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Thread: Shoulder rigs, barrel up or down?

  1. #1
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    I am wanting to get a shoulder rig, but I can't decide if I want one where the barrel points up (towards the armpit), or if I want one that points down. If any of you guys carry in a shoulder rig, let me know what your preference is.

    From an ergonomics standpoint, I like the barrel up configuration. However, when the only thing holding the gun in the holster is the strap and tension, I am a little uneasy...

    Whatchathink?

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    I've seen rigs that carry the pistol horizonally (barrel back) and verticle (barrel aimed down) but I haven't seen one that carries barrel up. Not sure I would like that either.

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    Depending on barrel length the Galco Miami Classic is a good design.



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    I wear a shoulder rig. I've tried IWB and SOB but they just aren't as comfortable. The shoulder rig I have is in the horizontal config. Barrel to the rear. It allows for agood draw, once the thumb break is broken and you clear the gun from the holster, the barrel swings around natually andthe sights are at eye level, instead of having to bring the gun up and over as with a vertical, barrel down config.

    I've never seen avertical, barrel up config.

    I assume it would be about the same as vertical barrel down. Once the strap is released you have to pull the gun down to clear the holster, then bring the gun up to eye level.

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    Mr44Magnum wrote:
    Depending on barrel length the Galco Miami Classic is a good design.

    I love the Miami classic design but unfortunately I haven't been able to find it for lefties.

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    GumiBear wrote:
    I wear a shoulder rig. I've tried IWB and SOB but they just aren't as comfortable. The shoulder rig I have is in the horizontal config. Barrel to the rear. It allows for agood draw, once the thumb break is broken and you clear the gun from the holster, the barrel swings around natually andthe sights are at eye level, instead of having to bring the gun up and over as with a vertical, barrel down config.

    I've never seen avertical, barrel up config.

    I assume it would be about the same as vertical barrel down. Once the strap is released you have to pull the gun down to clear the holster, then bring the gun up to eye level.
    Right, when say barrel "up", I meant something like this... not truly vertical.



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    ah ok, gotcha. That is how I carry mine. I don't worry about it falling out after the thumb break is released because my hand is around the grip when that happens. Plus the holster itself is pretty tight around the gun, mine won't fall out even without the thumb break in place.

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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    I've seen rigs that carry the pistol horizonally (barrel back) and verticle (barrel aimed down) but I haven't seen one that carries barrel up. Not sure I would like that either.
    "Back in the day" a holster was made that was referred to as an "upside down" rig. The wheel gun was pretty much upside down, muzzle up. I had one for my S & W 19-2 2.5" snubby. It was not that popular, and it's not much wonder it's not around anymore. A horizontal rig makes more sense if you want speed from a shoulder rig.

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    One of the detectives in the Wayne Twp. Police (Predecessor to the Huber Heights Ohio PD) was a family friend and carried a Detective Special in an upside-down shoulder rig. When I asked why he said it was because it was just as easy to grab the weapon with his left hand should his right hand be disabled or otherwise engaged. The retention was via a spring which kept the two halves of the holster closed and a twisting motion freed the wepon for drawing.

    This was the era of the "Dayton Satans" Motorcycle Club and the infamous "Bill Stepp" gang, and a local detective walking into a bar full of hoodlums had better have given some thought into what he was carrying and how. While it is entirely possible to draw left-handed from an "up and down" shoulder rig, upside down is a lot faster.

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    i could see why you would have said barrel up with that rig, bad quality lol looks like something you can buy for $14 at a army navy store for airsofts

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    The only shoulder holster I've ever owned is a Bianchi X-21000 for large-frame revolvers, that I used for my 4" barrel Taurus 689. It is a vertical holster, barrel down, butt forward. And being right-handed, the holster was under my left arm.

    IT is a GREAT holster--great build qhality, beautiful leather, very comfy and secure. The built-on belt tab made it very secure abd quick to draw, even with a tumb snap and spring friction retention.

    I was never a fan of the horizontal holsters, because they will "paint" everyone who is behind you, and with a bigger gun (like my big Taurus wheelgun, and a full-size 1911) it's nearly impossible for a skinny guy like me to wear one and not print with the muzzle in the back and the grip in the front...

    If I were to buy a new shoulder rig, it would probably be a Galco ******* harness with a Vertical holster and an HCL Double Mag carrier (the one with tension retention and no over-flaps) /?I think that would work wonderfully with my Para...

    But really, I'm not a big fan of shoulder rigs. I don't wear a jacket much these days, and concealing a shoulder rig pretty much requires wearing a jacket or coat...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    the best shoulder rig IMOP is Alessi Bodyguard, Lou was a master. My P7m8...I cant even tell I have it on, same with my 3" S&W 65

    I do carry my old 19 2.5" in an old upside down rig(cant recall is Bianci or S&W brand), personaly I like it and its quite fast into action. I am sorta old school, I carry a J frame in Blackhawk Bern Martin style belt holster



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    BIANCHI-4601, vertical. I carry a 1911A1... sideways don't cut it for concealed or driving. 'Got one of those in the junk box. I've not seen a 'barrel up' holster, unless it was a misadjusted horizontal rig.

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    GumiBear wrote:
    I assume it would be about the same as vertical barrel down. Once the strap is released you have to pull the gun down to clear the holster, then bring the gun up to eye level.
    Actually the Bianchi Phantom (X-2000), which is a vertical, barrel-down rig, has a "break-front" holster with a piece of spring steel in the leather around the top part of the gun, plus a thumb break. Wen you open the thumb break, thou just pull the gun forward, and it comes out of the front side of the holster. You don't have to draw it up and out.

    It's a VERY fast shoulder rig, and at the same time, very secure. Even with the thumb break open, the spring retention will hold even big heavy guns in place. I have one that I bought for a Taurus 689 (which is essentially a K-Frame). It was a comfy holster, easy to conceal under a sportscoat, and the draw was smooth and quick, with excellent retention.

    Galco has something sort of similar--the VHS Holster component, that is compatible with it's ******* shoulder rig system. It is a vertical, barrel-down thumb-break holster with s semiopen front and spring retention. I've been considering getting a shoulder rig for my Para based on this platform...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    that Galco VHS(maybe Beta might have been better)is worthless IMOP.....and here is why, there is no provison on the holster for a tie down, you bend over the darn thing just falls forward, got one for a 4" N frame.....what the heck where they thinking...I even as the Galco rep the same......he was puzzled

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    I carry in a Galco Miami Classic II, and it is great.

    It isn't used that often, but may come out more that it is getting to jacket season.

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    Actually in the Fall, OCing with the Miami Classic and a black turtleneck sweater looks stylish and almost like it is as normal as having a matching belt and shoes. Don't have a MC but tried one on with said black turtleneck and does it ever look good. Maybe there ought to be a fashion show for these and other rigs.

    OMG Cancel that!! Can you imagine carrying in a "Tommy Hilfiger" "signature Series" rig or hip holster? Ye Gawds.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Or... Old Navy...or Eddie Bauer (Jack's brother).

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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Actually in the Fall, OCing with the Miami Classic and a black turtleneck sweater looks stylish and almost like it is as normal as having a matching belt and shoes. Don't have a MC but tried one on with said black turtleneck and does it ever look good. Maybe there ought to be a fashion show for these and other rigs.

    OMG Cancel that!! Can you imagine carrying in a "Tommy Hilfiger" "signature Series" rig or hip holster? Ye Gawds.
    noooo tommy hilfiger would make it look like a darn red and white sailboat lol.........although i do believe harly would make a nice shoulder rig haha

  20. #20
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    On the shoulder I tried a number of things. With a large frame firearm sidehold left it sticking out either in the front, or the back. Vertical worked out best, with the barrel pointed down. So then if you had to assume an odd position while carrying you could use your arm to keep the rig steady, though mine had the belt clips to help keep it in place. The sidehold offered the most access I must admit. But vertical offered the best retention.

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    yeah larger firearms with horizontal are hard. i dont think anything over 5" should be kept horizontal. remember how in "nash bridges" he always had that lump on his back form his 7" 1911 haha

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    Made my own for $10, can adjust the ride position from straight down to almost horizontal by sliding the holster (Uncle Mikes G26) then locking it in place with the holster strap. I keep it tight underarm so it cant be taken away and with a little arm coordination, cant be seen either, and theres no belt strap or strap across the chest. If it rides too low, theres risk of a broken arm in a fall.

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