The 1911 pistol has been in use since its invention by John Moses Browning in the year that became the pistol’s namesake. This type of pistol is known for its short recoil operation and telltale grip safety. Many of these weapons have been developed by different gun brands over the years, which clearly illustrates the quality of the weapon itself.
The 1911 is a somewhat controversial firearm that has scores of fans and detractors, but as with any firearm, you should have a good holster. These days, synthetic holsters are gaining a lot of fans, and Kydex is becoming an increasingly popular material. With this in mind, we’ve created this guide of the top Kydex 1911 holster options on the market.
We’ve tested more than 50 different Kydex holsters for 1911 pistols and out of these products, we found that the Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Adjustable Carry Holster did the best job of providing a well-rounded shooting experience. It has all of the features that a concealed carrier might want like trigger protection, a sturdy body, and a concealing form factor.
The first thing that you might notice about this holster is its “carbon fiber” design. While this is a faux carbon fiber, it looks very attractive in everyday use. Additionally, the material on this gun holster is capable of taking a lot of abuse thanks to the .08-inch thick Kydex.
|Inside the waistband holsters should be moisture-proof; this product is perfectly capable of withstanding the sometimes sweaty situations that come with an IWB holster.||Unfortunately, the clip could be better. If you’re not careful, the whole holster can come up with the gun.|
|Some shooters prefer their holster to have a “click” retention. This product clicks audibly into place so that you know that it’s firmly seated.||The “carbon fiber” design is just an aesthetic feature and has a tendency to grate off of the holster over time.|
|You can adjust the cant of this particular holster, which is good for carriers that prefer a different draw angle.|
|To adjust the retention using the Posi-Click system, you simply need a Phillips head screwdriver.|
|Concealment Express are the masters of Kydex; in fact, it’s the only material they use.|
So why not just select a leather or nylon holster? What makes Kydex so good of a holster material? To understand this, let’s take a look at the synthetic material itself.
Believe it or not, Kydex has been around for more than 50 years; it was invented in 1965 and was primarily used for aircraft interiors. It is a rigid and strong material that has a good degree of formability, which is why it’s such a good material for crafting holsters.
Also, while having a strong and durable construction, Kydex is also a very lightweight material. This makes it an exceptional choice for crafting in and out of waistband holsters.
Additionally, Kydex holsters, as hard-form holsters, have some great built-in firearm retention. In fact, many of the modern Kydex holsters will audibly click once you’ve gotten the gun seated properly. This provides a degree of reliability that many gun owners will appreciate.
Amazingly, there are even ways for industrious gun owners to even manufacture their own Kydex holsters. While this might be attractive for some, you can find some great Kydex holsters on the market for relatively inexpensive prices.
The holsters using the higher-grade Kydex materials will consequently cost more because the manufacturing process will be more complex and use better components. In fact, there are more than 40 different lines of Kydex, so before you buy, it doesn’t hurt to contact the manufacturer and ask about the specific production process for their Kydex holsters.
The Truth About Guns has an excellent write up about Kydex holsters that delves into the benefits and drawbacks of the material.
While we like the Concealment Express as the best option for an IWB 1911 Kydex holster, you may be looking for alternative carry types. Here are a few alternative options.
|Product Name||Where to Buy|
|Uncle Mike’s Tactical 1911 Kydex OWB Hip Holster|
|Warriorland 1911 IWB / OWB Kydex Holster|
|Galco KingTuk IWB 1911 Kydex Holster|
|Tactical Drop Leg 1911 Kydex Holster|
Our first alternative pick has a very unique design that has a grated paddle that also has a belt loop. Out of the holsters that we’ll be featuring here, this is one of the most adjustable.
|The leading edge of the holster is left open-ended. This allows for the weapon to be more easily drawn when the need arises.||While this holster rides close to the hip and has a relatively flat form factor, it can also feel a bit bulky.|
|The paddle isn’t the only means of attaching this holster; you can also connect a belt loop attachment by way of the adjustable screws.||The teeth on the paddle clip can actually damage pants over time.|
|Another adjustable feature with this Kydex holster is its retention. Simply using a Phillips screwdriver will allow you to increase or decrease the retention to your preference.||This is a holster that can cause slight finish damage to your 1911 if you aren’t careful.|
|The cant is adjustable as well for drawing convenience.|
|Torso length is a major factor when you want to draw naturally; this is also fully adjustable via screws.|
This Warriorland holster is an inside the waistband (IWB) product that has a relatively unique design.
|This is a relatively thin and lightweight Kydex holster.||The Kydex for this holster is somewhat thin. While it’s still a sturdy holster, this might be a turnoff for those who want a thicker build quality.|
|It employs a sweat shield to protect your 1911 from the damage that oil and moisture can cause.||If you squeeze the holster while placing your gun inside, it can contact the trigger.|
|‘Posi-Click’ Audible Retention Lock System, Fits Like A Glove||This holster may not block the hammer of your 1911 from contacting with your body, which can be uncomfortable.|
|This is a very comfortable to use holster.|
|Adjustable Cant(From -5 to +25 Degree) & Retention|
This is a nice, custom-molded holster that is designed to not take up much space at your hip. Like the previous holster, this product has an open muzzle end.
|This is a good holster for warmer weather because of its sweat guard that covers a fairly wide area.||This doesn’t fit all belts. It’s best to get a belt with a thickness of 1 ¾ inches in order to have a secure fit.|
|With such a small footprint, you shouldn’t have any problem freely drawing with this holster. In fact, this product even features a completely open top.||The cant of this holster isn’t really adjustable.|
|It has a built-in adjustable cant, which is useful for those who like to draw from the “FBI cant.”|
|The clipss on the holster are fairly secure so that you won’t pull the entire holster out on your draw.|
|It’s very lightweight.|
The last 1911 kydex holster on our list, isn’t exactly made of Kydex, but an equally durable polymer. We added this one in case you are looking for something a little more tactical. The Tactical Drop Leg 1911 Kydex Holster from Gun and Flower is everything you want in fully accessible holster.
|Offers level II retention||Leg Straps are a little stretchy for some.|
|Designed with toolless adjustment system||Plastic Buckles|
|Adjustable ride height|
|Adjustable retention and cant|
The 1911 has a long history and is a very reliable firearm for daily carry. While it’s not the easiest to conceal gun on the market, finding a good holster is crucial. The holsters that we’ve covered all are great for several versions of the 1911 pistol that have been released over the years.
Out of these holsters, we still have to go with the Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Adjustable Carry Holster as our overall favorite. It has a great looking carbon fiber design, it’s got the very satisfying “Posi-Click” retention system, and it’s also a very comfortable choice for the daily carry of your 1911.
1911 Commander Leather Holster