Thanks for the move, sorry about that. I was tired and didn't look where I was posting! :)
This is a discussion on Andrew's Custom Leather Monarch Rig? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a bad back, so I'm looking at shoulder rigs, and was wondering if anyone had used one of these and what your thoughts ...
I have a bad back, so I'm looking at shoulder rigs, and was wondering if anyone had used one of these and what your thoughts on them were?
Alternately, any specific recommendations for another one?
Looking for comfort but must be relatively concealable, preferably under a button up shirt worn unbuttoned and untucked over a T-shirt. (I'm not planning on going to the mall like that, that would just be silly, but for a night time walk it's my normal clothing choice.)
Thanks in advance for all advise! :)
Thanks for the move, sorry about that. I was tired and didn't look where I was posting! :)
I have enjoyed my Galco shoulder rig... but have no expereince with other shoulder rigs. Miami Classic. All leather, double mag pouch facing down on strong side, level II retention on weak side. Works great in the car or under a coat or button down shirt (untucked)
Good luck, let me (us) know what you decide on, and post pictures!
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
What type of handgun is it for?
Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.
I use a Galco Miami rig to carry my S&W MP40. Works very well for me, comfortable and concealable during the cooler months. It would be great if you could try one before buying it?
"We have a decision to make; Either get busy living or get busy dying."
I don't think you can go wrong with Andrews holsters and rigs. There are certainly more elegant and artistic holsters out there that are esthetically wonderful, but
the quality on Andrews stuff is quite good and the workmanship is more than O.K.
The Andrews Monarch is a truly well-made and well-though-out shoulder rig, but as for wearing under a shirt, well, it had better be a thick shirt and a very small weapon. The Monarch is made of substantial material, not ultra-thin anything. The holsters bodies themselves are quite thick, and while Andrews does a quite good job of keeping the harness thin, as a general rule, you will have to pick your cover garment carefully if you don't want the leather straps to "print" through the fabric.
The strap across the mid/lower back does certainly help keep everything in place, truly minimizing the flopping-around effect without the use of tie-downs, and IMHO, works BETTER than tie-downs. My full Monarch rig is made for a SIG P229. I also bought a curiously modified part-Monarch rig from its previous owner, who had replaced the shoulder harness with that from a Bianchi Scorpio rig.
The paradox with should rigs is that the wearer must have a deep chest for concealment to work well, with anything bigger than a snubby or compact auto, but that deep chest interferes with a smooth, quick reach across to the weapon. Then, too, wide shoulders and lats, but without any excess baggage along the ribs below the armpits, help concealment also. All of this means that certain guys with just the right musculature and bone structure are blessed when it comes to using shoulder rigs. I am cursed; the only physical characteristic of the above that I have is the wide shoulders. I have to wear very full-cut garments to cover the rig really well, but then, I have a badge to back up any mistakes, and am only violating chief's policy, not law, if someone spots the weapon or rig. I generally only wear a shoulder rig when I am going to be seated inside a vehicle for long periods of time.
Really, the only way to know for sure a shoulder rig will work for you is to try one, and a really good one at that. The Monarch is a really good one.
All five of my lumbar discs are gone along with three cervical so trust me I know about back problems. If your issues are in the lower back shoulder carry may work for but a lot will depend on the size and weight of your gun. If you have cervical or neck issues, forget it as shoulder rigs cause a lot of strain on the neck and your shoulders are carrying the weight. Lou Alessi designed several for me that I can wear comfortably but rarely use due to concealment issues. You either have to wear a shirt or jacket over the shoulder rig and that's usually a no-go 5 or 6 months out of the year. I'm guessing that you have tried IWB carry and had issues with the sciatic nerve. I did also with rigs like the VMII that are wide spread, at Lou's insistence I tried one of his PCH IWB rigs and never looked back, it is thin and has a flange that distributes weight evenly not causing pressure on the nerve. I can carry a Govt 1911 weighing 2.5 pounds or more loaded and do it comfortably and without pain. Look into other options before spending a lot of $$ on a shoulder rig that may get used on occasion and may/may not solve your back issues. Good luck!
Thank you all for the good information!
The rig is for an M&P40. Sounds like the Andrew's is a good rig, but may be a bit much, thickness wise, for what I usually wear. I really like the mid/lower back strap on the Andrew's as an idea, but maybe I could rig my own with a thinner rig.
Trying a shoulder rig out first is a good idea, I'll look into it.
I'm a pretty big guy, and over weight as well, at 6'2" and 320, and I have 3 blown discs in my lower thoracic (10-12) which have indeed set off my sciatic when I've carried on my belt, as well as some neck problems that cause severe headaches. If a shoulder rig could set off my headaches, which I hadn't considered, that's bad! This gives me a lot to think about...
That's what led me to look at shoulder rigs, but I'm still open to IWB if there are rigs that will work for me. Fortunately, I live in Oregon near Lightning Arms, so I can check out a lot of things before I buy.
torrejon224, if you don't mind me asking, what position do you carry at with the PCH? I'm assuming 5 o'clock if it's over your sciatic? Any problems with sitting for periods of time?
If you lived down here (Eugene/Springfield), you could try a few of mine but all I have for an M&P are IWBs, one Bulman and a D&D. Since you have mid back issues, forget the shoulder rig, the loaded M&P is fairly heavy as I have a 9 and a 45. A shoulder rig will over a period of time put pressure on your mid back as you will tend to lean forward to compensate for the weight carried around your shoulders. I speak from many years of experience as I carried in a shoulder rig extensively before I was medically retired. You could go with a smaller, lighter gun but thats $$.
As far as IWB I tend to carry anywhere from 3:30 to 5:30 and have never had an issue with the PCH, I don't know what Lou did but it works like a charm!! Today I'm wearing one of my P7s is a Garrity Incognito Deluxe another of my favs, pretty much same design as a VMII but it has a suede backing which makes it very comfortable and honestly I can't even tell I'm carrying (might be the drugs)!
I had a long discussion with my neurosurgeon about this before I had major back surgery in March. He is also a gun nut and carries and he basically told me it's a "crap shoot" finding a holster that works and that doesn't inflame the sciatic nerve. He mentioned and I already knew about a guy named George Wells in Georgia that makes holsters specially designed for folks with orthopedic problems. They are absolute works of art but cost big $$$, something to consider perhaps.
I doubt that Craig or Audrey at LAS have any PCH's as they are worth their weight in gold since Lou passed but it's worth asking about. Another Alessi rig that uses the same concept is the Hideout which Ken Null also makes a version of.
Almost forgot, as far as sitting, no it doesn't bother me at all. In the past three years my wife and I have driven back and forth to Florida, Philly and upstate New York three times and I was never uncomfortable carrying. Of course, prolonged sitting kills me but not ccw. Feel freee to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org as this is one area I feel very qualified to address.
There is a nice photo of a lady wearing the Monarch Shoulder rig in hte "show Yours" section of this web page.
[QUOTE=Ananael;1227737]Thank you all for the good information!
The rig is for an M&P40. Sounds like the Andrew's is a good rig, but may be a bit much, thickness wise, for what I usually wear. I really like the mid/lower back strap on the Andrew's as an idea, but maybe I could rig my own with a thinner rig. ]
Can't speak for others experience, but I've worn an Andrews rig under all types of shirts, and have not experienced any printing issues. Even light weight summer shirts, however they are left untucked and unbuttoned.
I have even worn it under a tucked in and buttoned up dress shirt, albeit it was a heavier weight cotton shirt.
"You're already flying upside down. You might as well turn on the smoke and have some fun."
- Laurence Gonzales - "Deep Survival"
My wife has two of Sam's Monarchs. Personally, she loves them, but I'd suggest a telephone call to Sam. He is a prince of a fella, and will be more than pleased to help you solve your considerations without sales pressure.
"He went on two legs, wore clothes and was a human being, but nevertheless he was in reality a wolf of the Steppes. He had learned a good deal . . . and was a fairly clever fellow. What he had not learned, however, was this: to find contentment in himself and his own life. The cause of this apparently was that at the bottom of his heart he knew all the time (or thought he knew) that he was in reality not a man, but a wolf of the Steppes."