When it comes down to it, the best gun to have for self-defense is the largest one you can reasonably carry. Why? Because they offer greater firepower and punch when you need it most. But how to conceal them effectively?
For shoulder or hip carry, some options include a vertical carry shoulder holster from Lawman Leather Goods (who was the designer and manufacturer of the Original Dirty Harry shoulder rig), a horizontal carry shoulder rig by Kirkpatrick Leather Company and an enhanced Yaqui Slide belt slide holster from BlackHawk. All three provide a viable option for discreetly carrying a large-frame pistol comfortably on the hip or shoulder.
Lawman Leather Goods
Lawman Leather Goods has recently introduced their Severe Tactical Use (STU) vertical carry shoulder rig for large frame handguns such as the Colt 1911-style autopistol. It should be noted that the STU is not designed for concealment, but it is meant for use by military, police and civilian users who do not want a large handgun mounted on their hip. Meant for use under the harshest of conditions, both harness and holster for the STU are constructed of 9- to 10-ounce leather. The cowhide used by Lawman Leather Goods is specially treated to resist harsh elements such as perspiration, salt water, mud, algae and blood.
The vertical holster has an open rear edge with a heavy duty “U” shaped spring capturing the handgun for security. The closed toe has a screw post binder securing it, in addition to stitching. Additional security is provided by a traditional safety strap, which attaches to the harness and wraps around the pistol grip and triggerguard junction and secures with a heavy-duty snap fastener on the face of the pouch. The backside of the toe has two “weep” holes to prevent water from pooling in the pouch. A wide belt loop on the backside secures the holster to a waist belt and fastens with a heavy-duty snap fastener. The most noticeable feature of the STU rig, other than the thick leather used, are the three “cooling fins” (slots) cut in the front edge of the holster. These allow a handgun hot from rapid fire to cool quicker. The harness is adjustable and the screw post binders that fasten it together are chrome plated.