Shoulder Holster Tips

Shoulder Holster Tips

This is a discussion on Shoulder Holster Tips within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just got my first shoulder holster. I have adjusted it to be pretty comfortable and distribute the weight evenly as well as to allow ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Question Shoulder Holster Tips

    I just got my first shoulder holster. I have adjusted it to be pretty comfortable and distribute the weight evenly as well as to allow for an easy draw.

    But, I am wondering if anyone here on the forum with more experience has any advice/tips to give someone new to shoulder holsters.

    How high up on the body do you like to have the gun positioned? Same question for the mag pouch?

    Do you adjust the pistol to ride further back on your body to help avoid detection or do you like to let it ride in a more forward position to aid in your draw?

    This is basically the model of holster I purchased. 388.jpg
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    Senior Member Array Pinot's Avatar
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    If it's comfortable and works for that's all that matters.
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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Comfort, security, ease of draw.
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

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    The handgun should be positioned high up just below the armpit with the muzzle canted slightly up.

    When you get it in the right spot for you personally...you'll know it.

    The exact "off side" magazine location is strictly personal preference.

    Once you get everything positioned exactly how you want it....move those strap screws to the set of holes closest to your holster and mag pouch and then cut off all that extra strap leather.

    Since you'll never need it again...get rid of it. Every shoulder harness system is sent out with extra long straps because there are so many different body types and sizes out there in the world.
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    FUNNY.

    Galco and some other makers used to mail out their shoulder holsters with the holster and mag pouch all the way down at the end of these overly long leather harness straps.

    So when the Hollywood "movie prop people" ordered shoulder holsters (mostly from Galco) the actors/directors assumed that was where they were supposed to be.

    AKA that they arrived preset at the correct carry location.

    SO...some movies and TV shows show the actors wearing their shoulder holsters with their guns and accessory/mag pouches swinging around & back and forth like pendulums way down low almost near the waistline.

    I used to get a mild jolt out of that.

    I don't see it these days but, you will often see it if watch some older cop/detective shows and movies.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I've got mine riding high, not swinging around near my waistline. Just trying to figure out how high up and how far back for the pistol.
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

    Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”

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    QK said pretty much what I would have. I have mine high up, about 2 inches under the armpits on both sides. It's the only way I could set it up to have reasonable concealment. I also brought the gun side back a bit because of the snap closure protruding past the rear of the slide. I cut most of the excess leather off from around the snap which helped make some difference.

    Also- if there is too much play in the straps, the holster will pull forward with the draw. I didn't want that to happen at all, as my holster is very snug and requires a very firm pull to remove the gun. Having it high and tight gives it stability against my body. It does take a bit of getting used to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rammerjammer View Post
    I've got mine riding high, not swinging around near my waistline. Just trying to figure out how high up and how far back for the pistol.
    Put it on, and then put on the cover garments you'll typically use; move your arms around. See how it looks. Make adjustments as necessary. If there's someone you can use as another set of eyes, that can only help as well.

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    QK nailed it, needs to ride higher vs lower.

    For me - draw a circumferential line around your chest centered on your nipples and mine rides about 2-3" below that and the bottom of the grip is right about the end of the rib cage.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    Shoulder holster adjustments. Fun, fun, fun.
    Liking what 40Bob has said, but I'd put ease of draw first on the list, comfort second. Most shoulder systems offer plenty of security (one or two snaps). Got to be natural and not straining or over-extending your upper draw arm. Simply put, your draw hand and arm should automatically gain hold on the grip once your arm goes across your body to grab the pistol grip without twisting your wrist. This means everything from the elbow to the hand and nothing else. If your upper arm needs to move or you have to work the shoulder toward the center of your body just a tad, that's fine, but your muscles will tell you when you are over-extended. The pistol grip should usually be perpendicular to your body, and the cant of the horizontal holster should be adjusted that way to start. Pistol muzzle will likely be at an upward angle maybe 10-15 degrees. The only shoulder holster system I will use is the Galco Miami Classic since it's very adjustable and only one snap. Belt tie downs are a must for me keeping everything level and comfortable. Sometimes I can do without the holster side tie down, but the magazine side tie down is a must. The position of the pistol coincides with your ability to draw, so as forward as you need it to be. Concealment of the shoulder holster is just like concealing a strong side or cross draw holster. Nothing new here except the extra weight hanging higher on your body and moving somewhat independently with the weight. Most shoulder holster rigs offer plenty of adjustments. Where the ease of draw and comfort come together is you choice of cover garment to conceal. Your holster, your clothing, and you will work as a total system to remain concealed and armed. Like I say, the shoulder rig is one of the most versatile and customizable carry systems available, but demands a cover garment for concealment. You work with your equipment and your hardware for the best package. Shoulder holster rigs are not cheap, but they offer plenty of diversity. I wouldn't be without the option myself. It also frees up some belt space (why just carry one?). LOL!
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    I used to carry in a shoulder rig as a Det-Sgt ( plainclothes). I loved it, but I had a plainer rig.
    One was a horizontal model which I carried high under my arm pit with a slight cant downwards as it was faster & more natural, for me. Most semed to prefer a straight horizontal draw.
    You can mess with it until it feels good to you.
    I never liked the mag pouches on the rig, so I just removed them, but that is just me.
    Also, I changed my 'set-up' with seasonal changes. Sometimes, I'd wear it under a shirt.

    My main concern was usually concealment, even on the job. I never had to do any 'Quick-Draws' at high noon, but you still need decent speed.
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    VIP Member Array Richard58's Avatar
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    Wear it for awhile to allow the leather straps settle in and to see if ur comfortable b4 cutting anything. Easy to take off and hard to put back on concerning cutting the leather....
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    Member Array Goldy49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinot View Post
    If it's comfortable and works for that's all that matters.
    I carry mine as high as I can. Because of my body build, my 1911 hangs about 5" to 6" below my armpit (thick lats and narrow waist). It is comfortable and concealable for me there and it works. You have to adjust it to fit your body build. Before I retired, shoulder holsters were the way to go for me - they suited the way I dressed the best. Not so much anymore - no sport coats anymore.

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    Member Array D_FIN's Avatar
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    I want a shoulder rig just because it seems cool. I can't imagine very many times when I would actually need one however and they are so pricey. I know there are some cheaper nylon tyle ones but don't know if they are any good.

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    Senior Member Array rednichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rammerjammer View Post
    I've got mine riding high, not swinging around near my waistline. Just trying to figure out how high up and how far back for the pistol.
    You got a lot of complicated answers; it's much easier than that: the holstered pistol goes under the arm exactly as if you were tucking a rolled up magazine or newspaper there; perhaps even a brolly if you're in London. You'll discover that this "balancing" automatically tips the muzzle higher than the rear sight.

    That's the vertical out of the way; the horizontal is a matter of centering the grip tang at the front, and the muzzle at the rear, for "least objectionable print".

    Done.
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