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Thread: Leather or linie holster for Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator (1911 w/rail)

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Leather or linie holster for Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator (1911 w/rail)

    So I just made a deal to buy a barely used, Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator (full size 1911 w/rail) so now I have to do my least favorite part of carrying - find a new holster. Unfortunately I live in a city that has an ordinance against OC (no preemption for OC in MO). Furthermore, due to work, not only do I have to conceal, I to remove my sidearm/holster during the day from time to time. Because of all that, I usually carry OWB with a paddle holster. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that the black finish will wear pretty quickly with unlined kydex. While I don't carry "safe queens" I do hate the kydex wear on my Kimber and don't want accelerated wear on this one. So, this is what I want if it exists:

    OWB high ride holster (so the 5"barrel doesn't stick out under my jacket or sweater, etc) that is leather, maybe lined leather, or possibly lined kydex but I am kind of over the kydex for daily carry - something very kind to the finish, preferably with a paddle for easy on/off and some type of retention for when OC. Thoughts?

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    The vast majority of paddle-style holsters are made of Kydex - Safariland, Bianchi, Fobus, Galco, etc are all Kydex holsters. You may find yourself tracking down a custom holster maker for your Springfield. Because of the wide selection in style, price and features I only carry in Kydex these days. Personally, I find the paddles can become uncomfortable after awhile, and have shifted my focus to IWBs and belt slides. Your high rise requirement may present a problem also, unless you have one custom made. Elk hide is the most supple of the wild game leathers, and a chamois lining might help with the "wear" you're concerned about... but if the Springfield's finish is so poor that it wears quickly, there may be no solution for you. After 4 years in Kydex my Glock shows no signs of finish wear. Good luck in your search deep! Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 01-20-2012 at 01:46 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Gil223. I do have 2 IWB holsters I can use with this sidearm and if I wasn't avoiding kydex would probably get another Minotaur for it if I wanted something specific to this sidearm IWB.

    Update: I picked up the new sidearm and have now researched thee one thing I had not previously - the finish. It comes with SA's Armory Kote with which I was not familiar. It seeems that I was concerned for nothing really as it is reportedly a quite durable finish (which I should have expected on a "combat" pistol from SA). Messing with it a bit field stripping it, oiling it (it was really dry) and such I found that my original impressions about the finish were indeed misguided. Even fingerprints wipe off easily.

    So, I still want leather OWB and I still want a high ride. I need something tight to my body for CC, with some type of retention for OC. I'm used to and like paddles, but I still can't find that in a high ride, probably because of the physics of the thing but maybe not. There are several with the belt snaps which are advertised as "easily removable", but the only one I had like that I didn't like for the same reason I don't prefer belt slot holsters - the belt loop spacing on various pants doesn't always allow me to put the pistol where I want it, unlike a paddle I can put wherever. Also, I am doubltful that any of those are as easy on/off as a paddle. But, the high ride, leather, some retention and OWB are more important than the paddle as long as it is somewhat easy on/off.

    I know tons of you guys carry 1911s, several of you with rails, so what leather have you found you like the best?

  4. #4
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    While I don't carry "safe queens" I do hate the kydex wear on my Kimber and don't want accelerated wear on this one.

    I've noticed some similarities between owners of certain firearms and owners of certain motorcycles....

    Kimber owners are like Harley owners--they spend three times as much as other brands for the same gun, and then want to use it all the time, but never have it look like it's more than a few hours off the dealer's lot....

    Para and Glock owners are like Triumph owners--they actually REVEL in the fact that their pieces look like they are "daily drivers" after a few months on the road--worn finish, blued headers, and scratches on the stainless bits...

    Not making any judgements, just sayin'...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-21-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I've noticed some similarities between owners of certain firearms and owners of certain motorcycles....

    Kimber owners are like Harley owners--they spend three times as much as other brands for the same gun, and then want to use it all the time, but never have it look like it's more than a few hours off the dealer's lot....

    Para and Glock owners are like Triumph owners--they actually REVEL in the fact that their pieces look like they are "daily drivers" after a few months on the road--worn finish, blued headers, and scratches on the stainless bits...

    Not making any judgements, just sayin'...
    Laff! You're barking at the wrong monkey on this one!.
    I carried an XD45 compact for 4 years, in kydex. I wanted a compact. 45 acp 1911 initially becausee it is thinner and I just always wanted a 1911 style anyway, but couldn't afford another gun (I have to mostly CC because of local ordinance). When I could afford one I went to a certain forum dedicated to 1911s and read post after post about how every 3" 1911 runs like crap and fails constantly.

    Good friend of mine had a near perfect condition stainless Kimber Ultra Carry II about 2 years old that had been accurized, tuned, had a wonderful trigger job, TruGlo night sights and is more accurate at 25 yards than many full size guns. It had been well tuned and worked flawlessly. About the time I started looking, he decided for personal reasons to sell it and offered it to me for a great deal. I bought it. Couple thousand rounds later, including reloads my XD threw up on, and it has never had an FTF for FTE. Impressive little 3",, 7+1, .45 acp compact. :-)

    The kydex wear on it is actually a line across the end of the slide where the bottom of the holster sits rather than just pistol rubbing wear. Really probably just need a different holster kydex or not that extends past the barrel. Yeah, it should buff out of the stainless, but I still would like the look of a nice leather holster though at this point.

    Now if you had saddle bags for example on your Triumph that were wearing the paint in one spot, wouldn't you be looking for a different set that isn't messing up the paint needlessly?

    So now I bought a SA 1911 that is comparable in weight, accuracy and cost to the full size Kimber CDP I was actually planning to buy. I got offered such a good deal on the SA that it made a lot more sense to buy it instead. I'm not a brand snob by any means.

    So, nanner nanner nanner!! I've got 2 "Triumphs" in the garage and 2 "Harleys", I bought both "Harleys" for the NIB price of just the more expensive 'Harley". Both out perform the "Triumphs" in accuracy and "rideability" (both 1911s have very nice triggers although the new one needs to be lightened a bit for my personal taste). I usually "ride" one of the "Harleys" daily because they are more comfortable and I handle them better in potentially dangerous traffic.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    * Some of my friends would get a kick out of the analogy. We were just talking the other day about how with firearms long or short, while I am not a purist, I am a minimalist who prefers utility but if I have something nice I try to keep it that way. I'll pay for performance before looks but if I can get both for the same price, I'll appreciate the cosmetics.

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