Shoulder Gun Holster

by Hayden Cooper
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Shoulder Gun Holster

A shoulder gun holster is a type of holster that is worn on the shoulder under the arm and across the chest. It typically has two straps that go over the shoulder and meet at a central harness, which holds the holster in place. It consists of a harness that fits over the shoulders, with one or more holsters mounted on the harness to hold guns or other weapons and ammunition. They are made from a variety of materials, including leather, nylon, and other synthetic materials, however leather holsters are the most popular ones.

 

History of the Shoulder Holster:

History of the Shoulder Holster

History of the Shoulder Holster

The shoulder gun holster has a long history dating back to the 19th century, when it was first used by stagecoach drivers to protect their valuables. It became popular in the 20th century, particularly during the 1930s and 1940s, when it was widely used by law enforcement personnel. In the 1960s, shoulder holsters gained popularity in the civilian market and have remained a popular choice for concealed carry.

The shoulder gun holster was also popularized by the main stream media in the depiction of Al Capone. Crime drama television series such as Miami Vice also popularized shoulder holsters in the 1980’s.

Despite the popularity and use of new, modern, and durable materials like kydex, shoulder holsters are not outdated and still useful in many situations especially if you intend to conceal carry.

 

Features of a Shoulder Gun Holster:

 

Shoulder holsters are designed to distribute the weight of the gun evenly across the upper body, making them more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They have adjustable straps to ensure a secure and flexible fit. The holsters themselves are usually made to fit specific types of guns, so it’s important to make sure you get a holster that is compatible with your firearm. Some shoulder holsters are designed to hold one gun, while others have multiple holsters for carrying multiple weapons.

Shoulder holsters are often used by law enforcement and security personnel, but they can also be used by civilians for concealed carry. Certain people find shoulder holsters to be more comfortable and easier to access than other types of holsters, such as those worn on the belt or ankle.

Shoulder holsters are worn under a jacket or sweater to conceal the weapon, and they can be worn by both men and women. They are typically worn on the strong side (the side that the person is comfortable using their dominant hand) to allow for easy access to the gun. However, they can also be worn on the opposite side for a cross-draw setup.

 

Advantages of using a shoulder holster:

 

  1. Comfort: Shoulder holsters distribute the weight of the gun evenly across the upper body, making them more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Moreover, individuals with any kind of orthopedic conditions of the hip such as degenerative joint diseases often find it difficult to carry the weight of a gun and its holster on their thighs or waist. In such cases a shoulder holster is the answer as it takes the weight off and distributes it evenly across the upper body and chest.
  2. Concealment: Shoulder holsters can be worn under a jacket or sweater to conceal the weapon, making them a good option for those who need to carry a concealed weapon.
  3. Hands-free: Shoulder holsters allow the hands to be free, making them a good option for law enforcement and security personnel who need to have their hands free to perform other tasks.
  4. Easy access: Shoulder holsters allow easy access to the weapon while keeping the hands free. A person sitting on a seat or office chair will find it easy to to draw the gun from a shoulder holster as compared to thigh or waist holster.
  5. Multiple weapons & ammunition: Some shoulder holsters have multiple holsters for carrying multiple weapons, making them a good option for those who need to carry more than one gun. In case you do not want to carry more than one gun, you can carry additional ammunition or even a flashlight to balance both sides of the holster.

 

Disadvantages of using a Shoulder  Holster:

 

  1. Noticeability: Shoulder holsters can be more noticeable under clothing and may not be suitable for all body types.
  2. Accessibility: Shoulder holsters may not be as easily accessible as holsters worn on the belt, waist, thigh or ankle, especially if the person is seated in a car or other confined space. It may also be more difficult to draw the weapon quickly in certain situations. Drawing a gun from a shoulder holster wearing heavy winter clothing (more than one overcoat) can hinder the draw due to the weight of the clothing. Furthermore, individuals like professional body builders will find it more difficult to draw a gun from a shoulder holster. Due to their larger biceps and triceps, bigger guys have a limited range of movement and will find such holsters more inconvenient due to limitations in access. Therefore it is quite possible that wearing a shoulder holster may slightly delay your draw time as compared to other types of holsters, especially if you are not used to these types of holsters.
  3. Cost: Shoulder holsters can be more expensive than other types of holsters.
  4. Comfort: Some people may find shoulder holsters to be uncomfortable or awkward to wear since you have to wear a jacket to conceal the hostler at all times.
  5. Limited use: Shoulder holsters may not be suitable for all types of clothing and may not be practical for all situations. This is more true for females since many women wardrobes are simply just not compatible with shoulder holsters.

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Types of Shoulder Holsters:

 

There are 4 types of shoulder gun holsters.

       1) Vertical Shoulder Holster

       2) Horizontal Shoulder Holster

       3) Upside down Shoulder Holster

       4) 45 degree (semi-upside down) Shoulder Holster

 

1) Vertical Shoulder Holster

Vertical Shoulder Holster

Vertical Shoulder Holster

A vertical shoulder holster is also known as a traditional shoulder holster. The holster itself is usually attached to the harness at a downward angle, so that the grip of the firearm points downward and is easily accessible to the wearer.

Most vertical shoulder holsters have a belt strap. This straps attaches to the belt and prevents unnecessary movement in the holster. The strap also provides stability and in case of any sudden movement, the holster does not move. It remains fastened to your body due to the belt strap. This prevents the gun from falling out of the holster since it is strapped firmly with the belt. In case of emergencies, the gun can also be accessed by the non dominant hand easily.

Since the muzzle of the gun is pointed downward and it has a belt strap, vertical shoulder holsters are the more preferred of all the shoulder holsters. These types of holsters can also accommodate heavier guns with longer muzzle sizes since the firearm points downwards. These holsters can conceal the weapons better than other shoulder holsters and lowers the chances for the gun printing on your clothes.

 

2) Horizontal Shoulder Holster

Horizontal Shoulder Holster

Horizontal Shoulder Holster

A horizontal shoulder holster is similar to a vertical shoulder holster. However, the main difference is the orientation of the holster itself. Instead of being attached to the harness at a downward angle, a horizontal shoulder holster is attached horizontally, so that the grip of the firearm is pointed outward. The muzzle of the gun is parallel to the ground and is pointed outwards towards your back. As compared to vertical shoulder holster, it is is more easily accessible to the wearer. These types of holsters are more suited to smaller firearms.

One of the main issues with these holsters is that in case of a bigger gun with a longer muzzle, the chances of it sticking out of your jacket is higher. This increases the probability of the gun printing on your clothes which may reveal your concealed carry position.

Moreover, since the gun is pointing outwards towards your back, you have to be careful not to put your finger on the trigger while drawing your gun to prevent accidental discharge.

 

3) Upside down Shoulder Holster

Upside down Shoulder Holster

Upside down Shoulder Holster

An upside down shoulder holster is a type of shoulder holster that is worn with the holster itself upside-down, so that the grip of the firearm points downward and is easily accessible to the wearer. These types of holsters can be hidden under a dress shirt. However they are used mostly for smaller guns.

One disadvantage of an upside-down shoulder holster is that it can be more difficult to conceal than other types of holsters since the grip or butt of the firearm is pointed downward. Thus it may be more visible to others and may be more prone to printing through clothing. Additionally, some people may find upside-down shoulder holsters to be uncomfortable or awkward to wear, especially if they are not used to this style of holster.

It’s important to note that some jurisdictions may have laws or regulations prohibiting the use of upside-down shoulder holsters, so it’s always a good idea to check your local laws before using one.

 

4) 45 degree (semi-upside down) Shoulder Holster

45 degree (semi-upside down) Shoulder Holster

45 degree (semi-upside down) Shoulder Holster

This type of holster that is worn on the shoulder and angled at a 45 degree angle from the body. It is designed to allow the user to easily access their firearm while also keeping it concealed. The holster is typically worn under a shirt or jacket and can be adjusted to fit the user’s body comfortably.

It is important to adjust the holster and harness to fit your body comfortably. The holster should be positioned so that the firearm is easily accessible, but not so low that it is in the way when you move.

This type of holster works well with smaller and lighter guns. The heavier guns tend to move, sway as well as bounce out from the body since they are not held with a belt strap. This will cause the gun to print as well as reveal your conceal carry position.

 

Conclusion:

Shoulder gun holsters can be a useful and comfortable option for carrying a firearm. They offer the benefits of comfort, concealment, hands-free access, and the ability to carry multiple weapons, ammunition and accessories. However, they may not be the best choice for everyone and should be used with caution. As with any other type of holster, you need to give it time and thoroughly practice how to draw the gun while wearing a shoulder holster.

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