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Discussion Starter #1
I know this has been touched on before, but I couldn't find it with a search. I'm looking to buy my first 1911 holster and I would like it to be concealable (read IWB). My problem is that I have not the slimmest body in the world and I am left-handed. My local shops don't stock any left-handed 1911 holsters at all, much less a nice leather one that I know would be comfortable. I've tried sticking my gun in my belt just to get a feel for how it would ride and it seems to be best behind the hip or in the small of my back. My questions are: does anyone have any advice on how to best fit myself for a holster when I have none around to try, and do you have any recommendations for a larger guy who doesn't want any more prominent bulge sticking out of his shirt than is already there? I know Milt Sparks and Allessi(?) always come up and I'd love to get to see one of those but I lack the funds to just buy one of everything and then choose. Thanks for the help guys!
 

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I'm not exactly a large guy, but I've got a smidge of handles myself (ain't pork chops great?
). I've always found iwb use to be much more comfortable if placed slightly further back than normal - pretty much under the back pocket. The gun also doesn't seem to print as much in that area.

With this in mind, I went to Milt Sparks for my leather. The Watch Six uses offset loops that make it much thinner and more comfortable than the average holster, same as with the VersaMax II. Both holsters offer optional kydex clips as well and the VM II is even a tuckable design.

I recently wrote a review of my Watch Six and ArmySon wrote one of his VM II (with pics... show off
).

I was at the point of giving up on iwb carry because I'd never found one that was comfortable. Try the offset loop design, it makes a huge difference.

Mac
 

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Man, can I relate to that problem. Trying to conceal one on me is like trying to hide one on a beach ball under a blanket! If you are going to use an IWB right at your back pocket, why would'nt you go ahead and use a SOB holster? My problem would be trying to sit in my car and drive with a gun behind me. I know a gun is supposed to be a comfort, not comfortable, but how can you drive with a chunk of steel in your back?
 

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Some holster makers won't even make SOB holsters due to the possible health risks if you fall on the gun. It could seriously damage your spine.
 

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Scatmanblues, do a search for VM2, VM-2, or Versa. This is a Milt Sparks holster and I think it will give you what you need. First of all, it has the high rise leather "sweat guard" that will keep direct contact between you and the slide/safety area from happening. Also, because the VM2 has the loops for the belt mounted fore and aft of the gun as opposed to being on top of it, it will have a low and wide lump as opposed to a tall and thin lump that produces a much more noticeable tumor on your hip. The other nice thing is that with the loops mounted far apart, the holster is very stable on the belt. This holster seems to work well for skinny people (like ArmySon and jaydee) and non-skinny people (like me @ 5'9" and 225) just fine. Here is one of the most recent threads on the topic and it has pictures of ArmySon and jaydee wearing their holsters...

By the way, I own two of these and think they are terrific. Most people like them a lot. You can order one from www.miltsparks.com and you will have to wait a while before your order gets made, or you can try contacting one of their dealers listed on their web site. Alan Yoast is one of those dealers and there is a good chance he will have what you want in stock and so you can probably get the holster almost immediately. I have bought from Sparks and from Yoast and have been pleased with both. You can contact Yoast at [email protected] .

As for exactly where to wear the holster, that just depends on you, your build, the types of clothes you wear, and the furniture and car seats you sit in. Mine rides at 3 o'clock (as ArmySon's pic shows in the thread noted above) and sometimes closer to the 5 o'clock position.
 

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Scatmanblues--Hey, I opened this post because I thought, with that title, you were talking about some porn movie... or a recent business trip.

Anyhow, I fully (and I mean fully) understand your challenge. I'm in the same fairly large boat. I would advise you against wearing on your back pocket, because as much bulk as we may have, whatever we sit on becomes literally that much more of a pain in the butt. To me, when I looked at IWB's, I experimented with the Rosen ARG and found that it was not right for full-figured guys. What I did find out was that BALANCE was the most important thing. Drawing and holstering needed to be secure. Of the Rosens, I've been using the Uncle Sam's Decision. But he's not cheap, that's for sure. Sounds like you're on a bit of a budget, so....

With that, the VersaMaxII, which I also bought from Allan Yoast, was a very good and reasonable choice. However, I'd also advise you to contact Lou Alessi and Matt DelFatti. They are both great with giving direction and making suggestions. Lou in particularly is exceptional about helping the customer try certain things to see what works. You can't go wrong with either one. I'd look for their most well-balanced IWB and compare along with the Sparks. Their work is quality, highly functional, and they treat their customers with respect and patience. It's worth doing business with them in order to have a relationship with a key source of one of the three food groups--guns, ammo, leather.

Let us know what you wind up doing and good luck with the decision!

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.
 

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I've the dunlop problem, my body done lppped over my belt. I have two IWB hoslters that I can wear all day with no problem. The Sparks Watch 6 and the Aleesi CQC/I.. The W6 does not have a re-enforcing band around the top but it has wide spaced belt loops. It was the first IWB holster that I could wear without thinking I had a telephone book stutted in my belt.

Then Lou sent me the CQC/I, reenforced mouth of the holster and it is comfortable to wear.

My pistol hides well under a golf/polo shirt.

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Ditto,,,same boat here. In the winter I carry IWB where my clothing can help me conceal better, but here lately in the heat, I've been carrying in fanny pack. Not the fastest draw ever, but it works, and at the size of an NFL offensive lineman is a lot more comfy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the help guys, it seems like I'm just going to have to start a holster fund and begin the collecting process.
Not that I object to having to buy more things for my favorite toys...not at all. I don't really have a problem buying quality gear, I just get jumpy when I can't play with something before I buy it -especially something I'd have to wear....alot. I think there's a show in town this weekend, so I'll go try and find some lefty holsters to try out there. Also, I know you all say the belt makes the holster. I usually wear a 1.5" leather work belt made for tool pouches. Do you think that's stout enough for a holster, or do I need to be looking at a belt as well. Thanks again guys,
Scatmanblues
 

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A 1.5" belt that is heavy duty should do very well for you. Wider belts tend to distribute weight better than thin belts (based on my experience). When you do buy a holster, get one for that belt width. Matching holster belt loops and belts is important. If the loops are too big for your holster, it won't be a stable platform and will tend to move around on your.

I have no problem carrying a full-sized steel 1911 as well as a leatherman knife and two spare mags on my belt. Some people are bothered by that much weight. If I wear a smaller belt, I find it will dig in a lot more than the heavy duty belts. So, 1.5" should be good I would think.

Something to consider. I have three belts I wear. One is the one I wear to the range most often and it looks pretty raggedy as well. I have another that is for casual dress and one that is for more formal dress. They are all wide belts and all good quality. Just because I change my style of dress does not mean I need to reduce my load capabilities. Just a thought.
 

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The only IWB I can wear in total ( 12-16 Hrs. ) comfort is a Wilson Covert Companion . Its not listed anymore but you can still order them . Also Wilson has a new IWB out the Summer companion .
 

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I'm right-handed so the following may or may not apply depending on lefty availability. If you'd really like something relatively cheap to experiment with try the Don Hume IWB holsters. I'm 6'4", 255 pounds, with more than ample lovehandles. I use the Don Humes with my Kimber Compact and with my Kahr P9 when my attire requires IWB.

The Don Hume holsters can be had for less than $40 and utilize a spring metal belt clip. I find that wearing it just barely behind my hip (at about 4 o'clock)with a slight forward cant is comfortable. My only concern is with the spring clip. Although I've never had one come out, it would be more comforting to have a more secure attachment mechanism. You can always find a more secure holster later. The intent is to use the Don Hume to determine whether you like IWB or not. And who knows, you may decide that it absolutely fits the bill.

One thing: When I opt for the IWB with my more than ample sideboards, I usually have an untucked shirt covering it. You MUST wear an undershirt to keep that pesky 1911 hammer from rubbing your lovehandles raw with these holsters as they do not extend high enough to protect the hammer/rear of slide.
 
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