What To Look For In A Chest Holster?
What should you look for in a chest holster? Like any other holster type, there are features that you want to have and features that you want to avoid. Granted, some aspects may be up to personal preference, so you still have to try a few out to find the right one for you.
So, let's talk about what to look for in a chest holster.
Comfort Is King With Across The Chest Holsters
Obviously, the first and foremost quality you want to look for in across the chest holsters is comfort. Trust us, we know a thing or two about this.
If a holster isn't comfortable, and doesn't carry securely, you aren't going to wear it. Now, it's not terrifically difficult to make a holster that retains a pistol in an acceptable fashion. It is not easy, however, to make one that's comfortable enough to wear for hours on end.
And the thing about a holster that isn't comfortable to wear is that you are going to find reasons not to wear it. Even if it's something you only use every so often. This is why we take such great pains to design concealed carry holsters that are comfortable to carry with...it's so you'll actually use them!
What this means is that you need to find a chest holster that's made with materials that you find comfortable to have pressed up against you for long periods. Remember, a chest holster is worn against the body. A bit of padding, for instance, or perhaps breathable materials are going to be highly preferred for construction.
The straps on the holster should also be adjustable, so you can get them snug. This is important not only because this ensures a comfortable fit, but also prevents the holster and pistol from flapping back and forth as you walk.
And since what most people use a chest holster for is carrying a large pistol in the woods? You really don't want a Ruger Redhawk or Colt Delta Elite hitting you in the brisket every time you take a step.
Retention Is Darned Important For A Chest Rig Holster Too
You also need a chest rig holster to have adequate retention. DUH. Any holster of any kind has to be able to adequately retain the gun while carrying, or else it isn't safe to carry with.
But what does that mean?
Since a chest gun holster is carried on the body but off the waistband, some people wonder if active retention is necessary. The answer might actually surprise you.
If you feel like you need it, then you feel like you need it, but is it 100 percent necessary? Not 100 percent, no.
So, like most other types of holster, if the holster itself is custom-molded for the pistol you're going to carry - and adjustable retention to let you dial it in to your desired setting for the retention and draw - that will be more than adequate.
Another good design feature to look for is the cant of the holster. If the barrel points to the ground, gravity helps hold the pistol in place.
A Natural Draw From Your Revolver Or 1911 Chest Holster
Another feature you need to look for is that your revolver or 1911 chest holster has a natural draw angle.
Here's why that's important.
As with any holster of any kind, you might have to get the gun out in a hurry. Therefore, the gun has to be easily accessible.
Some chest holsters are kind of like the old military tanker holster. Those are almost like a shoulder holster, in that the pistol is carried on the lower quadrant of the body on the weak side, meaning you have to reach almost all the way down and across. Access isn't slow but can be awkward in positions.
Some semi-auto or revolver chest holsters carry the pistol horizontally. While you can get your hand to the gun quickly, this presents a few issues. Depending on where the pistol is carried on your body, it can make the draw awkward.
Take your hand, and bring it up to your chest. Now make a sawing motion, going across your chest and back. You'll notice that your hand naturally stops before you get to your armpit. The reason is because that's the natural limit on range of motion in that position; your shoulder is entering into impingement. You may have to finish the draw with the wrist, depending on the pistol and the holster.
The best of all worlds is a chest holster where the pistol is on the chest but that's angled downward, probably to about a 30- to 45-degree down angle. This puts the pistol in an easily-accessed location, but also avoids the problem of shoulder impingement. Gravity also helps keep the pistol holstered a lot better.
So, a comfortable fit, good retention and a natural draw angle. This adds up to a chest holster that you can carry for extended periods without hating it, a holster that's secure enough for you to depend on it, and can get your gun into action easily. That's what you want in a chest holster.