Shoulder Stuff

From Dirty Harry to just about every cop show since Dragnet, the shoulder holster has been an iconic presence. As a kid, I would occasionally catch a glimpse of a real shoulder rig worn by one of the truck drivers who worked for my dad. I don’t think the Teamsters union approved, but those guys had to make deliveries in some pretty rough neighborhoods.

I was so fascinated by the shoulder holsters; my brother and I would use old belts and leather strips to make shoulder holsters for our cap guns. It’s amazing the things you can do with bunch of old nuts, bolts and a pop-rivet gun. I think we created the first-ever two-cap-gun shoulder rigs. It’s too bad we didn’t have a better marketing team, we coulda’ been famous.

Fast-forward a few years to my days in the USMC. I found myself using a shoulder holster to hide my M9 or unauthorized Glock under my flak jacket, and sometimes under my cammies — my CO never had a clue.

My initial exposure to seeing a detective attempt to shoot from a shoulder rig happened during my first week on the police department range staff. The first day of the shoot, the senior range master told me to always wear my vest and also said I was going to see things that would make me want to quit. “Wait until you see how some of these guys handle weapons and shoot,” he said.

Before the first shot was even fired, a senior detective with a cheap shoulder holster had violated every one of the range safety rules at least two or three times — just during the serial number verification.

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2 thoughts on “Shoulder Stuff

  1. Doug Dopkins

    Michael Janich:
    I just read your article on the Col. Rex Applegate: Origins of the S&W Centennial Revolver. I was really impressed with the Myers’ belt holster. I googled Myers & I guess they must be no longer in business. I have a few questions on the rig. It looks like it has a wire stiffner around the perimeter of the holster. Is that correct? Also I don’t believe you commented on how comfortable the holster was. I thought the design was great & because you duplicated the holster, I guessed you liked it also. I could see a 1911 with the barrel up like the Smith in this type of rig. I see a stud holding the gun at the grip safety below the beaver tail or just a strap there. Thanks again for the article.
    Doug Dopkins

  2. Erich Collins

    I just read in the May 2012 American Hand Gunner magazine the twin “J” Frame holster… you have this option in full size 1911 double rig?

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