When RF handed me the Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry 1911 last year he threw in a leather holster that came with the gun. Until that point I had been firmly in the “inside the waistband” camp in terms of holster location, as from a logical standpoint it just makes sense to leave as little of the gun as possible visible. But this new holster was an “outside the waistband” holster, and despite my personal preferences I decided to give it a try and see if it worked. And it worked damn well . . .
My first impression of the holster, like most things Wilson combat makes, is that the fit and finish of the item are impeccable. All holster manufacturers try to fit their holsters to the gun as closely as possible, but Wilson Combat’s holster is so closely fitted that it’s almost as if the holster was vacuum formed to the gun. They’ve even indented the serial number on the gun into the holster, or at least the relevant area.
The effect is a holster that is very comfortable to wear even against bare skin, and still retains the gun almost as well as an active retention holster.
I talk a little more about my personal reasons for switching from IWB to OWB in this Ask Foghorn article, but this review will focus on specifically how well this holster conceals my compact 1911. And as for the largest criteria, it passes with flying colors.
Despite the OWB design this holster still makes the 1911 disappear underneath my t-shirt. The angle at which the holster cants the gun keeps it from protruding too far and printing very much during normal wear.
Even under the worst conditions (and speaking of “worst conditions” feel free to ignore my gut there) the gun stays pretty flat to your body and doesn’t stick out much. Those who know what to look for will probably spot it right away, but to the casual uninformed observer it’s just a strange shape. Still, I don’t like to take chances and so usually throw a light shirt on over the t-shirt (as in the first picture) to add another layer of concealment.
As I said, the holster works great for concealing your gun. But what about getting it into the fight?
The leather composition of the holster means that there’s enough “give” in the material to allow you to hook your whole hand around the gun before drawing while still keeping the gun flush to your flesh the rest of the time. And when you’ve made the decision to draw, the gun simply slides right out of the holster.
One of the best features of this holster is this little depression in the upper portion of the body. On the surface it may seem like it was simply intended to mold to the shape of the gun for comfortable and secure carrying, but as soon as you draw for the first time you notice something. If you draw slowly, the gun comes out with the safety still on. But if you grab for the gun and apply a little pressure this little depression will actually snap off the safety for you. RF is always harping on 1911 style guns for having a manual safety, but with this little feature the chances of you forgetting to flip it off in the heat of the moment are extremely slim.
In short, the Wilson Combat Low Profile Holster is a fantastic OWB holster for the 1911 style handgun. It keeps the gun hidden yet ready for action and provides comfortable carrying all year round. As long as you have a 1911, that is.
Specifications: Wilson Combat Low Profile Holster
(Also available for full size 1911 handguns)
Ratings (out of five stars)
Ease of Use * * * * *
Slides straight onto the belt, easy to adjust the position on the fly.
Feel & Function * * * * *
A highly polished product.
Overall Rating * * * *
For 1911 concealed carry accept no substitutes. Unless you want an IWB holster, in which case WC makes those too. Stay tuned for a review.