Thursday, October 15, 2009


A little serendipitous thought is occuring in the gun blogosphere and folks happen to be posting about shoulder holsters right when I was thinking about the topic myself. First Ride Fast, then Ahab... It's like they read my mind.

Sailor Curt
brings up the minuses involved with carrying this way. You can end up sweeping the muzzle across some of your favorite body parts with the vertical style, and you WILL sweep against lots of folks if you get the horizontal rig.

Why have I been thinking on a shoulder holster? Butt hurt. An Inside the Waistband holster at 7 or 8 o'clock might give me Fat Wallet syndrome and aggravate my lumbago and sciatica. Also, I haven't figured out the best way to go to necessary room in public with a holster on my belt. Getting your pant back up after finishing your paperwork for that job can be problematic, I've found. I'm not going to hang the pistol on the coat hook through the trigger guard, now am I leave it on the sink outside the stall. Ideally, I want to leave it in the holster so as reduce the time in public monkeying with it. That's how negligence happens. But dangit! My waistband weighs 2 pounds more and it can be awkward. And if the gun fell in the terlet...

I'm also always looking for a way to carry something full size in the hot summer months. You'd need a cover shirt but you could wear gym shorts again. Just an option. You need a cover shirt if you wear belted cargo shorts and an IWB. But a shoulder rig might be perfect for open carry in the summer.

You'll almost need a belted pant of some sort because many shoulder style holsters attach to your belt keep if from flopping around. It gives you some suspenders-action.

They are certainly NOT in fashion right now, but could make a comeback.

But to test, I doubled up with 2 CCW rigs simultaneously while visiting MBtGE. My regular IWB in for the P229, and his .44 magnum in the shoulder holster he loaned me. I was extra strapped. I didn't go out in public with it, but putzed around his house for a few hours. With a light jacket on, he made my IWB before he could make the MASSIVE hog leg under my arm, which was interesting. And I wouldn't wear a .44 if I wore it for real. I'd go with the 1911 sized gun in that case. I didn't notice any shoulder strain, and if the gun was a little less bulky I wouldn't notice it at all. But I am also forgetting the hip gun is there, too. Which is good.

[as and aside: We went scouting for spots for deer hunting blinds and while talking at full volume for a half hour a nice deer went by. Totally oblivious to us. It had a smallish rack too. It crossed close enough I could have hit it with my Sig, easy. Whatcha bet he won't come around when I am sitting in that spot all quiet and armed with a Remington Model 11? If a deer like that was my FIRST deer I'd probably do Blackfork's head boiling trick for a trophy. And eat it. Of course. Not the head, the venison.]


Rova said...

I'm a bit off the beaten path and some distance up in the mountains (though it is more crowded since the Y2K building craze - most of those cracker boxes are up for sale every 14-18 months). I prefer a shoulder rig for daily carry - have for many years. Cant the holster to butt down @ about 30-40 degrees and adjust the fit to keep the position stable. Behind the neck will ride a little higher, but I don't see that as an issue with any of the X-type full-movement harnesses.

Under a light fabric, fleece, or leather vest, a compact 1911 platform is visually absorbed and quite stable. On the rare occasion I have to dress appropriately to business standards in the city and go with a suit, sensible heels and a purse, I just downsize to a S%W M&P compact 9mm and matching shoulder rig (black on black - no shiny SS for me) Stay mindful of escalators - the folks behind you can glance up and see the rig. Don't ask me how I know.

IMHO, IWB brings a telltale change in the pants if carried between 3 and 9 o'clock. Everyone has to face the reality of accommodating bodily functions in public restrooms. Likely being on the 100 Most Wanted by the fashion police as an escapee from the forest, I keep a multitool on my belt. When that's all that can possibly be seen, it redirects attention - again, just IMO.

Just be mindful of folks who love to hug! I got made that way a couple of years ago, and the woman carried on about it for years - until she retired! Likewise - a pat on the shoulder and you can be made by someone with an IQ higher than a nightlight.

Little stuff.

I wouldn't be enthusiastic about open carry with a horizontal shoulder rig for open carry in the summer - vertical, no problem.


Anonymous said...

Remember Fish on the Barney Miller tv show?

He was always going to the can.

He carried in a shoulder holster.

(sorry if this is all ancient history to you)

Rova said...

Me? Nope. I've never watched much tv.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Abe Vagoda

He even had a spinoff show called "Fish"