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Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted
Just acquired a Remington R1 Enhanced 1911 (.45 ACP). Wondering what style OWB concealment holster y'all like for such a sidearm?

I'm gravitating toward a pancake or belt slide style with a 15° cant. Figure the forward loop just forward of my hip. That's worked well for me for other larger autoloaders.

What about fully-covered vs. a goodly portion of the business end extending below the holster?

Traditionally I've gone with Milt Sparks, but I'm thinkin' of maybe giving Wright Leatherworks (their Predator™ looks good) or one of Sigforum's regulars a shot at this one.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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5" barreled handguns are naturally going to be tougher to conceal OWB than more compact handguns. You'll need to make sure you have a cover garment of sufficient length. You'll also want to ensure you have a quality gun belt to support the extra weight.

A more noticeable forward cant is helpful with a full-sized handgun like a 5" 1911. 15ish degrees is good. Not only does it prevent the longer grip from protruding so far rearward, but it also causes the muzzle to ride up slightly closer to the belt than a straighter cant.

I know the "Avenger" style holster is the quintessential 1911 OWB, but in my experience those don't conceal well under anything but a sportcoat or jacket. The abrupt transition from the belt to the holster at the front just doesn't lend itself to concealment under a thinner or tighter garment like a shirt. Plus, the weight of the holster is being supported by a smaller area of the belt, which is more noticeable with a large steel handgun like a 5" 1911.

A Pancake OWB is the way to go, to keep it held more tightly to the body, and provide a gradual transition around the holster to further blend with the cover garment's natural fall, as well as to spread the weight out over a wider area of the belt.

Or, a few holster makers offer a hybrid Avenger/Pancake holster (like Tucker Texas Gunleather's HF1), if you want the best of both worlds.


Personally, I don't like holsters that leave the muzzle exposed. I've run into too many situations where the muzzle end of my holsters are getting bumped or pushed on by chairs, seat belt receptacles, and various other objects. Not only will a full coverage holster prevent unnecessary wear to the muzzle of the gun, it will also prevent the gun from potentially being pushed upwards out of the holster.
 
Posts: 22972 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've always used Sparks for all of my CC guns. Never saw a reason to change. Will concede that there is a lot of good leather out there nowadays though. I've always bought two holsters for carry, an IWB and an OWB. Gives me options. Staying with this combo, I've found the angles are compatible. The IWB draws the same as the OWB.

Re your post:

1) Never liked pancake. The draw feel is affected by how tight the belt is drawn. Not familiar with current crop, but I believe they tend to ride higher than standard OWB. The tunnel/loop on holsters like the #55BN accomplish the same body tightness without the drawbacks.

2) Have owned/carried both GM and Cmdr length guns over a 45 year period. Never owned/carried the GM in OWB, due to the length. Obviously, this depends on your body build and jacket preferences.

3) 1911's are VERY happy with IWB. My preference is Sparks VM-2 IWB. Comfortable, secure and very fast. Started off with Summer Specials in the 1970's. In addition, the weight of the gun doesn't matter. My steel Cmdr and LW Cmdr carry the same. With the GM, the vertical rise needed to clear is shorter with an IWB than an OWB holster. Again, depends on the user.

4) Do not like the belt slide shorty "holsters". Or as they were called in the old days, Yaqui slide belt holster. As mentioned by another poster, they are open to damage on the exposed part. Not just impact, but corrosion in warm weather. I wasted money on two of them. IMO, the worst issue is that the gun has no stabilization when drawing, like a standard holster does. Depending on the gun and body build, a slightly imperfect draw results in binding. Also, if the jacket lifts, an exposed gun muzzle is more noticeable than a hunk of leather. For me, the only virtue is ability to use different barrel lengths.


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Posts: 4238 | Location: Northeast | Registered: June 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
5" barreled handguns are naturally going to be tougher to conceal OWB than more compact handguns. You'll need to make sure you have a cover garment of sufficient length.

Naturally. This ain't my first rodeo with full-sized handguns Smile. My very first, recently traded-in against the latest, was a G22 in a DeSantis thumb-break scabbard. More recently a Kydex rig for my P320F with a light.

quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
You'll also want to ensure you have a quality gun belt to support the extra weight.

Have had that covered for years. My first gunbelt, an inexpensive one bought at a LGS, was ok for that DeSantis holster, but when I tried to use it with my P239 SAS in a Milt Sparks VM2 it was a disaster.

quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
A more noticeable forward cant is helpful with a full-sized handgun like a 5" 1911. 15ish degrees is good. Not only does it prevent the longer grip from protruding so far rearward, but it also causes the muzzle to ride up slightly closer to the belt than a straighter cant.

That was my thinking.

quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
I know the "Avenger" style holster is the quintessential 1911 OWB, but in my experience ...

A Pancake OWB is the way to go, to keep it held more tightly to the body, and provide a gradual transition around the holster to further blend with the cover garment's natural fall, as well as to spread the weight out over a wider area of the belt.

That would have been my thinking, but see member Nipper's comments, below.

Btw: The "Avenger" style looks to be Bill Nelson's "Professional" design, as exemplified by Milt Sparks' 55BN, noted by member Nipper?

quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
Or, a few holster makers offer a hybrid Avenger/Pancake holster (like Tucker Texas Gunleather's HF1), if you want the best of both worlds.

I'll have to take a look at that. Thanks!

ETA: Looked. Great reviews, but looks bulky.

quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
Personally, I don't like holsters that leave the muzzle exposed.

Reasons noted. You're confirming my thinking on this point.

quote:
Originally posted by Nipper:
Re your post:

1) Never liked pancake. The draw feel is affected by how tight the belt is drawn. Not familiar with current crop, but I believe they tend to ride higher than standard OWB.

I've never experienced that problem with my P239 SAS in a Sparks I-BAK, though I would have expected it. And, yes: They do tend to ride high.

quote:
Originally posted by Nipper:
The tunnel/loop on holsters like the #55BN accomplish the same body tightness without the drawbacks.

Noted (with deference to member RogueJSK's comments).

quote:
Originally posted by Nipper:
2) Have owned/carried both GM and Cmdr length guns over a 45 year period. Never owned/carried the GM in OWB, due to the length. Obviously, this depends on your body build and jacket preferences.

3) 1911's are VERY happy with IWB.

Wow. That just seems to me it'd be very uncomfortable.

My first holster for my P239 SAS was a VM2. Unquestionably a terrific piece of leather. And I have a good Beltman belt for it. But I find it uncomfortable to wear for long. My "little" PPS M2 9mm in a feather-light Kydex IWB holster, OTOH, I can wear all day long and forget it's there.

quote:
Originally posted by Nipper:
4) Do not like the belt slide shorty "holsters". Or as they were called in the old days, Yaqui slide belt holster.

Confirmed. Ok: That's entirely off the table.

Thanks for the insights, guys!




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the Kramer IWB #3 under a non-tucked shirt … I like the Alessi shoulder rig when I can wear a jacket .
 
Posts: 33 | Location: South Carolina Lowcountry | Registered: October 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
Btw: The "Avenger" style looks to be Bill Nelson's "Professional" design, as exemplified by Milt Sparks' 55BN, noted by member Nipper?


Yes.

Nipper seems to like them. I like them as range holsters, but not as concealment holsters, for the reasons I discussed in my earlier post.



I prefer carrying 1911s IWB anyway.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RogueJSK,
 
Posts: 22972 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I carry a 5-inch 1911 quite a bit, almost always IWB via a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2. For the few times I carry OWB, I use either a high-riding Avenger-style from Privateer Leather or a Mitch Rosen pancake-style with a thumb-break.

If I’m carrying OWB, it’s with a sport coat, vest, or open / untucked button-down shirt over a T-shirt. IWB just works so much better for me, I rarely carry a 1911 OWB anymore.



"The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli." - George Costanza
 
Posts: 5612 | Registered: September 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I carried a 1911 for many years and still do occasionally.
IWB: Milt Sparks Summer Special.
OWB: Yaqui Slide. Avenger or Professional. Desantis Speed Scabbard.
Open Carry: El Paso Saddlery Tom Threepersons.
Security Retention holster: Safariland 7TS


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 8663 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have two that I use. My primary is a Galco Combat Master Pancake style. Comfortable and keeps the gun tight to the body. I also use a Galco Avenger on occasion but I need a bulkier/looser cover garment for it.
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: January 02, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Wright Leatherworks Predator holsters are excellent. I have two for different slide length 1911s.



I may not be that good looking, or athletic, or funny, or talented, or smart...
Shoot, I forgot where I was going with this, but I do know that I love bacon.

 
Posts: 4139 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1911 with 5" makes it viable for a shoulder holster if you wear a jacket of fleece. In the car it has immediate accessibility.


U.S. Army 11F4P Vietnam 69-70 NRA Life Member
 
Posts: 742 | Registered: June 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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Thanks for the feedback, y'all.

DC Gunleather had this already made and ready to ship:



(It's a pancake holster. The belt loop "ears" are hiding, for some reason.)

Eric responded very promptly to my inquiries, assuring me it should fit my Rem. 1911 R1 Enhanced like a glove and the sight groove had plenty of allowance for its fiber-optic front sight.

I think it's a handsome bit of leather-work, the price was right, and his Contender Series has good reviews on his site, so I pushed the ol' PayPal button on it.

I'll follow-up in this thread with an update when it arrives.

If it does work well, I imagine I'll order a double mag holder from him.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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While I prefer an IWB holster 95% of the time and that being a VMII clone. (T&T Gunleather Mike's Special) it is a little lighter and has, for me a better cant. The only OWB I have liked is a DeSantis Speed Scabbard. It is sturdy but my gun comes out like butter. The only down side is the top is NOT re-in forced which makes reholstering more difficult. However, I want my gun out quickly and smoothly a lot more than I worry about putting it away.


Why are we encouraged not to judge all Muslims by the lunatics BUT are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the very few lunatics? Ironic?
 
Posts: 1490 | Registered: May 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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quote:
Originally posted by SCfromNY:
The only OWB I have liked is a DeSantis Speed Scabbard. It is sturdy but my gun comes out like butter. The only down side is the top is NOT re-in forced which makes reholstering more difficult. However, I want my gun out quickly and smoothly a lot more than I worry about putting it away.

I had a DeSantis Thumb-Break Scabbard for my G22. It worked so well I was never inclined to look for a replacement.

Also, it rode high enough that I could effectively cover with a minimal cover garment. Same with my P239 SAS in a MS I-BAK. These holsters are so much more comfortable than IWB, that, other than smaller pistols, like my PPS M2 in 9mm, "high and tight" OWB is the way I go these days.

quote:
Originally posted by az4783054:
That's a handsome holster. I like the other offerings of that maker.

Isn't it?

I've never dealt with DC Gunleather before. But he just happened to have this one ready to ship, so I figured I'd give him a try.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
Btw: The "Avenger" style looks to be Bill Nelson's "Professional" design, as exemplified by Milt Sparks' 55BN, noted by member Nipper?


Yes.

Nipper seems to like them. I like them as range holsters, but not as concealment holsters, for the reasons I discussed in my earlier post.

I prefer carrying 1911s IWB anyway.

A clarification on my practice of getting both a Sparks VM-2 (IWB) and #55BN (OWB) for a new carry gun. My preference with 1911's is the same as yours...IWB. It's a marriage made in heaven.

The OWB is more for cold weather use where I may be wearing a shirt and a sweater/sweatshirt over it. I tuck the sweater/sweatshirt between the grip and my body so that the pistol is directly accessible. Of course, you can do the same thing with an IWB. However, with the OWB, the bunched up material is less likely to shift around during the day so as to cause a problem with a clean draw.

Acquired the practice when I lived in Syracuse, NY. Was used to heavy layered clothing for several months of the year.


______________________
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing. --Nicholas Murray Butler
 
Posts: 4238 | Location: Northeast | Registered: June 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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Update on the DC Gunleather pancake holster I ordered for my Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced. Eric got it shipped-out the next business day, as-promised. It arrived today.

Just as he'd promised: It fit my 1911 like he'd molded the holster to my personal 1911. And it looks even more terrific in real life than it did in the web site photo. This is one sharp-looking holster!

Pistol retention is perfect. I'm not even going to have to break it in. And, because of the way he pre-curves the belt-loop ears, you can crank-down on your belt as hard as you want without increasing holster retention. One-handed re-holstering is effortless.

Pistol rides high and tight, so it should take little in the way of a cover garment to cover.

I think I know where my next holster order's going Smile




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Milt Sparks 55BN is an excellent holster for the 1911.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: February 28, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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Another update

Ordered a single mag carrier from DC Gunleather. (He's got a new style that takes up less space on the belt. It's not up on his site, yet.) It arrived today. It, like the holster, is a beautiful piece of work.

Just sent him off an email to see if he can do one just like it for my P239 SAS .40 S&W.

Update: He can't. Ordered one from R Grizzle.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ensigmatic,




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 15794 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I carried a 5” 1911, it was IWB in a Galco Royal Guard holster. Galco’s quality has seemed to slip over the last ten years. One of the best holsters I own for the FS 1911 is a OWB Gunsite training holster that I purchased while training there 25 years ago. El Paso saddlery makes a few quality 1911 rigs. Checkem out


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