My standard, everyday belt is nicely broken-in and very comfortable. It’s also not a great choice for concealed or open carry. The belt sags with the weight of a carry gun and isn’t stout enough to accommodate various clip-on carry holsters.
Fortunately, I recently found 1791 GunLeather, which makes carry belts and a wide variety of holsters, most of them built with heavy, American steer hide. I also discovered that 1791 recently launched a new line of holsters, the “Project Stealth” series, which combine steer hide with state-of-the-art flexible carbon fiber.
So, I ordered a 1791 Gun Belt and two versions of the Project Stealth holsters and began to wear them.
The 1791 GunLeather belt and the holsters are very comfortable to wear and my pistols were always very secure. The only difficulty I had was with the holster made for 1911’s, and whether that was a problem with the holster or my clothing? I’m not sure.
I ordered a Gun Holster Belt in the Stealth Black color. (It is also available in Classic Brown.) The belt is thick—.212-inches, according my calipers, while my everyday belt comes in at a sad .125-inches. The Holster Belt is also 1.5-inches wide. So, of course, it was stiff. But with some creative folding and twisting, the Gun Holster Belt loosened up quickly.
The Gun Holster Belt is dressy-looking enough to be worn to dinner at a nice restaurant. The buckle is heavy duty and fastens securely. I used the belt while carrying up to a full-sized 1911 and it never sagged or pulled away from my body. It also held the holstered 1911 in place very firmly.
I also ordered and received two version of the Project Stealth leather-and-carbon-fiber carry holsters: the Open Top OWB Multi-Fit Belt Holster, Size 2, which fits many Glocks and other pistols including my EDC Smith & Wesson M&P 45 Shield, and the Open Top OWB 1911 Belt Holster, Size 1, which fits most 1911’s with four-inch and five-inch barrels.
Again, these were new holsters and stiff, especially the Open Top 1911 and my full-sized 1911, a Remington R1 Enhanced, a double-stack in .45 AUTO. But I gave the holster some gentle stretching and bending for a few minutes, then slid in my R1 and gave it a few side-to-side twists. It fit fine after that—it held my 1911 firmly but the pistol was still easy to pull out.
And, the 1911 Holster fit my Ruger SR1911 in 9MM without any coaxing, though the pistol is admittedly slimmer than the R1 Enhanced.
The problem I experienced with this holster is that it wouldn’t fit most of my pants, even three pairs of supposedly “tactical” pants. The belt loops were just too close. The one pair of pants that did finally work was an old pair of Wrangler blue jeans.
I experienced no such problems with the Open Top OWB Multi Fit Belt Holster and carrying my 45 Shield. The holster and pistol fit firmly up against my 1791 belt and the pistol drew out easily.
With both holsters, the angle of carry was slightly canted to the front and drawing out put me into the Low Ready position, with the front of the barrel aimed down and slightly forward. As they are outside the belt models, both holsters are suitable for open carry, but can be used for concealed carry, too, with a jacket or other covering clothing.
The carbon fiber insert in the front of each holster looks cool. The carbon fiber should be more resilient to every day wear and tear than just leather, and for those carrying a handgun outside the belt and in the open, this added protection will be a plus.
For the concealed carrier? Extra toughness and product longevity are of course nice, though I don’t think a holster used for concealed carry is going to experience a lot of wear and tear on the outside front.
1791 has made some very nice holsters with the Project Stealth series, comfortable and handy, and if you strap them on with a 1791 Gun Belt? You’ll have a safe and solid carry rig which will last for many years.
1791 Gun Holster Belt $59.99.
1791 Open Top OWB Multi-Fit Belt Holster, Size 2, $99.99.
1791 Open Top OWB 1911 Belt Holster, Size 1, $99.99.
Visit 1791 Gun Leather to learn more about their product lineup by clicking HERE.