I know this is the Open Carry forum but thought I might share an IWB comparison I've posted on another forum. I also carry OWB with a Brommeland Def-Con just for reference.
Please let me know if there are any additional photos or information that you’d like for me to post, I know my photography skills are lacking so cut me some slack. Constructive comments are always appreciated. Thanks!
Let me preface this with the fact that I am relatively new to the world of owning 1911s; I am also not a writer, manufacturer, professional reviewer or in anyway affiliated with any of the companies that are featured in this quick, down & dirty review. Personally I own a 5” Wilson Combat CQB which I can’t say enough good things about. This is the 1st and only 1911 I have owned and my experience is rather limited in comparison to some of the people who post here so please bear with me. In addition to that I’m 6’3” and 210lbs and I believe this may play a large part in my comfort factor with different holsters as opposed to someone of more conventional size.
My main reason for posting this is that I think a lot of people would like to see more pictures of different holsters and how they compare to one another. I’ve studied a myriad of different holsters, websites and forums and could not come up with any 1 answer to what I wanted so I purchased 3 holsters from manufacturers who are widely considered to be “top tier” in the category of IWB holsters. I am not inferring that anyone else shouldn’t or wouldn’t be considered, I just couldn’t get their holster in a timely manner. I myself would’ve loved to have been able to get an Alessi and a Nossar to throw into the mix and will do so one day.
As of right now I’ll be discussing the Gary Brommeland Max-Con V, the Milt Sparks VM-II (horsehide) and the Matt Del Fatti ISP-LP. I purchased the Sparks and Del Fatti holsters from aftermarket resale specialists that had them in stock and I got lucky enough that Gary had an “extra” MC-V that someone hadn’t paid for and he was willing to sell to me along with whipping out a matching magazine pouch to go with it, thanks again Gary!
My 1st impression of all 3 holsters is that they are all on an equal playing field as far as fit and finish goes, needless to say I’m impressed! The attention to detail and the quality of each is readily apparent, even to the novice I decided I’d get all 3 holsters and then make my determination as to who would get my hard earned money for a complete rig so I tested all 3 with a Wilderness Instructor Belt. On a side note this is a great belt for a reasonable price and I now recommend them to any and every person I know who uses holsters. I bought the 1.5” 5 stitch belt in a size 40 and it fits perfect, my pants waist size is normally 34” – 36” for a reference, and if you’re ever in the Phoenix area drop in and they’ll make yours while you wait! Great quality and customer service to match, enough said.
This “review” is purely subjective and is based solely on my comfort. I would highly recommend you purchase multiple holsters from different manufacturers and try your stab at finding the most comfortable, concealable and “best” holster for yourself. If your wife doesn’t understand tell her it’s like finding the best fitting bra for her, mine understood :rock: Please remember that this is not meant to critique any of these holsters on their quality of build as I believe they are all top notch in that category. As a side note I did not wear these holsters for weeks on end. My observations are from wearing them each approximately 3 days so there may be in fact more to be gained from them after a proper break in period. I tend to think so with the VM-2 especially being made of horse and feeling much more stiff upon initial inspection.
3rd place for me in the comfort area is the Matt Del Fatti ISP-LP. Although it is the shortest holster in length and initially I thought this would add more comfort I’ve come to realize that it hits directly on my sciatic nerve and is extremely painful to wear. This is obviously in direct proportion to my frame, physique and physical make up and nothing to do with the outstanding product Matt delivers. The belt loops are the widest of the 3 holsters. The initial firearm fit was the “loosest” in comparison to the other 2 but was more than ample when doing an upside down shake test. Just to clarify the holster was NOT loose but in fact was probably the closest to being the actual proper size to my CQB and would need the least amount of break in. The ISP does have a semi-reinforced mouth, only in the front. Sideways squeeze test puts this in 2nd for ease of reholstering.
2nd place for me is the Milt Sparks VM-2 in horsehide (it was available). The VM-2 was middle of the road for overall length and belt loop width in respect to the other 2 holsters. I’m not sure if the horsehide requires more of a breaking in period but it was in the middle for comfort for me, slight sciatic nerve pinching, and it did tend to squeak a little when walking. Remember, my body and your body are proportioned differently and the things I mention will not affect everyone in the same way. The CQB fit remarkably well and didn’t need anything outside of normal use for any break in contrary to what I’ve read in several places. I have heard that Sparks holsters are very tight and that they need “bagging” and such for break in but this was definitely not the case with mine, a great job on fit! The VM-2 has a reinforced mouth and was by far the easiest for 1 handed reholstering. Sideways squeeze test puts it in 1st place with respect to being non-collapsing.
1st place for me in terms of comfort was the Gary Brommeland Max-Con V. This holster was longest in overall length and had the skinniest belt loops. Out of all 3 the MC-V is the only 1 with different size loops, the back loop being about ¼” larger than the front and really helped in the area of comfort (also for presenting the weapon in a vehicle). Along with the loops I feel that the taller “sweat guard” helped a lot in terms of love handle protection The Max-Con V does not have a reinforced mouth for 1 handed reholstering and I’m of the opinion that this will not affect me as a civilian carrying concealed. This holster also had the most cant out of the 3 and may be the largest part of being the most comfortable due to not hitting the sciatic nerve, again, on me! Excellent weapon fit and retention as to be expected.
Additional group photos so you can see all 3 side by side and the varying angles that are attributes of each different design. From Left to Right MC-V, VM-II, ISP-LP.
After giving it some thought and in all fairness to Tony Kanaley and the good folks at Milt Sparks I will be ordering a full rig in cowhide. I've come to the conclusion that horse isn't for me and I would definitely like to give there cowhide products a shot. A couple more thoughts and things I noticed. In terms of holding the CQB closest to my body, the results were the same as comfort, the MC-V, VM-II and then the ISP-LP. I will be posting pictures of this in the next couple of days.
I would not hesitate to HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL 3 HOLSTERS to anyone and everyone reading this! My body type, physique and opinions on what is comfortable to me should in no way influence your decision. Initially I was going to only post pictures and thought it might be fun to jot down what my quick thoughts were concerning each one.
And 1 more to show off the holster pouch as well… take care.