A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Holster options and comparisons.
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Ohio9
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A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:49 pm

Well I took a gamble and ordered my first ever shoulder holster recently

http://www.highnoonholsters.com/store/s ... der-taker/

And the results were utter garbage. First of all, the thing came in pieces. A holster is not furniture. It should never require assembly.

But more importantly, the holster was just crap. It was way too tight around the gun, and the thumb snap took too much effort to release. This meant the gun was almost impossible to draw with one hand. So the product is useless and I am now 187 dollars poorer for no reason.

This is what I hate about shoulder holsters. They are so expensive that it is a huge gamble to order them, but no gun store anywhere stocks left handed shoulder holsters, so they are impossible to try out before I buy them.

Anyone know of a good shoulder holster that is available in left handed configuation? My first choice would have been the Galco Miami Classic, but that don't make a left handed version of that.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby StrangeBird1911 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:50 pm

you might check out Ted Blocker http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/. I visited their shop and saw models of every model gun they make holsters for. They press the leather to fit the gun model. At other companies, I think they have a list a specific guns but in the background they are saying, that's a "small".

They are a custom house, so expect to wait a while. I have not bought from them, because of the time, but I visited their shop and I'm very impressed with their operation.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:09 pm

Ohio9 wrote:the results were utter garbage.

Stop trying to buy quality and save money; it just doesn't happen.

I'm gonna bust your balls a little on this but not for the enjoyment of busting your balls like I normally find; I'm going to try to help you on this. I'm not a big fan of shoulder holster carry because the draw requires you to sweep half of the room, but I realize there are times when it's the best option. This in mind...

This is the bare minimum of acceptability, and it's still going to set you back about $150:
http://www.galcogunleather.com/miami-cl ... _1210.html

This is the best quality you'll find while remaining reasonably priced and will run you around $250:
http://www.alessigunholsters.com/alessi ... lock-guns/

This is simply the best that money can buy; options start around $400:
http://www.delfatti.com/2011%20SR.html

I take a bit of crap whenever I bring up to spend more to get more, but at the end of the day its the dang truth. If you want quality, pony up. If you can't pony up, wait and save up so that when you do get what you want, you actually have what you want and you're not settling for crap. You wear your holster daily; something that intimate isn't the time to try to save money.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:26 pm

Nathan wrote:
Ohio9 wrote:the results were utter garbage.

Stop trying to buy quality and save money; it just doesn't happen.


You did see the part where I said I spent 187 bucks, right? That's not saving money.

I don't mind spending top dollar for a product that is actually worth the price. The problem is gambling on unknown expensive products and then finding out they are terrible. The Underarmor rig from Highnoonholstes looked like a good product and had the price of one, it just didn't deliver the results.

Nathan wrote:This is the bare minimum of acceptability, and it's still going to set you back about $150:
http://www.galcogunleather.com/miami-cl ... _1210.html



I already had to rule out the Galco Miami classic because they don't make left handed versions of it.

The other two look like they might be worth a look, though.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby MisterB » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:56 pm

Nathan wrote:
Ohio9 wrote:the results were utter garbage.

Stop trying to buy quality and save money; it just doesn't happen.

I take a bit of crap whenever I bring up to spend more to get more, but at the end of the day its the dang truth. If you want quality, pony up. If you can't pony up, wait and save up so that when you do get what you want, you actually have what you want and you're not settling for crap. You wear your holster daily; something that intimate isn't the time to try to save money.


But yet you carry a Glock? Lol. That's what they're known for. Quality, at a low price.

Ohio9, I recently bought a Gould and Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster , and I've been very happy with it. Check out the reviews. Very highly rated. They have left handed versions, and make them for multiple different gun manufacturers. I got it on Amazon for about $130. Very good quality. I don't see how those other ones in those links have anything on this one, and if they do- it's not by much. Certainly not $300 more worth.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WB6ARU?ref_=cm_sw_r_awd_1UViwb080VGKE

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby hkguy » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:04 pm

I just got a safariland shoulder holster for my 6" 686. it works well for what i want to use it for. Like all holster, there is going to be break in peiod, so give it time to loosen up and break in before writing it off as garbage.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby hkguy » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:15 pm

Ohio9 wrote:Well I took a gamble and ordered my first ever shoulder holster recently

http://www.highnoonholsters.com/store/s ... der-taker/

And the results were utter garbage. First of all, the thing came in pieces. A holster is not furniture. It should never require assembly.


most are meant to be modular so you can adapt them to your needs. that and this is straight from the description of the holster.....". Components may be interchanged on the harness enabling the owner to use the Under Taker with a variety of handguns."

But more importantly, the holster was just crap. It was way too tight around the gun, and the thumb snap took too much effort to release. This meant the gun was almost impossible to draw with one hand. So the product is useless and I am now 187 dollars poorer for no reason.

what did you do for a break in procedure? with my leather holsters i just took one or two plastic grocery bags and put the gun in the bag and holstered it overnight to help it stretch slightly, this will should help you if you have not already done this.

This is what I hate about shoulder holsters. They are so expensive that it is a huge gamble to order them, but no gun store anywhere stocks left handed shoulder holsters, so they are impossible to try out before I buy them.

Anyone know of a good shoulder holster that is available in left handed configuation? My first choice would have been the Galco Miami Classic, but that don't make a left handed version of that.


Call the manufacture and see what they recommend to help fix the issues you have before bashing them.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:15 pm

Ohio9 wrote:You did see the part where I said I spent 187 bucks, right? That's not saving money.

No, I missed that; I stopped reading at High Noon Holsters. Even still, in the <$200 range you aren't getting much, even the Galco. I only use the Galco while waiting on a custom holster to arrive.


I don't mind spending top dollar for a product that is actually worth the price.

That being the case, the Del Fatti is the finest leather made today bar none. Matt isn't just building holsters; he's building highly functional art with unmatched craftsmanship. I consider Matt to be the finest leather craftsman alive today, bar none. My next "formal" (for me anyway...formal means jeans with no holes and no critters or crumbs in my beard) occasion being televised I'll be wearing Del Fatti.

For daily wear I prefer the Alessi. The Alessi isn't inferior functionally in any way to the Del Fatti, it's just not quite as aesthetically pleasing or expensive.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:45 pm

MisterB wrote:But yet you carry a Glock? Lol. That's what they're known for. Quality, at a low price.

Glocks are like the AK47s of the pistol world. Rugged, reliable, economical, reliable, concealable, reliable, basic, reliable; they just work. They're economical because everything about a Glock is utilitarian with none of the frilly features you might look for in other designs. While they are a much greater value than say an HK, they aren't the same quality. They are every bit as (and likely even more so) reliable, but not nearly as refined. To some, this is a strength. I personally love the rugged simplicity of my Glocks. I'm currently struggling with carrying my Glock 23 or my HK P30.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:54 pm

hkguy wrote:most are meant to be modular so you can adapt them to your needs. that and this is straight from the description of the holster.....". Components may be interchanged on the harness enabling the owner to use the Under Taker with a variety of handguns."


That's the not same thing as saying the product doesn't come assembled.

hkguy wrote:what did you do for a break in procedure? with my leather holsters i just took one or two plastic grocery bags and put the gun in the bag and holstered it overnight to help it stretch slightly, this will should help you if you have not already done this.


I know about that trick, but even if that works, there is still the issue of the thumb snap requiring too much pressure in order to release. I don't think there is anything that can solve that problem.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:03 pm

Nathan wrote:That being the case, the Del Fatti is the finest leather made today bar none. Matt isn't just building holsters; he's building highly functional art with unmatched craftsmanship. I consider Matt to be the finest leather craftsman alive today, bar none. My next "formal" (for me anyway...formal means jeans with no holes and no critters or crumbs in my beard) occasion being televised I'll be wearing Del Fatti.

For daily wear I prefer the Alessi. The Alessi isn't inferior functionally in any way to the Del Fatti, it's just not quite as aesthetically pleasing or expensive.


I'll take that into consideration, but for now I just can't justify blindly throwing 400 dollars at a product without knowing how the results are going to be. Especially after I just got burned with the current holster I just tried.

The problem is that holster comfort is entirely subjective. It has no universal standards and depends entirely on the individual. If there was a way to test the product first and make sure it really was worth 400 dollars, then I'd be willing to spend that much, but without that the gamble is simply too huge.

This is why I always test fire every gun I consider buying before I make a purchase.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:09 pm

Ohio9 wrote:The problem is that holster comfort is entirely subjective. It has no universal standards and depends entirely on the individual.

Very true...it's also very possible that you just aren't a shoulder holster kind of guy. You may want to consider that before buying another one from any manufacturer. Go to any big box sporting good store and try an Uncle Mike's shoulder rig and see if that is equally uncomfortable.

Every shoulder holster I've ever bought I had to assemble...but I don't buy expensive ones because even the best shoulder holster still sweeps the room when you draw.

Does High Noon not offer money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied?
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:08 pm

MisterB wrote:
Ohio9, I recently bought a Gould and Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster , and I've been very happy with it. Check out the reviews. Very highly rated. They have left handed versions, and make them for multiple different gun manufacturers. I got it on Amazon for about $130. Very good quality. I don't see how those other ones in those links have anything on this one, and if they do- it's not by much. Certainly not $300 more worth.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WB6ARU?ref_=cm_sw_r_awd_1UViwb080VGKE


That does look like a good one. Sadly, their website doesn't offer any options for Springfield XD or XDS pistols, which the kind I want it for

Nathan wrote:
Ohio9 wrote:The problem is that holster comfort is entirely subjective. It has no universal standards and depends entirely on the individual.

Very true...it's also very possible that you just aren't a shoulder holster kind of guy


That's possible, but my main problems were the difficulty in assembly and the fact that the the thumb snap required so much pressure that I couldn't actually get the gun out of the holster with just one hand. Without those issues I think I would have been find with it.

Nathan wrote:
I don't buy expensive ones because even the best shoulder holster still sweeps the room when you draw.


Wait does that mean you haven't bought the holsters that you recommended? Surely you wouldn't reccommend a holster that you haven't tried out, would you?

Nathan wrote:Does High Noon not offer money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied?


I'm looking into that.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby MisterB » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:19 pm

Nathan wrote:
MisterB wrote:But yet you carry a Glock? Lol. That's what they're known for. Quality, at a low price.

Glocks are like the AK47s of the pistol world. Rugged, reliable, economical, reliable, concealable, reliable, basic, reliable; they just work. They're economical because everything about a Glock is utilitarian with none of the frilly features you might look for in other designs. While they are a much greater value than say an HK, they aren't the same quality. They are every bit as (and likely even more so) reliable, but not nearly as refined. To some, this is a strength. I personally love the rugged simplicity of my Glocks. I'm currently struggling with carrying my Glock 23 or my HK P30.


Right. The key to all that which you said, is that they are high quality and economical . You said earlier that you can't have quality and save money. Said it "doesn't happen". Just because HK might be better is besides the point.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:15 pm

It's relative to the level of quality you are referencing. Glock has more quality than Taurus. Glock has less quality than HK. Glock has equal quality as Springfield or S&W. Glock has less quality than Dan Wesson. Glock has more quality than KelTec. All this despite that I believe Glock is superior to all in reliability but reliability is only one factor of quality.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:28 pm

Ohio9 wrote:does that mean you haven't bought the holsters that you recommended?

I owned an Alessi and later sold it. I've borrowed/worn the Del Fatti. I currently only own an original Jack Ass rig for a BHP and a Galco rig for my HK45cT. I've also tested many others. The only time I ever carry in a shoulder holster is when I'm driving on long trips.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby MisterB » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:32 pm

Nathan wrote:It's relative to the level of quality you are referencing. Glock has more quality than Taurus. Glock has less quality than HK. Glock has equal quality as Springfield or S&W. Glock has less quality than Dan Wesson. Glock has more quality than KelTec. All this despite that I believe Glock is superior to all in reliability but reliability is only one factor of quality.


That's fine and dandy, but doesn't have anything to do with your statement that you can't buy quality and save money

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:38 am

Again, it depends on the level of quality your are seeking. Quality guns tend to start around $400 (in polymer). I can think of no <$400 guns I've ever considered for carry, and very few @$400. In this case, I don't believe quality shoulder holsters exist below $200 (new). You can buy them as low as $30 (Uncle Mikes) but I don't believe you'll find quality until you pass $200. You pay more for more quality within each classification. In 1911s you won't find real quality until you pass the $800-$900 mark. Quality is relative to the user, the need and the classification of product.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby hkguy » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:08 am

Ohio9 wrote:
hkguy wrote:
hkguy wrote:what did you do for a break in procedure? with my leather holsters i just took one or two plastic grocery bags and put the gun in the bag and holstered it overnight to help it stretch slightly, this will should help you if you have not already done this.


I know about that trick, but even if that works, there is still the issue of the thumb snap requiring too much pressure in order to release. I don't think there is anything that can solve that problem.


Have you checked the FAQ section of their website, i just did and it address pretty much all of your concerns , including the tight snap. they address many other things too, except about why you had to assemble the holster.....
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Hand and Steel » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:41 pm

Years ago I bought a Bianchi Tuxedo shoulder rig... fully reversible as far as I can remember, and very well made as far as nylon holsters go, though I have no idea what has happened to their level of quality since Bianchi was purchased by Safariland (personally I simply won't buy Safariland products). It's a horizontal rig and I'm on the skinny side, so the muzzle tended to press out the back of my jacket if I moved my arm forward at all, the result being that I never carried it much unless I was going on a road trip (shoulder rigs do tend to shine when seated in a vehicle).

My personal preference for shoulder holsters has shifted towards a more classic vertical rig, as I find these tend to conceal better. However, as has already been pointed out it is difficult to draw from a shoulder rig without muzzle sweeping half the room so my personal policy is to only carry in a shoulder rig with the chamber empty. Oh the horror! Or maybe not - shoulder rigs already make quick draws unlikely, so the time it takes to rack a round into the chamber is fractional. Additionally, if I carry in a shoulder rig when out and about then I usually have another pistol on my hip with a round in the chamber that can be deployed more quickly, and the gun in the shoulder rig acts as backup. This is simply my personal preference, and may or may not work for other individuals.

By the way, what type of pistol are you planning to shoulder carry?

Nathan wrote:Stop trying to buy quality and save money; it just doesn't happen.
...
I take a bit of crap whenever I bring up to spend more to get more, but at the end of the day its the dang truth. If you want quality, pony up. If you can't pony up, wait and save up so that when you do get what you want, you actually have what you want and you're not settling for crap. You wear your holster daily; something that intimate isn't the time to try to save money.
I have to disagree with that statement. I own several holsters from Galco, a Bianchi, a custom made Bladetech, an Israel Military Industries Defense, and several "off brand" holsters. The Bladetech was the most expensive holster I bought and along with the IMI Defense has proven to be of the lowest functional quality. The "off brand" holsters, none of which cost me more than $25 if I remember correctly, are just as good as the ones from Galco and are just as likely to get carried - they might not have the same level of finishing, but from a functionality and durability standpoint, they are every bit as good at about a third the price.

Nathan wrote:It's relative to the level of quality you are referencing. Glock has more quality than Taurus. Glock has less quality than HK. Glock has equal quality as Springfield or S&W. Glock has less quality than Dan Wesson. Glock has more quality than KelTec. All this despite that I believe Glock is superior to all in reliability but reliability is only one factor of quality.
What do you mean by "quality"? Which "quality" of the firearm are you referring to? Do you mean fine craftsmanship? Do you mean consistency in manufacturing? Or do you mean functionality (reliability, durability, accuracy, ergonomics, etc.)? If your Glocks perform better than your HKs and Dan Wessons, then from a pragmatic standpoint how are they of lower quality?

Nathan wrote:Again, it depends on the level of quality your are seeking. Quality guns tend to start around $400 (in polymer). I can think of no <$400 guns I've ever considered for carry, and very few @$400. In this case, I don't believe quality shoulder holsters exist below $200 (new). You can buy them as low as $30 (Uncle Mikes) but I don't believe you'll find quality until you pass $200. You pay more for more quality within each classification. In 1911s you won't find real quality until you pass the $800-$900 mark. Quality is relative to the user, the need and the classification of product.
Again I can't quite agree here... When Sig Sauer first started bring P226s into the US they were very inexpensive but were still "quality" guns. There are plenty of functionally excellent guns on the market for low prices.

One of the first handguns I ever bought was worth about $2500, so I'm not a "cheapskate" at all when it comes to firearms. Can't say how many top dollar guns I've had the pleasure of shooting. Despite this I've found that some of the less expensive guns match or exceed the competition in functional terms - side by side against Kimbers, Glocks, Sigs or Rugers, I've found that my "cheap" roughly made and poorly finished Bulgarian Hi Power clones and Makarov (none of which cost me over $300) shoot as well or better than any of them. The only one I've managed to jam was from the use of a higher tension recoil spring with light practice ammo, without even first breaking the gun in. The only parts failure I've experienced was a trigger spring breaking after a very long time of spending about an hour (sometimes more) every day on dry fire drills. They're not made like jewelry, but from the standpoint of what I need in a weapon that I carry for pragmatic reasons, I find them to be extremely "high quality".

I've personally witnessed Glocks, Berettas, Walthers, Rugers, $1500 1911s, and other quality, reliable firearms malfunction... and yet have never had a single solitary jam out of any of the four "cheap Beretta clone" PT 92s I've had over the years, with no idea how many rounds of cheap practice ammo and oddly shaped hollow points I've sent down range through them over the years. I can't say the same about every Taurus model, but there's one that performs extremely well, despite the fact that they can be found for under $400 and come from a less prestigious manufacturer. The first one I bought was never intended as a carry gun - in fact it was bought more as an "experiment" than anything, but as they say "you live and learn" - and I found out very quickly that I had underestimated that awesome piece of equipment due to the fact that it was inexpensive and was a Taurus. Lesson learned. I wouldn't trade any of my 92s for a Wilson Combat.

Seen lots of "mouse gun" failures, but never even heard of the slightest problem with a CZ 82 or 83. Compared to higher priced Sig, Walther and Beretta .380s, these guns are "cheap", but seem to be as accurate and reliable as can be.

I've also done some long range shooting with some very nice hunting rifles equipped with high dollar scopes and loaded with match ammo. I've also shot military surplus guns with open sights and old military surplus ammo that outperformed the expensive hunting rifles... So which was the "higher quality" gun? The one that had the beautiful bluing and precise craftsmanship, or the one that was cheaply turned out with a lousy Parkerizing job but shot much better?

I'm not suggesting that quality should be skimped on in the slightest in a firearm that is owned for serious purposes, but simply highlighting the fact that it is possible to find firearms on the market that are of low cost but high functional quality. Usually these guns don't have the same level of attention to detail in craftsmanship, and they usually have a poor finish from the factory. As long as they shoot straight, shoot every time I need them to, and are built to last I don't particularly care. Life is too short to worry about the superficial.

Nathan wrote:I personally love the rugged simplicity of my Glocks. I'm currently struggling with carrying my Glock 23 or my HK P30.
If you like the Glock then carry the damn Glock. Yours are obviously running reliably if you've reported to have never had a single failure out of any of them... I'm guessing you shoot them well. So what if the HK is more "prestigious"? If you are most comfortable with Glock, then carry Glock. It's a weapon, not a piece of jewelry.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:13 pm

Hand and Steel wrote:By the way, what type of pistol are you planning to shoulder carry?


Either a Springfield XD9 or XDS9. I'd prefer the XDS, but the problem is that it's a relatively new gun and many holster companies don't have that type as an option yet.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:32 pm

Hand and Steel wrote:The "off brand" holsters, none of which cost me more than $25 if I remember correctly, are just as good as the ones from Galco and are just as likely to get carried

I don't see any disagreement there; I've already stated that I use Galco while waiting on custom holsters. Surely you don't actually believe that Bladetech or any off the shelf holster is truly comparable to custom leather?


from a functionality and durability standpoint, they are every bit as good at about a third the price.

I suppose if function is all that matters then most any holster would work just fine. That said, function is only one aspect of overall satisfaction. While any holster can hold a gun on your hip, there are also other factors such as comfort, position, cant, retention, durability as well as overall aesthetics.

74.jpg
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While aesthetics don't matter for daily carry, it becomes important when open carrying at a formal event. This is my Alessi CQC/S with my Dan Wesson V-Bob that I wore at my last wedding. It's not often that I play dress-up and but when I do I want an appropriate fitting holster.


What do you mean by "quality"? Which "quality" of the firearm are you referring to? Do you mean fine craftsmanship? Do you mean consistency in manufacturing? Or do you mean functionality (reliability, durability, accuracy, ergonomics, etc.)?

Quality is measured in every aspect of the firearm. Reliability is one aspect of quality. Grouping is one aspect of quality. Fit and finish are each aspects of quality. Ergonomics are not as aspect of quality and more of an opinion. Base materials are an aspect of quality (MiM, for example). Process is an example of quality. Quality of processes are an aspect of quality.

If your Glocks perform better than your HKs and Dan Wessons, then from a pragmatic standpoint how are they of lower quality?

An HK chambered in .45 ACP will handle a steady diet of .45 Super. A Glock chambered in .45 ACP will not. The HK is of higher quality and thus will withstand abuse better than the Glock will. That doesn't make the Glock "inferior", just less durable. The Glock is overall the most reliable handgun available today in my opinion, but this is but one aspect of quality. There is clearly more invested into the design, the quality control, the components and the processes in the HK than there are in the Glock. That doesn't in any way make the Glock inferior, but the HK is clearly of higher quality as a result of the sum total of investment put into the HK before it hits the shelf. As a result, the HK will group tighter than an off the shelf Glock that simply runs looser than does the HK. This isn't a criticism of Glock in any way. For what the Glock is designed to do I still believe it to be the best option available, but that doesn't mean it is of better quality.


Again I can't quite agree here... When Sig Sauer first started bring P226s into the US they were very inexpensive but were still "quality" guns.

You are unaware I assume then, that the initial Sigs nearly bankrupted the company due to their cracking frames?


I've personally witnessed Glocks, Berettas, Walthers, Rugers, $1500 1911s, and other quality, reliable firearms malfunction

$1,500+ 1911s aren't synonymous with reliability anyway, depending on the type of gun you're referencing. Competition 1911s aren't designed to be reliable as their primary function. They're designed to be pin-point accurate and require regular cleaning and lubricating between sets to run as they are supposed to. These guns should never be considered for carry anyway. In many years of instructing and hundreds of thousands of rounds I have never seen a stock Glock failure. I've seen modified Glocks fail but never OEM. I had a Glock 31 (.357 Sig) fail to feed once. My range assistant who was loading my magazines accidentally loaded a .40 cartridge mid way. For some reason I just don't consider that a Glock failure. >:)
I've had two brands that have never suffered a failure of any kind (including even locking the slide back on empty): Glock and HK. I still give the Glock a slight edge in reliability simply due to having an internal (thus protected) striker instead of an exposed hammer that could get contaminated (sticks, twigs) if crawling or fording, but to date I've never had need to craw or ford to test that theory. Of course, all this is subject to change with the VP series from HK. I'm loving my VP9s so much that I'm considering buying a VP40.


I'm not suggesting that quality should be skimped on in the slightest in a firearm that is owned for serious purposes, but simply highlighting the fact that it is possible to find firearms on the market that are of low cost but high functional quality.

Yes there are many options that will reliably go "bang" when you pull the trigger. My overall experience is much deeper than reliability. While reliability is the single most important factor in choosing a carry gun, there are other important factors as well that will make the experience more positive. Not only must it work, but you must be able to hit with it. It should be comfortable to carry (size/weight), small enough to conceal if that's what you are doing and it should be an ergonomic match. There are many more aspects of choosing a gun beyond reliability, although again reliability is the most important one. Since you can find reliability in guns with other features you prefer, why settle for simply going bang?


If you like the Glock then carry the damn Glock. Yours are obviously running reliably if you've reported to have never had a single failure out of any of them... I'm guessing you shoot them well. So what if the HK is more "prestigious"? If you are most comfortable with Glock, then carry Glock. It's a weapon, not a piece of jewelry.

It's more than a weapon; it's amongst the most important decisions you make every day when you leave home. I "struggle" because there are properties of both that I love. My primary struggle is the ergonomics of the HK compared to the trigger of the Glock. I absolutely love the Glock trigger since I shoot from reset and nobody in the business has a better reset than Glock OEM triggers. Not only can you feel it, but you can actually hear it as well (although under an adrenaline dump you probably won't hear it anymore). The feeling in your finger is so pronounced that you know the exact point of reset. My follow-up shots with the Glock are faster and more efficient as a result. On the other hand, the ergonomics of the HK P30 are like nothing else I've ever handled. If you've never picked up a P30 or a VP9, do so. The gun becomes a natural extension of your hand. The ergonomics of the P30 exceed that of (...are you ready for this?) even the 1911 because it is so customizable to your hand. You can select the back straps and even the side panels and mix and match as necessary to fit your hand and it does so like nothing else I've held. I also love the inherent accuracy of the HK.
The VP9 is changing everything for me. The trigger is almost as good as a Glock (although more travel than I prefer) with the ergonomics of the P30. If I can get the trigger custom tuned a little shorter it might end up being a no-brainer for me. While I can shoot with more precision from the HK, I can put more rounds on the plate (a white paper plate stapled to a silhouette target in center mass) with the Glock in a shorter period due to the outstanding trigger. The grouping will be larger than with the HK, but they will still all be on the plate and in a shorter time than with the HK. While I would have more confidence going for a head shot with the HK, we teach that so long as you can hit the plate consistently you are training properly. I could go on for days on this, but now at least you understand a little better why I don't know what I want to carry from day to day between my P30s or my Glocks. And then we have the whole caliber struggle as well. I'm absolutely confident with 9mm and I shoot 9mm better than I do .40, but where I live I'm not the top of the food chain and should I encounter a cougar or black bear or wolf, etc. I prefer a slightly larger bullet. A .40 at the muzzle is comparable to 10mm at 50-60 yards or so (depending on the load) so I have a slight preference for the .40 over 9mm when the potential exists to encounter wild life. If I know I'll be in the woods I carry 10mm loaded heavy so that's a non-issue but for daily carry where I might be in town or country I typically carry .40. For carrying around town I'll grab a Glock 19 or a VP9 all day long.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:08 pm

Nathan wrote:In many years of instructing and hundreds of thousands of rounds I have never seen a stock Glock failure.


Consider yourself fortunate. I once carried a Glock 17 when I worked in private security and I saw it fail multiple times, sometimes more then once per range trip.

I don't know if I've ever owned any semi-auto pistol with a perfect functionality record, at least not any gun that I've fired more then 500 rounds with. Probably the most reliable gun I've ever owned is my Springfield XD9 SC. I've fired thousands of rounds with it and probably had a failure amount in the low single digits.

My recently purchased XDS9 seems well on the way to matching that record.

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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Nathan » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:18 pm

Ohio9 wrote:Consider yourself fortunate.

I really cannot dismiss my successes as good luck, and I don't consider it "fortunate" as if my experience is the exception to the rule. In fact, I would say that my experience with Glocks is far more common due to the superiority of the simplicity of the design. Glock didn't earn their reputation for reliability through failure.


I once carried a Glock 17 when I worked in private security and I saw it fail multiple times, sometimes more then once per range trip.

A company owned gun that you knew nothing about. You don't know the round count, if it was ever abused, the maintenance that was done or not done on it or how worn out the springs were.


I don't know if I've ever owned any semi-auto pistol with a perfect functionality record, at least not any gun that I've fired more then 500 rounds with.

You've also never owned a Glock.


Probably the most reliable gun I've ever owned is my Springfield XD9 SC. I've fired thousands of rounds with it and probably had a failure amount in the low single digits.
That's an absolute failure; raise your standards. I've got several 1911s with better reliability records than that and a 1911 should suffer a failure long before any of the loose plastic wonder-guns. My TRP at 5,500 rounds has had two failures to feed utilizing stock magazines, and zero failures in the last 4,000 rounds or so since switching to Wilson magazines. In looser plastic wonder-guns, one failure in 500 rounds is too much.


My recently purchased XDS9 seems well on the way to matching that record.

I'm actually sorry to hear that. Raise your standards.

I've a third generation Glock 17 with nearly 70,000 rounds through it that has never even been field stripped, cleaned or lubricated. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me but the last entry into the book was in excess of 60,000 rounds. This gun is being intentionally abused for publication purposes. When it eventually fails in any way I will publish the full report. It's very loose and I dang near believe I could remove the slide without field stripping due to the lack of lubrication and advanced wear, but the dang thing just keeps running.




The guide rod on this third generation Glock literally melts out of the gun and yet the gun continues to run 100% reliably.
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Re: A lefty needs a good shoulder holster

Postby Ohio9 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:50 pm

Nathan wrote:
A company owned gun that you knew nothing about. You don't know the round count, if it was ever abused, the maintenance that was done or not done on it or how worn out the springs were.


It seemed pretty new and there was no visible damage to any of the parts. If Glocks are so wonderfully reliable, shouldn't it have been able to handle a large round count and whatever "abuse" the prior user put it through? (At least short of deliberately trying to destroy it?)

Nathan wrote:That's an absolute failure; raise your standards.


I didn't say it met my ideal standards. I just said it was the most reliable semi-auto pistol I've ever owned.

That being said, I don't consider a low single digit amount of stoppages after firing several thousand rounds to be an "absolute failure"

Nathan wrote:In looser plastic wonder-guns, one failure in 500 rounds is too much.


Again, I'm just going by what I have experienced, not what I want to experience. I don't know how many stoppages a gun is going to have after firing hundreds or thousands of rounds through it until I actually fire hundreds or thousands of rounds through it.

Nathan wrote:
Ohio9 wrote:I'm actually sorry to hear that. Raise your standards.


Again, it has nothing to do with standards. It's simply the fact that I don't know how a gun is going to perform after prolonged use until I put it through prolonged use.

I always test fire every gun before purchase, but it's impractical to test it with thousands of rounds, and the results would be skewed anyway (A rental range gun that often isn't properly cleaned after every firing isn't comparable to my guns, which always are)


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