How to Pick Your 1911 Shoulder Holster

1911 shoulder holster

A 1911 shoulder holster is used with the 1911 5-inch Colt pistol. These holsters are available in vertical and horizontal versions and secure your gun until you need to retrieve it.

If you are a concealed carry weapon user, a shoulder holster may seem more problematic than a waistband holster, but the opposite is true. A shoulder holster keeps your hands free, and you won’t have to worry that your gun will drop out of the waistband or be pushed out by your hip.

A shoulder holster rig has a few advantages over a side holster. Sliding your gun out of a side holster may be challenging, but it’s easy to retrieve a weapon from a shoulder holster without being spotted.

Three of the Best 1911 Shoulder Holsters Comparison Table

Product Name



Our Rating

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder System for 1911 5-Inch Colt



Pro-Tech Outdoors Horizontal Holster



Linixu Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster



** Below, you will find buying guide as well as our review of each particular product, but you can also click links above to see the current price and customer reviews on Amazon

Here's A Final Review of The
3 Best 1911 Shoulder Holster

Galco is one of the respected names in the holster industry. And the Classic Lite Shoulder System is among their best-selling products.

Made of real leather in the U.S.A., this shoulder holster is excellent for part-time carry. But it has been manufactured with the same precision as professional holsters. It features the same patented Galco connectors as pro rigs for the same form and adaptability. This holster has the company's patented clover-shaped Flexalon swivel back plate.

Designed For

The set includes a 1911 shoulder holster, system screws, and ammunition carrier. This Galco system is designed for double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, including the 1911 Colt.

You can order this holster in right or left-hand draw; both versions are fashioned from center cut steerhide and have a natural hue. This type of sturdy leather will stop your gun from sliding out, like a smoother leather holster.

  • Fits well
  • High-quality leather
  • Made in U.S.A
  • Has patented Flexalon swivel back plate
  • Offers Galco pro connectors
  • Magazine pouch is a little large
  • The package may not contain enough screws
  • Front sight may catch when you draw your gun

This Vertical Double Shoulder Holster fits All Auto's with 4" to 5"...
  • Has plastic adjustable spring action thumb break.
  • Stitched with strong bonded nylon and double stitched
  • Edges turned under to prevent fraying. all velcro is hidden by webbing to prevent foreign debris.

The Pro-Tech Horizontal Holster fits all automatic guns with a four to a five-inch barrel, including 1911. The holster looks like a "bare bones" model when you see it on a mannequin, but it has more features than meets the eye. This padded double holster is made of Cordura ballistic nylon. It’s also double stitched with durable bonded nylon for extra toughness.

The shoulders are padded for comfort during extended treks, and there's a vinyl vapor shield to protect from the elements. The Velcro tabs are easy to use, despite being hidden under webbing.

This Pro-Tech holster has a vinyl vapor barrier to protect your guns and the holster from moisture.

You can adjust straps with plastic snap tab and replace snap if it breaks.

For Convenience

For added convenience, the holster comes with a magazine pouch. So it’s easy to convert from two handguns to one with the mag pouch. This holster is for 9mm pistols, airsoft guns, and all medium and large automatics. It’s built to carry extra clips. This durable 1911 shoulder holster comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

There aren't any directions included with this holster, so check the company website for details on preparing it for use.
  • Velcro is shielded by webbing
  •  Adjustable plastic spring thumb break
  • Fits snug across the body without being too tight
  • Edges turned out to minimize fraying
  • Offers a vinyl vapor barrier
  • Dangles too much; doesn’t hold the gun firmly
  • Stitching on the belt may come loose

LINIXU Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster (M33-38, Right)
  • 38 holster Our shoulder holster will conceal your gun without the need to wear a suit or jacket! If you are using the...
  • Distributes the weight of gun to shoulders and back for a comfortable, all day carry
  • It is fully adjustable. Won't show through most clothing thanksgiving,halloween,black friday,gift for family,best gift...

This strong but light nylon holster is perfect for both men and women. It feels more secure than a waistband holster when you must move around a lot. As far as concealed carry goes, this holster is the most discreet. Your weapon is not positioned under your arm, but in front, making it easier to move.

The Linixu shaped like large belt worn around your upper body. It's fastened with Velcro and stretch enough to be comfortable for women and larger people. This holster features one shoulder strap that keeps it firmly attached to your chest. You may see moving and storage workers wear a similar vest.

  • Best holster for total concealment
  • The package includes a pouch to store the holster
  • One of the most comfortable holsters for women
  • No need for constant adjustment once you get used to it
  • Over the shoulder elastic not sturdy enough
  • Rides high on the chest
  • It takes longer to draw the weapon

When to Use a 1911 Shoulder Holster?

Shoulder holsters are ideal in cold, snowy climates where you need to wear a bulky jacket to stay warm. The holster won't feel uncomfortable underneath the jacket, provided you've put it the right way.

Most holster wearers also need to spend a portion of their workday driving or sitting at a desk. A shoulder holster is an excellent alternative to holsters wore around the waist, which can be uncomfortable while sitting.

Bodyguards and pilots often favor a 1911 shoulder holster over a side holster. Pilots need to retrieve and aim from a sitting position (most of the time), and bodyguards must be prepared for a variety of situations.

If you use a holster to practice target shooting at the range, a shoulder holster will help you grab the right gun for a session faster and increase the number of shots you can get at a target.

Find a Holster that Makes Your Life Easier

Buy a holster that helps you work more efficiently, not one that just looks good. Here are a few things a 1911 shoulder holster will do for you:

  • Give you quick access while you’re sitting down or driving
  • Keep your gun and ammunition within reach
  • Allow you to grab your weapon without attracting attention
  • Feel comfortable and lightweight on your body (and underneath your jacket)
  • Side vs. Shoulder

    Using a side holster may cause back problems or less severe but embarrassing issues like making your pants droop. If you carry a heavy gun, you'll need a holster that distributes the weight evenly.

    A 1911 shoulder holster eliminates the need for wearing pants with heavy belt loops, so you are free to dress the way you want.

    It’s easy to fill up a 1911 shoulder holster with ammunition and your gun fast and be on your way. You’ll need to thread the ammunition holster and gun holster through belt loops when you use a side holster. It will take longer and waste time when you need to leave your home in a hurry.

    Are Leather Holsters Better than Nylon Holsters?

    The best holster material is the one that feels right for you. Nylon is lighter and less expensive, but leather is sturdier than other materials.

    A leather holster needs a break-in period because it can be stiff and uncomfortable when you first use it. Once it fits your body, you may not even realize it's there. Natural, leather won't leave marks on fabric when it gets wet, but dyed leather may stain clothes. Dip a leather holster in warm water if it has become loose due to extensive wear. The water will "shrink" it back to its original shape.

    How to Wear a 1911 Shoulder Holster?

    Measure and fit a 1911 shoulder holster by looking for the straps that make an “X’ shape over your back and shoulders. The center of the “X” shape should meet below your shirt collar.

    Prepare to cross-draw by placing the gun under the non-dominant arm. Some 1911 shoulder holsters have one or two extra straps that run from the holsters to your belt. You can connect these straps to your belt. The additional straps will reduce the pressure caused by carrying your gun.

    If you run a lot, use more straps will keep your firearms from shaking and impeding your movement.

    Here are some more tips for using a 1911 shoulder holster, especially for concealed carry.

    How to Properly Wear a Shoulder Holster:

    Buyer's Guide

    A 1911 shoulder holster keeps your weapon and ammo nearby and makes it easier to sit and drive. You won't need to spend time threading the holster through your belt loops when you get ready for a day of shooting (or possible shooting).

    There are several shoulder holster options, from high-quality leather to nylon, and from deep concealed carry "belts" to standard "X" cross holsters. Check out online reviews and forum discussions to learn more about the best shoulder holsters for 1911.

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