Best 6 Shoulder Holsters For 1911 (Tactical Buying Guide 2017)

Shoulder Holsters Reviews For 1911There’s no denying that a shoulder holster will make you look cool. It will. But you shouldn’t buy a pistol holster just because it will make you look cool or not. The great thing about shoulder holsters is that they also provide a good concealed carry option, and they’re actually very comfortable.

In the following article, we present the top 6 shoulder holster models for the 1911. Further, in the article, we explain how to determine which holster and which isn’t. We’re certain that after reading our reviews and the short buying guide we prepared you’ll be able to determine which is the best shoulder holster for 1911 yourself.

  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder
  • PRICE $$$$
  • For : 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield
  • Material : High Quality Leather
  • Hand Orientation : Right Hand
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • Barsony Shoulder Holster
  • PRICE $$
  • For : Full Size 9mm 40 45
  • Material : Full Size 9mm 40 45 caliber semi-auto pistols with 4.5-5.5 inch barrel length
  • Hand Orientation : Right / Left Hand
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • XCH Ambidextrous Shoulder Holster
  • PRICE $$$
  • For : 1911 type pistols, Defender, Commander, Ruger SR1911 CMD, Sig Sauer P238/P938, Ruger SR1911CMD, Sig Sauer P232, Makarov, Polish P64, FEG PA-63, Bersa Thunder .380, Tokarev (TT-33), Zastava M57, Zastava M70A, Zastava M88A subcompact handguns
  • Material : High quality genuine leather
  • Hand Orientation : Right / Left Hand
  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • Armadillo Shoulder Holster
  • PRICE $$$
  • For : 1911 Models From 3" to 5"
  • Material : Hand Crafted from quality cow hide
  • Hand Orientation : Right Hand Draw
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • International Military Antiques WWII Shoulder Holster
  • PRICE $$
  • For : Colt .45ACP M1911/A1 Pistol
  • Material : 100% genuine leather
  • Hand Orientation : Right Hand
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Under Control Tactical Concealed Shoulder Holster
  • PRICE $
  • For : Glock, Springfield, Taurus, MTAC, Kimber, Walther,Beretta, Ruger, Colt
  • Material : Super rugged nylon
  • Hand Orientation : Right / Left Hand

Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder

The Galco Jackass shoulder rig features a horizontal holster that can easily be adjusted to a more diagonal position if you like. The holster attaches to the harness using swivel connectors, so it will maintain its desired position throughout the day.

All of the harnesses’ four points pivot independently, and they are connected by the swivel back plate. The harness comes with a holster, and ammo carrier, and a set of screws you can use to adjust its size.

Pro

  • Easy Concealment – Thanks to the upward muzzle angle the harness provides, you can easily conceal your handgun using this rig.

Con

  • Retention Screw Needs Adjustment – The holster’s retention screw has a tendency to come loose after several draws. The loose screw won’t influence the gun’s position too much, but it’s better to adjust it frequently.

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Barsony Shoulder Holster

This concealment holster is made out of nylon, and it can be adjusted for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. The holster comes with an adjustable retention strap and a sewn in protector channel for an easy and quick draw and holstering.

The holster has large shoulder pads made out of suede leather that will keep the holster in place even when you move. This holster is lightweight, and all the stitching has a high-quality, so you can expect it to last for a long time.

Pro

  • Comfortable – This holster is very comfortable to wear. You can get used to it very quickly and wear it as often as you need.

Con

  • Magazine Pouch Should Be Adjusted – The default position of the magazine pouch opens downwards, so you can easily drop the magazines. You should rotate the pouch so it will face upward.

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XCH Ambidextrous Shoulder Holster

This holster is compatible with both the horizontal and the vertical carry position. The holster is designed to be adjustable, and it can be used by both left-handed and right-handed people. The shoulder holster can even be adjusted to be used as an OWB or IWB holster if you remove the shoulder straps.

Both the holster and the shoulder straps are made out of leather, and they are very durable. The magazine pouch can carry one magazine. It is also made out of leather, and it’s removable.

Pro

  • Nice Leather Workmanship – The holster, magazine pouch, and shoulder straps are all made out of leather. The leather has a nice workmanship, and all the seams and stitches are flawless.

Con

  • Difficult To Conceal – The harness is easy to conceal because it doesn’t have a chest strap, but the magazine pouch and holster are not. You will need to wear a large jacket to conceal them

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Armadillo Shoulder Holster

If you’re looking for a high-quality leather shoulder harness and holster, you should take a closer look at this model. This holster is handcrafted specifically to fit a 1911, and it’s made out of quality cow hide.

The holster comes with a double magazine pouch that can easily fit a magazine each. The pouches have two snaps so you can fit both the normal and the extended magazines.

The leather straps are very soft and comfortable, and you’ll be able to wear them all day long without any inconvenience.

Pro

  • Fits Perfectly – This holster is specifically made for the 1911, and it will fit it perfectly. If you have some problems fitting the gun in the holster, it’s because of the thick leather. Use some wax paper to break in the leather and the problem’s solved

Con

  • Only Regular 1911 – This holster is designed to fit the 1911 perfectly, so it won’t fit the models that come with a rail attachment.

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International Military Antiques WWII Shoulder Holster

If you’re looking for a high-quality shoulder holster and you’re passionate about history, this is the perfect model for you. This shoulder holster is specially designed to match the shoulder holsters military personnel carried during the WWII.

The holster is made out of 100% genuine leather, and it comes with the steel fixtures used at the time, such as the lift-the-dot and pull-the-dot closure. This is the best reproduction available on the market today, and it will fit the 1911 nice and snug.

The holster’s surface is embossed “U.S.”, just like the originals were back in the day.

Pro

  • Beautiful Reproduction – This holster is a beautiful reproduction of the original shoulder holsters used in the second World War, and it would be a great model for every history enthusiast

Con

  • Front Strap – The holster comes with two front straps, so it’s more difficult to conceal than other models.

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Under Control Tactical Concealed Shoulder Holster

The concealed carry shoulder holster produced by Under Control Tactical is made out of nylon. The holster comes with comfortable straps, and it uses wide shoulder pads to make carrying it comfortable.

This shoulder holster is advertised as a universal model, but it will fit the 1911 perfectly. The holster is adjustable, so you will be able to carry and conceal it easily. The holster comes with two magazine pouches that are large enough to fit one magazine each, or even a flashlight if you want to.

Pro

  • Discreet – Thanks to its adjustable straps and thin design, this shoulder holster is very discreet. This will allow you to conceal it with ease.

Con

  • Click-Open Strap – The holster has a click-open strap on top, and some people might find it difficult to draw their handgun quickly.

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Shoulder Holster Buying Guide

Best Shoulder Holsters For 1911You might find it difficult to spot the best shoulder holster for the 1911 in today’s crowded market. There are a lot of models out there, but not all of them will fit your handgun as they should. In the following section, we provide a few pointers on how to find the right model for your handgun.

  1. Material

The material used for the holster affects both the holster’s durability and your comfort while wearing it.

  • Leather – Leather is still used by many manufacturers for their shoulder holster models because it’s durable, lightweight, and provides a good support for your handgun.

Leather shoulder holsters have the advantage of being both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Even the nicest nylon holster won’t compare with a leather model in terms of looks.

These holsters are usually adjustable, but not overly so. They come with a limited number of holes you can use to adjust the strap length, and they will match most sizes. However, you might not be able to adjust the strap length exactly as you would like, especially if your normal constitution is between two sizes.

Leather holsters provide a good grip on your 1911, and they keep it nice and secure. Using the adjustable straps, you can adjust the holster’s position for a horizontal or a vertical draw in most models.

The leather holsters might need some breaking into before you can use them properly. You can do that by either using some wax paper or drawing and holstering your handgun repeatedly

  • Nylon – More and more manufacturers turn to nylon for their shoulder holster models, and that’s because nylon offers several advantages over leather. First of all, nylon is cheaper, so the resulting products will also be cheaper. Second, nylon has a low maintenance. You can pour water on it, you can throw it, you can put it through many things and it will still look as good as new.

One of the other reasons so many manufacturers choose nylon over leather is its versatility. Nylon shoulder holsters are usually highly adjustable, and both left-handed and right-handed shooters will be able to use the same model. The nylon straps are easier to adjust than the leather ones, and you can adjust their length in small increments, so they might end up fitting you better.

Most nylon holsters are lightweight and comfortable, so you can wear them for a long time without any problems. They usually come with wide shoulder pads that will increase the comfort. They are also easy to conceal because they fit snugly to your body and they don’t have a front strap.

  1. Concealment

If you’re looking for a shoulder holster, you’re looking for a concealed carry option. Shoulder holsters are rather easy to conceal during the cold seasons, and you can simply mask them by wearing a jacket.

Leather holsters are usually easy to conceal, but they might seem bulky at times. If you want to wear a leather shoulder holster that comes with a magazine pouch, you have to make sure the pouch and the holster are placed roughly in the same position. This will keep them from dangling while you’re moving.

Nylon holsters are usually easier to conceal than leather models because they can be adjusted to fit you better. Since they fit more snugly to your body, you won’t need a large jacket to conceal them.

Your drawing preference will also influence the holster’s concealment, no matter if it’s made out of leather or nylon. The vertical draw position is easier to conceal than the diagonal or horizontal one.

  1. Versatility

Shoulder Holsters For 1911Both the leather and the nylon shoulder holsters are adjustable. You can add or remove the ammunition patch, and you can adjust the straps’ position to fit you better.

Some leather shoulder holsters are compatible for IWB or OWB use, so you can attach them to a CCW belt instead of straps. This is a great way to make sure you’ll use the holster all year long because the straps can only be used in the cold season when you can cover them with a jacket.

Nylon shoulder holsters are also adjustable, and they can be used to carry your flashlight, tools, and other gear when you’re not carrying your 1911. This can be useful, especially if you’re used to working around the house. These holsters are usually compatible with multiple handgun models, so they might offer more storing space than a leather holster.

  1. Cost

As you could see from our short reviews, shoulder holsters come at different prices. The price is not always a factor that determines how good or how bad the holster actually is.

Leather holsters are usually more expensive than nylon ones, but that’s understandable since the raw materials needed are also more expensive. Not only the leather used for these holsters is more expensive than the nylon, but the steel used for the buckles and joints is also more expensive than the polymer used for the nylon holster buckles.

Nylon buckles are usually cheaper than the leather holsters, but they come in different price ranges as well. There’s no guarantee that an expensive nylon holster will be better than a cheap one. If you want to make sure you buy a good model, check out the holster’s functionality, not its price.

  1. Aspect

Shoulder holsters have to be functional, but it also helps if they look nice. When it comes down to the aspect, there’s no denying that leather holsters are far superior to their nylon counterparts.

If you’re looking for a nice-looking shoulder holster and you’re passionate about history, you should check out the historical reproductions such as the International Military Antiques WWII Shoulder Holster specially designed to fit the 1911.

Best Shoulder Holsters For 1911 Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEFORMATERIALHAND ORIENTATION
Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder
$$$$1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, SpringfieldHigh Quality LeatherRight Hand
Barsony Shoulder Holster
$$Full Size 9mm 40 45Full Size 9mm 40 45 caliber semi-auto pistols with 4.5-5.5 inch barrel lengthRight / Left Hand
XCH Ambidextrous Shoulder Holster
$$$1911 type pistols, Defender, Commander, Ruger SR1911 CMD, Sig Sauer P238/P938, Ruger SR1911CMD, Sig Sauer P232, Makarov, Polish P64, FEG PA-63, Bersa Thunder .380, Tokarev (TT-33), Zastava M57, Zastava M70A, Zastava M88A subcompact handgunsHigh quality genuine leatherRight / Left Hand
Armadillo Shoulder Holster
$$$1911 Models From 3" to 5"Hand Crafted from quality cow hideRight Hand Draw
International Military Antiques WWII Shoulder Holster
$$Colt .45ACP M1911/A1 Pistol100% genuine leatherRight Hand
Under Control Tactical Concealed Shoulder Holster
$Glock, Springfield, Taurus, MTAC, Kimber, Walther,Beretta, Ruger, ColtSuper rugged nylonRight / Left Hand

Wrap Up

One of the best things about shoulder holsters is that they’re comfortable to wear whether you’re standing, moving, or sitting. Unlike other concealed carry options like ankle holsters  they won’t interfere with your natural motions, and you can wear them comfortably for a long time without any problems.

As you could see in our shoulder holster reviews and buying guide, finding the right model is not a matter of cost or looks. If you want to make sure you find the best shoulder holster for 1911, you should look for a functional and not necessarily an attractive model.

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