Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

5 Reasons Concealed Carry Laws Are Ridiculous

I’ve started another new venture and am writing regular columns for Bearing Arms. It’s a great source of news, opinions, and how-to info for all things shooting and Second Amendment related. You can find them on Facebook also. Here’s this weeks rant…

Gun free zones

Every day there’s something in the news about someone or other campaigning to restrict concealed carry.

For example, the newly-formed group MDASININE (Moms Demand Action Supporting Irrelevant Nonsensical Insane Nanny-like Edicts) is frequently on the warpath to shame businesses, who want nothing more than to just sell stuff, into the gun debate.

And they’re not the only ones. Federal and state officials – you may know them as bamboozlers in training – are constantly dreaming up new restrictions, laws and public proclamations. All these rules are just as ‘guaranteed’ to make us safer as the rock-solid ‘guarantees’ that health insurance will be cheaper and we can keep our own doctors.

Restrictions vary by geography. If you have a fast enough computer, you can calculate the number of restrictions by multiplying the number of politicians by the number of media microphones within a radius of 97 miles. Some examples of “no carry” restrictions include…

Restaurants. Churches. Public bathrooms. Sporting events. New York City. Political conventions (think about the number of criminals per square foot there!) Medical facilities (even though doctors kill far more innocent people than guns.) Post offices. Buffalo Wild Wings. Staples – or maybe not Staples. Schools. Movie theaters. The St. Louis Mass Transit System that delivered most people to the NRA Annual Meeting. 7-11 stores? Canada. Military bases. My house. Ha! Just kidding with ya.

I can’t for the life of me understand the logic behind restricting concealed carry to reduce crime. To believe that, you also have to believe that those who carry concealed are the root cause of crime. There’s no other way around the logic.

Not surprisingly, the concealed carry community has been proven over and over again to be the safest measurable population group around. More so than priests, active duty police officers, Hollywood intelligentsia, politicians and Amanda Bynes. The crime rate of Mayors Against Illegal Guns membership (sorry, I meant Mayors Against Legal Governing) is orders of magnitude more than that of concealed carry citizens. I can’t prove this, but I hear you have to provide photographic evidence of extortion, fraud or preschool fight club gambling to become initiated into the exclusive MAIG crime syndicate.

A number of states have compiled data on the lawfulness of concealed carry holsters. For example, in Texas, the average citizen is 7.7 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a concealed carry holder, and 18 times more likely to commit a non-violent crime than a concealed permit holder.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!


Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Concealed Carry: Using the Wrong Holster

There isn't a single "right" type of holster. As long as you consider the three criteria for an effective concealed carry holster, there are many good options.

There isn’t a single “right” type of holster. As long as you consider the three criteria for an effective concealed carry holster, there are many good options.

There are an infinite number of factors that have influence on which holster to use for concealed carry. I wrote a whole book about gun holsters and even that just begins to scratch the surface. The bottom line about gun holsters is that there is no cut and dried option for everyone. The right choice depends on each individuals lifestyle and specific needs. What’s perfect for one may be completely dysfunctional for another.

However, I believe there are three criteria that a concealed carry holster needs to meet:

  1. A good holster helps you access your gun quickly, yet safely.
  2. A good holster protects the trigger.
  3. A good holster ensures that your gun remains under your control.

With that said, let’s take a look at some “wrong holster” topics.

The Un-Holster

There are different definitions of “the wrong holster” and one of them is “no holster.” This simply refers to sticking a gun in your belt or pocket without use of  holster.

I do not like this Sam I am. For two different, but often intertwined, reasons.

First, using a holster is a good way to make sure that you and your gun stay together. A good holster should have retention features – whether that’s achieved by friction, fit or positive retention devices. As they say, the first rule of gun fighting is to have a gun. If you rely on just the pressure of your pants or belt, you may find you don’t have a gun when you most need it!

Second, your gun trigger is completely unprotected when you are not using a proper holster. When carrying in your belt, you certainly don’t want your trigger exposed. The problem is even worse with holster-less pocket carry. Keys, change or that roll of breath mints just might get caught up in the trigger.

Strangely enough, reasons one and two frequently go together. Case in point: NFL star Plaxico Burress, 2008. While only he knows the exact details that led to his “leg-o-cide” it appears that he was carrying his pistol sans holster when it started to slip down his leg. He inadvertently yanked the trigger while groping to catch his gun and shot himself in the leg. A classic example of reasons one and two playing together with malice.

Unfortunately, I could fill up this entire story with nothing but links to news stories of people negligently shooting themselves, and sometimes others, simply because they were not using a holster. Of course, every single one of those cases also involved a different deadly sin – keeping your finger off the trigger. Of course, most un-holster incidents are the result of a desperate grab to catch a falling gun, not an intentional trigger discipline issue. The point is that a good holster that protects the trigger will not allow a gun to be fired while holstered.

Read the rest at Outdoorhub!


Be sure to check out our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Some Pocket Carry Options: The Galco Pocket Protector Holster and PMC Magazine Carrier

A pair of pocket carry options from Galco.

A pair of pocket carry options from Galco.

Galco makes some handy pocket holster for pocket guns like the Springfield Armory XD-S. It’s a rough side out leather design, which helps keep the holster in your pocket when you draw. There is also a leather “hook” cut into the top of the stabilizing panel which is intended to catch on the inside of your pocket, making sure the holster stays put when your gun is removed.

Note the rough leather exterior and hook design. Both features help keep the holster in your pocket when the gun comes out.

Note the rough leather exterior and hook design. Both features help keep the holster in your pocket when the gun comes out.

The open top of this holster is molded to the profile of specific gun so re-holstering is easy. I also find that the extra-sturdy leather stabilizing panel keeps a fully loaded semi-auto stable in my pocket. I’ve had less sturdy pocket holsters that were not strong enough to hold a top-heavy gun in the upright position in my pocket.

Simple and effective. I use this one a lot.

Galco PMC Pocket Magazine Carrier

I’ve gotten in the habit of carrying a spare magazine in my support side pants pocket. No, it’s not some high-speed, low-drag tactical thing. I’m a high-drag kind of guy anyway. It’s more a result of ease and convenience. Having things to conceal on both sides of my body just seems like a chore and carrying magazines on my belt spoils the one comfortable side of my body that I have left.

The problem with carrying a magazine in the pocket is that it flops around as you walk, sit and do whatever else it is that you do. If you ever need to grab it quickly, it is almost guaranteed to be in the “wrong” position. For example, when I use a belt magazine carrier, I want the spare magazines oriented with bullets facing forward when mounted on my support side. Then, when I grab a spare magazine from that location, my index finger is already lined up on the front of the magazine. Inserting it into the pistol is then smooth and effortless. When that magazine is flopping around in my pocket, it might be facing forward, backward or even upside down. I’ll almost certainly have some fumbling to do to get it into my pistol.

Galco build the PMC Pocket Magazine Carrier from sturdy to keep a loaded magazine oriented properly in your pocket. The rough exterior and “hook” design help keep it in your pocket as you remove the magazine.

Galco build the PMC Pocket Magazine Carrier from sturdy to keep a loaded magazine oriented properly in your pocket. The rough exterior and “hook” design help keep it in your pocket as you remove the magazine.

The Galco PMC Pocket Magazine Carrier holds the magazine at a 45 degree angle exactly how I want it. Galco makes the carrier out of sturdy leather that is “inside out” and full pocket width. The firm leather keeps the whole thing stable inside of your pocket, while the rough outside creates a friction grip on the inside of your pocket. This helps prevent you from pulling the carrier out with the magazine. That would certainly be embarrassing in a life or death self-defense situation.

This works great in pants pockets, but helps with other carry locations too. I’ve used it in larger cargo pants pockets and it’s large enough so that it doesn’t spill over sideways. You can also use it in a coat or blazer pocket. Ladies, it also makes a great purse carry accessory. Put this in an interior pocket and you’ll know exactly where your spare magazine is.


Learn more about lots of other holster solutions in our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters.

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

White Dog Holsters for Lightguard and Laserguard Equipped Handguns

While testing my shooting in the dark skills, or more accurately lack thereof, at the recent Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational, I became sold on the concept of using a light on my carry gun. While I’ve used lasers on carry guns for years, I found the combination of light, laser and pistol fast and intuitive.

Here's a Springfield Armory TRP Government size 1911 with a Crimson Trace Lightguard. A great carry combination if you can find the right holster.

Here’s a Springfield Armory TRP Government size 1911 with a Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace Lasergrips. A great carry combination if you can find the right holster.

While there are lots of tactical gun-mounted lights on the market, the introduction of the Crimson Trace Lightguard was a game changer for concealed carry. The Crimson Trace Lightguard is slimmer than the frame of the gun, does not protrude in front of the muzzle, features instinctive activation, yet still manages to throw 100 lumens of light towards your target.

In short, it adds hardly any weight or bulk to a carry gun.

But there’s always a “but” right?

In this case, the “but” is that you need to find a holster that is molded to accept the Lightguard. Yes, you can use a general purpose “pouch” holster, but if you want good retention and security resulting from a perfectly form-fitted holster, you need to find one that is made specifically for your pistol with a Crimson Trace Lightguard mounted.

Why look at that! It's a custom holster that's Lightguard ready!

Why look at that! It’s a custom holster that’s Lightguard ready!

Sounds simple enough, but here’s where exponential math gets in the way. If you multiple the number of lights on the market times the number of gun models on the market, you get a number even larger than Michael Moore’s waist size. It’s somewhere around half the diameter of the moon as measured in inches. This presents a near impossible situation for holster makers as they would have to produce 43 gajillion models to meet all the desired combinations.

Here’s where White Dog Holsters steps in.

You can tell Devin is a military guy as the attention to detail is great. Note the raised opening for the Lasergrip!

You can tell Devin is a military guy as the attention to detail is great. Note the raised opening for the Lasergrip!

Devin is one of those guys who saw opportunity and did the American thing – started a business to address said opportunity. While he makes standard holsters out of kydex and/or leather, he seems to be developing a niche of holsters designed for Crimson Trace Lightguards, Laserguards and Rail Masters.

I just ordered the holster shown here. It’s the White Dog Mutt design which is a tuckable inside-the-waistband holster with a kydex gun pocket and leather backing. it’s similar to the Galco King Tuk. The difference is that this one is molded to be Lightguard and Lasergrip friendly.

I just started using this, but can already tell it’s a winner. The leather backing is solid and well-finished. The kydex is perfectly molded with all the right detail touches. The clips are adjustable for desired cant angle and comfort.

The bottom is open to let debris fall out, but note how the kydex is curved over the muzzle to aid retention and support.

The bottom is open to let debris fall out, but note how the kydex is curved over the muzzle to aid retention and support.

But again, there’s always a “but” to the story. Devin is also a guy who serves our country and has just been called to a deployment for a couple of months. This means you’ll have to wait a bit to order a holster from him. Keep checking the web site, he’ll be back making holsters before you know it.


Four Ways to Carry a Gun in Your Underwear

I’d like to apologize in advance for this week’s column. While it has not yet been rated by the American Internet Content Classification Association of America, there is an excellent chance that it will offend small children, Mayors Against Legal Governing (oops, I meant Mayors Against Illegal Guns), and possibly Mr. Rogers.

Next time you attend a Hollywood awards show and dress like a star, you might as well use a holster named after one - like the Looper Marilyn Holster.

Next time you attend a Hollywood awards show and dress like a star, you might as well use a holster named after one – like the Looper Marilyn Holster.

With that said, let’s take a look at some less conventional, concealment holster options. We’re not going to get into the pros and cons of deep concealment versus more accessible hip-carry methods. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume that users have a concealment need that discourages use of belt holsters.

Holster undershirts

I love these. And not only because the tight spandex makes me look more buff than I really am. When deep concealment matters, and you have to wear tucked-in shirts and behave civilly, the undershirt carry method can be a a great option. Unlike tuckable holsters, you won’t see belt clips or unsightly bulges at your waistline. Make no mistake, as with most of the methods covered here, speed and ease of access may not match that of a belt holster.

Undershirt holsters feature pouches or elastic “holsters” located on the side of your chest, under your arm. This placement provides outstanding concealment as your arm hangs down over the gun. Access is a skill that requires planning and practice. To draw your gun, you’ll need to deal with your shirt first. If you’re wearing a button-down, you’ll need to open (or tear open) buttons to quickly get to the undershirt holster. Ripping buttons off is harder than you think, so many folks fabricate “fake” buttons with Velcro tabs holding the shirt closed.

After years of using these, I’ve found two that I really like. 5.11 Tactical’s Holster shirt features soft, but reinforced fabric holster pockets on both sides. As the pouch is designed to completely contain your gun, it works best with small to medium-sized handguns. I carried a Walther PPK and Glock 32 for years with this shirt. 5.11 also makes a sleeveless version cut specifically for ladies.

Read the rest at!

Are You An Innie Or An Outie? Concealed vs. Open Carry

An excellent way to start a good old-fashioned bar fight, or at least an internet happy-slap chat spat, is to gather two groups of gun people. One who believes in Open Carry and another who believes in Concealed Carry. Then ask them whether Cher is a true Diva or not. While we won’t attempt to solve that debate here, we will briefly define each in the context of holster selection.

Open Carry [oh-puh n] [kar-ee]

  1. Act of possessing, wearing and transporting one or more firearms in a publicly visible and immediately accessible manner on one’s person.
  2. Proponents believe that clear visibility of armed status will deter evil dudes from doing evil things.
  3. See also: Lone Ranger, The Terminator, Wyatt Earp
Galco Small of Back Holster

Here’s an example of “open butt carry” with a Galco Small of Back Holster. Technically you should use a cover garment as “open butt carry” is kind of ridiculous.

At the time of this writing, only 7 states had no provision at all for legally carrying a gun via open carry. On the other end of the spectrum, about 12 states allow open carry with little if any restriction — excepting of course areas where guns are not allowed by Federal law or other restriction. All of the others have some provision for open carry. Some require permits to do so. Others have country and city ordinances that impact open carry.

Many proponents of open carry insist that a right not exercised is a right lost, and therefore want to increase the incidence of open carry to make it mainstream. A related benefit to frequent open carry is that over time, the general public will become desensitized to seeing guns in public. After encountering law-abiding citizens throughout their daily travels, and seeing no adverse impact, folks will figure out that citizens exercising open carry are in fact normal too. You have to admit that desensitization works. When Paris Hilton hits the New York club scene with 3 ducks, Ryan Seacrest and an ill-tempered llama, who even notices?

Concealed Carry [kuh n-seel-duh] [kar-ee]

  1. Act of hiding, withdrawing, and removing a gun or other weapon from public observation while still keeping it accessible on one’s person.
  2. Proponents believe that it’s better to give (by surprise) than to receive. Proponents also believe in the tactical advantage of remaining anonymous until the time and place of their choosing.
  3. See also: Armed citizens, Domestic Terrorists (as seen by the media), Sneaky Bastards, Responsible Law Abiders

Concealed carry is far more prevalent legally speaking. Only one state in the union has no provision for concealed carry, and that is Illinois. At the time of this writing, lawsuits are in progress aiming to change that. Also, the District of Columbia has no concealed carry provision, unless you are a high-ranking politician and therefore not subject to laws for us little people.

Gun Words Explained!

Terminology Alert: Distrikt of Columbia

The District of Columbia is a foreign dictatorship conveniently located between Maryland and Virginia. Holsters are generally not used there as carrying a gun is outlawed for common people. One notable exception is “private parts holsters.” Politicians like to send photos of those with their cell phones.

Your personal carry decision, and therefore, your holster selection decision, could more likely to be a tactical issue than a legal one. Barring political objectives mentioned, many concealed carriers believe they hold a tactical self-defense advantage when no one else knows they are armed. Concealed carry theory suggests that the only time you want a potential threat to know about your gun is the instant when it is used. If your gun is visible, you may, in fact, deter crime. Or you may become the first target. We won’t get into that tactical debate in this book.

For our purposes, the outside the waistband holster section features holsters most appropriate for open carry. If you’re not worried about hiding your gun, you might as well choose the carry method that is both most accessible and most comfortable. For most folks, that would be via a belt holster with the gun mounted outside the pants or skirt.

Read more about hundreds of ways to carry a gun in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Buy The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters at

The Good, Bad And Ugly of Carrying A Gun On Your Belt

Here’s an excerpt from our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It’s available at

There are dozens of ways to carry a concealed handgun these days. You can carry in your pockets. In your undershirt. With an evening gown. Under your desk. Under your belt. Over your belt. Across your shoulders. Even in your underwear.

With all those options, most trainers still recommend good, old-fashioned belt carry. Is it right for you?

The Good

If you idolized John Wayne, Annie Oakley, or Roy Rogers in your childhood fantasies, all of your cowboy quick-draw fantasies come true with belt carry. While you may not be as rustic looking as Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter, you will be walking around carrying a real gun on your hip. And that’s gotta count for something in terms of living out a childhood fantasy.

Does this holster make me look fat?Waist carry methods — either inside your waistband or outside your waistband (more on that later) — give you fast and consistent access to your firearm with your dominant hand.

Waist carry methods also give you excellent control over your firearms — at almost all times. One noteworthy exception is when you’re predisposed on the porcelain throne. You have to plan for that particular quality time, so your shiny new gun doesn’t clatter onto the bathroom floor. This is especially embarrassing — and kind of gross — in public restrooms. Nothing will make you want to sell your gun faster.

The Bad

Driving a car with this carry method can help you discover new levels of pain and suffering from gun-induced kidney massage. And if you are wearing your seat belt like a good boy or girl, the strap relative to your body position can make it really difficult to get to your gun easily. You may want to keep the cigarette lighter charged as a last-ditch defense for close encounters of the criminal kind!

You’ll need what concealed carry commandos call a “cover garment.” In plain English, this is some form of upper body clothing that is untucked. It could be a shirt, coat or jacket, or better yet, a photographers vest. You know, the ones with just under 37 million pockets and zippers? Because everyone who wants to look natural and not out of place wears those. They fit in just about anywhere. Disney World, the mall, city parks, golf courses, and of course, Star Trek conventions. But as fashionable as they are, chances are, you will never be photographed by GQ or Glamour magazine while wearing a fake photographers vest. So give up that dream.

A serious opinion about photographers vests: Please note the key word, opinion. There’s a lot of internet commando debate about photographers vests. Many experienced veterans of not even one gunfight deride them as “shoot me first” vests. The idea is that “everyone” knows that someone wearing a photographers vest is carrying a gun. Here’s the opinion part. I’m not so sure about that. To those of us who are geeky about things like holsters (!) it is a clue that a person is carrying concealed. To anyone else? Doubt it. Think about all the people you encounter in your daily travels. Even the ones that aren’t performing the “walking while texting” interpretive dance. Are they really paying all that much attention to you? Even outside of New York City? Are they going to look at your wardrobe choice and make judgements about your armament status? Doubt it. If you like it, and it works for you, wear it!

The Ugly

If you choose to carry a gun with an ‘inside the waistband’ holster, you really need to buy pants at least a full size or two larger than normal. That means that the hot clothing salesperson on whom you have a secret crush will think you’re fatter than you really are. Just something to consider.

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters - Now available at

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – Now available at

Holster Review: Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster

The original design behind the Galco Miami Classic II shoulder holster is way older than Don Johnson’s Miami Vice character. In fact, it was launched by the Famous Jackass Leather Company (Galco’s former name) in 1970. The original models were made for the Chicago Police Department.

But Hollywood does have a habit of latching on to cool things. In James Cann’s 1981 movie Thief, he wore an original Jackass rig. By 1984, a weird series of events led to actor Don Johnson carrying his Bren 10 (and later Smith & Wesson 645 and 4506) in a Jackass shoulder holster rig for the hit series Miami Vice. And the Miami Classic holster was born.

Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster

Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder Holster shown with a Springfield Armory 1911 TRP

I’ve been wearing a Galco Miami Classic II shoulder holster almost daily for several months and I’m starting to get spoiled. Wow. This is an incredibly comfortable setup — even for carrying a large, heavy gun like a full-sized Springfield Armory TRP 1911. And the design lends itself to carrying spare magazines with equal comfort and ease.

Galco Miami Classic II front

Galco Miami Classic II shoulder holster in use

The Miami Classic II shoulder holster is really a holster system. A “spider” harness consists of a custom Kydex panel in the back with 4 swivel joints. Leather straps are connected to the Kydex plate. These leather straps form two “loops” that go around your arms. From the back, you see an “X” pattern of leather straps, but the front just has a single strap coming over each shoulder and disappearing behind each arm. The idea is that you wear a jacket or blazer that’s open in the front to hide the leather straps, holster and magazine pouches.

The gun winds up positioned in a cross draw position — horizontal with the muzzle pointed straight backward. The magazines hang on the strong side and are accessible with your support hand.

As this is a system, Galco offers interchangeable holster and magazine carrier modules. You can buy one harness system with different gun holsters and different magazine carriers. Our test model included a 1911 gun holster with a dual single-stack magazine carrier. The magazines were also positioned horizontally and we found access to be consistent and fast. As a side note, Galco offers a 4 magazine carrier option if you need to gear up.

Galco Miami Classic Belt Straps

The optional belt straps really increase overall stability.

Comfort with the Miami Classic II rig is outstanding, whether standing, sitting, walking, running, biking or driving. Having the gun on one side and magazines on the other resulted in a very balanced setup with all the weight easily distributed across both shoulders.

If you’re going to use this setup, there are a couple of things to be aware of. Muzzle and trigger discipline are the first. In the carry position, the muzzle points straight behind you. Also, when you do any sort of cross draw, the muzzle can cover people and things that are located on your support side. Practice with a muzzle down swing can minimize this risk. Just be aware of these issues before considering a shoulder or cross draw carry option.

Obviously you’ll need some type of appropriate cover garment for the Miami Classic II shoulder holster. Blazers, suits, and open jackets are perfect. We found that the Miami Classic II shoulder holster encouraged us to “dress up” a little more than usual. While you may not get scouted for a starring role in a new detective series, you’ll still look suave while carrying.

You can find the Galco Miami Classic Holster at

Galco International Miami Classic Shoulder System


Learn more about lots and lots of gun holsters in our new book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters, now available at!

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters - Now available at

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – Now available at

El Paso Saddlery Pocket Max Gun Holster

Here’s another fine holster featured in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

El Paso makes an excellent pocket holster. Here’s why.

El Paso Pocket Max holsters

A pair of El Paso Pocket Max Holsters. Note the points that help the holster stay in your pocket during the draw.

The El Paso Pocket Max is constructed from horsehide, which tends to be stronger and more rigid than cowhide. It uses an inside-out construction so the rough side of the leather “grips” the interior of your pocket. This helps ensure that the holster stays in the pocket when you draw the gun. Not only is pulling a holstered gun out of your pocket less intimidating to most experience street thugs, it can be downright embarrassing. Talk about a total loss of street cred…

Another unique feature about the El Paso Pocket Max is the pointy leather tip at the very top edge of the holster. El Paso calls this the “grip tip” but that’s just a complex engineering term for “pointy thing.” The grip tip has an important purpose. It tends to catch on the inside fabric of your pocket when you pull the gun and holster upwards. This is a second feature (in addition to the roughed up surface) to help ensure that your holster stays in your pocket, where it belongs, as you draw your gun.

One last thing that we really like about the El Paso Pocket Max is the design of what you might call a stability flap. Note the “wing” that extends from underneath the barrel position. It’s made from a double layer of horsehide and helps to keep the gun in the proper upright position. This is particularly important for semi-auto pocket pistols where there is a lot of weight riding up high in the grip of the gun in the loaded magazine. With less sturdy pocket holster designs, this can allow your gun to torque, twist and turn while you’re going about your daily activities. Next thing you know, your pocket gun is completely upside down just when you need it most. The leather “wing” tends to keep things oriented in the proper direction — upright.

We highly recommend the Pocket Max. It’s functional, durable and reasonably priced for what you get.


The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters - Now available at

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – Now available at

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