Upside-Down Shoulder Rig from "The Gauntlet"

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Dec 29, 2002
Los Anchorage
I watched "The Gauntlet", in which Eastwood plays another tough cop. There's no Model 29 in this one, but what appears to be a Model 66 with a short barrel. He keeps it in a shoulder holster I've been questing for for several years--a leather upside-down vertical rig with fast extraction. I have one from Null, but its plastic deep-concealment design is somewhat taxing when hoisting revolvers over 20 ounces. A leater rig with wider straps would be ideal, and Clint has one in this film.

Any idea what it is?
I've got one ( leather with elastic) for a J frame. It olds the gun very secure and tucks it way up under my arm pit. Pretty sure it's a Galco but I'll have to go check.
Tacoma: Believe it to be a Bianchi design or the late 70s early 80s. Taken from the old Berns-Martin design. There were several Accidental Discharges with this holster and when you moved to draw the weapon, the holster would slide to the rear and be almost impossible to secure the grip with the drawing hand.
I beleive the holster was a Bianchi #9R. As mentioned, it was derived from a Berns-Martin design. The snub S&W K-frame was the largest size offered; more were sold for the S&W J-frame and Colt D-frame snubs. If I remember correctly, later in the movie he removes the holster from its harness and it's seen on his belt. That was a feature of the Bianchi #9R: it had integral belt loops (on both sides of the holster, for ambidextrous use) for dual service as a belt rig. It was dropped form their catalog back in the early/mid '90s.

I have the upside down discontinued Bianchi model. It is the size 19 for mid sized revolvers. There is a wide leather strap and a flexible strap for the off side. The ONLY gun I carry in it is the S&W Model 296 in 44 Spl. In stumbled across this combo, and found it to be perfect for the weight, the holster design, and the comfort. Accessiblity is just right. The grip does not slide away from the body when you move with this particular revolver. My 686 is too heavy for it, and my 66 is also too heavy.
Thanks Gunz! I have a 9R Bianchi for a snub K frame somewhere in my holster drawer and never thought of trying it for my 296. The only problem I remember about a Berns Martin Lightning design was that the grip could have no filler behind trigger guard, as that is what retained the gun! :)
Thanks! I'll keep my eye out for one in the used bins. I ran into a retired local cop who used one of these rigs in the '80's. He said his revolver kept falling out of it when he had to jump over a fence or otherwise hit the ground hard.
Just took a look. It's actually a SafariLand ( 19).
It holds pretty secure and requires that you pull the gun forward then down before it releases.
Here it is with my mod 49 .
The Bianchi was a reissue of the old Bern Martin holster. It had a open "front" that was controlled by a U shaped spring inside the leather like the original X-15. The triggerguard was used for retention like Tacoma's Safariland does.
The main advantage was that the spring usually wore better in the long run than the elastic on the Safariland did.

When worn on the belt the Bianchi model behaved similar to a breakfront. In fact, around the same time Bianchi reintroduced their version of the old B-M breakf front duty holster. I believe CHP issued them as standard for a while.
I used the Safariland Model 19 for several years to carry a 4" Ruger Security-Six and a 4" Colt Trooper Mark III. It concealed well, but the an emergency fast draw had to be well-practiced. As has been mentioned, the moving the dominant hand to the offside during the draw tended to slide the holster to the rear... a barrel-chested guy or big-boobed babe would not be able to use it very well.

I stopped using after a cold windy and snowy day, when while jogging from my car to the restaurant, that big Colt fell out of the holster, slipped down the front of my parka, and I watched it go tumbling end over end down the sidewalk in front of me.

I also had one for a 2-3/4" Ruger Speed-Six, and never had a problem. Part of the retention is the fit of the grip frame into the holster, and the Pachmayr grips on the Colt didn't allow it to seat properly. I had a Tyler T-grip on the Speed-Six and it allowed the gun to seat better. A few years before Safariland discontinued the holster (and Bianchi their Model 9R spring-steel version as well), they started printing a warning in the catalogue (no internet back then) that the holster was designed for guns with standard grips only. The double elastic on the Safariland tended to get loose after a while as well.
I had a Bianchi 9R which I used with a Charter Arms Undercover, and then later with a S&W Model 36. Worked fine once I got it set up right but I always had this deep rooted fear that some day my gun might fall out. Eventually I stopped using it and went with some various IWB holsters.
The problem with the one linked, is lack of leather over the shoulder...

As shown, the nylon-strap harness is complete. It forms an "X" in the middle of the back, and works O.K. with a light gun. If one wanted a wider strap going over the shoulder it would be easy to modify the rig, but I never found that to be necessary.

Incidentally, one fan of this sort of shoulder holster was the late Col. Rex Applegate, going back to the original Berns-Martin.
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