So how does Joe Average carry his 1911?


November 26, 2007, 06:49 PM
I usually carry my XD40sub OWB in a matrix open top from Galco. I figure a poly holster for a poly gun no harm done ..... but not the most secure holster should I take a tumble.
Anyhow with all the 1911 threads going I've been considering ccing my 5" .45 just to see how it affects my day.
I am 5'8" and 180. I doubt I have enough ass to carry IWB without suspenders. I am lefthanded and prefer a OWB with a forward cant.


uhh..... that is.... Holster suggestions??? :D

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November 26, 2007, 07:02 PM
Carefully...very carefully. When I carry IWB, I DO use the safety. :D

November 26, 2007, 07:04 PM
Mostly, they put it in their safe, and carry something lighter.

But its really manly to say you carry a full size 1911 all day, every day.

November 26, 2007, 07:14 PM
I've been thinking of getting a beater officers model. Carry guns don't stay nice as long as safe guns. I'd really like the .45 for carry if I could.

November 26, 2007, 07:14 PM
Milt Sparks VersaMax II. Also get a good thick belt designed to hold a pistol. Using the right belt is very important.

November 26, 2007, 07:20 PM
GaryArkansas said:

But its really manly to say you carry a full size 1911 all day, every day.

:neener: That explains why half the time I carry a Glock 17 and a Glock 19C. :D Now, my mother-in-law...she packs 3 full-sized 1911s every day!


November 26, 2007, 07:39 PM
I use an OWB nylon holster or a shoulder harness for my 1911 but due to size and weight --I rarely carry the 1911. I usually carry the XD 9 or 45 and recently the CZ P01. Of course the KT P3AT is always in my pocket.
I'm about the same size and weight that you are--5'9"--185lbs. IWB holsters are very uncomfortable for me also

November 26, 2007, 07:45 PM
I carry mine in leather made by Lou Alessi or Milt Sparks Inc.

November 26, 2007, 07:49 PM
I am 5'8" and 180. I doubt I have enough ass to carry IWB without suspenders. I am lefthanded and prefer a OWB with a forward cant. Suggestions? It's pretty tough to adequately conceal a full-sized 1911 in a conventional holster. An IWB holster like the Milt Sparks Versamax II or Brommeland Max-Con V seems to be a better bet:

However, if you're dead set on a conventional holster, I've had positive experiences with pancake style holsters made by Kirkpatrick Leather Company:

I've also heard good things about their Texas Strong Side (TSS) rig:

The prices are about as low as you're going to find for custom-fitted, hand-boned gunleather.

November 26, 2007, 07:55 PM
uuhh OK ...I actually do carry a fullsized 1911 all day and every day as have and do I'm sure countless thousands of others around the country. Wilderness belt and Bianchi autoretention holster (any good strongside holster you are comfortable with works well IMHO I like pancakes that are cut so the gun is held in close to you)

As to the peanut galleries cander...Never really thought it was more or less "manly" than any of the 6 glocks or many others I've also carried over the years. I just like it better and shoot it better. I'm a 6' 3" bubba the difference of a 8-12 ounces aint gonna make or break me. You have to have the right holster and belt for a full sized gun and it would certainly print more (on a normal sized I got plenty of realistate to hide a gun-LOL) You do have to dress around a larger heavier gun more. But I work around guns gold and cash all day (concealment is not an issue)...if I needed one I want what I shoot best in a solid caliber. I've carried a G19 and 23 quite a bit (19 is probably my favorite of the two to shoot) that's more what I reccomend for others. I like my old heavy accurate .45 I guess. Just dropped a nice Buck with the same gun with a .460 Rowland kit on it this weekend. Guess you could do the same with a G20...that's why there are more than one model of car in one color.

As long as it works 100% and you shoot it well and can find a comfortable way to carry it it shouldn't really matter what anybody on the internet thinks about it I guess. IWB is only comfortable for beanpoles IMHO (Bubbas save your won't like it). Try a good strongside pancake or similar belt holster with a good belt. I think Bianchi offers the one I use in left handed versions. Galco has a "concealment holster" cut very well cheap as well...dunno about LH version you'll have to check. That basic cut design is sold by most holster makers in various materials and price ranges.

That said I have noticed nobody elses 1911s and holsters ect ever look as beat up and ugly as mine...I figured they probably have foo-foo pictures taken just after re-finish or touchups ect though. Who knows on the net...I do personally know several guys at the club that carry 1911's regularly. Mine is on the nightstand back of the couch on on my belt. Just like the several other models that preceeded my return to 1911-dom (oddly enough they all looked pretty beat up and ugly to...I must be doin somefin wrong!:banghead:

November 26, 2007, 08:29 PM

I know what you mean about wearing out holsters. This one is just a year old:

I wonder if it is the shape of a 1911 that contributes to the fast wearing out?


November 26, 2007, 10:59 PM
Thanks guys, when I tossed out the question I expected a jab or two, not a problem. When you ask for opinions you're gonna get opinions. Yes there's a reason I carry the XD40 sub.

I have a IWB Bladetech for a 3.5" Springfield 1911. I just can't get comfortable with IWB.

I have a leather Bianchi shoulder rig I bought years ago for a different gun, it does fit the 5"er pretty well and it's comfortable to carry that way but it points the muzzle down instead of back. Guess that's not a big problem except a short jacket will expose the tip of it.

I'm shopping for strongside LH to try out. Probably leaning to a pancake type at the moment.

pete f
November 27, 2007, 03:29 AM
Doc, that is why people get them dehorned.

I carry either a custom stainless Gov't built on a caspian frame or a Colt's combat commander. I use the same holster with both, its just a belt slide holster, I find no problems concealing a 1911 full size at all, either beneath a loose polo shirt, sport coat, hoodie, t shirt, what ever i am wearing.

I off side carry a twin mag holder, and strong side carry the 1911 OWB. I carry it cocked and locked

November 27, 2007, 03:52 AM
Cocked and Locked... IWB is how I would carry it.

November 27, 2007, 04:06 AM
I carry it just like this :D OWB, open top, Condition 1

November 27, 2007, 07:48 AM
No pics of the holster, but I carry a 4" barreled Colt CCO IWB in a Milt Sparks summer Special ( (Love this holster!) with a 1 1/2" Dun Hume gun belt. It's very comfy and the CCO has an alloy frame so it's pretty light.

Once in a while I'll carry my steel framed Govt. model. It's heavy but not uncomfortable. The thin 1911 is a great carry gun.

IWB is only comfortable for beanpoles IMHO (Bubbas save your won't like it). I'm no beanpole with a 36" waist. The trick is thin gun, good quality thick and wide belt, slightly loose pants (mine are so loose I need a belt) and of course a good leather holster.

November 27, 2007, 07:54 AM
What I have found regarding the weight of two 1911s and ammo is that so long as the belt fits good and tight, I can't even feel the weight. Only if my belt slides around do I then notice the weight. JMHO.


November 27, 2007, 11:56 AM
Has anybody tried this combo?


November 27, 2007, 12:34 PM
I carry my Commander with a IWB CrossBreed. It prints a little but nothing to raise an eyebrow

November 27, 2007, 12:47 PM
Milt Sparks VersaMax II. Also get a good thick belt designed to hold a pistol. Using the right belt is very important.


If you are worried about it staying in place, spend money for a quality holster and belt. A real gunbelt (can look just as dressy as any other belt, but it is far stronger) will let you carry the world on your belt without a problem. Try to cut corners, and you'll end up with holsters that don't last long and don't retain the firearm and belts that stretch like they were made of elastic. You don't want that.

1911 guy
November 27, 2007, 01:11 PM
I cary a fullsize 1911 OWB mostly, sometimes IWB. Both holsters are open top designs carried strongside just behind my hip.

Got nothing to do with being "manly", it's got everything to do with being the handgun I shoot best and find most comfortable to carry due to it's thin profile.

November 27, 2007, 06:03 PM

Great link on the suspenders! Thanks!


Edit to add, just out of curiosity, I just weighed 4 of my pistols, with fully loaded magazines (empty chambers):

Full-sized pistols:
Colt Series 70 reproduction (2 Lbs 10 Oz)
Glock 17 (2 Lbs)

Mid-sized pistols:
Colt New Agent (1 Lb. 14 Oz)
Glock 19C (2 Lb)

Fobus Magazine holder
2 Glock 17 Magazines with 17 rounds each
1 Lb 7 Oz

Fobus Magazine holder
2 Colt .45 ACP Magazines with 7 rounds each
1 Lb 1 Oz

The difference to carry 2 1911s, versus 2 Glocks is an additional ounces. I doubt that any of us could determine this minimal amount of difference. However, factor in the magazine difference and the difference is a mere 2 ounces more to carry two 1911 pistols versus two Glock pistols. However, I carry 4 to 6 magazines in addition to those chambered. Ergo, do the math, and you will note that for me, the 1911s and ammunition are lighter than the Glocks and ammunition. :)


November 27, 2007, 06:13 PM
As already mentioned the belt is as important as the holster. In some situations I have found myself carrying IWB with no holster, thank goodness for a good belt. Oh and by the way I'm 6'2" and only 140 pounds. My favorite and most comfortable carry gun has always been a full sized 1911, even when I was 16 and only allowed to carry in the back yard. :neener:

November 27, 2007, 06:25 PM
No pics, but if I'm carrying my 1911 I use a Blackhawk CQB with the Serpa retention system. Very secure for cocked and locked carry.

November 27, 2007, 06:36 PM

Regarding the belt, not only should it fit tightly, it should be wide, and have infinite adjustments, i.e. not holes, but a slip-type adjustment such as the Galcos. See the belt in the picture in post #2.


November 27, 2007, 06:42 PM
But i carried my SW1911 PD in a Milt Sparks Versamax II when I lived in the USA. Now that I live in the PRNJ, I don't carry:mad:

November 27, 2007, 07:23 PM
My holsters are both from Kirkpatrick Leather. They're Texas Strong Side holsters...... one for my 4" Kimbers, and a 5" for my Sig. The 4" is over 6 years old, and still does it's job. I'm 6' 2", and 210, and I don't really care if it prints a bit. ;)

November 27, 2007, 08:18 PM
Wow Doc talk about a blast from the past! When I had to carry that 1911 with no holster I ended up buying a leather working wrench that had a spur like head to make diffrent size holes in leather. Used it for a snug fit on the belt. Sometimes I miss the third world, just sometimes. Today my pants were held up by a blackhawk CQB rigger belt. Great belt for being nylon as opposed to leather.

November 27, 2007, 09:41 PM
My Smith 1911 is in my OWB elephant-hide holster by Jim Speidel, On a beltman belt, of course.

November 27, 2007, 10:17 PM
Personally I think the manufacturer's created a CCW explosion on the market by convincing the consumer's that they simply had to have smaller, lighter, more concealable pistols and anything else is just not fit for carry. I'll bet twenty years ago everyone carried fullsize 1911's, Beretta 92's, and S&W N frames and never complained once. Now it's the compacts, the polymers, the ultra compacts, etc, etc. I'm average joe- six feet 165lbs. and carrry my full size 1911's IWB with no problem at all. The weight doesn't factor in, neither does the size. I tailor my dress to conceal the gun, ( i.e. I don't wear basketball shorts and a tanktop trying to carry an all steel gun). I use a good thick belt and pair it up with a Kramer IWB#3.

November 27, 2007, 11:24 PM
Both IWB and OWB depending on which 1911 Iam packing. I only use Leather and my holster maker of choice is

November 27, 2007, 11:56 PM
Outside the belt MadDog Taylor Thunderbolt, But since you can't get it any more this is close, On a Liger 1 1/2" belt of course.

November 28, 2007, 12:09 AM
How? Very, very cautiously. People tend to freak out when they find out you're carrying a gun, even if they're pro-gun. :P Though, when you inform someone that you do so, and have done so every day for the last several years, it tends to illicit an incredulous response. :P

November 28, 2007, 06:27 AM
Commander in OWB slide-type by Galco. +1 to what others have said about belt -- needs to be heavy to keep holster in tight to minimize printing. Lighter belts stretch and cause problems.

November 28, 2007, 01:31 PM
I'm 6' 1", 160 lbs and I have no problem carrying my full-size Sig GSR IWB in an HBE rig similar to the VMII, on a solid double-thick belt from Rafter S. Gunleather. It isn't like carrying a titanium snubby, but I think people exaggerate greatly. My wife's friend is about 5' 8", 125 lbs and carries a Kimber CDP IWB. I talked her into trading for a day to show her that an extra pound and a few inches of barrel makes little difference. She became a believer, and her next carry purchase will be 5" 1911.

As for the "manly" jab, I think that is is far more macho to carry a hi-cap pistol with 3 reloads, a telescoping night-stick, and a fixed blade knife with skull cracker. Not that such gear should be prohibited, it's just that I don't think you will find many who carry 1911s hauling that kit around. It isn't about machismo, it is about carrying a proven combat tool that you are comfortable with.


November 29, 2007, 11:59 AM
I'm 5'9" and weigh 164 lbs and left handed. For OWB carry I use a Fobus Roto Holster. It comes with a belt and paddle attachment.I set it with the paddle at a forward cant behind my left hip.

IWB I use a simple holster that I purchased off of Galati International. Also use a shoulder rig.

November 29, 2007, 12:09 PM
Comp-tac CTAC works for me. Always preferred leather, but tried one with a USP, and it was great. Decided to get one for my 1911 when I needed an IWB.

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