- Small 18” to 32”
- Medium 26” to 40”
- Large 36” to 50”
- X Large 46” to 60”
- XX Large 56” to 70”
While I consider strong-side carry the most common for me to carry my EDC, I also realize that there are situations where alternate carry positions can be advantageous for the EDC toter.
Over the years, I have carried in numerous positions using numerous holster arrangements. I have carried my EDC in shoulder holsters, belly bands (waist-level and chest-level), waist packs, cross-draw holsters, IWB holsters, and OWB pancake style holsters. I have even carried butt-forward strong-side carry using a nylon IWB clip holster, but I no longer prefer to live that dangerously.
I ran across an advertisement for the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster I was naturally curious. I have been wearing this holster for a couple of days now and I thought that I would pass on my impression of the holster.The Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster was nicely packaged in a zip-lock bag and arrived with the optional Leather Body Shield in a separate, but as nicely packaged, zip lock bag. The first noticeable aspect about the holster is the material out of which it is made. Essentially, it looks like one large band aid; the material is a very breathable material with an abundance of hook and loop fastening material. In the hot Georgia weather, I like breathable material, especially when worn over a t-shirt. The band itself is 5” wide and I felt it was more than adequate for housing a large frame semi-automatic pistol.
A 5” x 6” area of the band is a backing area for the handgun and seems to be of a rubberized material, which helps to prevent the band from sliding down when worn against a t-shirt. This reinforced area consists of two pistol pockets; a small pocket for sub-compact pistols (Kel-Tec 32 & other small guns) and a larger pocket for obviously larger guns. In my evaluation, I used several guns to check for fit including a Springfield 4.0 45 acp, a Beretta 92FS, a Glock G19, a Ruger SR1911, and a Ruger SR9c. While I do not have an abundance of small pistols, a Bersa 380 served the purpose for a fit check in the small pocket. It was no surprise that all of the guns were received well in their respectively-sized pockets.
All stitching is well done.
Since I like protecting my pieces, I ordered the optional Leather Body Shield, which is simply a cut piece of soft cowhide that is slid into the larger of the two pockets to serve as a barrier between body sweat and pistol. It also serves as a cushion between the pistols protruding parts and the body. The Leather Body Shield can be trimmed to fit the smaller of the two pockets. The Leather Body Shield covers enough of a 5-inch barreled pistol to provide adequate protection and extends about an inch below the band material.
I decided to wear the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster for several days without the weight of a pistol. I needed to see how comfortable the band was to wear. I was actually surprised at the comfort level and the breathability factor of the band. Although constricting, it is not uncomfortable once you get used to it. The second day of wear; however, forced me to try out the carry features of the band.
I had to run an errand and as usual, my Toyota MR2 lack in space – especially in the bucket seats. While wearing my EDC in its usual spot on the right hip, the Springfield XDs 4.0 45 is hard to get to, as the sides of the seat presses in on the gun. I did a quick switch of the pistol to the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster and all became well. At the time, I was wearing a Dickies Khaki work shirt and the tan-colored band was being worn between the shirt and my t-shirt. I simply left the top two buttons not buttoned and could easily access the “Springy.” Since I wear shirts (2XL) that are one size larger than I am, printing was not an issue.
One of my errands involved some physical labor; removing a riding lawn tractor from my trailer and lifting a push mover over the side of the trailer for transport. Both feats of physical exertion were accomplished without fanfare or holster/gun slippage. So far, I have been impressed with the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster. With that said, it is not a holster for everybody or for all occasions. Some restrictions apply.
If you have a slender body shape, this holster may not be the best choice. If you have wide lats and a slender waist, this holster may not be the best choice. The band; however, has one saving grace – it can be used as a belly band without the “heaviness” of normal belly bands, as it is made of a lightweight, breathable material.
If you are like me, who has somewhat wide lats and have enough belly due to good eating and a lack of physical activity to keep it small, the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster just might work for you.
I would advise wearing a T-shirt under the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster. The holster is pulled tight across the chest and the holster pouch resides under the armpit.
Being able to access your firearm is an important factor – one that should be considered regardless of the holster being worn or considered. The Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster holds the firearm tight into the body under the armpit. A short barrel is better to pull the firearm out of the pouch, which is up and out. A shirt like the 5.11 (snaps that look like buttons) or Western-Style shirts (with snaps) seems to work the best with this holster – better than ripping buttons to gain access to the firearm when needed.
Not surprisingly, this type of holster is not for quick-draw of your EDC. The Springfield XDs 4.0 45 did okay, but the 3.3 version was better. The Glock G19 was alright, but the Glock G26 was faster. The SR1911 CMD was okay coming out of the holster but the Ruger SR9C was better. The Bersa 380 was the fastest. How did the Beretta 92FS and SR1911 fare? Forget about it unless you have plenty of time to go for them. Even the Glock G36 did okay, but nothing that I would write home about, or carry in this holster. Note that regardless of the pistol tested (except the Bersa 380), the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster lifts slightly when the pistol is drawn from the pouch. The material of the band seems to be snag-free; however, the Leather Body Shield provides the most friction – some good and buffed paste wax might just reduce the drag factor; the band material is sufficient enough to provide tension of the firearm. Note that at no time when practicing drawing a firearm did the Leather Body Shield have a tendency to come out of the pouch.
This type of holster requires strict trigger awareness – keep the finger off of the trigger until on target – you will be crossing body parts as part of the draw stroke. Trigger awareness is just not isolated to this holster but applies to all holsters that require a cross-the-body draw (such as with shoulder holsters and cross-draw holsters).
In addition to the two (small and large) pistol pockets, there are two 2” vertical slots that extend the width of the band. These two slots are open-bottomed, and although the manufacturer states that they could be used for spare magazines and such, they are not conducive to carrying either lest they fall free from band. I will say; however, that a XDs 5-round .45 acp magazine did slip easily into the top of the slot and the base plate of the magazine prevented it from falling through. Had the manufacturer placed the slot on the opposite side (the off side) I might have been able to live with that when wearing the band as its design intends. In its current position, it is all but useless to me.
So where is this leading me?
- The Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster is a quality product that is intended to house small to large pistols (or revolvers) in deep concealment. Under certain conditions, deep concealment may be the only option.
- The holster could serve as a viable option for a backup pistol.
- It is not a fast-draw holster. If I am in a theater, mall, Wal-Mart, etc., I may have time to get to my EDC if I hear gun fire. With a threat imminent; however, lack of accessibility may cause my demise. I’ll take my normal carry IWB holster over this one, but would have no qualms about using the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster to house a back-up.
- If I am in a vehicle, this holster may suffice – but am I willing to take that chance? Surprisingly, the Galco CLASSIC LITE SHOULDER SYSTEM that fits my Sig Sauer P239 can also house the Springfield 3.3 and 4.0 series of pistols perfectly – including the single magazine carrier (go figure!). Considering the comfort and access to the firearm level of both types of holsters, I would have to go with the Galco CLASSIC LITE SHOULDER SYSTEM over the Stoner Holsters Strapless Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster. (Yes, I have worn the Galco CLASSIC LITE SHOULDER SYSTEM under a shirt.)
- Recommended outer-wear is a shirt with snaps and not buttons (5.11, Western wear, or similar products).
- I spent good money on a holster that I consider a “specialty” holster to bring this report to you.
- I know what a woman feels when they remove their bras – relief.
Stoner Holsters: StonerHolsters.com
Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster System: http://www.galcogunleather.com/classic-lite-shoulder-system_8_2_1057.html