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.
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!
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.