When it comes to pistol holsters, there is no shortage of options. Pocket carry is great for small pistols. An inside-the-waistband holster is probably the most common concealed holster, regardless of the position in the belt. Outside-the-waistband is the staple of uniformed police and military. There is another option, however, which is often overlooked. Once far more common, the shoulder holster seems to have fallen from favor. Is it still a viable option?


What’s a Shoulder Holster?

As the name implies, a shoulder holster is a pistol holder which hangs underneath one of your arms. The holster is supported by straps, which generally run around the shoulders and across the back. Often, a magazine pouch hangs under the arm opposite of the holster.


Advantages of a Shoulder Holster

At first glance, the design of the holster type may appear to be less practical than several of your other options. We’ll address some of these issues later on, but first, let’s cover the positives. This type of holster excels in several areas.

Firstly, some people just don’t like waistband carry. Whether inside or outside the waistband, carrying a gun around the waist can put a lot of pressure on the hips. Comfort is an oft-forgotten aspect of concealed carry, yet perhaps the most important. If you’ve tried carrying a pistol around the waist, but couldn’t get it to be comfortable, perhaps another option would be right for you.

Secondly, a shoulder holster is great when you are going to be sitting for extended periods of time. Perhaps you work in an office, with most of your time spent at a desk. Or, maybe you drive for a living and spend most of your days behind the wheel. Either way, if you spend a majority of time sitting, carrying off the shoulders can be far more comfortable than carrying around the waist.

Thirdly, the shoulder holster is great if you are going to be taking the pistol off frequently throughout the day. You can take the shoulder holster off as easily as you can take off a jacket. Best of all, you can do it without removing the pistol from the holster.


Disadvantages of a Shoulder Holster

As with any concealed carry choices, there are drawbacks to this type of holster as well. To truly prepare for concealed carry, gear options need to be viewed as unbiasedly as possible. This way, the pros and cons of each accessory can be weighed, and a personalized solution can be created.

If you are worried about draw speed, this type of holster may not be appealing. Given the shoulder holster’s design, the weapon is not being carried in a position which makes target acquisition quick.

Also, concealment itself may be more of an issue for this type of holster. If you are carrying inside of your waistband, you only need shirt long enough to cover your waistband. With a shoulder holster, you will need a jacket, vest, or outer shirt to conceal your weapon.

Lastly, a quality shoulder holster can be more expensive than other holster types, particularly if you are interested in a leather option.


Hopefully the above factors can help you decide whether or not carrying in the shoulder holster may be right for you. Always remember, check you state and local laws and educate yourself on the legality of carrying a weapon in your area.

For all your firearms needs, stop by Liberty Shooting Sports! We’re happy to help you, whether you’re a first-time gun-buyer or a veteran firearms specialist.