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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Recently I've bought a Colt 1911, now I'm looking for a suiting holster.
Since I'm quite a greenhorn on this matter, I'd like your advice.

First, the IWB/OWB question:
Is IWB only for better concealed carry or does it offer more advantages?

Personally, I like the ''pancake'' holsters, my first impressions are they are slim, not obtrusive and not blocking any movement.
I'm a slim guy, not to tall and somewhat around 75 Kilo.
Is being slim a plus in concealing a weapon with holster?

I got 4 holsters offered by someone: bianchi 7/7L, Desantis 001 85, Galco phx212 and a a Triple K thumb break(he didn't specify yet what model exactly)

So, I've checked them online, I think I like the Bianchi the most.

So my third question to all you pro's is: Which one do you suggest? Or, if none of the above four is any good in your view, what would be your choice?

Thanks in advance!

Greetings,
 

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IWB's main advantage is concealment. Since you have the pants along with the tension of the belt pulling the gun in, they will hug the body closer than any OWB holster. In addition, since most of the gun is hidden under your waistline, you only need to worry about covering up the grip and upper/rear of the slide. This can easily be done with an un-tucked t-shirt or sweater, whereas an OWB will require a longer covering garmet. That said, an OWB can also hide well under a t-shirt, but the risk of "flashing" is increased, especially if you carry a longer gun like a full size 1911.
Another advantage of an IWB is retention. Some feel that it's easier to protect from a grab when the gun is inside your pants, due to the fact that you also have the belt tension keeping the gun in. With an OWB open top, the fit of the holster is all that keeps the gun in. Also, some OWB holsters can be more easily ripped off your belt/pants completely, such as certain kydex models, or many paddle holsters. It's almost impossible to rip an IWB through your pants and belt. This factor isn't usually an issue with quality leather holsters that have belt slots cut in them.

Different body sizes all have their pros and cons. Skinnier people may find it more comfortable for IWB carry, and not having love handles or a gut probably helps in your drawstroke. However, skinnier people also have less room on their waist to work with. This is especially a factor with pancake designs. A pancake holster has "wings" which contain the belt loop, and as your belt is cinched down, it will exert tension inward on those wings. This will in turn close up the holster every so slightly. If you skinny enough and position the holster so the front wing curves around your hip bone, the belt slot will be pulled into your waist more abruptly, exerting even more tension on the holster and causing it to want to close up even more. This can potentially bind your gun, slowing down your draw stroke, and also making it harder to reholster your gun with one hand.

Very hard to make a blanket suggestion as to which holster will be best. Every person's build and preference is different. There are actually lots of factors in play, and unfortunately, most people have to go through several holsters before finding something that works well for them. Some people are comfortable with IWB while others are not. Some prefer a higher riding holster which aids in concealment, while others cannot achieve an optimal draw from high rides due to physical differences. Some people prefer a cant, while others prefer a straight drop. Again, you need to experiment and see what works for you.
Also, if you decide on a thumb break holster, you especially need to practice so that you are able to disengage the snap instinctively.
 

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Shamster made a lot of good points. Possibly the most notable being that you may have to try a number of holsters before you settle on the one that really feels right for you. IWB typically conceals better while OWB is (for many people) more comfortable. It's all personal, kinda like shoes. They all do the same basic job, but they all feel different for everyone. For me, it's OWB. I found my favorite in a UBG Regulator. I like snap loops rather than regular slit belt loops on my holsters. That way I don't have to undo the belt just to remove the holster. But that's me, and it took a while trying other designs to figure out what I really liked. BTW, I carry a 1911 also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi,

Thanks for all the quick input here guys!
Still debating between IWB and OWB, think I just have to pick one, whe don't have to many gunshops around this country.
Could someone show me a picture of him(her?) carrying a 1911 in an IWB or OWB holster, this would give me some sort of a better view on it.
Appreciate it!

Greetings,
 

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Lots of shopping here...:yup:
HOLSTERS

I have 3 dozen+ holsters from this company...top-notch!:king:
 

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Here I am with a Commander-sized 1911, OWB, UBG Regulator holster, 5.11 leather belt, only a t-shirt. Please ignore the pasty white belly! I'm working on losing that! At any rate, a 1911 can be carried OWB with very light cover.



 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, those pics help a lot!
By the way, why not combine both of best worlds, an IWB holster which can be converted to OWB?
That's perfect for everybody, or am I missing something?

@Shamster, how is the comfort on wearing the 1911 IWB?
Does it poke or stick when you sit down, walk or duck?

Little bit offtopic, both grips I see on your pictures are really nice, where did you get them?
I got mine in black but planning on swapping them with some Pachmayr American Legend grips.
 

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A good STIFF gun belt is needed for "full size~full weight" 1911 OWB carry.
 

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Thanks, those pics help a lot!
By the way, why not combine both of best worlds, an IWB holster which can be converted to OWB?
That's perfect for everybody, or am I missing something?

@Shamster, how is the comfort on wearing the 1911 IWB?
Does it poke or stick when you sit down, walk or duck?

Little bit offtopic, both grips I see on your pictures are really nice, where did you get them?
I got mine in black but planning on swapping them with some Pachmayr American Legend grips.
Come on now. Read post #3 and click on the link provided.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ya, I've clicked your link, real nice holsters, but that raised my question, why doesn't every holster give you the choice between IWB and OWB, that would make ik lots easier for everybody?

Maybe I didn't express myself good with the question in my older post, think this is a misunderstanding ;)
 

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By the way, why not combine both of best worlds, an IWB holster which can be converted to OWB?
That's perfect for everybody, or am I missing something?
Actually, in my experience, that is a very good idea. I have two such holsters that work quite well. One is a CUDA made by Simply Rugged



which is convertible between IWB and OWB. I carry a Dan Wesson 1911 CBOB in this holster and it works well for both carry modes.

The other convertible is the FIST #43


which can be as either an IWB or an OWB belt slide holster. I carry an XD9SC in this holster and it is particularly handy for on and off belt use. You can get some holsters to do "double duty" quite well.
 

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This is a Dan Wesson 1911 CBOB (Commander size) in a CUDA holster made by Simply Rugged. I can't recommend this comination highly enough. It is able to be worn either IWB or OWB and is an effective carry in either mode.
 

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By the way, why not combine both of best worlds, an IWB holster which can be converted to OWB?
That's perfect for everybody, or am I missing something?
varob already provided you a link to the very holster you are asking about! :wink:
 

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Little bit offtopic, both grips I see on your pictures are really nice, where did you get them?
I got mine in black but planning on swapping them with some Pachmayr American Legend grips.
The grips on mine are stock Smith and Wesson. Good grips, solid, no slip; but nothing special or extraordinary.
 

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Thanks, those pics help a lot!
By the way, why not combine both of best worlds, an IWB holster which can be converted to OWB?
That's perfect for everybody, or am I missing something?

@Shamster, how is the comfort on wearing the 1911 IWB?
Does it poke or stick when you sit down, walk or duck?

Little bit offtopic, both grips I see on your pictures are really nice, where did you get them?
I got mine in black but planning on swapping them with some Pachmayr American Legend grips.
For me, an IWB is fine. I still prefer OWB, but I can wear IWB without any complaints. I'm sure the right holster makes all the difference. But again, it's something you have to try out. Aside from holster designs, you also have to find out which position works best for you. When I took that picture, I just put on the holster quickly, but in actuality, it's a little bit too far back than I prefer. I like to wear a canted holster at about 3:30 - 4:00, while I like straight drops to sit a hair behind 3:00.

The grips came with my gun (Springfield Professional). I have recently changed them to Larry Davidson's Horned Lizard Grips. Looks and feels a lot nicer in my opinion.

Oh, also, regarding holsters that serve as both OWB/IWB, there are mixed opinions on how effective those deisgns are. Some are of the thought that it's hard enough to accomplish one function well. A design that attempts to serve dual purposes often ends up being a compromise in both. Some may disagree however. For instance, the Raven Phantom holster works as both an OWB and IWB by simply changing the mounting options, and many people love that holster. Personally, I prefer to have a separate OWB and IWB holster (2 of each ideally).
 

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I carry my 1911 in a Crossbreed supertuck IWB and love it. I am 5"10", 170# and can conceal it very well. It is also the most comfortable holster I have ever worn.
 
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