1911 Thunderclap Holster: Galco Quality Gun Leather

You can’t get any more classic than the legendary 1911 pistol and a genuine, high-quality leather holster from Galco. The first 1911 pistol I ever held was my grandfather’s, which was nothing more than a plane-Jane Colt .45. I had seen them in old WWII movies but had not held one in person. He also had an open-top leather holster that just added to its classic look.

It goes without saying that this was the first type of firearm I purchased when I was old enough to buy my first gun. I’ve had several different brands over the years in .45 and 9mm. Regardless of which 1911 I have at the time, I always end up wanting a good leather holster for it. Galco makes some of the finest leather holsters I’ve ever seen, and the 1911 Thunderclap is no exception.

Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster for 1911
The Thunderclap Belt Holster for 1911 pistols is one of Galco’s premier hand-molded holsters. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Concealing a 1911 handgun is challenging, to say the least. A full-size model is heavy, has a 5-inch barrel, and has a large mag-well/grip. A belt holster is the most comfortable way for me to carry a gun like this, and the Thunderclap was made for everyday carry.

Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster

This is what I would call a half-pancake belt holster because it only has a belt loop on one side instead of both. The second belt loop is directly behind the holster instead of being on the other side. In the past, I’ve had issues with some of my pancake holsters when I tightened my belt. Because the belt loops are on each side, the holster tends to flatten out as the belt pulls across the front of the holster. And, of course, this makes the gun hard to draw and re-holster.

Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster for 1911
The design of the Thunderclap holster makes it comfortable to carry and works great for CCW. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
With one loop on the back and one to the side, the holster is stable and comfortable to wear. This Galco holster is hand-molded from premium steerhide leather and fits belts up to 1.5 inches wide. It is part of the Masterbilt series of best-quality, premier-grade holsters. One thing I always do when I receive a new leather holster is smell the leather. It’s strange how much you can learn about a leather holster when smelling it. Like a new car or piece of leather furniture, you just can’t get enough.

Because the Thunderclap belt holster is hand-molded, you don’t really need to mold it to your gun, as you normally use wood with leather holsters. During the final drying process, a mold is placed in the holster to ensure a perfect fit. This process also causes the gun to have some passive retention. A smooth, shiny finish makes the Thunderclap stand out, and the soft finish on the inside helps protect the gun.

Is cross-draw an option with this holster?

Because of my years in law enforcement, I have always carried full-size guns on my right hip. Even for IWB carry, I wore holsters on my right hip because that is what I was used to. Over the past few years, however, I’ve begun warming up to appendix carry with IWB holsters. Because of this, I now prefer having the gun towards the front of my body so I can reach it quickly, even while sitting down.

Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster for 1911
I ended up moving the Thunderclap belt holster to the cross-draw position, and it worked great for CCW. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
When I first wore the Thunderclap OWB belt holster, I put it on my right side as I normally do for belt holsters. This was comfortable and worked great, but I really wanted to see if I could get it closer to the same area as appendix carry. Galco gave the Thunderclap a neutral cant, which means it sits vertically on your belt. This makes it easier to wear in different locations and still draw the gun. After moving it around on my belt, I was surprised at the location that worked best for me.

I ended up wearing the Thunderclap belt holster in the cross-draw position. I rarely wear a cross-draw holster, but this one fits perfectly on my front left side. This allows me to pull my jacket, hoodie, or shirt up and draw the gun, much like I do with appendix carry. It’s also easy to draw from a seated position when carried cross-draw.

One-Month Carry Test

I love guns and holsters, so I tend to carry a wide variety of handguns with all different types of holsters. But I also know you can put something on and think it works, only to find out later it doesn’t. Have you ever grabbed a new holster and put it on before running out the door? I’ve done this many times and realized after I left the house with the holster something wasn’t fitting right. The holster was either too loose, made my pants too tight, or started to dig into my side.

After that, I decided to test a new holster for one month before making it a permanent addition to my holster collection. So, I’ve been wearing the Thunderclap holster for more than a month now, and there’s no question that it’s comfortable. Each person will have their own preference on how they wish to carry a 1911 pistol, but for me, cross-draw works best.

Galco Thunderclap Belt Holster for 1911
Galco’s Thunderclap belt holster for 1911 pistols. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I carried this holster strong side multiple times but always moved it back. Because full-size 1911 pistols are so big, I don’t really like using IWB holsters for them. In the past, I would carry one on the hip and just deal with its weight and size. A shoulder holster is a great option, but not always practical. In the cross-draw position, I can carry a full-size 1911 and still conceal it.

Classic Holster for a Classic Gun

During cooler weather, I wear clothing that covers an OWB holster, which is my favorite. This is one of the few leather holsters that fits my gun without reshaping it. My 1911 pistol slides in and out perfectly but still has some retention. I can hold the holster upside down, and the gun stays in place.

Galco offers the Thunderclap belt holster in tan or black and makes custom sizes to fit a variety of manufacturers. For those wanting to carry commander-size 1911 pistols, you can also find this holster for 4-inch barrels. If you want to carry extra mags, they also make a matching leather double mag pouch to wear with the Thunderclap belt holster. This holster is perfect for concealment or wearing in the backyard during a BBQ. If you own a 1911 handgun, I recommend checking this holster out.

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.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap