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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey there,

So, I've decided on my gun (Which has been ordered from Gunbroker and should be here within the week.) and now I'm looking at belts/holsters. I know that this is an extremely subjective topic, but I have an objective question, and then some basic questions.

First off, my gun is a Rock Island Ultra FS HC (a double stack) in 10mm. Obviously, concealibility is #1, comfort #2. However, my objective question is this: Will any 1911 holster (for Government models, at least) work for my gun? From my understanding it's the grip that's different, so any 1911 holster should work, so long as it's for a 5", correct?

Second, as I have no idea what I like, as I've never worn a holster, I'm pretty lost in the big wide world of holsters. In some ways, it's harder than the gun choice, because the differences are less obvious/cut and dry.

I don't tuck my shirts, I always wear Jeans, I think I want IWB (easier to conceal?) I know I'd live to carry on my front half, but I'm not sure if I want appendix or 2-5 o'clock. No ankle/shoulder/back carry. I live in the Midwest (Freezing winters, hot/humid summers), I'm an active college student (Jogging, going out and about a lot, getting in and out of cars, hiking, generally moving a lot). I only wear jeans when out (not skinny jeans) I'm 6'3"and 145 pounds, and my favorite shirts are more fitted, but I'm obviously going to have to wear my shirts that are a bit more baggy. I may switch guns in the future if I decide I want to go back to fitted shirts, but I'm not sure I'll even miss them enough, and my definition of "fitted" may be loose enough to wear with my 1911. Not sure.

I have a list of holster companies I'm looking at, and while I know it's not that easy to get a suggestion, I'm more trying to rule some out.

The list is: Dragon Leatherworks, Safariland, Garrett, Crossbreed, Bladetech, Alien gear, Milt Sparks, K L Null, Comp Tac, White Hat, Stealth gear, Faulk Tactical, Galco, Desantis, and Red Nichols.

Basically, especially since it is such a large gun, it has to hide the pistol well, and it must be comfortable/well made. Customer service is also important. Wait time/price not so much.

I'm really just looking for basic pointers (I.E., that company is solid, but customer service is known to be shoddy, this holster would likely not work because of your gun size, company X is basically just a copy of company Y but with cheaper materials, etc) and then I'll try to take it from there. I'm certainly not expecting somebody to say "This will absolutely work for you," just a bit of nudging with this list I have, especially considering my gun choice. I'll choose my belt once I know what holster I'm getting (I have a list of those too.)

Thanks in advance!
 

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Might help if you told us specifically for what pistol you need a holster.
Make, model, etc. Don't worry, hopefully no one will make fun even if it's a Jimenez or worse.
 

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I would pose your question to the gun maker, as to whether the design of the gun precludes its use with holsters built for a standard 1911. You gave us the names of 15 holster makers you're looking at, without identifying the gun you're buying. My suspicion is the same as yours - if only the grip areas is different, then standard 1911-pattern holsters should be fine.

Assuming a basic 1911 holster will serve, I'm a fan of the Sparks Summer Special II. It's a minimalist design and doesn't afford a "tuckable" feature, but in 25 years of carrying 1911s that hasn't been a big issue for me.
 

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Surprisingly, "the answer" is that you must think first of your body shape, because the grip of a pistol is the hardest part of the pistol to hide, so your midsection decides for you with a pistol that has a big grip. The holster maker won't necessarily be able to make up the shortfall.

Recently I outfitted a customer who is an ectomorph: highly developed central nervous system, very slim body. Think of Sheldon Cooper as an ectomorph. I didn't think to ask ahead of time, and my customer has the biggest possible auto plus a mag extension! We had limited success at the waistline because he is very slim and small waisted.

A second body style is the mesomorph: highly developed muscle structure, smaller (relatively) central nervous system. Think Governor Schwarzenneger (I am not implying he's not smart; I voted for him 'back in the day').

The third is the endomorph: large skeletal structure and lots of body fat. Think John Candy. Or Santa Claus.

So, go for broke if you're big, and be very careful if you're a slim man or petite woman (in which case bust size comes into play, too).

Generally I recommend that, in considering body size and shape, one choose a pistol that suits the body size; then choose the holster maker. I carried the most pistol I could when I was slim: a 3" Charter 44 Bulldog; rarely a standard 1911 by Swenson (who was my neighbor). Arnie is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla (again, not intended as a jab): he can wear whatever he wants, wherever he wants, whenever he wants :).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My bad on the make/model not being included, I had a total brainfart and just thought of the double stack 1911 part. Totally on me.

Might help if you told us specifically for what pistol you need a holster.
Make, model, etc. Don't worry, hopefully no one will make fun even if it's a Jimenez or worse.
I would pose your question to the gun maker, as to whether the design of the gun precludes its use with holsters built for a standard 1911. You gave us the names of 15 holster makers you're looking at, without identifying the gun you're buying. My suspicion is the same as yours - if only the grip areas is different, then standard 1911-pattern holsters should be fine.

Assuming a basic 1911 holster will serve, I'm a fan of the Sparks Summer Special II. It's a minimalist design and doesn't afford a "tuckable" feature, but in 25 years of carrying 1911s that hasn't been a big issue for me.
I know my list is pretty long, I know there's some huge differences between the types as well. Wasn't sure if any of them are one of those *hard pass* type deals, mainly.

I'll put a call in to RIA tomorrow.

Does the Summer Special II tolerate moderate activity well, in your opinion? I don't tuck my shirts, so that's a non-issue for me.

Surprisingly, "the answer" is that you must think first of your body shape, because the grip of a pistol is the hardest part of the pistol to hide, so your midsection decides for you with a pistol that has a big grip. The holster maker won't necessarily be able to make up the shortfall.

Recently I outfitted a customer who is an ectomorph: highly developed central nervous system, very slim body. Think of Sheldon Cooper as an ectomorph. I didn't think to ask ahead of time, and my customer has the biggest possible auto plus a mag extension! We had limited success at the waistline because he is very slim and small waisted.

A second body style is the mesomorph: highly developed muscle structure, smaller (relatively) central nervous system. Think Governor Schwarzenneger (I am not implying he's not smart; I voted for him 'back in the day').

The third is the endomorph: large skeletal structure and lots of body fat. Think John Candy. Or Santa Claus.

So, go for broke if you're big, and be very careful if you're a slim man or petite woman (in which case bust size comes into play, too).

Generally I recommend that, in considering body size and shape, one choose a pistol that suits the body size; then choose the holster maker. I carried the most pistol I could when I was slim: a 3" Charter 44 Bulldog; rarely a standard 1911 by Swenson (who was my neighbor). Arnie is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla (again, not intended as a jab): he can wear whatever he wants, wherever he wants, whenever he wants :).
I am 6'3" and 145 pounds, so definitely an ectomorph. I chose the 1911 (and in double stack) because it was hands down the best for *me*. It feels the most comfortable, shoots the most accurate with the quickest followup shots for me. While, of course, I'd like to keep my current wardrobe, I didn't mind springing for such a gun because I am ultimately willing to switch my clothes if I truly must. I have had an RIA double stack in my jeans pocket (at my Uncle's house, to test sizing real quick) and it was barely visible. Not sure if that means anything, though.
 

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Ah. Well, then, the famous textbook Dress for Success teaches that you attend your tailor, wearing your best-fitting suit in the shoes you'll wear, and wearing the belt, holster and pistol you'll carry, and have him fit you until your big brain/skinny body carries your pistol in any good maker's holster, without showing through your new suit :).

Or, if that's a bit posh for you, there's any number of Ike jacket lengths that are bulky enough to hide anything in casual mode.
 

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Well, For example, I'm now an endomorph (one time mesomorph), the " Ike" jackets are a poor fit for my body. They won't fit around my waist, and won't cover any grip for me. If you are a short-waisted ectomorph, they may work. But Red didn't touch on position. I carry at around 4 o'clock, so the grip fits into the hollow of my body just behind the ribs. In a properly designed holster, with sufficient cant, the grip tucks against my body and into that natural hollow. I mostly wear one of Red's holsters these days, and all parameters for comfort and concealment are met without question.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, followup.

RIA confirmed that standard Government model 1911 holsters will work.

Question now to help cut the list.

In between Kydex, Hybrid, Leather, etc, do any of the materials conceal the gun better, or are they all about the same in that aspect?
 

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The type and material of the holster is secondary to the design. There are good holsters in many materials and configurations.
In Kydex, I like Black Arch. Leather, Red Nichols hands down for me. There are other good ones, but those are my go to ones.
PureCustom is also really good. I can carry a full size 1911 in either Red's holsters ( preferably) or Rocky's (pure-custom).
 

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After you select a holster, or two or eight or nine like most of us, you'll need a belt. A belt designed to support a sidearm, a gunbelt. So in your quest for a holster, always keep the belt in the back of your mind. Many holster makers also make belts. One can make a convincing argument you are best served buying the holster and belt from the same maker, as a matched set. I have done that several times. I have also purchased belts separately, which also works, if you buy a quality gunbelt.

There are several threads on belt makers here, so look at those and gain knowledge. Your gun is large and heavy, and you certainly need a quality gunbelt or you will be frustrated by your gun and holster selections only for want of a good belt.

Good luck!
 

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From your type of questions I would guess you are very new to the firearm world.

I would suggest you get some training and practice, practice, practice and then worry about holsters and carrying. The reason being is you will be more familiar with your firearm and how it fits you and how well it works for you
 

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You are going to end up with a holster drawer. It happens. You will try a few before you find what you really like. As a suggestion to keep costs down, holster making can be fun and rewarding. I carry a Ruger Commander and alternate between an Alien Gear3 and a couple of leather ones I made using patterns found at JSL Leather. Free downloads. If you start, 1) you will experience bloody finger tips 2) you will fail several times 3) you will get good 4) friends and family will want gifts.There are a few good site on the net for leather working.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The type and material of the holster is secondary to the design. There are good holsters in many materials and configurations.
In Kydex, I like Black Arch. Leather, Red Nichols hands down for me. There are other good ones, but those are my go to ones.
PureCustom is also really good. I can carry a full size 1911 in either Red's holsters ( preferably) or Rocky's (pure-custom).
Alright, thank you. I know there's a few in my family I can probably try, see if I have some glaring material preference.

After you select a holster, or two or eight or nine like most of us, you'll need a belt. A belt designed to support a sidearm, a gunbelt. So in your quest for a holster, always keep the belt in the back of your mind. Many holster makers also make belts. One can make a convincing argument you are best served buying the holster and belt from the same maker, as a matched set. I have done that several times. I have also purchased belts separately, which also works, if you buy a quality gunbelt.

There are several threads on belt makers here, so look at those and gain knowledge. Your gun is large and heavy, and you certainly need a quality gunbelt or you will be frustrated by your gun and holster selections only for want of a good belt.

Good luck!
What he said, the Belt is crucial!
Definitely! I have a few belt makers on my list. Definitely a top priority for me. To avoid a whole new thread, is steel core/reinforced inherently better than just a good leather belt? I've heard yes/no, and I've even heard steel core is worse.

From your type of questions I would guess you are very new to the firearm world.

I would suggest you get some training and practice, practice, practice and then worry about holsters and carrying. The reason being is you will be more familiar with your firearm and how it fits you and how well it works for you
Wrong guess. I'm new to carry, that is very true. I'm very, very familiar with guns, but only in a "It leaves the safe to go to the range," way. I've never had one on me all day, I've never worn a holster, I've never tried to hide one. I've taken it from a safe, to a car, to a range, and back. Sadly, my lack of experience in carrying (in any capacity) is showing, and I'm doing my best to try and learn the most *before* I start carrying/buying gear.

You are going to end up with a holster drawer. It happens. You will try a few before you find what you really like. As a suggestion to keep costs down, holster making can be fun and rewarding. I carry a Ruger Commander and alternate between an Alien Gear3 and a couple of leather ones I made using patterns found at JSL Leather. Free downloads. If you start, 1) you will experience bloody finger tips 2) you will fail several times 3) you will get good 4) friends and family will want gifts.There are a few good site on the net for leather working.
I'll keep that in mind, thank you.
Also, question. Does any specific material handle large weight well? I don't mean in a durability way, but in the way it feels distributed, etc.

I may try out some different kinds that my family has around and then go from there. Seems like my (alebit long) list is filled with a lot of good holster designers.
 

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LOL true enough but a quickie response. I have several gun belts from different makers. Better Belt is very comfy but for support the Bigfoot is unmatched by any of the other belts in my collection. It's not a close competition and my belts rival my holster collection.
 
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I carry a full size 1911. Started out with a Crossbread Supertuck leather. Picked up an AllenGear IWB about a year ago and like it much better after carrying usually16/7. If my jeans are on, so is my firearm. I need 35in waist, not readily available, so I purchase 36s and it works out well. Great price, comfortable, great warranty, just exchange the shell if you change firearms. I suggest you take a look, they have belts also. Just my opinion of what works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL true enough but a quickie response. I have several gun belts from different makers. Better Belt is very comfy but for support the Bigfoot is unmatched by any of the other belts in my collection. It's not a close competition and my bests rival my holster collection.
I obviously need the most support I can get, since my choice is so large. Would you say that the Bigfoot belt is at least still tolerable, comfort wise?

I carry a full size 1911. Started out with a Crossbread Supertuck leather. Picked up an AllenGear IWB about a year ago and like it much better after carrying usually16/7. If my jeans are on, so is my firearm. I need 35in waist, not readily available, so I purchase 36s and it works out well. Great price, comfortable, great warranty, just exchange the shell if you change firearms. I suggest you take a look, they have belts also. Just my opinion of what works for me.
Do you mean Alien Gear?
 

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I obviously need the most support I can get, since my choice is so large. Would you say that the Bigfoot belt is at least still tolerable, comfort wise?
I know this question was directed at farside but I can say that my Bigfoot with steel insert is my go-to casual and formal belt. I've worn it to a few formal events where I couldn't carry because it is comfortable AND good looking. Highly recommend.

If I were you I wouldn't start a "I need a belt" thread just yet. There are quite a few threads that cover that and most of them end up with multiple members recommending a Bigfoot. Do some forum searching first.
 
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