The 5 Best 1911 Holsters on the Market – Review 2022

best 1911 holster on the market, best 1911 holster for the money

Photo by Josef Hanning / CC BY

The Model of 1911 is one of the all time iconic American handguns, and quite likely the iconic American handgun of the 20th Century. Even today, over a century later, the 1911 is going strong in the military, law enforcement and private citizens everywhere. If anything, thanks to minor design enhancements and a strong cult following, the 1911 may be more popular than ever before.

However, no matter what 1911 you have, odds are you need a holster. Just like the 1911, there are a neverending array of holsters, and just like the 1911, they run the gamut from basic to high end to historical, and we have a little bit of everything along those lines for you to take a look at. Below are our recommendations for the 5 best 1911 holsters on the market.

The Basic Nylon Holster

I have a drawer full of these things in various sizes that I’ve bought or picked up with guns over the years, and the reason I still have a drawer full of them is because they are a surprisingly good holster. The last 1911 I bought rode in one, and I never found the holster to be anything but satisfactory.

Designed to be a sort of universal holster, these are ambidextrous, include a removable metal belt clip if you prefer that method of attachment, and a front pocket for a spare mag. I’ve used them for carrying in the woods and every day open or concealed carry as the mood struck me. Cheap, lightweight, rugged and mind numbingly reliable, it’s everything you want in the top 1911 holster.

A Blast From the Past

One thing that makes the 1911 so popular is the role it played in 20th-century American history, and you can recreate some of that style from the Greatest Generation with IMA USA’s Model 1912 holster, belt and mag pouch set. An authentic reproduction of gear that served in two world wars, and was issued to countless American servicemen, this is the best 1911 holster if you have a military issue or replica 1911, or just want to enjoy a holster set that is far more classy than most modern nylon holsters. Affordable, authentic, and a fitting tribute to the sacrifices of our troops in both world wars, what’s not to love?

WWII 1911 45 CAL Pistol Training 720p

Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster

The 1911 is a very popular concealed carry gun, so it’s no wonder that some of the most popular 1911 holsters are shoulder holster rigs. Galco is famous for their high quality holsters, and this fine setup is no exception.

Made of top quality leather, and fielded by US military forces, the VHS is one of the most advanced shoulder holster systems on the market. Designed with optimal comfort and range of motion in mind, it includes a dual mag pouch and will fit most any 1911 pistol. If you need a classic looking shoulder holster, built for the needs of today’s military or concealed carry use, there is none better.

Assembly, Adjustment and Safe Use of a Galco Shoulder System

Galco Belt Holster

Here’s another fine Galco product that can be considered the best 1911 holster for the money, and for good reasons. A classic, open top belt holster has been the de facto standard for 1911 carry for decades. Galco offers both left and right hand versions, made of top quality leather, and built for a lifetime of regular use.

Built for comfort and to present the 1911 at an angle suitable for an easy and fast draw, this is a holster (see full specs) that is often imitated but never duplicated. While more expensive than some belt holsters, this is the kind of holster that is an investment, and becomes an heirloom to go with your favorite 1911. There is a good chance that this holster will outlive you, making it an absolute no brainer when it comes to spending the money.

New Galco Holster For Colt Combat Commander 1911

Galco King Tuck for 3” 1911’s

1911’s come in all shapes and sizes, and that includes the ever popular 3” Officer’s model, and the Galco King Tuck may be the best 1911 holster for those more concealable 1911’s. Arguably one of the most comfortable concealed carry holsters on the market, the King Tuck combines a high level of personal comfort with stylish design and a secure holster for your favorite 1911.

This inside the waistband holster is made from top grade leather and durable synthetics to give you the best of all holster making materials. Rugged, favored by law enforcement and private citizens alike, and best of all, affordable. If you need an IWB holster for your compact 1911, this is the first and only holster to consider.

Galco King Tuk2 Holster Reigns IWB

Picking the Best 1911 Holster on the Market

1911’s are made in almost every sort of configuration from long slide to cutdown compacts that push the limits of its original design. Available in calibers ranging from .22 rimfire to exotic semi-wild cat .50 caliber rounds, along with the far more common 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP, picking a holster can seem almost as difficult as picking your gun.

If you are like me, you might grab a basic cheap nylon holster to start with, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. They are a strangely durable and reliable product, even at the lower price points. But the 1911 isn’t just a gun, it’s a legacy and a direct link back to the trenches of WWI or the beaches of the Pacific, and a gun like that is worthy of an equally high-quality holster.

A while back, I cobbled together a roughly correct-looking GI-style 1911 using USGI surplus grips and a few other small parts, and went on a crazy buying spree buying up surplus and replica holsters, and probably spent more than I had into the gun on different types of replica and original holsters, you might not want to go as crazy as I did, but there is something to be said for a good GI style leather holster, either to wear openly as a practical fashion statement (hey, ladies have their purses, men [and not a few women too] can have their holsters, right?) or for going out into the woods, where a full flap holster might be quite practical.

For most of us though, we are looking for the best belt holster or a shoulder rig, and that becomes largely a matter of taste. I’ve never been one for shoulder rigs, but some of that comes from being an overly tall and rotund guy; stuff just doesn’t fit, but that doesn’t take away from some of the fantastic shoulder rigs on the market.

In the end, most folks will be happy with a good belt holster, and call it good. However, no matter what you end up with, folks have been packing the 1911 for over a century. It’s almost impossible to do it wrong, especially with the best 1911 holster that you can afford. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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