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El Paso vs. DeSantis vs others

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by D.B. Cooper, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So, okay. I just received my cmp 1911, and I'm looking for a USGI repro holster. I have what looks to be about three options. I'm going to post links to all three along with my own thoughts, but I pose the question to all of you: Which would you choose and why?

    DeSantis #174. $100, but they're offering a 20% discount for those who received guns from CMP. They're about a month behind on backorders. https://www.desantisholster.com/g-i-issue-hip-holster/

    El Paso Saddlery 1940 Holster. $155. The most expensive on my list (by nearly double the cost). I'm not sure why they're at that price point, I assume because they're made by hand in the US. I'm not opposed to spending the money if I understood what I was getting for it. https://epsaddlery.com/product/1940-holster/

    At The Front (They make reenactor gear.) M1916 Holster. $75. Comes in natural, unfinished color, so I'd have to put some work in with Neetsfoot oil working the leather to get it to a darker color, as the others. They claim they made their pattern and tooling by dismantling an original 1943 holster and copying each individual piece exactly. Made from American raw materials, assembled in a foreign country. I have their all made in USA 1907 leather sling on my Garnad and it's pretty darn good. I'm also buying my web belt and magazine pouches from them. (also USA made.) https://www.atthefront.com/Reproduction-WWII-M1916-Holster-American-leather-p/usgwm16.htm

    My concerns are historical accuracy, quality of materials, and country of origin. (I omitted a lot of holsters in the $30-50 range for this purpose.)
     
  2. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    If youre looking for the flap type GI holsters, check out EBay. They often have original holsters for decent prices. You may have to keep watching, but Ill bet you come across a decent one for less than some of the copies. I sold a couple of brand new issue holsters of that type about 5 years ago there, and got a little over $50 ea. for them.


    Another "correct" holster for them would be this.....

    https://epsaddlery.com/product/1942-tanker-holster-3-to-5-barrels/

    They are based on the WWII M3 version with one strap. If you dont get the "US" embossing, the metal will come chromed. With the embossing, it comes black.

    I have a number of them, for a number of different guns, revolvers and autos. They do a nice job, and they are well made. Much nicer than the $40-50 repros you often see.
     
  3. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    The El Paso will be higher quality, better looking and have a few nicer details. Desantis is perfectly fine and serviceable. Cadillac vs. Chevrolet.
     
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I don't remember when I first starting buying El Paso Saddlery holsters, I think it was late 1980's. While the SD Myers brand has been around since the 1880's, I recall that at the time I starting buying El Paso Saddlery holsters and belts, the brand had been restarted.

    Anyway every El Paso Saddlery accessory I have purchased is of top quality leather. I used to pay ridiculously low prices for shell and basket weaving patterns on my pig skin lined holsters. It was apparent that the shell stamping was done one hammer strike at a time with a small bit. Must have taken someone about a half hour to stamp the pattern. I have a couple of hand carved Western belts, the guy who did my carving and stamping was a retired fellow who watched Mexican soup box operas at home while he did the work. He was a true leather artist.

    Whenever I am in El Paso, I drive on down, to see what they have on sale. It can be hard to find parking as there is a restaurant just behind me, which is where the owners of these vehicles were eating.

    O22Exuh.jpg

    and while you are there, you are only a half mile or so from Concordia Cemetery where you can chat with some real celebrities: Mr Hardin's headstone has to be protected from those who would want to take a chip off the old block:

    ypjPnzm.jpg

    Enpw6eG.jpg

    the funny thing to me was that John Selman is about 100 to 150 yards away from John Hardin, but, right across the road from the rest of Hardin's family. Can't figure out why the Hardin family did not make space for John Welsey. Of course, none of them would talk about it. And, according to the web, John Selman is not under this marker.

    pVMHjjY.jpg

    I did buy a 1911 Pershing US Army military flap holster from El Paso Saddlery. It is a work of art, heavy leather, heavy stitching, and heavy brass. I have not used it as I don't want to scratch it! Ain't that stupid!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  5. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    You may have just hit on something. The reason I bought a Ruger, instead of a Colt, revolver was the thought "what if I dropped it while out hunting?" Perhaps the El Paso is just "too nice" for my purposes.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Yeah, you buy something nice, and don't use it, because it will wear out, or you will scratch it. Guilty as charged. It took time, but I finally accepted that humans are far from rational.This might be loss aversion.

    I beat the heck out of the cheap stuff.
     
  7. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    Buy once, cry one. Those that are poor cannot afford to buy twice. Id go with El Paso (not implying your poor)
     
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  8. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    That El Paso rig will look nice with some honest wear to match the CMP 1911...
     
  9. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Now you have me asking the question: "Should I go with a repro or an original?" I don't (or try not to) do business on ebay, but I found a handful of sites selling originals in the same price range as the El Paso. But then I would have to find an original web belt (which would be a tight fit on me these days) and an original magazine pouch.
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    DeSantis makes a decent holster for the money but if you want a really well made holster for your CMP 1911 I would go with the El Paso one. My brother has the complete set-up and it is one finely made rig.
     
  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I would just go to gun shows or shop the surplus market for an old GI holster that actually saw some use. Those guns in leather holsters were standard issue for a long time, so the gear is out there. I wish I had known you wanted one before, I found 2 of the black leather ones when going through my late father in law's stuff (he had been a supply sgt in the army) after my mother in law passed, and I gave them both to a collector friend.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    D.B. Cooper

    Old School M1911 Holster:
    BHnFDCe.jpg

    New School M1911 Holster:
    IRfYOez.jpg
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have a "new school" holster.
     
  14. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I lived in El Paso until 1980. I had them make some custom holsters for me that were works of art.

    In recent years I have purchased a few holsters from them. Maybe my memory has enhanced what I bought way back when, but the recent offerings have not been as nice. Good holsters, but they leave me wondering if I should be spending my money elsewhere.
     
  15. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    My full size 1911 in an El Paso pancake from Midway USA for about $50 on sale IIRC

    DSC02248-zpse96f40b5.jpg
     
  16. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    I have bought several El Paso Saddlery holsters & doo-dads. Do not be afraid to put them to use, hard use. They might cost more money, but once you own it and use it, you won't begrudge them a penny.

    I also own some DeSantis leather as well as a cheap Chinese knock-off of a Tanker Holster.

    DeSantis is not trash, but it doesn't come close to EPS. The cheap Chinese knock-off tanker was something I made useful, after putting time into it.

    If you actually want the holster to function as a flap holster that protects your gun, go EPS.
     
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  17. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So I've decided to go in two directions with this. I found New Old Stock (NOS), essentially unissued M1936 web pistol belts for sale online for around $40. So I bought one of those and requested a 1942 production date. Now I'm researching wartime holster manufacturers to learn which are the most and least desirable. However, I'm also going to go down the reproduction road and buy an entire setup of repro gear for the gun. I will most likely go with the El paso holster for that. Buy once, cry once.
     
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    El Paso is definitely going to be the nicer finished product. They are made by hand, one at a time.

    Desantis makes a good product but they use edge paint and that is a huge turn-off for me.

    The ATF holster looks fine and probably perfectly usable.
     
  19. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I've been happy this far with products from ATF, although I spend extra to buy the USA made products. Neither of the holsters at ATF are US made. The more expensive one is made from American raised and processed leather, but the manufacturing is done abroad. The cheaper holster is completely outsourced.
     
  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    That would be my issue with it. It makes no sense to me to outsource it for hand stitching when it could be easily machine stitched stateside.
     
  21. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Yeah, and ATF prides themselves on historically accurate gear, but I doubt all those holsters at Boyt's et al were all stitched by hand.
     
  22. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I doubt it too. Leather goods have been machine stitched for well over 100yrs.
     
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