CC and shoulder holsters and other ??


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hdgroundpounder
February 6, 2009, 10:24 PM
Just finished a CC class and wonder about shoulder holsters or if there's a better option for most occasions? Suggestions welcomed! S&W 3913.

And how long did it take to feel comfortable carrying in public?

Did you ever get noticed carrying?

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DoubleTapDrew
February 6, 2009, 10:45 PM
Shoulder holsters aren't that popular these days because you have to reach across your body to get to your weapon and it's pretty easy to just grab your arm if anyone is close and now you can't point it in the direction of the threat.
More popular are IWB (inside the waistband) holsters in leather or kydex just behind your hip (around 4 o'clock if your belt buckle is 12, for a right handed person, 8 o'clock for a lefty). There's a natural pocket there for most people that the gun can snuggle into and not "print" (show the obvious outline of a gun in your shirt).
It takes a couple weeks for most people to feel comfortable. At first you feel like your demeanor, clothing, etc. scream "GUN" but most people are so oblivious you could walk around with the thing in your hand and not many people would notice, let alone in a good concealment holster.
The best advice I can give is get a good holster AND a gun-belt. If you get a cheap holster you'll throw it in a box and end up getting a good one eventually anyway so save the money and time now. Get a gun belt because you'll wear out 2 or 3 normal belts before you give up and buy a gun belt anyway. WalMart belts can't handle the weight and stresses even a light gun will put on them.
It'll run you $40-$140 for a good holster, and $40-$100 for a good gun belt. Popular brands for holsters are Comp-Tac, Galco, Milt Sparks (the gold standard, but expensive and long wait list), and several others. For belts there are a ton of makers but a popular one is The Belt Man. These belts are thicker and sturdier to distribute the weight evenly and not stretch, yet still look good. A good belt will save you a lot of tugging and readjusting of your holster which will get your piece spotted if anything will.
I got spotted once and it was because I did something stupid (grabbed the whole gun/holster package and pulled it up because I had my belt too loose with a friend right behind me). It's not the end of the world. You are supposed to keep it concealed but accidents happen, you'll find your shirt tail up over your gun once or twice, etc. It's not the end of the world and you aren't doing anything illegal or wrong.
The people most likely to spot you are other CC guys/gals and it's because they've been there and done that, and of course, they don't mind :)
Welcome to the club and the forum.

chuckusaret
February 6, 2009, 10:45 PM
Good looking gun. I carry a XD40 sub compact in a T-shirt style and a belly wrap style holster. http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/tilted-weaponry/142439-5-11-tactical-t-shirt-holster-review-pics.html

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=213575

Yes, couple of times in the last year or so when I have used my IWB and the belly wrap style. Mostly when the other person bumps into me or when I get a hug from lady friends without prior warning.

Zach S
February 6, 2009, 10:49 PM
I prefer IWB. I've thought about a shoulder holster, but it wouldn't be for EDC.

Never was uncomfortable with it.

I'm sure its happened, but I don't know of any time I've been made.

Prepster
February 6, 2009, 11:55 PM
I've carried a Cobray M-12 in a shoulder holster just for the fun of it, and while I could get away with it under a poofy winter coat, access wasn't really much faster than IWB (not an option for the M-12, I mean in general), and it isn't nearly as practical unless you plan on wearing a coat, sportcoat, or unbuttoned hawaiian shirt all day long. However, I do find a shoulder holster to be the most comfortable concealed carry option, but you may find otherwise.

No matter what you choose, concealed carry is all about compromise. Every gun/holster combo has strengths and weaknesses, what matters is what you're comfortable with.

The Lone Haranguer
February 7, 2009, 10:27 AM
A shoulder holster is an addition to your "bag of tricks." You have to wear a covering garment of some kind (suit or sport coat is best) and never be in a social situation where you have to take it off, or where it does not matter if you do. An example of the latter would be a plainclothes police officer inside the station.

BillH
February 7, 2009, 10:59 AM
Sometimes I find a shoulder hoster to be the "only" best means for CCW and I use the one found here: http://www.activeprogear.com/234.html
They also have IWB types and another called "Belt Slide Holster" that works well holding the weapon close to the body under a shirt or jacket.
Welcome to the group.

hdgroundpounder
February 7, 2009, 07:22 PM
thanks to all who replied! Its great getting some help outside of the class. Have not seen some of your recommendations before and probably try a few.

Greg

The Lone Haranguer
February 7, 2009, 09:19 PM
Sometimes no single holster fits every need. Get as many as you need to cover whatever dress or social situation you might find yourself in.

shdwfx
February 8, 2009, 01:57 AM
Depending on the cut, fit (looser is better), and tail flaps, suits can be poor cover garments for IWB carry - tail cut can expose handle, hip bulge under well fitted suit. A shoulder holster is a good alternative when dressing formal.

Geronimo45
February 14, 2009, 06:20 PM
Shoulder rigs are great for me. I spend most of the day seated, and I already carry a cell & knife on the belt. Doesn't require anything but a cover shirt/coat. The x-harness is less likely to ride up the back of your neck.
All my current rigs are vertical, but I plan on getting one of the horizontal rigs from Galco.

chupacabrah
February 18, 2009, 09:41 AM
Geronimo,
what kind of shirt do you cover your shoulder rig with?

I've always thought a coat would be a necessity, which has prevented me from getting one because I almost always remove my coat when I am indoors.

Geronimo45
February 19, 2009, 05:57 PM
Some sort of decent-looking hawaiian shirt works for me. The (non-geometric) pattern does a great job of breaking up the outline.

Now, if you want to go deep-concealment, you could try one of Ken Null's SMZ rigs. You can wear that under a tucked & buttoned oxford without a problem.

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