By Tim Stetzer
I’ve been carrying a pistol concealed for over 30 years now as both a cop and a civilian. Over that time I’ve tried a lot of carry methods and various brands and styles of holsters.
Like many of you, I have a bin of hardly-used holsters, and that’s after giving a lot of them away over the years. With all the trial and error though I have found that works best for me is a low profile, inside the waistband (IWB) rig with a good clip that I can easily put on and take off.
I have a variety of rigs that work with my typical CCW pistols, but I needed something for my work gun. While I maintain a concealed carry permit, which is reciprocal with a fair number of other states, I find that carrying under LEOSA, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, or HR 218, covers me better when traveling.
The act allows qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired LEOs to carry concealed in any jurisdiction in the United States. I’d love to see Constitutional carry nationwide for everyone, but until that happens I work within the rules and that means carrying a pistol that I’ve qualified with on the job.
Currently I’m using a GLOCK G45 in 9mm with a Holosun 507C mounted. I had holsters for it and my GLOCK 23, but none that accommodate optics. When I started looking around for something that met my criteria I kept seeing ads for 1791 Gunleather Kydex IWB Holster and gave it a whirl.
Okay, it says they’re a leather company right in their name, and they are. But they’re a holster company and make a wide variety of styles, including these Kydex IWB models. The holster retails for $64.99, which is competitive with other similar quality Kydex holsters.
What appealed to me were the Kydex construction, because I sweat a lot in the summer, the rig’s slim overall lines, and the style clip is one I’ve used before and that I know works for me.
The 1791 IWB is set up to allow for suppressor-height sights, optics, and extended threaded barrels, so it can handle can deal with however you like to carry your EDC pistol. The clip is adjustable for cant, and you can adjust the tension on the holster if needed.
When I got the holster in hand I was impressed with the mold quality and the fact that the edges had all been rounded so they won’t bite into your skin.
The sweat guard seemed a little high to me initially. It was much higher than on some of my other IWB holsters. When I snapped my GLOCK in place though, it rode just to the top of the slide. It provides a perfect sweat barrier to cover the whole gun and nothing more.
The Kydex IWB Holster has very good retention. There’s a very positive click when inserting the gun, letting you know it’s locked into place. I can shake it upside down and it stays in place. That said, draws are smooth and I don’t have to excessively tug at the pistol to pull it free. I’ve also never had the holster come out with the gun as I’ve seen happen with other inferior clips.
I’ve had no issues carrying with a belt in jeans or shorts. Could it work without a belt? Possibly, but not with the GLOCK 45. It might work with a smaller gun, but I’ve never been a fan of carrying a gun without a belt.
I typically go with appendix carry, sometimes shifting to a strong side five o’clock position, depending what I’m doing. I’m able to carry the G45 comfortably in both positions although the full-sized butt of the pistol is more noticeable when carried at five o’clock, at least under light summer clothing. That’s an issue with my choice of gun, not the holster.
One-hand draws are easy with my offhand being used to clear my shirt out of the way. Being Kydex, re-holstering is also very doable.
My overall experience with the 1791 Kydex IWB holster has been very positive with no problems to date. If you’re a fan of trim, sweat-resistant holsters that do what they’re supposed to with minimal bulk, I’d definitely recommend giving one a try.
Most of us have those drawers full of holsters for a lot of reasons, but when I find a model that works for me, as this one does, I stick to it and I get more for other handguns. That’s what I’ve found happening with the 1791 Kydex IWB holster.