Most People Use it This Way

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.

Bauer Brothers shoulder holster, with S&W 39 snug in place.

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.

Bianchi belt holster and mag carrier with S&W 39.
Bianchi belt holster and mag carrier with S&W 39.

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.

Check out these Shoulder Holsters at Brownell’!


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