Choosing The Best Holster for Your 1911

If you haven’t noticed by the blogs, there are a lot of references to getting a good holster, and to most, that may seem less important. However, I would argue that a good holster is as important or more important than the actual firearm itself. Why would that be, you ask? Here are my top three reasons, especially regarding the 1911 platform.

First, if your holster is uncomfortable, bulky, or doesn’t fit right, you won’t carry your gun. That, to me, is the single biggest reason because that .45 won’t do much to protect you in a fight or be there in a hunt if you leave it at home. Too often, I have seen concealed carriers get cheap, tacti-cool, or ill-fitting holsters, and because it is uncomfortable, they start carrying less frequently. This situation happened with my full-size 1911, which was my concealed carry gun for years (I am a big guy and can get away with it). I bought a name-brand holster named after a helicopter, and boy, that was a mistake. It was a pain to wear, bulked up the clothing badly, and I found myself not carrying, and eventually downsizing to a smaller gun thinking that was the problem (it wasn’t, and I had to justify to the missus for needing another gun, which became a different problem).

The second biggest issue is retention. When I was a brand-new concealed carrier, I had a tricked-out 1911 (Rock Island with a muzzle brake bushing in the front). I had a holster. I carried it in behind the back and being a 1911, I carried it in condition one usually, one in the chamber with the slide safety engaged. I was at my parent’s house in between a move, loading things into my truck, and it fell out of the holster. Normally not a big deal, but it fell and hit the muzzle brake (attached to slide), and the hammer wasn’t cocked back, but there was a round in the chamber. Doing so caused the hammer to go back just enough to fall forward and put a 185grain CorBon bullet in my parent’s asphalt while scaring the hell out of them and me…. needless to say, that holster was trashed immediately, and after changing my underwear, I didn’t carry the rest of the way to my new home. Don’t let this happen to you, as the results could have been much worse.

Finally, look for a holster that prevents your clothes from getting bunched in the trigger guard. I have read several stories where a poorly made holster allowed more material to get into the trigger guard. As the firearm was shoved into the holster, it discharged a round, usually into the ass or leg, and while not fatal, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you are a new shooter or an older shooter, I would recommend looking at the line of holster offered at JM4 Tactical, specifically the lower seated original, as it will keep a larger framed pistol lower and reduce the printing of the full-size 1911 and is suitable for all types of pants, keeping your firearm secured and, on your body, regardless of the weather. 

Author: Ian Bolser