1791 Gunleather 4-Way Holster: Full Review

Picking a holster is just as simple as selecting a gun and finding a compatible holster system, right? Okay, both of those tasks are not always simple and can be, dare I say, frustrating at times. They require endless hours of searching the web, conducting research, and asking your buddies what you should buy. 1791’s 4-Way Concealment & Belt holster is a perfect holster when you want options because it works with multiple guns and can be carried in different methods.

Back in the day, leather holsters were pretty much the only option. Today, we have all kinds of holsters made of various materials that come in all shapes and sizes. While leather used to be the only choice one could find, it is now considered an upgrade in the holster world. It’s an old-school craft that is getting harder to find. But 1791 Gunleather makes a nice combination of classic and modern, all mixed into one.

1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster
The 4 Way Holster from 1791 Gunleather is adaptable for IWB and OWB carry. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Leather is extremely tough, looks nice, and can be molded to a near-perfect fit. The 4-Way holster by 1791 Gunleather checks all these boxes. An open-top design, it serves as an IWB holster and three OWB positions, which are listed below. One thing that makes 1791 stand out as a leather company is the quality and finishes they offer on their leather. I tend to drift towards brown when picking a leather color, but this finish (vintage) has some black fading that gives it a unique look.

Sizing and custom-fitting the 1791 4-Way holster

Most leather holsters are tight-fitting at first, which is normal. There are several ways to custom fit a holster to a gun, with some requiring denatured alcohol or water. Holsters from 1791, however, are much easier and only require a few simple steps. Before you start the process of custom-fitting a holster, make sure the gun is made for that specific holster.

1791 has a drop-down menu that will allow you to select the firearm you plan to use. Each holster will work with multiple firearms in that size category. My 4-Way holster is a size 5, which means it will work with more than two dozen firearms, including:

  • PX4 Storm
  • Glock full-width frames like the G17, 19, 30, 38, etc.
  • Ruger P95, SR9
  • Smith & Wesson M&P
  • Taurus G3
  • Walther P99

There are 6 different sizes of holsters to choose from, so one can be found for just about any size of firearm. A complete list is provided on 1791’s website or on the back of the holster packaging.

Fitting the holster to the gun

Once you select the gun you plan to carry, place the gun in a freezer bag (ensure it is unloaded first). Push the bag-covered gun into the holster until it gets snug, but do not force it. Rock the gun from side to side until it is seated all the way in the holster. Then, twist the gun back and forth in small motions 6-12 times while holding the holster stationary. Repeat this process 6-12 times.

Leave the gun in the holster for approximately 15 minutes to give the leather time to adjust. After that, remove the gun from the bag and check to see how it fits in the holster. A properly fitting gun should slide into the holster without issue but be snug enough to stay in the holster when held upside down. If the holster is still too tight, repeat the fitting process until your gun fits as it should.

IWB (Inside-the-Waistband)

Inside-the-waistband carry is one of the more common methods of concealed carry today. This is mostly because IWB provides the most concealability for your gun. With this method of carry, the holster goes inside your waistband, and the belt clip goes over your belt. You can wear an IWB holster in multiple places, including the appendix, strong side, and small of the back.

1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster
Appendix IWB carry with the 1791 Gunleather 4-Way Holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Appendix carry is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of IWB carry because it allows quick access to the gun. How you carry an IWB holster, however, will depend on what you’re most comfortable with. Everyone is different and prefers different methods. The size of the gun will dictate to some degree where and how you carry it.

I’ve been carrying my 4-Way holster around for a few weeks, and it’s comfortable and appears to be of great quality. I’ll get more into the details of the quality here in a bit. The belt clip is wide enough to work with most two-inch belts and still keep the holster from pulling up over the belt when you draw the gun. Because leather is thicker than Kydex, I found appendix carry to be the most comfortable for me.

Horizontal Cant

This is a method of carrying not seen as much these days, but some still prefer it. When carrying it in this fashion, the holster is placed in the small of the back, at an angle. This causes the handle of the gun to face up towards your back. Some people prefer this method of carrying when they don’t want the gun getting in the way during movement.

1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster
Horizontal carry with the 1791 Gunleather 4-Way Holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
If you do a lot of sitting, this method of carry may be uncomfortable as the gun will push against your back when seated. But it can work great for other tasks when you need the gun a little more out of the way. I have a friend who prefers this method when riding his bike because it keeps the gun behind him, and he can still reach it if needed.

Vertical Cant

This is the most common method of outside-the-waistband (OWB) carry, especially for full-size firearms. You can wear the holster on your side where it feels natural to draw. The grip of the gun will angle slightly forward, making it easy to grab and draw. I use this method of carrying in the winter when a jacket will still conceal the gun. For larger firearms, this is the most popular way to carry a sidearm.

1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster
Strongside carry with the 1791 Gunleather 4-Way Holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Cross-Draw Cant

The cross-draw method of carry involves placing the holster on your non-dominate side and reaching over to draw with your dominant hand. If you find yourself sitting a great deal (desk, car, etc.), this is a great option for keeping the gun within easy reach. Worn on the outside of the belt, it will still need a jacket, coat, or some extra clothing to conceal, but it makes drawing a gun from a seated position easier than strongside carry.

1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster
Cross-draw carry with the 1791 Gunleather 4 Way Holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Quality of 1791 Gunleather

If you are choosing a leather holster, it’s probably not a random selection. It’s hard to ignore the craftsmanship of a well-made leather item. I have leather bags, gloves, shoes, belts, and, of course, holsters. If taken care of, a good leather holster will last more than a lifetime. Every holster made by 1791 Gunleather carries a lifetime warranty and is made of 100% American leather.

Stitching is reinforced to ensure it will not come apart. When you first use a leather holster, it will feel stiff and a little awkward getting your belt on and off. As you continue to use it, however, it will become broken in and easier to work with. As a kid, I remember folding my baseball glove around, trying to break it in so it would be more comfortable. Holsters are no different from baseball gloves. The older they get, the better they work.

If you want to carry a gun using a specific method, 1791 makes plenty of holsters for specific carrying styles. But if you want options, the 4-Way Concealment & Belt holster provides flexibility. This is a perfect holster for traveling, so you can change the method of carrying based on how you are dressed and what you are doing. Four colors are available, including classic brown, signature brown, Stealth Black, and Vintage (shown in photos).

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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