We all have watched action movies and at least once have dreamt about shooting the bad guy and saving the world. However, even Lara Croft and Deadpool have taken some time off to choose their equipment, and our team can bet that they weren’t satisfied with anything less than the best shoulder holster.
A right shoulder holster has a lot of advantages. It is an excellent option for both concealed and open carry; still, the process of choosing such an important item should not be lazy. Concealed or open carry, holster selection should be scrutinized the same way as the selection of a weapon would.
There are certain things, such as comfort, support, and construction, that you certainly need to consider. That’s why our team has created this buying guide full of information, tips and, of course, reviews of the top products you can find on the market nowadays. Let’s get started!
Best Shoulder Holsters Comparison Chart
Armadillo Tan Leather Shoulder Holster
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UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster
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Under Control Tactical Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster
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Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster
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BLACKHAWK! Load Bearing Suspenders/Harness
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World War Supply Tanker Shoulder Holster
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Top 6 Best Shoulder Holsters
Let’s kick-off our article by looking at the top shoulder holsters on the market right now. They aren’t arranged in any specific order. Every product in this buying guide would be a great addition to your needs, so every choice you make is going to be just fine.
1 . Armadillo Tan Leather Shoulder Holster
Armadillo Tan Leather Shoulder Holster can be made for left-hand use if you reverse the holster and the mag case on the right. However, the holster thumb snap will be on the outside. Keep in mind if it’s for right-hand draw the holster sits on your left side so you can draw your weapon quickly. If you were to reverse it, the holster would sit on the opposite side.
This holster can fit handguns without a rail if they are bigger. But if you’re going to use it on a 1911 pistol, you could find out it can go in with its rail.
- Made out of quality cowhide, the holster is handcrafted for gun models from 1911 to 4.
- You’ve got included leather tie downs as well as two mag pouches that have double snaps allowing you to adjust them.
- Because it’s made of leather, it is soft to the touch and really comfortable to use.
- The straps are very flat, allowing no one to notice you have it underneath a jacket.
- It can only be horizontal. There’s nothing to help you adjust the cant.
- The retention snap can be weak.
- Leather wears off after time and can become less stable.
2 . UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster
UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster has Velcro straps that attach to a web belt that creates optimum tension for the holster and pouch. The straps are also reversible so you can put it on the more comfortable side for you to release.
A big upside of this holster is the adjustable cant, this way you can have your weapon completely vertical or at another angle you want. You don’t have to worry about fitting everything when you put your gun before leaving the house as you do with belts and so on. All you have to do is adjust this product on time, after that just throw it on before you leave the house.
- It is both for right and left-handed people.
- The shoulders are padded, and you have two smaller pouches for anything else you’d want close to yourself.
- The design is universal so it could fit most known and used handguns.
- Your firearm’s finish is protected at all times by the holster’s soft lining.
- Every part of this item can be adjusted for you individually.
- It can add a lot of bulk and print depending on what you’re wearing.
- Can be uncomfortable.
- The retention snap can be weak.
3 . Under Control Tactical Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster
This shoulder holster’s size is 7.7’’ x 4.3’’ x 2’’, while its two handgun compartments are 5.3” x 4.5”. They are comfortable to use daily, because of the nylon material it’s made from and the fact that the shoulders are padded just lightly.
You can carry your weapon vertically. There are two vertical Velcro straps that when attached to a belt along with the shoulder clips, the holster won’t swing or move.
- Durable – you don’t have to worry what you will put on top of this holster because it is made of sturdy nylon.
- You can rest assured you can conceal this because it’s been built for this.
- It is waterproof, really light with dual handgun holsters and two convenient flashlight pouches.
- You’ve also got adjustable straps for the shoulders to make sure everything is secured to your form.
- This holster is universal – great for 1911, handguns, pistols and revolvers, meaning most popular weapons are covered.
- After you place your order, you immediately get an email with a link to see in details how to set up a shoulder holster and how to use it.
- It can be difficult to understand how you adjust all the straps for yourself.
- Might take time and effort to draw the gun out.
4 . Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster
This Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster has two different versions, one for right and another for left-handed people. Apart from that, it is made out of leather, as the name suggests. It also has four separately hanging straps. It is designed for Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 31 to 36.
Since some people are confused, to clear things out, if you purchase a right-hand orientation of this product, the holster would hang on your left side. We mentioned you can’t adjust the angle, however, note you can still make it go up and down, so it could sit higher than the grip end for instance.
Keep in mind that this is a leather product and it will need time, patience and use to break into the form of your weapon.
- Even though it doesn’t come with any more attachments except for the holster itself, you can still put tie downs, cuff case or other accessories.
- It has a swiveling Flexalon backplate, continued with medium width straps that are all comfortable.
- You can’t adjust the angle of the holster.
- You need two hands to re-holster.
- You should wear a looser shirt or coat for it not to print.
5 . BLACKHAWK! Load Bearing Suspenders/Harness
This shoulder holster wraps around you with a system of belt loops with H-harness. It features drag handles sternum strap and attachment clips, not made out of metal. There will be a break in period with this harness as it goes over the shoulders and around the chest area.
Shoulder harnesses are overall a bit tricky to put on and understand how to do everything as already mentioned. However, once you get the hang of it, it’s an easy task to perform. We do suggest you have a partner to help you with this harness the first time, so you get the hang of it. This item is especially liked and recommended for police officers. So if you are one, you might want to consider using these suspenders.
- It’s quite sturdy, thanks to its nylon, 1000 denier nytaneon construction.
- These load bearing suspenders can help even the weight levels and help with back or hip issues coming from the duty belt.
- You can easily adjust the straps.
- The package doesn’t include the mentioned belt.
- Because of the extra padding at the shoulders, this model might not be comfortable for a bigger person.
- If you wear a vest on top of this, due to the thick straps, it can become unpleasant.
6 . World War Supply Tanker Shoulder Holster
This is an authentic, fantastic quality World War shoulder harness. It comes large, so usually, it’s for extra prominent men, but you can still create a few additional holes and make it fit you. Because of the way it sits on your body, it is easy to have it on you while driving or doing other tasks.
As other leather products, it is nice and stiff in the beginning, until it gets used to the shape of your gun. You can easily adjust the strap to be looser. It could also sway or you can keep it snug closer your body. Everything depends on how you modify it.
- It’s made out of premium black drum dyed leather, which makes it durable and comfortable.
- This is an excellent alternative for a belt and a holster for IWB or OWB carry.
- You can wear it a couple of ways, not only like in the shown photos.
- It is unique and different compared to modern shoulder holsters, with this you can get a different, old vide.
- It has only one holster, no additional compartments or anything.
- It’s tough to find any instructions as it is a World War model.
What is a handgun holster?
A handgun holster is a device that is attached to your belt, waistband or even ankle. One of its main purposes is to restrict the unwanted movement of a handgun. However, different holsters have different features. There are holsters with a strap over the top that won’t allow your pistol to fall out and will prevent the possibility of another person grabbing your weapon. There are also holsters with flaps over the top that protect the gun from the elements. That’s why it is essential to know what exactly are you looking for.
Holsters are used with one hand so you could easily replace or remove the handgun. That is also the reason why you should choose holsters that are made from a stiff material. That way the holster would hold its shape even when there is no gun in it.
The way the holster is designed, allows you to withdraw your gun quickly. Holsters offer protection to your arm and ensure its retention. Choosing the right type of holster, however, is crucial, especially when it comes to defensive weapon holster, where failure to access the gun quickly could be fatal.
To find the **best ankle holster**, for example, you need to look for an item made of a material that won’t allow wobbling or sliding. The situation is pretty much the same with any holster. Still, there are some differences, that’s why you need to consider everything possible before buying a particular product.
When categorized by the method of wear holsters can be subdivided into various types. Some of them are OWN, IWB, appendix rings, bellow waistband, and the kind that will play a central role in our buying guide today – shoulder holster.
What is a shoulder holster?
When it comes to products for weapon maintenance you surely have various options. Shoulder holsters, though, are something that you need to consider if you are a gun owner and you like concealment carry.
Just like a backpack, the shoulder holster consists of two straps that are connected. The actual holster can be mounted either to the left or the right side. This type of holster is preferred as it distributes the weight across the shoulders and not straight onto the belt.
Shoulder holsters can position the handgun in two different ways.
- A vertical position – The barrel points either towards or upwards the ground.
- A horizontal position – The barrel points behind the wearer.
Are all shoulder holsters the same?
If you own a gun and you love your jackets and blazers, a shoulder holster is a ticket to your happiness. They can be a bit more polarizing than the other holsters. However, they offer great comfort and stability.
Most of the shoulder holsters are designed for concealed carry. There are a lot of models, though, adapted for military personnel such as drivers and pilots. Hunters are also included when it comes to people using a shoulder holster as hunting with a handgun is becoming more and more popular. There are field-type shoulder holsters that have an additional strap running across the chest.
Typically, a shoulder holster can be compatible with several handguns that have a similar size. The barrel of the weapon, when using a concealed shoulder holster, can be pointed in three directions – vertical, horizontal, or 45- degree. The vertical and horizontal are the main ones, that’s why our team would like to give them more attention in the next paragraph.
Different types of shoulder holsters
As we mentioned above, we have two main types of shoulder holsters – vertical and horizontal.
- Vertical shoulder holsters – They can be subdivided into two groups –
- Upside-down holsters – They are easy to conceal and offer great comfort. They also prevent a proper firing grip.
- Holsters with pointed downwards muzzle – Owners of larger framed guns, especially guns with longer barrels, prefer this type.
- Horizontal shoulder holsters – They are the most common but also the most problematic type, as far as concealment is concerned. That’s why they are suitable mostly for weapons with shorter barrels. With horizontal shoulder holsters, the barrel muzzle points behind the shooter and pokes out at the rear horizontally.
Finding a proper horizontal or vertical shoulder holster should be an antecedence; however, your safety and the safety of those around is and always will be a number one priority!
Benefits of using a shoulder holster
There are a lot of people who, when asked, would say that shoulder holsters are out-fashioned. We agree that there are a lot of different holsters you can choose from, but each one has various advantages, so it is unbelievable to think they are gear for old-time detectives and agents.
A lot of people wonder “Are shoulder holsters suitable for concealed carry?” The answer is yes; these are an excellent option. They are suitable for long-barreled or full-sized handguns as they offer great weight-bearing abilities, especially when it is “underarm” holsters that we are talking about.
If you sit behind a desk, or if you are always driving seat-belted, a shoulder holster would be an excellent choice for you. It allows fast access to your weapon, and when needed, you will be able to reach your gun inconspicuously.
Another significant advantage is the fact that shoulder holsters give you a place to keep not only your weapon but also your spare magazines, speed loaders, and even flashlight.
When you look for a shoulder holster, don’t forget to check the top rated shoulder holsters.
Factors to consider when choosing a shoulder holster
There are different tips for selecting the right holster. Still, we wanted to show you the most important factors you need to think about before buying a shoulder holster. Let’s look them through!
- Safety – When you choose a shoulder holster or any holster at all, protection is the most critical factor to be considered. Accidental trigger movement or rearward movement of the hammer, for example, can be lethal. That’s why finding a holster that is suitable for your model of gun is one hundred percent obligatory.
- Retention – If you want to stop someone else from removing your pistol from your holster you should look for a shoulder holster manufactured with preservation in mind. A lot of the holsters produced nowadays have multiple hidden retention devices so that that task won’t be hard. Most of the times, a different retentive holster need to be designed for a different model of gun.
- Concealment – Imagine this – you are walking in the park with your daughter, and all the people next to you walk around with their weapons out in the open. Doesn’t sound appealing, right? That’s why it is desirable not to alert other people when someone or you, is being armed. Shoulder holsters for concealed carry can not only give you comfort but can also make a weapon virtually invisible. That way they will provide comfort to the people around you as well.
- Comfort – You never know if you will have to run, swim, drive or walk for an extended period. That’s why a shoulder upholster that will help you wear your gun without excessive discomfort is what you need to look for.
- Finish – Snagging your pistol or excessively abrading its finish is something a well-designed holster will not do. That’s why you should look for a high-quality product.
- Durability – It is only reasonable that you use your holster every day. That is why a material that will withstand abuse and long-term usage is essential.
- Draw Ease – A pistol is quickly presented when it comes to practical shooting holsters, but when we talk about concealed carry the drawing ease can often be compromised.
- Material – Stiff and rigid material should always be preferred over a flexible one. That is because holsters are designed to be used with one hand. A stiff material will make the process of returning the gun into the holster a lot easier, and you will be able to do that with one hand. Contrarily, a plastic holster is more likely to collapse after the gun is drawn. That way you will need both your hands to return the pistol into your holster and therefore loose time that may be essential.
- Adjustability – Gun cant and position are essential when we talk about shoulder holsters.
- Price – Owning a gun and using it is an essential matter so having a piece of proper equipment is not something you should underestimate. On that point, a high-quality holster is always the better option. Shoulder Holsters come in different grades regarding pricing, just like hip and ankle models do. A shoulder holster can cost between $20 to $200. That depends on various factors. For example, if you choose to buy a generic holster (holster suitable for multiple gun types), you may need to prepare a higher amount of your savings.
How to wear a shoulder holster?
Wearing a shoulder holster is comfortable, especially if your area of work requires spending a lot of time sitting. Shoulder holsters are adaptable to every size of the body for the holster rigs allow you to tighten the straps according to your desires. However, how to wear a shoulder holster properly is something every gun owner needs to know. Let’s look at the few steps you will need to undertake, before going out with your shoulder holster.
Fitting the holster
- Put the empty shoulder holster on, leaving the cargo out of the rig. Just like with a backpack, slip your arms through the arm loops. The crossed straps should go in the back, while the gun and magazine holsters stay under your arms.
- To distribute the weight evenly across your two shoulders and to keep the holster rig balanced, you need to ensure that the straps cross high precisely in the middle of your shoulders. The straps should not be twisted, so make sure they lay flat against your upper back.
- The process of adjustment is super essential so make sure that the rig straps are tight against your body. When you move your torso, the straps should not shift around too much. Of course, don’t tighten them too much as you will not be able to move freely. You need to find a middle spot.
It is normal not to find the perfect fit from the first time, but it is essential to pay attention to how it feels over time and adjust it according to your needs.
Gun and magazine holstering
- You have to move the holster so that it is near your armpit. Each shoulder holster is different, so it is possible not be able to move the holster at all.
- The holster should be slightly forward your arm. The majority of the holster rigs have one holster for the pistol and one for the magazine. Both should be moved near your armpit.
- If your holster detaches from the harness, you have a choice to either put it under your left arm, if you are a right-handed shooter, or put it under your right arm, if you shoot with your left hand.
- Like we already mentioned, holsters are positioned horizontally or vertically. Adjust the angle of the holster, choosing the position that you find most comfortable. (That is, of course, if your holster moves) Keep in mind that horizontal position is preferred as it is easier to draw the gun from it.
- It’s not important whether you have the best IWB holster, a great pocket holster, or whatever, you always need to wear clothes that disguise your weapon. Otherwise, your pistol will be visible, and in most of the situations, you don’t want that! Don’t forget that your jacket should be loose enough. The clothing should not press tightly against the holstered pistol.
- Besides giving you comfort, the primary purpose of the shoulder holster is allowing quick access to your gun. That is why you should avoid wearing your jacket fully zipped or buttoned up.
- It is normal to feel a bit strange if you are wearing a shoulder holster for the first time. So when you are at home practice drawing your gun while wearing all of the jackets you would typically wear.
- Always have your carry permit when you go out with your shoulder holster and the gun in it.
Congratulations, you have made it till the end of our buying guide. If you have read our whole article, you now know how many different things you need to think about, before being able to find the best shoulder holster.
We really hope to have helped you find what you were looking for and if that indeed is the case, don’t forget to share our piece with others. Knowing how to choose the right product and how to use it properly is something everyone deserves to know, don’t be selfish – send this buying guide forward. We have a lot of other articles connected to getting the best unit, so go check them out too!
We appreciate it when we have feedback from our readers so leaving us a comment or sending us an email is always a good idea, especially if you think we have missed something in our buying guide. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!