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Thread: Wandering Away from Your Cub...What Chest Holster Would You Suggest?

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Wandering Away from Your Cub...What Chest Holster Would You Suggest?

    I like to carry my S&W 44 cal Mountain Gun with me when I fish in the backcountry, and have a chest holster that is not really working well for me.

    I saw an ad for the Kenai Chest Holster and thought I'd ask you folks if you have any experience with this or other holsters that might work.

    Thanks for any information you can provide!

    Randy
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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Big fan of the Gunfighters Inc Kenai chest holster system. Haven't used it but it looks super solid and I plan on getting one for the Glock 20 that I also plan on getting to save some weight.

    Currently use the Diamond D chest holster for my Ruger Blackhawk and it works great as well. Really comes down to if you prefer leather or synthetic materials. A holster is never a place to cheap out when it comes to all day carrying comfort.
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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    I use the Man Gear Alaska Ultimate chest harness for a Mountain Gun. A bit bulky, but not uncomfortable. Has a very secure retention strap. Having a few extra rounds in the covered ammo loops is handy. Well thought out shoulder and belt straps keep it from shifting around.

    Jim

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Big fan of the Gunfighters Inc Kenai chest holster system. Haven't used it but it looks super solid and I plan on getting one for the Glock 20 that I also plan on getting to save some weight.

    Currently use the Diamond D chest holster for my Ruger Blackhawk and it works great as well. Really comes down to if you prefer leather or synthetic materials. A holster is never a place to cheap out when it comes to all day carrying comfort.
    Hi, Crash, Jr., thanks for the post. OK, I am a Glock person, hadn't considered the Glock 20 (which as you know is a 10 cal) for keeping big critters away from me...so I did a google search and read about the 10 cal vs 44 mag...and it appears not even close in terms of stopping power. At the risk of hijacking my own thread, what are your thoughts?

    Respectfully submitted,

    Randy

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    And awaaaaayyyy we go!

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Crash, Jr, I just watched a video that did a nice job of explaining the choices. I can see both sides now... https://www.personaldefenseworld.com...ackwoods-ammo/

    Randy

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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Hi, Crash, Jr., thanks for the post. OK, I am a Glock person, hadn't considered the Glock 20 (which as you know is a 10 cal) for keeping big critters away from me...so I did a google search and read about the 10 cal vs 44 mag...and it appears not even close in terms of stopping power. At the risk of hijacking my own thread, what are your thoughts?

    Respectfully submitted,

    Randy
    The biggest thing for me with that choice is being able to land multiple hits with a smaller caliber vs. maybe one aimed hit in a hurry with a 44 mag and then trying to fight the recoil and heavy revolver double action trigger to land follow up shots.

    Statistically single shot stopping power is a myth and can't be trusted. While I do carry a 44 in the woods because it's what I have, the Glock 20 is far easier to shoot quickly and under stress and even though the 10mm isn't as powerful as a 44 the point isn't to kill the bear dead in one shot, it's to break contact and get away and convince the bear to do the same. Disassembling a bear's face with 210grain lead 10mm slugs may just do that.

    Background: competitive handgun/rifle shooter/ 2 and 3 gun competitions. I don't normally carry a gun in the woods but carry bear spray always. If you look at the national parks statistics for bear attacks bear spray is far more effective than a gun mainly because bear spray doesn't need to be aimed or have recoil controlled. You just point and hold the trigger down. Most people that carry a gun in the woods have never practiced drawing that gun in a hurry, let alone under stress or a timer to see how quickly and how accurately they could put fire down if their life depended on it. This leads to a lot of missed large bore revolver shots when the cards are down.

    Sorry to derail the thread. Just my .02 on bear encounters based on statistics and my observations with friends/family shooting our "bear guns" at the range with a timer and targets at varying distances.
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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    And awaaaaayyyy we go!

    Web
    Web, you are toooooo funny!

    Randy

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Just seen a 'couple' of threads go way around the bend over discussions like the best caliber.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

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    I wear the Kenai chest holster with a S&W 44 when hiking the backcountry of Montana. Its probably as comfortable as it gets and gives you quick access when you need it.

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    Randy
    I would say none!! I use a cross draw holster, for both my 44 and 9mm for a few reasons. 1st is that if done right you can put it on before you leave the tent in the morning and forget it is even on for the rest of the day. I carry extra clip and leather man on the other side so weight is more balanced. I can unbutton my shirt when Packing meat/ hiking/working and cool down. holster can unclip from shoulder rig and go to belt if needed. Never gets in the way of the binoculars. I have processed Kodiak Bear, Alaska Moose, and Caribou with the rig on and never had a problem. Everyone I know with a chest holster takes them off for hard work. I will send you some pics if you want, any good leather shop can make them.
    DENNY
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    Take a look at Trailmaster Holsters in Great Falls, MT. Earl specializes in holsters for big bore revolvers and makes a modified shoulder holster that he calls the "Trailmaster Rig". He's a good guy and does custom work.

    https://trailmasterholsters.com/

  13. #13

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    I tried to fly fish with a chest holster on and switched back to bear spray due to comfort but if I were going to Alaska I would reconsider carrying a hand cannon but at home I still keep bear spray handy by every door, as even my wife can hit with it...
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 08-18-2020 at 12:29 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Denny, what crossdraw shoulder rig are you using?

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    There's an old, old saying about using a handgun for bear protection:

    "Be sure to file the front sight off that revolver before you carry it for bear protection. That way, it won't hurt so much when the bear shoves it in a certain oriface"

    First time I heard that was from Billy Pinnell, Master Guide many years on Kodiak.

    MTV
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Hey Doc.

    Whatever holster you decide on, make sure the rig is big enough and comfortable enough to carry someone that you really, really trust, that's loaded up with a .404 Jeffery rifle.

    Web
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    A handgun’s advantage is portability. That’s a transport issue and that’s what a holster is for. If you’re in an area where there’s a potential for a close encounter the handgun should be in hand, not stowed. I won’t bust through brush with my guide gun slung on my shoulder, either. My preference for chest pouch holsters is for carrying under waders or with a heavy meat pack. For hiking I ‘d rather it was on my hip. 95% of the time my pistol is in my day pack. Holster choice is unimportant for that. Pick what works best for you.

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    StuBob
    I have them custom made with a thumb break retaining strap. I bring in my pack when we do it so I make sure everything fits I will try to get a pic posted. I think most any leather shop could do it. They have straps to your belt on both sides to stabilize the rig instead of a chest strap.
    DENNY
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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    A handgun’s advantage is portability. That’s a transport issue and that’s what a holster is for. If you’re in an area where there’s a potential for a close encounter the handgun should be in hand, not stowed. I won’t bust through brush with my guide gun slung on my shoulder, either. My preference for chest pouch holsters is for carrying under waders or with a heavy meat pack. For hiking I ‘d rather it was on my hip. 95% of the time my pistol is in my day pack. Holster choice is unimportant for that. Pick what works best for you.
    Yeah, that's a good point and a reason why I prefer a chest holster. There's lots of times when my belt is covered by a heavy jacket, snow suit, waders, whatever and a belt mounted holster just isn't an option. You can put a chest holster on over whatever gear you have on regardless of how thick. Definitely a consideration for the colder months, not that there's necessarily bears out but in the spring and fall there is.

    Another reason why I prefer a chest holster is sometimes my pants just don't have provision for a belt. Hiking around and up tall mountains and things I prefer those newfangled soyboy stretchy breathable REI hiking pants or shorts and they are short on belt loops on which to hang a gun. Not sure what the designers in california were thinking not building pants around a gun belt but whatever.
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Does anyone carry in a "tanker" style holster?
    They always looked kinda handy to me, although I've never tried one.
    You can carry it forward- over your lower chest, or aft- under your arm.

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    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    I just started using a galco Miami classic for my two inch alaska backpacker 2. Super comfortable and spreads the weight out.


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    I have an early Man Gear AK chest holster for my S&W .500 that I really like, gun, not so much. The holster hangs well, stays secure and is adjustable enough to ride high in my waders. I added a sissy boy fleece shoulder pad because gun is heavy beyond my imagination. Plan to order another for my 10MM and give myself a break.
    When I ordered the holster my trip changed and it was going to arrive after I left, I called to see if they could send it to my address in AK to have for the rest of the summer and they did one better. Sent it c/o general delivery to a small Post Office on the route.
    Ken
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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Hey Doc.

    Whatever holster you decide on, make sure the rig is big enough and comfortable enough to carry someone that you really, really trust, that's loaded up with a .404 Jeffery rifle.

    Web
    Point well taken, Web.

  24. #24
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    I second the thought. When in bear country and on the move the gun should be drawn and ready be it short or long gun. Had a few meetings with other fisherman walking around a corner and we both had them at the ready

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I'm more worried about Doc in Minneapolis than in Alaska. In a parking lot, go for less recoil and more accuracy.

    Web
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    JP's Avatar
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    Having shot the .404 Jeffrey I wouldn't want one to clobber me in a crash. On that subject be careful about your placement of a weapon as the weapon can cause quite an impact on you in a crash. I have an old Vietnam era air force survival vest and the holster is well to the side and easily fits a small frame .380. I've been toting the Glock 42 around on the vest (so I can shoot a nice squirrel for dinner while sitting in the Big Woods waiting for someone to come find me) although the thought has occurred to me that the S&W Bodyguard .380 might be a more durable choice....
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP View Post
    I've been toting the Glock 42 around on the vest (so I can shoot a nice squirrel for dinner while sitting in the Big Woods waiting for someone to come find me) although the thought has occurred to me that the S&W Bodyguard .380 might be a more durable choice....
    I wouldn't compare the Glock 42 to a Smith Bodyguard 380. The Bodyguard is a cheaply made gun with an awful trigger and a habit of breaking firing pins. The Glock is...well it's a Glock.

    But that's a subject for a different thread
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    Few pics, the only downside of this rig is it makes me look fat. DENNY
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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Oooh a Sig 220 Legion. You got taste Denny, I'll give you that.

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    Years ago, while I was flying Army helicopters, I was lucky enough to be issued a shoulder holster for the .38 S&W that was "standard issue" for pilots at the time. Everyone told me I would hate it, and that I should ask the armorer to give me a vest-mounted holster instead. To the contrary, I found the shoulder holster was extremely comfortable, very light-weight, and when I took off the vest after landing, I didn't have to worry about securing my weapon – it was always right there. The other "plus" was that I wasn't hauling around an empty holster on my flight vest when I wasn't carrying the S&W.

    I had planned to "lose" that holster when I was reassigned to a new duty station, but the armorer was smart enough to catch me as I was walking into the hangar immediately after returning from the field training exercise held 2 days before I left. Darn it! If Texas wasn't so hot, so that I could wear a jacket more than maybe 5 days a year, I'd use a shoulder holster today. So much more comfortable than IWB holsters.
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Does anyone carry in a "tanker" style holster?
    They always looked kinda handy to me, although I've never tried one.
    You can carry it forward- over your lower chest, or aft- under your arm.

    Name:  tanker.jpg
Views: 816
Size:  9.1 KB
    I have an original and it's not too bad, just ordered a web/canvas replica.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    I looked at a lot of off the shelf models many would do fine, but most all had the mag pouch upside down. That is fine for range/target work but inadequate for hiking or brush work. No right or wrong just things to think about.
    DENNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    There's an old, old saying about using a handgun for bear protection:

    "Be sure to file the front sight off that revolver before you carry it for bear protection. That way, it won't hurt so much when the bear shoves it in a certain oriface"

    First time I heard that was from Billy Pinnell, Master Guide many years on Kodiak.

    MTV
    Granted it was before some of the current crop of hand cannons, but Clark Engle told the same thing to my old man and myself many years ago. Kind of stuck with me. I'll carry a Glock 10mm in a "tanker" holster when I'm going places and want to fool myself, but if I'm in real bear country and on foot, much prefer my short-ish .375 rifle or (alors!) the old M1. Understand that long guns don't work for much of the fishing / hiking excursions, but one has to do what one must.....

    And to add to a previous post, when choosing a holster, one part of the choice should be whether that holster encourages one to practice. Whether it's 15 shots of 10mm or 6 shots of 44 or 454, or whether the handgun is in hand or not, it don't matter if the shooter can't hit what they're aiming at under stress. Still recall from 35 years ago what the gentleman from Paulden said: it takes 5x the practice with a handgun to reach the same level of proficiency one has with a long gun.
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  34. #34
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Granted it was before some of the current crop of hand cannons, but Clark Engle told the same thing to my old man and myself many years ago. Kind of stuck with me. I'll carry a Glock 10mm in a "tanker" holster when I'm going places and want to fool myself, but if I'm in real bear country and on foot, much prefer my short-ish .375 rifle or (alors!) the old M1. Understand that long guns don't work for much of the fishing / hiking excursions, but one has to do what one must.....

    And to add to a previous post, when choosing a holster, one part of the choice should be whether that holster encourages one to practice. Whether it's 15 shots of 10mm or 6 shots of 44 or 454, or whether the handgun is in hand or not, it don't matter if the shooter can't hit what they're aiming at under stress. Still recall from 35 years ago what the gentleman from Paulden said: it takes 5x the practice with a handgun to reach the same level of proficiency one has with a long gun.
    Oh, man, now you're bringing back memories! Haven't heard Clark's name for years. I always enjoyed visiting with him......a real Alaskan character.

    I totally agree re: Practice with handguns. I taught bear safety for FWS, and our policy said you could carry a handgun as backup for certain activities, like electro-fishing, BUT, you had to pass the "standard" shooting range moving target test. I never had anyone pass with a .44 or .454. Never had anyone bring a 10 to the test, but it'd be easier to pass with a Glock, I'm pretty sure.

    In any case, I'm always very skeptical of people's skills with a large caliber handgun. For one thing, to be really proficient with a handgun, most folks need to shoot a LOT of rounds through it. And, I've never met anyone who puts thousands of rounds through one of these heavy caliber handguns. They're sure not much fun to shoot, with full up loads, at least. And, practicing with light loads isn't very realistic either.

    But, if it makes you feel better.....

    MTV
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  35. #35
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    I carried a 1911 in a nylon chest holster when I lived in AK. It was an Alaskan-made holster, looked like a Man Gear “the ultimate,” and was handy and comfortable to wear. Also had some bear spray on my hip or in hand when I was hunting/hiking to fish, depending on how likely it seemed I’d stumble across something.

  36. #36

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    I use a Kenai chest holster and have been happy with it. Actually have two, one for a G20 and the other for a 69 Smith & Wesson. Once they are adjusted to fit you they are very comfortable.


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