There are the on-paper attributes of a 1911 IWB holster that we can talk about, but there are also a few things to watch for when you actually start using it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know about these things in advance; the rubber has to meet the road eventually.
Remember how we said the sweat shield was important? Well, we’re going to bring it up again.
Alright, so here’s the other important aspect of the sweat shield.
As has been discussed to death, 1911 pistols are designed to be carried with the hammer back and the safety on.
While the sweat guard has to place a barrier between the gun and you for your comfort, what’s absolutely critical is that the thumb safety not get switched off while you’re carrying.
The best prevention is a holster that holds the pistol firmly in place. When inserted into the holster, the gun should have no wiggle room. You may need to adjust the holster to get the proper fit.
If the gun can move at all, that means the safety lever could potentially be moved as well.
Point being, once the pistol is in the holster, it’s held firmly in place. The safety lever stays protected and doesn’t get moved at all, keeping it engaged at all times.
Another critical feature to be aware of is the grip that you’re able to get with the holster. We can talk about combat cuts all day, but what really matters is how the gun sits against you, which you aren’t going to know until you wear it.
Getting a good shooting grip is important with any gun, but it’s doubly important with the 1911 pistol given the grip safety. If the holster makes that harder for you when it sits on your body…you’re in trouble.
Granted, it’s not exactly rocket science; we’re talking about grasping an object. However, it has to be done correctly and consistently. If the holster makes that more difficult, it’s not a good holster for a 1911 or at least isn’t a good one for you to carry one with.
Another feature to watch for is how well the holster allows for reholstering the pistol. Again, it’s one thing to have the holster out of the waistband, but you need to check for this function when the holster is attached to your body.
These are things you’re going to have to evaluate for yourself when carrying and when training with your 1911 pistol. Again, it’s just not the gun for filthy casuals; you have to put in some real practice time to perfect its use.
And your 1911 IWB holster shouldn’t make that harder. Your gear should adapt to you, not the other way around.
This is why it’s important to look for holster companies that offer a generous product guarantee. If you get your holster and discover it’s not going to work, it helps to be able to return it if you need to.