testtest

Leather holster

Couple things.

I just started carrying my new 1911. The holster I bought is a leather one with a thumb strap. Everything is still tight and when I attempt to button it, the manual thumb safety will sometimes come disengaged. I can sort maneuver back to safety with the thumb strap engaged. I'm a bit apprehensive about carrying it with one in the chamber until I'm a little more comfortable. Mostly a psychological thing I believe. I have zero issues carrying my hellcat and Glock (both striker fire) but this is a new gun to me.

So my question is that thumb safety concern an issue if I carry it red? (One in the chamber, hammer to the rear) The grip safety seems mechanically sound.

My other question is also holster related. In this case, I've heard of western folks, Buffalo Bill in particular, talk about covering the inside of their holsters with wax to make drawing easier. Does anyone do this?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220107_210105924_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20220107_210105924_HDR.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 75
Couple things.

I just started carrying my new 1911. The holster I bought is a leather one with a thumb strap. Everything is still tight and when I attempt to button it, the manual thumb safety will sometimes come disengaged. I can sort maneuver back to safety with the thumb strap engaged. I'm a bit apprehensive about carrying it with one in the chamber until I'm a little more comfortable. Mostly a psychological thing I believe. I have zero issues carrying my hellcat and Glock (both striker fire) but this is a new gun to me.

So my question is that thumb safety concern an issue if I carry it red? (One in the chamber, hammer to the rear) The grip safety seems mechanically sound.

My other question is also holster related. In this case, I've heard of western folks, Buffalo Bill in particular, talk about covering the inside of their holsters with wax to make drawing easier. Does anyone do this?
That was a while back, but recently do not wax or use conditioners. I would think conditioners on the outside would be ok? Several on here might disagree! From saddle soap or other conditioners we used for saddles, bridals or other tac related equipment used on equine was done for longevity and beauty against the weather. Might not be the case for holsters?
 

TidalWave

Professional
1) I do not see any particular problem with wax and the gun. Give the wax time to penetrate the leather in open air (no gun in it), overnight perhaps (?) and make sure there’s no excess prior to putting the gun in it. I see several potential products on Amazon just by searching ‘leather wax’.
One thing: I recently started using Ballistol for cleaning & also lubrication. I notice that it’s also good for leather (see label or website).

2) I have a 1791 holster for my 1911 and noticed that thumb safety issue. Snapping the strap shut with the hammer pulled back at least has the strap in the way of the hammer, should it fall. (As shown in your pic).
But I gotta say, I’m uneasy with it. You’ll just have to consider all options: nothing in the chamber, strap between hammer & slide, or hammer down with strap behind the hammer.

I don’t carry anyway, so it’s not an issue for me. I really had no need of a holster; just bought it for the heck of it ! And the 1791’s looked classy to me:)
 
Last edited:
Tex !!!
One post of yours says u don’t have any leather holsters….
These two 1791s both look like they got a lot of leather - if not 100%.
Or are my eyes THAT bad ??????
Lol !
Well I don't carry normally, but yes they are leather. I would never use any condition on this leather. I guess the reasoning behind the "no conditioner/wax" is that it can make it to soft and loose retention over time.
 

TSiWRX

Professional
This old thread on the 1911Forums has some great information from a couple of noted holster-makers: https://www.1911forum.com/threads/help-my-thumbbreak-holster-snaps-my-safety-off.62452/ - Matt Del Fatti and Tony Kanaley, for instance, both contributed to that thread.

If your holster is indeed properly designed for cocked-and-locked carry (and note that there are 1911-specific holsters which are designed for hammer-down carry), your current issue now, @Wannabewoodsman , should resolve after proper break-in of the holster.

That said, as both of those noted gentlemen pointed out in that thread, because of the variations specific to the 1911 platform, the fitting of even a properly designed thumb-break can be problematic. Changing the thumb safety to a different OE option or an aftermarket solution may or may not improve compatibility. Alternatively, you can contact the holster maker, to see if they can tweak the fit or otherwise make-right (as you can see Kanaley offering to do so, in that cited thread).

In terms of breaking-in a new, high-quality leather holster, I like to follow the advice given on the Milt Sparks FAQ -
https://www.miltsparks.com/questions.php .....

Milt Sparks Holsters said:

My holster is too tight! What's the best way to break it in?​

Tightness in a new holster is not uncommon and is much preferable to the alternative. If the draw is a little stiff at first, it is recommended that you work with it to see if it doesn't loosen up with a bit of use. About 25 to 50 presentations should be a good indicator of whether the holster will break in sufficiently on its own or if maybe a little blocking out of the leather is needed. There are many variables as to why a holster would be excessively tight ranging from the texture of your gun’s finish to changes in climate or humidity from where the holster is made. Regardless of the reason, a too-tight holster can easily be remedied by the end user with a method we have been recommending to customers for over 30 years.

To block out (stretch) your new holster, first UNLOAD your pistol or revolver and place the gun into the 4 mil plastic bag that your new holster was packaged in. Then carefully insert the bagged gun all the way into the holster. DO NOT wet or spray the holster with any solution to aid in the stretching process.The blocking out process as described above will in no way harm the crisp detailed molding of your new holster nor will it ruin its retention qualities. It simply stretches the leather a few thousandths of an inch larger than the gun. The amount of stretching time needed for satisfactory results range from a just a few minutes to overnight. If you have any concerns or need clarification, please call us and we are happy to talk you through the process.

I would also stick to the holster appearance maintenance advice given there. There's a reason why the words "Milt Sparks" is spoken-of with reverence, where it comes to high-quality leather holsters.
 
Last edited:
This old thread on the 1911Forums has some great information from a couple of noted holster-makers: https://www.1911forum.com/threads/help-my-thumbbreak-holster-snaps-my-safety-off.62452/ - Matt Del Fatti and Tony Kanaley, for instance, both contributed to that thread.

If your holster is indeed properly designed for cocked-and-locked carry (and note that there are 1911-specific holsters which are designed for hammer-down carry), your current issue now, @Wannabewoodsman , should resolve after proper break-in of the holster.

In terms of breaking-in a new, high-quality leather holster, I like to follow the advice given on the Milt Sparks FAQ -
https://www.miltsparks.com/questions.php .....
That was a process for the semi-fit holster I have. I will add that if you use plastic wrap (4-6 wraps) around your gun and then leave it holstered about 15 minutes it worked for the 1791 holsters I have. Still have good retention.
 
A LEO friend gave me a tip to waterproof my leather holsters without affecting stiffness or retention. Using a liquid wax made for leather, apply a small amount to your finger, rub lightly and rapidly on the outside of the holster only, reapplying small amounts to your finger until the job is done, let sit for about 3 minutes, and use a soft cloth to lightly wipe it off. This will waterproof your leather holster without softening or affecting retention. Some holster makers sell this for up to $20 for a small bottle which Tandy Leather sells for $5 or $6 and the ingredients are the same. If your holster gets wet, wipe it down, let it air dry for several days, make sure it's completely dry, wipe it down thoroughly, and reapply as shown above. I've been doing this for many years now with no problems. It takes less than 5 Minutes and your holster will look great.
 

SSmith

Elite
I really like the 1791 holsters, but my last 2 holsters have been lock leather holsters. High quality, great fit, comfortable IWB and has a 'locking mechanism' inside the holster. I have tried to shake out my 1911 4" and cannot, yet after just a few practice draws, I cannot really even feel the lock. Its a smooth easy draw while keeping the pistol secure. The tension locking mechanism has a screw adjustment so its easy to get it right where you want it to be. I have 9 different holsters some leather, some kydex, some hybrid. The lock leather is my go to ATM. I do like my kydex IWB for my 3" Taurus.
 
A LEO friend gave me a tip to waterproof my leather holsters without affecting stiffness or retention. Using a liquid wax made for leather, apply a small amount to your finger, rub lightly and rapidly on the outside of the holster only, reapplying small amounts to your finger until the job is done, let sit for about 3 minutes, and use a soft cloth to lightly wipe it off. This will waterproof your leather holster without softening or affecting retention. Some holster makers sell this for up to $20 for a small bottle which Tandy Leather sells for $5 or $6 and the ingredients are the same. If your holster gets wet, wipe it down, let it air dry for several days, make sure it's completely dry, wipe it down thoroughly, and reapply as shown above. I've been doing this for many years now with no problems. It takes less than 5 Minutes and your holster will look great.
I make my own water proof boot polish. I just made some but could make more and not add the color (brown iron oxide AKA rust) and it would do the same. Adding less beeswax would make it even softer.
 
Top