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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

Hi, all -

Happy holidays to everyone...I hope the new year brings you whatever you wish for.

I'm planning my first-time hunting trip for early next year; prey will be feral pigs in Central CA. I get the impression that it would be a good idea to carry a handgun as a backup in case something "wrong" occurs with the rifle at the worst possible time. (Please correct me if you disagree with this idea.)

I have my father's old .357 S&W which should be an acceptable choice for this purpose. My question is: how best to carry it? Belt holster, shoulder holster, or other?

Thanks for any suggestions...

mz

bitmasher's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

"Best" will depend on arbitrary measures, such as what kind of fit and feel you prefer.

Your options are:

Thigh holster
Shoulder (butt forward, butt down)
Belt holster

You can also just through it on a sling! Big smile

Personally I like the thigh holsters myself, but finding one for a s&w revolver (depending on frame size) may not be trivial. All the thigh holsters i've seen have been for 1911's or polymer pistols (glock, springfield xd, etc).

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Location: SE Alaska
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 72
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

I have carried my sidearm in various holsters in just about every different configuration from a kydex paddle holster to a tactical "thigh" holster. I have found the most comfortable holseter to use in my hunting environment is a belt holster with a jacket slot made by Uncle Mikes of Oregon. The jacket slot is something that I prefer on my belt holsters because it provides a space between your body and the holster for your jacket or coat to fit in so that your pistol is held outside your jacket and within easy reach if needed.
If I could get away with it however I would use a thigh holster. It keeps your side arm off your belt and out of the way of your riffle stock when carying it at a port arms position or while wearing a back pack with a waist belt. Unfortunatly here in Sothern Alaska the ground foliage is too thick to have a pistol on your thigh and be able to move through it quietly with out getting hung up on every berry branch or shrub. So your decision will have to take into consideration what kind of environment you hunt in, what kind of hunting pack you wear, and what you find most comfortable.
To find a holster for your revolver try looking at Galls.com. They cater to the law enfocement community but will sell to private citizens. They have an excellent selecion of holsters for any type of pistol.

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Location: northeast tn
Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 493
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

i carry mine on my belt for a cross draw. or butt forward

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 11/09/2005
Posts: 166
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

Ditto. I like a cross-draw.

But really, it's a matter of personal preference. There is no "best."

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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

Yeah, I like the sound of that, too. Now all I have to do is find a cross-draw holster for a leftie like me, that will hold the big .357...

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Location: northeast tn
Joined: 12/28/2004
Posts: 493
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

just get a uncle mikes holster for a left handed shooter and put it on your right side it works. it's hard to find a cross draw holster, i never did find a decent one so i just talked to the guy at the uncle mikes booth at the american outdoor experence and did what he said.

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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

OK...so, next question. I downloaded Uncle Mike's holster selection guide. There are a ton of different models listed for S&W: J, K, L or N frames and an array of numbers to go along with it. Evidently I can't just ask for a holster for a .357 with a 6" barrel and leave it at that.

I've looked all over the revolver for some clue about the frame and found nothing. The only thing other than trademark stuff is on the barrel and reads: ".357 CTG. HIGHWAY PATROLMAN." I unscrewed the handle and the bottom of the frame is stamped with the letter "S" and six digits, which I assume are the s/n.

Anyone happen to know how I can more specifically ID this handgun so I make sure I get the right stuff for it?

Thanks...

mz

bitmasher's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

Its probably a N frame model 28. Go to a decent gun store (not a big box) that will work with you to try holsters until you find one that fits. The big boxes are terrible at this....

A Single Action Army holster will be close in nylon.

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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best way to carry handgun for backup?

I just called S&W. They told me that, since a model code isn't stamped on the cylinder, it was probably made before 1958. Now, I'm thinking that maybe I'll just sell it and get something more appropriate. I somehow don't think a 6" barrel is really right for "emergency use" in the field.

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Location: south barre, vt
Joined: 03/09/2006
Posts: 14
best way to carry handgun for backup

Think i started to carry a .357 , 6 inch while hunting about 1 yr ago. first a right side belt holster. didnt really like it. then i got a shoulder rig. im a right handed shooter, so its on the left side, butt forward. its an uncle mikes "sidekick". i really like it. the belt rig is uncle mikes too, also "sidekick" . the reverse set up for cross draw sounds like something i need to look at. i dont like the weapon under my jacket in the fall, unless just hiking/scouting /fishing. we dont have "dangerous game" in vt, so i dont need to worry about griz attacks or any thing. consider the accuracy advantage of the 6 inch before you get rid of it. they shoot great, less "felt recoil" than a 4 inch. its all about proficiency and accuracy. this is a great site. lots of good info being passed around. sign up a new nra member today!

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