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From the NRA
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
 

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Doesn't appear to be limited to shoulder rigs, at least not to me.

I can visualize my 1911 holstered in my Galco N3 IWB taking a big chunk out of my butt cheek if it went off.

And in an OWB, it looks like it would shoot me in the instep of my strong side foot.
 

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No, matter what type of holster you use to carry your gun, if it some how accidentally discharges you will get hurt, leg, or in step of foot, etc.........

Clyde
 

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The safety rules are gun handling rules. If you aren't handling the gun, they don't apply. However, it may be an issue if there is someone behind you when you draw.
 

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Many (most?) law enforcement agencies discourage the use of shoulder holsters, either vertical carry or horizontal carry, for range safety reasons.
Drawing out of either one, a right handed shooter will almost always sweep everyone to his left with the muzzle. Many police ranges will not allow shoulder holsters on the line for that reason. Crossdraw holsters present the same problem, with the added risk of having a suspect snatch the gun, since he can draw the gun from the front as easily as the officer can.

IMHO, the only real use for shoulder holsters is to carry a heavy gun where it is better protected from the elements, such as a hunting gun carried under a jacket. Carrying while riding a horse, bike or 4-wheeler might be another situation where the shoulder holster would be useful.

The only sensible use for a crossdraw that I have ever heard was for carry while driving, since the crossdraw worn by a right-hander will put the gun as far away from passengers in the vehicle as possible. It may be easier to draw from a crossdraw holster while seated behind the wheel, if the seatbelt isn't in the way.
 

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I was told at a range that my shoulder holster was a concern with some of the other shooters there and I was asked to turn my back down range while unholstering and reholstering my weapon. I was nice and did what I was asked. It did school me a bit. I saw there point. :)
 

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I have always had horrible, horrible visions of a .45 slug from a gun holstered on my hip striking the side of my knee.
 

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I know many, if not most, here disagree with me but... YES! I HATE horizontal shoulder holsters. A friend wears one around the farm; when he takes off his jacket, the sight of the business end of a 1911 pointed at my chest or head bothers the bejeebers out of me. Irrational, perhaps. But I still don't like it nor can I get past it.
 

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With the pistol at rest in the holster, the horizontal shoulder holster poses no more safety problems to persons behind the user than does an FBI-canted belt holster when the user is prone (as when shooting a rifle from prone with a holstered pistol). The problem comes when one starts presenting the pistol or reholstering the pistol.

When the pistol is in hand that muzzle shouldn't point at anything one isn't okay with destroying. Facing uprange while reholstering solves the problem of reholstering safely. The problem of presenting the pistol is trickier and is probably best addressed by eschewing the horizontal shoulder holster altogether.

There may be a few instances wherein a should holster shines (fishing in waders in bear country for one), but they are so narrow and specific that I would probably just disallow them for practical competition, duty use, or similar.

As to the concerns expressed by some (unrelated to shoulder holsters) of shooting oneself while presenting the pistol, I would opine that this is a bad outcome and one to be avoided by proper technique--BUT--if one shoots oneself while presenting the pistol it is bad form and unfortunate. If one shoots someone else (not the bad guy, natch) while so doing, it is downright RUDE.

Rosco
 

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What's rule #2? Keep YOUR finger OFF the trigger until your sights are aligned on target and you are sure of your backstop. IF YOU KEEP your finger off the trigger horizontal holsters aren't any more dangerous than any other mode of carry. Caution MUST be used when reholstering and KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER, and there will be no problems.
I do not recommend horizontal shoulder holsters for inexperienced shooters whom do not have advanced handgun training. But those that are trained and know the risks can make their own decision to their carry systems. I use a horizontal rig in the winter and strong side carry the rest of the year.
 

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'so that even if it were to go off it'

Guns don't 'go off'. Something or somebody causes them to fire. I don't like to see a muzzle any more than anyone else, but you have to be sensible about it - like walking around in a gun show where you're covered thousands of times, and everybody knows there have been NDs at shows - yet, they still go, and you don't see people ducking as they walk the aisles.
 

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Our firearms, and the holsters that we carry them in, are only as safe as the user. Neither the weapon nor the holster do anything by themselves.

The well-trained and conscientious firearm owner will never allow a situation to evolve that endangers anyone (other than the potential target that creates the need for us to be armed, obviously beyond our control).

On the other hand, they just haven't come up with cures for stupidity, recklessness, or carelessness yet, so there will continue to be accidents.

Training and a constant commitment to safety are the answers.
 

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What's rule #2? Keep YOUR finger OFF the trigger until your sights are aligned on target and you are sure of your backstop. IF YOU KEEP your finger off the trigger horizontal holsters aren't any more dangerous than any other mode of carry. Caution MUST be used when reholstering and KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER, and there will be no problems.
I do not recommend horizontal shoulder holsters for inexperienced shooters whom do not have advanced handgun training. But those that are trained and know the risks can make their own decision to their carry systems. I use a horizontal rig in the winter and strong side carry the rest of the year.

#2 is not the only rule. Another being broken is never point a gun at something you are not ready to destroy, like everything swept by the muzzle when you draw and reholster from a shoulder rig.

Can't say one rule will keep you safe while breaking another.
 

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:)Is rule #1 forgotten???

1. All guns are always loaded

2. Never your gun to cover (point at) anything you aren't willing to destroy

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target

4. Be certain of your target and what's behind it.

This is how I remember them - at least how Jeff Cooper quoted them.

:)
 

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I copied this post from another forum. I thought it was interesting:


In a horizontal SR you could shoot an innocent behind you (which of course is argued by those adverse to horizontal SRs)

In a vertical SR you might miss yourself but could ricochet a round off a piece of pavement and into an innocent

With a MOB/SOB, you could shoot the person next to you

With an appendix carry, you could shoot yourself in the hip or thigh

With a strong side (3 or 9 o'clock) holster, you could shoot yourself in the leg unless you were standing with your legs in a position approximately attention (unlikely if you're about to engage someone)

With a tanker holster, you can shoot yourself in the belly or hip

With a pocket holster, you can shoot yourself in the thigh or WORSE

With a cross draw, you could hit yourself or a person next to you

And finally, in a strong side (4 or 8 o’clock) with muzzle rear rake, you could again bounce a round off the pavement.

AND, if you fumble the draw real badly, the gun itself would end up skipping down the sidewalk.

I think it's best that we all just walk around with our handgun out at the low ready

Okay I'm jokin' around but my point is how a gun is or can be carried varies from person to person. If one ponders the issue long enough, fault can found with nearly every mode of carry. I think the biggest issue is the user’s familiarity with the gun and gear.
 

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With the pistol at rest in the holster, the horizontal shoulder holster poses no more safety problems to persons behind the user than does an FBI-canted belt holster when the user is prone (as when shooting a rifle from prone with a holstered pistol). The problem comes when one starts presenting the pistol or reholstering the pistol.

When the pistol is in hand that muzzle shouldn't point at anything one isn't okay with destroying. Facing uprange while reholstering solves the problem of reholstering safely. The problem of presenting the pistol is trickier and is probably best addressed by eschewing the horizontal shoulder holster altogether.

There may be a few instances wherein a should holster shines (fishing in waders in bear country for one), but they are so narrow and specific that I would probably just disallow them for practical competition, duty use, or similar.

As to the concerns expressed by some (unrelated to shoulder holsters) of shooting oneself while presenting the pistol, I would opine that this is a bad outcome and one to be avoided by proper technique--BUT--if one shoots oneself while presenting the pistol it is bad form and unfortunate. If one shoots someone else (not the bad guy, natch) while so doing, it is downright RUDE.

Rosco
Sound information with the addition that folks still carry and draw from these holsters that are seemingly safe. Working under the mindset that it's loaded while holstered, loaded when presenting, loading when shooting and loaded when reholstering, the holstered gun itself is simply in a temporary safe location pending removal.

At the very least, contemporary belt holsters (IWB and OWB) all maintain a modicum of safety when presentation is called for under "normal" conditions. Think the average square range usage or qualification for example. The muzzle is pointed to the ground when holstered and raised from ground to target without "lasing" anyone. Most certainly, an unintentional discharge during the drawstroke is an issue, but that violates Rule #2 and solely injures the shooter. This is not uncommon with fast draw practice in hotel rooms:(.

Under these same set of range circumstances, the horizontal shoulder rig leaves the safety zone and will sweep anyone behind and lateral to the shooter depending on his right or left handed nature. To make matters worse, it has to go back into the holster and I've yet to see a horizontal rig that didn't require two hands to resecure properly.

I have seen specific needs for the horizontal rig to include wheelchair bound folks and individuals coming back from hip replacements with doctor's orders to avoid the weight. Lest you think I run in geriatric circles at the range, they've all been LEOs.:biglaugh:

FWIW, when running a range, placing the guy with the shoulder rig to the farthest side will at last safeguard adjacent shooters. Maintaining uprange safe zones should be of concern as well.
 

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Another thing to consider with Shoulder Rigs is sweeping yourself during the draw. Most people don't even realize until it is pointed out to them that if the "other strong side" or "weak" arm is not lifted/moved the muzzle will sweep the upper arm/bicep...which contains the brachial(?) artery, serious business. Proper presentation would include raising that arm, with the easiest memory tool/habit to develop being to grab the opposite (strong side) shoulder with the weak hand, raising your arm high across the chest as you draw under it.

Personally, I'm currently deployed to Iraq and ever idiot with an M9 has a shoulder holster, and I spend my days getting flagged constantly by the dang things...I HATE it. If it was up to me they wouldn't be allowed here, carrying weapons 24/7 and 365 breeds a lot of casualness/sloppiness that drives me NUTS!
 

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A Marine unit I was with had us carrying 92's in horizontal shoulder holsters. They were Galco rigs and were really good quality a long time before we got them! Our 92's would fall out in the building we were protecting. It always happened in the elevator with a lot of Navy folk around. Scared the crap out of them and us! Shoulder holster are great for a secondary, not a primary weapon. Just my two cents.
 
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