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Thread: 80's-era leather 1911 holsters for low-viz, concealed carry, and practical comp.

  1. #1
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    80's-era leather 1911 holsters for low-viz, concealed carry, and practical comp.

    What were the hot stuff leather 1911 holsters (OWB preferably) for low-profile carry, concealed-carry and practical competition from back in the day before kydex became so prevalent? I've got a message off to Larry Vickers asking about what they used in his Unit for low-profile missions, but haven't heard back yet.

    The photo shared by Pat McNamara below is what got me thinking about the history of the state of the art in carry leather before the rise of Kydex. I wouldn't mind if Larry Vickers were to make a Vickers Guide book of legendary holsters to go along with his 1911 book.

    https://gastatic.com/digest/wp-conte...permission.jpg

    Thanks in advance,
    Jason

  2. #2
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    I would say the Bruce Nelson/Milt Sparks 55BN and the Summer Special of one type or another as others copied those designs.
    Be Aware-Stay Safe.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDFA View Post
    I would say the Bruce Nelson/Milt Sparks 55BN and the Summer Special of one type or another as others copied those designs.
    Also:

    https://www.kramerleather.com/

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...lster&_sacat=0

    http://www.frontiergunleather.com/in...orary-holsters
    (Formerly known as Sotex.)

  4. #4
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    Vintage Alessi holsters with pull thru snaps had a following as well. Fairly retentive and faster than a thumb break.

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    In my mis-spent youth as an LEO in the 80ís I mostly saw guys carrying ďMexicanĒ when off duty or plain clothes with a 1911. Second most popular was some version of a Summer Special and a few Yaqui Slides. Competition shooters where I shot used the Chapman High Ride.

    I found that a 5Ē 1911 was quite comfortable to carry in the top of a pair of cowboy boots as the muzzle went to the sole beside my instep, but usually carried in a W.M. Davis #455. Itís an IWB Summer Special clone that Iíve worn out a couple pistols in.

    Then somebody figured out how to make pancakes...

  6. #6
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    Don't forget the Milt Sparks #1AT . Still a great holster.

    Gordon Davis made the Taylor Omega -- kind of a #1AT variant as I recall.

    The Sparks 55BN and 1AT are still valid for use. Just get them sized for a 1 3/4 inch belt.

  7. #7
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    And don't forget the Gordon Davis Taylor Thunderbolt and his 453 and 4532 Sparks 55BN clones. I wore a 4532 (had about a 10 degree FBI cant) lots of days in a plain clothes deployment team with a Colt LW Commander. Good times!
    Regional Government Sales Manager for Aimpoint, Inc. USA
    Co-owner Hardwired Tactical Shooting (HiTS)

  8. #8
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    Here are a couple from Milt Sparks. The 55BN owb and this early '80's vintage Summer Special I bought new then and continue to use extensively.

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    The 55BN is really nice and secure. It's not my favorite because it carries sort of high and this makes the draw stroke quite different from the IWB position of the SS.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croesus View Post
    Don't forget the Milt Sparks #1AT . Still a great holster.

    Gordon Davis made the Taylor Omega -- kind of a #1AT variant as I recall.

    The Sparks 55BN and 1AT are still valid for use. Just get them sized for a 1 3/4 inch belt.
    Looks like the 1AT isnít listed on his website any more. Rats...

  10. #10
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    This thread just made me go find my box of old holsters and dig the 1911 from the back of the safe. I need to puts some rounds through 'er soon...

    Just after I turned 21 and got my permit, I bought a Star PD and started carrying it CCW. I carried it in this Desantis Yaqui slide I found at a gunshow that was made for a S&W Model 39/59.






    A few years later I bought a customized Series 80 and started carrying it off-duty in this Elmer McEvoy/Leather Arsenal IWB. I didn't carry it for long...I decided a G19/OWB was much more comfortable.





    In 2008, I went to an agency that allowed single action for duty and carried my S&W1911 for a couple of years, using this Galco Concealable when working plainclothes (I carried it in a kydex 5.11/BladeTech ThumbDrive holster in "uniform", which was polo/5.11's)



    Last edited by kwb377; 01-14-2020 at 10:02 PM.

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