What should I look for in a holster for my 1911 (under $20)?


December 6, 2007, 11:14 AM
And what does the paddle things do?

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December 6, 2007, 11:34 AM
Save more money, that budget will only get you a soft-side Mikes in my area. Not a bad start, but not a great carry setup.

December 6, 2007, 11:39 AM
The stuff to look for in ANY holster would be:
1) How it fits the gun. You want it to retain it well so it doesn't slide out, but you also want the gun to come out without too much of a yank in the event it is needed.
2) Comfort. How the holster distributes the weight is a huge part of this, as is the position of the gun in the holster (once attached to the belt).

A paddle holster is one that is generally OWB (outside the waistband), and can be taken on and off without removing the belt. The paddle conforms to your body, so it is reasonably comfortable, but for larger guns, in my experience, paddles just don't conceal well. Yes, you can throw a long shirt over it, but the bulge is extremely conspicuous. A belt slide holster will hold the gun tighter in (reducing the bulge), but at the cost of some comfort and lesser ease of removal.

IMO, I use inexpensive paddle or belt slide holsters (when it comes to larger guns) only until I can get a good quality holster (not cheap, not quick) made for me. After that, I use the paddles for things like when I am working outdoors. They have their place, but for service-sized automatics, they aren't the best for concealment.

Wayne G.
December 6, 2007, 11:44 AM
What should I look for in a holster for my 1911 (under $20)?
Probably a hole! ;)

As jeepmor said, a high-quality holster and belt are necessary to a comfortable, functional rig. Generally you get what you pay for. From personal experience, I would recommend the Milt Sparks VersaMax II. They're $100 bucks and come with a 5 month wait. The beautiful thing is that they don't charge your credit card til your order ships so you can place your order now and perhaps have the money to pay for it before it ships.

Don't skimp on the belt either. Get one that matches the holster loops. In other words if you get a 1 1/2" belt, the 1 1/2" holster loops mate perfectly.

This set up is absolutely functional, comfortable, and concealable.

December 6, 2007, 11:46 AM
Check out UBG holsters. A little more than $20, but very comfortable and stable.

December 6, 2007, 11:49 AM
What should I look for in a holster for my 1911 (under $20)?

So your 1911 costs under $20 huh? I'd get this:


Wayne G.
December 6, 2007, 11:49 AM
Littlegator, you owe me a new keyboard! :D

December 6, 2007, 01:03 PM
Well I will agree that you need to spend more than $20 on a decent holster, check out High Noon Holsters, I have 3 and they work great even for my heaviest gun, keep in mind the cheapest are IWB, so it depends on how you carry. I have two "Bare Assets" and "Split Decision" the Tuckable I never use to tuck my shirt in, and the Bare Assets carry an XD45compact and a Full size steel Baby Eagle, they work great for me and the price is the best part $25-35). If you can order something they stock you should have it in less than a week, and I think they will stock for a 1911. Galco also has a few good and inexpensive holsters.

December 6, 2007, 09:26 PM
Bladetech is running a combo-deal for a holster and magazine carrier. Limited to certain models, but 1911s are one of them.

The Lone Haranguer
December 6, 2007, 10:16 PM
Under $20? You will find very little, except for a "cloth and sponge pouch" like this Maverick from Dillon (http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/23874/catid/14/Maverick_Inside_Clip_On_Sm__Auto), or an Uncle Mike's Kydex. But, in the $20-$30 range you have a few more options, among them the High Noon Bare Asset or Mister Softy, Galco "Stow-and-Go," Fobuses, etc.

Personally, I consider all of these - even the above offerings from High Noon and Galco, both quality holster makers - to be "better than nothing" holsters, something to be used temporarily until I can have the custom job made. :)

December 6, 2007, 10:22 PM
As others have said, you spent good money on a decent firearm, don't cheap out on the holster. Cheap holsters are exactly that cheap, save money and get yourself a decent IWB or OWB.

December 6, 2007, 10:26 PM
Probably a hole!
:D I laughed.

Really though they're right, you've probably spent at least $500 on your gun, and likely more. Save a bit longer and get something nice to carry it in. I think don hume is where the decent quality budget line starts and you can get up to spending $100 on a holster.

December 6, 2007, 10:33 PM
A little more money would be good. You pretty much can't get anything useful for $20 and under. For $75, I know a couple of quality holsters (most will be under that) you can get. Up it to $100 and there are a good number of quality selections. Bare minimum I would get would be a Don Hume H715M IWB clip-on. It's about $30 from www.gunnersalley.com. I would recommend an OWB and a sturdy belt. You might get by with an Uncle Mike's Kydex paddle, if they make it for this gun, but my guess is you'll grow to dislike this real quick.

Rey B
December 6, 2007, 11:15 PM
This might work.

1911 guy
December 7, 2007, 08:50 AM
Regardless of price, a holster should be:
Made for your specific model handgun
Made well enough to last a while
comfortable to wear
Give your desired level of security/retention
Suit the purpose of the holster (concealable, duty, hunting or range work)

The only thing I'd really consider for $20 or so is the Fobus holster. The other offerings in this price range are generic "gun bags" that happen to resemble holsters and hang on your belt. They are not made for a specific model, are not well made, are usually uncomfortable. They do, however, offer a thumbstrap (usually) and might be suitable for range only stuff.

The "Paddle" you asked about is how the holster attaches to you. Instead of belt loops, it has a plastic paddle that goes behind the belt.

December 7, 2007, 11:36 AM
The holster protects and retains your handgun - your handgun costs several hundred dollars, why do you want to spend under $20 on the holster? It's a part of the entire system and it's an important part, too. This is like buying a nice new car and then going out and getting some Ling-Ling tires with no tread left in them for it.

I don't mean to be condescending but I think you should reconsider this.

December 7, 2007, 11:42 AM
Buy a QUALITY gun belt first. I got mine from Rafter S (http://www.raftersgunleather.com/) but The Belt Man has good rep too.

December 7, 2007, 11:50 AM
I have a few $20.00 holsters. I can't seem to get it through my head when I purchase a new piece that the cheap ones aren't worth it. I ALWAYS end up buying something more expensive that does the proper job. I have a couple of Uncle Mike's nylon (Kydex?) holsters and they all start out well, but I always find something that will retain the weapon better. I have tried them for my 686, my 640 and my Ultra CDP. In all of those cases, I ended up buying replacement holsters that were made specifically for the pistol. For my Ultra CDP, I use a Milt Sparks (but cannot remember which specific model, as I have had it for years). Save your money and spend it ONCE, instead of spending $20.00 now and then $50.00 or more later when you realize you need more. One more thing - I carry my weapons concealed. That is where you need a higher quality holster. If not concealing the pistol, or using it for plinking or range use only, the $20.00 holster may be all you need.

December 8, 2007, 01:51 AM
What should you buy with a $20 1911 holster? Steel toed shoes? :neener:

December 8, 2007, 02:10 AM
Save up more money - for a Yaqui Slide (very bare bones rig) in the leather department, or various kydex rigs. Around $50 should get you a decent Yaqui or a decent kydex (plastic) holster.
Or just get a lanyard. :p

December 8, 2007, 06:39 AM
The old rule of thumb I heard was you spend up to 20% of the cost of the firearm on the proper holster. I have a $20 Uncle Mike's cloth holster.....it has been sitting on the floorboard of my car since the day I got my Ted Blocker custom made DA3 IWB holster. Don't skimp. Once you get it, you will forget how much you paid. The $20 price you pay for a cheap holster will pale in comparison to the discomfort you will feel. Besides, do you want to be the guy with a box of holsters they don't use?

Bill B.
December 8, 2007, 08:07 AM
Uncle Mikes is about your only choice if new. If you are willing to shop around you can come up with several choices used. A friend bought a used like new DeSantis for a 1911 at a pawn shop in our area for $10.00! eBay might be a source but watch out for shipping costs or you will go over budget.

December 9, 2007, 01:12 AM
Under $20 won't get too much, but it might make a difference in the firearm you intend to carry...for example, if it's a 1911, probably not much more than a generic nylon holster that will fit most large frame autos :rolleyes: For a small gun like a Keltec 380, you might get away w/ one of those little nylong in the pocket holsters.
One things for sure, you'll probably not get leather & you won't get something overly durable ;)

December 9, 2007, 08:20 AM
What should I look for in a holster for my 1911 (under $20)?

Littlegator already has this one nailed, but I was going to suggest a Crown Royal bag.


Tom Fury
December 9, 2007, 08:55 AM
Fobus...Also never underestimate what you can find in a gun shops' used bucket; I once scored a Galco concealeable for $20, and have seen other interesting stuff there.
I would agree with others who are telling you that your gun is worth the investment in a quality holster and belt system; if you're going to carry it, don't go cheap now! Paying more for better yields dividends in concealment, comfort, and well...pride of ownership.
Cheers, TF

December 9, 2007, 11:35 AM
If there's one thing I have learned about holsters is: DON'T SKIMP on them. In this arena, you really DO get what you pay for. The Uncle Mike's Fobus holsters IMHO are junk. They fall apart and have a tendency to "stick out" when carrying.

First, decide on the method of carry you want to use. OWB, IWB, SOB, Pocket, Shoulder Holster, Crossdraw, Ankle, etc.
Second, take a look at holsters in that group for your pistol. Galco, and DeSantis have excellent offerings and DeSantis's prices are reasonable.

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