A 1911 is supposed to be in .45 ACP and should be carried in leather. So says St. John Moses Browning.
An exception could be made for a 1911 in 9 or 10mm, just don't go bragging about it.
The Tucker Gunleather HF1 holster rides on my hip SO much better than the previous Kydex holster I owned. It hugs my side. I can sit easily in my office chair and my truck without having to shift myself or the holster.
The Old Holster
I acquired a Colt Government Series 70 Mark IV .45 ACP in stainless steel. Please stop drooling on your keyboard or phone. You will ruin it.
I bought a molded Kydex holster with an inside the waistband hip-plate (not going to name the company I purchased it from). The gun rides outside the pants. It works. No doubt about it. It holds the gun.
However, you can say the same thing about using a sledgehammer to drive upholstery brads into the arm of a couch.
The Kydex holster slides around on my hip. More than once, it came off my pants while in the bathroom.
It also sticks out a lot from my side.
It sticks out so far it actually gets in the way. As you can see from the pictures, I'm not a small guy (but I am 70 pounds smaller than I used to be and more to go.) Anything that sticks out definitely gets in the way when I sit down.
At the office, I had slide into my office chair. In the truck, I had to get in and shift the holster around.
Furthermore, the holster is molded synthetics. St. John looked down on me with a small frown on his face.
The Kydex holster has a locking feature that releases by pushing a button-lever on the side. It's extremely effective. A logging chain and come-along winch probably could pull the gun free from the holster without hitting the release, but that would also tear the holster apart.
My First Tucker Gunleather Custom Holster
When I slipped the Slab Sides into the Tucker HF1 holster, St. John looked down, smiled and said, "Well done, son."
This is how a holstered 1911 is supposed to look.
The holster is custom molded to a 1911 frame. I even tried my RIA 1911 in 10mm and it rides just as well.
It is sewn and has reinforced stitches at points of significant torque. The forward belt loop is a separate piece of leather called the tab. It's dyed a Black Cherry; the main part is saddle tan. The two-toned look is awesome.
I opted for a Don't Tread on Me rattlesnake medallion. Tucker calls these "conchos." In case you don't wonder, Don't Tread On Me traces back to the Revolutionary War when Americans told the Brits to go play in the Atlantic Ocean without a ship.
That concho is fitting for an iconic American firearm.
As expected, the fit is tight to start with. In the first few days of wearing it, drawing required more effort than I wanted to invest. Over time as the leather learns the gun and how the holster is worn, it will release easier. It is the same process as breaking in a new pair of boots or a baseball glove.
Reaching down to draw, it is easier than the Kydex. My thumb slides across the top and my hand runs down the side. The strap is hit automatically. (I have to remember to depress the lock on the old Kydex Holster).
My thumb and the ham on my palm literally pops the strap's Snap open. From there, it's a smooth pull to put the gun in my hand, ready for action.
The Tucker holster just feels better when I draw.
The Last Word
Point blank - It is just far more comfortable than the synthetic one. This matters a lot. If your holster is not comfortable, you will look for reasons to quit carrying.
If you OWB carry, you need a holster you can depend on and one that you are comfortable with. When you need your piece, you do not need to worry about getting it out of the holster and in your hand.
When it comes to carrying a sidearm, looks do not matter. You and I are not carrying something for ornamentation. We pack a heater for protection. Tucker's holster looks good too.
Tucker Gunleather delivers more than I demand from a holster.
Having read all this, you may wonder why I'm relegating the 10mm to a Kydex holster. Having written all this, I've decided I won't. Next order from Tucker is another HF1 holster for the RIA 1911.