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I'm wanting to start carrying a full size, I have been carrying an officers sized model for sometime, best way to carry a full size 1911? Best holster to spread out the weight? Would like OWB, but I might have to go IWB with a full size, not sure. Any and all ideas welcome, thanks.
 

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With a full size I think the only issue is when you sit down the muzzle can hit the seat of your chair or whatever you are sitting on so your rig gets pushed upwards - very uncomfortable. And this is why Hi-Ride holsters exist so you might want to consider that option. Whatever holster maker you go with, ask them about 'hi-ride' when you order, ask their opinion on it (it may not even be necessary but worth asking about) and take it from there.

Some leather IWB's worth considering:
http://www.kdholsters.com/iwb-defend.php
http://southernholsters.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=29_21&products_id=28
http://www.miltsparks.com/ (check out the VM II)

Or Kydex:
http://www.bearclawholsters.com

I'm thinking more the 'best belt' to spead out the weight than 'best holster'. Be sure to have a double-thick gun belt such Beltman or Wildnerness Instructor. Also any leather holster maker can hook you up with a great belt.

IWB might be a better idea with the full size as the holster might stick down a bit farther ...
 

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Use the belt to spread the weight

Use the belt to spread the weight.

I use an Alessi GWH a fine IWB derived from the Summer Special but substantially changed - the original Summer Special was a single strap for appendix carry which allowed a little more self adjustment and then the roughout helped hold the position.

The GWH uses a wide fixed belt loop that fits the belt very tightly - as usually made the GWH requires a thin edged (skived?) belt and will not fit a square cornered belt such as Beltman does so well (but Alessi belts are the very best Alessia is genius with leather) and then puts a little load on the structure of the pants - not the best for drawstring waist sweat pant construction - but a firm rig for carry.

Some say the PCH from Alessi is more comfortable for IWB and that may be. Fore and aft loops do spread things out and allow a potentially thinner - pancake style - holster but I find no advantage for IWB myself - though a snap-on and off is a useful extra holster for some purposes given that carrying an empty IWB holster may accelerate normal wear.

In sum I find a structured waistband on the pants and a good belt make a firm foundation for a carry rig - after that I'm not sure it matters so much but the great makers deserve their reputation - I heard somebody in Eagle knock a maker in Garden City the other day saying the holsters should be standard lined at the price - that's the last thing I'd want - the designs and construction from the folks on the banners above - be they from Milt Sparks or available through Lightning Arms or as shown on the Heinie site obviously work very well indeed for some very discriminating people. Others make equally usable holsters some with faster deliveries but close study of the various designs will eventually give some insight into what works for most people and most any of them wil continue to work well into the future.
 

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So you want to carry a full sizes 5 inch all steel 1911? Here is the way, ymmv.

The key is the belt. The belt should be a double thick leather belt that is at least 1.5 inches wide. The belt loop slots on the holster should match up. i.e. 1.5 inch belt =1.5 inch holster slots.

The belt is going to cost a bit. I like rafter s gunleather, a 1.5 inch belt that tapers to 1.25 in the front, about 60ish shipped with a 3-5 week wait. Most any custom holster maker can make a suitable belt. After a certain point (for me that point is about 60 bucks and 3-5 weeks wait, the question becomes how much do you want to spend and how long do you want to wait i.e Milt Sparks is on a 20 week plus wait.)

A suitable holster is also key. The standard leather inside the waistband holsters that all others are judged by are the Milt Sparks Summer Special (stocked at brownells for 80 ish) and the VM II (sometimes stocked at lightning arms for 120ish). There are other makers that are making similar designs for similar prices. I.e. Alessi, Broomland, Taruisano,, Bulman, UBG,
Kramer etc

Kydex IWBs from Blade Tech and Comp-Tac are well respected at 55ish to 75 ish.

Will a 12 dollar wal mart belt work for a while- sure
Will a 3 stich, no name nylon tactical belt work for a while-sure
Will a no name clip on holster stop the gun from slipping down your pants sure (but so will a piece of string)

OR

Just do it right the first time and buy the belt, holster and mag pouches from the same vendor and call it a day. Buy quality and you only cry once. If you go cheap, I assure you you will buy and cry more than twice. This is particularly true when carrying a 5 inch, all steel 1911.

Let us know what you do.
 

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I'm currently carrying a 5" IWB in a Bianchi model 120. The comfort is very good. I also carry the same gun OWB, in a El Paso Saddlery #77. Both work well and both are very comfortable, with a slight edge going to OWB.
 

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For IWB...Milt Sparks Versa Max II or a Summer Special II.

For OWB...Milt Sparks Axiom. Coupled with either a Wilderness Instructor 5 stitch, Milt Sparks, Beltman or Rafter S belt will make you very happy.
 

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+4 on the Versa Max II for IWB. I carry my full size S&W 1911 with a 5 stitch Wilderness Instructors Belt in resonable comfort. My S&W does have an AL frame so it reduces the weight.

dijon
 

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I have all Milt Sparks stuff and I agree with the others about quality belt and holster are key. I have an Axiom for OWB and actually prefer it to my VMII, however it can be a little harder to conceal because you have to cover the entire holster. That can be harder in the summer time compared to the IWB, which is why I also have the VMII. As it gets colder the Axiom gets more use.
 

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AWMP said:
I'm wanting to start carrying a full size, I have been carrying an officers sized model for sometime, best way to carry a full size 1911? Best holster to spread out the weight? Would like OWB, but I might have to go IWB with a full size, not sure. Any and all ideas welcome, thanks.
You didn't say what kind of job you have but I live in the 49th state and usually just wear a Mountain Hardware Winstopper Fleece coat... about like a quiet windbreaker... or a vest during the summer. I chose it over every other garment because of it's different profile and it completely covers the holster of a 5" Gov't model in a Blade Tech SRB or any other belt holster I have found. The pockets are nicely located, secure and the jacket sweeps very nicely for a very fast draw. It is lined with mesh and nylon so no chafing yet. Has a good inside pocket for a snubbie or baby auto but I carry a large wallet there. I have always been able to find them for %40 off or so which is about $112. Here is a link, it wouldn't let me copy a picture.


http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1&prod=34&cat=9&viewAll=False
 

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As far as I'm concerned, I don't want to look like the other "tactical CCW" guys. In your environment, an untucked quilted lined flannel will cover both an IWB and an OWB. That's all I need in the coldest weather here in Phoenix, and they work wonderfully! If you're wearing heavier clothing (as I'm sure you do) there should be no problem at all!
Tracy
 

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I agree with almost everything that has been said. Conceal Carry is such an individual thing that most of use have holsters and belts others favor, but for various reasons don't work well for others due to body shape, clothes worn, working situations and other reasons. One thing I think is important, but I don't seem mention to often is a bevel to the edges of the belt. Square edges just dig into me and are very uncomfortable.
 

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My best advise is don't try to look like you're carrying a weapon. Like I said before, an untucked flannel is one of the best, because everyone else dresses like that. If you choose a "photographer's vest" you're gonna be made. Here in Arizona when it's 110 degrees, I get by just fine with a white t-shirt with a Hawaiian shirt untucked over my VMII IWB. If you can pull it off in Arizona or Florida, you can do it anywhere!
 

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Not a problem with a good belt and a quality holster. I am partial to the Brommeland Max Con V, and IWB holster.
 

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Here's how I do it.

I use two belts (one at a time), a double thickness leather and a Wilderness Instructor 5-stitch. Nothing will be comfortable with a cheap belt. Other makers make good ones, too.

IWB or OWB, make sure the holster has loops or slots fore and aft of the pistol. A belt loop should go between them to support and distribute the weight. I don't like the "tunnel" design holsters for this reason.

Carrying magazine(s) on your off side helps to balance the weight and solves the reload problem as well.

Carrying the pistol behind the point of your hip reduces a bit of the "muzzle poking your seat" problem, as does a foreward cant (assuming strong side carry).
 

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I recommend the Brommeland Max Con V, worn on a good belt (Wilderness will do), at about 4:00 on your waist (remembering that your navel is 12:00). You'll be well armed, and well dressed. I have single and double mag pouches that work great, but I often just stick an extra mag in my back pocket.
 

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I actually carry a full size 1911 every day at work as a Police Officer, and off-duty as well. I find for me, the Sparks SS is the best way to go, either on one of their belts or a Wilderness 1 3/4 professional, with a double mag pouch from galco. While I have other holsters that work as well, I find that the Sparks SS covers everything I ask for in a holster and it fits Bianchis Law, which states in essence, "carry one gun/holster" and get comfortable with them. I find most people change with every article or suggestion always looking for the "perfect" thing. Hope this helps.
 

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Doc, more folks need to follow that advice.
carry one gun/holster"
I carry that concept a little further. Shoot in competition either the exact same weapon or at least the same 'system' as your carry piece.

example. If you carry a 1911 government model on duty, compete with a 1911.

The ole' Swede used to state. Shoot one, carry one. Many folks used to carry a LtWt Commander and shoot a steel Government.

Today we have more choices, but it can become confusing. If you carry a Glock and compete with a 1911, when the elephant turns on to your street, will there be any issues?

IF your first thought, just before a firefight, is what weapon am I wearing, do I have to turn it On?

You are already sliding down that long slippery slope to defeat.

I use/carry either a 1911 or Highpower, same action and method of presentation and both need to be 'turned on'. And in either case they will be riding in a Milt Sparks VMII IWB.

Think system, and stick to it. Or if you choose to or need to change, change it all. No one said shooting would be cheap.

Good luck

Fred
 
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