When the weather gets cold, you know it’s time to bust out that shoulder holster.

If you’ve got a 1911, you know there’s no way that could conceal around your ankle. And sticking it in your waistband would be more than uncomfortable.

In this article, we’ll be running through the reasons to own a shoulder holster if you’re planning on carrying a full-size 1911 pistol.

Since you may be new to this, we’ll explain how to fit it to your body, too. Especially for concealment purposes.

When drawing your gun, it will be different than drawing from your waist. Follow our step by step instructions when practicing. This will ensure a smooth draw and teach your mind how to react in any emergency scenario where you may need to draw.

Most importantly, we’ll review a number of different 1911 style shoulder holsters for everyday carry.

**If you want to skip the full reviews, we found that the #1 best option for the fastest draw with most concealment is the Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster. Find out the latest price on Amazon and any discounts here.

Because of its full size, popularity, and ease of use. We will be looking at holsters that can fit the 1911 handgun. It should be said, however, that pretty much all of these holsters are able to accommodate a handful of other firearms as well as the 1911.

Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster System


**Our #1 pick for the best quality concealment and fastest draw
*Great for both left and right-handed citizens

We have looked at Galco before, and they consistently made high-quality products. This leather shoulder holster for your 1911 is one of them.

The straps are held together by a “clover” harness as opposed to a simple metal ring, so nothing is going to be digging into your spine throughout the day.

This unique harness also allows each strap to pivot independently for added comfort. The gun is held vertically. This means the gun is pointed downward, instead of horizontally towards your back.

It’s ideal for someone on the thinner side who wants to carry with a shoulder holster. It will fit better under regular clothing, and the trigger guard will prevent any accidental firings.

The vertical holding position will also add to your draw speed, this is one of the best rigs if you want to draw your weapon quickly.

It comes in two colors, depending on which you prefer, and also holds two additional magazines. Each of which is secured by their own snap down clips.

So no matter the activity, you know that nothing is going to come loose or be caught on something and fire accidentally.

Sometimes, if you aren’t weighing down the opposite side of the holster with something, it can shift because of the weight of the gun. To fix this, you can secure the opposite side of the holster to your belt.

Some reviewers did note that they’d prefer to secure it to their belt to balance out the weight. Galco offers a tie down to do just that. You can find that here if you’re interested.

To see the latest price on the Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster, head to Amazon here.

Galco Jackass Shoulder Holster


**Fully modular; allows customizations with size and other Galco products
**Made for right-hand draw

Another Galco model, this leather shoulder holster features a horizontal gun positioning.

Meaning that the muzzle is pointed behind you at all times.

You will need to be slightly careful with what you’re wearing to make sure the muzzle doesn’t poke into your clothing and imprint, but that’s easy enough to be aware of.

Like the previous model, each of the straps can move independently for added comfort due to the clover style harness.

But what really separates this model is that it’s fully modular, using a set of screws you can adjust the height of both your weapon and magazines, depending on how big you are. Or fully remove them in order to put another Galco product which you would prefer. It comes with 2 slots for magazines.

The sky is the limit with this type of holster. The gun holster itself is also designed to close securely with your weapons hammer back, so you can keep a round in the chamber, should you desire.

To see the current price and any discounts on the Galco Jackass, head to Amazon here.

Under Control Tactical


**Focuses on comfort, not necessarily concealment
**One-size-fits-all holster
**Most affordable option

Moving into a slightly different territory, this harness is made from modern materials as opposed to leather, like the previous two.

This is one of the most affordable, and arguably the most comfortable. Unlike the leather iterations this one has special, padded shoulders which means that no matter what you’re carrying, you are going to get a good deal of added comfort. You won’t have thin straps pushing down on your shoulders.

Additionally, because nothing is custom molded, you are able to carry a vast array of firearms and magazines in the “one size fits all” weapon holster.

The drawback of this is that the weapons holster is much more bulky, with the Galco products being form fitted.

And because this uses simple straps, you can adjust it with your hands to the perfect size, without needing any tools to assist in modular support.

This won’t be the fastest draw, won’t hold your weapons the most effectively and will be the bulkiest. But for someone who wants to see what a shoulder harness feels like and if it works for them before investing in a more expensive brand, then this would be your best bet. It’s a great option for a first-time buyer who is looking for comfort!

Check out the latest price on the Under Control Tactical Shoulder Harness here on Amazon.

Galco Miami Classic


**The Classic, 1970s Shoulder Holster

Ok, ok, we know there are 3 Galcos on this list.

This is the original shoulder holster from the 1970s. The often imitated but never perfected style of very concealable shoulder mounted weapon retention system. With bonus points going to anyone who knows why they chose the name they did.

Like the previous Galco models this one is made from premium saddle leather, uses the clover harness and it totally customizable to allow for the perfect fit or for you to be able to alter what it is that you’re carrying.

It’s a horizontal holster, so again, the gun is pointed behind you. This is also one of the most lightweight and concealable shoulder holsters on the market.

I suggest that you buy the tie downs with it, which as previously mentioned will hook onto your belt and make it so your firearm and magazines move around less when you’re crouched over or moving around a lot.

There is a reason why this holster is so famous, it’s one of the best on the entire market. It’s an investment, but it will last you a lifetime.

Find your soulmate’s price on Amazon here.

Linixu Deep Concealment


**Our pick for the most concealed holster!
**Great for left or right handed gun owners.

This is a very interesting product that we felt warranted a space on this list.

Unlike the previous models we discussed, this is not a traditional shoulder holster. It’s not made from leather and doesn’t allow you to carry additional magazines.

What this product amounts to is a wide, stretchy, velcro fastened belt that is worn on your upper torso. Sort of like the kind you would see movers wearing. With a single shoulder strap that prevents the product from slipping down.

And rather than the firearm being held under your arm, it’s held just in front of it, meaning you can move around without much issue.

The main benefit of this product is that it can be worn over a simple white shirt for comfort, and be concealed beneath a dress shirt or slightly baggy T-shirt.

No jackets are required to carry this shoulder holster, which is a huge plus. You’ll be able to wear it all year around, even in the summer months. Not just the winter.

Unfortunately, that makes it a little bit difficult to draw your weapon quickly if you find yourself in a situation that requires you to do so.

But for the purpose of convenience and comfort, there is no equal to this product. Linixu really did find a way to reinvent the wheel, and I can respect that.

Find the Linixu Deep Concealment holster here on Amazon.

When to use a shoulder holster?

Plain and simple. When you want to be comfortable.

Colder climates where you wear jackets are ideal for carrying with a shoulder holster.

Alternatively, if you can, you should use a shoulder holster if you spend a lot of time sitting in a car or at a desk. An in waistband holster can be uncomfortable in those situations, digging into your backside.

Why use a shoulder holster?

A shoulder holster’s main positive attribute is that it’s the only style of holster you can use to conceal carry a full size, or large firearm effectively and comfortably.

You can even carry two firearms, or one and number of extra magazines, which is much more common.

Often in the waistband holsters don’t give you the option to carry an additional magazine, so this is a big plus.

With a little bit of practice, you will also be able to draw your weapon from concealment quickly and effectively.

How to fit a shoulder holster properly?

Shoulder holsters typically have straps that run in an “X” across your back and over your shoulders. Joined either via a metal ring or being sewn together, these straps hold the weapons or magazines below your arms while not covering your chest.

The middle of the “X” should join together just below the collar of your shirt.

The firearm goes under your non-dominant arm, so you can cross draw. And on some models, one or two additional straps will run from the weapon holsters themselves and connect onto your belt.

These are optional but will even out the pressure that the weight of the gun creates, preventing the straps from riding up on one side and digging into your underarms. They will also hold the weaponry closer to your body, so you can run without them shaking around everywhere.

How to draw from concealment


Drawing from concealment can be a little bit tricky, especially shoulder holsters.

It’s important to practice this over and over to make sure you’ve got a smooth draw. Especially since you’ll be drawing from one arm, across your chest, to your handgun.

If you sense the need to handle your gun, fold your arms (don’t cross them) as casually as possible so your dominant hand is near, or on, your weapon.

Put your non-dominant hand on the opposing shoulder and lift your elbow up, so your chin can touch your forearm. This removes it as an obstacle and allows you to draw under your raised arm. You can also use this elbow to jab and create space if necessary.

Draw your firearm in a smooth motion below your raised arm. As the firearm passes your raised elbow, drop it down, allowing your other hand to come forward and join your gun hand.

You should now be standing with both hands on your gun, pointing straight forward. The entire process can be completed in three motions, and with practice, be done in only a few seconds.

How to conceal a shoulder holster?

I’ll be reviewing a specific shoulder holster that wraps around the chest called the Linixu Deep concealment. Its purpose is to conceal your firearm as much as possible. If you’re not interested in that one specifically, read on.

Concealing your shoulder holster is really as easy as wearing a coat or jacket, making sure that no one can see your holster underneath the layer.

So if you have a job where you need to wear layers or live in a cooler climate then this is an ideal method of concealment. A blazer is an optimal jacket for concealment, as it is buttoned up when you’re standing. But you can still draw from it more quickly than something that is zipped up.

The Verdict

We’ve discussed a number of shoulder holsters for 1911s in this article, each of which has their own useful applications.

The #1 pick of all the ones reviewed is the Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster System. It can conceal a full-size 1911 beautifully because of the vertical build. It’s also built to last a lifetime because of the leather material and quality of the Galco brand. Check it out on Amazon here.

Please leave a comment with any other questions you may have about any of the products reviewed. If you have personal experience with any, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on your favorites.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Nick says July 28, 2017

Actually, my favourite one is the shoulder holster because it holds an advantage to carry two weapons simultaneously. Also you can carry extra magazines and the best part is that with a little bit of practice you can easily withdraw your weapons from your armory easily and effectively.

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