Field Holster for large/heavy Handguns?


November 19, 2012, 01:01 PM
Hello out there!
First time poster here, so please bare with me...
I have a question for the folks that carry large/heavy handguns in the mountains or other "field" situations.
The only pistol I have is a Sig P226 ST (all stainless) and like to carry it with me. I have a ccw so everything is legal and what not.

Normally, I carry it IWB using a Kirk Patrick holster and a Galco dress belt. When I am at my day job I sit most of the day in front of a computer so carrying something heavy isn't really that big of an issue. Even when I go out during the day its not a problem. And it actually conceals quite nicely.

But when I work on the family ranch that 42 oz pistol plus 11 .357 Sig rounds gets... uncomfortable. I have been using a Galco F.L.E.T.C.H for on the ranch and i think it may be too soft to support he weitht? i have to admit i might need an new belt for ranch work pistol carry.

I am looking for suggestions on a holster/rig that will accommodate lots of movement/activity and horseback riding. I do a lot of horseback riding. I can't IWB on horseback because of the saddle's cantle.

I have been looking at a Galco VHS, the old Military style M3 (i think) chest rig from El Paso Saddlery, maybe a different belt holster (strong side? cross draw?) or a (relatively inexpensive) belt for working on the ranch? I prefer belt carry but I want that weight distributed better.

Not sure if stature matters but i am about 5' 8" and 130lbs.

Thanks All! I appreciate your input.

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November 19, 2012, 01:18 PM
Simply rugged sourdough pancake makes for comfortable OWB carry.
If you prefer to have the gun on your chest, their chesty puller straps will convert it to a chest rig.

November 19, 2012, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the reply 98! Much Appreciated!

I could be wrong, it looks like the pancake holster is only for revolvers? Model selection list seems to contain only revolvers.

I don't feel the need to have the pistol on my chest, in fact i like Strong Side carry best.

November 19, 2012, 01:32 PM
Okay, so tooling around the Simply Rugged Site I found the "Tribute holster." that one looks pretty good. looks like i can carry it strong side or cross draw.
Thanks again, 98.

Does anyone have any other suggestions that I can compare to?

Thanks, All.

November 19, 2012, 01:53 PM
After trying many holsters over the years for hiking with heavy bear guns, the one I like best by far is the Alaska Sportsman chest holster. It keeps the firearm up away from underbrush and also keeps your hips free for better movement up and down hill.

November 19, 2012, 02:50 PM
The belt may be the problem. Dress belts are usually 1.25". A larger belt nay be in order.

November 20, 2012, 03:44 AM
I could make a lightweight OWB for you, I have a 226.

Taurus 617 CCW
November 20, 2012, 08:06 AM
For OWB carry I had a custom leather maker do a carry belt for me. It's double-stitched saddle leather and guaranteed for life. I carry my Glock 19 in a Safariland 5188 paddle holster. It is the most comfortable rig I have ever used and has held up to years of use (I am very hard on stuff, broke a Blackhawk in less than a year). The holster cost me less than $30 and is weatherproof with a suede lining.

November 20, 2012, 08:35 AM
I have a 3lb all steel .45acp auto, for CC I use D Hume pancake and for woods walking I use a tripple K flap holster with a web belt

November 20, 2012, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the replies, Everyone!
It looks like I will be getting a new belt for sure. Then maybe a new holster.
I can't access the D Hume site right now but will check it out when I get home.
I like the Simply Rugged "Tribute" and "Cuda" Holsters. I also like the idea of the "Chesty" conversion kit.

I am not sure if the Alaskan Sportsman would work out too great but thanks for the suggestion! I can definitely see where that would be good.

Hey TAK:
You mentioned making me an OWB holster. I am not really much of a Kydex guy. I was looking at your thread in your signature line and noticed most of them (all maybe?) where Kydex. Would you be interested in making a leather one? Or better yet, could you offer some advantages of Kydex vs Leather? I have never had a Kydex holster. BTW you have some really great reviews for quality and customer service!

Again, Thanks All for your help and advice!

November 20, 2012, 12:11 PM
What am I missing here?

The Galco FLETCH is a high ride pancake style holster hat has been molding to fit the contours of your gun.

If your problem is with your gun poking you in your ribs when bouncing around on your horse I would go with a belt scabbard that rides outside your jeans below the waistline.

November 20, 2012, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the reply, BSA.
Yes a lower ride holster might a pretty good idea, I think.

Do you have any suggestions? For holsters that ride lower?

November 20, 2012, 12:35 PM
When I am out at the ranch or walking in the woods, I carry either a S&W M-625 with a 4" barrel or a Ruger SBH with a 5-1/2" barrel. For riding in a Jeep or on an ATV, I find a crossdraw or a chest rig more comfortable to wear. For hiking around on foot, I like the pancake rigs......

For the S&W, I use a Lobo Leather pancake rig or a Bianchi Cyclone crossdraw holster:

For the Ruger SBH, I have a Lobo Leather pancake rig or a Guide's Choice Alaskan chest rig:

hariph creek
November 20, 2012, 01:57 PM
As mentioned before a proper GUN belt is a must.

Check out A.E. Nelson Gun Leather. They make what they call a "Dual Position" holster.
Can be worn cross draw or strong side. Very good protection for the gun, while still being accessible and quick to draw from. Quite comfortable for riding, hiking, working, etc...
They don't have much of a internet presence, no cutting edge trendy materials, no ground breaking whiz bang designs. Just really great products, with good pricing and turn around time.

November 20, 2012, 04:33 PM
G.I. M-12 holsters are going pretty cheap on eBay, their accessories too.

November 21, 2012, 10:14 AM
Here is my personal favorite; its the Eagle Industries SOH, basically, a "Tanker style" holster. I carry 2 different autopistols in this rig and it carries and wears well where concealability isn't an issue. Its great for wearing on a 4-wheeler, motorcycling, or back-packing.

High quality cordura, adjusts for several types of pistols. The photo doesn't do the holster justice. Also, I adjusted my holster to carry in the center of my chest, not as the photo shows. At $70, it will be the best, and last holster you'll need.

Here's the link:


November 21, 2012, 05:38 PM

4v50 Gary
November 21, 2012, 07:29 PM
Shoulder holster. When you have to squat in the field, your gun is in the same position.

November 21, 2012, 07:42 PM
If you like leather, you may want to research Galco's Miami classic shoulder holster system I use it with an all steel 1911 and it is very well balanced for easy all day carrying

November 22, 2012, 12:58 PM
My answer for field carry/hunting:

Forgot this, Alessi "Bodygaurd" is what I use for large pistols (1911's):

November 22, 2012, 02:22 PM
I carry a 1911 with an Occidental. Its not my daily carry, but I do take it in the woods or as a sidearm when hunting.

They make leather tool belts. Their holsters are the same very heavy leather.

You have to combine it with a good belt.

Between that holster and a good belt my 1911 can be reasonably comfortably carried.

There are a few others in that class, I got lucky and picked mine up on ebay for $75. For a big old three pound plus gun it is the way to go for owb carry.

There is one other option that is pretty comfortable and that is a good shoulder holster rig. Plus you get the benefit of having what amount to suspenders if you use the pieces that secure the holster and mag pouch to your belt.

November 26, 2012, 02:23 PM
Thanks Everyone for the Replies!
I have determined that a new belt is where I should start. I am either going to go with my local Leather Works guy or this man's Stuff:
Those belts look great and are pretty darn affordable too! Bullhide almost 1/4 thick!
If that doesn't work then a holster by TAKtical may be in order. I have also been looking into a Galco Shoulder rig as a potential.
Again thanks All! I really appreciate your help in this!

If you enjoyed reading about "Field Holster for large/heavy Handguns?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!