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Old January 28, 2010, 12:37 AM   #1
Join Date: September 13, 2009
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 20
Holster for Wildlife Protection

I’m the new owner of a S&W 629 with a 4” barrel (specifically their ‘Mountain Gun’) and I’m looking for a holster. Now, I bought this thing exclusively for wildlife protection while I’m bowhunting, backpacking, hiking, and fishing. So the hip thing won’t work, and I’m thinking any holster with the gun hung under the arm is going to interfere with pack straps. So I guess the logical location would be some sort of chest setup.

I’m hoping some folks reading this might have the same situation and I’d like to know what’s worked for them. I would also be interested in specific manufacturers, if you feel there are clear favorites. While I’m not looking to just throw money at this… I’m open to paying what’s necessary for a quality product. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old January 28, 2010, 08:35 AM   #2
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Cross chest holster. It will ride right about where your sternum is. I know that Uncle Mikes makes some for scoped pistols (I have one) but I don't know if they have them for unscoped models. Even if they don't, other manufacturers have them.
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Old January 28, 2010, 09:47 AM   #3
The Great Mahoo
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I'm not exactly sure why hip-carry won't work for you for, to be honest. I haven't found any great inconvenience for hiking/packing, and I can't imagine it would get in the way for fishing, unless you are wading out. If anything, I would think a shoulder/chest mount would be more troublesome if you wanted to carry any gear.

Perhaps an off-body carry method on your gear? I have a 625MG (.45 colt) with a 4" barrel I carry in my Camalbak Demon back for extended hikes. Convenient, readily accessable, with the only drawback of decreased carry room in my pack. I believe these are becoming hard to come by now, since they've been discontinued for a little while.

If you are interested in a chest-holster, Simply Rugged makes a great setup called the Chesty Puller rig. I've not used it, but am happy with my experiences with Rob.
“There are three reasons to own a gun. To protect yourself and your family, to hunt dangerous and delicious animals, and to keep the King of England out of your face.” - Krusty the Clown
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Old January 28, 2010, 09:59 AM   #4
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+1 to the Chesty Puller, as long as you're somewhere cool.

Warm weather hiking though, the chest straps will cause you to sweat like a pig.

Now, I bought this thing exclusively for wildlife protection while I’m bowhunting, backpacking, hiking, and fishing. So the hip thing won’t work,
Assumption. Bad assumption.

I've got a 4" Redhawk that I carry for the same reasons.

I wear a Wilderness Instructor Belt and an Uncle Mike's Sidekick nylon holster. This puts the gun strong-side, under the waist belt of my backpack. The wilderness belt is slung low, almost gunslinger style, to aid in draw.

Another choice is this, from Blade-Tech.

They make it for S&W N-frames as well as the Redhawk, right or left handed. The dropped and offset feature keeps it away from your belt line. But it isn't annoying like one of the ninja tactical thigh holsters.
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Old January 28, 2010, 10:03 AM   #5
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I've kept my 4" 629 in a Don Hume high-ride pancake holster while bowhunting, hiking and fishing. Up high, out of the way, but accessible. Made me feel much better on my first archery bear hunt....
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Old January 28, 2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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I've made several for people that wanted them for the same reason. What has proven popular for me is a full flap holster with a detachable belt loop. This allows you to have a wide belt loop permanently on the waist strap of your pack as well as another belt loop to fit your pants belt. It only takes a second to attach/detach the holster from the belt loop. This makes it easy to carry on the waist strap of your pack while hiking and then switch it to your belt when you remove your pack.

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Old January 28, 2010, 09:57 PM   #7
Join Date: September 13, 2009
Location: Boise, Idaho
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First off, thanks for the responses so far. What these posts have me thinking is that I may want two holsters.

The reason why I know a hip holster won’t work (if I’m only getting one holster), is that I’d want it for fishing in waters that I’m wading in… sometimes up to my stomach. But the idea of a holster off my thigh sounds good for almost every other situation. And… it would leave my chest open for binoculars. I definitely don’t want anything directly off my waist, because all my hip/back packs would be in the way.

A little background… last fall I was bowhunting for elk in an area that’s absolutely polluted with black bears. I’ve never had luck seeing bears in my life, but there I’ve averaged a bear sighting every two days while walking through the timber. So this year I borrowed my buddy’s pistol with a belt holster, in addition to carrying my bear spray. I had both on the webbing of my hip pack and stopped at this wallow. I took my pack off to get at my camera in the back, and then proceeded back up the trial a ways to take some quick photos. Just as I put the camera to my face, I saw movement that turned out to be a mountain lion about 10 yards away. He was moving away from me, apparently curious enough to follow me but wanting some distance after I unexpectedly walked back up the trail. We watched each other for a while at about 25 yards, but he eventually walked away.

The point is that even though I had the proper protection (spray & firearm), the one moment I separated myself from it was the one moment I really needed it. So my logic on a holster is one that is ALWAYS on me. And is convenient and comfortable enough that I don’t have an excuse to not have it on. My buddy’s standard belt holster is too much of a pain to put on and off my pack.

So while I’m trying to picture what SWCR is saying, about some sort of quick-clip deal, ya, that might work. A holster hanging from my belt, but attached down at my thigh sounds even better. Maybe I just need both a hiking holster and a fly fishing holster?

Last edited by mcw3734; January 28, 2010 at 10:07 PM.
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Old February 4, 2010, 03:01 PM   #8
Evyl Robot
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What about a cross-draw not unlike this one? The guy I made it for (a lefty) likes to wear it at about 1:30. That one was built for a 4-inch N-frame. If you wanted to adjust the ride height or cant angle from there, that's the easy stuff.
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Old February 4, 2010, 03:51 PM   #9
Doc Intrepid
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+1 on crossdraw.

I've carried a heavy pistol while hunting for the past 8-9 hunting trips or so.

In the beginning I tried all sorts of holsters, shoulder rigs, etc. Shoulder rigs at first looked like a no-brainer, but ultimately the straps drove me crazy (I do a lot of walking while on hunting trips). The basic chest rig, something like the military M17/19 .45 holster, banged against the binoculars I use while hunting. (Also, I occasionally prone out, and it sucked for that also.) Strong side carry came into contact with my rifle stock.

It may be different for you because (among other things) you're bow hunting whereas I'm generally rifle hunting (elk) in snow. But after trying nearly everything out there, I came up with two basic forms of carry that --
a) allowed the pistol to be with me at all times; and
b) did not interfere with my binoculars, daypack straps, etc.

Either a crossdraw holster or one of the nylon thigh rigs that drops the holster down lower on my thigh is what most often works for me now. I use one or the other, depending on circumstances. The thigh rig I use is made by Eagle, and it has a flap over the holster, which helps protect the pistol from rain or snow. In bad weather the thigh rig is easier to use than the crossdraw, because you can zip your parka shut and the holster rides below the bottom of the parka (where you can still get at it). When the weather is milder, I tend to go with the crossdraw.

You may catch some grief for using a thigh rig while hunting or hiking - like azredhawk44 said, a ..."ninja tactical thigh holster"! (I hunt alone so I don't care!) But I reasoned that I literally tried everything else out there, and this is what works best for me in cold weather, rain and snow. So I went with the USMC adage that:

"If it's stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid"

So I go with what works for me.

Hope this helps.

Treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect....but have a plan to kill them just in case.

Last edited by Doc Intrepid; February 4, 2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old February 4, 2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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Carrying on the hip is a good way. A cross draw enables you to draw with either hand in a pinch although strong hand side isn't bad either. When hiking in the woods a cowboy holster works for me. It's a mighty fast set-up.
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Old February 5, 2010, 01:13 AM   #11
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old article

In an old Guns and Ammo article written by SEYFREID, introducing the first run of the .44 Mtns. , the cover photo shows a guy in a stream w/ a fly rod and a nylon chest rig, the very situation you describe. Sorry no help as to make, but If I had to guess, I'd say uncle mike.

SEYFREID like a high ride milt sparks waist belt number for every day carry.

What I've used for mine is a Bianchi #8 made for a 4" L-frame. This is a concealment number and would not be well suited for the booneis. The rear sight is totally exposed, as is the trigger. But I wet wallowed it out and its great for routine concealed.

That got me to thinking and I pulled out a Pilots Victory Holster as made by Pacific Canvas. I got mine from Cabela's for a ruger B-hwk, w/ which it does very well. I got the .44 Mtn out and did a bit of shoving and it convinced me I could wet wallow one of those out as well for the Mtn if I wanted to.

About $40 bucks for a leather, single strapped chest/shoulder rig .
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Old February 7, 2010, 03:07 AM   #12
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It looks like we've all struggled with this.
I prefer to carry a 4" K frame in the mountains. I've messed with switching my holster between the backpack waist strap and my belt. It drives me crazy and several times I've found my pistol laying on the ground attached to my pack when it should be on my person.

I have a Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake now and it works very well. If hiking with a small day pack I wear it strong side. If carrying a long gun, I wear it on my weak side in the cross draw position with 1 speed loader on my belt and one speed strip in my pocket.
I've realized that my daypack waist belt does not really bear any weight, but rather just stabilizes the load. Therefore, the strap doesn't really cause trouble to the gun or holster.

This is still a problem for backpacking, but I've not had to deal with that issue lately.
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Old February 7, 2010, 05:01 AM   #13
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I carry a .41Mag Blackhawk crossdraw while fishing, but I only use hip waders, not chest waders. Works for archery too.

Not sure about the chest waders, even a chest holster will get wet if you are that deep.
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Old February 7, 2010, 05:49 AM   #14
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+1 for the crossdraw. Galco makes a great crossdraw holster (The DAO 216 for your gun as shown at ). I've been carrying my Redhawk in it, works great!
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Old February 8, 2010, 12:50 AM   #15
Join Date: September 13, 2009
Location: Boise, Idaho
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Ya, I’m just going to have to buy two holsters: one for the woods and one for the stream. In the woods, as I’ve said, I’m always carrying either a full size backpack or a large hip pack that generally makes forms of hip/waist/crossdraw holster impractical. I think I see myself going Doc’s route and go with a tactical thigh holster, even if it does make me look like some sort of SWAT wannabe. But I’ll also get a bandolier/chest holster for times when I’m wading.

Again, thanks for all the replies.
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