Belt or shoulder holster?

This is a discussion on Belt or shoulder holster? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hereís the problem: Removeable belt holster versus shoulder holders. And Iím new a CCV. Got the training, the background check, the mug shot and the ...

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Thread: Belt or shoulder holster?

  1. #1
    Member Array oboe's Avatar
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    Belt or shoulder holster?

    Hereís the problem: Removeable belt holster versus shoulder holders. And Iím new a CCV. Got the training, the background check, the mug shot and the fingerprinting. Got the permit to carry concealed. Tried an Uncle Mikes generic IWB. DID NOT FEEL GOOD after a long trial period. Try with the same holster outside waist band, inside belt. Better, but still a PITA. The problem with any belt carry is sitting in some situations, and always when driving. The gun is useless on the belt - removable or otherwise - while riding in a car. Must be removed in those sitting situations.


    So I got a very, very, very inexpensive shoulder holster. Took A LOT of adjusting and some sewing by wifie. OK now. Has tie downs. One thingís for sure - I do not need to remove it when sitting or driving and itís always accesable - even under heavier outer clothing. Does not require more clothing for concealment than IWB or OWB.


    So, the belt holster is better for everything, shooting-wise . . . but horrid for the sitting and driving of which I tend to do so much. Also not so cool in the bathroom, public or private, during siting events. Must be removed during most sitting and all in-car stuff. The shoulder holster never, ever requires removal. Itís just not as good as the belt type holsters in the draw . . . . but of course, not totally unacceptable, either.


    May I have your input on this conundrum? And for shoulder holster - verticle or horizontal? You posts addressing these issues will be appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    IMHO, your problem probably has a lot to do with the word 'generic'.
    They can be costly, but a quality 'boned' holster is well worth the $$$.
    IWB or OWB, both have a place. One CAN learn to sit comfortably in a car with the IWB, I hardly know the firearm is at my side, and I can quickly retrieve it.
    Sometimes I carry an extra holster between the seat and console (for places like Jax or Orlando) and my hand can actually rest on the firearm, my EDC or an 'extra', carried along for the ride.

    Shoulder holster? I have a vertical, and seldom (once in four years) use it...save your money on that venture.OMO
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    belt holster,,shoulder holster? both have their place. i use both when i am on duty. i dress around the gun, the holster, and what i have going on that day(court, surveillance, enforcement,,etc,). stay away from cheap holsters, they do not hold up in the long run. i have had the best luck with the galco brand. a good gun belt is also needed. not some local store belt, but a real gun belt. i have found that the 511 brand gun belt works well and is priced good. a good belt holster and gun belt you can sit in a car all day long without any problems. cheap holster/belt just don't work.
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    FIST, Inc.Look at FIST Holsters. Numerous styles and options in both leather and Kydex. Reasonablely priced in the high quality catagory. I find the Wilderness 5 stitch belts with light/ medium weight guns adequate but a Beltman Gun Belts by The Belt Man is unsurpassable. I prefer a good belt and pancake holster combination and have no trouble finding a suitable position to carry strong side - usually around 3:30 to 4:00. I have 3 shoulder holsters in a drawer that have seen almost no use.

    As a compromise you may want to consider cross draw, either verticle or a slight forward cant depending on your waist's profile, - both options available at FIST Holsters.

    Most of us went through a period of trial and error and have a drawer full of holsters we abandoned. One thing most experienced CCF people agree on is you get what you pay for.

    Good luck to you in your quest.

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    Ex Member Array Bombsaway's Avatar
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    Quality is everything.

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    Buy high quality leather holsters - IWB, OWB or Shoulder - you will spend far less $$$ in the long run and end up where you will get to anyway, only sooner. I like Pure Kustom's Black Ops Pro for either IWB or OWB and the High Noon Under Taker for a shoulder holster. I also agree with Retsupt99 - in south Florida, I would skip the shoulder rig unless I had to wear a suit or jacket (and keep it on all day) as part of my job.

    If you go with a IWB or OWB - get a good gun belt. I like A&G belts and they are a forum sponsor.

    For driving and a BUG, you might want to look at an ankle holster. This gives you the accessibility to the weapon while seated and goes with you when you leave the car for BUG duty - unless you are wearing shorts.
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    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    I agree with most all the above opinons that the shoulder holster is generally not the best option. I like IWB holsters made by Tommy Theis & Crossbreed. I carried a G30 in a Tommy Theis holster while driving from Wichita, KS to Colorado Springs, CO. I'm 5'10 190 and had only minor comfort problems, who wouldn't sitting in any seat for 9hrs. I have purchased cheap holsters before I started carrying, and they are all now in a box somewhere. Thats how good a cheap holster is. I know where all my good holsters are because I use them often. I also do ankle carry my S&W .38 airweight when I am able.
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    Member Array Wolfrage's Avatar
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    IWB, unless you are a driver -- in which case a shoulder holster so you can draw while seated. But really, shoulder holsters are practical in FAR less situations than a good IWB

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    I carry OWB all the time and have no problems while sitting in a car, either in comfort or drawing? Get a good belt and a good holster and you should be good to go.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Crossbreed or MTAC style IWB holster works great. There are 2 support points on your belt which even the weight distribution of the gun. They are adjustable in both height and cant. I carry an XD service model (not a particularly small or light gun) all day, every day, and have never had a single issue. The holster is comfortable and functional. I can wear it while sitting at work, driving, ect. You name it.

    I have a good friend with a miami style shoulder holster. It is not nearly as comfortable as the IWB in most situations. I could see myself wearing something like that in the colder seasons, but then there are more cover garments in the way of the gun. For the warmer months (which is the majority in the south), I choose IWB.
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    Now that you have tried out the "inexpensive" shoulder rig enough to know that it is the mode of carry and carry location that seems to work best for you...invest in a better shoulder holster.

    Take a look at the ALESSI BODYGUARD shoulder holsters.


  13. #12
    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Now that you have tried out the "inexpensive" shoulder rig enough to know that it is the mode of carry and carry location that seems to work best for you...invest in a better shoulder holster.

    Take a look at the ALESSI BODYGUARD shoulder holsters.


    Show off...

    Seriously, This is the good stuff we are all talking about. Beyond Nice.
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    VIP Member Array Adam42's Avatar
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    Have both, use both, belt in summer, shoulder in winter.

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Inexpensive holster's will cost you far more than a really nice rig in the long run because you will buy tons of them trying to find one that works. With holsters the "you get what you pay for" proverb comes into play rather quickly. You don't need a super fancy border stitched, engraved rig, what you need is a quality holster made to fit the human body and a purpose designed gun belt to hold it in place. I always advise CCW holder's that the belt is where you want to really pay attention. A quality belt will conceal an inexpensive holster and make up for shortcomings in the holster design, but a flimsy pants belt won't conceal the "best" holster in the world. You don't need to spend a lot of money, but the belt is the platform and if you hook a top notch custom holster to a flimsy platform you have completely ruined any chance you had of stability and comfort. I prefer a belt with a polymer insert sandwiched between two pieces of material, in leather I like the High Noon belt, in nylon my favorite is the Frequent Flyer by Wilderness Tactical, both are solid platforms. There are many other's, but these are the two I really fell in love with after experimenting with several companies.

    Personal preference and individuality come into play with holsters and someone really can't offer another person true advice on what type of holster would suit them best because the human body comes in so many shapes and sizes with different flexibility and comfort level's. That said I prefer many of the classic Bruce Nelson design's. One of my favorite is built by Milt Sparks and is called the Summer Special II. An IWB holster with forward FBI cant, sweat shield, reinforced mouth, and two belt straps with snap closure for easy removal without undoing the pants belt. This holster is made by many companies and different model names, High Noon Down Under, Galco Royal Guard, El Paso Saddlery Summer Comfort, Kramer #2, etc. I own various versions of this rig for different guns and like it's simple and slim design. Cross Breed and MTac also are popular choices among many other's in the hybrid category.

    I've been trying out the newer Kydex OWB pancake designs and have found them favorable. Raven is the most popular, with the longest wait, I purchased an identical Personal Security Systems Rig for my Sig that I really like; very fast to draw from, stable and conceals easily. Other companies offer similar products. One thing I find I appreciate on any holster be it IWB or OWB is a slide guard/sweat shield. I won't consider purchasing a holster without one these days, just adds comfort for me.

    My advice would be to carry with a decent belt rig for a while, be it OWB or IWB until you find something that works and then acquire a solid shoulder rig as the weather cools, but you will probably use the shoulder rig far less than your standard belt carry and at most classes a shoulder rig will be a no go.

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Matthew03 is right on the money. Y'know, in some ways, it doesn't seem very fair. You spend, what, $500, $800 on a quality firearm, and then you have to get a special belt and an IWB holster and OWB holster and a mag carrier and usually 2 or 3 of each - for each gun you own.

    At the end of the day, you'll have as much money in leather as you do in guns.

    But listen to matthew03 carefully: Do not try to low-ball your carrying rigs. Anything cheap you buy will be a waste of money because you'll throw it away and buy the good stuff anyway. Maybe this is something all owners have to learn the hard way. What you will find is that a high-quality belt and holster will make that gun disappear on your body, be very comfortable, and allow for a fast, precise draw.

    I've had very good experiences with Mitch Rosen, High Noon, and Holsterpro.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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