Concealed Carry: Pros And Cons Of Shoulder Carry

Concealed Carry

Choosing the right holster is one of the most critical aspects of concealed carry. Holsters should never be purchased based on their fashionable appearance. In addition to being durable, comfortable, convenient, and safe, the holster you choose should also be convenient.

The purpose of this article is to examine shoulder carries, discuss their benefits, and discuss their downsides. Using this article, you can decide whether shoulder carry is right for you.

Over the years, we have seen countless US police shows and movies featuring holsters. However, movies aren’t the only place shoulder holsters are used. You can effectively conceal your weapon with them, especially if you wear a jacket.

Why Use A Shoulder Holster?

Generally, shoulder holsters are better than waistband holsters when carrying is uncomfortable. Additionally, if you frequently take your gun on and off for various reasons, this is a good solution.

It is in such circumstances that a shoulder holster is ideal. Moreover, the shoulder holster is a great alternative to a waistband holster for those who prefer to carry their pistols on their bodies but keep them off the waistband and concealable…at least to a certain point.

Some people, after all, find wearing a gun belt and waistband holster uncomfortable. Yes, some companies take great care to design comfortable concealed carry holsters, but some people don’t like them.

Understanding How Shoulder Holsters Work

There has been an unfair reputation built up over the past few years regarding shoulder holsters. Shoulder holsters are usually used for firearms such as the Glock 26, 17, or 19 since the right type of holster can make a huge difference.

However, there is more polarization associated with shoulder holsters than traditional ones. For example, a veteran’s response to a question about shoulder holsters is often belittling or referencing Hollywood.

It is generally accepted that shoulder holsters are harmful, as most leading authorities condemn them. There are many reasons why people choose to travel while carrying, but most of them are concerned about comfort. It goes without saying that shoulder holsters aren’t for everyone.

In addition to feeling uncomfortable, shoulder holsters can be too complicated for the average gun owner. Depending on how much attention the design needs, it may not fit properly.

Regarding shoulder holsters, anyone considering any should be aware of the different types of ready fit they provide. For example, the hip holsters are ready to use once you take them out of their packaging. On the other hand, holsters for the shoulder are much more complicated.

When To Use A Shoulder Holster?

In the same way that switching between any type of product isn’t going from good to perfect, switching to a shoulder holster isn’t going from workable to perfect. The problems are just different in some respects.

A proper fit will ensure a more comfortable carry. The first step is to pick one that you can adjust. Many shoulder holsters only have one size. If that doesn’t fit, you are out of luck. An adequately fitted bag will ensure a more comfortable carry.

Secondly, how a shoulder holster feels on you determines whether you can carry your guns concealed. Contrary to popular belief, some people find concealment easy with one, while others find it nearly impossible.

Concealed Carry: Pros and Cons of Shoulder Carry

You have to consider your needs and the holster you purchase. In other words, a shoulder holster adds stuff where there normally wouldn’t be any. It creates problems! This additional material needs to be effectively covered up by your cover garment to pull off concealment.

Rather than wearing a snugly-fitting shirt over a shoulder holster, some people find that cinching the shirt firmly against the body will conceal the holster. Likewise, it works pretty well for some people to wear a suit coat.

Pros Of Shoulder Holsters

If one carries a firearm on their shoulder, one can easily access the firearm while seated. Likewise, you can easily reach the gun under your armpit as you drive or work at your desk regularly.

There is an advantage to this method in that it provides both holsters and magazine pouches in one package; additional accessories are not needed.

The following advantages are also associated with shoulder holsters:

You Can Be Discreet Much More Easily

Seeing gun prints through concealed carriers’ pants or shirts, the visual prints of holsters is a constant problem. Slimmer clothing, like those worn by many Americans, makes concealing your weapon difficult.

All of these worries can be eliminated by an effective shoulder holster. Wearing a coat or jacket all day long while concealing your weapon is possible with a shoulder holster, as long as the weather is cool.

Better Weight Distribution

A shoulder holster also has the advantage of distributing weight more evenly. In addition, the holster may feel lighter due to its sling-like design, though in some cases, it requires balancing with an accessory such as a clip, knife, flashlight, etc.

You Can Easily Access Your Firearm with Them

Having something that can’t be accessed immediately doesn’t make sense in concealed carry. It may be difficult to draw from some concealment holsters, including IWB holsters.

A shoulder holster is an ideal solution to this problem. Once you unzip/unbutton your jacket, you’re good to go! As an additional benefit, shoulder carry allows for an easy draw while seated, unlike IWBs or pocket holsters. Finally, if you need access to your firearm from your car, you can use this feature.

They Can Also Handle Weapons with Long Barrels

Shoulder holsters are an excellent solution for compact handguns, but you can also use them for long guns, machine guns, or even Uzis.

A leather Uzi shoulder holster made by Front Line may be of interest to you. If you plan on concealing a long-barreled pistol or UZI, you may want to wear a thick jacket or trench coat.


Shoulder carry is also effective if you live in a colder climate and wear jackets or coats frequently. A holster that slips under the outer layer is easier to access than an IWB rig that nips through layers.


As a final benefit, it provides a good alternative for carrying firearms that are too heavy to carry along the beltline.

Cons Of Shoulder Holsters

Honestly, this isn’t something you’re going to use every day. How come? There aren’t many clothing options available to you. For concealment of the gun, wear a jacket, coat, unbuttoned shirt/vest, or an unbuttoned vest at all times. It is not appropriate to wear T-shirts.

It’s Not Allowed to Use Them During Hand-To-Hand Combat

A shoulder holster’s main drawback is that an attacker can prevent you from accessing your weapon. You must fight off someone with your bare arms if they grab your chest when you are being attacked.

They Aren’t as Safe as Belt Holsters

When drawing your weapon from a shoulder holster, you should sweep bystanders and yourself before aiming. Holsters that require training, such as a shoulder holster, should only be used by those with the necessary training.


This method works for those who wear jackets constantly, but it won’t work for those who don’t wear jackets in the office.

Also, drawing a weapon from a shoulder holster can be awkward and slow. Instead of reaching across your body, you need to reach across your shoulders. The re-holstering process is also lengthy.

Different Types Of Shoulder Holsters

If you want to carry a shoulder holster horizontally, vertically, or angled, you must also decide which style you want.

Vertical Shoulder Holsters:

The muzzle will point downward in holsters configured vertically. Despite the long draw, it is slower than a traditional draw because a larger gun can be drawn.

Vertical holsters can be classified into two types, the first has the muzzle pointing upward and is commonly known as an upside-down holster.

Despite their easy concealment, they are the most difficult to grip properly because of the butt pointing toward the back and being on the backside of the centerline.

Additionally, the barrel length they can comfortably accommodate is limited by your armpit, which acts as the upper limit. Second, there are holsters with the muzzle pointing downward, which carry in the opposite direction.

A large, framed gun with a long barrel is an excellent choice. Handguns with longer barrels do trade off a bit of concealment when drawn from muzzle down holsters.

Horizontal Shoulder Holsters:

A horizontal holster positions the gun’s muzzle in front of the shooter, pointing the muzzle downward. With these, you may be limited to shorter barreled guns, depending on your height and width.

This is the most common source of information and is certainly the most convenient to draw from. In addition, compared to other options, the butt is carried furthest forward when the gun is held in hand, making it very natural to grip and draw the gun.

The gun’s longest dimension, however, cuts across the body’s shortest dimension, making them more difficult to conceal.

45-Degree Shoulder Holsters

Carrying a gun at a 45-degree angle with the muzzle facing up is a workable compromise between the two styles above. This type of holster allows easier access to the grip, while the carry configuration makes it easier to conceal the weapon.

Additionally, a 45-degree barrel will fit slightly longer barrels than a horizontal barrel. Therefore, when a gun is holstered in a steep-angled holster, the gun will be positioned at an angle, usually upwards at 45 degrees, although some holsters place the gun downwards at 35 degrees.

Note From The Author:

It may be ideal for carrying the equipment on your shoulder because of the weight distribution. An ideal choice for those with bad backs or wanting to carry a larger weapon, such as 1911. A concealed carry permit may also be ideal if you drive for a living.

The practice of carrying a weapon should be maintained by everyone who carries one. The shoulder may be a better option, however. Don’t stop drilling the motion but be sure to keep doing it over and over. Professional training may also be beneficial.

The Bottom Line

Carrying a firearm on the shoulder isn’t the most common method. However, this is a very good alternative if you cannot carry concealment under your belt.

Cross-drawing and placing the gun under the armpit should cover the non-dominant side armpit.

It takes some time to get used to shoulder holsters. It is, therefore, important to learn the correct methods first. So, there you have it: shoulder carrying pros and cons.

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