This week I made a major decision. After decades of carrying a full-size pistol on the right hip – at least ninety-eight percent of the time – it’s time for a change. Missing disks in my back, bursitis in the hip and damaged muscles are telling me this ain’t working any longer. So, I’ve decided to try, or better “re-try” the shoulder holster.
I say re-try because the first holster purchased for my first semi-auto – Browning Hi Power – was a Bianchi shoulder holster. I wore it for a while, but soon switched over to strong side carry. The shoulder rig didn’t fit my lifestyle, and of course at eighteen I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I’m a little smarter now – as in, I know the people to talk to and the books to read to learn new skills - and a lot less active. At this stage of life, I think a shoulder rig will work great.
The problem I’m running into during my search for “perfection” is finding the exact style shoulder holster I want. This would be one that positions the pistol down low. I want the barrel of my three-inch revolver to be about belt level, with the pistol at an angle, butt forward. According to the “prototypes” I made with webbing, tape and belt holsters this should position the pistol where I can draw with the strong hand, arm across the body, or with the support hand, with palm outward and thumb facing to the rear. My quest continues.
With lots of repetition, and strict muzzle discipline, I think this would be a great carry option. And, it would be fairly easy to conceal. In the fall and winter, I wear baggy wool sweaters, which will cover the rig. In warmer weather it’s baggy, untucked shirts, or if necessary, a light sport coat.
As our lives change, we adapt. The key is knowing when it’s time to change, then having the discipline to change. I know plenty of people who simply refuse to admit they’re physically too mature to continue doing some of their “normal” activities like shooting large caliber weapons, full-contact sparring or running marathons. When the signs present it is time to change, as opposed to waiting until you’re forced to change.
Change is difficult. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to eliminate bad habits or program in something new and different – it’s going to require plenty of mental, and in this case physical discipline. And, evolving on your schedule, again a voluntary as opposed to an immediate change, provides you time to experiment and make changes until discovering your “perfect” holster. Plus, we know change keeps life interesting.
I have a feeling in the future life for gun owners is going to start getting a lot more “interesting.” So, keep your eyes on the horizon and your nose in the wind. Regardless of what the future brings, make sure you’re ready to adapt.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy. He is the author of The Book of Two Guns, AR-15 Skills and Drills, has a regular column in American Handgunner and makes some cool knives and custom revolvers. Visit Shootrite’s Facebook page for other details.