Shoulder Holster Reboot

By Todd Burgreen

Alien Gear’s Take on a Misunderstood/Underappreciated Holster Option

The importance of holster selection is often overlooked, especially in terms of effective concealed carry. An often overlooked option is the shoulder holster. The shoulder holster should not be labeled as only found in movies or TV productions. How many have read/seen/witnessed/sensed a smirk of condescension when putting forth the idea of considering using a shoulder holster? Much of this stems from many trainers, competitions circuits or ranges prohibiting patrons from using a shoulder holster due to the muzzle orientation when carried or drawn. This can be understood. However, realize what drives this and delve deeper into the methodology.

Holsters are obviously important for carrying one’s weapon securely, discretely and comfortably while offering accessibility. The shoulder holster does all of these things within certain parameters. Let me be clear. I am not advocating shoulder holsters for every situation or stating that belt, pocket, ankle, appendix and/or inside waistband (IWB) be forgotten; just that shoulder holsters have a place in concealed carry.

Every method of concealed carry poses challenges. In terms of pure comfort it’s hard to argue against the shoulder holster. The harness is draped over and supported by the shooter’s shoulders and upper back. This compares favorably to belt carry which places a certain amount of wear and tear on the lower back. Smaller waist concealed carry practitioners or individuals with back issues will appreciate the shoulder holster’s weight distribution. Obviously, a cover garment such as a jacket, coat or overshirt is needed with a shoulder holster. The same can be said of other holster types. Shoulder holsters typically have double magazine pouches counterbalancing the handgun found on the other side of the harness. Typically, only one spare magazine is associated with belt carry, especially with a high-capacity double column magazine. What is missed at times is that the magazine pouch requires just as much thought to concealment as the firearm. All of this translates into the fact that a shoulder holster can more easily accommodate a larger type of handgun to be carried as well as two extra magazines....

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N10 (December 2018)
and was posted online on October 26, 2018


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