Shoulder Rigs: Who uses them and which brands?


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YJake
June 10, 2013, 09:24 PM
I'm interested in using a shoulder rig to carry my S&W K, L, and N frame guns as well as my 1911 while hunting, hiking, and wearing a suit/jacket. I understand this is not exactly "Revolver" specific but I will be using it to tote a revolver 90% of the time. I have hiked with an L frame and 1911 on my hip and believe that a shoulder rig may be a better solution for distance hikes into the back country or as another option for carrying large firearms concealed.

Who here uses a shoulder rig?

What brand, why?

Horizontal or vertical carry?

How does it work for you overall? (Carry/concealment)

-Jake

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grimjaw
June 10, 2013, 09:36 PM
I haven't used one in awhile, but when I did I had a Galco Miami Classic for a Glock 19, horizontal orientation. It was useful when driving, but otherwise I didn't have much call for it. I ended up selling it.

rcmodel
June 10, 2013, 09:53 PM
I just counted, and I have 6 shoulder rigs hanging in the gun room closet.
They range from one for a SIG P232, one for a S&W Chiefs Special, one for a S&W Model 39, one for a 1911, and two for 4" & 6" K-Frame S&W's.

I have never got much past the leather 'break-in' stage with any of them before the novelty wore off.

They are hot in the summer because they plaster your sweat wet shirt next to your skin and stop all air circulation.

They are hard to get too under winter coats.

And they make my old shoulders hurt just thinking about wearing one all day again.

Some people can do it, but I just never was one of them.

If you are hiking with a day pack hanging off your shoulders too, it would be even worse.

rc

Upstater
June 10, 2013, 09:56 PM
+1 on the Miami classic, I use it for a 1911 and at certain times I carry a g19 on the other side, lately however that has been few and far between. I do also carry a t/c prohunter in an uncle mikes #4 for hunting. The Miami is horizontal, mike's is vertical. I do find they have certain advantages for me, YMMV.

YJake
June 10, 2013, 10:03 PM
I am fairly young and would prefer to take the weight off of my right hip and distribute it across my shoulders while hiking/hunting even with a light pack on. I plan to use it almost exclusively in the fall/winter while hiking/hunting. The weather here in Florida limits summer use, which would be restricted to while driving my Jeep on/off-road for the most part.

I have a Co-Worker that swears by his Galco Miami classic for his 1911 but I know there is a possibility of more and/or better options out there.

-Jake

Ron James
June 10, 2013, 10:29 PM
I went through that phase and like most people I still have several hanging up, unused. Even outdoors I did not find them comfortable. :) You might be the exception, don't know.

SharpsDressedMan
June 10, 2013, 10:30 PM
Alessi. If you don't get a good, hands on look at them, you might be missing the best.

HexHead
June 10, 2013, 10:41 PM
I have a Galco Jackass. Very comfortable. It's a keeper.

rcmodel
June 11, 2013, 12:32 AM
I am fairly young and would prefer to take the weight off of my right hipHave you ever tried a stiff leather real gun belt and a well designed fitted holster?
With speed-loaders or mag pouches on the other side to balance the rig??

The weight will not be on one hip, and they are perfectly comfortable to carry all day.

Even a 2.5" wide GI pistol belt and holster is not bad when balanced with ammo pouches on the left side.


On the other hand?
We all have to make the same mistakes in gun leather expenditures to learn what works and what doesn't for each of us.

If not, I wouldn't have a box full of expensive holsters I didn't like in the gun room closet, setting right under 6 shoulder holsters I didn't like either.

Somebody has to buy all that stuff to keep the holster companies in business, right!

rc

dmazur
June 11, 2013, 12:41 AM
I've heard good things about this one -

Guide's Choice (http://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/Chest_Holsters.php)

And I use this one -

Tanker (http://www.epsaddlery.com/c-25-shoulder-holsters.aspx)

They tend to be model-specific, meaning that something that fits a revolver may not fit a 1911 very well. I have the "Tanker" for both a Ruger SBH and a 1911 Commander, and they don't interchange.

Compared to a true "shoulder rig", these are more of a chest holster and work very well when carrying a pack. They ride between the pack straps instead of being trapped under one. Also, if you are careful, you can adjust them so they don't interfere with a sternum strap, if your pack is so equipped.

For concealment, they just plain don't conceal. (Well, maybe under an expedition down parka...)

bannockburn
June 11, 2013, 06:24 AM
When I first started out years ago I carried my Charter Arms Undercover in Bianchi's version of the Berns-Martin upside down holster. It was comfortable enough to wear but I do remember that it took quite a bit of effort to get the rig with the straps and the holster properly distributed to get it to fit just right. Eventually I moved away from the shoulder holster designs and went with a belt holster set-up.

hardluk1
June 11, 2013, 06:52 AM
Yjake I spent my first 42 years in florida and started handgun hunting back around '76 with a revolver. It did not take long to find some of what worked and did not work. Over time you will find out those larger revolvers don't carry that well in your arm pit ether. They can and will rub your arm or chest raw. Look at a good cross chest rig for hunting / trail use, carries the weight way more comfortably. Also a good belt and quality holster goes along way to carry'n on your side very comfortable with a thin 1911 . A shoulder holster does limit how you carry if a jacket is not and option. If only a cover shirt is wanted look at mernickle ps6 or HR version for a OWB belt line holster that carrys well or a comp-tac MTAC for a quality iwb that simply works well with lots of adjustment. Cheap holster make you look for something new to try.

http://www.gunblast.com/Mernickle-PS6.htm

http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=95

http://shop.simplyrugged.com/ecommerce/Flap-Jack.cfm?item_id=164&parent=669

USSR
June 11, 2013, 06:59 AM
I use a Bianchi shoulder holster to pack my 6" S&W 25-5. Works quite well.

Don

Longhorn 76
June 11, 2013, 07:03 AM
Andrews Monarch.

hariph creek
June 11, 2013, 07:11 AM
The only shoulder rigs I've found found I care for, and I've tried MANY. Are the upside down/inverted style.
I've got K.L. Null USH-X for my Sig P290RS. It conceals well, is light weight, fast and comfortable.
It's a shame, I've finally found what works for me, and can't use it. Both my shoulders are trashed, it hurts to reach across my chest. Plus, my neck is screwed up. Straps put pressure on nerves in my neck, that HURT. So now I've got to sell it.

Shoulder holsters are, to me, a niche product. Not real practical but, occasionally the solution.
A proper GUN BELT and holster make all the difference in the world.
Still would like to try a good chest rig for woods carry, though.

PorkChopsMmm
June 11, 2013, 08:26 AM
I bought a cheap Uncle Mike's shoulder holster off of Amazon for me 6" Dan Wesson 357. I wear it out when working on the land or driving on the tractor. I couldn't do the things I do with it on my hip -- I would constantly be slamming the gun into door jams or banging it against the tractor. I think a shoulder holster is perfect for anyone who needs to wear a gun and use their arms.

joecil
June 11, 2013, 08:53 AM
I have the Galco Jackass rig for years now. I have two sets of holsters and magazine holders for it. The original was for a Beretta 92 which works with my Taurus 92 and one for a compact 1911.

I also have a cheap Skyball Mountain Holster, nylon type for my Taurus Raging Bull 454 Casull with a 6.5" barrel for a back up gun when hunting.

blindhari
June 11, 2013, 09:13 AM
++ on the Simply Rugged. He will fit almost any holster he has with a Chesty Puller harness. There are times when it is comforting to know your best trout, steelhead, fishing buddy is a Ruger Alaskan.

blindhari

bigarm
June 11, 2013, 12:55 PM
For outdoor activities, this looks good.

http://www.mernickleholsters.com/sh-chest/sh7.html

billpocz
June 11, 2013, 01:39 PM
I have always wanted a shoulder rig, but rarely wear a suit or other clothes that would work with it...

But I am always looking at them for some reason!!!

Good thread!

Old Fuff
June 11, 2013, 01:58 PM
I have used shoulder holsters of various makes for decades, usually when I needed to get the handgun up above the waist while sitting or driving.

Concerning revolvers with 4-inch or longer barrels I prefered the kind that were vertical, open at the front, and secured the gun with a horse shoe style flat spring that went around the cylinder.

However on one occasion I lost (and found) a Colt .45 Government Model pistol when my arm bumped the back of the pouch and the automatic (with no cylinder for the spring to hold on to) self ejected. :uhoh:

Thereafter on the relatively few times when carrying a pistol in a shoulder holster, I opted for one with a conventional pouch.

Confort depends on the style of harness, and concealment is dependent on a loose-fitting covering garment.

g_one
June 11, 2013, 02:19 PM
I don't want to derail the thread but I've been contemplating a shoulder holster for my 5" 1911 but I'm skeptical. It seems to me like you would absolutely need the 'tie downs' that I see as optional (to attach the holster to belt or pants). Obviously though many people wear shoulder holsters without those tie downs - doesn't the holster tend to flop around and shift without them?

Dnaltrop
June 11, 2013, 04:20 PM
http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/products.cfm?ci=F9A54845-0DEA-67E6-B012052F916E8452

I habitually carry a Blackhawk .45 in the Vertical Lifeline shoulder rig, very comfortable, easy to draw from with either hand, 12 loops on the other side, and just disappears under a Hawaiian shirt.

The wife just got the horizontal draw one for her 1911 and it seems to work for her when she's wearing an over-layer.

I carry the IWB as my BUG.

It does take a bit of patience though, they make everything to order in batches. I've been pleased with the 3 I've picked up so far.

The tie downs certainly help, but I manage just fine in my Shorts, the rig, and a 2m candlepower spotlight when something goes Bump in the night.

YJake
June 12, 2013, 02:44 PM
There are some EXCELLENT suggestions here folks, I really appreciate it. :cool:

It seems as if I may need a different rig for each job, as is common in the world of holsters.

For hunting/hiking the "tanker" or "Chest" rig seems the most practical/comfortable.

For concealment a Miami/Monarch/etc style harness seems to be where I need to look.

I'm loving the feedback and real world experience here.

-Jake

FM12
June 12, 2013, 06:51 PM
Galco/Jackass Miami Classic for semis. Bianchi verticle for revos. Also have some Safariland upside down for revos, but feel weird.

I like em all.

The Bianchi X15 CAN ACCOMODATE SEVERAL DIFFERENT HANDGUNS: 1911 TYPES, browning hIGH pOWER AND s&w k FRAME REVOS IN 4" BBL. VERY VERSATILE.

HexHead
June 12, 2013, 06:58 PM
I don't want to derail the thread but I've been contemplating a shoulder holster for my 5" 1911 but I'm skeptical. It seems to me like you would absolutely need the 'tie downs' that I see as optional (to attach the holster to belt or pants). Obviously though many people wear shoulder holsters without those tie downs - doesn't the holster tend to flop around and shift without them?
If it's properly adjusted, it doesnt move much. It needs to be fairly high up into the armpit.

Geronimo45
June 13, 2013, 10:59 PM
I spend most of the day seated, so I tend to prefer shoulder holsters. Being a smaller guy doesn't help - a hip holster occupies 20-30% of the real estate on my back when sitting down, so I end up sitting in a twisted position to be comfortable.
Thus, shoulder holsters work best for me. The Ken Null SMZ, Bianchi X15, and Galco Miami Classic work great. You can get a used X15 off Ebay for practically nothing and try it out.
Horizontal carry works great for short guns, and requires no tie downs. Vertical carry works better for long guns, generally requires tie downs.

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