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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,
I'm looking at Shoulder Rigs. Awhile back I lost 1/2 my prostate to cancer, this means more than regular visits to the toilet often in public places. Pocket holster carry in my cargo pants has been questionable. A fast or even clean draw is difficult, even going down to a Ruger LCP Ruger® LCP® Centerfire Pistol Models

Anybody with experience I'm leaning toward a Galco BUT I live in FL and I need something perspiration tolerant.

So, experience, suggestions, comments.

Geoff
Who notes shoulder systems start high and get higher as you price options.
 

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I fully understand your situation, Skeptic. For quite a while after my accident I had no real choice other than shoulder carry, even though it never worked well for me in the past.

I have used Galco before, and even went with a high dollar Kramer rig, which was quite nice and fairly comfortable. But to tell the truth, the horizontal rigs with twin mag pouches on the opposing side just got to be too much weight for an all-day comfortable carry (that's a 1911 and two 7 round spares.)

I finally went with a Bianchi X-15 vertical carry holster. Had to buy the >50" harness for it, but it carries (for me) much more comfortably. The spare mags go on a belt pouch.

As far as perspiration, the nylon rigs might fair best there but they are all clunky and uncomfortable. The X-15 has a leather harness for the holster and an elastic strap that goes around the off shoulder. All the other shoulder rigs I know of are all-leather. I'd say the X-15 would be best here, too.

And in my experience, there just ain't a quick draw with any shoulder rig...at least not for me.

Sorry to hear about your medical problems. Hope everything returns to normal soon.
 

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I've got an X-15, had it for decades. It was originally designed around the GM 1911. Other stuff does fit, but sometimes access is compromised if the butt doesn't sit at the same height as a GM 1911. (It's here somewhere, I know it is!) You might check out Safariland also. I've got an ancient model 101 revolver hoster that I used for my hunting revolver that's simply outstanding.

Depending upon what you're carrying, Ken Null has some fantastic stuff. None of it is cheap, but it is outstandingly designed and made and worth the price. One possible issue with some of his stuff is that the belt actually supports the weapon. If you drop trou, you're potentially dropping other items too.

Unless you wear heavy coats, or get a really well designed/made rig with the figure 8 harness, it's going to print. Badly.
 

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Folks,
I'm looking at Shoulder Rigs. Awhile back I lost 1/2 my prostate to cancer, this means more than regular visits to the toilet often in public places. Pocket holster carry in my cargo pants has been questionable. A fast or even clean draw is difficult, even going down to a Ruger LCP Ruger® LCP® Centerfire Pistol Models

Anybody with experience I'm leaning toward a Galco BUT I live in FL and I need something perspiration tolerant.

So, experience, suggestions, comments.

Geoff
Who notes shoulder systems start high and get higher as you price options.
"Skeptic49":

While you mention "even going down to a Ruger LCP" in regard to your attempts at Pocket Carry you don't mention what gun you will be using if you make this shift to a Shoulder Rig. Telling us that could make things a bit easier in terms of people offering you their suggestions regarding a holster. Furthermore, if you could also tell me the following things, I might be able to prattle on in regard to a few ideas myself.

01) What gun do you plan to carry? I say "gun" (singular) for while holsters like the great and already mentioned Bianchi X-15 can be tolerant of a number of different guns, the move in recent decades has been toward many designs that are not accepting of different shapes (let alone different sizes). If you do plan to switch guns regularly (something I don't recommend for other reasons but that is outside the scope of this discussion), please list them here.

02) I don't know you. Are you thick through the chest and, separately, the shoulders?

03) Do you have average range of motion? And not average for your age (I assume you are older) but average for a male?

04) Again separately, are your arms long enough as well (to reach for a gun and holster worn in this manner)?

05) In essence, are you sure going into this, that you are of a body type that will conceal a holster worn like this and allow you to draw from it? Note that I am not saying that you have to be "thick" through the chest to use one. I am not. What you need to watch for (besides being able to reach the gun - something that thickness as well as range of motion can affect), is whether you are too thick in the shoulders, chest or upper arms to wear a gun comfortably in this manner.

06) Do you have an average length male torso? This can affect a vertical carry. And at this point, while I like Galco's work, you shouldn't rule out the option of an up-and-down design.

07) What are your activities going to be like while wearing whatever you choose? More sitting than standing? More standing than sitting? Driving? Vigorous movements or more in the way of "just getting around"?

08 Florida or not, you're going to have to employ some sort of covering garment. What do you usually wear in the course of day?

09) Can you wear an un-tucked oversized dress-type shirt? A sport coat? A non-police-looking windbreaker? Something else (?) over it without a problem?

Please let me know and I'll do my best to help you.
 

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Skeptic49,

I have no idea which handgun you plan to carry BUT my "brother of the heart" has carried an old 6 inch-barrled (N-frame) Model 27 S&W in a LAWMAN LEATHERGOODS holster for several years & LIKES his. - I'm told that they will make a "made to measure holster" for any handgun.
(Ed is a much larger & more muscular man than I am. He is 73" & about 235# & NOT fat. - He can successfully conceal that Model 27 under his "street clothes".)

You might want to look at their website: Holsters | Lawman Leather Goods
(NOPE, I do not work for them OR even own any of their holsters myself. - personally, I do not like shoulder holsters. I carry my Sig-Sauer P6 in an old OTB holster by Tex Shoemaker & LIKE mine.)

yours, satx
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Further information.
1. Carry either a Kahr 9094N (the Galco lightweight comes in this model) or a S&W MP 9c
2. Thick in the chest, heavy in the gut, fat in the bottom (Hey I'm a computer geek and work sitting down.)
3. Still good range of motion, normal for an overweight man of 63..
4. Arms long enough and slightly longer than normal for a guy 74" tall, but my hands are a touch small for my size.
5. I've had no trouble with shoulder holsters going back to my Army days. I have a Bucheimer Semi for a Colt Commander CLW .45 back in the 1980s, sold the gun. The holster fastens to the belt which is a problem when you occasionally have to run for the latrine.
6. Weight level makes a long vertical carry difficult.
7. Sitting, driving, moving around, I work in an airport, no CC there, hiding behind armed guards.
8. Cover garments, large work shirts and Hawai'in flowerdy shirts worn loose at the waist covering two cell phones on the belt (wife leash and Boss leash)
9. No jackets under normal circumstances, my winter coat is a denim jacket or a gray zip up Hoody.

Geoff
Who notes he wants a George Nonte Super (Size of a Baby Browning, recoil of a Hammerli Free pistol, mag capacity of 20+ and punch of a .44 Magnum, or a Star Trek (TM) phaser one.... AND I NEED A LITTLE MORE TIME BEFORE THE BOARD BLOWS ME OFF!
 

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Further information.
1. Carry either a Kahr 9094N (the Galco lightweight comes in this model) or a S&W MP 9c
2. Thick in the chest, heavy in the gut, fat in the bottom (Hey I'm a computer geek and work sitting down.)
3. Still good range of motion, normal for an overweight man of 63..
4. Arms long enough and slightly longer than normal for a guy 74" tall, but my hands are a touch small for my size.
5. I've had no trouble with shoulder holsters going back to my Army days. I have a Bucheimer Semi for a Colt Commander CLW .45 back in the 1980s, sold the gun. The holster fastens to the belt which is a problem when you occasionally have to run for the latrine.
6. Weight level makes a long vertical carry difficult.
7. Sitting, driving, moving around, I work in an airport, no CC there, hiding behind armed guards.
8. Cover garments, large work shirts and Hawai'in flowerdy shirts worn loose at the waist covering two cell phones on the belt (wife leash and Boss leash)
9. No jackets under normal circumstances, my winter coat is a denim jacket or a gray zip up Hoody.

Geoff
Who notes he wants a George Nonte Super (Size of a Baby Browning, recoil of a Hammerli Free pistol, mag capacity of 20+ and punch of a .44 Magnum, or a Star Trek (TM) phaser one.... AND I NEED A LITTLE MORE TIME BEFORE THE BOARD BLOWS ME OFF!
"Skeptic49":

First, thank you for sending along the info as requested. Second, I am as opinionated as the next guy, but I will try to explain my reasoning as I go. Third, anything I say or am critical of, is not meant to be insulting or dismissive of the thoughts of others.

In some cases (depending on the manufacturer and model involved) you might be able to use the same holster for both guns but that isn't always true so please make sure that whatever holster(s) you choose are truly designed for/compatible with, the guns you employ. That is critical for any holster, regardless of type or where it is worn on the body, but it is especially critical in the case of shoulder-borne designs.

Having known them since they started out in Chicago, I am a big fan of Galco and their production standards. But they are expensive and they are leather. Wearing one high under the kind of shirts you mention (high, because the kind of shirts you mention will probably require it to be worn that way) or other similar covering garment in Florida will probably soften (maybe even rot) anything you buy from them in a relatively short period of time. And being leather, the moisture will also spread to the gun too. Probably not too much of an issue with the Smith but possibly problematic in regard to the Kahr you mentioned.

I must respectfully disagree with "IrishCop" in regard to several things that he said in his early-on post within this thread and how certain designs might work for you and maybe don't work for him.

I think that a properly designed and fitted rig can be comfortable but this is a subjective thing in any case and having sold, worn and even designed a few shoulder holsters and harnesses for a past employer, I can honestly say that many people never learn how to properly adjust them.

While it is common to offer offside single and double mag pouches for certain shoulder rigs these days, I tend to recommend against them unless absolutely nothing can be worn on the belt or carried in a pocket. Stop and think about it, while some guns can be drawn from under the arm and out from under a covering garment using only the strong hand, generally the off/weak/support hand moves that covering garment out of the way to one degree or another. But that's because at the start of the draw, the user generally has both hands available. Not the case when you are already holding the pistol you need to reload! Producing an offside-carry magazine from under a covering garment while under stress can be very problematic. And producing a magazine from a sometimes-vertical pouch under the arm can be even worse. The Galco Lightweight you mention can be had with a single pouch (but it is vertical) or a tiedown instead (not a bad choice but you need a belt and it could complicate those bathroom visits you mentioned as well) but I still don't think it is the way to go.

As to vertical shoulder holsters vs. horizontal ones, due to the guns involved here, your body type and, most importantly this time (not always), the covering garments you mention, I would definitely stick with a horizontal design. That rules out the otherwise excellent Bianchi X-15 also mentioned by others in this thread. I own several and like them very much for the things that I use them for but due to their bulk and positioning along the body, as well as your shape, activity and covering garments, I do not believe that they are the right choice here.

Note (and I am jumping around here a bit) that I am usually a huge supporter of certain (not all) upside down, Berns-Martin, Ken Null, and Bianchi 9 and 9R holsters. But not this time. Worn up into the armpit with some of the covering garments you mention, I think they could be a great way to conceal and draw effectively. However, looking at your gun choices this time, they could also be very problematic. No, the gun will never go off on its own. No, you will never purposely put your finger on the trigger until the gun bears upon your target and, separately, you have made up your mind to shoot. But looking at the short and relatively light firing strokes on the two pistols you mentioned, the allowance for error with this kind of carried muzzle orientation is nil. For as nicely made as is the Null holster mentioned by "IrishCop", "William R. Moore" and "dfariswheel", please don't consider it (or any upside down rig) for this application.

Not all "nylon" holsters are created equal nor do all of them do that good of a job in regard to perspiration. I am sorry to say that I don't like a lot of what Bushnell has done to the Uncle Mike's line of holsters since they bought out the company several years ago. Materials and construction methods have changed and in many cases they are no longer being produced as originally designed but if you can find an older ProPak Horizontal Shoulder Holster or if you can look at a new one and decide for yourself that it is OK for your needs and hasn't suffered the changes in ownership like some of the other things in their line have, it could be a good choice for you here.

Their Size 16 should accommodate both guns with only a simple adjustment to the thumb break and/or retention strap being necessary when you change back and forth. In the past, this model could be had with or without an offside mag pouch but I don't know if that is still the case.

However, the really good thing about the ProPak is that instead of being made from just some number of nylon fabric "layers", it was (and probably still is) made from a nylon and foam laminate. The exterior was made from a non-Cordura-like material chosen so that it would not abrade your clothing as your arm swung normally across it throughout the day. The interior was made from a different (generally pack cloth type of) nylon that the gun (especially its sights) would not abrade and wear through. Finally, sandwiched between them (and in the old days and maybe still today, laminated to them) was a foam layer for shape, comfort and moisture resistance without unnecessary bulk.

The ProPak harness was a laminate too. It was flat, thin and not bulky and its oversized shoulder straps not only laid close to the body and supported the weight comfortably but they were designed not to "print" through the covering garment. It was a different laminate that came into play here in regard to those pad-like straps for their top (outer) surface was slick to allow the covering garment to slide over it and never hang up on it in an unnatural and attention-getting manner, while the underside (inner side) was made with a soft nap that would not abrade your shirt but would still help keep the harness in place upon it.

There is a nice picture of it on their current website but they foolishly fail to explain any of this and worse yet, they foolishly misassembled the rig that they have photographed for this purpose. Still, it should give you the idea. It is lightweight and comfortable when set up "correctly" and having used one for a long time, I can tell you that with the proper drawing technique(s), sadly something else that many people are never really shown when it comes to shoulder holsters, it can allow the wearer to produce the gun quickly and effectively.

Finally, in your case, a horizontal shoulder holster of any manufacture does need be worn fairly high. For with the shirts (and even the zip-up sweatshirt like hoodie) you mention , anything low will both print and tend to flop around. I might worry about printing in the case of the shirts even when worn high but fit (loose) and the material (heavier) can help. So can color: the more opaque and, separately, the darker, the better. So can how the sleeves are sewn in place into body of the shirt itself.

The holster also needs to be worn with consideration to breaking the natural (and expected to be seen) sight line from the shoulder/armpit toward the waist/hip and the tendency for many people to wear the holster too far forward toward, or on, the chest and not under the arm in an effort to wrongly facilitate the draw. There are also issues of the muzzle printing toward the rear because of the length the gun, how it is positioned, if it needs to be angled off the true horizontal, and again how the covering garment fits, is cut, and drapes on the body.

Hopefully, some of this gives you a few things to think about. I also hope that it has been at least a little bit helpful.
 

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Let me say that I know Marlowe personally and he actually knows something about holders. You could not do better.

But gee... all I want for Christmas is a Berns Martin upside down clamshell for my dick special. It was the only shoulder rig I liked and I was the coolest dude in the cop shop. Took my coat off often just so everyone knew my coolness...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sigh timed out while thinking.

Much to think about! Thank you Mr. Marlowe.
Geoff
Who is concerned about decay in his neighborhood in the wilds of Florida.
 

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Let me say that I know Marlowe personally and he actually knows something about holders. You could not do better.

But gee... all I want for Christmas is a Berns Martin upside down clamshell for my dick special. It was the only shoulder rig I liked and I was the coolest dude in the cop shop. Took my coat off often just so everyone knew my coolness...
Ahh, Charlie, you are a man after my own heart! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Many years back there was a guy on the "West Side Combined Drug Task Force" or something like that, who wore a custom rig with a B-M and a Colt Cobra (no shroud model) under each arm. I asked the Mayor (retired Lt. of local city police) about the picture he told me about the guns.

Has anyone used leather treatments on leather holsters in high heat/perspiration situations? Brand? Treatment brand?

Geoff
Who better post before he gets kicked.
 

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But gee... all I want for Christmas is a Berns Martin upside down clamshell for my dick special. It was the only shoulder rig I liked and I was the coolest dude in the cop shop. Took my coat off often just so everyone knew my coolness...
Didn't Bob Zwirtz tell a story about some upside down rig dumping his gun on the floor in the lobby of some ritzy joint in Havana? He kicked it across the marble floor into a bunch of potted plants where he could recover it with less notice.

I have memories of a guy who just had to be the first guy on the block with a Miami Vice rig. Showed it off to everyone. He was sooo proud of it, that no one had the heart to tell him the straps on the back printed BADLY.

Later that same night someone grabbed the straps where they crossed and used him like a rag to clean off the bar. Never wore it again.
 
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