Compact pistols are made to pack, but large frame pistols are made to shoot.
In my review article on the Glock G41 (http://guntoters.com/blog/2019/01/06/glock-gen4-g41-is-longer-and-slimmer-better/), I mentioned that the G41 would be a challenge to conceal properly if someone chose to do so. The statement still stands; however, with a proper holster and clothing combination, the G41 is no harder to conceal than a “Government’” model 1911, albeit the slide is longer on the G41 (5.3”) than the slide of the 1911.
Some of my favorite holsters have come from Rob Leahy’s Simply Rugged Holsters company. The “Cuda” has housed several Springfield pistols and Ruger revolvers (http://guntoters.com/blog/2018/12/28/cuda-holster-by-simply-rugged-holsters/) while a “Cumberland” holster (http://guntoters.com/blog/2013/07/05/simply-rugged-cumberland-versa-clip-ii-holster/) has housed any 1911 that I wished to place within it.
When looking for a holster to fit the Glock G41, I again turned to Simply Rugged and ordered a “Cumberland” holster for it, as the G41 is listed among the firearms for the “Cumberland” holster, as is the Glock G21 and virtually every other Glock that is available at the time of this writing. I am sure that the new Glock pistols will also be included when the listing is updated.
The holster arrived within two weeks after the order. I had initially ordered the “Cumberland” for the Glock 21, but after receiving the G41 I decided to change the order. I sent an e-mail to Rob asking that the order be changed from a G21 to a G41. The next day, rob e-mailed me back that the order had been changed and that he would make the holster for the G41. That, my friends, is customer service.
The new “Cumberland” actually arrived on a Sunday and was at the house when I returned from my range session. I had my fingers crossed when I opened the box hoping that our communication had not been crossed. I turned the holster over to read the rear stamping, and sure enough 15M G41 was clearly stamped into the leather. Perfect, so far.
The Glock G41 was removed from its case and the pistol inserted into the new holster. The fit was perfect; albeit tight. As usual, a leather holster has to be broken in and the “Cumberland” is no exception.
A test fit in the trousers was tried with pistol and holster. The G41 just seemed to blend in perfectly; not too high, not too low, and the cant was ideally FBI. The holster was new and trying to pull the G41 resulted with the holster coming with it. That was not the fault of the holster; however, it simply was not broken in. Here is Rob’s answer to the “How do I break in my holster” question: “The best thing a person can do to slick up his holster is to draw and holster about 100 times, focus on a SMOOTH presentation and holster slowly, deliberately, and watch your muzzle and finger position as you insert the gun into the holster. Repeat about 4 to 6 times each morning with an empty gun… this slicks up the holster and develops your reflexes… soon you will be the fastest kid on the block.”
While I have used “Holster Break-in” aids in the past with some holsters, I feel that the gun and the holster should be mated naturally with an IWB holster even if this method takes longer to properly break in a holster. With most “hybrid’ holster, it is rare to have a break-in period. But, this is leather, baby! Leather, like your pistol being carried in it, needs some break-in (and, yes even Glock pistols need to be broken in properly).
The comfort level of the holster is excellent. The “Cumberland” is a pancake-style holster, which provides the most stability on the body and the lowest profile, OWB or IWB. I do not like my holster sliding or moving around as I move; they need to be secured firmly in place regardless of my body position (standing, sitting, and being active, lounging, or while eating Slim Jim snacks during a healthy walk).
The “Cumberland” holster places the butt of the G41 tight against my body where it needs to be for effective concealment while two spring-steel clips keeps the holster fastened to the belt.
The entire slide and front sights of the G41 is protected by the full-length of the open-bottom holster. The trigger guard is completely covered, which is especially important with a Glock trigger. The upper rear of the pistol, and the rear sight, is protected by a shield of leather that will eventually form itself around the slide and rear sight for protection. The rear sight shield would not qualify as a sweat guard but does prevent the rear of the slide from digging into the body.
One of the issues, that I have, with some hybrid holsters is too much sweat guard. I normally whack them off so that I can achieve a full grip on the butt of the pistol without my fingers hitting leather. The space between the grip and leather, on the “Cumberland” holster is that even a gloved hand can get a full grip on the pistol.
One of the other reasons for my removing any sweat guard on a holster intended to carry a 1911 pistol is the pressure of the sweat guard possibly interfering with the thumb safety and magazine release button. I have never experienced a release of a thumb safety from SAFE to FIRE or a magazine being released by pressure of a sweat guard; I am ensuring that I do not experience this by removing the sweat guard entirely. While a Glock pistol does not have a thumb safety lever, it does have a magazine release. The rear cut of the “Cumberland” holster allows for adequate space between the holster and the magazine release button; any concern about a magazine being premature released due to pressure of the holster against the firearm is totally mitigated.
The “Cumberland” holster is essential three layers of leather. Two layers comprise the body of the holster while a third top layer helps to keep the holster from collapsing under pressure of the belt when the pistol is removed from the holster. Any leather IWB holster; however, unless the lip is steel reinforced can succumb to compression when worn empty for a long period of time and it is advised to wear a leather-only IWB holster under this condition sparingly. The reinforced top of the “Cumberland” holster also makes inserting the pistol much easier; fast to draw, slow to holster is the name of the game. The reinforced top of the holster also prevent holster material from being pressed inward, which could catch a trigger and force it rearward while holstering, and that is not a good thing to happen with pistols that do not have external controls (thumb safety and/or grip safety) to prevent such an occurrence.
The outboard side texture of the “Cumberland” holster is what I would describe as “pebbly?” This portion of the holster is what meets the inner side of the trousers. It is a polished roughness rather than simply a rough-out texture. The contrast between the lower polished roughness and the upper smooth leather reinforcement panel is visually appealing. It is too bad that the majority of the holster is within the pants and the visual appeal can’t be fully appreciated.
The inside of the holster is not lined and has a smooth-in texture inside the outer shell with the polished roughness finish on the inside rear half of the holster. All edging has been burnished, but the rear sight guard edging is a tad rough. I am not a leather smith nor do I profess any knowledge of leather weight; the thickness of each layer of leather is approximately 0.1395-inch while the combined thickness at the lip of the holster is approximately 0.2340-inch.
The outside of the inboard side of the holster is smooth leather.
The “Cumberland” holster is heavily stitched where stitching needs to be.
The two spring-steel clips are fed between the two layers of the holster and secured with Phillips head screws and slotted nuts. In being so attached, the clips are held solidly in place within the leather. If steel ‘Versa Clips’ are not your thing, the “Cumberland” holster can be ordered with leather straps as shown below.
One of the major concerns when attempting to effectively conceal a pistol is thickness of the holster/pistol combination. A 1911 with its slim slide is far easier to conceal than a wide-body Glock pistol. The advantage of a “Pancake-Style” holster line the “Cumberland” is that the profile of the holster and pistol is distributed so that the “bulge” common to carrying a pistol IWB is minimized.
You would think that with the long slide of the Glock G41 hiding the ‘Bulge” would be difficult. The “Cumberland” holster has very little bulge to print even with the G41. Granted, more real estate is taken up with the holster, but the profile is smoothed out by the minimal profile of the holster. That means that you can’t wear skin-tight jeans and expect to conceal a pistol like the G41. But, it also means that you don’t have to wear “clown” pants either. Trying to conceal a large-frame pistol on a thin-framed person might not be ideal; however, with proper attire it is doable, but the individual does need to understand their limitations.
The “Cumberland” holster, due to its leather construction is naturally of thicker material than Kydex and hybrid holsters, and I have hybrid holsters that do not hide a Glock pistol (or any pistol or revolver) as well as leather. This is due to the form fitting of the Kydex to the pistol and the holster’s stiffness, and Kydex does not form around the pistol when carried; it does not have the flexibility of leather and remains stiff, which contributes to a larger “bulge” in the trousers in a location that folks who are trained to spot firearms on a person normally look.
I normally carry about the 3:30 position just off of the right hip. All of my trousers are ‘relaxed fit’ that appeals to my personal weight of 15 Stone (that’s 211 pounds) of old man. All of my clothing is one size larger than what I would wear if I did not carry IWB in winter, spring, summer, and fall. The pictures below illustrate that a pistol like the Glock G41 can be concealed effectively with a holster like the “Cumberland” from Simply Rugged leather.
But, there is a Little Catch!
When the holster is brand new, there was no issue pushing the pistol into the holster, as the holster is well-sized to the pistol. Upon withdrawing the pistol from the holster; however, I felt a little catch in the withdrawal process. That catch turned out to be the inside stitching of the upper reinforcement panel. As the pistol was being pulled from the holster, the leading edge of the ejection port was catching the threading on the upward stroke. This catching was actually enough to interfere with the draw stroke. This “catching” was verified by observing the leading edge of the ejection port, which had remnants of holster material sticking to it.
Had the reinforcement panel extended lower than the ejection port of the pistol; whereupon the stitching would have been lower than the ejection port, there would have been no issue. Oh my! Oh, what to do?
Let’s see, what wears faster, metal or leather? You guessed it! After taking Rob’s recommendations for breaking in the holster; that is, inserting and withdrawing the pistol about 100 times, the “catch’ was no longer a catch and the draw stroke was soon happening without a hitch, or catch for that matter. So, I sit here drawing the G41 from the holster and inserting it back into the holster in between typing paragraphs (I never claimed to be a typist let alone a fast typist), and the draw stroke is becoming quite smooth.
Oh, the weight of it all!
The “Cumberland” holster from Simply Rugged, as mentioned previously, helps to distribute the carrying of the pistol on the hip, which also includes the ammunition stuffed into it.
My Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical that I have been carrying around for some time weighs 2.87 pounds loaded (8 rounds and not topped off). The Glock G41, when loaded with 13 rounds, weighs 2.28 pounds. Now, if my math still is intact, that means that the G41 weighs only 5.5 ounces less than my RIA. The other math calculation is that 13+1 rounds have the advantage over 8+1 rounds, with reference to rounds carried. Measurements of the two pistols reveal that the G41 is the larger of the two pistols. Well, duh!
While I haven’t made any gains in weight, I have a few more .45 ACP cartridges to play with. The Simply Rugged “Cumberland” is definitely up to the task of supporting the G41 pistol, and very comfortably I might add.
The Out Point
If you are actually considering carrying a larger pistol than what you are used to, you need the right equipment to do so. Obviously, you know that pistols like the Glock G21, G41, G20 and other similar pistols are big ones to be packing around OWB let alone IWB.
As I have mentioned previously, small pistols are for packing, big pistols are for shooting. But, there is no reason that a large pistol cannot be packed. A holster like the Simply Rugged “Cumberland” can help you carry the load should you decide to IWB carry a large-frame pistol.
- Simply Rugged Holsters: https://www.simplyrugged.com/ecommerce/Cumberland-Leather-Concealed-Carry-Holster.cfm?item_id=359&parent=669
- Glock G41: https://us.glock.com/Products/G41%20Gen4
Acknowledgement: Cumberland Strap Option photos provided by Simply Rugged Holsters.