View Full Version : Shoulder Holster: Vertical vs Horizontal Rig?

November 24, 2007, 11:46 PM
I was thinking about getting a shoulder holster, and I noticed that vertical and horizontal rigs are availible.

How do they compare in terms of concealability, ease and/or quickness of draw, and other applicable factors?

November 25, 2007, 07:49 PM
I have both, . . . I prefer the horizontal carry, . . . even though my rig actually carries it pointing upward behind me (it is more comfortable for me that way) as opposed to an absolute "horizontal" plane.

It is my favorite carry, . . . especially if I have to drive any appreciable distance.

I wear it under a vest, . . . under a coat, . . . and sometimes: under a snap front, short sleeve shirt (summer only). Never been made yet.

The best part of it is that it allows me to carry two mags on the off side to help balance it, . . . works great.

Oh, yeah, . . . I carry a full size GI, steel, 1911 w/8 rd mags.

Concealability is no problem unless you want to wear a wife beater or a silk like shirt, . . . it will print through the silk. It can be presented almost as fast as a hip carry, . . . but you also have to practice more with it.

My one fault with it, . . . you really cannot run flat out with either of mine, . . . something gets to bouncing and becomes bothersome with either of them. That does not happen with my IWB rig.

May God bless,

Mike in VA
November 25, 2007, 07:49 PM
I went with a Galco Jackass rig (horizontal). I'm fairly thick (I wear a 48 long), and the horizontal rig makes the gun easier to reach and it lies flat along my ribcage. I carry like Dwight, with the muzzle up at about 30 degrees. If you're real slim, I suspect a vertical holster might suit you better, but either can be adjusted for cant and reach to some degree. Best bet is to go to a stocking dealer and try both. Good luck.

November 25, 2007, 08:18 PM
Try both styles to see which works best for your firearm. I like shoulder holsters; they work great when sitting and driving. I like to have them fastened to a belt. I find them more comfortable than other carry styles. I think they're very underrated.

November 29, 2007, 02:56 PM
I prefer slightly muzzle up horizontal carry. The acception being if I have to be buttoned up in dress wear. Vertical has its advantages there.

David Armstrong
November 29, 2007, 08:33 PM
I've used both, and ended up preferring the vertical design. But as others have said, try them out and see what YOU like. Also try some different brands/styles, as they do fit quite differently from one maker to another.

November 29, 2007, 11:46 PM
It's probably not an issue for civilian carry, but my understanding is the military bans the horizontal carry so you don't accidentally drill the guy in line behind you at the DFAC. :eek:

November 30, 2007, 12:01 AM
Being a busty sort of guy, I have to use horizontal.

WildtoobigforverticalAlaska TM

November 30, 2007, 04:28 PM
Unless the Army has banned it over in the sandbox since Mar 07 (when I got back from last deployment), horizontal is still being used. Since CCW is not an issue with the military, I prefer folks carrying a shoulder holster to go vertical since I don't like staring into a barrel in the chow line, PX, etc., however I usually wore a thigh rig. Seems to me like wearing a horizontal shoulder holster sweeps everybody around you....I just don't like that aspect of it and prefer vertical, though as I said, I rarely use a shoulder holster and prefer a thigh rig for ease of transition from primary weapon (M4) to sidearm if needed.

Edward Nigma
November 30, 2007, 04:46 PM
If a gun is secure in a good holster with the trigger covered, there's no way it can go off in a horizontal position. When I get a shoulder holster, I'll go the horizontal route.

November 30, 2007, 05:15 PM
Vertical carry (muzzle down) is usually better for longer and/or heavier guns. Unless you're built very large, a 5" or 6" barrel is going to print in a horizontal rig.

For most concealable bottom-feeders the horizontal rig works fine. For my 4" N-Frames I do have a vertical rig to keep that weight from flopping against my arm.

December 1, 2007, 06:53 PM
Horizontal and slightly muzzle up... a Smith Mod. 410 in .40 S&W OR a Smith mod. 4506 full size .45...

October 17, 2010, 11:48 PM
i have used both i use horizontal mostly but vertical can be better.. like horizontal is better for fast drawing but if u are in a bad spot and think thing are getting ready to get nasty u can un snap ur vertical rig and it will sit there ready to draw even faster and it wont fall out... now i want to find a canted holster cus its the best of both as long as its a good enough angle.

October 18, 2010, 01:23 AM
... don't know about Army, but AF has local rules against horizontal rigs, and the DFAC will turn you away if you show up with one. Holstered or no, some folks feel they are being muzzle swept.

So, for me, the advantage to vertical would be that I could actually use it...

One big advantage for shoulder rigs that never seems to get mentioned: You don't have to think about what to do with your pistol if you have to use the restroom.

This can be a hassle with belt rigs.

October 18, 2010, 08:25 AM
Two problems I have found with shoulder holsters are sweat getting on the gun in hot weather, and you cant run very well without getting your ribs sore. The one I had was horizontal for a 92FS.

October 18, 2010, 09:40 AM
Wow, this is really an antique thread!

Let's close this one out & start fresh if you're interested in discussing the topic. No sense sending replies to people who haven't visited TFL for three years ...