Any tips for 1911 carry?

During the last few months I’ve been changing some parts on my Kimber 10mm (full size) related to EDC rather than just range. It’s gotten to the point where if the next few range visits are satisfactory, I am considering carrying it, at least in the cooler weather. It’s highly likely that this will replace the times I carry my S&W 66-8 (carried OWB). Most likely, I will try it first with a high riding OWB at 3 0’clock, i.e the Milt Sparks 55BN or Galco Fletch.

I was wondering if any 1911 carriers had any tips, so as to learn from other’s mistakes and to plan my purchases out. I have good carry belts already. I’m 6’ and 200 lbs, 45" suit jacket size and 35" pant size.

Some questions, right off the bat:

  1. IWB 4-5 o’clock, does it interfere with lumber support when sitting (notciable for me when carrying a double stack 9mm), e.g in a car with bucket seats?
  2. Does the holster have to cover the safety? If not, are there any issues with the safety coming off during activity, e.g. shoveling. The safety lever seems extended, but it’s about as large as my S&W M&P M2.0 thumb safety (except the Kimber is not ambi and also requires slightly more pressure to deactivate).
  3. IWB 4-5 o’clock, does the grip print considerably if you have to bend over, e.g. grab something off the bottom shelf at a grocery store?
  4. Are there any advatanges to using Kydex? I usually use leather for my metal framed firearms, but I really like the tuckable clips on my Kydex holsters.

Any other tips from people that carry 1911’s?

I carry a 1911 most days. I prefer OWB at 3:30 or 4:00. In that position, it does not ‘print’ during most activity. Bending all the way over, it might, but I usually squat down if I have to do that. I ‘think’ guns will print a bit more if worn on the back vs side.

I can’t stand anything worn on my back if I am sitting, so can’t comment much on the lumbar part.

The holster should cover the trigger and safety (in my opinion). I don’t care for kydex, but it is very popular. I like leather because it forms to the body better.

Good holster and a GOOD belt is where I would start. Good luck, hopefully you will find what works without spending too much $! I have a lot gone through a lot of belts and holsters before finding what works best for me.


Just curious as to the changes you have made for EDC? I carry a Dan Wesson and love it. I personally have not had issues with it interfearing with the lumbar support. One thing you will find is that the 1911 isnt that bad to carry because they feel so much thinner than a double stack. I also carry at about 4:00 and I find the butt of the gun rides against my back nicely. I also carry at work and am a desk jockey and I still dont have any problems.

As for the safety, mine is covered. My holster has a sweat guard that goes pretty high up to keep the gun off my skin. One other thing is that my preference (and I am sure many will disagree) is that I prefer single-sided safeties on both my carry and match guns. That safety on the right side of the gun is just one more thing to catch on things and get bumped. I am carrying in an alien gear tuckable IWB holster and it does a great job of supporting a commander-sized 1911. It is a hybrid leather/kydex. I am a fan of leather, but appreciate the practicality of kydex. I dont have a print issue, but I typically dont bend at the waist to pick something up and it hasnt been an issue.


In relation to carry, I increased the tension on the sear, trigger return, and grip safety to maintain consistency with my other carry systems. I also fitted a new trigger because the factory trigger had noticable up and down play.

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  1. I don’t notice it.
  2. Only one of my 1911 holsters cover the safety. My 1911 has a Wilson Combat extended safety, and I have never had a problem with it disengaging unintentionally.
  3. As has been said already, if you over bend at the waist, it’ll probably print, but otherwise it doesn’t print much.
  4. I use leather and/or kydex. I don’t know the answer to this question.
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@Scotty you’ve got me by 20lbs, 2" in the waist and a couple in the shoulders, but I’m 2" taller . You should have no issues carrying a full size 1911. I have been carrying in a Bianchi #3S for the better part of 30 years and I have yet to find a reason to switch. The 3S has a hammer block thumb break which I have found to be essential, not for the safety coming off but for reaching over head. I dumped my Officers model when my polar fleece caught it as I was stretching to reach the top shelf. I’ve got a nice ding on the barrel bushing to remind me of that event. The other two things I REALLY like about it is the adjustable cant disk that connects the holster to the belt part, it allows an almost infinite cant of the gun and the belt part itself which has double snaps so you don’t have to lace the thing into your britches. I st the cant on mine so that the frame is in the same alignment as my rib cage, the gun disappears. I quit bending over at the waist decades ago, I take a knee or squat not just for flagging purposes but you are way off balance and highly vulnerable in that position. As far as car seats I have buckets and while I wouldn’t drive 6 hours with it 2 - 3 is not hard at all.




Thanks for the replies, all. @Craig6, I’ll definitely give that 3S a try.

Just for the record, I squat at the knees for stuff, but in a deep squat, for example getting a case of bottled water on a shelf that is "2 off of the ground, or picking up a bag of salt or soil off of a pallet, I tend to print in the 4-5 o’clock position when I carry anything. Maybe it’s because my pants sit lower on the hips.

I frequently carry a 1911. In the winter, I use a nice vertical shoulder holster…I was doubtful about it before it arrived, but it is a beauty and well worth the $139.00 It is Turkish and all leather. Balanced out by a double-magazine carrier on the off-side. In the summer, I like to carry my 1911 in an OWB holster that I made myself. I wear a “Hawaiian” shirt most of the time and it covers it quite well. A friend liked the holster so much that he had me make one for his Beretta '92. Here’s my 1911 Holster. You can see my other holsters (mainly cowboy) and cartridge belts on my FB page (Maxdolan2). Completed 1911 Holster and Pistol The nice thing about this is that you can carry it “locked and loaded” with the retention strap under the hammer, or you can carry it without a round in the chamber (I don’t recommend that) with the retention strap over the hammer.