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Best 1911 Holsters In 2023 – Top Picks Review

So, you’ve got a 1911 style handgun, and you need a holster. It’s a great gun, and it needs an equally good holster. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be quite difficult to find the right match. That’s what we are here for.

Best 1911 Holsters


Whether you’re looking for leather, synthetic, or something different, we have you covered in our reviews of the best 1911 holsters. There’s a bit of everything on our list, including IWB, OWB, as well as shoulder holsters. And we’ve even put together a buying guide to make your search even easier.

 So, let’s go through them and find the perfect 1911 holster for your needs…

Top 8 Best 1911 Holsters Reviews

  1. Blackhawk Sepra CQC Concealment Holster – Best 1911 OWB Holster
  2. Blackhawk Serpa Sportster Holster – Best 1911 Paddle Holster
  3. ComfortTac Concealed Carry Belly Band Holster – Best 1911 IWB Holster for Concealed Carry
  4. Relentless Tactical Comfort Carry Leather Holster – Best 1911 OWB Leather Holster
  5. Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster System – Best 1911 Shoulder Holster
  6. Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster – Best 1911 IWB Leather Holster
  7. Fobus Evolution Holster – Best Concealed Carry 1911 Holster
  8. Galco Leather Combat Master Belt Holster – Best 1911 EDC Holster

1 Blackhawk Sepra CQC Concealment Holster – Best 1911 OWB Holster

Like most people, we like new technology. Especially when it both keeps us safer and makes life easier. This is why we are starting our list with the Serpa CQC Concealment Holster from BlackHawk.

What’s new on this holster?

Gone are the days of thumb break retention straps slowing down your draw. Let us introduce you to Serpa Auto Lock Technology. With this new system, the trigger guard is engaged as you holster your weapon.

And it won’t let go until you release it. This is accomplished by pushing a button with your trigger finger, as you grab the handle in your draw. We love the location of the button and the whole design of this system.

We also really like that the retention detent features an adjustment screw. Even better, though, is the audible click you’ll hear when holstering your piece. This makes it, so you’ll know your sidearm is secured without having to look down.

What about the grip?

Another aspect of the Serpa CQC that we like is the full firing grip afforded by the holster’s design. You won’t need to adjust your grip before firing, making this one of the best OWB holsters for 1911 style pistols.

In fact, we only have one real complaint with this holster. There’s a bit more give than we’d like when drawing. The entire holster seems to lift slightly before releasing the pistol.

Blackhawk Sepra CQC Concealment Holster
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)


  • Available in left and right-handed draw.
  • SERPA Auto-Lock Technology.
  • Unique trigger finger retention release.
  • Adjustable retention screw.
  • Offers a full handle grip.
  • Works with Belt Loop and Paddle Platforms.
  • Fits other BlackHawk platforms.
  • Available in multiple sizes.


  • Doesn’t hold the belt as tight as it should.

2 Blackhawk Serpa Sportster Holster – Best 1911 Paddle Holster

Another option from BlackHawk is the Serpa Sportster Holster. This is very similar to the above, with many of the same features. However, it does have one key difference.

First thing, though, the similarities…

This option has the same SERPA Auto-Lock Technology as detailed above, and it provides the same fully handle grip. It also clicks just like its stablemate when you holster your weapon.

The passive retention detent adjustable screw is still in place, and the holster is just as tough.

Speaking of tough…

Did you know that BlackHawk was founded by a Navy SEAL after having a pack fail in the middle of a minefield? It was then that he vowed to make gear people could rely on. And this holster can stand up to the toughest terrain, and any conditions you throw at it.

As for the difference between this and the above option, this is a paddle holster design. That means that instead of a small belt clip, there is an oversized paddle to slip on your belt or waistband.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as good as it sounds…

You see, the paddle platform was invented to make it easier to clip and unclip your holster. And was designed for those shooters that regularly need to arm and disarm themselves without much difficulty.

Therein lies the problem. As far as paddle holsters go, this one is rather tight. As in, you might need to take off your belt to get it on/off tight. It does loosen with use, but not much.

Blackhawk Serpa Sportster Holster
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • SERPA Auto-Lock Technology.
  • Unique trigger finger retention release.
  • Adjustable retention screw.
  • Available in left and right-handed draw.
  • Offers a full handle grip.
  • Paddle platform design.
  • Fits a wide range of pistols.


  • Too difficult to get on/off the belt.

3 ComfortTac Concealed Carry Belly Band Holster – Best 1911 IWB Holster for Concealed Carry

For those looking for the best IWB concealed carry holster ComfortTac makes an interesting option. This holster fits in a totally different way from the others in our review. We think it’s a great option for those looking for an alternative to a traditional holster.

But how does this holster mount if there’s no belt clip?

The Belly Band Holster from ComfortTac is a large neoprene band that fits all the way around your midsection. It’s adjustable and can wrap around bellies as large as 44 inches around. They even make an XL version if you need something larger.

It’s comfortable enough against your skin to wear for extended periods. However, you will likely sweat from it on warmer days. Still, this is one of the best concealed carry holsters for women and men that don’t want a clip.

What about a trigger guard?

Yes, this holster features a hard plastic trigger guard. And for even more safety, they have included an elastic retention strap with a metal snap. You can, of course, cut this off if you require faster draw speeds.

It also has an accessory pocket and a spare magazine pouch that can be moved. Even more importantly, it can be worn to suit a wide range of carry styles. We found it works well for IWB, OWB, appendix, cross draw, and small of back carry, to name the more common options.

ComfortTac Concealed Carry Belly Band Holster
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Available in left and right-handed draw.
  • No belt (or pants) required to wear.
  • Great for concealed carry permit holders.
  • Adjustable carry position.
  • Hard plastic trigger guard.
  • Fits a wide range of pistols.


  • Might make you sweat a lot on hot days.

4 Relentless Tactical Comfort Carry Leather Holster – Best 1911 OWB Leather Holster

If you’re after the best OWB leather holster, then you should take a serious look at this beauty from Relentless Tactical. Their Comfort Carry Leather Holster is not only highly functional, but it’s also really good-looking.

Oh, and it’s also extremely durable…

We know this because it’s backed by Relentless Tactical’s Lifetime Warranty. This is always a good sign of high-quality production, as is the 100% American Made label.

As the name would suggest, this holster is made from leather. However, unlike other leather holsters, this baby has a worn look to it that just looks old school tough. We’d say it’s beautiful, in a totally manly rugged kind of way.

What guns does it fit?

Unlike some of the other holsters reviewed, this holster is not available in multiple sizes. It is, however, capable of fitting a long list of full-size and compact handguns. The open barrel chamber design means that it will even accommodate longer barrels than you’d expect.

It also is available in both left and right-hand draw configurations. Not only that, but it comes with a spare magazine pouch.

Is this the best OWB mag pouch combo holster?

It just might be thanks to the open grip. However, there is a bit too much slop in the fit for our liking. We get that this is expected with a single size designed to fit most pistols, but it’s still too sloppy for some models, in our opinion. Plus, there’s no retention system built-in, which we find a bit sketchy.

Relentless Tactical Comfort Carry Leather Holster
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Fits most 1911 handguns.
  • Beautiful leather construction.
  • Attached spare magazine pouch.
  • Backed by a Lifetime Warranty.


  • One size fits all generally means a sloppy fit all around.
  • No retention device.

5 Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster System – Best 1911 Shoulder Holster

If you don’t want to carry your 1911 on your hip, then your best bet is the Miami Classic II. This is a shoulder holster system from Galco. This is a beautiful leather holster that we often see detectives, marshalls, and FBI agents wearing in movies.

Are you looking for the best Galco 1911 holster?

We think this might be it, and so does the rest of the world. It is, after all, the most imitated shoulder holster system there is. In fact, it’s so good there have only been a few minor upgrades since it was first introduced back in 1970.

Yes, we are talking about the Famous Jackass Leather Company debut of the Miami Classic Holster. It’s the same company; they just go by Galco now. A name change only a jackass would…

Anyway, what makes this such a great shoulder holster?

The main feature that makes this one of the most desirable shoulder holsters is the spider harness. This features four pivot points that operate independently, and are held together by a clover-shaped Flexalon swivel backplate. This allows for greater freedom of movement and increases your comfort while carrying.

It’s also very easy to conceal when wearing a jacket, making it one of the best Galco concealed carry holsters. Even more than this, we like the included ammo carrier and the fully modular setup. Accessories are sold separately, but they’re a good way to customize your rig.

The only negative that we could come up with is the price. It’s not a deal breaker, considering what you get; however, it is at the higher end of our review in terms of the investment required.

Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster System
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)


  • Flexalon swivel backplate.
  • Extremely comfortable and flexible.
  • Fully modular setup.
  • Made from premium saddle leather.
  • Fits a wide range of semiautomatic pistols.
  • Available in tan and black leather.


  • On the expensive side of our review.

6 Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster – Best 1911 IWB Leather Holster

If you’re after the best 1911 IWB leather holster for your 1911, then you want The Defender. It’s made by Relentless Tactical, and it is in a class of its own. We think this is a great option for anyone looking for a custom leather holster at a reasonable price.

We still appreciate quality craftsmanship; what about you?

If you do, you’ll love this holster. Despite its relatively aggressive price point, this is no mass market cheap holster. It’s crafted from genuine USA bullhide leather, made in America, and backed by a Lifetime Warranty.

This means it is sturdy and dependable. It’s also form-fitted for a nice secure fit and easy concealment.

What more do you want?

How about the choice between three different colors. Each one is beautiful, but our favorite is the charred oak. It just screams Old West. Unfortunately, most of its beauty is hidden when worn. This is, after all, an inside waistband (IWB) holster.

Our only complaint on this holster is the lack of a shirt protector. This means that some shooters may experience some poking into their side. However, this seems to be largely down to body type and is not too common a complaint.

Regardless, we’d still call this the best leather 1911 IWB Holster for the price.

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)


  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Fits most 1911 handguns.
  • Choice of three beautiful leather options.
  • Great for IWB concealed carry.
  • Backed by a Lifetime Warranty.


  • May not be the most comfortable for all-day carry.

7 Fobus Evolution Holster – Best Concealed Carry 1911 Holster

For those after the best concealed carry holster for 1911 style pistols, we’d recommend considering the Evolution Holster from Fobus. It’s been designed to compete with the best 1911 OWB Kydex holsters, without costing you Kydex prices.

What is it actually made from?

This holster is formed from a hard polymer and has an attached rubberized paddle insert. It features a low-profile design that is ideal for concealed carry permit holders. We found it to be rather comfortable, even for EDC holsters.

More than anything, though, we appreciate the protected sight channel. This means that you won’t knock your sights out of alignment when drawing or holstering your firearm. It’s a huge concern, and one Fobus has addressed.

What about a retention system?

This holster comes equipped with a retention adjustment screw that allows you to customize the passive retention. Even better, it also is a one-piece design for durability and stability in use.


  • Available in multiple carry options.
  • Protected sight channel.
  • Left and right-handed carry options available.
  • Fits a wide range of pistols.
  • Rubberized paddle insert for extra stability.
  • Adjustable passive retention system.


  • Tends to rub some shooters the wrong way.

8 Galco Leather Combat Master Belt Holster – Best 1911 EDC Holster

The final option on our list of the best 1911 holsters comes from Galco. Their Leather Combat Master Belt Holster is designed to offer all-day comfort. This makes it one of the best EDC leather holsters.

Is it easy to conceal?

Oh yeah, this holster has a butt-forward cant that makes the holster perfect for concealed carry. If you everyday carry (EDC), then this is likely a huge concern, for example, if you’re working undercover. Either way, you’ll also be concerned about comfort.

Luckily, Galco has that covered as well. We found this to be one of the most comfortable holsters available. But then, that’s expected from the Galco brand.

What is it made from?

This holster is constructed from premium saddle leather that has been double stitched at the seams. It’s incredibly durable, and the open muzzle allows you to carry a wide range of pistols.

We also really like the open-top design, which provides an unrestricted draw. Similarly, the molding is superb, and there is very little slop when your firearm is holstered.

The only downside is the price. It’s not outrageous, but it does cost more than most options in our review.


  • Fit belts up to 1.75” wide.
  • Open muzzle design.
  • Comfortable enough for EDC.
  • Made from premium saddle leather.
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors.


  • More expensive than many other options.

Best 1911 Holsters Buying Guide

Best 1911 Holsters Guide

As you go through our review, the choices can quickly become overwhelming. There are a lot of options for the best 1911 holster, and they differ rather significantly in multiple ways. So, before you pick your favorite, let’s go over the top features to consider.

What’s more important to you, concealment, or the ability to draw quickly?

At the end of the day, the most common style of holsters these days are IWB and OWB. As you can see from our review, there are a number of other options available as well. However, these two make up most holster sales.

Both OWB and IWB put your pistol on your hip, and most require a waistband or belt to clip to. There are, of course, exceptions like the Belly Band Holster from ComfortTac, which we reviewed.

Inside waistband (IWB) is the most popular style of holster for concealed carry permit holders. These best 1911 holsters keep the gun inside your pants, which minimizes printing. That means you’ll be less obviously carrying a weapon under your shirt.

OWB holsters come with their own advantages…

Best 1911 Holsters OWB

If you prefer to keep the gun out of your pants, but still on your hip, you’ll want an OWB holster. This stands for Outside WaistBand, and this is the more traditional hip carry style. It still offers a decent level of concealment, but only if you wear an untucked longish shirt.

However, what you lose in concealment, you gain in drawing speed. This is because OWB holsters give you a much more accessible grip. Hopefully, you’ll never need to worry about how fast you can draw your weapon, but you never know…

Do you require a retention system on your holster?

If you feel the need to carry around a deadly weapon, you’ll have enough to worry about, so there’s no need to add more stress. The additional concern that your firearm might slip from your holster shouldn’t be one of them. Not only would it be highly embarrassing, but it could also be dangerous to both you and those in the vicinity.

For this reason, we strongly recommend choosing a holster with some sort of retention system. Of these, many shooters prefer the audible ‘click’ that tells them that your weapon is properly and securely in place.

We, like most shooters, are also huge fans of customization. That’s why we generally prefer holsters with an adjustable retention system. These are generally only found on higher-end models, but we feel it’s worth the added expense.

You should also pay close attention to comfort…

One thing to consider is how many hours a day you intend to be armed. The best everyday carry (EDC) holsters provide a comfortable fit that you’ll quickly forget about. We recommend you pay close attention to reports of sharp edges, as well as the weight factor.

Other important factors to consider include price, durability, and warranties. These line up together somewhat, and in general, you’re going to pay more for a better-built holster.

It’s also more likely to find a good warranty on a holster that is built tougher. After all, the manufacturers aren’t going to warranty a piece of junk. You should also remember that the more you use a holster, the lower is its cost-per-use over time.

Looking for more superb Holstering options?

Then check out our reviews of the Best Ruger Security 9 Holster, the Best Sig P238 Holsters, the Best Ankle Holsters, the Best Cross Draw Holster, and the Best Springfield XDS 45 Holster currently on the market.

Or how about the Best Small of Back Holsters, the Best Fanny Pack Holsters, or the Best Shoulder Holsters you can buy in 2023.

So, what are the Best 1911 Holsters?

We hope that our reviews and the buying guide have helped you narrow down the options. At least one of the options should fit your specific needs perfectly.

But, if they all look too appealing to choose a single option, don’t worry, we have one last recommendation for you, and that’s the…

Galco Leather Combat Master Belt Holster

It’s comfortable enough to wear all day and fits a wide range of pistols. Plus, it’s a damn good-looking holster that provides you with a solid grip when drawing.

Happy holstering.

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