June 23, 2022
By Joe Kurtenbach
Guns & Ammo’s staff was impressed by 1791 Gunleather’s first moldable offering, the inside-the-waistband (IWB) Ultra Custom Concealment Holster. Editor Eric Poole concluded that it was “comfortable, convenient and versatile” in his June 2020 review. The contributing staff agreed and awarded 1791 Gunleather G&A’s “Holster of the Year” honors for its innovative use of materials and fresh approach to gun fitment.
For 2021, 1791 Gunleather is offering an outside-the-waistband (OWB) model: The Ultra Custom Belt Holster. Still making use of Memory-Lok polymer composite to reinforce its cowhide exterior, the holster is a multi-fit design that will work with multiple firearm models of similar size and is intended to be molded by the user for a perfect, custom fit. Two wing-style belt loops support carrying outside the pants, and they will accept up to 1.75-inch-wide belts. Six generic sizes are available to accommodate the majority of semiautomatic pistols.
In Hot Water Whereas Poole opted to sous vide his test holster until it was pliable, I opted for a simple pot of water, a gas burner and a thermometer. Provided with the holster was a heavy-duty plastic bag. I found that once the water came up to temp — 155 to 175 degrees, per the instructions — it was easy to maintain over low heat for the requisite time, which was about 10 minutes.
After its short stew, the holster pocket was perfectly malleable and ready to accept my SIG Sauer P229 for custom fitment. Using the two provided molding tools, I was able to develop a good sight channel for an unobstructed draw and shape it to the lines of the P229. I also pressed material into the triggerguard and around the ejection port to increase the holster’s retention. Finally, I wore the holster in my intended carry position — about 4:00 on the strongside hip. I then allowed it to cool in place so that it would take on the contour of my body as it cooled. The result was both comfortable, and no break-in was required! This OWB holster fit my gun perfectly and provided a reassuring, tactile cue when it was fully seated.
30 Day Carry
During my month-long evaluation, the Ultra Custom Belt Holster easily bore the weight of my P229. The holster was designed with about 10 degrees of cant. This feature eased my strong-side draw and helped to conceal the gun’s grip beneath a cover garment.
Like most quality hip holsters, the Ultra Custom is unlikely to draw attention when worn beneath a jacket, vest or open-front shirt of appropriate length. Although appendix-inside-the-waistband (AIWB) is my preferred carry method, the Ultra Custom compared well to other OWB offerings intended to facilitate concealment.
One benefit to the Memory-Lok technology is its ability to be remolded for different firearms. However, I think this capability is also appreciated by users wanting to refine the feel of the draw and amount of retention. The security-minded may seek a firmer lock on the gun; others might smooth out unwanted hitches to speed their presentation. The Ultra Custom Belt Holster from 1791 Gunleather allows shooters to mold and remold until the fit is just right.
1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom Belt Holster (Right Hand Only) Specifications:
- Materials: Leather; Memory-Lok polymer composite
- Carry Type: Outside the waistband (OWB)
- Retention Type: Level 1, friction fit
- Adjustability: Re-moldable for fit and retention
- MSRP: $100
- Handgun Fit: SIG Sauer P229 (tested); semiautomatics; six sizes available
- Accessory Rail Accommodations: No
- Positions to Carry: OWB; 3 to 5 o’clock (right hand)
- Average Time to Attach: 20 seconds
- Comfort Rating: 5/5
- Concealment Clothing: Light jacket or vest
- Average Draw-to-Fire Time: 1.4 seconds
- Manufacturer: 1791 Gunleather, 800-407-1791, 1791gunleather.com
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