I got this holster off ebay for the screaming price of about $20.00. It's used but like brand new, and if it had been worn before I got it, it was worn very little.
It's a smooth, finished leather finish on the exterior, tanned a nice dark brown color on the exterior, and it's unfinished but still smooth on the interior. It's a thin and supple piece of leather, but thick enough to hold a heavy steel frame gun and support it well. Of course, it also works well with lighter weight commanders like the Kimber Pro Carry.
It does not have a reinforced lip around the top of the holster, and doesn't need it for reholstering the gun. It's the perfect medium between thick enough to reholster a gun but not so thick as to be inflexible and uncomfortable. It doesn't stick to your skin but when worn without an undershirt underneath the holster, it stays in place due to the nice finish. So basically the holster doesn't move but it also doesn't stick to your skin. Bravo.
It has a black plastic clip instead of my preferred wide metal clip, but I've come to like their clip version. This clip features a J shaped piece at the bottom that secures the clip under the belt in addition to the clip's spring pressure, to keep the holster in when the gun is removed. This clip is a bit more difficult to remove from some of my thicker (i.e. gunbelts) belts and there have been times that it has been almost impossible to get the clip holster off the belt with the gun in the holster.
This is a good thing. If the holster is properly worn with the belt clip dealiebobber clipping under the belt, then this holster is not coming with the gun when the gun is drawn or removed from the holster.
The holster also has a sweat shield/hammer protector (i.e. to protect your side from the hammer of the holstered gun). It's the perfect size for the Commander, but when used for the Browning Hi Power the traditional hammer sometimes will poke my side when moving in a certain way.
I guess this means I should order one of these for the Hi Power with the request that the sweat shield be enlarged for the hammer of the Hi Power. But since this holster is designed for the Commander, generally these holsters will perfectly fit a Hi Power as well.
This was my third Alessi holster and my favorite IWB holster for the 1911 Commander. It also perfectly fits the Browning Hi Power and has become the go-to 1st choice IWB holster for the Browning as well. Prior to the arrival of this Alessi IWB holster, my go-to IWB holster for the 1911 and Browning Hi Power was the venerable Bianchi rough out suede Model 6.
I'll note that my other two Alessi holsters, also bought used off of ebay, are excellently finished as well. One is a hard molded 3" N frame belt holster which reminds me of the T-Man or Treasury model that used to be made by the late Chic Gaylord, a guru of combat holstermaking. It fits a 3" N frame like a glove with retention yet an easy draw. My other holster is a shoulder holster for the H&K P7 and is the unique "pull through" design wherein the holster retention snap is INSIDE the triggerguard of the P7. Although they make these for other autos like the 1911, I'm a little nervous putting the holster snap IN the triggerguard of a 1911. The P7 IS the gun built for this type of shoulder holster, due to the squeeze cocking system that the P7 uses.
Some of my commander holsters, like an excellent Mitch Rosen molded belt slide/pancake type holster design sold through Galco, won't fit the Hi Power or a 5" 1911. They are wet molded so tight to the Commander size that a full size 1911 or Hi Power simply won't fully insert and can't be forced. That's a well made holster as well.
But this Alessi IWB will also take a full size 5" 1911, and even those with a vertical backside on their front sight. The holster runs about 1/2" long past the Commander barrel, and the 5" 1911 barrel just peeks out a wee bit from the bottom.
Using various full size 1911's with big front sights, I've tried to match it catch in the holster and it won't do it. Smooth draw every time.
As a fellow who has been using one brand of IWB holster (the Bianchi Model 6) for the Commander and Government 1911's and the Browning Hi Power since 1981, it's a sea change for me to go with this new Alessi. I wore the Bianchi model 6 to work the other day with the commander, taking the Alessi in the briefcase just in case. The Bianchi made it about an hour before being switched out because the Bianchi just didn't stay put as well as the Alessi.
I still use the Bianchi Model 6 for J and K frame revolvers, with my favorite trick being to use a larger size .38/357 (K frame snubnose) holster for the 5 shot J frame as well as Colt snubnoses. The K frame snubbie Model 6 holster is just a bit bigger than it's smaller J frame cousin, and holds a J frame a bit deeper and more concealed than the J frame version does.
I won't sell my two Bianchi Model 6 IWB 1911 holsters I have. But since getting this Alessi, only one has been used as mentioned above in the 8 months that I've had this Alessi IWB.
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent holster with above-average construction, super excellent fit and gorgeous to look at (when not wearing it since it's IWB). It holds the gun at just the right spot, offering enough grip for a secure purchase but holding the gun close to the body so it is concealable under a T shirt. I highly recommend.
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