After hours of research and testing dozens of different models, we found that the Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System is still the best 1911 shoulder holster in terms of comfort, durability, quality, and popularity.
With a design that’s been sought after by law enforcement and savvy citizens since the 1970’s, a center cut steerhide harness with swivel connectors, and stylish Havana brown leather, this one obviously stands out from the crowd in a very good way.
It has the highest ratings of any 1911-compatible shoulder holster and the unique Flexalon swivel back plate with 4 pivot points gives it the most adjustable and versatile fit. Plus, it’s a fully modular system with an abundance of accessories, add-ons, and configurations to choose from.
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Although the Galco Jackass Rig is slightly ahead of the pack in this category, there are plenty of other options to consider. Before we introduce you to the rest of our top picks, here’s some important information you can use to simplify the decision-making process and learn more about this type of holster:
You might be asking yourself “why would I want to wear a shoulder holster over all the other carry types?” Here are several reasons why many 1911 owners prefer shoulder holsters
Comfort and accessibility are the key benefits a shoulder holster offers, especially when you’re talking about carrying and concealing a long full-size handgun like a 1911.
Not all shoulder holsters are made equal. In fact, the difference in design and functionality between models is often tremendous. These are some of the features and attributes you should be considering during your comparison:
As with every firearm accessory, even the best shoulder holster needs to be used properly to ensure you’re benefiting from its inherent advantages while also staying safe. Here are a few things you should practice and look into further when your 1911 is becoming acquainted with your new shoulder holster:
Ensure the fit is snug and secure – put your unloaded weapon and ammunition in the holster when fitting it. The center of the back of the holster should be just below the back of your collar. Straps or pads should be positioned high on the shoulder, closer to the neck than the shoulder joint.
Your 1911’s grip should protrude two inches in front of the arm on the side of the gun for easier drawing. Magazine carriers and other accessories should be easily accessible. There should little to no movement of the holster when you walk or move back and forth.
Detailed explanation on how to fit your shoulder holster for maximum comfort and concealment:
Use the Tie Ons – People say tie ons are optional but in reality they should be used whenever possible. They keep the holster in a stable position, which is vital when you’re trying to draw in a hurry. Furthermore, the tie ons keep your gear from bouncing around when you’re running.
Learn how to draw your gun safely and properly – Drawing your gun from a shoulder holster in the wrong manner could put you at risk of accidentally discharging the weapon and shooting yourself in the arm.
Keeping your non-shooting hand under the gun when drawing puts your brachial artery in the line of fire during the draw. The key is to keep your free arm above the barrel of the gun, as shown in this instructional video below.
USCCA demonstrates how to safely draw from a shoulder holster:
Practice to see how it will respond to movement – Once you’ve got a snug fit and you’re aware of how to draw properly, it’s time to practice drawing, with an unloaded gun of course, in a variety of motions.
Stand in front of a mirror and draw the gun in different ways at least a dozen times and then check to see if the holster has changed positioned or loosened up. If so, address the fitting error and resume practicing.
Now that you know the main benefits of shoulder holsters, which features are most important, and how to use them, check out the 4 next-best options behind our top choice:
The closest option to the Jackass Rig is Galco’s Miami Classic, with a similar design that also incorporates the swivel back plate and spider harness. This shoulder holster has gained notoriety for being one of the best in terms of longlasting fit and comfort. It’s made of 100% full-grain leather and comes with an ammo carrier and a holster.
The universal fit concealed carry shoulder holster from Under Control Tactical is quite a bargain considering its durability and features. It’s made of lightweight, waterproof nylon material that has proven its ability to withstand strenuous testing.
Despite coming from a lesser known brand this has become a surprisingly popular holster and is often mentioned alongside household names.
If you’re looking for a vertical carry system that can be effectively concealed without having to wear a thick top, the Linixu Deep Concealment shoulder holster is definitely worth considering.
Thanks to its flexible elastic strap and support band it can easily conform to any body type. This is one of the few shoulder holsters that can be worn under a regular T-shirt without being noticeable.
If you’re a fan of Galco’s Miami Classic but would prefer something with a traditional vertical carry style, this would be an ideal choice. It features the same spider harness with the Flexalon swivel back plate and is available in black or tan.
This holster has been battle-tested in Afghanistan and Iraq and is currently in use by thousands of army personnel, law enforcement officers, and civilians.
With everything taken into consideration, the majority of experts will agree that the Galco Jackass Rig is most suited to accommodate the long barrel of a 1911 handgun.
It has a slight edge over the Miami Classic because the holster can be swiveled into a more diagonal position, allowing for the 30-degree upright muzzle angle that many 1911 owners prefer.
It’s also undeniably the sexiest rig of the bunch, with sleek, lightweight, and minimal materials that stay out of the way. Overall, the Galco Jackass Rig outperformed all of its counterparts in every essential category we mentioned above, including adjustability, ease of concealment, accessibility, quality of materials, and holster positioning.