After writing a review of an IWB holster from SAVOY Leather for the Glock G41, I immediately bought a second holster for a full-size 1911-based pistol. This holster, the ‘SAVOY’ was to be a bit different, as I opted for a distinct color and stamping.
Breaking from a traditional color (black or brown), I opted for gray with black edge fading. Additionally, the “SAVOY” is a distinct pattern that I hoped would accent the holster and the 1911 pistol that would be carried in it.
The holster was ordered March 17, 2019 and arrived at my doorstep on June 10, 2019. SAVOY Leather states that there is between an 8- and 12-week lead time from order to finish. I was willing to wait it out, since it’s not like I really need this holster. But, given the quality of the holster for the Glock G41, it was something that I wanted wrapping around any 1911 that I might want to carry, and I wanted it to look good, which is a contrast to most of my holsters as they, like my pistols, are simply tools. But, as any mechanic knows, you take care of one’s tools.
The holster has one job to do; simply hold my 1911 in place and protect it, until I need it not to hold my 1911 in place.
As with all SAVOY IWB holsters, the metal, riveted mounting clips are widely spaced at 10.5-inches off center. For comparison, the Simply Rugged “Cumberland” holster for the 1911 has a spacing of 5.35” centered on the mounting clips; the Savoy is almost twice that. It wraps around the body but is stiff when brand new. However, after several hours of wear, the holster begins to better confirm to the contour of your body and is highly comfortable. Placing the holster just behind the right hip I soon found that even as much real estate that the holster took, it was extremely comfortable even when new and not yet conformed to my body.
The holster is full-length and open-bottomed, which protects both the muzzle and the front sight from damage. The top of the holster slopes upward from the trigger guard area to protect as much of the firearm as possible. A sweat shield helps to protect the pistol as much as the carrier of the pistol. Normally, I do like sweat shields, but the sweat shield on the Savoy holster is well designed and well-coordinated with the rise of the holster.
The cant of the holster seems to be around 25 degrees. The depth of the holster is such that even with the barrel length of the full-size ‘Government-Model’ 1911 (5”), I am able to sit comfortably without the holster trying to ride up.
The edges of the holster are so well finished that it is hard to detect where the edges of each layer of leather meet. All the edging is highly polished and well-rounded. The total thickness (both layers) of the leather is 0.25-inches.
The coloring is excellent with the gray subtly fading into a black border. The finish is not polished. Rather, it is a matte finish that gives the look of richness to the holster.
This, of course, is not a hybrid holster where there is an inner backing that is drilled for a Kydex outer shell. This is all leather, baby! As such, you would think that it takes some breaking in and the usual “Pistol in a Plastic Bag” technique would be used overnight. However, you would be wrong. Sliding my EDC, a Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical for the first time was a perfect fit. In fact, I had to double check to ensure that the holster was for a 1911. Yes, it was, and the fit is perfect. When placed in position within the pants, the pressure of the belt keeps the pistol held well in place. The mouth of the holster is molded slightly outward, which helps me to guide the muzzle back into the holster.
The holster inner is rough out and will, eventually, wear on a pistol’s finish. However, it is leather wear and not the harsh wear that Kydex can have on a pistols finish.
The trigger guard area has enough leather to keep the trigger finger out of the trigger guard, and that is something that we want to guard against (pardon the pun).
The stitching is excellent, well-sealed, and consistent throughout. At the bottom of the holster, the Savoy logo and SAVOY LEATHER is nicely embossed into the leather.
The holster is formed to the firearm, but the forming is subtle and adds to the overall smooth look of the holster.
One of the important considerations that I have with any holster is that the grip area allows for a full grip on the firearm, and getting a full grip is not an issue with the Savoy holster, even with gloved hands.
The rear sight is protected by the sweat shield and, of course, the body. When worn IWB, the firearm has less chance to get damaged from that are inevitable during activity. And, speaking of activity, the chance of the 1911 falling out of this holster is slim to none, but when sitting (as when driving) I found that I could extract the pistol from the holster quite smoothly – and there is no click of Kydex when I do so.
You would think that a holster of this size would have a wide profile on the side of the body. However, because of the way the holster forms to the body, the outward profile is very small. The butt of the pistol is pulled tightly against the body, but no so tight that you can’t get a hand around the grip. While it is obvious that the 1911 is no small pistol, the outward profile of the 1911 in the holster is not much greater than the outward profile of my 1911 in a Kydex IWB holster. But, my manner of dress keeps even a Ruger GP100 carried IWB well under wraps. I am not bragging. I am just saying that your manner of dress when carrying a concealed firearm can make or break your ability to conceal such. Concealment is concealment.
One of the last things that I should mention is that the mouth of the holster is not reinforced. Obviously, it is not good to carry an IWB holster under tension with the pistol removed. However, the design of the mouth of the holster makes holstering the 1911 not an issue.
Can the Savoy holster for the 1911 hold other 1911 pistols? In fact, the ‘Commander’ and ‘Officer” length 1911 all fit just fine. Some might say; however, that having such a large holster for these pistols is overkill. The stability of a good holster is in its width and depth, and the greater the width and depth, the greater the stability, Thus, even a 3” Kimber would be quite stable in this holster.
I am a fan of carrying big handguns but doing so comes with a price of trying to conceal a large handgun. One needs a holster that provides enough coverage and support for the firearm, and one may also need some additional support for the belt, as hips and butts shrink as the belly grows. Since I am a suspender and belt kind of guy, I have two of those areas covered; the belly is a separate issue.
I can honestly say that the Savoy holster for the G41 and the 1911 are the best IWB holster that I have, and I do have some good ones.
The base price of the holster is $109 and, of course, the more options that you select the price goes up, but the price, and wait, was well worth it.
If you are looking for a very high-quality holster, OWB or IWB, that will provide the support and protection your most personal protection companion deserves, you might want to investigate Savoy leathers. Savoy leather also carries wallets and accessories.
I recently acquired a Springfield XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto for possible winter carry, and I do believe that there is a SAVOY holster that is just waiting to be ordered for this pistol.
Savoy Leather: https://www.savoyleather.com/product-category/holsters/