High-Noon Upper Cut Holster—Simple and Profound

125x126 mark's article
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In the course of evaluating handguns for concealed carry, I have the privilege of trying out a lot of equipment. Not only do I get to evaluate the latest and greatest handguns — only temporarily as gun writers do have to return them to the manufacturer — but also the latest and greatest holsters. While determining which make and model of handgun to carry depends on a variety of factors — making it in many ways a very subjective decision – choosing a holster has just as many facets. Right-handed or left-handed? Inside the waistband or outside the waistband? Leather or Kydex? Clips or snaps? Appendix or small of the back? Cant or straight drop? Ankle or shoulder? Tuckable? And so on.

If there’s one aspect of concealed carry that consistently proves true, it’s the age-old concept of “keep it simple.” Every holster has its place and use, to be sure, and today’s holster manufacturers offer a myriad of features that have made concealed carry better in numerous ways. It’s rare, however, that just one holster suits every concealed carry need. Still, for civilian concealed carry—which by nature requires the ability to quickly and easily and safely carry a handgun on my person—I have found that a simple inside the waistband holster consistently meets these needs. Here’s just one example of how that played out.

Recently I had the privilege of evaluating a few three-inch barreled 1911’s—a Colt Defender, Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II, and Smith & Wesson Pro 1911.These handguns are great concealed carry guns, packing several rounds of .45 ACP into a compact 1911 platform. Each rode well in various concealed carry holsters. After the reviews of the handguns were complete but before I would return them to their various manufacturers, I’d still carry them concealed—no agenda, no assignment; just normal course-of-life kind of carry. When I did, I regularly chose one holster: the Upper Cut from High Noon.

Three-inch barreled 1911’s command premium prices and demand regular practice to maintain the discipline of drawing, aiming, disengaging the safety, firing, re-engaging the safety, re-holstering, and so on. As such, some argue that a $30 holster like the Upper Cut is not a good match for such a weapon. Maybe, but consider a few of the Upper Cut’s key features and see if it is truly profound in its simplicity—and therefore a great match for a three-inch barreled 1911.

Cowhide

Made of thin premium grade cowhide, the Upper Cut holster is thick enough to appropriately cushion the wearer from the hardness of the gun as well as protect the gun. The cowhide, however, is also thin enough to maximize the conceal-ability of the 1911’s thin slide. So it not only helps conceal the gun well, it does so comfortably. Thin cowhide, however, is not self supporting so once a gun is drawn from the Upper Cut, it must be re-holstered with two hands.

Clip

Attached to the cowhide is a heavy-duty, all-steel, reverse J clip. This clip, one of the strongest and most robust I’ve ever seen, locks the Upper Cut holster in place on a user’s belt. It is possible to use the Upper Cut without a belt, but this is not ideal. On a belt, the wide J clip feels strong and sure. In other words, when you go to draw, you’ll only draw the gun. Since the Upper Cut only comes in black, the clip is also finished in a matte black, and against a black belt, is virtually invisible.

Cant

The Upper Cut holster is technically a “straight drop” holster, meaning it is not meant to provide any cant at all. However, when I wear it I do so with a slight forward cant—and, due to the strength of the reverse J clip, it stays that way. The holster also features an open muzzle design, which for a three-inch barreled 1911, means that while you can see the muzzle at the end of the holster it is still adequately protected. In addition, a tension screw lets you set the holster’s grip on the gun. I keep it more loose than tight as I find that my belt and the holster’s cowhide do a great job at maximizing just the right amount of retention.

Carry

As a small and simple holster, the Upper Cut easily rides on a user’s strong side but can be worn for cross draw carry or for in-front-of-hip (or “appendix”) carry. Most of the time I wear the Upper Cut on my strong side and occasionally in front of my strong side hip. As a high-ride design, it offers an immediate combat grip.

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89 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. looking for a shoulder rig and good suggestions

    1. Contact Rattlesnake Eddie at Crooked Sky Trading Post inside the Branson Mill, Branson Mo. He makes wonderful custom holsters of any kind and for any gun. I place his web site below.

    2. Jim, I didn’t like the factory run shoulder holsters so I built mine! I work in the woods often so it has to take a beating but also act as suspenders. I bought a basic Occidental Leather tool belt suspender set and modified it to carry several different pistol choices (one holster) on the other side I added leather pouches for mags and other important stuff. This will out live me! Medford Tool in Medford,Oregon is the Occidental Leather dealer. Nice people! Also, don’t use rivets, use stainless bolts with Nyloc nuts so you can take it apart. If you go this route, when you get the leather it is hard and needs conditioning (this process makes it last for ever) soak the hell out of it with Neats foot oil (available at Tractor Supply or similar store). Take it from a guy who has worked horses for years: Neats Foot oil and leather last for ever! My wife figures I’d should be harnessed to the logs with this set up! Good luck!

    3. Forgot to tell you regarding building the shoulder holster/suspender, you can see it on Medford Tool’s Face book.

    4. High Noon has underarmour thats very very cheap and high quality just over 100 with shipping and such.

  2. Which High-Noon (inside waistband) is most POPULAR for the Bersa Thunder CC model? Thanks

  3. Next kidney carry with the bare assets holster High Noon offers. Keep it simple has served me well for 10 years.

    1. Also been a High Noon Holsters customer for since 2005. Always recommend them to everyone I know when they consider concealed carry.

  4. My wife and I both use High Noon Holsters to carry. Good Quality holsters.

  5. I have a High Noon Mister Softy (similiar to to the uppper cut) that I use for my Colt Mustang. It is a great Quality holster that is as minimal a holster as you can get, but still have good protection and retention. My only advice is, since these holsters don’t rise above the top of your belt, if you carry a traditional 1911 style gun (aka, cocked and locked with an exposed hammer) your hammer serrations will rub against your skin, especially when your sitting down, so plan on wearing a thin T shirt tucked inside your pants to protect your skin.

  6. oldcountry15

    i just bought a taurus PT1911 and i am looking for a good inside holster, does high noon make one?

  7. FHC, Forward of Hip Carry:
    A great concept I’ve been using for decades with long and short barrel 1911 type pistols and some J-frame revolvers. Better conciealment, easier protected and faster than anything else yet concieved. The bottom, however, should be stitched closed, not left open. If open, a small strip of regular tape applied over the muzzle will keep debris away from inside of barrel. This type of holster can easily be made at home with two needles and a sharp knife. Don’t forget to wrap your gun with plastic foil when using same as a mould for the holster. The leather should be slightly wet when forming it with the gun. Homebrewed will cost a fraction of purchased and be of same or even better quality. Feel free to contact for building description.

  8. I am looking for a holster to fit a glock 19 with a lazer under the barrel A waistband holster

    1. I have a Glock 19 that I sometimes carry with an under the barrel rail mount laser. I have found that the simple Tagua belt slide holster is just fine for this set up. You can order these simple belt slide holsters on Amazon in the medium size for the Glock 19. Very comfortable too.

  9. THIS SOUNDS GOOD TO ME I WILL BUY ONE WHEN I GET THE MONEY.

  10. I have a 1911, but with a 3.5″ barrel, including Crimson trace grip, will the High Noon holster accomodate this?

  11. What do you have for a 1911 4 inch barrel?

  12. Over the some 60 years of handling, wearing and shooting, holster used began with the Tom Three Person holster from El Paso Saddlery, the Bill Jordan Border Patrol and River Belt rig from Don Hume when he was in La Masa,California, and on and on. IWB holsters were and still are the means of choice but the Milt Sparks cowhide holster collapses as do most other all others with the exception of a Inside Waist Band horsehide holster made for my S &W M19 college graduation gift (Class of ’61) by KEN NULL of Resica, GA which doesn’t collapse! The constant wear Inside Pants Holster has been for years the Blade-Tec for constantly wearing of either the much favored S&W M4506 or it’s ‘twin the M1006. It is solid, secure and can’t collapse.

  13. I don’t like belts and am looking for a holster with a clip or leather flap for my Baby Glock. Any suggestions?

  14. Looks good to me. Do they make one to fit a Rugur P22?

  15. but what about us folks that have a little extra weight around our mid section? are they comfortable for us?

  16. Nice review.
    I would like to receive your Concealed Carry Report.
    Thanks in advance!

  17. Thanks’ again Mark for another Great Holster Review , I am a 1911 Freak , and I have carried a 1911 for most of my Adult Life and it is a Kimber Pro Carry II , this awesome Holster gives me another option , Great review and thanks’ for sharing this , Jeff Hayden

  18. I just got my holster but they send me the wrong size I need one for a Glock 26.

    1. The issue was not with the holster it was with me. I had to play with it to get it to fit Just what I was looking for..

  19. Please send your Concealed Carry Report

    1. Hi J David,

      I have entered your email to start receiving the Concealed Carry Report.

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