Galco Shoulder Holsters


Johnny Guest
September 29, 2003, 04:10 PM
Can anyone tell me the difference between the Galco Miami Classic rig and their Jackass rig?

I understand the company changed names from Jackass to Galco some years back, and that a Jackass rig was the one used by Don Johnson *choke* in TV series "Miami Vice," and hence the later name for that model.

So, now Galco offers BOTH on their web site. The illustrations are not good enough for me to tell the difference. For some reason, the list price of the MS is about $147, while the Jackass is about $20 less.

I picked up a brand new Galco rig the other day from a small dealer who had ordered it for a customer who ended up not taking it. I was slightly curious and looked at it. Dealer made an offer I couldn't resist, so I ended up with the entire rig for 1911 pistol and extra two mag carrier for double-stacks. Makes the outfit switchable for a Browning High Power as well. Thus far, it works pretty well - - I'm just curious which model I bought. :)

Any information apreciated.


If you enjoyed reading about "Galco Shoulder Holsters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 29, 2003, 04:14 PM
If I recall correctly, the MC is designed for horiz carry, while the Jackass allows you to cant the holster down.


September 29, 2003, 04:18 PM
The miami classic has flaired shoulder straps, the jackass does not.

September 29, 2003, 04:44 PM
Nope Miami classic is straight, SST and Jackass are flared


September 29, 2003, 04:49 PM
By punching holes in the leather strap and adjusting the holster, you can get a downward slant with the Miami Classic. Given the ease with which the thumb snap can be released by bumping against something, that can also be beneficial.

September 29, 2003, 05:29 PM
I've been using the Miami Classic a lot, and haven't had the snap come undone. I suppose there's always a first time, though.

For my skinny frame, the wide straps on the Jackass rig weren't positioned properly. The flared part wound up down around my shirt pockets, rather than over my shoulders (yes, I did install the straps correctly). Even when I was able to incorrectly get the flared parts over my shoulders, the straps were uncomfortable. So, I sent them back to Galco.

I prefer an IWB holster, but for sitting for long periods of time, the Miami Classic is a good choice.

Johnny Guest
September 29, 2003, 05:53 PM
Okay, I have the straight, uniform-width straps on mine, so I guess it is the Miami Classic.

If there's one thing about which I am NOT worried, it is the snap coming undone accidentally. This rig has the STIFFEST snaps I've ever seen. Had to put some Breakfree on 'em at first.

I've worn the rig one day with my Commander, which was most comfortable. Wore it another day with my High Power - - Nearly as comfortable, especially when driving.

Happily, the weather is cooling off somewhat, and it is comfortable to wear a khaki bush jacket or light windbreaker.

Appreciate the answers - -

September 29, 2003, 10:19 PM
Classic has straight straps, SST alittle wider, Original Jack has wider straps. All holster adjust the same , semi or full horizontal. Miami can be had in Havana bronw, which is BEAUTIFUL. I have all three types and the Original Jackass has been my favorite shoulder rig for 20+ years., best damn out back holster there is IMHO as you can go pottie and be armed!

Mike Irwin
September 29, 2003, 10:58 PM
Now you know why I like shoulder holsters, Johnny.

I prefer the ones with the wide over the shoulder straps with rough cut finish, though. Helps distribute the weight better and prevent fatigue, and it also helps keep the holster from "swimming" on you.

September 30, 2003, 05:31 AM
In 1978 I bought a NOS Jackass rig for my LW Commander. Instead of the standard double magazine pouch on the off side, it had one set up for one magazine and a Gerber MkII knife. In 1980 when the new Chief decided we couldn't carry Semi-Auto's offf duty I traded it in on a standard Jackass rig for my M58. Does anyone know of where I might be able to find one of those old single mag/Gerber units? New or used I don't care which as long as it's in decent condition.

September 30, 2003, 06:37 AM
Hey Johnny-Floyd emptying your wallet again?

Johnny Guest
September 30, 2003, 12:12 PM
Naw, Floyd is a Galco dealer, and had rather boil the holster and have it for lunch than cut anyone a deal like I got on this rig - - -:D

I ran over to see Jerry McKinley in Collin County, to save shipping charges on bullets. HE's the one who has this month's disposable income: 2000 230 FMJ, 1000 230 LRN bullets, two Wolff spring sets, and the shoulder holster. Now I just need the time to stuff those bullets into brass over some 231.

Mike Irwin - - - I still cling to my thoughts about shoulder holsters in our climate, especially with full size pistols. Much of the year, it is just too warm to wear a cover garment adequate to conceal a shoulder rig. I have a very lightweight Rogers harness which totes an alloy snub and hides well under an opaque, starched, shirt. A 1911 or BHP in a rig sufficient to support the weight must needs wait for late fall thru early spring. For now, I'm still fascinated with the new toy.

My trouble is, I like to shed my jacket or blazer in the office. A small, trim, belt holster is the norm around here, but the full straps-and-pouches is a bit, shall we say, aggressive-appearing for an administrative type like myownself. Image, y'know? ;)


September 30, 2003, 01:05 PM
I am NOT worried, it is the snap coming undone accidentally.

I've managed to dump my gun out twice in public. :) Mainly due more to the huge ambidex safety on the S&W 5906, which pushes the thumbsnap out from the gun.

September 30, 2003, 09:17 PM
I just about blew coffee all over my monitor screen when I read your reply!
Just in case you didn't know, I'm the one legged guy who came up to the Aubrey range for IDPA a few times.
I am like you-I have always liked shoulder holsters but this Texas heat makes you want to take off every legal piece of clothing that you can.

That is a classic vintage Floydism.....

I'm in Lewsiville now-my wife died after a long illness last March, so I get up to harass T & Sons a bit more than I used to. This fella in McKinney-is he a retailer-if so, whats his address, or a private seller?

Mike Irwin
September 30, 2003, 10:12 PM
Waaa Waaa Waaah, Johnny!


If it's so perfect, why can't you wear a shoulder holster, huh? :D

Johnny Guest
October 2, 2003, 12:50 PM
We warm and compassionate Texans don't like to hurt the feelings of the less-fortunate by harping on the near-perfection of our native (or chosen ;) ) home. Who wrote, "True perfection exists only in the mind of God?"

Anyhow, yes, one of the wunnerful things is that Texas has some WEATHER, not simply climate. With all respect and sympathy to those enduring not only draconian gun laws but BORRRINGGG sameness of seasons and temperature, I'm glad I'm not forced to like in a "paradise" like Hawaii or Southern California.

Texas, and many other areas, is blessed with a variation in seasons - - When you have WEATHER, sometimes the temps are a bit colder than you'd wish, and sometimes they're a mite warmish, y'know? :D

Delmar - - Jerry McKinley is in Melissa, a few miles N. of McKinney. Does a custom reloading opertion and comes to many of the matches at Dallas Pistol Club with huge stocks of components. Specializes in pistol stuff for all the various match disciplines - -IDPA, IPSC, CAS, bull’s eye - - and some hunting items. Good prices on bullets, powder, primers, etc. Check out his web site and price lists at:

J. A. McKinley
P.O. Box 151
Melissa, Texas. 75454-0151

Tele & Fax: (972) 837-2707

He normally likes to take orders by phone or e-mail and then deliver to some match site, or he will ship. I just made arrangements to pick up at his place because we couldn't work out a time to meet at range, and shipping on nearly a hundred pounds of bullets can be pricey.

Sorry about the loss of your wife. :(


Mike Irwin
October 2, 2003, 01:08 PM
Uh, Johnny?

I'm in Virgina, dude.

A week ago it was hot and humid with thunderstorms and a hurricane.

Today it's cool, breezy, and will likely go down into the 30s tonight.

Last February? We had 20 inches of snow.

Don't tell me you have weather... :)

October 2, 2003, 02:55 PM
Here is what the Jackass harness looks like:

The Miami Classic harness looks like this:

The SSII harness looks like this:

My first Galco purchase was an SSII unit for a 4516-1 I used to carry. My body frame is small, & the wider shoulder starps would cross my chest in such a manner to be visible with an open jacket. Trimming them with a sharp Exacto knife solved that problem. However, on my SSII harness the "top" straps do not swivel - they are connected. So the harness is constructed with 3 straps of leather: one long piece that runs across the shoulders, & the 2 lower straps that go under the arms. Only the 2 lower straps swivel (as opposed to the Miami Classic & Jackass rigs that have 4 independant straps & swivel points). From the photo, it looks as though that might have changed.

I have since purchased another for my 1911, & it is the Jackass System. I find it more concealable and just as comfortable - although it holsters my lightweight Ultra CDP, and not an anchor heavy S&W as the SSII did (the 4516-1 is gone). It should be noted that the Jackass harness is suede leather, while the MC & SSII units are traditional cowhide.

I like shoulder holsters, but for me they are a bad value - little return for the cost. I simply find that for the most part, wearing them is inconvenient for me. It seems I am rarely in a situation where I keep my cover garment on until I return home; I either am very uncomfortable because I have too many clothes on or I have to remove the holster & hide the entire rig in vehicle - neither is a good option. I've found I carry a handgun of "respectable" cartridge more often in a well designed IWB holster.

But, as always - YMMV!

Mike Irwin
October 2, 2003, 04:06 PM
I'll just reiterate, for long-term comfort and carryibility, wider straps over the shoulders and back are better.

In the past I've gone as long as 14 hours carrying an HK P7M13 with a spare mag on the other side with no real fatigue or discomfort.

Same with a 2.5" or a 4" Model 19.

Johnny Guest
October 2, 2003, 07:03 PM
Isn't it interesting to live where there's some real WEATHER?

I spent a week at the IPSC Nationals in Virginia two Octobers in a row, '81 and '82. We were blessed with beautiful weather then - - Nice, cool mornings and evenings - - Verging on cold, for me. :p Warmish afternoons when it was comfortable to go in shirtsleeves or with a light windbreaker or vest.

Saw some beautiful country and met some really nice folks. Now, if only I'd shot better . . . . :D

Kevinich - - thanks for the illustrations and explanations. Four point swivel, uniform width, russet cowhide straps - - Yup, I have a Miami Classic.

Hummm - - - 6:00 p.m. local, 71 degrees. Think I'll go home, have some supper, and if I go out for more work, I'll shed the OWB stuff and wear my new MC rig. If I choose to stay in, I doubt I'll need a High Power and forty-odd rounds while running the Dillon . . . .


October 3, 2003, 10:38 AM
I've been carrying a SIG 239 in a Jackass rig for a couple of years now and find it very comfortable (I'm a fair sized person, wear a 48L jacket), and it has held up well. I hadn't really noticed the difference in strapping, but FWIW, you can buy the harness independely of the holster/accesories. YMMV

If you enjoyed reading about "Galco Shoulder Holsters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!