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Shoulder Holster Query

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by roo_ster, Jun 3, 2009.

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  1. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

    Oct 2, 2003

    I am looking to purchase a couple of shoulder holsters. One, a leather traditional CCW SH and the other a synthetic SH to wear when performing physical activity.

    I am a fairly big guy with a 52" chest.

    I would prefer tie-downs on both sides and an ammo carrier on the off side.

    I have read this fellow's reviews:

    Any experience you can share would be appreciated.

    Leather SH
    My three main options I have considered are Galco, El Paso Saddlery, & Aker. Alessi* & Del Fatti are out of the competition. Just too much money and too long a wait. I am open to other options.

    Possible weapons to pack in leather SH, in order of preference:
    1911 full size / GM
    1911 OACP / 3.5" bbl
    SW M19 2.5" bbl snubby
    SW M629 4" bbl

    Galco (http://www.usgalco.com)
    Galco has the Jackass, Miami Classic, Miami Classic II, and VHS.

    MC & MC II hold the weapon horizontally, the Jackass at about a 45deg muzzle-up tilt, and the VHS is vertical.

    Galco has a nice option to order a large version of the MC/MCII/VHS harness that will accommodate up to a 64" chest, whereas their standard harness is good to 52" chests. (The 52" limit seems to cut it too close for my tastes.)

    I suspect that the 1911GM and the SW629 4" would require a vertical carry or angled carry to stay concealed, but am not certain. My worry is that the VHS is too big & bulky and the Jackass rig is kinda chintzy.

    El Paso Saddlery (http://www.epsaddlery.com/)
    EPS has the 200 (muzzle angled up 45deg) and the Spyder (horizontal).

    My initial thought is that EPS is better quality than Galco. OTOH, the leather harness that EPS uses looks kinda thick.

    Aker (http://www.akerleather.com/)

    Again, they have hoizontal (107) and muzzle-up (101) angled permutations.

    Synthetic SH
    I would prefer that the holster part of the SH NOT be nylon or any sort of fabric that retains moisture. My druthers would be kydex or some such for the holster portion.

    My usual first stop when considering a new holster-type is Uncle Mikes, as UM is cheap and can help determine if the particular holster type is workable or not. But, UM SHs are all fabric.

    Possible weapons to pack in synthetic SH, in order of preference:
    SW M629 4" bbl
    1911 full size / GM
    SW M19 2 1/2" snubby
    1911 OACP

    Blackhawk (http://www.blackhawk.com)

    Honestly, I usually avoid this purveyor of tacticool like the plague. But, their Serpa holster can be supplemented with a shoulder harness.

    Survival Sheath Systems (http://www.survivalsheath.com/)

    They look better made than BH and have the advantage of not being made by BH.

    I am willing to consider other synthetic options.

    * In doing research, I learned that Lou Alessi has gone to his reward. A sad day for his family and a sad day for those who apprciate the best in gunleather.
  2. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Better to order too big and cut it to size. I'm only going to comment on the Galco rigs, as I own 2 and have been using the system for a few years now during the winter months. The models I have are Miami Classics for a Beretta 92FS and an HK P2000. Even the former, which is the largest, hides pretty well under a light jacket or a loose buttoned shirt. However, at my size if I were looking to conceal a shoulder holster under a suit jacket I would go with the VHS. Your larger chest might be just fine with horizontal carry. It's been a while since I've had my measurements taken, but I believe I'm still in the mid-40's for chest measurements.

    Bottom line for the Galco - it's durable, well-made, and comfortable for all day wear. IMO, I've gotten my money's worth from the rigs.
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