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American COP Jan/Feb 2012 Digital Edition - Page 22

CaRRY OPTIONs FROMHOlsTERsTOHAvERsACks. sAMMYREEsE ShouldeR RigS The Right Way rom “Dirty Harry” and “James ‘Sonny’ Crockett,” to just about every cop show since Dragnet, the shoulder holster has had an iconic presence in TV and movies. As a kid, I’d occasionally catch a glimpse of a real shoulder rig worn by one of the truck drivers who worked for my dad. I can’t recall brand names, but they were all vertical-carry types usually holding large revolvers. I don’t think the Teamsters union approved, but those guys had to make deliveries in some pretty rough neighborhoods. Fast-forward just a few years to my days in the USMC. I found myself using a shoulder holster to hide my M9 or unauthorized Glock under my flak jacket and sometimes under my cammies — my CO never had a clue. When I was selected for the range staff, the senior range master told me to always wear my vest and also said I was going to see things that would make me want to quit. He said, “You’ve always signed up to shoot with the guys who are squared away. Wait to see how some of these guys handle weapons and shoot; it’s why I want you to always wear your body armor.” The very first day I worked a department shoot I was approached by a very senior detective wearing a funky looking shoulder rig. “Who authorized you to use this type of holster?” I asked. He replied, “I’d been having trouble wearing a belt holster, so I got it at the gun show.” It had nothing to do with F Secure it, or your pistol might hit the deck when you really don’t want it to. Also make sure the rig fits you by using a mirror or a helping hand to make the adjustments. Read the directions! him being 50-plus pounds overweight. Before the first shot was even fired the senior detective violated every range safety rule at least twice — just during the serial number verification alone. I’m not down on shoulder holster for cops; they have their place for sure. Sitting on a long surveillance, a quality, well-fitted shoulder holster can be a really great thing. If I had the space here, I’d run down the complete outline on how to correctly use a shoulder holster. I could go through draw-from-concealment back to re-holstering safely without scaring the crap out of everyone around you, or worse … shooting yourself. We’ll cover that later. But since this column is about carry options, I’ll stick to the carrying part and focus on a few critical shoulder holster concepts. The holsTers T Concealed means hidden. This unintended exposure of your pistol can lead to disaster. 22 o help demonstrate, Mike Barham at Galco was kind enough to send me two of the most classic horizontal shoulder holsters ever made: the rig that started it all, The Jackass Rig, and the Miami Classic 2, made famous by the Bren Ten-toting detective, “James ‘Sonny’ Crockett” on the show Miami Vice. Actually, he wore the Miami Classic, with a vertical magazine carrier. Oh, and why didn’t he ever get any administrative duty after one of his dozens of on-duty shootings? The setup is the most critical part of wearing a shoulder holster, but just take your time and follow the directions. Yes, there are directions, and if you don’t follow them you may get lucky. My guess is you’ll be the guy that builds his house on a foundation of mud, and then is an unhappy camper when the house falls down. The holster will end up back in the box due to operator error. The setup may take some time and a bit of readjusting. I used a mirror to assist me, but having a person there to lend a hand made setting up the second holster much easier. WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2012

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