Reasons Behind a Shoulder Holster – From what I have seen, most people carrying a handgun typically do so off the hip/belt or concealed in a pocket (not my preference, but it happens). Why then would you consider a shoulder holster as a viable way to carry a handgun, and why would you choose this over other methods?
First, I would consider this method of carrying as the preferred while bow hunting, backpacking in bear country, or anything where you are moving a lot. This reason is due to the fact you want it readily available but out of the way. This goes as well for the colder months as a shoulder holster does not need to be at the base layer of clothes and can be one layer deep. This method applies to both hunting and concealed carry, but as already stated, it is to be able to access the pistol when needed rapidly. A shoulder holster typically won’t hinder movement while carrying a pack (especially with lower lumbar straps that wrap around the belly) which is another huge benefit.
Similar to along the line about the availability of your firearm, it goes to the versatility of environments. For example, most people that I know that carry an appendix need to move the gun when getting in and out of a seat, especially in a car. I typically carry on the 3 o’clock, and I carry while driving, so the trouble I have is how to clear with a seatbelt in the way versus a shoulder holster won’t have that problem. The benefit there is also that you practice where your firearm is going to be every time, versus having to practice in appendix/side.
I think this also speaks to the ability to draw a little less conspicuously. Most of the practice for drawing concealed involves off-hand jerking shirt up while drawing with dominant hand rapidly. In contrast, on a shoulder holster, it can be done much more covertly by crossing one’s arms and slipping under a coat or while hunched over, which is hard to draw from this position. This is a benefit and a drawback, as it allows the concealability of drawing but maybe too slow if you need to have it drawn and into the fight rapidly.
There are a few cons that I think are important to address with this setup. First, it is something that, unless you have carried this way often, it takes a lot of time to master the draw. There can be issues drawing from concealed if on the floor/wall chest on the ground, but that is less likely to happen in a fight, which is echoed from combative and martial arts classes by teaching to fight/recover from the back.
The second is that you need to have an outer garment, be it a camp shirt, a sport coat, or something that closes in the front all the time, this can be especially hard in the summer months, and it’s hot.
If you are looking for a great shoulder holster, try the one from JM4 Tactical because, unlike the cheap nylon ones, this one is built for both comfort and durability.
Author: Ian Bolser