Contributors to this thread:
big bore revolver holster
So I'm going a Caribou hunt in Griz country this year. I normally wear a backpack and a binocular chest harness. What holster do I want?
A chest holster seems like it would interfere with my bino's and maybe get in the way of drawing the bow. A thigh holster seems like it would be a PITA while hiking, and a holster attached to my pack belt won't do me much good if I take the pack off. Like when butchering. What's the answer?
Someone ought to design a bino harness with a pistol holster on the side chest strap.
A soft thigh holster with a soft belt. Doesn't get in the way of anything, always with you and easy to get to. Everything else is a pain in the ass... Ed F
Double D Leather Holster made here in Wasilla Alaska. Holds large hand gun between the sternum strap and waste strap of your pack. Best thing I've found.
Bob, while that sounds interesting, isn't that where bino's are carried? I'll have to look it up.
Ed, is that what you use? Got a link for me, or make/model? What do you mean by soft? What materials?
Thigh holsters will suck if walking all day. Chest holsters are good if using a pack. Hip holster is awful with a loaded pack but awesome without a pack. You can always take your hip holster off and attach it to your pack waist belt.
Thigh holster hangs off the belt and has a strap that goes around your thigh. Doesn't bother me one bit and doesn’t interfere with anything. Mine is custom and made of soft nylon materials. It's hard to describe. .. I'll try and post a photo. What i like best is that it is always with you, when you drop your pack for a stalk, taking care of a downed animal, doing things around camp... I had a brown bear walk into camp and do what he wanted. We had two guns in camp... they were both out of reach or in the tent.... because we didn't have a convenient way to carry them. Ed F
How big of a pistol you carrying? A well fitted hip holster should be fine, if not go with a thigh .
Double D Leather X2 Wear it off to the side. I carry a 8 1/2 inch barrel 629 in one.
Show me more Ed. Make me one of your custom rigs and I'll buy it.
How do you wear a hip holster with a pack?
Another thought I had is a hip holster with a firm clip attachment. That way I could attach it to my pack's waist belt when I'm wearing it, and when I drop the pack I could easily pop it off the pack belt and put it on my waist band. Anyone know of a good holster with a sturdy clip attachment?
I carry ruger454 2 1/2 barrel custom holster made in WY . it can be worn on my chest or on my waist. I have used my binos with this holster but usually leave the binos back at camp. KEEP the gun in the holster at all times esp while field dressing .
That's bad ass Louis... you carrying the elk, not the holster... Ed F
They have a website. But search for something about holsters and Wasilla, or you’re going to get a lot about healthy looking gals.
They are actually in the building constructed by Jerry Fletcher of Fletcher's Archery.
The holster carries the pistol a bit lower and off to the side kind of like what Louis's photo shows. It can be adjusted to fit about any one. They are made specifically for the particular gun you own so they fit like a glove.
What do you do when it rains and you have to put on rain gear? Do you put the holster outside the rain gear? Ed F
Heck, we take our deer in the tent with us so the bears don't get them.
I have always carried mine under rain gear. If you are so worried about being attacked by a bear that you keep your handgun outside of your rain gear, you might want to consider whether or not you should be out there. Bears are far more afraid of you than you should be of them.
I thought having a candy bar or two in my tent was bad:)
I made this one for my .454 casul Super Redhawk. My consern was safe quiet carry. The photo shows the snap on strap not yet attached. I wore it during my solo moose hunt in Alaska. I gun is of no use if its not with you at all times. I plan to make another one that is not so form fitting in the barrel section for quicker draw. Sounds like you are on your way with many good ideas. I had a hard time finding a hoster that adequetly cover trigger gaurd. Mike
I've worn a drop down holster for over a year (actual time), maybe more. It's the most annoying system ever created and I cannot imagine wearing one while hunting.
I'm still looking for a great way to carry my 10mm and since I haven't found one, it usually just stays in the tent....defeating the purpose of bringing it.
I'd like a system that goes to the left of my bino harness but can't find what I'm looking for.
I hate it on my packs waist belt because if I take it off I have to transfer it to my belt, etc. which is a pain to do all the time.
Nick, what's a drop down holster.
Thanks all, keep the ideas coming! Well, except for sleeping with deer ;-)
I used an El Passo Saddlery tanker holster and it worked well. Similar to the double d holster mentioned. Used it for a .44 I used to carry. I've since switched to a G20 and have been experimenting with other options. May end up with another tanker holster.
I use a custom made hip holster on my pack belt for my Red Hawk. I just take it off the pack and wear it on my belt when the pack comes off. I don't know what you guys are doing to make that a pain. It's not like the pack comes on and off every couple of minutes. I can't imagine wearing cityhunter's rig under the pack straps, so it would need to come off and back on every time you take the pack off too.
I have a Diamond D for my S&W 329pd, it works pretty well and I could easily pull the weapon quickly but between the binos, pack and holster you are definitely strapped in to your gear.
Drop holster = Thigh holster
On the advice of a guy I know and trust, I bought a Bianchi UM84R holster about 8 years ago. It is still my #1 and only carry method for my 239PD. Clip system makes is easily attachable/detachable to many belts and packs. I can unclip it from my pack and stick it on my hip for stalks, brbs, camp time. It doesn't show in this picture but I rigged mine with a quick-flip assist (pops the flap open) and a gun-to-holster tether cord. I have never needed it, but there was one time when I had it in my hand with the sights lined up. That was about 7 years ago and involved an Alaskan grizzly which was very close, very large, and had no idea I anywhere nearby.
The flap comes with the holster but is removable if desired.
Ruger 44 mag w/5 1/2 barrel. Leather shoulder holster made specifically for this model pistol.
I don't recall what company made the holster, but can find out if you wish.
Kevin Dill's Link
Kevin, thanks a holster of that sort is kinda what I'm looing for. Do you know if they are made for specific model revolvers?
I don't believe they are made for specific gun models, but generally to fit larger revolver (frames) and such. A visit to the Bianchi website should tell you much. If I understand their coding correctly the UM stands for Univeral Military and the R for Revolver.
I should add that I favor a synthetic holster for most of my hunts due to their ability to shed water or be dried quickly. My gun is always carried externally and subject to moisture from rain or wet brush. The flap-over design of the UM holster keeps water directly off the handgun, but still allows for easy access with practice.
Yah Ed wasn't that fun? We got caught without anything that moment....
Simply Rugged Holsters. Check out my link....lots of options.
Kevin, do you think that Bianchi would work fine for a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan? It only has a 2" bbl. I tried to go on the website and search by model numbers, but it's confusing and they dont seem to list that model.
I have long been a fan of Bianchi leather. Until I called them this week with a holster issue.
I have a Bianchi holster for a 1911 Colt. After a period of use, the gun sinks into the holster and pushes the safety off. Rather than carrying cocked and locked, I end up carrying cocked and unlocked. I quit using it of course.
Called Bianchi and they said they only warranty for two years and that is with owner supplied proof of purchase date. They also said they do not warranty for a humid climate like KS! I lost all respect for them and will not purchase anything from them again.
Nate good choice on the ruger!!!Its a heavy gun when loaded but gives u great stopping power. I think the bears in AK shouldnt be that big of a issue on a bou hunt ! WY MT them grizz are trouble No bear sign all week until i killed a bull within 24hrs a bear was visiting the spot .
SDHNTR: I do believe it would work just fine. That gun/holster match doesn't work for my gun either but it fits absolutely perfect. The UM holster (ballistic nylon) was fairly snug when new but has relaxed just enough to allow a perfect fit. Of course you wouldn't need the full length of the holster for a 2" bbl...
Speaking of 2"...I've always been under the impression that a snubby handgun can be very effective at close range. By 'close' I'm talking handshake distance. I'm pretty good with my 4" 329PD out to 25 yards (laser grips) but that's it. How does that 2" gun do for accuracy?
Kevin Dill's Link
I aint taking any chances. Besides, I take a lot of friends and clients hog hunting. I can use it for that too, and I have had the need, twice!
R Hale, that sucks to hear, but is another reason why I'd prefer synthetic since odds are, this is going to get wet.
More info on the Bianchi UM84R:
Bummer, I don't think that is going to fit the Ruger Alaskan's.
I carried a large revolver for years while hog hunting with dogs.
If I was going to carry on my hip- I would recommend a rig like in Kevin dills pick with the full flap. i can't tell you how many times we had to go back and search for a guys revolver that popped out of his std holster [no flap]
I think the over the shoulder cross draw is the best with a heavy .44 or larger pistol
R.Hale, that is REALLY disappointing. I hate when a well established, respected company with a rep for quality gets run into the ground by some greedy lame butt(s) who won't support the products' reputation for quality
"Well, that one in the center: he had a flap holster and he was in no itchin' hurry....." heheheheh....
Like the rig Kevin has, looks quick to go from pants belt to pack belt to what ever strap is handiest. Flap would help keep the gun in and the weather out.
How are you guys shooting those monsters with 2" barrels? wow. My hands hurt and my forehead gets a knot on it just thinking about it....
I like that Bianchi holster. Unfortunately, they don't make it to fit enough guns. It will work for my wife's GP 100, but it's too short for my 5 1/2" Red Hawk, and too big for the S&W Airweight she likes to carry for general use when big bears aren't the issue.
Beendare. I hear ya! I lost my first Red Hawk in AK when the entire holster came off my pack. I realized it was gone within a couple hundred yards from the last time I touched it, but couldn't find it in that swamp. Needless to say, I changed my attachment method, even though I hadn't had any issues before that. I wish more pack manufacturers would design some way to secure a holster onto their packs, without having to customize something myself.
I use a shoulder sling cross draw holster that custom fits my Super Redhawk.
Look on eBay for holsters. The guy makes holsters of every type for every gun imaginable. Very nice ballistic nylon.
I'm thinking of calling one of these custom holster places and having them make me one just like the UM84R, but specifically for the Ruger AK.
I use shoulder holsters but make my own so that's not much help.I am gradually converting over to using all holsters with full flaps.It's a good feature for a working revolver.
Not a flap but what about this one? http://www.galcogunleather.com/great-alaskan-shoulder-system_8_451_1353.html
That 454 would break my wrist. I'd probably be better off with a 454 casull or 44 magnum cause I would just fall over and play dead after shooting one and maybe the bear would leave me alone.
What I've always envisioned as ideal is a Kuiu bino case with a built in holster on the left of the bino that holds the grip pointing forward for right handed shooters that has a strap that unlocks right to left so you could unlatch it with your right thumb.
A couple questions for you guys that carry these cannons like the 454 casull:
Is your general thought that you're going to only need/use one round or can/do you think that you can use these guns quickly in a bear-charge situation? Personally, as a skinny guy, I know I can rattle off multiple rounds from a Glock 10mm accurately and get at least 3 rounds off in the same time I could get 1 plus recoil on one of those beasts, and probably be shooting my 4th round with the Glock as I shot the 2nd (probably with less accuracy) round on one of those cannon-pistols. Personally, I'd be worried about having to take another shot.
What about weight? Those things weigh a ton (with ammo). How much do you consider that on a trip? No big deal? A Glock 10mm with 10 rounds is still really light weight. Personally, I think I'd rather just lug around a shotgun.
I know a lot of you guys have 50 lbs on me so it's just hard for me to relate, but I just don't get it.
I think your points on the 10mm auto vs a big wheelgun are valid. I also think they are largely theoretical and personal. I say that because we can find basically no person who will validate how one gun is definitely superior to another when fired in response to an attack by a determined bear. There just aren't enough guys who have actually been there and survived that (by actually handgunning a charging bear) to prove one weapon beats another. The odds of attack leading to a shooting are very small. I guess a revolver guy could try to argue some points of superiority (better dependability, better ballistics, etc) but we all know it's just theory until the rubber meets the road.
Given the speed of attack and how fast things unfold when a bear comes in, I suspect most guys would never clear the holster and get off more than a round or two with any gun before going hand-to-paw. The very few instances I've seen which involved a successful handgun defense (when attacked by a bear) were done with larger revolvers and it was over with one or two shots. If (and that's a big word) I knew I had a very large opponent coming in fast and sudden, I would likely opt for ballistic superiority (one or two powerful shots) over multiple rounds. I know that's just theory and personal, but it's my brain and how I'm wired.
As far as carry weight goes, my 329PD is 26 ounces dry. A Glock 20 is 31 ounces. When my rig is mounted to the hip belt of my pack I am largely unaware of the weight carried there. The only thing I wish was that my 329 had less hand-sting, and that's mainly for practice. I would never feel the slightest hand pain when firing in the face of a bear.
Ike, A light big bore is a lot harder to shoot than a heavy one. So it's a trade off. Easy to carry or easy to shoot. I think the Ruger AK manages that balance well, as well as possible anyway. It's not meant to bang a bear from 40-50 yards out. It's a last resort. The way I see it, the first shot is hopefully to thwart a charge (like the Eichler footage), and the second shot is to jam against fur and pull the trigger. I don't need range. And personally, if I need shot(s) # 2+, I want each one knocking that bear on it's ass. I don't see a 10mm doing that.
Besides, you can always practice with .45lc or .44 spc. Like Kevin mentioned, you wont notice the recoil in the heat of the moment.
My only related personal experience (that was rather tame in comparison) was with a friend's 329pd .44 mag and a black bear. I'd just shot a wild pig with my recurve and when I got to the end of the blood trail, I came right into the kitchen of a big boar black bear attempting to eat and carry off my pig. He did that bluff shoulder fake thing while woofing and clacking his jaws. He didn't want to leave. I dumped 2 full cylinders of hot .44 in his direction to convince him otherwise. That is a painful gun to shoot and I never felt a thing.
" What I've always envisioned as ideal is a Kuiu bino case with a built in holster on the left of the bino that holds the grip pointing forward for right handed shooters that has a strap that unlocks right to left so you could unlatch it with your right thumb."
That is EXACTLY what I want to find, took the words right out of my mouth. Find us one! I have messed around with my current POS holster in that same configuration and it would be IDEAL (for me).
Nick and Ike. That would never work on the Kuiu bino harnes POS as it stands now. That thing has such a stupid design flaw it drives me nuts everytime I put it on. NO TOP STRAP to hold it up. Any weight added to it makes the matter even worse. I've tried to attach just my rangefinder, which only weighs a few ounces, to it and you can't pull the chest strap tight enough to keep it from sagging when you pull the binos out. Not without seriously constricting your breathing ability anyway. There is no way it could hold the weight of a handgun.
The FHF or something similar with a proper top strap to keep it from sagging might work, but not the Kuiu. Why they overlooked that element is beyond me. The Kuiu harness with the FHF strap system would be an easy fix and would make it the PERFECT bino harness, IMO.
That's fine Nate, I don't have a KUIU bino harness but I understand exactly what Ike is talking about and it's what would work best for me. Just need to figure out how.
I wore the .454 Ruger SuperRedhawk on my hip all day long and the only time I really noticed it was going to the bathroom. Ha! I am in agreement with Kevin Dill, and would tend to think I would only get one or two shots off so the greater impact the better. Basically they are sleep aids and cater to your fear. If one gun over the other allows you to stomp off into the alder thickets better, then choose that one. Sprays may work good too, but waiting for a bear to reach 30 feet is limiting, since you maybe able to start your defense when the bear is at a greater distance with the handgun (ie shoot the ground in front etc.). Mike
Mike, what hip holster? Did you wear it on you backpack belt or your pants belt? Or both?
Chit in Wy i often walk out with the ruger in my hand wrapped in duct tape . :> I use a 10 in AZ no threat of big bears just drug runners in which i want fast action many rounds . The 454 isnt that bad to shoot it stings !!! but well worth it.
I should have said "kuiu-like." I didn't mean one brand, just the design. There's got to be a way to carry your binocs, pistol, and range finder on your chest without it falling down.
And I'm not worried about the pain or shock of shooting the gun, I just question my personal effectiveness at stopping a bear with one bullet since I feel that the recoil, in my case would end up causing me to not get a second shot off at all, but even if I did, it would be inaccurate, whereas, with the Glock, my odds of putting one where it needs to go doesn't go down so much after round #1.
Let me ask you guys this and it'll most likely be pure speculation, but I'm curious even if you guess.
Let's say you have a charging grizz and you shoot it and the round hits the bear in the neck or shoulder. Comparing a Glock .40 with a .454 casull, what is going to be the difference in what happens to the bear as far as slowing it down is concerned. Would you think that the difference would be significant or negligible as to when the bear actually contacts you?
If it's significant, than that's something. If it's negligible, then for me, I want a gun that I can shoot quickly, but more importantly, quickly with accuracy. I just don't think I can shoot one of those guns quickly and have good accuracy after round #1.
THe home-made hip hoster I showed in post above. I wore on my pants belt.
Its hard to predict any encounter, only your comfort level.
I have found that very few guys are willing to admit that their exact choice of weapon is based on a combination of logic and emotion. There simply isn't enough empirical evidence to prove any one gun is better than another. Some guy has probably dropped a bear with .22 into the eye socket or ear and he's sold on the .22.
Ballistics are at least something that can be measured. I think most guys would choose the most powerful ballistic round they could shoot accurately IF they knew they had but one shot to get it done. Following shots might (or might not) really matter to the outcome, but it still seems logical to go with strong ballistics and acceptable accuracy. Acceptable accuracy involves the firearm, the cartridge, and the man using it. I'm sure there are guys who can deliver 3 or 4 good accurate shots with a stout revolver, and they are fine using it. Only the man knows what he can do, and what he's comfortable with.
I loved Mike's comparison of a handgun to a good sleep aid. We walk and sleep thinking we have chosen wisely, but will never know unless luck leaves us facing what we fear.
Mike, was there a pic? I'm not seeing your holster, and I'd like to. Can you repost the pic?
Ike, hell yes. Given your scenario, a charging bear hit in the neck or shoulder, I'm taking a .454 over a .40 all day long! I know this is hypothetical mental masterbation material, but have you seen the numbers comparing those two? Not even close! Given your scenario with a .454, I see a broken down bear, possibly dead. Same scenario, with a .40 cal, I see a pissed off bear and a human asshole torn anew!
Nate, I to own a Ruger SuperRedHawk .454, it is surprisingly accurate for a 2 1/2" barrel! After using a thigh holster in Alaska for Moose last year I was sold, since the chest holster is where my bino's are and the hip holster doesn't work with a pack. The one I used was borrowed and didn't fit perfect so I took Ed's design and my gun to a friend of mine who sews (military contracts)and She is custom making me two of them right now, one left(for me) and one right for Ed. I will post a pic as soon as I get them done, should be the end of the month. As heavy as the gun is, I never really noticed it while tromping around the bush looking for Moose.
Bret, yeah, Ed mentioned that. I'd like to see it when complete. I can't wrap my head around that thing strapped to my leg. I'm working on a hip holster that I can quickly attach and detach from my pack belt to my pant's belt and vice versa. Seems like the ticket.
Pretty important stuff, mentally if nothing else for the guys like City and Herdbull and others who do solo grizz country hunts.
As some may say, just a security blanket..... but sometimes those security blankets are pretty darn warm and welcome to wrap up in.....
The reason I like this site it because of good give and take exchange of information most of the time. This thread has been pretty educational so thanks to you all. Based on this thread, I bought the Bianchi UM84-R today from Midway. I was having a difficult time deciding how to carry a big bore. Kevin Dill sold me on that holster. I like the idea of carrying it on your pack waist belt and removing it for belt carry when without a pack. Several of you guys are toting the Ruger Red Hawk Alaskan 2.5 inch bbl. That is a really nice gun, handles well and surprisingly accurate. I settled on a Taurus Tracker SS with 4 inch bbl with a 5 shot cylinder. Was not crazy about a Taurus till I handled one belonging to a friend. It is quite a bit lighter than the Ruger Alaskan, has 4 inch bbl and I can shoot it well. In an emergency I don't think I would have to worry about 5 or 6 shots. Time for two shots maybe. It has a little more kick than the Alaskan in .44 mag but I think because of the lighter weight and when a Super Cub is hauling you in, the weight is what counts.