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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

MSRP: $89.95

(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.

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  1. I have a question for the TX readers. Would the printing in the third picture from the top be enough to get you in trouble?

    • It depends on the cop I’m sure. I wouldn’t be comfortable printing that hard, but it looks like Nick is pulling his shirt against the holster to show a “worst case scenario”.

  2. That third picture down looks like it prints badly. I don’t think it looks like a strange shape, it looks completely gun shaped. You are really comfortable with that level of printing?


        • Seriously Jason? Your reading comprehension sucks, Leghorn was showing an absolute worse case of printing to show the gun still doesnt print as badly as some other holsters will.

          Seriously dude?

          • Um, worst case is a case that can happen, it’s just the worst one. There was no mention of what he had to do to create it, did he pull his shirt in an unusual manner or did he simply twist his torso?

            You don’t have to be so rude to someone you don’t know. There is about a 50% chance that the disk drive in your computer is using circuits that I have designed in the last 10 years. What do you do?

    • I’m not comfortable with that level of printing at all, but compared to the way other holsters print in similar situations it’s a marked improvement.

      Personally I like to have two layers of clothing between my gun and someone’s eyeballs at all times.

  3. How comfortable are you with snapping the safety off while the gun is still pointed at your leg?

    • More comfortable than Tex Grebner, at least.

      If I was using an active retention holster I’d have some reservations, but since my trigger finger doesn’t have to do jack squat I’m comfortable pulling with the safety off.

  4. Nick – I think we’ve got some grade inflation! 5 stars for ease of use when you have to remove your belt to put the holster on and off? Snaps or clips are way more convenient.

    And 5 stars for function despite the printing? Seriously, if you bend over in that thing you’ll print like crazy.

    I had a Wilson, but returned it. The thing that really bugged me about Wilson holsters is how high they ride. Check out where the trigger guard is relative to the belt. Kind of like the old 70’s ‘high-ride’ holsters. It sits much higher than my Sparks iwb VM2. In the Wilson, the gun isn’t nearly as stable as in the Sparks. Also, sitting lower in the trousers conceals better – which also does a really great job of concealing and holding the pistol in close.

    I’m thinking 3 stars – max. But on the upside, the Wilson holster is very shiny.

  5. His shirt definitely looked like it had been pulled tight to the side for and example, I’m wearing the exact holster right now and I have a bit of a belly. My compact Colt is sucked up and a loose dri fit t shirt is all I have on and if I reach up with my strong side hand the only print is the plastic butt plate of a magazine. It’s also lined to protect the finish. Wilson has done it again with perfection . BTW, Reading is fundamental as cqb drills!

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