Best Shoulder Holsters – Our Complete Review

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Best Shoulder Holsters - Our Complete Review

Shoulder holsters are a harness designed to carry a firearm under each arm, or one firearm under an arm and extra ammo under the other. Usually, shoulder holsters are designed to be ambidextrous, allowing you to choose which handedness works better for you.

Shoulder Holster Quick Pick

If you are in the market for the best shoulder holster, the Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig is a great holster.

This shoulder holster was first introduced in the 1970’s, by Jackass Leather Company. It features a horizontal holster that can be adjusted to a more diagonal carry position. All four points of the center cut steerhide harness can pivot independently and are connected to Galco’s unique Flexalon swivel back plate.

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Buying Shoulder Holsters Things To Consider

Most shoulder holsters are adjustable, so they cater to a wide array of carriers. They are equipped with multiple adjustment points, making it adjustable to different body types, or to your body, if you grow or shrink.

Advantages Of Shoulder Holsters

A good fitting shoulder holster is great for heavy handguns. In fact, this is an area that they may work better than hip holsters. Shoulder holsters distribute the weight of your handgun more evenly over a larger area of the body. Not only heavier handguns, but those with long barrels work well in a shoulder holster.

If you drive a lot a shoulder holster is a great choice. The seatbelt won’t affect your access to your firearm. Ankle holsters are the other good option for driving, but they only work best with small firearms.

Adjustable thumb breaks are another advantage. This feature makes shoulder holsters able to fit different handguns.

Disadvantages Of Shoulder Holsters

Your gun may become accessible to your opponent in a struggle. If you are backed against a wall, your draw can be blocked, making gun grab easy.

You need to wear a jacket or other cover garment all the time to keep a shoulder holster concealed. You will need to be mindful in the wind.

The draw is slower with a shoulder holster. Reaching back under the arm and pulling the gun out from this position will take more time than from a hip holster.

Safety is the biggest disadvantage of a shoulder holster. While you draw, you will sweep bystanders to get your gun on the target. Keep in mind, most gun ranges and gun classes will not allow shoulder holsters, because of this safety issue.


Alternatives To Shoulder Holsters

Deciding how to carry your handgun is about more than just comfort. Although comfort is important, since you probably won’t carry if you think it’s uncomfortable.

IWB Holsters

IWB holsters are a good option. You can wear these pretty much anywhere along your waist, and they attach to your belt with clips. IWB holsters are the most concealable but you will need to have your pants about two inches bigger, in the waist,  than you normally wear.

OWB Holsters

OWB holsters are worn outside the pants, on the strong side. These are the most popular holsters, probably because of comfort.

Pancake Holsters

Pancake holsters are made with two pieces of material with the gun sandwiched between them and come with two or more belt loops.

Paddle Holsters

Paddle holsters are held on your pants with a paddle or duckbill that clips onto your pants. They ride inside the pants. They are usually easy to get on and off.

Small Of Back Holster

Small of back holsters are worn inside the pants right about the middle of the back. Most people find them uncomfortable, especially while sitting. Safety concerns include falling on your back and hurting your spine.

Appendix Carry Holster

Appendix carry holsters are very concealable. They ride in the front of your body between the belly button and the hip. Draw is quick and easy because the position the gun rides in is a natural area for your arm to reach.

Pocket Holsters

Pocket holsters are growing more popular all the time. They are very convenient and conceal very good. They are best used with smaller handguns. Pocket holsters can fit in the front or the rear pocket.

Ankle Holsters

Ankle holsters are best suited for a backup handgun. They work good with smaller firearms. They can be uncomfortable while walking. Sitting may expose your gun.


Shoulder Holster Objectives

Choosing a holster is a personal decision based on personal preferences. At the end of the day, your holster needs to perform three main functions.

Security

A good holster will hold your gun in place while you are running, getting in and out of a car, even doing somersaults. This is the main point, right? A place for your holster to safely ride as you go about your day.

Accessibility

As your holster keeps your gun safe and secure, in needs to be accessible to you. If you are ever in a stressful situation, where you need to draw a handgun, the last thing you need is to have to fumble around looking for your holster. A quick and smooth draw can be the difference between life and death.

Concealment

Your holster should be out of sight. If you carry concealed then you don’t want any part of your firearm to be visible.


Best Shoulder Holsters

Based on quality, value and versatility here are our top shoulder holsters:

1. Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig

The Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System

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The Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig is an ambidextrous shoulder holster system made from premium saddle leather. It features a vertical draw, allowing for a very fast draw stroke, and a wide flat shoulder pad that distributes the weight of the gun evenly across the shoulder.

The harness is fully adjustable, with a clover-shaped Flexalon swivel back plate and a unique clover shape tensioning screw.

The holster is designed to fit a variety of handguns, including full-size and compact models. The Jackass system also includes a double mag carrier and an optional concealment strap.

Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig – Features 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Conceals well
  • Conceals large handguns
  • Quality holster

Cons

  • Break in time needed
  • Screws may come loose during break in period
  • Expensive

2. UTG LE Shoulder Holster

The UTG LE Shoulder Holster has a soft lining that protects the firearm’s finish

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The UTG LE Shoulder Holster is an ambidextrous, adjustable holster that is designed with comfort and convenience in mind. It is made from high-grade synthetic material and is padded for extra comfort and protection.

This holster also features a hook and loop closure, adjustable straps, and a thumb break for quick access to your firearm.

It is designed to fit most medium and large frame handguns, and the adjustable straps allow for a secure and comfortable fit. The UTG LE Shoulder Holster is a great choice for concealed carry or range use.

UTG LE Shoulder Holster Features 

  • Universal shoulder holster
  • Designed for both left and right handed
  • Two mag pouches
  • Padded shoulders

Pros

Cons

  • Slow draw
  • Retention is inconsistent
  • Stitching looks flimsy

3. NcStar Horizontal Shoulder Holster

NcStar Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster with Double Magazine Holder is ambidextrous and great for concealed carry

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The NcStar Horizontal Shoulder Holster is a lightweight and comfortable holster designed to fit most medium to large frame pistols and revolvers. Constructed of durable PVC material, the holster features a quick release thumb break, adjustable shoulder strap, and an adjustable magazine pouch.

The holster also features a double magazine pouch on the opposite side of the holster. The adjustable strap ensures a secure fit and the magazine pouch can be adjusted to fit most double stack magazines.

The holster is designed to be worn across the chest, or on either side of the body, and is ideal for carrying while hunting, or during tactical operations.

This NcStar Horizontal Shoulder Holster is ambidextrous and great for concealed carry. It features a thumb strap for various size pistols, tie down straps to secure your holster to your belt, and double thumb snaps for security.

NcStar Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster – Features 

  • Ambidextrous
  • Adjustable
  • Double magazine holder
  • Tie down straps
  • Adjustable thumb break

Pros

  • Made well
  • Affordable
  • adjustable

Cons

  • Can not adjust cant
  • Feels like it will only last a little while

4. Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster

The Uncle Mike's Black Kodra Nylon Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster has superior weight distribution, snug gun retention

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The Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster is a versatile and comfortable way to carry your firearm. This holster features a reinforced thumb break for secure retention, a wide flat shoulder strap for comfort and stability, and an adjustable and removable belt strap to fit a wide range of body sizes.

It also includes a durable, waterproof nylon exterior and a soft lining to protect your handgun. The holster is designed to be worn horizontally, with the holster on the weak side of your body, and the strap crossing your back and chest for easy access. It is ideal for both right and left handed shooters.

The Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster is a great choice for concealed carry and provides comfortable, secure, and reliable handgun storage.

This shoulder holster has superior weight distribution, snug gun retention and comfort. Uncle Mike’s are a superior product and they stand behind their products.

Uncle Mike’s Black Kodra Nylon Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster – Features 

  • Adjustable
  • 2 ½ inch wide nylon straps
  • Self centering backpiece
  • Wear inside or outside your jacket
  • Fits up to a 48” chest

Pros

  • Well built
  • Affordable
  • Fits good
  • Keeps gun secure
  • Anchor straps

Cons

  • Trigger may be left exposed
  • Bulky
  • Difficult to adjust

5. King Holster Shoulder Holster

King Holster Tactical Shoulder Holster

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The King Holster Shoulder Holster is a unique and versatile holster designed for comfortable, secure, and discreet concealed carry. It features a lightweight, breathable, and adjustable shoulder harness with a swivel mount for perfect positioning of the firearm.

The holster is made from a durable nylon material with a padded interior to protect the gun. The holster is also designed with a quick-release thumb tab, allowing you to draw your firearm quickly and safely. The holster also features two magazine pouches that can accommodate two magazines or one flashlight.

This holster is perfect for those who are looking for a comfortable, secure, and discreet way to carry their firearm

The King Holster Shoulder Holster works for both right handed or left handed draw. Fits most medium to large frame handgun and comes with an extra magazine pouch.

King Holster Shoulder Holster – Features

  • Most guns fit this holster
  • Reversible
  • Double magazine pouch

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Comfortable
  • Conceals good
  • Lightweight
  • affordable

Cons

  • Not adjustable
  • Shoulder straps too narrow

Best 1911 Shoulder Holster

Many of the shoulder holsters above will hold a 1911 just fine, but there is one shoulder holster for a 1911 that stands out for us.  No, not because Miami Vice was huge when I was in highschool.

Miami Classic II Shoulder System 

The MIAMI CLASSIC II SHOULDER SYSTEM allows you to carry both your 1911 and additional ammo in a horizontal position.   

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The Miami Classic II Shoulder System is a comprehensive shoulder replacement system developed by Zimmer Biomet. It provides surgeons with the tools they need to perform a successful shoulder replacement procedure, including a range of components, instrumentation, and implants.

The system offers a variety of options to meet the needs of each patient, including anatomic or reverse shoulder replacements, shoulder hemiarthroplasties, and shoulder arthrodesis procedures.

The system also offers a wide selection of implants designed to provide a secure fit and optimal range of motion. The instrumentation within the system is designed to make the procedure easier, faster, and more accurate.

The Miami Classic II Shoulder System also includes a comprehensive training program to ensure that surgeons are knowledgeable and confident when performing shoulder replacement surgeries.

Miami Classic II SHOULDER Holster – Features

Hands-free carrying: A shoulder holster allows you to carry your handgun without occupying your hands or waistband, which can be convenient for activities such as driving or hiking.

Easy access: The Miami Classic II shoulder holster positions the handgun at a natural horizontal angle for easy access, which can be helpful in situations where you need to draw your weapon quickly.

Best Shoulder Holsters – Conclusion

Don’t be convinced by those who try to tell you that shoulder holsters are a thing of the past. They’re a basic design that works well when you need it. A shoulder holster that is comfortable, fully adjustable and conceals well will come in handy.

Maybe you will need a shoulder holster for certain wardrobe choices or for wearing at work. With all the choices on the market, I think the Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig outshines the others. If you are looking for a shoulder holster that is durable and made from high quality materials, this holster may just be the one for you.

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Chris Browning

Hey everyone I’m Chris. Founder and editor at Gun News Daily. This site was originally started by my father who passed it on to me. Gun News Daily has been reporting on gun news and conservative politics since 2001. We are the original gun news source. Life-long Second Amendment Supporter.

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