Finding the right holster for the job is not easy and often frustrating. If you are like me then somewhere in the back of your closet or garage is a box of holsters that didn’t work out. The majority of my discarded holsters are for 1911s or revolvers- their weight and size make holster selection difficult. I’ve always been disappointed with offerings at big box retailers with thermo-molded and paddle style holsters. I don’t want to wrap my 1911 in plastic or kydex, I want nice leather.
Recently, I was shopping at a local gun store when I discovered 1791 Gunleather. Immediately I could tell this was not your average holster. The soft thick leather, reinforced stitching, and classic brown leather all screamed quality. I left the store that day without purchasing one and found myself still thinking about it hours later, but I knew nothing about the company or brand. Luckily, they were exhibiting at the NRA show just a week later.
I stopped by their booth during the show and got some more information about the company. 1791 Gunleather has been making holsters and leather products for the past 2 years. Their products are 100% American made, featuring Certified American Heavy Native Steerhide. Stemming from 4 generations of professional leather craftsmen, 1791 products are in a league of their own, and all come with a lifetime warranty. After hearing their history and seeing their passion, I had to get one in my hands. They were kind enough to send me the BH1 1911 open top belt holster and the RVH2S K-Frame revolver holster for this review.
Taking the holsters out of the package, right away you notice the quality of the leather. It’s thick and formed well. The reinforced stitching and layered leather accents are flawless. You can tell these holsters were made by a true leather artisan and it feels amazing; the craftsmanship is on another level. The BH1 arrived in Stealth Black and the RV2HS in Classic Brown.
Both holsters arrived relatively stiff, which is expected with new leather. My SIG 1911 TTT fit like a glove in the BH1 and my S&W 586 L-Comp looks gorgeous in the RVH2S. This is a good sign of a well-fitting leather holster. If my gun holstered with no effort I’d be worried about retention later, but I can tell these will break in nicely. Putting both holsters on the belt for the first time was slightly difficult, but once tightened the holsters formed around my hip comfortably.
Drawing from the BH1 for the first time was pleasant. Retention is firm but not too tight, allowing for a quick and easy draw. The gun sits with a slight forward cant allowing for a natural draw position. The thick leather and surface area against the belt provides even weight distribution and doesn’t cause my pants to sag. Wearing at the 3 o’clock position, the gun is held close to the body and would be easy to conceal with a button-up shirt. My mobility is not impacted at all when using this holster which is a huge plus. I can hold my arms in a natural position without feeling like I have a huge brick on my hip. Holstering the gun is easy and can be done without looking. I like how they added a second layer of leather on the top of the holster to reinforce its strength holding it open. The longer I wear this holster the more I like it and the better it feels.
The RVH2S construction and design makes me forget that I’m carrying my 2.5lb S&W 586. It has just the right amount of forward cant to position the gun comfortably against the body and could be easily concealed with a dress shirt. Drawing from the holster for the first time had some resistance. I could see where the leather was dragging against the front sight and leather dust blocked the view of the tritium in front sight. I expect this to go away after use. The holster is comfortable to wear and doesn’t limit mobility whatsoever.
Both holsters give me full confidence my firearm isn’t going anywhere.
To speed up the break-in process, I used the plastic bag trick to wrap my pistols and placed them in the holsters overnight. The next morning, I could tell both holsters stretched just a bit and fit my guns just how I wanted.
I’ve only had the holsters for a few weeks now, but they are getting more comfortable each day. I find them to be much more comfortable than any paddle or Kydex holster I used in the past (for these guns). The stitching and leather are holding up and shows no signs of deterioration. I can easily say this is the most comfortable OWB holster I own.
One of my favorite things about 1791 holsters is the price. The BH1 has an MSRP of $51 and the RVH2S $53. Comparable holsters from big names like Galco or DeSantis are well over $80. I don’t know of another holster at this quality level and price point.
Living in Texas, it’s hot 11 months out of the year and I rarely get the chance to carry my large frame pistols. Most days I carry an XDS IWB with a White Hat Obsidian Kydex/leather hybrid tuck style holster or a S&W 642 in a DTOM IWB Buffalo hide holster. Having the 1791 holsters, I can now comfortably carry my 1911 and 586 when I want to. They are the only OWB holsters I currently use.
Click here to browse all 1791 holsters.