Defensive Carry banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,091 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please school me on these holsters. I thought they looked like a very simple rig to put on and take off in the movie 'Bullitt' with Steve McQueen as the lead actor. Undoubtedly, the first of the great modern chase scenes and I had the pleasure of owning two similar fastback Mustangs over the years ... but let them both get away. Rats!

Anyway, that aside, I've begun what I think is a transition toward senior simplicity and purchased two J-frames - a factory-bobbed 637 and a 642 - both with key locks, but I'm not going to spend time worrying about that, so please spare the dialogue on some imminent failure.

Instead, this allure for a classic McQueen shoulder rig is primarily based upon anticipated lengthy car trips, with a few stops along the way, and I think this kind of holster with a pull-down draw might suit me just fine. (Sad thing is, I think I had one very similar a few years back I experimented with J-frames. Sold it for a song.)

Your insights are appreciated. From what I've found on the Internet, people selling such Bianchi rigs think they are worth a premium. And, maybe they are, but I'd like to hear it from some GT members who have CC'd with this kind of rig and gun. Thanks much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,184 Posts
I'd be really leery of buying an upside-down USED holster. They rely on tight close fit and the elastic to keep the gun in...another style gun might not be secure. The elastic has been known to get lax/loose...have to be replaced. There has also been a close-fitting shoulder holster that had two leather tabs that snapped through the front side of the trigger guard...simply pulling the gun forward opened the snap and released the gun. I've had both types and found they're more comfortable/handy for me than a horizontal OR butt-up style. If Null still makes...great...Nevada Leather just went out of business last year...they're the last I knew to make the upside-down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,542 Posts
The original upside-down shoulder holster design for revolvers came from Berns-Martin, probably around 1960 or so. Wire-springs stitched into the leather allowed the revolver to be drawn with a forward-downward movement. The Berns-Martin original suffered a bit from a narrow strap harness design that was less than comfortable.

By the mid-1960s both Bianchi and Safariland had brought their own products to market. The Safariland design utilized a very heavy elastic band to retain the revolver in the holster. Both companies offered a more comfortable harness with wider support strap; Bianchi using elastic for the off-side stabilizing strap and Safariland using a woven nylon strap (both of which tended to wear out due to exposure to body heat and perspiration). Both were popular through the 1980s or so for concealed carry. I used them to carry my back-up piece under the uniform shirt while working as a cop, and also in plain-clothes (especially handy with untucked shirt, a light jacket, or a vest).

The main obstacle to any shoulder holster used for discreet carry is the harness design. The harness must be comfortable as well as having sufficient flexibility to move with the body during all normal activities (walking, running, bending over, getting in and out of vehicles, etc). I always found it easy to spot those using shoulder holsters because of the user having to shift the harness around by hand frequently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
I have a Bianchi 9R-2 upside down rig for my Colt Detective Special. They were also made for the j frames. This holster doesn’t rely on elastic to retain the pistol, and it has never failed me. Very comfortable and concealable. Buy the best condition used one you can find, they are out there. Don’t quibble on price, they are worth every penny. Be aware that there are earlier models like the model 9, which weren’t as perfected. Hold out for the 9R-2, there is no better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,032 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,409 Posts
When I was on active duty I used a Safariland upside down holster for the issued S&W M-10/15s we carried while flying. A far better holster than the one issued by USAF that had a heavy spring that was supposed to retain the revolver but didn't, its a very uncomfortable feeling when you feel the gun sliding down your leg. The Safariland retained the gun securely while crawling over under and through the airplane yet was easy to draw from. I think Safariland quit selling them in the 1980s but I have been lucky in finding a few on ebay.
Safariland
Road surface Flooring Asphalt Wood Human leg

USAF issued
Twig Wood Art Font Soil
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,409 Posts
Upside down is great right up until the gun clatters on the floor. Gravity is not your friend in this instance.
Never had that problem with the Safariland, it took a very deliberate pull to remove it from the holster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Please school me on these holsters.
I carried in a Galco shoulder rig for many years. Many people do not like shoulder holsters because you “flag” people behind you or yourself while the gun is in the holster, forgetting that most holsters flag some part of your body at some point and with IWB carry you flag yourself constantly. So, flagging while carrying is IMO irrelevant.

The problem comes during the draw. As with most any holster there is a moment during the draw when you are flagging yourself and the gun could be fired as you draw. Past that point, you need to make sure you don’t flag yourself or anyone else as you present, and that is where shoulder holsters and crossdraw holsters have problems.

Most people, when presenting from a reverse carry like the shoulder holster or crossdraw, pull out the gun and move it in a semicircle, pointing it at everyone and everything in the room including their own off side arm until it is on target. This is bad.

I’m all for this manner of carry, especially on long road trips, but you have to train your draw stroke to point the gun at your feet and bring it around your body, then push I it out towards the target in a traditional present motion without getting your off hand in front of the gun.

You have to train yourself to do this under stress, under fire and possibly while in a physical altercation... or risk being the next Alec Baldwin. There are various techniques, including blading your carry side towards your opponent, but you need to find what works for you and practice it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,514 Posts
Bianchi 9R is an excellent holster uses springs feel for retention. Very concealable and comfortable and easy to draw with both hands. They however have been out of production for many years and have grown in price for clean examples.

As with all methods of carry there are both pros and cons and training with your equipment is necessary to insure both proficiency and safe handling with it. Can’t speak for any of the other options for upside down rigs but the few 9Rs I have have been great.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top