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Opinions On Shoulder Holsters

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by BulletArc47, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 Member

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    I hear people either love them, or hate them. Do they offer any type of advantage over a waist band holster?


    What are y'alls thoughts?
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well they are probably the best way to carry a 6" or longer revolver and still be able to sit down. For that matter they will get any handgun above the belt line, and that's advantageous if you do a lot of sitting or need to have access while in a car. Obviously heavy guns won't tend to drag your pants down, as can be the case with OWB rigs.

    Beyond this I haven't found any special advantages to justify using shoulder holsters.
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Old Fuff has the answers, of course. If you need to carry a very large gun, the shoulder holster is a bit easier to do that with than most belt holsters.

    If you're sitting down and/or driving during most of the times when you might need to be able to get the gun in a hurry, the shoulder holster again can be more advantageous than other designs, depending on several factors.

    As for disadvantages, they tend to "print" worse than most folks believe, especially the horizontal versions. They tend to trade weight at the belt for weight on the shoulders, which isn't always a good thing. They also are hard to practice with easily as few ranges and NO competition venues allow their use due to the near impossibility of drawing without committing a muzzle-direction violation and/or sweeping other shooters and sometimes yourself.

    On the other hand, they're really good if you're going for a vintage '70s'-'80s cop show look. :)
     
  4. scramasax

    scramasax Member

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    :DI use double 1911 holsters to hold up my pants. Also keeps the weight even so I don't walk sideways.

    Seriously, I have more hip/lower back problems hat shoulder problems. So it works for me.
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    As far as law enforcement or civilian CCW use is concerned, Chicago lost a detective one day who was wearing a conventional vertical shoulder that had an open front and held his revolver with a horseshoe shaped spring clip.

    His coat was open and unbuttoned. While he was talking to what he thought was a low-level criminal that individual spotted the gun butt and reached forward, grabbed the handle, jerked the gun out of the holster, and shot the detective - all this in the blink of an eye! Such rigs offer very little security against grabbers, and if the covering garment is buttoned or zipped any draw will be obviously slow. In this context they are a poor choice, Hollywood movies not withstanding.
     
  6. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    I am an average sized guy -- 5'9" and 165lbs. I have never found a horizontal shoulder holster that I could use for a typical four inch barrel auto pistol. The muzzle always prints through the back of the concealing garment, and the grip tends to swing away from the body. Perhaps there are people who can use them, but I don't see how anyone who is not unusually thick through the chest can.

    I have a vertical holster for a 6 1/2" barrel S&W .44 that actually conceals better than any horizontal rig I've ever tried on. And even at that, I wouldn't consider it all that good for concealment. It takes a very loose outer garment, and it still has a problem with the grip swinging away from the body, though perhaps slightly less so than a horizontal rig.

    As has been said, the shoulder holster has a place for really long-barreled guns, people who spend a lot of time seated and may need to draw from that position, and people with lower back problems that may not be able to comfortably wear a pistol on their belts. For almost any other use, a belt holster will be both more practical, and more concealable.
     
  7. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    Couldn't see myself trying to cc with one. Loved em downrange though for carrying around base without swaping duty rig. OC yes, CC no.
     
  8. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    BulletArc47: I have used a shoulder holster since the 60`s. I don`t like alot of weight around my waist and I have several. I use a shouder rig while hunting or just out walking around. I use a vertical holster most of the time, and mine are very comfortable. Great for siting or riding in a car or aircraft. I started using them in the Military. All the pros and cons pointed out here are absolutly correct, you have to choose for your self. If you decide to try one buy a rig that has wide shoulder straps and of high quality. I personaly like a Shoulder Holster and use them a lot.
    ken
     
  9. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    I have a shoulder rig for each of my pistols, I also have a OWB and IWB for most of them. It really depends on what you are doing at the time.

    I find it easier to draw from the IWB or OWB holster and that is what I use around the house, but outside with a jacket or vest on I find the shoulder holsters more comfortable and easier to hide your firearm with.

    So get both.
    Jim
     
  10. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I'll second what Jim ^^^said. I use both, although not as often with the shoulder rigs. They definitely fit in to a well rounded weapon/holster option.
     
  11. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    As said; depends on what I'm doing, or what I'm wearing.
    Have Alessi "Bodygaurd" SH's for P-35's, 1911-5" and Commander. With winter clothing the SH is my preferred means of carry.

    leather010.jpg
     
  12. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Now you've done it, Huntershooter, you've let the cat out of the bag, and the best kept secret in shoulder rigs will now be out. Backorders are gonna take longer now! (Ah, but worth the wait!) [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have one and love it. I use it frequently for my 1911 in winter. I can use it during the non-hot months too with an open shirt, but mind the wind.
     
  14. Hagen442

    Hagen442 Member

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    Shoulder Holsters

    Before Retiring had to do a lot of driving and Coat & Tie was required Dress.
    Galco Miami Classic was my choice (Both Ends attached to Belt)
    Sig P220 45ACP was my usual Carry Gun
    When Sig introduced the 239 I switched to it in 9MM.

    00
     
  15. AFDavis11

    AFDavis11 Member

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    I like them, mostly because I am usually sitting and spend large amounts of time in a car. Otherwise, they are less concealable.

    I am often struck by the cost until I factor in the cost of a good holster and a good belt combined.

    The best part is that I keep my guns in the holster and can swing them on out the door quickly, without dorking around with threading a holster through a belt.
     
  16. Carter

    Carter Member

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    I love shoulder holsters. They're great for carrying a full size handgun and two extra mags without a lot of weight on your belt. However, if you don't have thick straps your shoulders will pay for it, sometimes even thick straps don't help.

    They do print worse, but a baggy patterned dark colored shirt helps. I never button up my shirt, atleast not past two buttons, when using one though. It helps decrease the printing. Sudden gusts of win can make for an awkward exposure though.
     
  17. Carter

    Carter Member

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    I love shoulder holsters. They're great for carrying a full size handgun and two extra mags without a lot of weight on your belt. However, if you don't have thick straps your shoulders will pay for it, sometimes even thick straps don't help.

    They do print worse, but a baggy patterned dark colored shirt helps. I never button up my shirt, atleast not past two buttons, when using one though. It helps decrease the printing. Sudden gusts of win can make for an awkward exposure though.
     
  18. kid_couteau

    kid_couteau Member

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    A shoulder rig allows me to go poo without worrying about leaving my gun on the back of the toilet.

    Kid :neener:
     
  19. joecil

    joecil Member

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    I have a very old Galco Jackass rig later kind of became the Miami Vice rig. At any rate I have two holsters for either a 1911 or a PT92 as well as a magazine holder for the other side. This is the only way I carry the PT92 ever but do carry the 1911 with either and IWB or OWB holster depending on dress, time of year etc. The shoulders holster have advantages and disadvantages as no way of carrying concealed is always perfect.
     
  20. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    FWIW: I always place my gun down in the crotch of my downed pants when using a public restroom for a sit down job. There it is in easy reach, and you will not forget it, or accidentally have it slip from some other location and hit the floor.
     
  21. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Member

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    I have a DeSantis rig that will carry a pistol and one extra mag. It looks cool in the mirror but I have never found it to be practical. I've found I prefer either ITW or pocket. As far as holding your pants up, I learned that a real gun belt will do the job and is not available at Sears, Dillards or the like. Your going to have to go a real gun belt maker ($60-$100) and there are lots of them. If you do ITW, you'll find you need to go one size larger on your pants so you can still hit the buffet line more than once:D.
     
  22. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    This about sums it up!

    I neither love nor hate shouder rigs. My "primary" carry position is going to be 0300, because my primary duty pistol rides there, and 29+ years of conditioned reflex are difficult to overcome; why fight nature? There are plenty of times, however, when I might want my second gun to ride in a shoulder rig. To be clear, the gun riding at the primary hip position may be the smaller one, particularly when wearing a shouder rig.

    I like a high-end 1980s nylon vertical rig, now long out of production, for a big revolver.

    I like my Andrews Monarch for an SP101 snubby. The thin strap that crosses the mid-back
    makes ALL the difference! I may order an additional hoister body component from Andrews,
    to make it a double rig.

    My problem with shoulder rigs is that I live in a hot, humid climate, which largely relegates my shoulder rigs to rather short periods in the winter.
     
  23. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    I have a shoulder holster for my G30 when I ride my Harley.The rest of the time, IWB works for me.
     
  24. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Upon further reflection:

    One advantage of shoulder rigs with no tie-downs or other atachments to the belt, is when one has, shall we say, a delicate bowel. I used to have an iron stomach, but that was decades ago. Cilantro is my enemy, and some cooks chop it so fine I do not recognize it.

    When seated inside some vehicles or aircraft, a shoulder rig may either be more comfortable, or allow better access while seated and strapped-in, or both. One of my photo assignments was in a police helicopter; the pilot and tactical flight officer wore shouder rigs. Some sporty cars can be as confining as some aircraft.
     
  25. farscott

    farscott Member

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    As others have mentioned, shoulder holsters have a place in vehicles. I spend a lot of time in a vehicle on long trips, and I use shoulder holsters for those trips. I prefer horizontal carry holsters for that purpose as there is no need for tiedowns to connect the belt. That being said, not all shoulder holsters are created equal. I have had good luck with the Mitch Rosen Stylemaster, but I bought mine used as the MSRP is above outrageous.

    Not all guns are candidates for horizontal carry. The biggest guns that work for me are Glock 19s and Colt Double Eagle Officer's ACP models. Guns with short slides and longer grip frames work best for this mode of carry -- the opposite of what works best for IWB carry.
     
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