Review: 1791 Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster

A versatile Outside the Waistband holster at an attractive price point.

posted on October 15, 2022
1791 Gunleather Open Top Multi Fit Holster

Over the past few years, I’ve reviewed a lot of holsters for this column. Most of them are exceptionally well-designed and come highly recommended. One manufacturer that consistently provides solid value in their holsters and is easy to recommend is 1791 Gunleather. The name comes from the year the Bill of Rights -- and thus the Second Amendment -- was ratified.

As the name implies, 1791 Gunleather specializes in leather holsters. While I’m not a big fan of leather for various reasons, I typically pull a 1791 product out of my holster bin when a leather holster is appropriate. The Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster is one holster I would trust to hold my gun in style and comfort.

Back of holster

The Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster is an all-leather holster that starts with a 1/8-inch thick leather back with a sweat guard and is topped off with a 1/16-inch leather front contoured to particular firearms like its Kydex cousins. In addition, a double layer of leather is stitched to the outside, near the mouth of the holster, for added strength and reinforcement against lip curl, a common problem in leather holsters.

As they age, leather holsters tend to wilt and soften around the mouth, allowing the leather to bend and risk possibly becoming a hindrance to the safe reholstering of the weapon, as the new flap mimics a trigger finger. However, some alert holster makers have gotten wise to this and found solutions, such as extra layers or even adding carbon fiber and polymer between the layers for added stiffness.

holster fitSometimes a holster maker can make their leather too stiff, as with the Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster. I guess there’s no pleasing me, right? I only complain about this because the holster was so stiff at first that I couldn’t get my gun into it or pull it out once I jammed it in. Clearly, 1791 knew about this, however, as they included a slip of paper in the box explaining how to break in the leather. Good thing because I was getting more than a little frustrated. So, I followed their instructions, and the next thing I knew, the holster was pliable enough that the gun slipped in and out much easier yet still had good retention. Problem solved.

Another step some leather holster makers have taken to bring their gear up to the 21st century is adding an optic cut. Such is the case with the Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster for my Glock 17, on which I mounted a Vortex red dot, so I needed the optic cut version. Thanks to the open muzzle design, the holster also fits the Glock 19 and Glock 44 because they have the same chassis.

The MSRP for the Open Top Multi-Fit Belt Holster ranges from $59.99 to $64.99, depending on whether you have a medium or full-size gun. That’s a great price for a holster that feels like it will last a very long time.


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