The Best Shoulder Holster

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The Best Shoulder Holster
UPDATED JANUARY 9, 2020
Our new pick for the best shoulder holster is the Masc Shoulder Holster, and we recommend the Galco Miami Classic II if you want a more modular shoulder holster system. We have also decided to add in the Kenai chest holster.
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UPDATED JANUARY 9, 2020

After 20 hours of research and actively testing 15 gun belts over 4 months we have decided that the Daltech Force Bullbelt Steel Core is the best gun belt to securely support your holster. It will carry all your tactical gear and holster without any sagging or stretching and looks like a real belt with a top quality finish.

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The best horizontal shoulder holster
Great value for a premium handmade shoulder holster. A rugged and functional design that offers excellent gun retention, comfort, and a top quality finish. The Masc holsters are available for the widest range of handgun models.
$118 from Amazon

The best vertical shoulder holster
The vertical version is slightly more expensive but still good value and offers the same ammo pouch and similar styling to the horizontal shoulder holster. It also performs just as well.
$139 from Amazon

A favorite with professionals all over the world
This design is copied by many other companies so you know it is good. Available for a wide range of guns in two colors.
$176 from Amazon
$176 from Brownells
The Galco Miami Classic II is probably the most popular shoulder holster system available with a strong reputation among gun enthusiasts. This model improves on past versions but it is also more expensive than the Masc shoulder holster. For the extra money you get a system that is fully modular with a wide variety of optional accessories and other components available. The holster system is available in two colors, tan and black with a high quality finish.
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Our Pick

masc shoulder holster
The Best Shoulder Holster
The Most Popular

Why you should trust me

I have been a firearms enthusiast and shooter most of my life. I am also a marine veteran and are currently teaching concealed carry courses. I enjoy helping people to learn how to use firearms safely and writing articles on that subject has now become part of my life. Reviews of any equipment are taken very seriously and are updated on a regular basis if any new information becomes available.

How we picked

 
testing shoulder holster
 
gun in shoulder holster
The best horizontal shoulder holster
Great value for a premium handmade shoulder holster. A rugged and functional design that offers excellent gun retention, comfort, and a top quality finish. The Masc holsters are available for the widest range of handgun models.
$118 from Amazon

The best vertical shoulder holster
The vertical version is slightly more expensive but still good value and offers the same ammo pouch and similar styling to the horizontal shoulder holster. It also performs just as well.
$139 from Amazon

Of all the shoulder holsters we tested the Masc shoulder holster came the closest to our quality requirements. The actual holster is constructed from a hand-made molding for a nearly perfect fit. These shoulder holsters are actually made in Turkey so you will need to add on an extra 4-6 days to the delivery time.

Masc has been making quality holsters for well over 20 years now. Don't let the fact they are made in another country put you off. Judging by all the positive customer reviews we have read they have a very helpful support team if you have any questions for them. To test that out we sent them some questions and had a reply within hours.

Another great point is that this shoulder holster is available for a very wide range of handgun models. In fact Masc make holsters for some very obscure handguns that no other United States holster manufacturer even bothers with. If you cannot see your handgun model contact the company and there is a very good chance they will just make a holster up for your model of handgun. We left their contact details in the sources section.

If you like a bargain then you simply cannot get better value for your money with the Masc Shoulder Holster, quality construction at an unbeatable price.

And you get all this for a really great price, in fact this is the main reason the Masc shoulder holsters took the number one spot. The runner-up Miami Classic II shoulder holster is considerably more expensive and does not offer much more. If you like a bargain then you simply cannot get better value for your money with the Masc Shoulder Holster, quality construction at an unbeatable price.

Because the holster is handmade the gun retention is very good. In fact too good in some cases as you may find the gun difficult to insert with a brand new holster. Not to worry though as this is common with new leather holsters. The leather simply needs to be worked in and you can do that by placing a thin plastic shopping bag around your gun and then inserting and removing the gun from the holster multiple times until you have the retention you are comfortable with. We have a more comprehensive guide on breaking in leather further down this page.

We also found the leather straps on the Masc Shoulder Holster to be slightly thicker than those on the Galco Miami Classic II holster. This made them feel like a better quality build and that they would last longer. Plus they were wider where they sit on the shoulders which makes them more comfortable to wear as they will not dig into your shoulders if you are carrying for extended periods of time. This was another factor that pushed the Masc Shoulder Holster to the top of the list.

The only thing we did not like was the plastic cross piece that fits on your back, it is made from Kydex so should not be an issue and nearly all the other brands of production shoulder holsters also use Kydex plastic for the same piece so we do not have much choice there.

Runner-Up: Galco Miami Classic II

 

How to safely use a shoulder holster

Before you draw your gun get your opposite hand (the one you are not using) and arm out of the way by raising it up and placing your hand behind your head, at the same time raise your elbow. By doing this your gun will not be pointed at your off-side arm when you draw.

You can now use your other arm to reach and draw the gun from the holster. As you do so make sure you keep your finger off the trigger.

 

Finding a quality shoulder holster

 
 

Breaking in a leather shoulder holster

 

First of all adjust the holster so that it rides up near the arm pit. You do not want it right in the arm pit, about 2 inches below the arm pit is perfect. I have seen too many people wearing their shoulder holsters too low.

Another important point is to create a balance on both sides. That means having two ammo magazines on one side of your body with the gun on the other side. The weight of the ammo magazines should then balance out the weight of the gun to some degree.

Adjusting the Galco Miami Classic II shoulder holster.

Shoulder holster position and angle

Shoulder holsters for women

woman wearing shoulder holster

I would recommend the shoulder holster as a gun holster for women more than men. This is because the more muscular a man is then the more difficult they find it to have the flexibility to twist their upper body and draw safely from a shoulder holster. Whereas most women do have the required body flexibility to safely draw from this style of holster.

The majority of IWB and OWB holsters have been developed for men's bodies and can be difficult to conceal under tight fitting women's clothing. If a woman tries to wear a holster developed for men then it can come at the expense of comfort. The shoulder holster is a solution to this problem as it bridges the gap between comfort and concealment.

Women often find that shoulder holsters are a comfortable alternative to belt holsters.
 

Conclusion