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Solving the Shoulder Holster Dilemma: Better Draw or Better Concealment?

Shoulder holsters are a good option for concealment in certain circumstances. If the wearer can dress for it, a shoulder holster provides excellent concealment, comfort, and accessibility.

Front Line Spring Tension holster holds the pistol vertically.

Front Line Spring Tension holster holds the pistol vertically.

Shoulder holsters generally hold pistols in one of two orientations. A vertical orientation allows better concealment, especially with larger pistols. In a vertical orientation, the pistol is less likely to create a bulge in the covering garment, since the barrel of the pistol is pointed down, not toward the wearer’s back. Some people are also more comfortable with carrying a pistol that is pointed downward, instead of horizontal.

A horizontal orientation allows a more natural draw. It is unnatural to turn the wrist and draw upward from a vertical holster under the opposite arm. If you reach across your body, you will find your hand and wrist are naturally positioned for a horizontal draw.

So a shoulder holster that carries a pistol vertically is allows more effective concealment, and a horizontal holster enables a more natural, efficient draw. Which should you choose? Is concealment, or the desire to keep a pistol pointed down more important to you, or do you value an effective draw more than the convenience of easy concealment?

Why choose, when you can have it both ways?

Front Line Hinge Holster It looks a bit unorthodox, but is a very intelligent design.

Front Line Hinge Holster
It looks a bit unorthodox, but is a very intelligent design.

The Hinge Holster made by Front Line solves the question without requiring a compromise. This unique shoulder holster carries the pistol in a vertical orientation, but allows a horizontal draw.

The hoster itself rides in a harness that is designed to allow the holster to pivot in the center. Two snaps hold the holster in the verticle position. One snap islocated on the holster above the back of the pistol’s slide, and snaps to the harness. A second snap holds two halves of a front strap together. This strap is located over the trigger guard of the pistol in front of the grip, and also keeps the pistol in the verticle position. The pistol is retained by the harness, which encloses the back of the slide.

Jericho F Pistol in a Front Line Hinge Holster

Jericho F Pistol in a Front Line Hinge Holster

To draw the pistol, the grip is simply pushed down, unsnapping the two snaps and rotating the pistol into the horizontal position as it is drawn. The motion is fluid and natural, and the draw is at the natural angle.

The Hinge Holster is especially useful for carrying full-size pistols, especially pistols with 4 or 5 inch barrels, which are harder to conceal if carried horizontally. It is a very secure holster, is not bulky, and is easy to become proficient with. If your preferred or required carry style is with a shoulder holster, I recommend that you take a close look at the hinge holster, and solve the question of which orientation you prefer.

Hinge-Holster-Draw-1

The Front Line Hinge holster carries a pistol in a vertical orientation. To draw, grasp the pistol . . .

. . . rotate down (the snaps unsnap automatically) . . .

. . . rotate down (the snaps unsnap automatically) . . .

. . . and draw the pistol horizontally.

. . . and draw the pistol horizontally.

The draw is very smooth and natural.

The draw is very smooth and natural.

Two magazine pouches balance the harness and make reloads easy.

Two magazine pouches balance the harness and make reloads easy.

To reholster, slide the pistol into the holster . . .

To reholster, slide the pistol into the holster . . .

. . . rotate the holster and snap the rear snap . . .

. . . rotate the holster and snap the rear snap . . .

. . . then snap the retention snap.

. . . then snap the retention snap.

The harness is comfortable, secure, and fully adjustable.

The harness is comfortable, secure, and fully adjustable.

 

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