A good shoulder holster isn’t just a fashion statement, it’s a way for a gun owner to carry their weapon, keep is safely secured, and have ready access to it, if so needed. Gun owners shouldn’t just think about the practicalities of these holsters, however. They should also think about which model is comfortable and fits within their budget. To give our readers the information they need to make an informed decision when they’re buying their new holster, we’ve decided to do a rundown on the best shoulder holsters that are currently available for purchase and ready to meet gun owner’s needs.

Quick Summary of the Best Shoulder Holsters

Best Overall: Galco Gunleather Classic Light Holster

Anyone searching for a quality shoulder holster will want to examine this one from Galco Gunleather a little bit more closely. That’s because this product is made with quality suede that not only looks good but also feels good to the touch as well. It’s made from center-cut steer hide leather and is equipped with four pivoting straps. This holster also has a medium-width harness that’s backed with a swiveling backplate and accepts cuff cases, tie-downs, and other such accessory attachments. This holster is also easy to draw from, with the holster not restricting movement whatsoever, but that’s only after the holster’s break-in period. Before that, it’s a little bit stiff.

Most of the complaints that we’ve seen or heard about these holsters were that they were hard to draw from. When we dug a little bit deeper, however, we found that most of the people who complained about this holster’s stiffness didn’t give it a proper break-in period. Unlike holsters made from nylon and other synthetic materials, leather requires a breaking-in period that allows it to conform to the shape of the pistol and allows it to loosen up a bit. Once the holster has been properly broken-in, it works exceptionally well, and we were quite happy with the results. It’s great for a variety of Glock models, double-action revolvers, or semiautomatic pistols.

What impressed us the most about this holster, however, wasn’t its look or its practicality, but how it felt when we wore it. Although we do have to admit that it was a bit stiff when it was initially worn, after it was broke in, it was quite comfortable. It kept the firearm at just the right angle for drawing it, and it didn’t push the sidearm into our ribs the way that other holsters tended to do. Of all of the models we’ve tried, we felt that this was the best shoulder holster available and one that we’d have no problem using regularly.

What we liked about it
  • The holster has a nice classic look to it.
  • Made of quality leather.

Best Value: LINIXU Deep Concealment Holster

Even though some people might want to show off that they’re carrying their sidearm around with them, other people would like to carry their firearms a little more discretely. Fortunately, this shoulder holster gives the gun owner that very option. This model is designed to fit around the chest and can be worn either over clothing or under clothing. It allows the consumer to carry their firearm discretely and keep it close at hand. And because it’s fully adjustable and helps to distribute the weight of the firearm evenly over the back and shoulders, this should holster is easier to carry—which is important for security guards and law enforcement officials who have to carry their weapon all day.

Another thing worth mentioning about this holster is that it’s padded in such a way that it helps to protect the person using it as well as their gun. The padding on this holster keeps the gun from poking into the side of the ribs, and it also protects the gun from the user’s perspiration. These holsters are designed in the U.S. and manufactured in China, so they have the style and the price that gun owners expect. This holster is just a fraction of the cost of leather or nylon holsters, but it’s capable of holding up to all day everyday use. It’s a model that holds up quite well.

If there was one flaw that we felt this holster had, it was the fact that we didn’t feel that it gave the user quick access to their firearm. The way this holster holds the gun makes it a little bit more difficult for the user to pull their weapon, at least compared to other shoulder holsters. This fact is exacerbated when the user wears the holster underneath their shirt or jacket. Although with a little bit of practice, it becomes a bit easier to draw the weapon, it’s still not as quick as other types of holsters. That’s just something that gun owners might want to consider before purchasing this holster.

What we liked about it
  • This holster is comfortable to wear.
  • It has a budget-friendly price.

Best Lightweight: Condor Modular Vertical Pistol Holster

Condor is a company known for manufacturing some quality products, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that this vertical shoulder holster is so well designed and durable. It’s made with a modular design, which simply means that it can be used either right-handed or left-handed, and it comes with two pistol mag pouches to provide the user with easy ammo access. This product also has fully adjustable straps, so the gun owner can adjust it to make it as comfortable as possible. It’s also equipped with a padded shoulder harness, which also helps to improve these holsters fit.

This holster also doesn’t have the same amount of bulk as some other shoulder holsters we tested had. This one seemed to be quite slim and to hold the pistol in a comfortable position. Speaking of pistols, this holster is designed to handle both medium and large pistols, so just about anyone can use it. If there was one complaint that we had about this holster, it was the fact that its snaps felt a little stiff. What we mean by that is that we found there were hard to snap and were even hard to unsnap. This may make these holsters ill-suited to gun owners who need to quickly draw their weapon. Perhaps with a little bit of use, these snaps will eventually loosen up, but up until now, that hasn’t been the case.

If there’s one thing that we liked about these holsters, it was the fact that they didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Sure, this holster didn’t have a nice leather feel to them, but they did feel durable and like they were capable of lasting for awhile. In fact, the most attractive feature of this holster probably is its ability to hold up to everyday use. It’s easy to see how this could be used as an EDC holster. Another thing worth mentioning is that it’s not only available in coyote brown, but is also available in black or olive drab, so there’s a holster set for just about anyone’s style.

What we liked about it
  • This is a durable & lightweight holster.
  • This holster is well made.

A Guide To Buying & Using Shoulder Holsters

Having covered some of the best shoulder holsters available, we thought that we’d shift gears a bit and talk about how gun owners can buy a holster that works well for them and the gun they’re carrying. To address those needs, we put together this guide on the subject—a guide that we hope will be helpful to anyone looking to get a new shoulder holster.

The Pros & Cons Of Shoulder Holsters

Before we get into the actual bit where we give our readers recommendations for buying a shoulder holster, we thought that we’d take a few moments and talk about the pros and cons of using a shoulder holster. Although the following information probably won’t be news to anyone who’s used several different holsters before, for new gun owners it’s an essential piece of information that will help them determine if a shoulder holster is suitable for them.

Pros:

  • Shoulder holsters are available in a wider variety of options than other types of holsters.
  • They’re comfortable for everyday carry.
  • They make the gun easy to carry and place them within easy reach.

Cons:

  • It can be difficult to hide the gun unless they’re placed under clothing or jackets.
  • Drawing from a shoulder holster might be slower than drawing from other holster types.

What To Look For When Buying A New Shoulder Holster

Once the gun owner has determined that a shoulder holster is appropriate for them or suits their needs, they then have to choose the best one available. To help solve that problem, we’ve provided a few tips below that will enable any gun owner to buy a great shoulder holster for their needs.

Step One: Choose The Appropriate Type Of Shoulder Holster

The first step to choosing a great holster is to decide which one is best suited for the gun owner’s needs. Modern shoulder holsters come in one of three basic styles and those styles are Vertical, Horizontal and 45-degree shoulder holsters. Let’s take a closer look at each of these separate holster types to see what benefits they impart to the gun owner.

Vertical Holsters

These shoulder holsters are designed to keep the gun close against the body, which makes them easy to draw, although not as easy to draw as horizontal holsters. These holsters are also easier to conceal than other types of shoulder holsters.

Horizontal Holsters

These holsters keep the pistol horizontally in the holster. This makes drawing the weapon quicker and easier than with a vertical holster. Unfortunately, these types of holsters don’t conceal the weapon very well—unless of course, the gun owner is using it for a smaller handgun.

45-Degree Holster

As their name implies, these holsters keep the firearms pointing up at an angle of approximately 45-degrees. These types of holsters make concealing and drawing revolvers a lot easier than other types of holsters.

Step Two: Consider Adjustment Options

The next step to ensuring that the holster works well is to make sure that it provides good adjustments. Being able to properly adjust the holster will ensure that it’s not only comfortable to wear but that it also keeps the weapon safely secure. The holster should be able to be used with a variety of different clothing and will allow the gun owner to adjust it to suit their needs. One thing that gun owners should be specifically aware of is whether the holster has a thumb break. A thumb break is a retaining strap that prevents the firearm from being unintentionally vacated from the holster. This is especially important for people who are wearing their firearm while engaging in physical activity. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the holster uses quality snaps that can be snapped and unsnapped easily to release the weapon from the holster.

Other Options To Consider

Finally, as we conclude this guide, we would like to give the gun owner a few more things to think about before they choose a new shoulder holster. The following additional features are some of the things that gun owners might want to think about before purchasing their next should holster.

  • Consider the cut and style of the shoulder holster.
  • Consider the material the holster is made from.
  • Make sure the holster fits appropriately.
  • Make sure the holster fits the gun it’s going to be used for.
  • Check to see if the holster supports additional ammo cartridges.
  • Make sure the holster can be used either right-handed or left-handed.

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