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1911 4 inch barrel

The 4” 1911 was never part of the original series of 1911 models produced by Colt, and doesn’t have the storied Colt history. The first 1911 manufacturer believed to have produced a 4” 1911 was Kimber Manufacturing in 1999. The idea for a 4” model was primarily to differentiate Kimber from other 1911 makers at that time. Initially, it was believed that the 4” 1911 concept wouldn’t catch on, but the 4” model prevailed and is still being produced by Kimber today. Other 1911 manufacturers like Springfield Armory saw the success and added a 4” variation to their 1911 line as well. Today, not every company who produces 1911’s offers the 4” model, but there are a few who still do.

Kimber Pro Carry 4 inch 1911

One of the reasons you don’t see more 4” 1911 models are the costs associated with tooling for a 4” barrel and slide, coupled with the idea that it’s not a “true” and original 1911 variation as designed by Colt. Most makers who still offer a 4” version are on the upper end of the pricing scale.

Some commonly asked questions we receive regarding holsters for the 4” 1911 models:

#1 – Won’t a 4” 1911 fit in a holster made for the slightly longer Colt Commander (4 ¼” barrel)?

Yes, it will and that’s a common approach to addressing the lack of holsters made specifically for the 4” model. Most (but not all) holster makers lump the 4” and 4 ¼” Commander size 1911 handguns into the same fit code designated for the Commander. The only potential downside to this approach is the fact that, instead of a flush fit, the holster will have ¼” of extra length. Using a Commander holster to fit a 4” model will also work if the holster has thumb break.

#2 – So what if I want a holster specifically made for my 4” 1911?

We can help there as well since MTR Custom produces a 4” 1911 model holster for nearly every holster version they offer. Those holsters can be seen below.

#3 – What would be a good holster choice for the 4” 1911?

Well the size of handgun basically limits holster options to either on the belt (also called outside the waistband) or inside the waistband. There are a number of good quality OWB holster options for that 1911 model such as the Don Hume H721-OT (you'll have to use the Colt commander option to order) or the MTR Custom Belt Scabbard. The thin single stack design lends itself to IWB carry as long as you are comfortable with the 4” barrel. Some popular IWB models that we carry for this handgun include the Don Hume H715M W/C clip-on IWB, the MTR Custom Adversary IWB, or the MTR Custom Slimline Tuckable.

#4 – If I wanted a holster with a thumb break, what would be a good option?

For starters, it’s important to realize that the 1911 style of pistols are single action and are therefore designed to be carried with the hammer cocked (commonly known as either Condition 1 carry or cocked & locked carry). For this reason, all the thumb break holster models that we offer are designed to work with the pistol being carried in the cocked & locked position. If you prefer to carry the 1911 with the hammer down, the only option we can offer is an MTR Custom holster with an optional thumb break that is specifically built for hammer down carry.

All the holster models listed below are available in a version to fit a 4" 1911 (although some are only labeled for the Colt Commander).

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