I first met Bruce Nelson in 1976 at the IPSC Founding Conference and recall first noticing him because of the beautiful Andy Anderson-style competition “combat” rig he was wearing. When I asked him who made his rig I was surprised to learn that he had, and I was an instant fan of his superb handgun leather. Following his retirement from being a California undercover narcotics officer, Bruce relocated to Arizona and became a full-time holster maker until his passing. His “Professional” model hip holster was state-of-the-art as a high-ride, practical hip holster for his favorite handgun—the Colt Government 1911 .45 ACP.
Wilson Combat produces an excellent line of practical holsters, designed and tested by none other than Bill Wilson himself. He describes their Practical Carry model as their fastest holster, constructed from what they describe as a leather-polymer laminate. The hot-molded polymer appears to be Kydex, perfectly molded for a Wilson Combat full-size 1911 .45 pistol—including a sight tunnel for sharp edged front sights. The pouch includes a sweatguard, which is molded for an extended thumb safety in the on-position, thereby preventing the safety from accidentally working into the off-position.
El Paso Saddlery
The El Paso Saddlery Exotic Crosshair is an open-top pancake-style holster constructed of a beautiful black crocodile on cowhide laminate. The leading and trailing edge belt slots for a 1¼-inch matching crocodile belt place the holster on the strong-side hip at an FBI rake. The holster fully encloses the triggerguard for safety while presenting the pistol for a full shooting grip while holstered. The pouch is hand-boned on the front for a perfect fit of the pistol, while being flat on the back to better hug the hip. The wet molding produces a front sight tunnel to prevent high-visibility or sharp-edge front sights from snagging on the holster. Security with the open-top pouch is provided by an adjustable tension device placed at the base of the triggerguard.