View Full Version : shoulder holster

July 30, 2008, 01:55 PM
I've been trying to come up with a reason or two to buy a shoulder holster rig and was wondering what some of your experiences with them were...

July 30, 2008, 02:35 PM
My favorite is a crossdraw holster for typical in-the-field carry because it is easier to reach the pistol while in a car or on a horse. I use shoulder holsters for one of two reasons:
* Long barrels- It is easier to carry a long-barreled revolver or pistol in a shoulder holster than a belt holster, and easier to draw it and get it into service. My 6" Python or Contender get a shoulder holster to ride in when I use them.

* Concealed carry- It is easier to conceal a medium or large auto pistol under a jacket when it is in a shoulder rig as it rides in a baggy area of the jacket. A waistband holster (crossdraw or strong side) tends to make a significant bulge and keep clothing from hanging naturally, and it is difficult to sit down in a chair with one on without it bumping the furniture or people seeing the outline of the firearm. Some shoulder rigs have mag holders opposite the gun, which can make it balance quite nicely.

In addition, shoulder rigs are useful for when you are in a tight area (like a car) or are wearing bulky clothing that would make it difficult to reach the gun without acrobatics. The US military used to issue (may still issue) shoulder rigs that put the gun just below your left chest, and those worked pretty nicely.

July 30, 2008, 03:24 PM
I am a fan of shoulder holsters and have a few - and the ones I do have I use much more than the belt holsters I have. Mostly for the reasons Scorch mentioned - especially riding, which I do a lot and where I am most concerned about having a gun ready at hand. I also do not like a gun protruding off my hip when in the woods, field, etc., as it always ends up getting banged into a post, tree, rock, etc. as you work, hike, etc. The shoulder carry thus protects the gun to a much higher degree, and it also places the weight on your center body mass, below you chest, where you feel it MUCH less. You can carry a much larger gun this way with LESS annoyance than a smaller gun on a hip.

I use military style ones, the WWII style "M3" or "Pilot's" style. I have some original ones, and some reproductions. The best is the repro from El Paso Saddlery - they can make one to fit any gun.

I also have a "detective" style figure eight for cc. This is for a 2/2.5" S&W K frame. I carry it more often in a high-ride pancake, but do have that for use sometimes.

July 30, 2008, 04:35 PM
The shoulder holster has it's uses but it can be a little annoying. They can get a little hot, especially if you are a civilian using it for a CCW. It isn't easy to conceal a larger sized gun in one. They do indeed create bulges in your jacket. If you are in a car all day or sit for long periods of time, they come in handy. The draw is slower than from the hip. A high quality rig is an absolute as is correct fitting to your body. Be prepared to pay $200 or so for one. They aren't for everybody.

July 30, 2008, 05:24 PM
I've used shoulder holsters of most types and for guns of all types and sizes. Some work OK, and others are worthless.

I find them to be the least concealable of any type of holster, and one of the easiest to spot on someone else. You really need to address how the holster fits and what your wearing when you have it on, and what you do when you do have it on. What may look good to you in the mirror, may be a nightmare the second you walk away and do anything different than your pose in the mirror. A simple shrug or reach can print the straps across your back, or a slight lean forward will let the gun swing out of you coat if it isnt closed, among a number of other things.

As was mentioned, they can be hot, and they can be very uncomfortable, especially if you have it on all day long. They are even worse if they are not fitted right.

My biggest peeve with them is, what I leave the house with, has to stay on the whole time I'm out. With an IWB holster, I can take my coat off, even if I'm not wearing something under it to cover the gun, and still get away with it in a lot of situations, like driving in the car or sitting at a restaurant. Even if I do wear something under my coat, I can still easily access the gun with a normal draw. You cant do this with most shoulder holsters.

My favorite shoulder holsters so far, and the one that gets the most use, is the Galco "Executive". Its made for guns like the PPK, SIG P230/232, S&W J frames. Its a very minimal holster that has not retention straps on the gun and other than the soft shoulder loop, just a strap that goes across your back and clips to your belt. Its one of the fastest shoulder holsters I've used, and it can be accessed from a couple of different positions and draws, like from up underneath, or down through the top. I usually wear mine under half zip sweatshirt. It sits very flat against your body, and has minimal forward swing.

Looks like this....


Even though its my favorite, it still is only used for certain uses, mostly in the winter, and always as a back up to the P229 in my IWB.

When it comes to concealibility goes, there is NOTHING better at concealing a medium to full size pistol than a good IWB holster, nothing.

July 30, 2008, 05:34 PM
AK103K, what is on the grip of your Sig n the picture? I've been eyeing the Executive as a possibility for my Sig also. Nice to read a possitive review. Currently it rides in a Fletch. I also have a Miami Classic but I rarely use it. That combination is more holster than gun.;)

July 30, 2008, 05:45 PM
Thats skateboard tape. I also have it across the front strap under the grips.

The Executive is a great little holster. Its a little pricey, but you can usually find it $40-50+ cheaper if you search around the web. I have them for both my P230's and my J frames, but the P230's get the most use.

July 30, 2008, 09:27 PM
basically being in law enforcement i was thinking of getting one just to add more versatility to my off-duty and plain clothes carry options. (i would be carrying either a glock 22 or 27) i do agree that a good IWB holster is the best for concealment i regularly use a comp-tac MTAC and love it. i would recommend this holster and company to anybody. like i said i was just thinking this would leave me yet another option. if i do get one im leaning towards the miami classic II by galco. thanks and keep the posts coming...