From their Beretta, SIG, Glock, and 1911 upgrades to their own excellent line of pistols, the company Bill Wilson started in the 1970s in Berryville, Arkansas, quickly established itself as an elite custom shop. Everyone who follows the gun industry knows Wilson Combat’s reputation for custom firearms work. What fewer people know is their line of finely crafted holsters.
Those of you who read my weekly column know I’m not a big fan of all-leather holsters. The classic look can’t be beat, but I’m much more of a function guy, caring less about how a holster looks and more about how well it does its job of holding the gun. But I know Wilson Combat has a reputation for top-quality products, so I wanted to give this one a fair shake. I wasn’t disappointed.
The Lo-Profile II OWB is a full leather, hand-stitched holster custom fit for each gun model, not just a universal fit that might or might not work for every firearm. The two-piece base is crafted from ultra-stiff leather that I thought would be a problem at first but then realized the wisdom of its design: reducing wear and tear over the life of the holster while maintaining good retention of the firearm.
A third piece of leather—Wilson Combat calls it the “Shark Trim” because of its Jaws-esque fin shape—lies atop the holster opening to offer extra reinforcement against dangerous lip curl commonly found in leather holsters as they age.
Tunnel-like, 1.5-inch belt slots hold the holster snuggly to the hip and push the gun forward into a slight 15-degree cant, a comfortable position for draw with the added benefit of rotating the grip a bit higher to reduce printing, especially important with an OWB.
Due to the extra stiffness of the leather, breaking in took a bit of work, but I had the gun sliding in and out in no time with no special softeners or conditioners required. I just unloaded the gun and worked it in and out of the holster a few times, bending the edges to work the leather. After repeated wearings and use, it has kept its shape and retention perfectly.
As for comfort, geez, Louise! The gun basically floated on my belt. I almost forgot I was wearing it. The holster never moved or slid despite my constant standing and sitting. Drawing and holstering were confident and easy, with the gun sliding in firmly and staying put.
Pricewise, you’re going to shell out a few extra bucks at $129.95 a pop. But if you’ve ever worked with Wilson Combat goods, you expect to pay a little more because they offer a little more. Could you spend less for a decent leather holster? Sure. But it will be just that, decent. The Lo-Profile II is better than just decent. It’s a high-quality holster that should last you a long time.