I recently spent some time in the Wyoming backcountry where I was not, shall we say, at the top of the food chain. Originally I’d planned to carry my S&W 629 .44 Magnum in a hip holster as bear medicine, but the trip turned out to entail more backpacking than I’d expected, so I needed a different rig.
I considered a shoulder holster but was concerned that the way they typically position a big revolver would not be ideal for backpacking. So Mike Barham at Galco suggested the company’s Kodiak Shoulder Holster ($190), and he set me up with one. My 629 has a five-inch barrel and the stock Kodiak is for an 83/8, so they had to make it a custom job–which they commonly do (for an extra charge, as you’d expect).
The Kodiak goes around your shoulder sort of bandolier style and positions the gun diagonally across your torso; a second strap goes around your midsection and clips to the holster to hold it in position.
Not only was it ideal for carrying the N frame with a pack on, I also did the usual camp chores–setting up a tent, firing up the stove, filtering water–while wearing the Kodiak, and it didn’t get in the way. And that’s the beauty of a holster like the Kodiak: You’re more likely to have it on you all the time and, after all, you never know when a grizzly is going to decide it doesn’t want you around.
Mike also let me try the Kodiak Holster Bandolier ($55), which slips right over the Kodiak holster and gives you six reloads at the ready–no digging in pockets or trying to figure out where to carry an ammo pouch or speedloader.
I highly recommend this setup for anyone who carries a big revolver while hiking, camping or fishing, and it would make an excellent hunting rig as well. I saw on the Galco website (www.GalcoGunLeather.com) that it now offers a version of the Kodiak for scoped wheelguns.