Holsters are a very personal thing. Most people who concealed carry will have a box or bin full of holsters because of the nature of holsters. Most universal holsters end up being universally lousy. So we end up getting holsters for individual guns and for various purposes. That excellent drop leg tactical holster fits a completely different niche than a deep concealment holster for use with a suit. Then there are all sorts of little things like how a holster may require wearing different size clothing. Unlike for my normal rig, I had to buy a pair of pants one size larger to accommodate a 1911 in my waistband. I’ve heard from women that there can be some issue trying to mesh good fashion and conceal carry, fortunately for me, fashion is not something I know. In any event, it is always good to have multiple options for concealed carry.
We were contacted by Craft Holsters asking if we would like to do a review. I hadn’t heard of Craft Holster before, so I look into them and learned that they are a distributor of several European brands. I ended up getting from them a LT 21/1 black leather appendix carry holster for the Colt M45A1. Craft Holsters also offered a variety of other options for the M45A1.
It took about two weeks for the holster to ship. I received the Falco branded holster in nice plain easy to open packaging. Right out of the package the retention was good, no fitting or stretching required.
The belt loop is mounting on a strap allowing you to tuck your shirt in over the holster. I didn’t try doing this as I prefer to wear my shirts untucked.
Retention is very important. It could range from awkward to disastrous if your pistol falls out of the holster unintended, yet you need to be able to quickly and easily get the weapon when it is necessary.
The classic test for retention is to place an unloaded pistol in the holster and shake it above a pillow. This isn’t always a test that will accurately reflect how well the holster will hold a pistol, but it is considered the standard test. This holster holds the pistol well and the draw is easy. It has loosened up a little after the hundred or so draws I have done from it, but it still holds the pistol well.
Some inside the waistband holsters will collapse when the pistol is drawn, making holstering nearly impossible. Not the case with this holster. I found reholstering to be easy.
Appendix carry has grown in popularity recently, and there are some good arguments that it is the most superior form of concealed carry for the fighting handgun. I don’t think I would suggest it for the pure novice as the muzzle stays near and points at parts of body we would rather not harm. Once someone is competent and confident that they can handle a firearm doing tasks like holstering and unholstering with out shooting them selves, then appendix carry is something to look into. Appendix carry keep the firearm in a location less likely to be touched by others in casual interaction, and provides a very fast draw even in adverse situations such as when in a grappling fight.
I believe it was Jeff Cooper that said something along the lines of, “Handguns aren’t suppose to be comfortable, they are suppose to be comforting.” Now days we prefer to have both. When you first wear a new holster, you are not going to be used it is, and it is likely to be uncomfortable. This usually changes over time. I’ve never concealed a 1911 before, so that is a fair sized chuck of steel next to my groin that I was not used to. I found the LT 21/1 immediately comfortable when standing or laying down. I even slept with it on. Sitting was not so comfortable, I found my self slouching to try and get more comfortable. This will change as I wear it more, and perhaps adjusting how far left or right it is worn. When wearing a new holster, there is a bit of time when your body has to get used to it. I hadn’t quite found the sweet spot. But this is fairly common when trying out a new holster. You need to take time to get adapted to it.
I usually find it easy to be critical of stuff I work with. I didn’t find anything that I thought was an issue with the LT21/1 Holster. I’d prefer for the magazine catch to be covered on a concealment holster, but adding leather there might make it harder to get a high firm grasp on the grip when drawing. While wearing this I never had the safety swipe off or the mag catch get pressed. So it is a non-issue.
I like this holster and would recommend it, but for me, I think I will stick to carrying my plastic wonder-nines. But it is comforting to know that I have a good option for the 1911.