If you are a particularly active conceal carry gunowner, you may want to consider purchasing a shoulder holster over the average inside waistband holster. Should holsters allow for free hands, significantly more adjustability features, and the confidence that you hip won’t push your weapon out over your waistband.
We’ve put together a review of the best shoulder holsters for 1911 pistols on the market. Later, we’ll let you know what we think is the best choice for the everyday gunowner.
We realize that for IWB and OWB holsters, leather may be the most sought after option amongst most consumers. While we did include a couple of leather shoulder holster options here, we personally think that leather may not always be the best bet for a shoulder holster. These types of holsters require more advanced levels of adjustment over the shoulders and around the torso, and you need something that will be flexible enough to bend with you as you go about your day. While leather is very nice, we suggest considering how much your Colt 1911 will be moving with you throughout the day if you conceal carry it within a shoulder holster.
Materials – The UTG 1911 Shoulder Holster is made of nylon materials and comes in a few styling options: black, woodland digital, army digital, and OD green. It can be purchased for left handed or right handed gunowners, and the design is universal, so it should fit most pistols and revolvers besides your Colt 1911. The shoulders are padded, and it comes with two magazine pouches. The inside padding of the holster is made of a soft material to keep the exterior of your firearm protected. All of the straps have adjustable mechanisms, and the Velcro straps allow you to create a retention suited to your body shape and size.
Performance – The UTG Deluxe 1911 holsters are the most affordable option within this review, so don’t expect leather or any detailed pieces on this product. However, this is easily one of the most comfortable holsters we can suggest in good taste. The shoulders, magazine pouches, and holster are all completely padded, and all of the straps are adjustable, so it’s nearly impossible to complain about any discomfort. Since the price is pretty cheap, expect to have to replace this after some time.
What we say – This is the best 1911 holster for anyone who really requires a comfortable fit. It’s also ideal for anyone who is trying out a shoulder holster for the first time or isn’t a big fan of leather holsters. You’ll only be paying a few cents over $15 for the UTG Deluxe 1911 holsters.
- Cheapest cost
- A lot of padding
- Completely adjustable straps and retention
- Not high quality, will need to be replaced eventually
Materials – The Barsony Nylon Gun Concealment Shoulder Holster for 1911 is a fully adjustable system with a nylon holster and nylon double magazine pouch. The shoulder pads cover beyond just the shoulders, and they’re made of a suede leather material for gripping onto clothing. The adjustable straps along the back and down the wearer’s sides can be modified to fit up to a 60” chest size. This holster is ambidextrous, so it can be modified for any shooter. The holster for your 1911 is equipped with an adjustable retention strap and a sewn in sight protector channel so drawing and re-holstering your weapon should be a smooth transition.
Performance – Our favorite component of the Barsony Nylon Gun Concealment Shoulder Holster for 1911 is that sewn in sight protector channel, which isn’t as common of a feature in shoulder holsters as we would like it to be. We also prefer the suede leather shoulder straps, as they will prevent any slipping or sliding around as you bend over or go about your day. Unfortunately, our one complaint here is similar to our complaint on the previous option: it’s not made of the highest quality materials, and you will have to anticipate replacing it or repairing it after some time.
What we say – Again, the Barsony Nylon Gun Concealment Holster is the best 1911 holster for any gunowners with comfort as a top priority with the advantage of a more trustworthy and well known brand name. That being said, you’ll be paying significantly more for this one at around $55. That price still isn’t breaking the bank, so it’s a good deal for a shoulder holster.
- Affordable cost
- Suede leather shoulder pads
- Sight protection and thumb break
- Not high quality materials will need to be replaced
Materials – The XCH Leather Shoulder Holster for 1911 is made almost entirely of a dark brown 100% genuine cowhide leather with detailed stitching. It is ambidextrous, and it can be worn as either a horizontal or vertical shoulder holster. It happens to fit more than just your Colt 1911, for anyone who likes to conceal carry a variety of pistols. This holster will also hold a Sig Sauer P232, Tokarev TT, Colt Defender, Commander, Makarov, and a few other similar caliber subcompact handguns. It comes with a single magazine pouch, and the straps are adjustable by a system of snap buttons.
Performance – Now we’re getting into more statement piece shoulder holsters. The genuine cowhide leather making up the majority of the XCH 1911 Vertical Shoulder Holster is very beautiful and durable. For someone who know they’ll wear out a nylon holster within a year, investing in a leather shoulder holster would be a great option. The tough leather is flexible enough to move with the body while also protecting the finish on your pistol. What’s lacking is the adjustability on this one. The straps provide holes for the snap buttons, similar to a belt, but that leave some wearers incredibly limited as to how well the holster fits.
What we say – For anyone who loves the smell of leather and the smell of money saved, the XCH Vertical Shoulder Holster for 1911s is a great option for you. It costs easily under $100. The holster should fit most gunowners, and we highly suggest giving it a test run before deciding that it won’t fit your stature.
- Affordable cost for leather
- Durable and protective material
- Fits many subcompact handguns
- Strap adjustability is limited
Materials – The Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder Holster for 1911 is another all leather holster made of a Center Cut Steerhide harness and molded durable leather holster and magazine pouch. This is the only shoulder holster in this review with molded holsters specifically designed to secure and protect your Colt 1911. The four straps of the steerhide harness are connected in the back by a Flexalon swivel back plate, which allows you to adjust your harness straps in a more diagonal position for comfort. The straps themselves also have Galco swivel connectors to adjust for size and body shape. The holster has a snap retention strap to hold your pistol in place.
Performance – The Galco Jackass Rig 1911 Shoulder Holster is a sexy looking piece to carry on your person. We love the molded leather holster because it gives us the extra assurance that our Colt 1911 will stay in place during travel or day to day activities. The adjustability system for this holster is a little different than what we’ve seen on the other products in this review, but they aren’t limiting at all. Despite being made of comfortable leather, we do still wish this holster had additional shoulder padding installed.
What we say – The Galco Jackass Rig Leather Shoulder Holster for 1911 Pistols is the most expensive option within this review. Expect to pay around $150 for this bad boy. However, if you have the dough, we highly suggest investing in this holster. This is a great option for anyone who moves around a lot and needs their shoulder holster to maneuver with them. It also looks and smells fantastic.
- High quality leather materials
- Molded holster
- Swivel back plate for harness comfort
- Expensive cost
- No shoulder pads
Our Favorite 1911 Shoulder Holster
We decided that the best 1911 shoulder holster for the everyday gunowner to purchase is the Barsony Shoulder Holster. Although leather is usually very nice, we think a shoulder holster requires an extra level of comfort, since there is friction and tension across multiple parts of your torso. Even so, the suede leather shoulder pads should offer some comfort, but they’ll work best at keeping your holster in place as your body moves around. The additional padding and retention factor on this shoulder holster are pretty nice, and it’s still very affordable. Again, because we’re lacking the leather holsters and magazine pouches, the fact that Barsony is a decently known name brand ensures that we should get some good life out of this purchase. This is a totally acceptable and viable option for most gunowners.