One Shoulder Holster Fits With Today’s Fashions

posted on March 9, 2018

For some reason, shoulder rigs are not as popular as they used to be. In part it is due to the clothing we wear. One particular shoulder rig offers a lot of potential and won’t show under today’s fashions, but it warrants some thought because the handgun hangs like a vampire, upside down.

The retention is an elastic band, with a shelf or hook sewn into the edge of the holster, which hooks on to the trigger guard of the revolver. And that’s the first restriction: this holster works with revolvers only. You want to use this holster only with a revolver for one simple reason: the muzzle is pointed more-or-less at you when holstered.

An advantage is that drawing is simple: reach in, get a firing grasp and yank it down and forward. It helps to pull a bit toward your centerline, which you want to do anyway to get the sights on line between you and the target.

The second benefit is one that works in a variety of settings, including sitting. Seated at a desk, in a vehicle, your snubbie is readily available. (And in the lavatory, it’s impossible to inadvertently leave behind your gun.)

This upside-down shoulder rig allows for easy draw with your strong hand and the holster fits well with today's fashion designs.

Also, it is possible to draw with either hand. Doing a support-hand draw with this rig takes a bit of practice, and a handy post to hide the arm movement, but you can do a weak-hand draw and not have anyone notice.

The good news is that you can wear an un-tucked, closed-front garment, like a pullover sweater, and still draw. Just use your left (right-handed shooters) hand to lift the edge, and snake your hand up underneath. The bad news is that you need a relatively heavy garment to hide the shoulder straps.

For someone who will be seated in a car for a lot of their work, and who is used to a double-action trigger, this can be an ideal carry rig.

But it’s not without its flaws.

Besides being limited to revolvers, another drawback is caliber and capacity. For a while, I carried a 3-inch S&W M-65 in a Safariland holster this way, but that was as big and heavy as you can get. So, you are limited to a five- or six-shot snubbie, in .38 Spl. or .357 Mag.

It is vitally important to be careful with what you carry in this rig for a simple, and mechanical, reason: There is no projecting edge, like the trigger guard of a revolver, for the holster to secure the pistol. Since you have to depend on a snap or strap, then you are also at the mercy of gravity—that is, if the snap or strap fails, you will have a pistol crashing to the floor.

When I was packing heavy, back in the day, the Safariland rig I have held my Colt Agent, as my secondary backup. The main gun was a 1911, as was the second one. These days, the combo would be more common as a Glock with a + connector, and an S&W 442. Those would have a lot more in common, trigger-wise, than my old combo, but I spent a lot of time practicing, and I felt comfortable with them.

It isn’t as easy to find such a holster these days and, given the lighter-weight clothing we all wear, some shoulder holsters are a bit more difficult to hide. But in the right circumstances, the “vampire” rig bears a good, hard look.



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