Shoulder Holster newbie


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Karate
October 18, 2005, 01:39 AM
I have never used a shoulder holster much..but I have decided that because I am seated most of the time behind the wheel of a truck...that a shulder holster or crossdraw holster would be better than the standard strong side carry...I tried a cross draw and really like it but when I have to leave my truck it is hard to conceal an untucked tee prints like crazy and even an unbottoned shirt over a tee still show pretty bad...I am still open to suggestions on the cross draw but I have also bought a used leather Goodrich and Gould (I believe that is is it) vertical shoulder holster for my browning Hi Power...it has a leather strap that holds the holster under my off side arm and an elastic strap that goes around my right shoulder...it also has a strap to attach the bottom of the holster to my belt...what is the best way to set this holster up...how loose should the elastic strap be and how lower should the holster hang below the arm...should the holster be pulled to the back or sloser to the front...is there a better brand out there if so supply a link please...an help with this will be greatly appreciated...like I said I have never tried a should rig before...remember I will take advice on a cross draw also....thanks guys

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Fletchette
October 18, 2005, 02:25 AM
A lot of people frown on shoulder rigs, but not me. :D

The most common complaint is that your muzzle might be pointing at someone behind you (violating Rule #2) or that you will point the muzzle at your arm during draw.

I dispute the first criticism as there are plenty of circumstances where a traditional hip carry will point the muzzle at someone (as in when you are climbing stairs) but no one complains. If your gun is properly designed and maintained it will not discharge in it's holster.

As for pointing at your own arm during draw- proper training can eliminate that. Just learn to sweep the muzzle down when you clear the holster and raise your weak arm by grabbing and lifting your jacket out of the way.

I have carried a Hi Power in a shoulder rig for years (great choice!) Just make sure that the retention strap is firmly between the hammer and the slide when you are wearing it. I intentionally tested my holster by pulling the trigger on a loaded gun with some string while it was in it's holster - the hammer barely moved as it pinched the leather strap.

Very safe way to carry, and very fast/comfortable.

BigRedBowtie
October 18, 2005, 12:40 PM
I have an Alessi Bodyguard for my 5" 1911. The only thing I'd like to change is to put a lighter gun in it. Not really the holster's fault, just that an all-steel, full-size 1911 is kinda a pig. The shoulder rig really alleviated the lower back pain I was suffering from with belt-mounted holsters. I'm still tinkering with adjustment- it kinda rides hard on the muscles at the base of my neck. I'm thinking I might be a bit out of spec for the holster though- at 52 Long and 18.5" neck I'm certainly no giant, just bigger than average.

As for adjustment, just keep tinkering with it- get it comfy for you. Nobody else can tell you what that is.

psyopspec
October 18, 2005, 01:49 PM
Galco makes a variety of shoulder holsters - their Miami Classic is time-tested favorite among many. During colder weather I carry my Beretta in one. It hides nicely, it's comfortable, and well-constructed. Only downside is price.

If you want to stay with a vertical shoulder holster, they've just introduced a fine specimen in leather as well.

http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterT2.asp

Not sure about the rest of your questions, I've never used a vertical holster or one with an elastic band. However, I would recommend adjusting the gun so that it's concealed, easily within reach, and comfortable.

Karate
October 18, 2005, 02:22 PM
I have thought about replacing the elastic strap with a piece of leather or maybe cotton belting

ChickenHawk
October 18, 2005, 02:38 PM
I have a Fist-Inc #70 Vertical holster. I absolutely love it.

I finally am carrying all the time. Something I've wanted to do but hadn't found a way to do which I was comfortable with. I just could not get used to having a lump at 4:00 when I sat down. And, getting at that thing while belted in a car wasn't so easy if you were wearing a loose outer shirt for concealment!

With my shoulder holster I can wear shorts and a T-shirt. My holster over that. Then a loose button-down shirt as an outer shirt. If it's breazy I button the bottom button of that shirt.

Sitting, standing, driving. equally accessible.

In the bathroom, you're not dropping you gun on the floor with your pants.

Great stuff!
ChickenHawk

TimboKhan
October 18, 2005, 06:49 PM
I don't have any problems with shoulder holsters, but chickenhawk, I do have to dispute the implication that hip carry precludes wearing shorts and a t-shirt, as I routinely do so (and, in fact, am doing so at this very moment!) with zero problems.

Despite the jillions of articles on holsters, the best way to carry etc.. I think a huge chunk of whats right for a shooter boils down to body type. I am a very large man, and frankly, my man-boobs would push a shoulder holster out and make it very hard to conceal, let alone trying to find one that would even fit. Heck, I can't even find a non-custome built gunbelt that will fit! In my younger days, I did use a shoulder rig, and I thought it was peachy, but I carry on my hip now because its the best option for me.

Monkeyleg
October 18, 2005, 07:50 PM
I don't have any experience with elastic straps on shoulder holsters other than with a Safariland model.

The elastic straps allowed the holster to swing around--and thus be seen--moreso than leather straps. The Miami Classic I have keeps the gun and holster more firmly anchored.

Just my .02.

ChickenHawk
October 18, 2005, 09:45 PM
I don't have any problems with shoulder holsters, but chickenhawk, I do have to dispute the implication that hip carry precludes wearing shorts and a t-shirt, as I routinely do so (and, in fact, am doing so at this very moment!) with zero problems.
Chill man, I did not say that. Most people associate shoulder holsters with overcoats and business suits. My point was, well, what I said! That shoulder holsters do not preclude casual clothes, and have many additional advantages as well.

Cheers,
ChickenHawk

XLMiguel
October 18, 2005, 11:24 PM
I have a Galco Jackass rig (similar to their Miami Classic) that I like very well. I have rigs for my SIG 228, 239 and 1911. All are pretty comfortable, but are more so with the smaller, lighter (alloy-framed) guns, as they balance better with the mags on the off-side. It conceals well with any sort of cover garmet - e.g. a jacket, sportcoat, vest, camp/hawaiian shirt over a t-shirt, etc.

How well a shoulder holster works for you has something to do with your body type, I'm a fair-sized guy (6'3", 250#), and I suspect they work better on bigger guys, especially with larger handguns, though the newer vertical models seem to work well with bigger guns. The Jackass rig is a horizontal rig, though most folks seem to wear them more as a 'diagonal', with the butt lower/muzzle higher. For me, it's easier to reach with the butt about 1-2" above my beltline, slightly foreward of center (10 o'clock). HTH, YMMV.

TexasRifleman
October 19, 2005, 11:12 AM
I use shoulder holsters often, especially when most of my day will be spent driving.

One thing to consider is the use of tie down straps that attach to your belt.

I have found these to be an absolute must to ensure the holster remains still during your draw, and especially while drawing spare ammo from the other side if you carry spare mags.

Without the belt tie downs the thing moves around too much.

Karate
October 19, 2005, 02:30 PM
I am using the tie down on the weapon side...I have not used teh opposite side tie down but will give it a try...When I said that my rig had an elastic strap...I think I should have said that it was a half harness...Still learning about these things

ChickenHawk
October 19, 2005, 02:56 PM
I use shoulder holsters often, especially when most of my day will be spent driving.

One thing to consider is the use of tie down straps that attach to your belt.

I have found these to be an absolute must to ensure the holster remains still during your draw, and especially while drawing spare ammo from the other side if you carry spare mags.

Without the belt tie downs the thing moves around too much.Actually, that's one of the reasons I went with the Fist-Inc #70. They don't even offer tie-downs for this holster, and it doesn't need them.

Here's a Link to the #70 Page on the Fist-Inc site (http://www.fist-inc.com/holsters/holster/70.htm)

This holster has a "pull through" snap, and is designed so you can draw (and re-holster) the gun with one hand. It is just super.

Just one man's opinion! ;)

ChickenHawk

84B20
October 19, 2005, 05:50 PM
When I used to wear a shoulder holster I wore shirts with snaps instead of buttons and wore the holster under the shirt. Of course I wore a t-shirt and jacket or vest as well. I could just rip open the shirt if necessary and the snaps would just release. Western shirts come to mind. That seemed to work quite well for me.

Fudgie Ghost
October 20, 2005, 06:56 PM
Check out the Bianchi X15--it's an old design, but it's nice as it positions the gun down (i.e vertical) instead of horizontal.

They have, I think, three different sizes for various size guns. I got two on ebay. I think I paid around $65.00 or so for them, each. It uses a spring clip inside the leather holster--you pull out and down.

Good idea to raise that weak arm up though---in the heat of a confrontation it is very possible you might rush to get your finger on the trigger as you sweep across that arm. . .

Smoke
October 21, 2005, 09:10 AM
Try one of these:

https://secure.aaa-servers.com/epsaddlery.com/images/products/prodid138.jpg

http://www.epsaddlery.com/

Smoke

Karate
October 23, 2005, 01:14 AM
Is it best for the whole rig to be leather as opposed to the half harness rig that I am using now...by that I mean will the leather be more comfortable and carry the weight more evenly than the cotton weave or elastice on the off side

NineseveN
November 1, 2005, 11:31 AM
Anyone in here carry a USP Compact in a Shoulder rig? The 1911's are long, but not as wide. I guess someone with a medium body size with a Sig in a shoulder rig will do. I'm 6'2" and about 200-210 (not skinny, not fat, just healthy). I was thinking of vertical but it seems harder to draw that way for me (looong arms, long mid-section). But the idea of a cant to the barrel facing upwards towards the armpit would offer a nice degree of concealability with the larger auto (because the butt won't stick out next to your pecs where a shirt on me is usually the tightest)...

Any thoughts?

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