Top 4 Browning Holsters: How To Choose the Best One [2017]

LAST UPDATED: September 23rd 2017
GUIDE: Chris Browning

If you’ve got a Browning, it’s worth investing in a quality holster to carry it in. This is especially true if you are using your browning for hunting or other sports, as getting a good holster can really improve your performance in the field.

The range of holsters available for Browning Pistols is now immense, and this can make choosing the correct one a daunting task.

That’s where we come in. After reading hundreds of reviews, talking to loads of experts on Browning holsters, and trawling through seemingly endless forums full of people discussing the pros and cons of various holsters, I think I finally know which holster you should buy for your Browning.

It’s the Browning Buckmark Holster. Whilst plenty of third party holsters offer a good range of additional features, this item is proof that sometimes it is worth sticking with the company that made your gun when it comes to choosing a holster.

The fit on the handguns we tested was perfect, and the flexible construction of this holster means that it is very well suited to outdoor activities, no matter how strenuous.

Choosing a holster for hunting can be a tricky business because your needs are often quite different from those who carry their weapon for self defense. For this review, I’ve assumed that most of you use your Browning, at least sometimes, for hunting, and therefore need a holster that will put up with the rigors of the environment.

Even if you don’t get to go out hunting as often as you would like, getting a rugged holster will ultimately save you money in replacing worn out items.

This holster certainly fulfills that criteria, containing all the features you would expect in a premium item. Though it is a fabric holster, and I know that some people are dubious that such items can last as long as Kydex or other polymer-based holsters, the people I spoke to for this review reported that this holster will last for years.

In addition, the ovrersize version of this holster – available for just a little more – will accommodate a small scope or reflex sight. This feature is very unusual on holsters of this type, and is very popular amongst hunters. If you want to avoid the hassle of carrying your gun and sights separately out to the field, before spending valuable minutes screwing them together, this feature is great.

The belt loop mounting on this holster is also strong and sturdy. Whilst not the most advanced type of mounting available for your Browning, many people actually find the simplicity of this design to be a big advantage in terms of maintenance.

Having such a basic mount also helps to develop a correct draw technique, because you will be doing all the work, and not coming to rely on a fancy holster to improve your draw.

In terms of disadvantages, in truth I can find very little bad to say about this holster, given it’s price point. It’s true that more expensive holsters offer a few extra features, such as variable cant or retention pressure, but for most purposes this holster will give you all the adaptability you need for the field. For most people in most situations, this holster offers everything you will ever need.


Our Review Process

Eveyone has their own pet hates when it comes to holsters, whether it be the plasticy feel of some cheaper nylon items, or a weapon retention system that gets in the way of their draw. For this reason, recommending the perfect holster for your Browning can be a tricky business.

Our review process aims to get around this problem. For this review, I’ve read hundred of other reviews by both professionals and from the huge gun owner’s community. Before testing the holsters myself, I took a good look at which holsters people loved, and which they found annoying.

After reading endless reviews, I contacted people who were particularly passionate about their Browning holsters, in order to get more information.

After reading endless reviews, I contacted people who were particularly passionate about their Browning holsters, in order to get more information.

Then, we ordered a batch of what seemed to be the best holsters, and tested them. Some holsters that come with a range of advanced features are actually really difficult to use, and for this reason we would never recommend a holster without getting first hand experience of how it feels to use.

I know that many Browning owners love the retro feel of their weapons, and so for this review I prioritized the look and feel of the holsters a little more than I normally would. As a result, some of the holsters I recommend for the Browning are leather holsters that may not be suitable for other weapons.


What Sets the Browning Buckmark Apart

Well, probably. Whilst it is impossible to recommend a holster for everyone’s needs, I think this one gives the perfect balance of all the features you would expect in a premium item. It is extremely lightweight, holds your Browning securely, and the fabric construction gives it a great deal of flexibility.

That said, it is not for everyone. Those who use their Browning in a professional capacity may want to invest in a solid body holster, and for good reason – holsters moulded from Kydex or other polymers tend to last a little longer than those made from nylon, and may help to protect your Browning from accidental knocks and scrapes. If you look after this nylon holster, however, there is no reason why it will not last for many years.

Secondly, note the slightly low-tech retention system on this holster, which consists of a thumb strap fastened with a standard buckle. This means that in order to draw your weapon, you need to fiddle around with a buckle, greatly reducing draw speed if carrying the weapon securely. Whilst this is unlikely to be a problem for those people who use their Browning for hunting, it could be an issue if you are

Whilst this is unlikely to be a problem for those people who use their Browning for hunting, it could be an issue if you are carrying your gun for self defense. All that said, and thouhg I was sceptical at first, the simplicity of this system actually means that your weapon is held very securely, and also that there are less parts to go wrong on your holster.

Lastly, and to be very picky, if you have a smaller Browning there is a significant amount of material on this holster which hangs out over the barrel. It is made to accommodate the largest guns, and as a result there is some wasted space. Whilst not really a problem when using the holster, this looks a bit ugly.

These things out of the way, I would say that the Browning Buckmark Holster is pretty perfect for most Browning owners most of the time, and especially suited for those who take their Browning out hunting.

The Best Browning Holsters

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Browning

Type:
OWB Holster

Material:
Nylon

Color:
Black

Product Features

Ballistic Nylon

Best Value Holster

Retention strap

Magazine pouch

I’ve chosen this OWB holster today because I think it offers the best value holster for Brownings available at the moment. It is of course possible to spend much more money than this item is available for, and get some extra advanced features, or to spend less on a minimal holster.

However, in my experience Browning owners are a no-nonsense bunch, and want a holster that will do all the basics right, without worrying about unnecessary extra features. This is what this holster offers.

The ballistic Nylon used here is one of the reasons for this. Whilst I know that many people are suspicious of any fabric holster, much preferring rigid polymer for weapons as powerful as most Brownings, the added flexibility of Nylon, in this holster, actually has great advantages. If you are out hunting, and have to carry your weapon in a bag, or strapped to a pack, whilst you are hiking out, a fabric holster is simply far less bulky than a Kydex item.

The weapon retention system used here, whilst pretty basic, also fulfills the minimum requirement for a holster for Brownings. The strap will keep your weapon secure even on long journeys, and in our test showed no signs of coming loose accidentally.

In addition, this holster is my choice for the best Browning holster for a number of other reasons:

  • First off, let’s address what many of you might be thinking when looking at the design of this holster – the draw speed. It is true that because this holster almost completely encases your weapon, drawing your Browning from it is likely to be slightly slower than on some other holsters. However, for hunting purposes this is not such a problem, and in any case after a bit of practice with this holster we were able to get pretty good draw speeds.
  • The magazine pouch which comes incorporated into this holster is a really great feature, allowing you to carry that extra but more ammo. Whilst those people carrying a Browning for self defense might like the added peace of mind offered by this, it really comes into its own when out hunting, where you are actually firing rounds and often need to reach for the extra magazine.
  • The oversized version of this holster is easily able to fit around small sight scopes or reflex sights, and this is one of the primary reasons why it came out top in our tests. We understand that holster manufacturers find it difficult to produce holsters that will fit the vast variety of after market scopes available on the market today, but also think that the approach taken here – merely allowing some extra space – could fruitfully be applied to a lot more holsters.
  • Last but definitely not least, the fit of this holster around evey Browning we tested it on was great. If you have a slightly unusual model of Browning, and find it hard to find holsters which will fit, this holster therefore comes highly recommended.

Though this is my favorite holster for Brownings at the moment, as with any holster it does have some cons:

  • Because this is a fabric holster, it is not custom molded for every Browning out there. That said, it fits most Brownings pretty well, only falling a little short on those guns with extra long barrels.
  • Some people found that the standard belt clip included with this holster did not fit well on extra wide gun belts. This is a pretty niche problem, but if you have such a belt it might be worth swapping out the standard clip for a wider item.

Overall, in my opinion this is the best value holster for Browning around at the moment. As a great value, pretty basic holster for your Browning, it excels, and the simplicity of the design used here suggests that this holster will give you many years of reliable service.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Relentless Tactical

Type:
Pancake Holster

Material:
Leather

Color:
Brown

Product Features

Simple old-school design

Strong belt loops

High-quality leather

Good concealment

This is an amazing holster, and only held from the top spot today because it will not be suitable for a number of Browning owners. Still, if you love leather holsters and own a 1911 style Browning, this is the holster to go for.

The simplicity of the old-school design here is a joy. This holster manages to achieve the adaptability of many high-end holsters in the way this was traditionally done – by incorporating a couple of extra ways it can be fastened to a gun belt. Using these, your can wear your Browning in a straight drop or forward cant, and either in a strong-side, cross-draw, or behind the hip configuration.

In contrast to holsters that achieve this via plastic adjustment screws, the belt loops on this holster feel incredibly strong, as does the leather used throughout this holster. This is particularly important if you are carrying a 1911 Browning – if you want to carry a bulky gun that will give you a lot of stopping power, whilst also being assured that it won’t slip around, this holster is a good choice.

In addition, this holster has several big advantages over the competition:

  • First off, let’s talk about the materials used here. Relentless exhort their customers to say no to cheap Nylon gun holsters. Whilst I’m not sure I agree with them that all nylon holsters are bad, this leather holster is the closest I’ve come to being convinced. The leather used here is incredibly hardwearing, and it is clear that the production quality of these holsters is second to none.
  • For a holster that uses pretty thick material, the concealment offered by this item is pretty good. The leather comes pre-curved to fit to your body, and the close fit of the holster belies its bulky construction.
  • 1911 handguns come in a variety of barrel lengths, as you know, but this holster is designed to accommodate them. The only problem with this is if you have a slightly shorter Browning 1911 gun, because there is some extra space in the holster that goes essentially unused.
  • This concealment is helped by the belt loops, which being strong themselves help to break up the outline of your gun and reduce printing. Whilst the thick leather might not be that comfortable to wear in extremely hot climates, at least no-one will know you are packing.

All that said, as with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • It’s pretty heavy, obviously. The leather used here, whilst being very rugged and long-lasting, does add quite a bit of weight to your set up, so if you are carrying your Browning all day it might be worth going for a lighter holster.
  • The other minor disadvantage of this holster is that it only really fits 1911 handguns. That said, if you have one of those, this is one of the best holsters available.

All in all, in my opinion this is the best holster available for 1911 style Brownings. If you love the feel and look of premium leather holsters, this is a great choice.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Browning

Type:
Belt holster

Material:
Leather

Color:
Black

Product Features

Minimal holster

Great concealment

Covers Trigger Mechanism

Comfortable

Another offering from Borwning themselves, this holster is a more minimal item which is perfect for carrying 1911 pistols under deep concealment.

I admit that I don’t often recommend this kind of minimal holster, especially for a gun as powerful as a 1911 Browning. The reason why this one makes the cut is that, unlike a lot of minimal concealment holsters, it completely covers the trigger mechanism of your gun, offering what I would say is the minimum level of safety you need in order to not accidentally shoot yourself.

In cold climates, the minimalism of the holster also offers surprisingly good concealment. You only need to reduce printing on the gun itself, precisely because the holster itself is so small.

All in all, if you are an experienced gun handler and know how to safely work with a holster like this, it could be a good budget option for your Browning.

In addition, this holster has a number of advantages:

  • You are not going to get variable cant and retention, of course, in a minimal holster at this price. That said, the simple belt-loop attachment on this holster means that you can wear it in a variety of configurations, and this is useful if you are out hunting – you can position your gun so it is out of the way.
  • Because of its minimal design, this holster is also a good choice if you have rear mounted red dots on your Beretta. The fact that the rear of your weapon is left exposed when carrying it in this holster means that a lot of aftermarket accessories will fit without any problem.
  • The holster is alo pretty comfortable, especially at this price point. The fabric stays cool to the touch, and this combined with the small cross section of this holster means it is really well suited to hot climates.
  • The draw is also pretty good. The small size of the retention portion of this holster means you can start to bring the barrel of your Browning forward just that split second earlier, giving you an advantage in stressful situations.

All that said, as with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • Well, the mounting on this holster, whilst very rugged, is also pretty basic. If you are used to fully adjustable holsters, it might be worth spending a little but more for these features.
  • Perhaps not recommended for tactical use, due to the lack of locking mechanisms on this holster. Without meaning to scare you, it is pretty easy for an attacker to grab your gun out of this holster, so if you use your Browning in a law enforcement or military context it is worth getting a holster with a lock.

For the price, very good. If you are looking for a Browning holster that won’t break the bank, don’t mind a basic mounting system, and want a holster that will accommodate a wide range of after market accessories, this is a great choice.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Black Arch

Type:
IWB Holster

Material:
Leather / Kevlar

Color:
Black

Product Features

Adjustable retention screws

Full featured professional holster

Kevlar and Leather combo

Comfortable to wear

This is an expensive, fully-featured IWB holster that comes highly recommended if you use your Browning in a professional capacity.

It’s hard to know where to start to describe the advanced features of this holster, but what really makes it stand out from the competition in this review is the range of adjustments that can be made on it. Almost anything you can think of can be adjusted, from the retention screws to the ride height, plus the cant.  

Quite simply, this is a serious piece of tactical kit, used by many troops overseas. This holster represents the cutting edge of holster design at the moment.

In addition, this holster has several huge advantages over the competition:

  • The materials used here have been well thought-through, combining the advantages of classic suede with Kevlar stiching. This is well shown in the Variable Stiffness Backer, or VSB, which creates a sweat-proof barrier between you and your gun, whilst also being flexible enough to move with you.
  • As you would expect for this price, this holster has adjustable retention screws. This is absolutely necessary for soldiers in the field, who often have to do quite strenous activity with their weapon strapped to them, but also offers advantages for civilian use.
  • The round profile of this holster, rather than the flat design of some of its competition, means that it is comfortable to wear even when you have a lot of other kit strapped to you. It also means that the holster does not require any break in period, and can be used straight from the box.
  • This comfort curve technology also means that the holster is actually pretty good at concealment. This is surprising in a holster of this size, and one that incorporates this many features.

All that said, as with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • Well, the price. This is one of the most expensive holsters we came across, but that said you get what you pay for with this kind of item.
  • That’s it. I tried to find something else bad to say about this holster, but I can’t!

If money is no object to you, get this holster for your Browning. It holds your weapon in the optimal draw position, whilst staying out of the way of your other kit. The level of adjustment available here sets it apart from the other holsters I looked at for this review. Whilst the Browning holster above is the best value holster available at the moment, this is the best.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will these holsters fit my Browning?

This is a very difficult question to answer, because of the numerous variants Brownings come in. The best approach, to my mind, is to phone the manufacturer of the holster you want to buy, and check directly. This is especially true if you have an unusual gun, or have fitted aftermarket accessories.

  • How are these holsters in terms of concealment?

The Browning 1911-22 holster above gives pretty good concealment, but the others are not so good in this respect. Normally, I would mark them down on this count, but in my experience those carrying around a full-size Browning are not looking for great concealment, but rather want a holster that will put up with the rigors of hunting and everyday use.

  • Will these holsters work without a belt?

Not very well, in truth. It might just about be possible to have the waistband of your pants holding up your weapon, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Ultimately, the point of a holster is to hold your weapon in precisely the same place all day, and if your pants are slipping down that is not going to happen no matter what holster you buy.


Conclusion

Which holster you need for your Browning depends, to a huge extent, on how you use it. If you primarily use your gun for hunting, you will need a different holster to those who carry their Browning for self-defense. In this review, I’ve prioritized holsters that are good for hunting, though these holsters would also make adequate self-defense items.

Secondly, and unlike many reviews I write, the holster I’m recommending today is actually at the cheaper end of the scale. This is because the Browning Buckmark Holster offers the best value.

Whilst plenty of third party holsters offer a good range of additional features, this item is proof that sometimes it is worth sticking with the company that made your gun when it comes to choosing a holster. The fit on the handguns we tested was perfect, and the flexible construction of this holster means that it is very well suited to outdoor activities, no matter how strenuous.

The fit on the handguns we tested was perfect, and the flexible construction of this holster means that it is very well suited to outdoor activities, no matter how strenuous.

The additional magazine pouch on this holster is also a great feature, and really adds value to it. Extra ammunition storage is quickly becoming standard on high end holsters, and so it refreshing to see that even in value items it is making an appearance.

Again, this feature is especially useful if you use your Browning for hunting, because there is nothing worse than coming across more game than you have bullets for!

Again, this feature is especially useful if you use your Browning for hunting, because there is nothing worse than coming across more game than you have bullets for!

I was initially sceptical about the nylon used in this holster, for the simple reason that in my experience soft materials like this do not last as long as holsters made from Kydex or other polymers.

I admit, however, that I was wrong in this regard – the people I spoke to for this review reported that even when subjected to the worst conditions, the nylon lasted for years. Whilst some said that small marks on the nylon developed over time, nobody reported a problem with the holster wearing through.

For all these reasons, plus the ones above, this is my recommended holster for most Browning owners. It is comfortable to wear even on the hottest days out hunting, will last a lifetime as long as you look after it, and fits most Browning variants.

The simplicity of the locking mechanism, whilst on the surface appearing as quite a low-tech solution, actually has great advantages in terms of maintenance and reliability. If you are after the fastest draw available, there are better holsters available, but for most people most of the time this is the holster to get for your Browning.

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