I really enjoy seeing and trying all the new holsters and new holster designs available today. But there are a few old (better: “classic”) holsters I love. One is the Galco Royal Guard. This rough-side-out horsehide holster regularly gets called on for concealed carry duty for the Nighthawk Custom T4 you see here.
Now in Generation 2, Galco’s Royal Guard has been around a long time and many holster makers have created a version of this design. The one you see here is from an earlier generation, lacking the raised sweat guard found on the Gen 2 models. But the key features — double belt loops, reinforced mouth, and tough-as-nails horsehide — remain. It retails for $129.95.
Why do I love it? Besides the three key features, the fit of this gun to the 1911 design is perfect. And with smooth-side leather on the inside of the holster, the retention and protection of the 1911 is perfect. That’s right, perfect. Maybe it’s because the 1911 has been around for a long time, too? Anyway, despite being a classic and relatively simple inside the waistband holster, it offers great concealment. The holster sends the stocks of the 1911 up and in (therefore, well-hidden), the bulge of the rig diminishes at 4 o’clock (position on waist — not time of day) and the whole thing remains relatively comfortable all day. Go for a draw and your 1911 is there. Easy out. And with the reinforced mouth, it’s easy back in, too.
While it takes a bit more effort to install — the two belt holster loops go on either side of a pant loop but under your belt — you’re rewarded with a very stable rig and a fairly aggressive forward cant. Removing the holster is a snap; two, actually. And then you pull the rig up and off.
Galco offers two generations of this holster for many handgun makes and models, both new and old. But it’s such a great fit for the 1911, you too might prefer the old Guard.
— Mark Kakkuri