Properly Sizing Your Shoulder Holster
on 11th Jun 2021
Shoulder holsters are not as popular as hip-carry rigs probably because many people don't understand the shoulder rig, how it works and most importantly, how to get one that fits.
A shoulder rig has to fit across your back and still let your carry weapon ride safely, securely with easy access under your arm. A holster that fits in a pocket or somewhere around your hips doesn't need to be sized to fit you.
We also need to know what gun you carry. Tucker Gunleather holsters are custom modeled to fit your firearm.
Our shoulder rigs have a tremendous amount of adjustment room. They will fit most people. Very large or very small people should send us a measurement first.
Here is how to measure:
Have someone with a tape measure put the tape just below your breasts.
Run the tape straight across your back, sides and front.
Breathe normally. The measurement needs to be when you inhale.
If you have a fraction of an inch showing, go to the next full inch.
This is usually all we need to make sure the shoulder rig fits you properly. On very large individuals, we may need another measurement. If so, we will contact you.
Wearing Your Shoulder Holster
Wearing your shoulder holster is not the same as sliding a hip-carry holster onto a belt. The shoulder rig goes across your back.
Wiki How has a short tutorial on how to put on a shoulder holster and adjust the straps to fit.
One thing the Wiki How does not mention is the belt loop. Tucker Gunleather has belt loops. These hook into your belt to help hold the holster down and stop it from sliding around as you move.
When you adjust the belt loop, it needs to be secure enough to hold everything steady, but not so tight that it pulls the rig down hard enough to cause pain in your shoulders and neck area.
We recommend you put on an old T-shirt and put your rig on without a gun or magazines. Bend over, twist from side to side and reach for the gun and magazines. If something feels too loose or tight, make adjustments. When you get it set, then put an unloaded gun and unloaded mags in your rig. Now go through the same actions and draw your carry piece. Check for comfort levels again and make adjustments.
If you wear your shoulder rig over a sweater or something very heavy, you may need to make some slight adjustments to accommodate the additional bulk of the clothes.
Over time, your shoulder holster will mold itself to you. Our premium leather "learns" to fit you, your gun and the magazines you want to carry.
Drawing from a shoulder holster is a different motion than pulling from the hip or an abdominal carry. You need to practice. As you practice, you will probably make small adjustments to the holster position.
The biggest differences between a hip or pocket holster and the shoulder rig are reaching across your chest instead of to your waist and where you reach. If you are primarily right-handed, your carry piece is on the left. If you are left-handed, it is on the right side of your torso.
Like drawing from any holster, you need to learn how to do it in a hurry. When you need your carry piece to defend yourself or your family, you need to be able to get it in your hand as fast as possible. The threat is not going to give you time to find it.
Shoulder holsters are an excellent way to carry concealed if you can wear a vest or jacket. You do not have to wear something heavy. Even a light cotton vest is enough to hide the rig.
If you carry compact handguns, any vest you have on hand will probably fit over the gun. If you carry large to magnum handguns, you probably need to go up one size in the vest.
Again, practice is critical. Learn how to reach smoothly under the vest to draw your carry weapon.
Carrying your sidearm in a shoulder rig for hunting is a good idea.
1) You do not have a gun on your hip that can hang up in tight undergrowth.
2) The handgun stays out of the way when you reach for something else. Properly worn, the holster will not interfere with mounting a long gun.
3) The action of drawing across your chest is less noticeable to whatever you are hunting than reaching for something on your side. Your arm slides across and does not disrupt your profile. Drawing from your side creates additional lines as your arm bends away from your body.
We stock single and double-gun rigs. We also stock rigs that let you carry several spare magazines. Pack what you need when you need it for any situation you may face.