90th IDPG Reviews


At The Front M1916 Holster Review (SM Wholesale)

Review Date: 7/7/2010
Author: Chris Guska



The M1916 holster was the predominantly issued holster for the M1911 45 caliber service pistol throughout WW2 for ground forces. While this holster saw service from WW1 through the modern era, it has not been accurately offered for the reenactment community in a quality reproduction.

At The Front has recently released a reproduction M1916 holster. The offering from ATF appears to have addressed many of the shortcomings of other reproductions. I've taken the time to compare this reproduction to an excellent condition original holster to highlight this product.


Ordering was quick and easy via telephone with At The Front. I ordered the M1916 holster as part of a larger order. The order was accurately filled and delivered via UPS the same week when I ordered it.

Cost: $75.00

Update 2/24/2013 - This holster is no longer available. ATF has begun production of their own holsters in house. A review of the currently available slings is available here.

I have kept this review of the prior generation available for reference

The Reproduction:


First impressions of the holster are fairly positive. The essential question of "does a 45 fit" is a resounding yes. USGI 1911's and 1911a1's fit the holster without undue force and the holster "broke in" and molded to a great fit within several days.

I'm going to let the photos do most of the work on this review.


Stitching details and the brass stud.

Rear View of the holster.

Belt loop holes and 1910 hanger.

Inside view, with pad and "muzzle plug".

The leather quality is good - with thick, first quality leather being used. Stitching is tight and appears to be a natural thread that was used. I'm satisfied with the overall construction and quality. This appears to be a well made holster with good quality materials. I'll address pattern and small details in the comparison.



The holster is not dyed or otherwise finished with oil. Below are photos of the holster with a coat of pure neatsfoot oil, hand rubbed in.

Note the "pure neatsfoot oil" - "neatsfoot oil" comes in several different grades. Theres "Pure Neatsfoot Oil" and then there's "Neatsfoot Compound"... so what's the difference? Neatsfoot Compound, also known as Prime Neatsfoot Oil contains petroleum distillates, while Pure Neatsfoot Oil does not. Petroleum Distillates / mineral oils lead to the breakdown of non synthetic fibers as well as breakdown of the leather.

I purchased my pure neatsfoot oil from Tandy Leather.

The holster takes on a rich brown color once it has been oiled.


Fitting and "Breaking-In":

My "break in" process consisted of giving my 1911A1 a liberal coat of Hoppes CLP and then putting the 45 in the holster as far down as it could go. I cocked and locked the 45, with the thumb safety up - so that the slide stays locked forward. New / tight holsters have a tendency to push the slide backwards, so you want to keep the slide locked forward during this process.

I put the holster and 45 out in the summer sun for half an hour; then oiled the holster with neatsfoot oil and rubbed the holster like you would a baseball glove. I left the 45 in the holster for several days, checking the 45 daily to see that it remained lightly oiled with CLP to prevent any rust formation.

After 3 or 4 days of the 45 in the holster, I checked the fit and proceeded to insert and withdraw the 45 several times- much like you would throw a baseball into the palm and web of a baseball mit.

Page 2: Comparison to an original WW2 production M1916 holster


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