‘Die Hard,’ ‘Miami Vice’ Make Shoulder Holsters Cool

Office John McClane (20th Century Fox Films)

You don’t have to be Officer John McClane to wear a shoulder holster rig. While its been glamourized by the film and television industry, it turns out that the shoulder holster not only looks super badass but can be supremely practical.

First, shoulder holsters that are well-balanced provide a surprising amount of comfort. The dual straps allow for a more even distribution of weight. For those who may have to sit for a portion of the day, the shoulder holster works much better than a belted holster.

Ok, so you’re still thinking police detectives. Whether at their desks filling out the much dreaded paperwork or patrolling the mean streets in the squad car, seated police detectives would most likely top the list of gun-holstered professions. Tying in with comfort, people who have bad back or hip injuries will do well with the straps on the shoulder holster. Women may find this type of holster more comfortable. Lastly (and most importantly to some), you can carry two guns when wearing a shoulder holster.

But before you jump right into one, do note the dangers regarding this particular type of holster:

  • Horizontal-oriented shoulder holsters points the firearm at objects and people who are behind you. However, unless the firearm is mechanically unsound, it should not fire unless the trigger is pulled. This means you should exercise extreme caution when reaching for your firearm.
  • The shoulder holsters have a slower draw time than belt holsters, as you have to reach across your chest, release the retention device and draw the gun. Perhaps this is not a fantastic choice for police detectives after all.

Since there is a certain level of risks, shoulder holsters require more training than belt holsters. Shoulder holsters are not for everyone. For those who are shoulder holster compatible, here are a few styles to start your search off with. Note that shoulder holsters are available in horizontal and vertical orientations.

Blackhawk’s Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster

Blackhawk’s Nylon Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster is lightweight. It has a molded thumb break and non-stretch retention strap. It works with a single row mag and double row mag cases.


Blackhawk Nylon Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster

Safariland ALS Shoulder Holster System

Safariland’s 1051 ALS Shoulder Holster System provides heightened retention capabilities. Upon holstering the weapon, it locks into place. To draw the firearm, you have to deactivate with your thumb while gripping the weapon. The holster can be worn in either vertically or horizontally.

Safariland ALS Shoulder Holster, model 1051

Galco Miami Classic Holster

The holster made famous by the Miami Vice, the Galco Miami Classic Holster is an industry favorite. The gun is held snugly to the body. Used in many Hollywood productions, the Miami Classic is loved by many.

Miami Classic Shoulder Holster (Galco website)

Do you shoulder holster?

2 Comments on “‘Die Hard,’ ‘Miami Vice’ Make Shoulder Holsters Cool

  1. Shoulder Holsters it’s always cool! It’s the more effective way to carry and very comfortable.

  2. Very “cool looking” thanks to Don Johnson. I prefer the brown leather double mag horizontal versiion.

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