Craft Holster review

I was given a free holster by Craft Holsters on the condition I review it on my blog. I received it several weeks ago but I was extremely busy at work (new invention disclosure came out of it and was sent to the patent attorneys just yesterday). I had looked at it some but didn’t actually try using it until yesterday.

I ordered the holster for a STI 1911 5”. I was thinking this would work with my STI DVC Limited. It didn’t. The magazine release button would catch on the holster. Pushing the leather aside and putting the gun the rest of the way into the holster wasn’t really an option. The magazine release button received a lot of pressure and would release the magazine while the gun was in the holster. I concluded this was a bug and not a feature.

I tried my Gun Blog 45 in the holster. The rear sight would catch on the holster as it was inserted. Okay, well, the Gun Blog 45 isn’t really a 1911 anyway.

I borrowed a true 1911. This combination worked. Pictures:

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The angle is a little more than I am used to with my usual holster but it worked just fine for me.

I am a little concerned about the mouth of the holster and the potential for collapse. This is not an inside the waistband holster so it doesn’t get much pressure on it. But it was much more flexible than I am used to.

It could be that if the holster was intended for a true 1911 the fit would be more snug. Craft Holsters sent me a “break-in kit” so I’m pretty sure they expected it would be a snug fit. But with the given holster and gun tested the gun would fall out when the holster was turned upside down. It was a little more snug when on my belt but it expect that after some wear if I were to do a forward roll the gun would fall out. And possibly even just running and jumping would jeopardize control of the gun. But, again, this holster was intended for a different style of 1911. A true 1911 holster might have eliminated this complaint.

On a positive note, the price is $59. This is about half what I would normally pay for an IWB holster for my STI. Also, it is nice looking and comfortable.


11 thoughts on “Craft Holster review

  1. Do you know if they make a variant with a thumb-break strap that goes between the hammer and slide? I’ve been carrying 1911’s in Condition 1 (cocked, locked, one up the spout) for 17 years now and all of my carry holsters have a retention strap that also serves as a sort of “third safety” physically blocking the hammer from striking the firing pin as well as good retention. “Belt, suspenders, and one hand on me trousers.”

    I’ve got a plastic bin chock full of holsters that didn’t work for me, for one reason or another. The ones I’ve been using are Don Hume clip-on IWB’s with thumb-break (H715-M T.B.). My old carry pistol for 16 years was a Springfield MicroCompact V10 (3″ barrel) but I just bought a new Sig C3 aluminum Officer’s size frame with Commander-length (4.25″) barrel so I’ve got three of these Don Hume holsters for full-size, Commander, and Officer’s slide/barrel lengths, all of the same model.

    They’re IWB and prone to collapsing on the lower half when empty (gun drawn) but they’ve got a double-layer of reinforcement around the mouth of the holster to stiffen it. The metal clips are extremely strong, and I’ve taken several tumbles (side rolls and a front roll) while using it and never had the pistol come loose.

  2. I’ve used a Milt Sparks “Summer Special” IWB since the 1980’s for 1911 carry.When I had to switch to 9mm due to wrist issues I was pleased to find that it worked just as well with the smaller Star that I switched to.The original Summer Special has been slightly improved and is now available as the Summer Special II.
    Works for me!

  3. It’s a holster, and I consider them to be a “work in process”. In 30+ years, I have never had a holster that did not get modified in some manner. Partly that is due to most of them being left-handed, and that seems to cause difficulties for the various holster makers. Most of these are leather, but some are plastic of various sorts. Most all are Big Name makers, including semi-custom order types.

    I have no hesitation in carving clearance for mag buttons, or bevels for cylinder entry, or additional hand clearance for full grip for best drawing access. Avoid cutting into stitching that is structural.

    Be careful of the angle the gun sits at. I discovered that my first plastic holster (fobus) had the gun at not quite the typical “FBI cant”?, and occasionally the gun would lock up when drawing in class. VERY disturbing to encounter! Took a heat gun and warmed up the area where it mounted to the paddle to get it to match my other holsters angle. Both my 1911 and Glock versions had the same angle problem.

      • The gun doesn’t move when drawn. It appears that muscle memory is attempting to slide the gun upwards at an angle that doesn’t match the holster. At a slow pace, it usually will work, as one tends to be more flexible in wrist and grip. At a maximum speed, you don’t allow that sort of soft handling, as the gun might end up being launched toward the target, or simply not be in a good enough grip position to be controllable.

        I suspect that part of the problem is variations in body indexing as you move prior or during the draw. Since it didn’t happen every draw, it took some pondering to get to the point of comparing holsters and see the difference in the angle the gun sat. The problem stopped occurring after making the angle match my other holsters.

        The two guns involved are short barrel versions, G27 and Officers .45. I’m unsure if full length guns would exhibit the same problem in comparable holsters.

        The effect of it feeling locked up is somewhat frightening. Eventually it comes out, but that delay feels glacial in time span, and is not what you want to occur if in a fight for your life.

        The plastic that Fobus uses is softer than kydex, and that might be a factor. Since I don’t have a full kydex holster, I’m not able to make useful comparisons.
        I checked my usual leather holsters during that investigation, and the ones with fixed belt mounts all had the same angle. My Velcro mounted ones (LFI/Ted Blocker) had alignment aids added to assist in placement angle.

  4. I carry IWB except for my STIs. I have a Spartan, a Trojan, and a Sentinel Premier and they all wear outside. They all have grip lasers and that little bump has been anywhere from no issue to a small cut to modify, but the perfect holster for my STIs has eluded me, though to be honest, I stopped looking a while back.

      • My benchmark for IWB is the ARG (Ayoob Rear Guard) from Mitch Rosen. I have one of the original versions from the early 90’s for my Officers Model. At some point ARG began to mean something else, possibly a falling out with Mas. I got mine with the matching belt. The belt mounting location really helps concealment. I like it so much I have used it in multiple classes, and even a 3-gun match. Nothing like training with your actual carry gear. I’d probably go with the slim line version if I order another. And, yes, I have modded it. It’s comfortable, and the gun near disappears.

    • Alright, you guys. The back porch freezer up and died four days ago and I am informed that sales Jan-Mar exceeded all of last year so NONE are available. And I’d REALLY like to get a 3-D printer (had one in the VERY early days when owning one was guinea pig-ish and not productive). So now you two have got me juggling not two but three priorities i my head. Yes, I’m thinking of IWB for my STIs again. Thanks a heap. 🙂

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