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By Tim Stetzer

I’ve been carrying a pistol concealed for over 30 years now as both a cop and a civilian. Over that time I’ve tried a lot of carry methods and various brands and styles of holsters.

Like many of you, I have a bin of hardly-used holsters, and that’s after giving a lot of them away over the years. With all the trial and error though I have found that works best for me is a low profile, inside the waistband (IWB) rig with a good clip that I can easily put on and take off.

I have a variety of rigs that work with my typical CCW pistols, but I needed something for my work gun. While I maintain a concealed carry permit, which is reciprocal with a fair number of other states, I find that carrying under LEOSA, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, or HR 218, covers me better when traveling.

The act allows qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired LEOs to carry concealed in any jurisdiction in the United States. I’d love to see Constitutional carry nationwide for everyone, but until that happens I work within the rules and that means carrying a pistol that I’ve qualified with on the job.

Currently I’m using a GLOCK G45 in 9mm with a Holosun 507C mounted. I had holsters for it and my GLOCK 23, but none that accommodate optics. When I started looking around for something that met my criteria I kept seeing ads for 1791 Gunleather Kydex IWB Holster and gave it a whirl.

Okay, it says they’re a leather company right in their name, and they are. But they’re a holster company and make a wide variety of styles, including these Kydex IWB models. The holster retails for $64.99, which is competitive with other similar quality Kydex holsters.

What appealed to me were the Kydex construction, because I sweat a lot in the summer, the rig’s slim overall lines, and the style clip is one I’ve used before and that I know works for me.

The 1791 IWB is set up to allow for suppressor-height sights, optics, and extended threaded barrels, so it can handle can deal with however you like to carry your EDC pistol. The clip is adjustable for cant, and you can adjust the tension on the holster if needed.

When I got the holster in hand I was impressed with the mold quality and the fact that the edges had all been rounded so they won’t bite into your skin.

The sweat guard seemed a little high to me initially. It was much higher than on some of my other IWB holsters. When I snapped my GLOCK in place though, it rode just to the top of the slide. It provides a perfect sweat barrier to cover the whole gun and nothing more.

The Kydex IWB Holster has very good retention. There’s a very positive click when inserting the gun, letting you know it’s locked into place. I can shake it upside down and it stays in place. That said, draws are smooth and I don’t have to excessively tug at the pistol to pull it free. I’ve also never had the holster come out with the gun as I’ve seen happen with other inferior clips.

I’ve had no issues carrying with a belt in jeans or shorts. Could it work without a belt? Possibly, but not with the GLOCK 45. It might work with a smaller gun, but I’ve never been a fan of carrying a gun without a belt.

I typically go with appendix carry, sometimes shifting to a strong side five o’clock position, depending what I’m doing. I’m able to carry the G45 comfortably in both positions although the full-sized butt of the pistol is more noticeable when carried at five o’clock, at least under light summer clothing. That’s an issue with my choice of gun, not the holster.

One-hand draws are easy with my offhand being used to clear my shirt out of the way. Being Kydex, re-holstering is also very doable.

My overall experience with the 1791 Kydex IWB holster has been very positive with no problems to date. If you’re a fan of trim, sweat-resistant holsters that do what they’re supposed to with minimal bulk, I’d definitely recommend giving one a try.

Most of us have those drawers full of holsters for a lot of reasons, but when I find a model that works for me, as this one does, I stick to it and I get more for other handguns. That’s what I’ve found happening with the 1791 Kydex IWB holster.


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  1. I carry the same. Simple IWB 1.5″ loop no thrills no frills – aside from being light bearing and rds cut. DCC monos are my go to belt clips now days. Very reliable, slim, strong and metal. But I’ve never enjoyed holsters with those belt notches that protrude or the “wings”. They always get in the way of taking it off and I don’t notice any difference when wearing as far as keeping the grip in towards the body. Granted, everyone’s body is different. Some people need them, some people need a pad like protrusion on the bottom of the holster by the barrel to push the top of the gun towards the body more. I’ve also found those odd and having to lean back further when drawing.

    But I remember my first all in one AIWB rig, you know, the kinds that carry a mag with them too. What a game changer. The right gun really does make those the most comfortable carries and the easiet to conceal, at least for me. But in recent years I found myself being more comfortable spread out a bit more with a separate IWB and mag pouch. Kind of flattens out the belt buckle portion and doesn’t mean I have to wear my belt some weird way. I also gave up on “reinforced” belts. Just get a good thick inner duty Velcro belt and it’s so much more comfortable, and also flexes just right where it needs to without worry of a thin polymer inner eventually snapping.

    My most recent favorite though, a hybrid leather and kydex OWB from Blackpoint. Great for 3 o’clock winter carries under big jackets when I don’t feel like AIWB.

    When it comes to holsters and belts, just K.I.S.S., keep it simple, stupid. And don’t buy bulky shit like Alienware that offer “all in one” deals – or the serpa for all you OWB tacticool carriers, ffs time to move on.

  2. LGS used to hire a custom holster maker, but with the market so glutted and with off-the-shelf stuff good enough for most, there wasn’t any money in keeping him on. They still have a whole box of unmolded kydex sheets in the back.

  3. Plastic is the way to go, gunms, holsters, clothes and shoes.
    Plastic is the future.
    They can even make an island out of it.

  4. I like good leather. I have a little bit of it. Still, if you live in a hot, humid environment, especially if you’re carrying IWB, kydex can not be beat.

    • Curious does water buffalo hide work in a humid environment?

      Kydex is technically irritating and drawing a gun out of a kydex holster sounds like an Amish family driving their buggy to town.

    • Concealment Express makes a similar product. Only difference is you need to (or not) get one of those “claw” attachments if you want to change the ride. (I don’t AIWB) I’ve had two so far without complaint. Amazon has ’em and they’re quick to ship.

  5. Concerning the article, three things.

    1. Monetized tracking links embedded within, very uncool giving lesser or unprotected gun owners identities to the enemy.

    2. Secondly, while it’s nice they’re making concessions to optics & suppressor height sights; can we get everyone on board with the fact there are quite a lot of peeps flexing lights & or lasers sometime this decade? It is beyond old having a dearth of companies that can accommodate even the most common weapon lights, or optics. And I know for a fact the molding forms are out there, and where to purchase them, so don’t give me some bs line of excuses.

    I don’t have time to make everything myself, even though I do often roll my own. A necessity, when non-standard or rare is on the table. Try finding pouches for shotgun magazines for instance, or god forbid drums…

    3. There is a load of people like I popping a Roland Special. While it is nice that 1791 Gunleather does think ahead planning for extended barrels or comps with which have seen a renewed surge of interest in recent years, again this is largely an industry wide ignore issue and makes shopping new holsters borderline frustrating with few other makers like ANR, T1C, T-rex even worth visiting their sites, doubly true when equipped with lights.

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