I’d decided that I need a new holster for my .357. (Vintage Ruger Security Six, 4″). Field holster I guess you’d say… I don’t concealed carry often anymore, just open carry for hunting/hiking.
Until recently I’ve done belt carry, have a great pancake holster from Simply Rugged that works phenominally.
But I can’t do belt carry anymore;
Problem #1, it kills my screwed up hips, and #2 at current weight loss level/clothing sizing, keeping my pants up is impossible with the weight of a gun…Hell, it’s hard enough without the gun. Lol. (belt tight enough to hold it all up, cuts into back/hips too much, back to problem #1)
I’ve tried regular shoulder holsters. No go. Got a leather Galco “miami classic” style for a full size auto, have had it a decade, worn it a total of maybe ten times.
Borrowed a buddies Uncle Mikes vertical nylon job for hunting last month. Wore it once. Rode ok once adjusted, but where it was secure and somewhat comfortable, I couldn’t reach the gun to draw it!
I’ve had nylon ones twice in the past before. Got a great vintage Bianchi leather job that a good friend gave me, but it’s too big for this gun(actually hoping to convert it to chest or bandoleer carry for my .41 mag Blackhawk ).
Anyway, I can Never get any slight semblance of comfortable, or secure, at the same time, and never an easy draw either way…
Add to that the layers of straps you get with the holster, a backpack, and a rifle sling while out and about in the woods… Just no. There’s too much of the world sitting on my shoulders anyway, don’t need to add more!
I’ve thought about a bandoleer setup, but that ends up on the hip cross draw… hard to reach (yes, I still have a bit of a spare tire to reach around, and add a heavy jacket, forget it!) and in a place that would interfere with backpacks, pack frames, and I think a slung rifle..
So, my last ditch idea is to attempt to try a chest rig…
They’re actually extremely popular up here in AK for bear country fishing, and some hunting.
Yes it hangs on shoulder straps, at least one..but the weight sits on the chest, not under the armpits. And it should pull on the back more than straight down on the shoulders.. I think. I’m thinking it will be more secure feeling and more accessible. And probably more comfortable, leave me some range of arm movement without under arm binding. (Hopefully!)
So, a couple weeks digging around, and some fantastic suggestions from friends on a forum, and I made a choice.
I ordered a holster last week. I’d seen these before, and looked at them off and on, but wasn’t sure.
But I decided for the cost –About $40– I couldn’t really go wrong.. If nothing else I could modify the snot out of it.
But really, I decided I needed something low cost to try, to see if chest carry was even the answer, without dropping $70 to $150 depending. Expensive risk, if it turned out chest carry wasn’t my thing.
So, the make is Skyball Mountain Holsters. Amazingly, made in USA. Only places I can find them are Facebook and Ebay, apparently it’s a small business, no dedicated website.
I dug around and found out that the current Ruger GP100 is super close in size to a Security Six, so I ordered the one for a 4″ barrel GP100.
It fits the gun perfectly!
(Being a open non formed holster, it actually fits All of my mid frame ~4″ hand guns almost perfectly!)
These are built a little different than the average chest harness. The average seems to be an around the body horizontal strap, then the holster sits on that or straps down to it. Then the shoulder strap goes over and attaches to the horizontal strap on your back.
This one is the horizontal strap, and then the shoulder strap goes around from the holster, and BACK TO the holster…
It works. But it adds another strap crossing under your arm, and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable crossing that high under my arm. (I’ve a bit of fat there and it presses in anoyingly)
But even having said that, this thing is SUPER comfortable!!
I threw it on with the 357 over a light hoodie a few nights ago, and went out and split a days worth of firewood. 45 minutes swinging a splitting maul, lifting, moving logs, etc. and I only had to reposition it a few times. That’s pretty upper body active, more so than any average time I’d normally be wearing a gun.
My only little problem is the way it sits, all the tension is pulling to the left side… The straps don’t hold it to the right if it’s pulled left. But it’s a left hand draw. So it drifts left during draw. Grabbing it with the right hand durring draw fixes it obviously. But I might not always have that hand free, so it needs a hold down strap on the right.
There is a loop on the barrel end of the holster (probably for a hold down), so adding a short cord, I’m thinking shock cord for a little movement, should be easy, run down to my belt.
One other thing, not really a problem, is the chest strap, on me, is extended almost all the way out. Not a design flaw, I’m just a big guy. So I’ll have to get an extension strap for wearing it over a heavy coat. It’s all 1″ strap, and all ends are held with SRBs, so it’ll be easy/cheap to add/remove as needed. The shoulder strap on the other hand, oddly has like another 10″ of outward adjustment, it’ll be fine.
Overall, I really like it. It works, and is verry comfortable.
As to mods, I’m trying to find the site I saw a T shaped side release buckle on recently…
It was simple the male or female side of the buckle, but the strap side had the slots on it at a 90 to the buckle… So you can slide it to any place on a strap and have the buckle T off. It was for camping/hiking packs, like to add a sternum strap or similar. Just can’t find it again!
Anyway, was thinking one of those or similar on the around the chest strap, put it in the back, and clip the shoulder strap into it, doing away with the under arm strap.
I’ll wear it/use it a while as is and if I don’t get used to that strap there, I’ll look into moddling it. But for now it’s fine!
Fat guy in a holster;
And the bonus, I can pick and chose what I want to carry;
Beretta Stamped SAA;
(3.5″ barrel us a little short in there, but I think it’ll balance ok/hang ok)
Browning BDM 9mm;
(Which is great for now since this is my usual winter woods carry gun. No bears then so I don’t need the .357 etc.)