The Pros and Cons of a Shoulder Holster for Concealed Carry
Previously, we gave you information on the various waistband-carry positions. Now we’d like to take look at a debated carry style: the shoulder holster.
While this carry position has a bad reputation, often viewed as unreliable and reckless, there are some situations when this could be the right option for your concealed-carry needs.
Pros of a Shoulder Holster
One of the main reasons that people choose a shoulder holster is that it allows for easier access when sitting in a car, especially when buckled. Accessing a firearm at your waist while wearing a seatbelt can be difficult, but shoulder carry gives you faster access to the weapon in an emergency. Shoulder holsters are also easy to conceal in cool and cold weather, as the jackets provides almost complete concealment when properly managed.
Some users also like the weight distribution of a shoulder holster. Because of the sling-like holster drawn over the shoulder, the weight is sometimes easier to bear, although you may need to balance the opposite side of the holster with a clip, knife, flashlight, or another accessory.
Cons of a Shoulder Holster
More than any other reason, people are concerned with shoulder holsters because of “sweeping.” The firearm in a shoulder sling is pointing towards the rear; when you draw your weapon, you have to “sweep” the barrel 180 degrees to aim at the target. Anyone who understands basic firearms safety can tell you that this is a serious danger. For this reason, some feel that shoulder holsters should only be for highly trained individuals.
The other issue with shoulder holster is that the draw can be slower than a hip draw, and if you are in close-quarters or wrestling with an attacker, draw can be extremely difficult. The draw is slower, less natural, and takes time to learn, and because of the sweeping action, some ranges actually prohibit shoulder carry.
Bottom Line: Shoulder Carry ONLY With Practice
Because of the weight distribution, shoulder carry may be ideal if you have a bad back or want to carry a larger weapon, such as a 1911. It may also be ideal if you drive for a living, assuming, of course, that concealed carry is allowed.
Everyone who carries a weapon should maintain hours of regular practice, but if you are going to carry at the shoulder, be sure that you constantly drill the motion over and over and over. It may be wise to get professional training as well.