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1791 Gunleather Project Stealth Holster Review

This holster is the first to combine carbon fiber and leather. Photo by 1791 Gunleather.

1791 Gunleather’s Project Stealth holster: so nice, it’s hard to keep concealed

Out of Florida comes an all-American holster that, for the first time, combines traditional leather and modern carbon fiber for a whole new look. Project Stealth, a new holster series from 1791 Gunleather, is one that’s so eye-catching, it might just be hard to keep under your shirt. The company’s matching belt makes a durable combination for regular wear.

Project Stealth holsters come in a series of four sizes. Between them, most well-known brands and models, from the Ruger LC9 to a full size 1911, are covered. I tested the smallest holster with my Sig Sauer P365. A student and I have shared testing a larger holster that fits both my commander-size 1911, a Sig Nightmare, as well as his full-size Remington 1911.

The first thing that struck me when I opened the box of product samples was the aroma of quality leather—a veritable intoxicant in my book. All 1791 leather is cut from American steerhide. The thickness is hefty, like that of the flaps on my horses’ saddles. It’s consistently thick, the mark of no corners being cut in leather selection. This material is top-grade.

Back view showing the body hugging curve of Project Stealth holsters.

That pleasant first impression was quickly followed by another, this one visual. Project Stealth holsters are the first to combine ultra-modern carbon fiber material with traditional leather. The outward-facing body of the holster is flexible but strong carbon fiber; the rest is steerhide. It’s an eye-catching combination, sure to please those who want something unique. It’s also what makes this holster tempting to wear openly! It’s functional eye candy.

Project Stealth holsters are cut in a form-fitting pancake design. There’s only enough room in the belt loops to thread the gun belt through. In combination with the belt, it’s a solid fit that doesn’t shift in carriage or flip up on the draw. Though the leather is thick, it molds nicely to the wearer’s waist.

There is a break-in period with both the holster and belt. Though one size will accommodate more than one gun, it’s a good idea to dedicate a Project Stealth to a single model. Over time, the fit will conform to a particular gun in a near-custom fit.

project stealth

The little Sig is held very tight to my side but the draw is still comfortable.

The Sig P365 is quite concealable with a hip-length outer garment when wearing the gun belt and Project Stealth holster. A 1911, not so much. Both, however, are held tight against the body by this rig, minimizing that telltale gun bulge.

Reholstering is reminiscent of a classic leather duty holster, requiring a good press down to seat the gun in place. Once there, retention is good despite the one-size fits-all design. The somewhat flexible interior is leather-lined, and protects the finish from the carbon fiber on the outside.

Coverage of the trigger guard is not total, but is sufficient to protect the trigger from interference by unwanted, unintended objects, at least for the Sig P365 and Remington 1911. It leaves much of the skeletonized trigger, but not the trigger face of the Sig Nightmare, exposed. For this reason, I’d rather use it only with those 1911s that fit a little deeper into the sheath, or that have a solid trigger. Chances of something getting inside the trigger guard are very slim, and even then, the dual safeties of the gun should prevent an unintended discharge. Still, I prefer a trigger be fully shielded.

1791 gunleather

Smallest Project Stealth. Photo by 1791 Gunleather.

Drawing from the holster is easy thanks to a cut-away that allows for a firing grip, right away. And unlike some longer holsters, the 1911 model doesn’t try to flip up from the bottom on the draw–this has been the experience of both me with a Sig and the student who tried it with his Remington.

I would not feel entirely confident using this holster, carried openly, in a busy public location. There is no retention strap and snatching a gun vertically out of the holster would be easier for a criminal actor than with a fitted Kydex holster. This is, in this writer’s estimation, the only real drawback to the Project Stealth.

The matching (if you choose black) 1791 Gunleather gun belt, also available in medium brown, has a sturdy, chrome-finish steel roller buckle that makes tightening smooth while resisting marring and wear on the leather where the buckle rests. Two Chicago screws secure it to the belt, making it at least as strong as any horse harness. The belt is 1.5 inches wide and the edges are well-finished in the same color as the belt. A sizing chart on the company website makes picking the right size easy, as it’s clear about the difference between pant and belt size. This is a belt that looks great and is sturdy enough to carry a lot of gear besides a gun.

Photo courtesy of 1791 Gunleather

Currently, this new holster is only offered in all-black and only in right-handed configuration. Since the gun belt is also offered in brown, I’m hopeful it’ll soon be available in a two-tone version, and with models available to my southpaw friends. There is also no light-bearing cut available at this time.

The 1791 Gunleather belt is $59.99 by direct order. If you’re gearing up for holiday shopping for that gun lover who has everything, it’s hard to go wrong with this one! The Project Stealth holster is a pleasing and original addition at $99.99.

Click here to read our top 21 holsters reviewed.

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