What I got: The Super Tuck holster in black cowhide with optional J clips.
For: Taurus PT1911AR, a full size 1911 with an integral Picatinny rail.
Price: $69.75 ( +$15.00 for natural horsehide) $5.00 for the J clips.
First impressions: Nice build quality. Four holes on either side to adjust the holster height and angle. Molded kydex scabbard to hold the gun. The scabbard is form fitting and recesses slightly into the trigger guard for retention. The instructions that come with the holster explain how to use a blow dryer to soften the kydex to adjust retention or one can send the holster back to Crossbreed for adjustment.
One of the problems I had with finding a good holster was the rail on the Taurus 1911. The rail is wider than is typical on other railed 1911s and finding a holster that fit, between cheap "Uncle Mike's" or "Gunmate" holsters and very high-end custom gunleather was quite difficult. A quick email to Taurus got a prompt response that they were aware of the issues with the Taurus and could provide a holster to fit.
Crossbreed Super Tuck Front (fully broken in after about 6 months wear)
Wear and use:
I tried several different positions with this holster and gun, from 1:00 to 5:00. For my body size and shape, carries in front tended to pinch when I bend. 3:00 was comfortable but the handgrip on the pistol jutted out and printed badly. Most people probably wouldn't notice, but I did and really preferred better concealment.
When I wore the holster in the 4-5 o'clock position, however, the situation changed dramatically. The holder was quite comfortable in that position. The gun was held flat against my back and didn't protrude. Worn with a shirt untucked or tucked between the holster and the pants it didn't print.
In this early period when I was trying it out I did, however, encounter several problems.
While the leather completely covers the space between my body and the pistol, the kydex only covers a portion of the gun. The slide and frame extend out from the front of it. As a result, the finish on the gun is subject to wear as one moves and the clothes rub against the pistol. Personally, I don't consider this a downcheck. A carry firearm is not a show piece. If one is worried about wear or scratches, better to leave that gun in the safe and carry something a bit more utilitarian.
Related to the coverage problem, I had a problem where the edge of the kydex would wear holes in my pants. This was definitely troublesome. Wearing out my pants in short order is not something I want a holster to do.
I contacted Crossbreed about this (one thing I can say about Crossbreed holsters is that, in my experience, they have great customer service) and received this response:
While I certainly understand your concern, to be honest there have only been a handful of folks who have had this issue that I am aware of. The vast majority of our customers do not experience this and we have well over 40,000 holsters delivered to date. To be honest I suspect when this does occur it's more of an issue with the individual user. Perhaps it's the angle you carry your holster/gun at or more likely, how tight you wear your pants. I don't know these as to be certain answers as I personally have never experienced this issue and know no one personally who has. As far as folks who have reported on this issue, it's less than 6 or 7 that I can think of. Even if it were 10 or 20 folks, out of over 40,000 that is not enough to blame the design of the holster but rather a time to look at each individual situation for the cause. It is easy to think that if it happens to you it must surely be happening to everyone else, but such is definitely not the case.
While that answer could be self-serving, I don't think it is. To be honest, after the first few weeks of wear the problem went away. It could be that I had been wearing older pants that were really too tight (I've gained a few pounds over the years) and the new ones fit properly and therefore don't rub so hard, or maybe their was a bur or something at the edge of the kydex that smoothed off with wear. In any case, I am not having the problem any more so while this is something to be aware of, I don't think it's any more than a break-in problem, at least not for me.
I would remove the gun from the holster and find the that safety was off. On further investigation this turned out to be a training issue. When reaching back for the gun I was, without noticing it, brushing the ambi safety on the 1911. A simple change in how I reached for the gun corrected this problem. I suspect I would have had the same problem with any holster worn in the same spot unless it actually covered the safety.
Sometimes on drawing the gun I would see that the magazine was not locked in place. This usually happened when I had been wearing the holstered gun in my car. This was certainly disconcerting and would have been unconscionable in a holster for defensive carry if it were not resolved.
The clue to what was happening was that it happened when I was wearing the holster in my car. The gun and holster were pressed tight against my back in that position and apparently the pressure was enough to depress the magazine release. When I inspected the holster, I discovered that there was a small dent corresponding to the location of the magazine release.
I continued to try the holster for a while and gradually, that problem went away. Still, I was experimenting with a holster and this problem was potentially serious enough that I would not be able to recommend it if it were left unresolved.
I contacted Crossbreed about this issue too. My proposed solution was to drill a hole in the leather where the magazine release rests to relieve the pressure on it. Their response was as follows:
At a 10% occurrence rate, I would certainly recommend that they warn users about this particular problem and provide the correction instructions.This is a bit more common, we hear of this issue maybe 10% of the time and the solution is very simple. Instead of cutting a hole in the leather, just moisten the back of the holster in the area where the mag button hits. Do this in an area about the size of a quarter, then using your thumb or a blunt tool, form a divot in the front of the holster where the mag button hits. Once this dries it'll hold it's shape and prevent the mag button popping issue, this has not ever failed to cure the problem as far as I know. We don't do this as standard practice because again, it's not a common problem, however I might add this tip to the instructions we send out with our holsters.
And that's really been it. The holster is comfortable, comfortable enough that I'll generally use it when I'm Open Carrying as well as when I conceal--just tuck the shirt behind the holster rather than between it and the pants. It conceals well. Drawing is easy and is facilitated in that you can adjust the height and angle of the holster. Reholstering one-handed is easy, even in the rather awkward position that works best for me. It's available at a modest price from a company with excellent customer service. Highly recommended.