1911 Holster – What’s the Best Holster for You?

Fobus gun holsterOur 1911 Holster list is right below this short introduction.

Around the turn of the last century, the US Army decided they wanted an auto-loading handgun with ballistic capabilities along the line of the Colt 45. John Moses Browning came up with the 1911 design, and in the hundred odd years since, it’s become one of the most iconic in the history of firearms. In the words of 1911 expert Robert Campbell, it hits like “a velvet-covered brick.”

These days the 1911 pistol is more popular than ever, from exact copies of the original models to updated, tweaked designs. No matter what your personal flavor, it’s hard to go too far wrong. But your choices don’t end once you have your preferred 1911. A good gun needs a good holster, and if you want to pick the right one you can’t just rush off and buy the first one that grabs your eye.

Holsters make for easy carrying, keep your gun protected, and, let’s be honest, look pretty cool. Here’s a quick rundown of why a good 1911 gun holster is important and how to pick one, but first a chart of some of our favorites.

Our Favorite 1911 Gun Holsters Chart


Image Title Rating Price
 Serpa 1911 Holster Blackhawk CQC Serpa Holster 4.6  $$
 Bianchi Gun Holster Bianchi 111 Cyclone Crossdraw Holster 4.7 $$$
 Fobus gun holster Fobus Compact Paddle Holster 1911 Officer 4.0 $
 Kramer Holster Kramer Vertical Scabbard Cowhide Holster 4.3  $$$
 Gun Holster The Answer Tucker Gunleather “The Answer” 4.7  $$$


What Makes a Good Holster

Having a good 1991 gun holster is gun ownership 101 kind of stuff, but picking the right holster isn’t as easy as you might think. First off, you have to consider the material your holster is made out of.

Holster Material:

Broken down you have two basic options: synthetic or leather. Synthetic holsters are usually identified as Kydex, which is basically an tough and durable form of plastic, so don’t worry about getting hung up on the word.

What Kydex and other synthetic holsters can offer you is a lightweight, tought, weatherproof product that won’t break the bank. Downsides include being rigid, which means they’re more likely to take the finish off your gun then a leather 1911 holster.

Leather 1911 holsters are about as traditional as it gets and boast a nice slew of benefits for your pistol. You can stick with normal leather without spending too much or upgrade to horse leather (which will last forever) if you’re up to shell out a little extra. Leather holsters are supple, moldable and — don’t underrate this — look stylish as heck.

Holster Position:

The other big thing you’ll be looking at is your preferred carry method. Your options run pretty wide, including shoulder, hip, and saddle. Hip holsters are the ‘classic’ holster you’re probably looking for. The’re easiest to work with concealed carry laws and what we’ll be working with today.
There’s a range within hip holsters that’ll probably fall under personal preference. You have S.o.B. holsters (small of back, along the spine), cross-draw holsters (between your hip and navel) and more classic hip holsters that suspend from a pants clip or belt loop.

No one style is all-around better than the other, but you’ll want to keep your options in mind when picking out your ideal holster.

Retention System:

You’ll also want to keep an eye on: the holster’s retention system, which is how it keeps the gun in place. Some will lock your gun in there and need a click on your part, while others will hold it in there with a strap. It’s up to you to figure out what’s personally best.


Top 5 1911 Holsters

1. Blackhawk CQC Serpa Holster

Serpa 1911 HolsterBlackhawk’s CQC Serpa is a sleek 1911 holster that doesn’t cut any corners. Right off the bat you’ll notice its retention system. Instead of relying on a strap or button-release, the Serpa keeps your pistol in place with a quick-release latch. You can easily pull this latch free while doing a natural drawing motion.

This means you can draw and secure with one hand. That’s a big plus, but what makes it really nice is that when it works, it works. The retention lock holds the gun firmly in place on the Serpa, with no jostling or give.

It’s far from the only benefits of the holster though. It’s Kydex, and very affordable coming it at just over $30. Second, the snap-on clip is sturdy and doesn’t wear and tear. Third, it’s a real sturdy piece of work and will probably last you quite some time. If you’re looking for something durable, affordable, and slick, this is your guy.

2. Bianchi 111 Cyclone Crossdraw Holster

Bianchi Gun HolsterThe Cyclone is a crossdraw holster, which offers a few advantages right off the bad. It sits on the front your hip, meaning its easily concealed and easy to draw. This applies even when you’re sitting down.

If you happen to be into 1911 hunting and are on a stakeout, go ahead and chalk one up for the Cyclone. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s a double-loop holster, so you can also wear it strong side if you like.

It does a lot more than that to standout of course. The leather it’s made from is extremely well-made. It might be a bit stiff the first few days of use but once you break it in, you’re left with a very supple product.

This makes for some comfortable wearing. While you might not notice if you’re only wearing it for short stints, keeping it on for half the day or more will really give you an apprecation for it. Again, here’s a product ready made for day-long hunting trips.

The Cyclone is a very high quality 1911 holster, and that unfortunately means one thing. It’s a bit more expensive than the Serpa, running you around $70, but it pays off. It’s a finely-made piece of workmanship with a lot of life in it, so consider it a well spent investment if it’s the route you choose to go.

3. Fobus Compact Paddle Holster 1911 Officer

Fobus gun holsterThe Fobus Compact Paddle Holster tells you right in the name the advantages it’s going to give you. It’s a paddle holster that fits nicely inside your pants working well for concealment, and it’s also a particularly compact one.

This can be a hit or miss kind of affair since paddle holsters can have a tendency to jut into you and chafe, but the Fobus is a quality piece of construction. It has an open muzzle and the clip itself is built with a gentle curve — if you’re looking for a holster that’s low profile, this is your man.

Small sizes come with small prices, and this is the most affordable gun on the list. You’ll shell out just over $20 if you want to get your hands on one. Not bad at all since it has a tendency to hold its shape rigid a heck of a lot longer than cheaper alternatives.

4. Kramer Vertical Scabbard Cowhide Holster

Kramer HolsterJust looking at a picture of this Kramer holster will give you sense of what a high quality product it is. Made from premium black cowhide leather, this 1911 gun holster is a stylish and extremely practical choice if you’re looking to shell out a little extra.

I have to mention that if you’re worried about wear on your finish, you can’t go wrong with the Kramer. This is extremely high quality leather and you can feel the difference just holding it in your hands. For any serious collector looking to baby your gun it’s a perfect choice.

One more thing that chalks up this holster a few points in the cool department: word is that this is the holster of choice for certain government agencies, which is at least worth a little bit of a wow factor if you want to brag to your buddies.

Of course quality comes at a price and this model is a bit pricey coming it at around $120. But when quality and style come together so nicely it’s hard to say no even to a price like that. If you can spare the cash, Kramer just might be the way to go.

5. Tucker Gunleather “The Answer”

Gun Holster The AnswerSo far everything I’ve talked about has been either leather or synthetic and there’s a good reason for that. Just about every holster you’ll ever come across is one or the other.

The Tucker Silent Thunder is a little bit different though. Two guys from Texas figured that if they could figure out a way to take the best sides of both and bring them together they’d end up with a real quality 1911 holster.

It’s not a new idea and has been tried before but the Silent Thunder manages to be in a league of its own. You’ve got supple leather on lining on the inside of a Kydex shell. It’s worth pointing out that Kydex is something of an umbrella term as there is a pretty broad range of quality and types. This the high quality stuff, strong and rigid while still being pretty much impossible to snap.

It’s a real quality piece of work that manages to keep a slim profile. The Silent Thunder attaches with either a belt loop or a quick mount clip and both hold it securely in place.

What I’ve found most to love about my Answer is almost just what you’d expect: it actually does combine the best aspects of both materials. It’s a real strong protective holster thanks to the Kydex but the leather lining means your gun isn’t going to be looking at anywhere near as much wear and tear. If you’re looking to pick up one of these premium holsters it’ll run you about $140.

Want some more opinions? Check out these resources!

I hope our 1911 holster review was helpful for you and you found exactly what you were looking for. Feel free to leave me a message in the comments.

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