On Shoulder Holsters

Frank details the pros and cons of several different shoulder holster systems in this post, which does an excellent job of discussion the various retention and safety issues inherent in shoulder rigs.

For my part, I’m not a fan of shoulder rigs – because I don’t work around machinery, a hip holster isn’t a problem for me in regards to catching on “stuff”. But the biggest reason I’m not a fan of the shoulder holster is that I like my “street” gear to replicate my competition gear as closely as possible. If I’ve spent hours anchoring my drawstroke to a hip carried firearm in competition, then if the balloon goes up, my hand is going to have a natural stress response to head for where it “thinks” my blaster should be.

If you’re a regular reader, you know the next thing I’m going to say: practice. If you decide that a shoulder holster system is your “cup of tea” you need to practice with it, while wearing “street” clothes. That’s complicated by the fact that a lot of ranges and every competition frowns on shoulder holsters, for the same safety reasons that Frank mentions. Luckily, you can always, always, use dry fire practice. Just remove all ammo from the room, double check that your gun is unloaded, and you’re off to the races.


  1. Another option is Airsoft. Yeah, I know, Airsoft commando comes to mind but give it some thought.

    I have a MP9 for carry and competition (If you can call my speed competition ready) and the MP9 airsoft fits the same holster. I can practice in the man cave without ANY worry about putting a hole in anything. I cna practice draw, target transition, etc …. at very little cost. Then at the range in live fire to account for recoil and etc, I’m just cementing the foundation laid by the practice at home.

  2. I like shoulder holsters for carry in the field, and when hunting. And yes, practice IS important with ANY pistol/holster combo.

  3. I’ve never been a big fan of shoulder rigs, but that could very easily be because I’ve only tried the el cheapo variant.

    Besides, a shoulder rig for a P3AT just seems silly. Might as well get the neck lanyard… 😉

  4. I don’t like the shoulder holsters that much, I do have one. I use my side hip holster 90% of the time, the one that fits inside the pants.

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