DeSantis New York Undercover comes complete with holster and double magazine pouch.

I have carried a gun most of my life and all of my adult life. People think that working in law enforcement is the reason I carry a gun. Truth be told, it started long before that.

When I was growing up, it was perfectly normal to see adults wearing a weapon. My Dad, Grandpa and Uncle were all peace officers before I was born. It was not until I was in grade school that I realized not everyone carried a gun.

Growing up on a ranch, I wore a Ruger Single-Six in a cowboy rig every day, mostly because varmints and rattlesnakes were everywhere. I also thought it looked cool. Of course there was always a long gun in the ranch trucks.

Here with the Commander-size Ruger SR1911 it was evaluated with, New York Undercover is made to fit 82 different handgun models.

Responsible citizens all over this great nation are taking advantage of their states’ concealed carry laws. In my home state of Arizona, there are currently over a quarter million active concealed weapon permits. Many people obtain an Arizona permit to take advantage of side benefits the permit offers, such as being legal to carry in states that reciprocate with Arizona and not having to wait for an NICS check when buying a firearm.

But being one of a handful of Constitutional Carry states, no permit is actually needed for either concealed or open carry in Arizona. I have heard estimates that for every one person with a permit, there are three who don’t obtain a permit. If accurate, that’s a lot of law-abiding people who are packing handguns—and they all need holsters.

Backside of thumb break is reinforced with metal strip.

I have said for years that if you are going to carry a weapon daily, you will have several holsters. This may be because you have different holsters for different missions or clothes style, or you have upgraded to a better quality holster as your budget allowed.

I recently received the New York Undercover™ holster from DeSantis Gunhide®. DeSantis has been making quality holsters since 1972 and has grown to be one of the largest holster manufacturers in the world.

The New York Undercover™ shoulder holster rig is crafted from top-grain cowhide and molded to fit the exact firearm it is designed to carry. Each rig is shipped fully assembled with a double ammo carrier. The Undercover is available for 82 different handgun models.

Plastic connecter on back of harness links four harness straps and let them pivot, so they can flex and conform with natural movement.

The holster reviewed here was for a 1911. Any 1911-type pistol fits, though the muzzle/slide of larger models protrudes slightly from the bottom of the holster. I evaluated the rig with a Ruger Commander-size SR1911™.

The holster is a wrap-around design made from a single piece of leather. A tensioning screw under the trigger guard area lets the user decide how much or how little resistance is needed to withdraw the pistol. The holster is equipped with a thumb break that is reinforced by a strip of metal on the backside. The holster is attached to the harness with heavy-duty one-way snaps. Handgun orientation is horizontal.

Due to the two snaps on each magazine pouch, standard magazines or those with base pads can be used.

The harness consists of four straps—two front and two rear. The straps are one-inch wide, although for comfort the two front straps widen to about three inches where they ride over the shoulder. Meeting in the middle of the back, the straps attach to a plastic connector that allows all four harness straps to pivot and gives much more flex with natural movement than some shoulder holsters.

The double mag pouch does a great job of offsetting the weight of the pistol, making the rig more comfortable to wear. Magazines are carried base down and retained by flaps with snap closures. Two snaps are on the body of the holster. The higher snap contains standard seven- or eight-round magazines, and the lower snap holds magazines with base pads.

Holsters and pouches attach to harness with one-way snaps. This means a user can switch holsters and pouches without buying an entirely new rig.

Like the holster, the mag pouch attaches to the harness with one-way snaps. This system permits a user to change holsters without needing to buy a complete rig. On the pouch side, accessories such as a cartridge pouch, speed loader pouch, or cuff case can be attached.

While not worn as commonly as they once were, shoulder holsters have their place. For example, when I worked as a court bailiff, it was the easiest way to conceal my firearm under my suit coat without printing.

Shoulder holsters are also great for drivers. In the event of a carjacking or robbery, it is much easier to access a shoulder holster than a holster worn anywhere on the waist.

The DeSantis New York Undercover is one of the best shoulder rigs I have ever worn. Suggested retail price is $179.99.


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