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Old 07-12-2017, 02:45 AM
Naphtali Naphtali is offline
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Shoulder holster harnesses? Shoulder holster harnesses? Shoulder holster harnesses? Shoulder holster harnesses? Shoulder holster harnesses?  
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Default Shoulder holster harnesses?

I have been shopping for a shoulder holster for a Ruger SP101 three-inch barrel revolver. Since I know close to nothing about shoulder holsters for smaller handguns, I ask two related questions.

1. If I find a shoulder holster I like but do not care for its harness, will most harnesses for smaller handguns be usable with that holster?

2. Among shoulder holster harnesses for smaller revolvers, which ones do you prefer for wearing comfort and useful support? I differentiate support from comfort because of my experience using an older DeSantis swivel shoulder holster I used with my Super Redhawk 480 about ten years ago - not comfortable but a very good holster for wearing inside my parka.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:53 PM
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Harnesses on the horizontal shoulder holsters will be interchangeable unless there is special hardware involved at the connection to the holster. They tend to be very simple harnesses anyway. You'll find a big difference between the weight of a big gun carried vertically and a small one carried horizontally; so automatically more comfort. Brand? I'll leave that to the cognoscenti.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:45 PM
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I bought one for a 3" 1911 from lobo and love it..

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Old 07-13-2017, 10:17 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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The SP101 is a fairly heavy small gun. It will carry differently than a J-frame or Colt DS. Spare ammo on the off-side will help balance. Tie downs may be advisable too. Shoulder holsters are kind of like coats, different ones will fit different people differently. Personally I like the Miami Classic, but that's just me. Other good ones out there. I am not sure I would go with the upside-down holster for a weapon that heavy, but again maybe that's just me.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:10 AM
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Since the OP has no knowledge or experience about shoulder holsters, and since I have over 40 years of experience in using and making shoulder holsters, perhaps I may offer a few comments to assist.

1. Contrary to the impressions left by popular movies or action novels, shoulder holsters are not particularly comfortable nor are they especially effective for concealed carry.
2. Harness design is the key element in shoulder holster performance. The harness must allow every element (holster, supporting straps, etc) to move easily with the body in every normal activity (standing, sitting, driving, running, etc), thus must be fully articulated (flexible at each point). Harnesses are seldom interchangeable between holster manufacturers.
3. Shoulder holsters are constantly exposed to moisture (perspiration especially) so the use of moisture-resistant materials such as horsehide is much preferable to standard veg-tanned cowhide. Even at that the shoulder holster is likely to require regular maintenance to avoid moisture-related problems such as mold, mildew, etc.
4. Tie-down straps (attachments to the belt on the strong and weak side) can aid in stability. These will also add some problems with comfort and limit the flexibility of the rig (picture an urgent trip to a public restroom, not to mention constant readjustment as you get into your car, get out of your car, etc). Watch a shoulder holster user for a few hours and you will always see multiple adjustments of the rig as the user performs routine functions.
5. Drawing a handgun from a shoulder holster requires movements that any knowledgeable opponent will clearly recognize as threatening. Anyone within 10 to 20 feet away from you might easily interrupt and/or neutralize your presentation of the weapon.
6. Shoulder holsters will not be permitted on many (most?) public or private ranges, so practicing combat drills may not be practical.

I could probably go on for several more points, but I think these issues should cause anyone to have second thoughts about use of shoulder holsters for personal defense.

Your 3.1" SP-101 is not a difficult handgun to carry comfortably and discretely. I would suggest a good pancake-style holster on the strong side, just behind the point of the hip (about 3:30 to 4:00 position for a right-hand shooter). Coupled with a solidly made belt there is no better option.

Best regards.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:42 AM
Biggfoot44 Biggfoot44 is offline
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I have used shoulder holsters enough to state that they are niche items. I For a period of years used then for second/ third guns . Recently when recoperating , and I was limited to only wearing sweat pants, and specifically no belts, I used a vertical shoulder holster with 4in revolver. As noted long bbl'ed hunting guns, particularly under heavy coat.

But for somthing like that SP101 , you would need to have a specific reason to not be better served by a good belt holster.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:06 AM
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Lobogunleather makes some very good points, obviously by someone very familiar with shoulder holsters. However these counter-indications are not absolute.

I have a couple of Alessi harnesses which can be used with several holsters and accessories. The strong side is anchored to your belt while the weak side (with the holster) hangs free from a two-point support. The shoulder straps cross at the back of your neck, and do not form an "X" which is uncomfortable and prints badly through any cover garment. I can wear it all day in comfort, concealed under a light jacket or vest, even with a heavy pistol or 3" N-frame. It is especially good for travel in a car, where a belt holster is difficult to reach.

It is much slower on the draw than a belt holster at 4:30, but fast enough with practice. More problematic is that you telegraph our intensions, and are much more vulnerable to a frontal attack than if you turn and draw from the rear, away from the aggressor.

If you think brushing your jacket aside and reaching behind doesn't present a clear signal, it does. Thugs have a remarkable sense of body language, barely noticed by others.

Alessi makes three styles of holsters, all using the same harness: Guardian (butt down, J-frame only), Fieldmaster (vertical, butt forward) and Bodyguard (horizontal, butt forward). The Fieldmaster will hold a 6" revolver nicely, but is bulky. I have one for a 629, but others are the Bodyguard style for CC.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:07 PM
Naphtali Naphtali is offline
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While I will not decide immediately whether or not to try any shoulder holster with any of my revolvers - excluding handguns used for hunting - the cogent information I obtain from this forum just by asking takes nearly all of the fun out of having an anxiety attack.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:06 PM
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"From Russia With Love was being aired last night, and reminds that Bond did it ideally: a lightweight setup that slips on and off readily and can be worn with absolutely anything as long as there is a covering jacket. His could just as easily have been a little horizontal except with the film holster's very crude construction (it appears to have been copied in fabrics from a Heiser vertical) a stap would've been required a la Gaylord; and so problematic for a film. For the revolvers the Berns-Martin would actually have been excellent, hence the recommendation from Boothroyd (and I notice that "Q" is still called Boothroyd in this second film): small and light with a Smith Bodyguard or Centennial in it.

Harnesses: although I agree with Ray about the requirements of harness design, NO ONE makes such a harness. In the end they are either a simple arrangement of straps like a Galco or a Berns-Martin; or the equivalent structure with lots of curves (such as a DeSantis or an Alessi). It was the increase in pistol weights that caused any of us designers to even consider the harness because, as mentioned, they were supposed to be for small pistols (the old Colt SAA spring holsters of the Old West notwithstanding).
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:22 PM
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[QUOTE=rednichols; I'll leave that to the cognoscenti.[/QUOTE]

With you already here Red, along with Ray from Lobo; I really don't see a further need, (in this post) for one of those sometimes elusive "cognoscenti" .
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:30 PM
hlwjr1947 hlwjr1947 is offline
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Check Ken Null's website
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:32 PM
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I'm no expert and haven't been using a shoulder holster for a while, but I would not get one with elastic in the harness. Maybe the tie downs only.
My experience was the elasticity did not last long at all. They might give a little more movement, but have no longevity.
I now only use one for a K frame under a jacket when I'm carrying a hunting rifle or sometimes when driving longer distances. It keeps guns from banging together and out of the weather and more accessible and comfortable on the road.
Good luck with your search!
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:55 PM
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While I normally carry in owb holster, I have used the Galco Classic Lite for several years carrying a Model 640. They may have a version for the 3" Ruger.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naphtali View Post
While I will not decide immediately whether or not to try any shoulder holster with any of my revolvers - excluding handguns used for hunting - the cogent information I obtain from this forum just by asking takes nearly all of the fun out of having an anxiety attack.
I appreciate a humorous comment like this; but frankly, I would have thought the only way "anxiety" and the great state of Montana could have any connection, was perhaps facing a charging "grizz !..

As to a quest for a "just-right" shoulder holster, I believe the ONLY just right shoulder holster is in the fantasy mind-set of movie makers, where they can make anything look like it is perfect.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:32 PM
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Black Hills Leather makes comfortable, functional shoulder holsters. As stated by LOBO, they articulate at the joints, Horsehide, adjustable, but are warm when used during the Summer ( even with air conditioning ), but are comfortable while driving. Be Safe, Note other photos in my album. Thank You.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:15 PM
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Back when Miami Vice and it's trademark shoulder holster were hot, a vice officer showed up for work wearing one, along with a proud smile. No one had the heart to tell him it printed like a bill board.

Later that night someone grabbed the center piece of the harness and used him to wipe off the bar, and a wall and part of the floor. He never wore it again.

Last edited by WR Moore; 07-15-2017 at 06:16 PM.
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