The Best 1911 OWB Holster Reviews & Buying Guide 2023 

Designed by John Browning, the 1911 is still a popular handgun of choice for a lot of concealed carry gun owners.  It’s a legendary and iconic gun that was used by the US military for decades, first adapted in 1911.

Today, it’s still a solid choice for concealed carriers because it is a true classic weapon, and in fact, it’s been adapted by gun manufacturers that make their version of this pistol. But the question is “what’s the best 1911 OWB holster?”

Best 1911 OWB Holster

If you have a 1911, you might be looking for the 1911 holsters that fit it perfectly and are comfortable to wear, whether you’re hunting, at the range, outdoors, or on or off duty.

You might have tried different OWB holsters and IWB holsters for your pistol, each having unique features and qualities, but then still might have been searching for great 1911 holsters for everyday carry.

In this article, I’ve collected and reviewed the best OWB holsters for 1911 and their specific qualities that make them an excellent choice.

Which IWB or OWB holster suits for 1911?

Both IWB or OWB holsters can suit a 1911 pistol, but I recommend an outside the waistband holster for this gun because it is quite large and heavy; thus, tucking a holster inside the pants or inside the waistband can be uncomfortable especially when driving or sitting.

IWB holsters also need you to buy pants, which are a size larger than your usual size.

The following products in this review should be able to help you choose the most comfortable holster for you.

How to choose the best OWB holster for 1911

There are some critical factors that must be considered when buying the best holsters for the 1911. I’ve highlighted them in the following sections.

Open or closed carry

Most would prefer an outside pants or outside the waistband holster for an open carry in locations where it is permitted.

So if you always wear a jacket on top of a shirt or maybe baggier shirts for a concealed carry or open carry, an OWB designed for this carry style may be for you.

Retention systems

There are active and passive retention systems available for holsters.

Some will have an automatic locking system that can lock inside the gun’s trigger guard wherein you need to depress a button to unlock your gun (active retention), while others will have friction-based or molding (passive retention).

Other holsters will have an adjustable retention done through a retention screw that you can adjust to achieve the perfect fit desired.

Thumb break

You’ll find this on holsters using a snap type of closure and some others are also on leather holsters.

While it can make drawing a bit slower, it can ensure that your gun stays in place and no one can take it that easily from you.

Sweat shield/sweat guard

This component in the holster covers the slide of the gun to prevent it from constantly being in contact with your skin or body.

It also offers protection to the gun in that sweat will be away from it.

Open top design?

This feature allows for a quick draw because it doesn’t have any over flaps or straps to hinder it.

Trigger guard protection

For safety, look for a holster that can cover the gun’s trigger guard completely to avoid any accidental firing that would cause self injury or injury to other people.


An OWB holster should be comfortable to wear, so look for a design that allows this like a slim profile, lightweight, and adjustments of features like carry angle and ride height.


A good holster must be able to deal with the harshest weathers and temperature changes and should keep its form and shape even for many years.

The Best 1911 OWB Holsters

1. CYTAC 1911 Full Size Holster for Five Inch Barrel Length

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There are a lot of choices for a gun holster, like an IWB holster, leather holster, or nylon holster, but not all of them will fit the 1911.

I find this CYTAC full size gun holster to be one of the most suitable holsters for this quite large handgun for its solid features.

These 1911 OWB holsters have an automatic locking system that keeps the weapon tight and secure in it.

For safety, the best holster from CYTAC is designed with Level 2 firearm retention, which locks on the trigger automatically when I put the weapon in it.

This active retention device automatic locking system gives me peace of mind either for open carry or concealed carry situations.

Whenever I holster my gun, it also makes a sound to let me know that the holster has locked my weapon in place.

In addition, this OWB model holster is specifically molded to the 1911, so having that perfect and nice fit to the gun is remarkable when compared to other holsters.

Moreover, it has 360-degree rotation that allows for quick adjustments of this OWB model holster, allowing for carrying position adjustments.

also allows for wearing on duty belts and fits belts up to two inches wide.

Its paddle attachment also has a smooth back, which makes it easier for me to slide this holster into my duty belt.

Its platform and holster body are strategically connected with a tooth device, too. There are also back screws in the paddle attachment for easy installation and removal of gun accessories.

I also found out that the best holster is compatible with variants 1911, Girsan 1911 MC, Browning Mark 3, and other 1911 pistols, but then I suggest checking your gun model and make before purchasing this great holster to ensure fit.

If you have a longer barrel gun, you won’t have a problem with this holster that has an open bottom to support it.

However, take note that this polymer holster is not for 1911 with full rail or Sig 1911 with Picatinny rail.

This model is also designed with an index finger release button that makes it easy to unlock a gun even with one hand.

Among the holster options out there, this CYTAC OWB holster is one of those that really stand out. You might want to check it out.


  • Fits five inch barrel specific models
  • Polymer construction for durability
  • Level 2 retention system
  • Smooth back paddle attachment
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Nice contour fit


  • Stiffness

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2. We The People Holsters OWB Kydex Holster for 1911 3.25-inch Defender No Rail

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This We the People Holsters 1911 holster features an adjustable ride height and carry angle, has a pull on closure type, and is made of Kydex material, as an overview of its features.

This outside the waistband carry style Kydex holster is left hand oriented and is used by law enforcement people, duty officers, and personal preservation enthusiasts.

This We The People Holsters holster is specifically molded for the 1911 pistol 3.25 inch model, and it is not suitable for rails.

These holsters are designed for open carry, and one of its cool features is its Kydex construction material.

It is a rugged holster material that can withstand different elements and temperatures, being able to last longer than other holster materials like leather, which can lose its form and shape over time.

The best 1911 holster doesn’t only offer a custom fit, but it’s also designed with quality components.  As mentioned, it’s manufactured using Kydex that doesn’t rot.

But aside from durability and snug fit, it’s also designed to be comfortable, so wearing it on duty or for hours won’t be uncomfortable.

Another thing I appreciate about the design of this OWB holster is comfort incorporated in it.

Aside from adjusting to any carry style, it is also easy to adjust to my preferred ride height and cant without any special tools required.

This helps me come up with my preferred holster tilt for a convenient draw.

The open carry OWB holster also comes with a lifetime warranty, adding to confidence of buying this high quality holster.

I also liked the versatility of this adjustable holster that can accommodate carry styles and draw –behind the hip, strong side, appendix, or cross carry.

This gives users with more holstering options based on their desired style.

The holster is also washable and requires no maintenance. It is waterproof and heat proof, too. The thick material is also rugged enough to maintain its look and appeal for life!

Overall, the holster offers ultimate security for my 1911 gun for its cool, adjustable design.

The holster sits outside the pants but without putting much pressure on your body’s sensitive areas, and that’s thanks to the lightweight construction.


  • Simplistic design
  • Rugged and thick Kydex material
  • Doesn’t rot or lose its form
  • Washable and waterproof
  • Doesn’t require any maintenance


  • Feels a bit tight

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3. Galco Combat Master Belt Holster for 1911 5 Inch Barrel Lengths

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When shopping around for the right holster for 1911, you might be thinking about a leather holster for its nice fit, smooth draw, and authentic appeal.

There is so much to like about OWB leather holsters, and one outstanding leather holsters for 5-inch barrel lengths is this Combat Master holster from GALCO.

The everyday carry heavy gun holster with a passive retention device using good old friction and mold of the device is another solid choice for a good holster.

Your firearm holster sits outside your pants securely even if you move a lot.

Aside from the nice feel, this Galco Combat Master holster is made of premium saddle leather.  This is the ultimate holster material when it comes to classic appeal and look. It has a nice tan color that complements it well, too.

The holster also has a nice fit, and that’s thanks to the hand molding done in its manufacture to ensure a perfect contouring to the 1911’s shape.  It is an excellent quality leather holster, although pricier than nylon material holsters.

But while it’s not the most affordable holster on this list, it surely will capture your attention for its smooth and quiet draw offering.

Speaking of drawing speed, I noticed a very smooth draw ensuring drawing won’t be a struggle especially in tough situations.

The detailed molding also fits the gun perfectly, while also providing some retention system to prevent the gun from falling out of it.

I also appreciate that it has a butt-forward cant that offers a nice concealment even for a heavy gun.

Of the leather options, I find this Galco Combat Master holster also quite versatile in that it fits belts with up to 1.75 inches belt widths and that it has an open muzzle design.

Gun owners can also pick between a black finish with either a left or right hand design. They can also check this out if they have a double action revolver or semi automatic pistol.

Overall, the OWB carry Combat Master 1911 holster is one of the best OWB holsters for the 1911 for its secure firearm retention, high quality leather, accessible draw, and classic look. You might want to check out these Galco holsters for yourself, too.


  • Made in the USA and handcrafted
  • Silent draw
  • Premium saddle leather material
  • Quick and easy draw speed
  • Fits belts up to 1.75 inches wide


  • Strong chemical odor

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4. OUTBAGS USA NSC04 Nylon OWB Holster

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This black nylon holster for the 1911 is specifically designed and made for automatics and revolvers, but you might first want to check out your gun model before buying to ensure the right fit.

This OUTBAGS USA nylon holster is also available in left and right orientation models.

One of the things I liked about this holster for the 1911 gun is its inclusion of a magazine pouch. This is quite useful for accessories.

I also noticed that there is a thumb break in this nylon holster, and this works perfectly to prevent any delays when it comes to drawing your firearm, while also securing it into the holster at all times.

In addition this best 1911 holster is made with a removable belt clip, allowing for easy mounting to a belt or waistband.

This keeps the holster in place even with movements. It also has belt loops that allow for a more secure mounting to the user’s belt.

This SC Style OUTBAGS OWB holster also features a webbed spine, which ensures quick holstering, adding to the convenience and ease of use that it offers.

Moreover, this holster that fits belts up to two inches wide is more affordable than leather holsters, while also not compromising on the durability and quality you can get from a holster made by a reputable brand.

You can count on the integrity of this holstering device that can keep its good appearance for years.

The OWB holster is also compatible for different five inch barrel length firearms from manufacturers like ATI and Browning. However, take note that models with rails cannot be accommodated.

But then, remember that even the most comfortable holster can have its flaws.

Some people don’t like the feel of nylon best 1911 holsters. For this model, you also need to do some assembly, although it should not be a problem.

The instruction manual will be sent along with it.

Overall, this nylon holster for the 1911 handgun is a good quality holster with a magazine or accessories carrier and has a soft internal lining to avoid scratching of the gun’s surface.


  • Soft inner backing to protect the gun’s finish
  • Durable to last for many years
  • Comes with a magazine pouch
  • Suitable for many 5” without rail
  • More affordable than leather holsters


  • Some assembly needed

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5. Fobus C21 Standard Holster for 1911 Style Pistols Without Rail

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This Fobus 1911 holster for guns without a rail is another excellent choice that you might want to check out for yourself if you’re looking for a high quality holster that can last over the years.

It is made of the highest quality materials to ensure long lasting service and it is for different users like people in the military, tactical, surveillance, and home defense.

The black holster paddle C21 is compatible for 1911 (no rail only), making it one of the best 1911 holsters around for a lot of users.

I also would like to note that this OWB holster is extremely lightweight, weighing only two ounces.

This makes carrying it for many hours convenient and comfortable especially for people on duty or law enforcement using it as an everyday carry holster.

This product also features passive retention, which can let gun owners draw from it fast! It adds protection to anyone who should be making quick decisions in critical situations.

I also noticed its rubberized paddle component, which for me improves the stability and durability of this holster. More so, this holster for OWB also features a steel reinforced rivet attachment.

This is also waterproof, so using it in any weather won’t become a hassle for anyone. For maintenance, this plastic molded holster doesn’t require any, although you can also wash it if you want.

Finally, the manufacturer of OWB holsters for 1911 makes gun owners more confident to buy this holster that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Overall, I’d like to recommend this OWB holster if you’re looking for an affordable holster for everyday wear and carry. It’s lightweight and made of high quality materials, while also being maintenance free and durable.

One downside is that it can be tight for a fast draw especially in CQBs.


  • Washable and waterproof material
  • Heavy-duty, lifetime use
  • No maintenance needed
  • Simple design and good performance
  • Rubberized paddle adds stability


  • Tight for close quarter battles

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What is the best concealed holster for 1911 full size?

Both IWB and OWB holsters can be the best concealed holster for 1911 full size, provided you select a holster that is compatible with your handgun model – with or without rail – because some of the best 1911 holsters will not accommodate those with rails.

Check before buying a holster for satisfying results.

But nevertheless, the best 1911 holsters for the 1911 are ones that are designed to fit your gun because it will aid in retention and will make a more comfortable carry even for many hours. A snug fit can also allow for a quick draw.

Also, the 1911 holster should be one that is made of high quality materials to ensure long lasting use and performance.

A quality Kydex, nylon, or leather material can also help keep the integrity of the holster for heavy abuse and use.

It doesn’t also sag or lose its shape when worn and should not cause any movement or jitter of the gun.

And because the 1911 is not a small gun, great holsters should allow for comfortable carry.

What is the best material for OWB holster?

The answer to this can be subjective because gun owners will have their different preferences in terms of OWB best 1911 holsters.

Some available materials of a a good holster are plastic/polymer, leather, and nylon.

Sometimes, the answer to this is about comfort because the 1911 is quite a large gun.

For that reason, I select leather as the best material for an OWB holster because it is comfortable and easily moldable to offer a snug fit for the 1911.

Most IWB holsters or OWB holsters made of leather can offer not only comfort, though, but also a nice feel and look as well as silent access and draw to the firearm.

But whatever you select, be sure to get a holster with sufficient retention for the 1911, either a passive retention or an active retention device.

This will keep the gun secure in place and prevent its unnecessary movements, shakes, and jitters.

It is also important that you get one that can fully cover the trigger guard for added security and protection not just for yourself but also the people around you.


While IWB or OWB holsters are abundantly available now and are offered for guns with varying barrel lengths or have features like a thumb release, belt clips, sweat guard, thumb strap, a retention screw, belt loops, or light bearing models compatible, to name some, you should get a comfortable holster for 1911 gun because it’s not a small gun anyway.

These reviews of the best 1911 OWB holster should be able to aid you in the selection process.

Each featured holster for outside the waistband from brands like CYTAC, We the People Holsters, GALCO, OUTBAGS USA, and Fobus have their standout qualities, including material (nylon, plastic, leather), adjustable retention system, and adjustments.

Choose a 1911 holster based on your preference, budget, and carry style. As at the end of the day, it should be your comfort, convenience, protection, and safety that must win.

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