Moto Carry

Wanted to thank everyone who chimed on on the topic of Moto Carry.

I’ll be looking for a muzzle-down, retention-capable shoulder rig – and also some riding pants with belt loops so that cross-draw is an option.   The main problem that I hear from most people when talking about shoulder carry is the draw-stroke and necessity of having to lift your opposite arm out of the way so you don’t muzzle yourself – the hand-on-haed draw.  Meanwhile Weer’d has a take on the Galco (2010), but I’d have to opt for the vertical one.

The P245 is small enough that I could stuff it into my Moose enduro waist-belt with the rest of the tools – if I’m riding solo – and if I can find the damn waist-belt.

Wife wants me to get some more seat-time before she joins in on the bike, so probably a truck/bike trip to Tahoe is in the cards.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

14 thoughts on “Moto Carry

  1. A few thoughts on the Galco carry rig:
    I bought my first one in 1976 when Galco was Jackass Leather in Glenview, IL, and the Miami Classic was the S(houlder) S(ystem) 1. I was a brand new agent and I carried my brand new 2-1/2-inch Model 66 in it. I’ve carried primary and backup Smith K- and J-frames and several makes of autos in them for almost 40 years.
    First of all, I would recommend against carrying a horizontal shoulder holster on a motorcycle. The only thing holding the gun in the holster is the thumb-break, and gravity is not your friend. I once had a thumb-break pop open when I was in a foot chase and I kicked a Chiefs Special halfway down a Chicago subway platform. (Nobody noticed.) If it pops while you’re riding (and I’ve had cover garments pop them), you’ll lose your gun and not know it.
    Galco used to, and perhaps still does, make a vertical holster that will fit the same harness as the horizontal model. (One of the nice things about Galco is their mix-and-match qualities.) I’ve never used one, but I know people who have, and they like them.
    If you get a vertical shoulder holster, avoid the spring-loaded break-fronts like the old Bianchi X-15. I once leaned over to pick up spilled change and dumped a Model 59 onto a slate barroom floor in downtown Chicago. (Nobody noticed that, either.) A revolver works just fine in them, because the cylinder gives the spring something to grab.
    Most vertical shoulder holsters include a keeper that snaps the bottom of the holster to your belt.It’s supposed to keep the holster from flapping and swinging when you move. If you raise your arms, it will almost always unsnap, but the keeper will stay trapped under your belt.
    On my last major arrest I carried my backup Sig in an Uncle Mike’s vertical shoulder holster (a thumb-break, not a breakfront) and got into a serious scuffle with an exceedingly unpleasant individual and had no (holster-related) problems.
    Hope this helps.


    • Hey thanks! Seriously, that’s a very helpful and detailed comment! I think the vertical Galco is worth taking a look, at, and like you say I could mix-and-match holsters and strapping between the Sig and the Commander – also will look at the Uncle Mike’s job.


    • Glad I could help.

      One thing I forgot to mention. If you’re going to carry a heavy gun, get the shoulder harness that widens out over the shoulders, instead of the straight one-inch strap. The wider ones are a little harder to hide, but they distribute the gun’s weight more evenly. I used the thinner straps for my J-frames and the wider ones for everything else.


    • Thanks again! And let me add thank-you for the job you did and the difference it made. My cool-guy older cousin who drove an Austin-Healey was a San Jose Cop who made Detective, he retired and lives up around Shasta Dam now. 🙂


  2. A little late to the party, but during my riding and carrying days, I always prefered a good riding coat with a chest pocket (my smoker friends say they are for a pack of cigarettes) and a J-frame revolver. These chest pockets are usually inside the stormflap but outside the zipper on most riding jackets. My Firstgear and Joe Rocket jackets both had chest pockets like that, and so do all of my camo hunting coats.

    I did not put the J-frame into a holster in the pocket, as those pockets usually don’t have room for too much and I never put anything else into the pocket, so no chance of fouling or whatever. If you use a lightweight revolver combined with the structure of a good riding jacket, there is no sag or buldge (I carry a Scandium/Aluminum .357). Even with the jacket removed it is not noticable because of the weight and rigidity of the garment. When going into areas where carry was not permissable, I would take off the jacket and put it into the saddlebags of my BMW GS-PD, which were lockable, and it did not look like I was disarming, just taking off my heavy outer jacket.




    • Yep, plastic Ruger would work. I guess a KelTek P3AT or Ruger LCP would work too, but when riding and wearing gloves, always out in the elements, I just prefered the simplicity of a revolver.

      An 11 oz revolver with an 11 lb trigger means very good safety, but very hard to hit with. My solution was Crimson Trace grips on the Un-obtanium Smith, and I found I could hit surprisingly well with that combo. Paper plates at 20 yards if I concentrated, paper plates at 5 yards as fast as I could work the trigger even with riding gloves.

      I rode and camped my way all through the western states on my ’95 R100 GS-PD. My setup for carrying was some combination of three guns, depending on the trip and season.
      *Scandium S&W 360 with 158 +P+ LSW HP .38’s for general carry, but 158 JSP 357’s if I was in bear country (same point of impact as long as the bullet weight was the same, which I always thought wierd, but. . . . ). I carried the 3″, not the 1 7/8″, because it fit my jacket pocket just fine.
      *Aluminum S&W 317 .22 LR as a kit-gun if small game was an option or loaded with shotshells if in snake country, also a 3″. I usually loaded 2 shotshells followed by 6 CCI Stingers in the 8 round cylinder.
      *Stoeger 20″ Coach Gun, 12 ga, nickel plated, fixed choke IC & M. When taken apart it fit into my saddlebags in a nice Boyt canvas case that looked like nothing so much as a big Pool Cue case.

      Quick notes: Both the .357 and the .22 COMBINED, when loaded and carried with spare ammo (18 rds total in .357, 50 in .22) weigh less than an empty 1911 or a loaded Glock 17 with a spare magazine. That makes for a nice combination for boondogging around the mountains in Arizona, Oregon or Washington, the three states where I had carry permits in the 90’s.

      My Stoeger became my “everything else” gun. People were unlikely to be freaked out if they spied an old-looking side-by-side shotgun. 12 ga can handle anything on the continent within 50 yards, if you do your part and carry the right ammo. And, as with an African double rifle, you are carrying 2 shotguns welded together, so reliability is higher than with any single trigger or single barrel setup. I considered this an important consideration given the abuse stuff takes on a motorcycle. Add in the nickle plating for a pretty high degree of weather protection, and I was very comfortable with that setup.

      With the Coach Gun, I could hunt deer, pigs, ducks, geese, grouse, quail, dove, and protect my camp with one firearm. I got so comfortable with it that I use it for almost everything that doesn’t take a specific firearm (not very good for Prairie dogs, but surprisingly useful on Coyotes, just hunt the heavy cover). My friends all make fun of my “Nickle Plated Pimp Gun”, but it’s also earned the nickname “The Crumpler”. I’ve taken all the species above with it, and I don’t know what I’d do without it.

      For everyday riding, I just carried the J-Frame .357.

      All best wishes,



    • I really appreciate all the feedback and effort that went into your reply. I get where you’re at and I like the coach-gun addition. Thanks for the input, it broadens my horizons.


  3. Wow, I forgot about leaving comments to that shoulder rig post of Weer’d’s. Your comment follows mine.

    Wanted to point out a possible problem with most of the vertical rigs like the Bianchi’s, for your application. Most of them have a “pull through the front” drawing motion. Due to the tension of the spring holding the gap closed, the muzzle is the last thing to exit, which causes the gun to rotate towards the horizontal. In most cases, I would expect the muzzle to sweep your wife to some extent, by the time it comes free. The gun and holster combo, in addition to how it sits on you, and your body shape, will determine this.

    It also requires a pretty good yank to clear leather, and this might lean toward encouraging an ND if the gun lacks a safety. I’ve not heard anything regarding this, it’s just adding up the typical causes, along with the energetic draw, and guessing it MIGHT be a possible problem. Most of my rigs of this type are for revolvers.

    BTW, you can draw from the top of the holster in most cases, which tends to keep the muzzle under a bit more control. Useful when wearing a coat/jacket that is mostly buttoned up.

    Maybe your wife could get her own bike? Sure would help with the holster selection!


    • That’s the kind the rig I commented about last week. Had something very similar back in the old days. Very handy for carrying a survival piece while sitting in a cockpit and always thought it might work well on a bike as well (though I never tried it).


  4. Have a look at the post by Kathy Jackson I linked in my post. She suggests you touch your weak hand to your strong-side shoulder as you reach for the gun. Not only does this get your weak side arm out of the way of the muzzle but it brings the holster closer to your center line making the draw smother.

    Also this can be modified to a universal “Stop” gesture, or a palm-strike as needed.


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