For many years my home defense weapon was a WWI vintage 9mm Luger. Due to its age, I was always a little nervous about depending on such an old gun when it could involve a life-or-death situation. Then one day a friend presented me the opportunity to purchase his “almost-new” Smith & Wesson Model 39-2 semi-auto 9mm at a very good price. I bought it. He gave me his Bianchi belt holster and spare mag carrier with the gun, which were made for the 39 and fit perfectly. It was and is a nice rig that I still own.
Since I often traveled a lot to secluded places at all times of day and night in my work, I decided that a shoulder holster would be better to conceal the Smith while allowing quick access, especially when seated in my vehicle. So I made a stop at a gun store to check out their shoulder holsters. The owner was a friend of mine who, hearing my request, simply retrieved a shoulder rig that fit my 39 and handed it to me. Then he turned to wait on another customer.
The thing was rolled into a blob of leather and straps. It was a Brauer Brothers vertical carry holster with spring retention. I untangled it and put it on, like you might do with a sweater. I don’t really recall what I did but I obviously didn’t have a clue as to how it was to be worn. It just didn’t fit me no matter how I pulled at it.
The owner finished with the other customer and turned to see me struggling with the straps. Instead of laughing at me, with my head through the rig like a horse collar, he simply asked if he could try it. Then he put it on himself correctly, saying, “Most people use it this way.”
Needless to say, I was somewhat embarrassed by my ignorance of how to wear the thing. It was so simple but I had never seen one on anyone before that. My friend’s tactful way of showing me the correct use of the holster taught me a lesson in how to correct someone while not offending them. I used his line countless times during the course of my life – and fondly remember my friend when I do. The line fits for almost anything.
That shoulder rig is a little snug on me now and I have a couple of other holsters for the 39 that I employ. But like an old friend, I’ll keep that Brauer rig.