A very versatile hunting holster

I reviewed a couple of compact .44 Magnum revolvers yesterday.  While on the subject of revolvers, I thought I’d mention a holster that’s served me very well with larger ones.  It’s Galco’s Kodiak shoulder/cross-chest holster, fitted with what they call an ‘ammo bandolier‘.  (Click the image for a larger view.)

It’s worn low on the chest, with the harness pulling it close into one’s body to stop it swinging.  It’s a very practical arrangement for a large, heavy revolver – much more comfortable than trying to carry it in a belt holster, where its excessive weight and length would drag on one’s trousers and catch vegetation in passing.  (Both images courtesy of Galco.)

The illustrations above are of a holster made for a Smith & Wesson Model 500 revolver, chambered for the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge.  Mine is made for a 6-round .44 Magnum revolver.  It fits several models with equal facility – and not a sloppy fit, either, but a good firm one, allowing rapid withdrawal when necessary, but holding the gun securely while walking.  It’s a very impressive and versatile piece of leatherwork.  It’s long enough to accommodate an 8″ barrel, and longer ones simply protrude a bit from the bottom of the holster.  Irrespective of barrel length, the balance remains good.  I’ve carried in it everything from a S&W Model 629 PowerPort with 6½” barrel (similar to this one), through a Ruger Redhawk 7½” and a Super Redhawk 9½”, to a Taurus Raging Bull with an 8″ barrel (for which it was originally made) and an older Taurus Model 44 with 6½” barrel.  All fit and functioned just fine.

If you need a strong, well-made field holster that also looks good, I can personally recommend this model.  It’s expensive (the holster is listed at $209.95, and the ammo bandolier is an additional $59.95), but if you need something like this, and want high-quality workmanship, it’s probably good value for your money.

(No, Galco’s not compensating me in any way for recommending their products, and I obtained my holster through a third party.  I just like to keep my readers informed about good stuff I encounter.)



  1. I hand made something very similar for my Ruger Redhawk, 7.5 inch barrel and a Leopold scope. It served me well for many years and as I'd used a bit of elastic in the waist strap you could jog without getting pounded by the gun.

    For a big gun and scope combo this is the best way to carry it that I found.

  2. Coincidently, this morning I received my long awaited (six week lead time) birthday present, a Diamond D Custom Leather chest rig, for my Ruger Bisley Super Blackhawk 3 3/4 bbl, Very high quality leather and the stitching is perfect. Perfect is a word I do not use loosely. Great fit. You can snug it up so that it doesn't bounce at a jog. Very pleased with this rig. Very comfortable. Beautifully made. I went with the optional removable flap.

    I have a GunfightersINC Kenai chest rig for my old CZ 75B that is a good wet weather rig because it is made with a Kydex holster shell and wide nylon straps. It is not a pretty as the Diamond D rig, but more practical in wet weather. Also, very comfortable and does not bounce at a jog.

    Both companies make custom holsters for many popular handguns. Both companies also have a large variety of holsters in stock.
    The Kydex holsters are more practical, but there is something about leather that pleases my soul.

  3. I've never seen that one before. Nice, but for me, a bit much on budget.

    My big revolvers are worn in old Bianchi Cyclone 111 crossdraw holsters. I do have a chest holster similar to Galco, manufactured for the T/C Contenders. So far – so good.

  4. Let me second the enthusiasm for the Diamond D rig. I have one for my 4" Redhawk in .44 Mag. GREAT RIG
    I also use the Bianchi Cyclones for nearly all of my revolvers. I have now gotten a couple made by Matt at Frontier Gunleather (JB's new business – "Bianchi" isn't any more)
    Not a fan of Galco's rigs but haven't tried one in nearly a decade.
    Boat Guy

  5. Bianchi has their leather holsters made in Mexico, now. Actually, for several years, according to complaints on the web.

    I recently bought a belt holster for a snubbie from them, #4414. When I first received it, my hands ended up with heavy black marks from the finish. Looked like I had been playing with a felt marker. Not as bad now, after rubbing it down with a rag, but handling it still leaves a slight dark tone to my hands. I'm not impressed. At least the workmanship looks ok, which was one of the web complaints. I've got a lot of Bianchi leather gear. I might buy it in person now, so I can examine it, but no more mail-order.

    I was going to recommend their X-15 vertical shoulder rig for the big hoglegs. I have that in at least three sizes. The biggest is for my Redhawk 7.5" .41magnum. Two advantages is it keeps the gun out of the way, and it can be concealed with a safari jacket, if needed.
    I see them priced as low as $112 (retail about $170), but no idea where they are made.

    One web commenter mentioned that if you wander the back streets of Tijuana, you can find first class leather workers, much better than the production worker leather goods one normally sees. The long lines to get across the border now deters him from using this source.

  6. Now that…that is pretty.
    Thank you for sharing. For those of us who like firearms, but have not had the time/money/exposure, I appreciate these little articles.

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