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Old 06-11-2011, 02:35 AM   #1
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Shoulder rigs for 5" 1911?

Well, I'm looking for a shoulder rig for Old Slabsides, and key criteria are that it must be a muzzle-down carry and must be adaptable to a dual-holster rig. At this point, I'm looking at the A.E. Nelson 58H and Ted Blocker rig made for Public Enemies as "traditional leather" options, and the DeSantis Bodyguard for "synthetics."

Anyone out there in Expert Land (hey, I'm just above "n00b", so to me you're ALL experts, relatively speaking) have any experience with any of these rigs, or have any other suggestions I should consider?
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
Well, I'm looking for a shoulder rig for Old Slabsides, and key criteria are that it must be a muzzle-down carry and must be adaptable to a dual-holster rig. At this point, I'm looking at the A.E. Nelson 58H and Ted Blocker rig made for Public Enemies as "traditional leather" options, and the DeSantis Bodyguard for "synthetics."

Anyone out there in Expert Land (hey, I'm just above "n00b", so to me you're ALL experts, relatively speaking) have any experience with any of these rigs, or have any other suggestions I should consider?
Vertical Rigs have dropped a bit in popularity over the past few years and your wish that it “must be adaptable to a dual-holster rig” will limit things further (that is if you expect to find a modular harness that will take both right and left hand holster bodies) but you might want to consider the following options in your search:

Galco’s VHS Vertical Shoulder Holster System (http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPT3.as...27&CatalogID=2) was designed primarily for military applications but with the harness they use and the fact that it is available in black as well as brown (something unusual for a leather shoulder rig), it has found a home in a number of different usage categories. You’d have to buy the rig and the extra holster separately (http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPT3.as...&CatalogID=445). Galco made their name making concealable shoulder holsters (albeit horizontal designs) and for a production house, their quality and attention to detail is fantastic.

If you can live with a single holster system (or just live with the old time practice of buying separate right and left hand models knowing that their harnesses can be worn in a non-intersecting and non interfering manner, then I would also look at the now-traditional Bianchi X15 Vertical Shoulder Holster (http://bianchi-intl.com/product/Prod.php?TxtModelID=X15) for among other things, its original purpose was to successfully accommodate a 1911 type pistol when most folks were overlooking it as an optimal fighting handgun.

People forget that John Bianchi was often seen in the company of Jeff Cooper, Thell Reed, Ray Chapman, Eldon Carl and others when the Colonel would stage educational and promotional programs for police departments on the benefits of the gun. As such, many of John’s early designs were more focused on that pistol than is often recognized today. The X15 (which I used in several sizes for different handguns in a wide variety of applications in the 70’s and 80’s) is one of those models. It is still a great performer and a worthy of your review if you are looking for a flat, rugged holster that is pretty fast once you get used to it.

I would suggest that you try on (try out?) the DeSantis Bodyguard before buying it as while they make great stuff and their workmanship is first rate (I use, teach with and recommend their gear), that almost-saddle-bag-like design of their “Bodyguard” (http://www.desantisholster.com/store...Frame-Firearms) is not for everybody. When it comes to minimal bulk vertical nylon designs (and one with a number of features that many people don’t see until they are pointed out), I would tell you to take a look at Uncle Mike’s Pro-Pak Vertical Shoulder Holster (http://www.unclemikesle.com/products...=4&FamilyID=44), which was designed to be not much bigger than the gun itself.

I don’t follow them much anymore so I don’t know if they are still making a left hand version of this model but look at how closely the illustrated right hand version is fitted to the wide-bodied 5900 Smith-series gun in the photo on the linked page. The size needed for the 1911 fits that gun in the same manner. Do not consider their conventional “Sidekick” sporting/hunting holsters, as they are too bulky and lack the features one normally looks for in a concealment shoulder holster. And I am assuming (from the placement of this thread that you have started on this forum) that it is a concealment model that you are looking for.

There are a few other choices out there but I’ve got to run. Hope this helps at least a little bit.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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Thanks, P.M. Concealment under suitcoat/blazer is a must, and I favor vertical despite the twisting wrist in the draw because I want the muzzle pointed at the dirt until I'm drawing.

The complication on singles is, I'm right-minded (read: "southpaw"). LOL

Will definitely check out the X-15.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
Thanks, P.M. Concealment under suitcoat/blazer is a must, and I favor vertical despite the twisting wrist in the draw because I want the muzzle pointed at the dirt until I'm drawing.

The complication on singles is, I'm right-minded (read: "southpaw"). LOL

Will definitely check out the X-15.
Diamondback:

You are probably aware of this but John Bianchi was left-handed so most of his original designs either started out that way or were ultimately offered that way. His company was one of the first major leather houses that made sure that left handed gear was standard and not either "special order" or altogether unavailable.

That said, don’t write off that vertical carry Galco that I mentioned for while a different concept (it uses a strap to keep its mouth closed rather than the wraparound spring found in the X15), it is not a bad design at all. Some people find that breaking the gun through the spring on the Bianchi to be clumsy or hard to do. I never did (and apparently neither did the thousands of others who bought and successfully employed this holster over the years) but it drove a lot of people (many of whom had never actually tried the Bianchi in the field) to open throat designs like the Galco.

You should try to find a shop (or two) that has them both and that will let you safely draw from them while you have them “on”. It does no good just to look at them or to draw from them while holding them in your hands; you need to draw from them and reholster the gun into them while you are actually wearing the design before you make up your mind.

But I don’t mean to lecture. You probably know that already. Or else you wouldn’t be a Senior Member on this site. Good luck to you and let me know if I can be of any further help.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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"I'm right-minded (read: "southpaw"). LOL"

Not to worry you're among friends here
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