Contributors to this thread:
Sidearm & holster style when bowhunting
I thought given all of the discussion lately it would be interesting to hear what others do. I've carried my handgun on my pack in a cheap nylon holster on my pack belt but I don't feel like it is optimal. Part of me thinks that either a drop leg holster or a chest holster would be more accessible but I believe both have limitations. It seems the chest holster would interfere with shooting a bow and I've read the drop leg holster might be awkward to hike with and can throw off your gait. Anyway......what is your preferred way to holster your firearm and what weapon are you carrying? Do you change weapons for grizzly and non-grizzly country?
"Do you change weapons for grizzly and non-grizzly country?"
Yes, most definitely, I do...
I used to carry my .44 Mag with a chest holster. It’s always in my way.
I switched to a 12 gauge pump with a pistol grip on a sling hung barrel down when I’m bare backed. Over my shoulder when I’m backpacked. Alternately loaded with shot and slug.
454 and chest holster worn just below my bino harness. It does not get in the way at all.
As a cop I was very used to a waist holster. When needed I carry a 4 inch titanium S&W .44 mag in a nylon belt holster.
Have any pics of your setup Rickm?
"Have any pics of your setup Rickm?"
Yeah, me too like to see, but being old fat guy now likely wouldn't work for me...8^)
I have a badlands superday that has a holster incorporated into it, that works well but I rarely use that pack. I too am looking for a method and probably looking for a custom holster maker since options for my Taurus tracker are pretty limited.
I carry a g29 in a kydex holster attached to my pack belt. It distributes the weight amazingly. And most importantly, I don’t leave the chamber empty.
grubby - How dependable is your Taurus... Been thinking about getting a Taurus Judge, but buddy had one that was unreliable... Said it click click band, click bang, click, click bang, click bang... Said you never know when it'd go off...
I carry in a belt holster. I carry it every time, in bear country or not. ... .40 .9 or 629 .44
Belt holster so far for me. Would consider other options but they have to be comfortable and reliable.
G20 in Kydex paddle on the waist belt of my pack.
I have never had an issue with the Taurus, but I really don't shoot it much since it is a miserable bitch to shoot. I have heard of problems with them due to some questionable quality control. It seems like you either have a good one or a really really bad one.
What part of “click click bang click bang bang click” was NOT immediately addressed under warranty???? I started my shooting career with a Win 37A Youth 20 ga that did that, but at least Winchester fixed it. Not sure why it took them longer than a busy taxidermist to get it back to me, but it probably does explain why I haven't owned a Winchester since....
Does seem like a good idea to keep it in the same place all of the time... Pack on or off...
In black bear country - I carry a Springfield XD .40 with an outside the waistband kydex holster. If the boys and I ever do a hunt in Griz country - I'll be the caller and they can be the bowhunters. I'll carry that same XD .40 on my hip but will have my 870 personal defense shotgun loaded with #4 buck as my primary defense weapon.
Glock 10mm in belt holster on my pack belt.....when I carry....mostly just carry bear spray in same spot. It is nice to bring the heat when dealing with a carcass and hauling meat.
The best thing that's worked for me is a Eberlestock Nosegunner. It's A bit heavy.
GF - I think he didn't want any more part of it and traded it in, I think for a S&W Governor… Might not have been a Governor at the time but know he has a Governor right now, cause I tried to buy it off him today...8^) That's how I remember him telling me about the Taurus before... Here's his exact text this morning - "DONT GET A TAURUS", capital letters and all...8^)
He has lots of gun and a bigtime firearms shooter (likely shoots almost daily), I value a what he says...
Received you guys PM, thanks...
Four inch S&W 44 a in Bianchi 5BHL with a heavy duty stiff leather belt. Try out several and find what works best for you.
Glock 10mm in a plastic waist holster on the hip belt of my backpack as well in Grizz country. I consider weight a premium cost when hunting and didn't even bring a gun on my recent Dall sheep hunt as I knew I'd be alpine for 95% of the hunt and relied on bear spray. I can't imagine carrying around .44 mag in the mountains. In WY grizz country, it's the 10mm AND bear spray. I rarely carry if I'm not in grizz country. When I hike in California, I do, but that's mostly because I've been attacked by pitbulls off leash twice in the past 7 years.
Belt holster, right handed but I carry on the of-side, more out of the way and just as handy to reach. Especially getting into and out of vehicles. I carried a 1911 that way in the Army and the "brass'' did not approve.
For me, the problem with a belt holster is that you can't use one with a pack. The pack holster built into my Superday isn't easy to draw the gun from. I'm looking for another pack that will allow my holster to be mounted on the waistbelt.
This pancake holster is what I plan on trying for a S&W 69 Combat .44 with 2.75" barrel. May interfere with a pack a little.
Also, plan on using in a cross-draw configuration. Shoot right-handed, it would be on the front left hip and well out of the way for bow shots but still right there for access.
Gunfighters Inc. Kenai chest holster. Works great with a pack. I also use the micro aggression panel at times.
That Kenai chest holster is sweet but it wouldn't allow a guy to use a bino harness.
Boreal, you just need anything with a 3 inch strap like this.
I like that setup Ike. I didn't like my gun holstered the molle section of the waist belt. I think having it attached to the webbing gives more options and seems like it would be more comfortable. If you drop your pack it looks like you can just slip the paddle holster onto your belt.
In my experience with a pack you’re way better off attaching to the molle. When you tighten the belt down tight for heavy loads the plastic paddle will dig into your hip and in my case bruise the crap out of you. Attached to molle that doesn’t happen.
I like that Rickm. Who makes it?
Bowfreak, I have the same thing for a few different pistols, auto and wheel guns. A few companies make them but mine are from Razco and I bought them direct from them. they are awesome. They attach to the bottom of the bino pack and strap to your waist as well very secure and super fast access. They can be worn with any pack.
That is from Diamond D out of Alaska. It's a full chest holster, I just wear it lower when I have binos and a pack. That is a Ruger Alaskan in 454 and it carries very well. Tried belt holsters and this is way better. Never use the hammer loop as it would make pulling very tough in a panic situation.
Thanks Scar. That is a cool setup!
Here is a pic of the one Scar talked about. I have this Marsupial Gear harness shown in the pic.
Is the pistol weight suppoerted well or does it pull on your neck with that rig?
Rick that’s my thing too. Attached to a pack it distributes the weight 100%. Only issue is once you remove the pack. The other issue is when you’re belly crawling around. With it on your stomach it could be an issue.
No issues like that at all with the Diamond D rig.
Hopefully Scar can answer that for us Rick.
That Marsupial looks pretty good, but just went to their site. $85 for the bino pack and another $105 for the kydex attachment...pricey.
Most people are already running some sort of bino harness so the extra $100 for the chest harness to me isn't absurd. I agree it isn't cheap but it normally seems as if you get what you pay for.
Diamond D Chest Harness and Taurus Judge for me. Same as RickM, just run it a little lower with Bino Harness, doesn't get in the way of the bow at all. Although, I don't think I've taken it out once this season.
Fits all my single action Rugers.
Blackhawk..... Close Quarters Concealment.....CQC......
Galco Combat Master for my .45 Colt, S&W Revolver.............. I like the Galco Phoenix holster too and plan to buy one.
I call this my "noisy Cricket". It's pretty quiet with the silencer on it though and I usually just shoot at snakes while fishing
I will rock a quick detach kydex style in the future. One that I could swap between my hip and waist belt on my pack would be good. Drop leg holsters are will end up buried in your crotch or crack if you get donkey rolled. The integrated Bino holsters interest me as well.
Rick M/ Bowfreak....
Sorry for the late response! I don't think it really weighs me down much at all, not for the security it provides. I carry a Smith custom model 60 in 357 for 2 legged critters and a Springfield XD Custom in 40 S&W for anything else. It works very well and extremely easy to draw and fire with a little practice. I am kicking around the idea of picking up a Glock 29 in 10mm. and I would definitely use this set up for it. lets just say... more bang for the buck:) I looked at the Diamond D and it wasn't what I wanted. I will never lay down my $2K Binos and pistol while servicing an animal. It ain't gonna happen.
PM me if you want more detail.
My take....sure to tick someone off......
FWIW, what works for me might not work for you.
I practice from a belt holster....its intuitive for me to reach to that spot as I've been doing it for 35 years since I first started hog hunting with dogs. It would be crazy for me to switch.
Guys that appendix carry will want to replicate that....
Numero Uno; whatever you choose is what you are used to and train with.....YES you need to practice with a firearm.
The holster itself needs to be solidly attached. If you have ever tried to draw a weapon from a floppy holster.....you will get this point. So be careful of quick release attachments, PALS, etc.....make sure that when you draw the holster doesn't come with the weapon.
Lastly, make sure the holster holds the weapon. A good test is to jog with it on. My hog hunting partner lost his .357 revolver many years ago while chasing hogs due to his [cheap] leather holster softening up letting his pistol just pop out. (Edit; Soaked from hunting in the rain)
Oh....and no Thigh rigs....they look 'Tacticool'...but aren't functional for hunting.
^^^^ WHAT HE SAID!^^^^^ Mine works for me and is fast and easy even with a pack on.
Why ???? your bow hunting ?? i have be bow hunting for 40 years and have never needed a side arm ??
^^^^^^READ THE GRIZ POSTS! ^^^^^ And I have as well... 40 years and counting.... Enough Said!
Imagine most of us are following all the bear protection threads, but for those that aren't here is a link spike78 provided of interview of man charged and related to this topic:
"Kim said that he’d learned lessons from the recent bear shooting. He’s going to buy a holster or two."
I gotta get me one of those chest holsters...