Slung rifle and holstered pistol?


Mat, not doormat
September 1, 2013, 01:20 AM
I've noticed, in several recent threads, people referencing carrying both a slung rifle and a sidearm in various circumstances, like hunting, wandering in bear areas, or around the home place.

This raised a question. How do you keep the two from bashing into each other all the time? Carry on opposite sides only? Full coverage holsters? Other?

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September 1, 2013, 01:48 AM
Yes, they can bang into each other, or the rifle can get stuck behind the butt of the pistol, if they are on the same side.

Either of your ideas would work to minimize the problem.

I usually like to switch shoulders during the day for my slung rifle, though ... so that might not be a workable solution. Crossdraw in front might do better, or a front-slung AR with the pistol on strong-side on the belt would be fine, too. A pocket-carried .38 or little pistol is best for me, since it gives me a pistol's utility without the problems that can crop up from carry on the belt.

But the little gun is not as powerful as a service-size .357, or if I were going to carry a service-size 9mm, it doesn't have the capacity, and in no case will it be as easy to shoot as the larger pistols.

When I am down near the border hunting, I carry a full-size pistol along with my hunting rifle (or shotgun, if I'm after birds), end of story. If I'm just hiking, I still carry a full-size pistol, and I've sometimes taken the rifle along, too. When I am up north chasing elk, I might just decide that the little .38 in my pocket is enough.

September 1, 2013, 01:56 AM
Pistol is carried strong side, rifle is carried sling across my back with the barrel down and the stock touching my right shoulder (my strong side). This keeps the two from banging into each other and my sling from becoming entangled in my pistol. It also allows me to use my left hand to retain control of my rifle.

September 1, 2013, 06:06 AM
^^^^^ exactly how I hunted in Alaska.

September 1, 2013, 06:42 AM
if you're right-handed, african carry your rifle on the left shoulder. sidearm on the right hip. or vice-versa if you're a lefty.

September 1, 2013, 07:47 AM
Most of my rifles that see field use are set up to sling front side across the chest. If I have a rifle with a regular sling, I mostly African carry if it needs to be available quickly; or carry across the back, shoulder to hip, if it doesn't.

September 1, 2013, 08:57 AM
I like to use a weak side, butt forward holster, strong side sling carry. I hesitate to call the holster a cross draw, as these usually lay the 'pistol' fairly flat/horizontal. This is nearly vertical, with the butt forward maybe 20 degrees. It rides just aft of my left pelvic bone. I use a retention strap over the revolver. I can carry a large backpack comfortably with this and that includes a belt canteen and knife. In fact my favorite rig for hiking/packing is a GI Web belt, this holster with a Ruger Blackhawk and a 50's GI Canteen. I made the holster myself many years ago and have considered remaking it with a flap for better weather protection. If my strong shoulder needs a rest, the holster is moved to just in front of the pelvic bone.

I carry the rifle muzzle up with a 1907 sling. I use to like the "quick adjust" versions of the sling, but a standard 1907 seems less hassle nowadays. The "quick" adjusts never are! You adjust the overall length so the rifle feels/hangs well. For my body build, this length gives me a great hasty sling length and I'd only "climb into a proper sling" if there was a lot of time to get ready (which, in big sky country there usually is). The rifle can be dismounted by "spinning" if off your shoulder. Strong hand grabs the pistol grip area and with a wrist flick the rifle rotates around/under your shoulder, the muzzle then rising in front of you as the butt comes into the shoulder pocket and the off hand shoots between the forearm and sling to obtain a hasty sling use of the 1907 sling. If you know and practice the tricks of the 1907 style sling, most of the modern slings styles are pointless.

September 1, 2013, 09:01 AM
+1 for 'African Carry'-

a looong time ago, when I carried an M60 (on what we called the guitar sling, right sided), I carried the 1911A1 on the left, Cross draw.

Art Eatman
September 1, 2013, 11:30 AM
My two-gun carry was usually a Ruger Red Hawk and my 12-gauge when quail hunting during deer season. I had a three-mile route down a canyon, looking for quail. There were stretches between likely hunting spots where I carried the shotgun slung over my right shoulder. I carried the Ruger holstered just in front of my left hip.

September 1, 2013, 12:08 PM
About the same as Art, rifle slung over left shoulder and 357 in cross draw holster in front of left hip. Holster generally covers most of the revolver, so not a problem.


September 1, 2013, 12:40 PM
I generally carry a holster at about 4:00 o-clock behind the right hip.

It is out of the way of a slung rifle, but still easily reached.


September 1, 2013, 01:08 PM
I go with NeuseRvrRat, as I have a way of carrying rifle muzzle down, swinging my rifle down from my weak shoulder with weak hand, and coming up in my sling ready to fire. With handgun on the string side, I never bang the two. I also like a chest rig for the field, as the handgun is out of the way of EVERYTHING, even when crawling, and accessible to either hand.

September 1, 2013, 01:25 PM
Pistol in holster on strong side, rifle in low-ready.

If I have to sling to open a gate or take a whizz, I sling to weak side.

September 1, 2013, 03:56 PM
handgun in a waist cross draw, or cross the chest huckleberry rig,
or a shoulder holster and rifle on my strong side. That's what works for me.

dagger dog
September 1, 2013, 07:39 PM
A cross draw at 10 or 2, with the rifle over the opposite shoulder.

September 1, 2013, 08:04 PM
oposite sides of course. I use holster right side and tactical weak side carry(slung left side muzzle down)

September 1, 2013, 08:51 PM
pistol strong side

if we're talking carbines, the latest on my journey with slings is single point, AR hangs in front.

if we're talking long guns, 2 point sling with my head and weak side shoulder/arm through the sling. rifle in front of me, muzzle is down. i can also grab the butt with my weak hand and spin the rifle around where it's on my back, muzzle up.

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