lightweight, and very concealable. In terms of Kydex holsters, this is our favorite.

Pros

Adjustable cant

Optional claw kit

Lifetime guarantee

Adjustable retention

Lightweight material

Cons

Certain guns don’t fit well

Left-handed (could be a pro for lefties)

Best 1911 OWB Holster

Galco Combat Master Belt Holster

Galco Combat Master Belt Holster for Kimber Colt 1911 5' CM212

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What Recent Buyers Report

Galco is a name that you can trust. Buyer feedback for this leather holster supports this. Not only does the leather mold itself perfectly to your gun after a few wears, but it also stands the test of time without any issue. Simply put, people love this holster.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’re familiar with firearms, you’ve probably come across the name Galco more than once. Their reputation tends to precede them. If this hand-molded OWB is anything to go by, the reputation is well-deserved. Galco employs skilled and professional craftsmen who work exclusively with top of the line material.

The Galco Combat leather holster is an impressive piece of equipment. It is comfortable, highly concealable, and compact, plus it draws smoothly and maintains a good retention level. One of the perks of leather is that the optimal retention level forms naturally over time as the leather shapes your gun.

To be frank, we can’t imagine anyone regretting this purchase.

Bottom Line

This product is another great leather holster. It sits comfortably outside the waistband and attaches right to your belt. The inside is soft suede, preventing any scratching or wear to your gun. You really can’t go wrong with the Galco Combat Master Belt Holster. 

Pros

Comfortable fit

Butt forward cant

Very solid retention

100% quality leather

Lightweight at 6.4oz

Cons

Right-handed only

Belt loops cannot adjust

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

To help you to make the smartest buying decisions possible, we’ve decided to give you a little heads up. Here’s a little breakdown of some factors to be aware of when buying a holster for 1911. 

Though its size varies, 1911 is a fairly big gun. As a result, you may need to be extra cautious about the size and shape of your holster. If your holster adds much bulk, your concealed carry will be uncomfortable or conspicuous.

Also, a 1911 can be heavy. If you opt for a cheaper holster or don’t have a solid belt, you might wind up with a drooping gun at your side, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. It can even be dangerous to draw your gun from an unfamiliar or unexpected angle. 

Lastly, 1911 is not a standard size or shape. Most handguns do not look or feel like it. As a result, you will be far better off buying a holster intended for the gun you have.

That said, you really can’t go wrong with 1911. Pay attention, buy smart, and you’ll wind up with a reliable product that serves you honorably and reliably, day in and day out.

Galco Combat Master 1911 Holster
Photo credit: gunnewsdaily.com

Conclusion

The 1911 is timeless. If it was good enough for the beaches of Normandy, we’re fairly sure it’ll do the trick as your EDC.

If it’s your everyday carry, you’ll need a good holster for it. As far as we’re concerned, the BlackHawk Sportster SERPA Paddle Holster is the best of the best. Do yourself a favor and start your search there! 

People Also Ask

If you’re thinking about switching to 1911 for your day-to-day concealed carry weapon, you likely have quite a few questions. It’s important to have all of the facts when making such an important decision. 

To help you out, we’ve taken the liberty to answer a few more common questions.

Is a 1911 a Good Concealed Carry Gun?

Yes. Though some people will disagree, 1911 is an excellent concealed carry. First, just pick one up. It won’t take long to notice how well 1911 fits into your hand – it is an example of masterful ergonomic design. It is also a mere 0.9” wide.

Are 1911 Holsters Universal?

It is possible to find generic or universal holsters that fit 1911 fairly comfortably. That said, the best 1911 holsters cater specifically to the gun, accounting for the model’s exact weight, size, and shape. We highly recommend getting a tailored holster for your specific gun.



Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.