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Current Lead-time 8-10 weeks


Leather How to Wear A Shoulder Holster? Find All The Information You Need

  • 5 min read

Shoulder holsters used to be the concealed carry style of most cops in the 1980s. But that doesn't mean they have been overtaken by other carry styles like IWB and OWB. On the contrary, they remain one of the most reliable and comfortable ways to carry a gun while ensuring it is concealed, especially during long drives and trips.

Shoulder holsters work well for people of different body sizes. They conceal medium-sized pistols particularly well. In this guide, we'll explain in detail the process of wearing them.

What Is A Shoulder Holster?

The Elegance of Shoulder Holsters

A shoulder holster is a kind of holster that the shooter wears over the shoulder. It hangs from the shoulder and is worn under the arm. The holster is attached to the shoulder rig from above and to the pants from the bottom. It, along with the handgun, can be disguised under a coat or jacket. Note that a shoulder holster sits beneath your non-draw hand, allowing you to draw with your dominant hand across your body.

This kind of holster comes in various styles, which work well to conceal firearms with different types of clothing. The holster concealer carries your weapon in both warm and cold seasons.

One of the most prominent gunfighters in American history who is associated with wearing a shoulder holster is the legendary lawman Frank Hamer. Many overseas operatives and investigators in the 1980s also used this holster design. The shoulder holster took the handgun’s weight away from the hips when support gear was carried and shifted it to the shoulders.




Steps to Wear A Shoulder Holster for Concealed Carry

Follow these key steps to wear a shoulder holster and carry your weapon discreetly.

  • Before wearing the holster, it's essential to choose the correct hand. If you draw with your right hand, a right-handed holster should be chosen. Lefties should use a left-handed holster.
  • Take your empty shoulder holster and put it on just like you would put on any jacket.
  • Slip your arms one by one through the loops. The crossed straps of the holster should be at the back.
  • The holster should be positioned high near your armpit, slightly forward of your arm. The gun should be felt two inches below your armpit.
  • Adjust the straps so the holster can sit comfortably. This will prevent any restrictions on the movement.
  • The straps should cross high on your shoulders. They should be just below your neck. It will dispense the weight evenly.
  • Be cautious of how your shoulder holster is supposed to fit. The straps should be nice and tight, and the gun should be up close to your body.
  • Insert your gun into the holster and magazines (if any) into the opposite magazine pouch. This will spread the weight in a balanced way across your shoulders.
  • Now, slip into a loose jacket to conceal the holster. Ensure that the jacket does not press very tightly against the gun in your holster.
  • To enable quick access to the gun, keep the front of your jacket open to the gun's level.
  • Now, try to draw your gun multiple times to get familiar with the motion.

Different Types of Shoulder Holsters

There are many types of shoulder holsters for varied situations and preferences. At Wright Leather Works LLC, we craft the following types of this concealed carry setup.

Horizontal Shoulder Holsters

As the name suggests, the holster permits you to carry the firearm horizontally. It lies flat against your body, making it a great choice for use under jackets. The holster points the pistol's barrel away from your body, enhancing your safety. This type is ideal for carrying small firearms. At Wright Leather Works, horizontal shoulder holsters are made to work uninterruptedly with their rigs. They also feature a thumb break for safely carrying it with the shoulder rig.

Vertical Shoulder Holsters

Vertical shoulder holsters are for carrying large guns vertically, usually high on the chest or under your armpit. The holster employs a harness system. It goes over both shoulders to distribute the weight properly preventing discomfort. The holsters are highly comfortable and facilitate seamless access to the gun and fast draw.

Optics-Ready Shoulder Holsters

Optics-ready shoulder holsters are deep concealment gear that accommodates guns with sights and lasers. These can be Romeo, Trijicon, Vortex, Holosun, and others. Also known as light-bearing shoulder holsters, they are molded on the precise replica of your handgun and laser.

What to Look For When Buying a Shoulder Holster?

Keep in mind the following points when buying a strong and properly fitting shoulder holster.


The holster should move when you move. A good holster stretches, flexes, and moves with the user's movements. For example, suppose you raise your arms while wearing the holster. If it does not stretch with your movement, you will feel uncomfortable. Look at the major joints of the holster. They should have a material like elastic that flexes with varying movements.


Shoulder holsters should be made of a soft and comfortable material like leather. Durable full-grain leather is comfortable and ensures a good fit. Also, you don't need to do any break-ins if you buy a good-quality leather holster. Here at Wright Leather Works, we craft custom shoulder leather holsters with excellent stitching and tight fit with a holstering welt at the mouth.


Retention is crucial for the holster to retain the gun and prevent unauthorized access even during vigorous activities. A holster that is custom-molded to the exact gun model keeps the weapon secure and safe. It also lets you draw the gun quickly without compromising safety. Wright Leather Works Maverick shoulder holsters feature a thumb break, and the harness is held together by Chicago screws. This level of adjustability offers the utmost security.

Availability of Options

A shoulder holster with options to carry two guns or four mags is extremely convenient. Find whether you can get extra platforms with additional mags from the store. Alternatively, inquire whether there are extra platforms for additional guns apart from the two guns your shoulder holster carries.

Trigger Guard Coverage

Your shoulder holster should be made to prioritize your safety. It includes complete coverage of the trigger area. The trigger coverage should be customized to your specific gun. It keeps the finger off the trigger and prevents the threat of accidental discharge. Another feature to look out for to ensure safety is the security straps for the holster and the magazine carrier that link to your belt.

Summing Up

Shoulder holsters are comfortable and reliable ways to conceal and carry small and large pistols. Finding one that fits your needs while providing safety and easy access is key to enjoying their benefits. Such holsters are also sturdy and can withstand wear from frequent usage. At the Wright Leather Works store, you can explore a range of top-quality shoulder holsters in various types. We have a variety of them for military men, hunters, civilians, and budding armed professionals.

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