Frequently Asked Questions

Information about the safe use of firearms and Galco products.
These warnings should be read prior to the use of Galco products. All firearms are potentially dangerous weapons. Firearms should be kept out of the reach of children. Use of a handgun under any conditions may be dangerous. Serious personal injury or even death could occur without proper training in the safe handling of firearms by an accredited firearms safety course. No person should handle any firearm unless such person has successfully passed an accredited firearms safety program. Great care should be used when handling, storing or transporting firearms or when placing or removing a handgun from your Galco holster.

TESTING A NEW HOLSTER FOR PROPER HOLSTER AND HANDGUN FIT Never place a loaded handgun in a holster without first testing, in an unloaded condition (double-check to make sure the chamber is empty), for proper fit with the handgun. Galco holsters are designed to fit factory equipped handguns. The use of trigger shoes or grip adapters or any modifications to the handgun may cause improper holster fit and accidental discharge. All Galco holsters are designed to function safely and are made for specific handguns. DO NOT ALTER YOUR GALCO HOLSTER IN ANY WAY, INCLUDING ANY SAFETY DEVICE INCORPORATED IN ANY GALCO PRODUCT TO ACCOMMODATE HANDGUNS OR OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR WHICH THE GALCO PRODUCT WAS NOT DESIGNED OR INTENDED.

We have tried to clearly label which holsters offer proper fit for specific handguns. However, continual changes will occur due to the number of handgun makes and models available on the market. Galco will not be responsible for typographical and other human errors that can and do occur. It is the user’s responsibility to personally check for holster handgun compatibility using actual products. It is also the user’s responsibility to regularly check the holster and its hardware (including, but not limited to, snaps and tension screws) for proper fit and function. Although Galco attempts to fit the most current model handguns, manufacturers of handguns constantly update their product specifications. Slight manufacturing changes in a handgun model can affect the proper and safe fit of your handgun and holster. Galco will not be responsible for such changes or for typographical or other human errors, which can and do occur despite diligent efforts. Should any Galco product become worn, loose, broken, defective or ill-fitting, or if in your opinion is unsafe, cease use immediately.

CARRY “CONDITION” OF FIREARM carrying any handgun with a live cartridge in the chamber immediately in front of the firing pin may cause an accidental discharge. Single action revolvers and some semi-automatic pistols should be carried with the hammer or firing pin resting on an empty chamber. Galco holsters which have a retention strap with reinforced thumb break intended for single-action pistols (such at the 1911) are designed for “hammer down, empty chamber” carry, unless otherwise specified. Galco holsters lacking a retention strap with reinforced thumb break (“open top”) are designed to carry single-action pistols in all safe conditions of carry as specified by the firearm manufacturer.

It is the user’s responsibility to exercise extreme caution when handling or carrying any handgun and to assume at all times that the gun is loaded. Do not attempt to cock a handgun while it is in the holster. Cocking the handgun while holstered can cause damage to the holster, gun, or both and may cause a negligent discharge. For information on how to safely carry your particular handgun, please refer to your handgun manufacturer’s safety and instruction manual.

HOLSTERING YOUR FIREARM you must be certain that your gun is securely seated in the holster each time you holster your firearm before removing your hand from the grip. Firearms must fit snugly in holsters to guard against accidental loss of the handgun. However, a snug fit may cause the slide to go out of battery when holstering. Therefore, you should always place your thumb on the back of the slide to insure that the slide remains in battery while holstering. Keep fingers off the trigger and out of the trigger guard when drawing or replacing the handgun in the holster. See our videos about safety with belt holsters, IWBs, and shoulder systems.

FIREARM RETENTION always make sure your gun is fully seated in the holster, activating all auto and/or manual retention devices (when provided). Retention devices must be used when provided. Retention straps must be used when provided. During vigorous physical activity, including running, you should not rely on your holster’s retention capabilities; the firearm should be held in place with your hand to prevent it from falling out of the holster. We strongly recommend a regular practice routine be utilized to assure the continued capabilities of both product and user.

Tension units are not pre-set at the factory. You will need to adjust them to the appropriate tension to help retain your firearm. Checking your tension screws each time you use your holster is required as part of a regular safety inspection of your equipment. Applying a small amount of clear nail polish to the threads of the tension units after they have been properly adjusted will minimize screw back-out.

FIREARM SECURITY carrying a firearm is a serious responsibility that requires constant awareness. It is your responsibility to exercise extreme caution during any situation where another individual may attempt to take away your handgun. Law enforcement officers in particular should be familiar with all departmental tactical and procedural guidelines regarding the use and carrying of firearms in close proximity to potentially dangerous individuals.

Firearms users must understand and obey the Rules of Firearms Safety:

1. Treat all firearms as if they are always loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you aren’t willing to shoot.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind/beyond it.

Failure to heed these warnings or follow the operating instructions may result in negligent discharge of a firearm, causing serious injury or death.

Read and understand all owner's manuals, instructions and guides prepared by the manufacturer of your firearm prior to use.

Galco holsters are designed to carry specific firearms.
Many people ask if their holster should completely cover their trigger guard. The term "covered trigger guard" is actually something of a misnomer. The requirement is for the holster to cover the trigger, not the trigger guard. Part of the trigger guard remaining uncovered behind the trigger prevents access sufficient to enable the finger to depress the trigger. Therefore, it does not affect safety. Reduced holster material in the area where the trigger guard meets the front strap is necessary to allow a full firing grip in the holster, which is often necessary for a proper draw.
Holsters designed and specified for a firearm with a rail-mounted light, trigger-guard mounted laser or light, or any other device mounted on its rail, trigger guard or other location on the firearm fully or partially enclosed by the holster (when holstered) should not be used with a firearm without the light, laser or other device attached to the firearm. Using the holster with the firearm only, without the attached accessory device may reduce the holster’s retention properties, resulting in firearm loss and/or subsequent discharge.
Ankle holster
A holster worn on the lower leg, above the ankle. Normally worn on the inside of the support-side leg. For example, a right-handed shooter would wear it on the inside of the left leg with the grip to the rear. Select ankle holsters based on your shooting hand. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, select a right-hand holster.

Appendix carry
A carry position between the dominant-side hip and the belly button, approximately the area of the body’s vestigial appendix organ.

Belt holster
A holster worn at the waistline on the outside of pants, affixed to the wearer’s belt with straps or slots.

Body clock
Galco’s diagram that shows where on the waistline a holster is designed to be worn, imagining the body as an analog clock, with the belly button as 12 o’clock and the spine as 6 o’clock.

Chest holster
A holster for larger handguns worn openly on the carrier’s chest or abdomen, intended primarily for hunters and outdoorsmen.

Convertible holster
A holster that is designed to perform multiple tasks by converting it from one configuration to another at the user level. For example, the Corvus holster is easily converted by the user from OWB to IWB carry.

Hide from a female bovine (cow), typically slightly more pliable than steerhide from a male.

A carry position that places the handgun and holster on the support side of the body, and drawn by reaching the dominant hand across the body to access to firearm. Though not typically thought of as crossdraw designs, ankle and shoulder holsters also fall into this category since one must reach across the body to draw.

Short for Every Day Carry, the items a gun carrier has on their body daily. May include handgun(s), holster(s), spare ammo, knives, flashlights, first aid gear, and/or other items.

Exotic skins
Special skins used on a made-to-order basis, such as alligator, ostrich, shark and stingray.

Full Grain Leather
Leather where the original grain (smooth outer surface) has not been altered in any way. Full Grain is exactly how the grain appeared during the tanning process. If the texture or surface has been changed at all, it would be called a Corrected Grain Leather or just Corrected Leather.

Excessive scars or insect bites are just two of the reasons leather is sanded, buffed or embossed in order to correct the grain. When corrected, some of the natural characteristics of the leather are lost. Typically, thicker pigmented dyes are then applied giving a painted appearance.

When the grain surface is left intact before applying the surface coating, the leather has more fiber strength and durability. As it ages, it will develops a patina over time. Our Full Grain Leather, combined with our aniline dye or especially our renowned hand rubbed oil Tan finish will allow the natural grain to show through.

Full Grain is regarded as the highest quality leather, which is why ultimately we choose to use it, with few exceptions.

Galco’s horsehide is taken exclusively from the “Strip” section of an equine hide. This is the transition leather between the Shell Cordovan and Horsefront. Tanned in the USA.

Short for “inside the waistband,” a holster that places the barrel/slide of the handgun inside the trousers, with the grip area accessible for the draw.

Short for “outside the waistband,” a holster that places the entire handgun on the waistline outside the trousers.

Paddle holster
A holster attached to a curved polymer paddle. The paddle slides inside the trousers at the waistline, while the handgun and holster remains outside. Often used by gun carriers who need to conveniently take handguns on and off their body.

Pocket holster
A holster designed to fit completely inside the pocket, maintaining the handgun’s position and safely covering its trigger.

Premium Center Cut Steerhide™
Steerhide with both its flesh and grain removed, leaving a sturdy leather with a nap on both sides. Tanned specifically for Galco with an extra stiff hand that will remain intact, once the leather self-molds to a firearm with prolonged use.

Premium steerhide
Hide from a neutered male bovine (steer). Galco uses the top 2% of available American-produced hides in our premium steerhide holsters and accessories.

Pull-up Leather
Pull-up leather is aniline dyed in a drum to create deep, vibrant colors. It is finished with a combination of transparent waxes and oils, which gives the leather a very soft hand. When this leather is stretched or pulled, the color migrates and temporarily becomes lighter in the pulled areas. The name “Pull-up” refers to this change in color. Adding to its character, marks, scratches, and signs of wear will show, and a rich patina will increase over time.

Right hand/left hand
Holsters are generally designated as right handed or left handed. This denotes which hand will be used to draw and shoot the handgun, normally the shooter’s dominant hand. Be aware that some holsters (such as ankle, crossdraw, and shoulder holsters) are worn on the support side of the body but drawn with the shooting hand.

Leather has two sides, a grain (outer smooth side) and a flesh (inner rough side). Most holsters are constructed with the smooth side facing out, but some (usually IWBs) are made with the rough side facing out. The rough side of the leather often grabs the trouser and results in greater stability in IWB carry, and some shooters prefer having the smooth side of the leather against their handgun.

Shooting hand
The primary hand the gun carrier uses to draw and fire the handgun, either right or left hand. The shooting hand does not change based on the holster's location on the body.

Shoulder holster
A holster designed to be worn suspended from a harness that hangs over the shoulders. Select shoulder holsters based on your shooting hand. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, select a right-hand holster.

A slightly dated synonym for a shooter’s dominant body side. For example, a right handed shooter’s right side would be considered their “strong” side.

Support hand (opposite shooting hand)
The secondary hand the gun carrier may use to support the shooting hand during firing, and the hand used to assist with administrative functions such as reloading.

An IWB holster designed to allow the shirt to be tucked into the pants over the handgun, concealing all but an inconspicuous belt attachment on the outside of the wearer’s clothing.

With or without (generally used with holster fits accommodating red dot sights).
At the top of each page of our site, you'll see an icon in the shape of a magnifying glass. Simply click on that icon to open the search field.

Information on selection, safe and efficient use of Galco holsters.
Right handed Galco holster models intended for single-action pistols (such as the 1911) without an ambidextrous/two-sided safety, which have a retention strap with reinforced thumb break clearly marked FOR USE COCKED & LOCKED, contain a patent-pending, visible thumb-safety deactivation block. These models are appropriate for carrying the pistol “cocked & locked” or in “Condition 1”. Those few right hand models WITHOUT a reinforced thumb break marked FOR USE COCKED & LOCKED are designed for “hammer down, empty chamber” or “Condition 3” carry.

Left handed Galco holster models are appropriate for carrying the pistol “cocked & locked” or in “Condition 1”, “hammer down, empty chamber” or “Condition 3”, and in all safe conditions of carry as specified by the firearm manufacturer.

The differences in use between left and right hand holsters is due to the pistol only being designed for a right hand user.

Right and left hand Galco holster models lacking a retention strap with reinforced thumb break (“open top” holsters) are designed to carry single-action pistols in all safe conditions of carry as specified by the firearm manufacturer, regardless of single-sided or ambidextrous/two-sided thumb safety configuration.

After decades of using Chicago screws on our shoulder holster harnesses, we’ve replaced them with tool-free injection-molded fasteners. This change was primarily intended to solve one issue: eliminating the large number of users that lost screw(s), and the inconvenience and frustration that loss brings.

The polymer harness fasteners offer multiple secondary benefits, as well. Unlike metal screws, plastic fasteners are corrosion-free. They don’t require a screw driver (or any other tools). They’re quicker to use (when Galco’s directions are followed) during initial set-up and when swapping out components or making harness adjustments.

There is an unfortunate perception by some that metal is superior to plastic. We believe that claim is overly broad, in many cases outdated, and that the superiority or inferiority of a given material is dependent on application and environment. Ironically, most who negatively prejudge the use of plastic/polymer parts are putting a plastic-framed gun in their holster.

Galco has almost five decades of experience with injection-molded parts, many of them field-proven by military and law enforcement. With over a million shoulder holsters sold – each using an injection-molded, swiveling Flexalon swivel back plate on the harness, holster and ammo-carrier swivel keepers, tie down connectors – we were very confident that replacing old-style screws with injection-molded fasteners was the obvious next step, and the best solution to the challenges noted above.

Now, with tens of thousands of the new fasteners in the field, they too have proven themselves to be fully capable of withstanding the lateral forces of fastening and securing the harness – and part loss has been eliminated!

Proper technique for releasing a thumb break retention strap is to drive the thumb briskly straight down through the snap. This fast, single motion will wedge the strap apart and place the thumb in the correct position to achieve a full firing grip prior to the draw.

Do not attempt to release the thumb break by pushing the strap apart with a sideways motion of the thumb. This is not only more difficult, it is slower and clumsier, and may also be impeded by body parts (belly, calf muscle/bone, etc.)
In general, holsters should offer a full firing grip. A firing grip in the holster is critical. Your grip on the gun in the holster should be the same grip you have when the gun is at full extension and ready to fire. Anything less will impede your draw because you’ll need to shift and adjust your grip as you bring the gun on target. This shifting is not only slow, it’s dangerous, because it could cause you to fumble or even drop the handgun.

An exception to this rule is made for some body and clothing types, especially for IWB appendix carry, where we might trade a full firing grip for deeper concealment. Here we’d use a "pinch draw," which is the compression of the thumb and forefinger at the web of the hand. This more advanced technique uses the top of the hand to pull up from the holster, enabling the user to wrap the middle, ring and pinky fingers around the grip as space is created.

Information on Galco's materials and manufacturing.

Premium Center Cut Steerhide™ is an extremely durable steerhide with the outer and inner layers removed, resulting in a napped texture on both sides of the leather. It has an outer layer finish that is ideal for inside the waistband and pocket holsters due to the natural “grabbing” ability of the napped leather. Center Cut Steerhide works equally well for general holster designs both because of its sturdiness and because its exterior does not show scuffing or scratches.

Galco’s Premium Saddle Leather is our full-grain premium leather cut. Unlike our Premium Center Cut Steerhide, the smooth outer layer of the leather remains intact, while the other side retains a traditional flesh finish. The smooth side of the leather will usually be on the outside of the holster, though in the limited case of some inside the waistband holsters, the smooth side of leather will be on the inside. Our uncorrected full-grain prime back cuts are inspected several times at the tannery and in our facility. All of our hides are of the highest “Number One” grade (out of seven possible grades), which guarantees that Galco Premium Saddle Leather Holsters are made from the top 2% of vegetable-tanned steerhides available in the US.

All Galco products are made with pride in Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s important to note that Galco makes a wide range of products, with holsters starting in the $40 range. The differences in price within our line are representative of material used, features included and simply the time required to make that item. In many cases, Galco products are very competitively priced, even when compared to competitor’s products that are noticeably lacking in quality, features and/or attention to detail.

At the upper end of our line, Galco’s pricing is reflective of offering the highest-quality belts, holsters and sporting accessories in the industry. We make all our products right here in Phoenix, Arizona rather than outsourcing our manufacturing to Mexico, Paraguay, Turkey, Vietnam or China like so many of our competitors.

The purchase of a Galco product supports our providing health care and a living wage to a US manufacturing workforce, a concept that’s foreign (no pun intended) to our competitors who manufacture in third world countries. We purchase from the top 2% leather quality available in America. We comply with and pay for every federal, state and local government mandate. We give particular attention to those regulations protecting the environment and worker safety, which are much stricter in the USA than in the third world nations where many of our competitors choose to manufacture.

Galco believes that the rewards of manufacturing in the USA far offset any disadvantages, but it does require us to charge a little more compared to those made in the developing world. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of our customers agree with us. These customers have continued to purchase our American-made products for over 50 years because they Demand the Best and Know the Difference.

Many of our loyal customers have used a holster or belt under tough field conditions for 20+ years. A single visit to the shooting range (factoring in ammo) costs about the same as a top-quality Galco holster or belt that, with proper care, can last literally decades. That seems like a bargain.

Information on ordering the right holsters and belts for you.

Galco is continuously adding to our new holster designs and retrofitting existing designs, where possible, to accommodate red dot optics. There are multiple red dot manufacturers, with many different models, on the market. Most, but not all, will be compatible with a Galco holster depending on design, size and location on the slide or top strap (of a revolver). Oversized, competition-oriented optics may not fit.

When searching for a red dot carry-optic compatible holster be sure to select the W/WO (with & without) red dot option from the drop-down menu when searching by gun. Holster models designed to accommodate a red dot carry optic are denoted by the “R” in the product codes suffix. For example, a Paragon 2.0 holster for the Glock 19 w/wo Red Dot will be clearly indicated by the marking PA2-226RB.


Initially, gunsmiths milled away metal and attached red dot sights (RDS) to pistols with inconsistent locations, and co-witnessing suppressor-height sights were the norm. As firearm manufacturers got on board with factory-optioned RDS slide cutaways, optic positioning generally moved farther rearward, sometimes with rear sight elimination, relocation, or integration with the optic itself. As carry optics evolve, we see less demand for co-witnessing, due to improvements in RDS reliability and thus end-user confidence.

Integrated carry optics on even subcompact pistols continue to gain popularity as the size of RDS units shrinks with advancements in technology. The combination of the evolution of RDS size, integration and placement makes it the most inconsistent factor to accommodate when making a holster that we’ve seen in over a half-century of holster making.

Crossdraw holster are worn on the side of the body opposite the shooting hand. A right-handed shooter will normally wear a crossdraw holster on the left side of the body with the gun butt oriented toward the body's centerline, but the shooting hand does not change with holster location. Order a crossdraw holster based on your shooting hand.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, order a right hand holster.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your left hand, order a left hand holster.

Note that paddle holsters are typically poorly suited to crossdraw carry and are best used in the 2:30-4:30 position on the dominant side of the body.
Ankle holsters are technically "crossdraw" holsters, in that they are worn on the side of the body opposite the shooting hand. A right-handed shooter will normally wear an ankle holster on the inside of the left ankle with the gun butt to the rear, but the shooting hand does not change with holster location. Order an ankle holster based on your shooting hand.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, order a right hand holster.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your left hand, order a left hand holster.
Shoulder holsters are technically "crossdraw" holsters, in that they are worn on the side of the body opposite the shooting hand. A right-handed shooter will normally wear a shoulder holster under the left arm, but the shooting hand does not change with holster location. Order a shoulder holster based on your shooting hand.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, order a right hand holster.

If you intend to draw and shoot with your left hand, order a left hand holster.
Generally, yes. In the past, extended/threaded barrels were uncommon, mostly used for things like recoil compensators. However, with today’s greatly-increased interest in – and ownership of – sound suppressors, extended/threaded barrels have become standard equipment on many pistols direct from the factory.

The vast majority of Galco holsters have an open-bottom design. This feature is primarily to allow everyday debris to fall harmlessly through the holster, rather than collecting at the bottom. However, it also allows an extended barrel to protrude through the bottom of the holster. This typically isn’t a concern, as the threads and the crown of the barrel are protected during everyday carry by the protective thread cover normally provided by the gun manufacturer.

The exceptions to this general rule are holsters with closed-bottom designs, such as our Switchback and VHS models, as well as holsters designed to accommodate weapon-mounted lights, such as our Halo. These will not allow a pistol with an extended barrel to seat completely.

Galco offers several models for each of the two belt-holster design styles. Although holsters have been made in the pancake style for several decades (and we still make them) we have found forward molding to offer some advantages over the more traditional design, assuming one uses a proper holster belt of sufficient thickness and a well-made full-grain holster.

On a traditional pancake design, the belt weaves in and out of the holster, causing considerable belt bulging both in front of and behind the holster, thus inhibiting concealment. The pancake holster can also be difficult to put on the belt and thread through pants loops. This will eventually be minimized with many hours of wear (break-in), and the issue reduces proportionally with a larger waist since the larger the circle, the flatter any fixed length on the circle becomes.

In the early 1970s, Galco founder Richard Gallagher made a major improvement on the basic pancake holster design when he invented forward molding. The Concealable was the first holster to use his innovative construction method. A forward molded holster does not require as much cinching to eliminate the belt bulge. The lack of bulging and a more narrow side profile results in better concealment. Some will argue that molding on one side results in a thicker holster and thus a less concealable profile than having half the molding on each side. However, if one adds the thickness of the gun and the thickness of a piece of leather on each side of the gun, then simple math shows that the overall thickness of the gun/holster combination doesn’t change, which invalidates this argument.

As for comfort with a forward molded design, the curved and smoother surface on the rear of the holster (as opposed to a molded center area for the gun as found on a traditional pancake) is generally more comfortable – especially on those individuals who do not carry as much of their own “built-in padding.”

Concealment is enhanced with the forward molded design, because it tends to pull the butt of the pistol closer to the body than a traditional pancake design, as seen in the illustration below.

Forward molded holsters require more work to design and construct. The vastly different shapes and sizes of the front and rear pieces of leather take additional time and skill to glue and stitch prior to molding. This added labor results in additional cost, but the forward molded design’s increased concealability and comfort over the traditional pancake holster make these costs justifiable to many.

On the left is a forward molded holster. On the right is a traditional pancake design.
A “silhouette” holster is one that is purposely designed to not fully enclose the barrel/slide of the handgun. The barrel/slide of the handgun will protrude from the end of the holster to varying degrees, depending on the length of the barrel/slide. When made as a belt/OWB holster, this style is also sometimes called a “belt slide.” The silhouette design is also common on horizontal shoulder holsters, such as our flagship Miami Classic.

The main benefit of the silhouette design is its ability to properly fit multiple guns of different lengths that are built on the same basic frame. For example, a silhouette holster can fit a Glock 17, 19 and 26 interchangeably, though they have different barrel/slide lengths. Similarly, a silhouette holster can fit the S&W Model 66 revolver with 2 ½”, 3” and 4” barrels. Some users also perceive silhouette designs as being slightly more concealable than a full-coverage holster.

The “downside” of silhouette designs is that they expose some measure of the barrel/slide, dependent on the barrel length, which can leave the front sight more prone to damage during everyday carry. However, most properly attached front sights are extremely rugged. After all, they must endure the violence of the gun being fired without detaching or coming loose.

Although Galco strongly believes EDC guns are tools and as such will show honest wear with use, full barrel/slide coverage is generally recommended for open carry during rugged field endeavors, motorcycle or horseback riding, due to the added exposure/potential for barrel/slide contact with things that leave marks and dings. We also recommend a holster with a strap for firearm retention while engaged in these activities.

A chest holster is worn with the gun butt oriented to the gun carrier’s shooting side. Select a chest holster based on your shooting hand, since the shooting hand does not change with the holster location. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, choose a right hand holster.
Shoulder holsters are technically "crossdraw" holsters, in that they are worn on the side of the body opposite the shooting hand. A right-handed shooter will normally wear a shoulder holster under the left arm, but the shooting hand does not change with holster location. Select a shoulder holster based on your shooting hand. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, choose a right hand holster.

Ammo and accessories worn on shoulder systems are drawn with the support hand, just as when worn on the belt/waistline.
Ankle holsters are technically "crossdraw" holsters, in that they are worn on the side of the body opposite the shooting hand. A right-handed shooter will normally wear an ankle holster on the inside of the left ankle with the gun butt to the rear, but the shooting hand does not change with holster location. Select an ankle holster based on your shooting hand. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, choose a right hand holster.

The Miami Classic and Miami Classic II shoulder systems have the same holster component; the differences are in the harness and magazine carrier. The Miami Classic harness is made with all four straps being of equal width, where the MCII harness becomes wider over the shoulder area. Many believe the MCII wider harness is more comfortable, as it spreads the weight over a wider area. Small-framed people, or those with larger builds, tend to do better with the Miami Classic harness.

The SSH “wide comfort” harness, as used on our VHS series and also available separately, is yet wider than the MCII harness. Again, this helps distribute weight, but can be more difficult to conceal and sometimes less comfortable in hot weather.

The Jackass Rig is less expensive due to the harness being premium center cut steerhide instead of smooth surface top grain leather like in the Miami Classic harness (MCH) and MCII system harness (MCIIH). In addition, the construction method for both the holster and ammo carrier is riveted, rather than stitched as on the Miami Classic and the MCII. Another difference is that the Jackass holster component is designed for diagonal carry, with the muzzle tilted slightly up, due to the patented swivel keeper being placed under the muzzle rather than above the muzzle as in the pattern used on the holster component for the MC and the MCII systems. This diagonal style of carry often helps smaller people conceal larger pistols.

If you want a genuine Galco shoulder holster system for part-time or occasional carry, the Classic Lite 2.0 is for you. This complete system – holster, double ammo carrier and JRH harness – gives you the comfort and versatility of our professional rigs. We use the same patented and trademarked connectors and hardware to achieve the same great fit and design. Instead of full grain steerhide we use premium center cut steerhide, which has a proven track record in our Jackass harness and Carry Lite IWB holsters. With a reduction in labor and material costs we can offer you a very reasonably priced alternative.

The optional tie downs for each rig are made from the same leather used for that particular rig’s harness. Tie downs are sold in sets, one each for the holster and ammo carrier.

Note that shoulder holsters are actually crossdraw designs, because one must reach across the body to draw the firearm. Select shoulder holsters based on the shooting hand. If you intend to draw and shoot with your right hand, choose a right-hand holster.

Watch a Galco video on shoulder holsters systems here.

Many Galco holsters are compatible with handguns fitted with Crimson Trace Lasergrips. Some Galco holsters are designed to fit guns equipped with triggerguard or rail-mounted lasers from Crimson Trace, LaserMax, or Viridian. If you have a question about lasers in a particular Galco holster, please contact our Customer Service department by phone (800-874-2526) or email (

Galco offers several options in magazine carriers for our modular shoulder holster systems. These designs include double vertical with retention straps (SCL), double horizontal open-front (HCL), and quadruple horizontal with removable retention straps (QCL). Each design has unique advantages.

The SCL uses straps on each magazine along with tension units for the most secure retention. Shorter magazines (for the Glock 26, for example) are simply pulled down to contact the retention strap for most effective grasp when reloading. The SCL comes standard on the Miami Classic and VHS 4.0.

The HCL is flatter because it does not use straps. This sometimes makes it more comfortable under the arm. It is also faster because of its horizontal orientation and lack of straps, and it accommodates extended magazines. The HCL comes standard on the Miami Classic II.

The QCL carries four spare magazines and offers the option of using straps for added security or removing them for faster, simpler access and use of extended magazines. The QCL is available as an optional purchase and can be added to any of our modular shoulder holster systems. (Does not work with chest holsters.)

Some added notes about shoulder system magazine carriers:

Full size pistols: system mag carrier will not accommodate extra-capacity or extended magazines, including those provided as OEM equipment. For extended magazines, select the Extended Double Mag Carrier, Horizontal Mag Carrier or Quad Mag Carrier.

Compact/subcompact pistols: if a full-size version of your pistol is available, the mag carrier will generally also accommodate magazines from the full-sized pistol. Again, shorter magazines are simply pulled down to contact the retention strap for most effective grasp when reloading.

Sleeved Magazines: double magazine carriers may not properly accommodate magazines with exterior sleeves, as the baseplates will rub together.

Please contact Galco customer service for further clarification as needed.

Pistols with California-compliant loaded chamber indicators that protrude substantially from the slide may not fit in some or all of our holsters. Please contact Galco customer service with questions on specific fits.

The 1911s from SIG-Sauer have two different types of slides. The first is the "contoured slide" that preserves a common appearance with other non-1911-type pistols in the SIG line, like the P220 and P226. Guns with these slides will fit only in the holsters we designate for "contoured slides."

The second slide type is the more traditional flat-sided/slab-sided 1911 design, very similar to the original Colt. Guns with these slides will fit in any of the holsters we offer for the traditional 1911s from Colt, Kimber, Springfield, etc.
Galco products are generally identified with a two-part code stamped into the holster body or label affixed to the item.

An alphabetical or alphanumeric prefix identifies the holster model. For example, the FLETCH model’s prefix is FL while the Concealable 2.0's is CO2. The three or four-digit numerical suffix identifies the particular firearm the holster is intended to fit. For example, the 212 suffix indicates a 5” 1911 while the 2020 suffix indicates a SIG P320-XTEN.

The letter "B" or "H" at the end of the code indicates color. B is for black, H for havana brown, while no letter generally indicates tan. Thus, an FL212 (FL + 212 + no letter) will be a tan FLETCH to fit a 5” 1911, while an CO2-2020RB (CO2 + 2020 + RB) will be a black Concealable 2.0 for a SIG P320-XTEN with or without a red dot optic.

Codes containing the letter "R" in the suffix indicate that the holster accommodates most red dot sights. For example, a Paragon 2.0 IWB for the Glock 19 w/wo red dot optic would be marked PA2-226RB.

Holsters intended for Galco’s modular shoulder systems display letters and numbers that correspond to guns. A Miami Classic holster intended for a Glock 17, for example, will simply read 224.

The numerical suffix of holsters intended for right-hand or ambidextrous use will end in an even number. The suffix of holsters intended for left-hand use will end in an odd number. Suffix numbers beginning with an odd number are revolvers and those beginning with an even number are for semiautos.

You may also use the search field on the homepage of our website to locate a holster’s fit. Simply enter the product code found on the item (FL224RB, for example) in the field.

Galco’s belts can be categorized into three types: heavy duty holster belts, pants belts, and over-belts (for Western rigs and shell pouches). Our belts are available in leather dress and casual styles, or in nylon for a casual/tactical appearance.

Galco’s heavy duty leather holster belts are designed to carry the weight of a handgun, whether in a belt, paddle or IWB holster. Leather holster belts are constructed of two layers of premium grade, full-grain, vegetable-tanned steer hide, grown or tanned in the USA. Examples in dress belts include the CB3, SB1 and SB3, while casual belts include the SB2, SB5 and SB6.

All of Galco’s nylon belts are double thickness and suitable for all-day carry of belt, paddle and IWB holsters. Examples include the Cobra Tactical, EDC and Instructors Belt series.

Pants belts are made from a single layer of leather and – while designed to hold up one’s pants – are often suitable for carrying a defensive handgun inside the waistband, where belt pressure and the pants themselves combine to provide sufficient stability. Examples include the SB14 and SB18.

Many, if not most, people who wear a belt to hold up their pants and/or as a fashion accessory wear their belt loosely, and always have. One of the wardrobe changes required to successfully carry a defensive handgun on the waist is, quite literally, tightening the belt. A tighter belt helps prevent holster sag and wobble that comes from the weight of a defensive handgun (especially in OWB carry). Like many other new habits gun carriers are required to adopt, tightening the belt will, in time, become second nature and comfortable.

Over belts are intended to be worn atop other belts to carry holsters or ammo/shell pouches. Examples include the 1880s Western cartridge belt, Adjustable Shell Pouch Belt and Field Grade Culling and Seven Hole Sport Belts.

Galco belts are made in 5, 7 and 9-hole designs, in even sizes and in true inches. Sizing is based on the center hole, regardless of the number of holes in the belt. To determine your correct size, measure one of your existing belts from the end of the buckle to the hole you are currently using. This will give you a true inch measurement and a correct belt fit.

Some belts are intended to be worn atop other belts (often called “over-belts”) to carry holsters or ammo/shell pouches. Examples include the 1880s Western cartridge belts, the SB22 Seven Hole Shell Pouch/IWB Belt, and the Field Grade Culling Belt. Use a tape measure to determine the belt length, measuring over any other items you will be wearing.

Alternately, you may have another over-belt, or a similar larger belt. Put it on over your pants belt and whatever other items you intend to wear. Buckle to the desired wearing position and measure the larger belt to the desired hole, as mentioned previously. Remember that over-belts are often worn slightly slung on one side, so take that into consideration when choosing your size.

Keep in mind: if you will be wearing a holster and/or magazine carrier inside the pants, it may change the belt size. Your measurement should be made while wearing those items.
Information on breaking in and maintaining Galco products.
Before attempting to fit your firearm in your holster the first time, ensure that it is unloaded. Your Galco holster may have one or more tension screw adjustments. These screws are not preset at the factory. You may need to loosen the tension to holster your unloaded firearm the first time, after which you can adjust the tension screw(s) to the tension you desire.

We recommend you check all holster screw “tension” and “fixed” before each use.

Tension units or screws are easily adjusted using a flathead screwdriver(s), in some instances the post on the back also has a slot for a second screwdriver. Slotted posts are not provided in those instances where contact may damage clothing (when a burr is created by a screwdriver), it may be necessary to apply pressure on the post using your thumb or a rubberized item/tool in order to prevent the entire tension unit from spinning. If the holster is too tight, do not attempt to force your unloaded firearm into it. Back out the tension unit screw, checking at regular intervals. Likewise, if your holster is too loose, tighten your tension unit while checking at regular intervals. Removing the entire tension unit is unnecessary.


1. In some instances, tightening tension units reduces the distance a firearm can be seated into the holster, IE horizontal shoulder holsters. This technique is used to reduce slack in the retention strap.

2. Do not use Loctite. A drop of nail polish on the threads will keep the screw secure but can be broken free if needed.
You can watch a video on holster break-in here.

One of the side effects of wet molding is a consolidation of the leather fibers, which “shrinks” the holster. If the fit is too tight when holstering your firearm the first time, don’t force it. If you do force the firearm into the holster, it may be very difficult to remove. Instead, follow these simple steps to break in your new holster using a process called blocking:

1. Place the unloaded firearm in a plastic freezer bag, or cover it in 2-3 layers of plastic kitchen wrap. Do not cover the grip.
2. Insert the bagged/wrapped firearm slowly into the holster, gently twisting it side-to-side to minimize tearing of the bag/wrap.
3. Once the firearm is completely seated in the holster, twist it about 1/16” in both directions 6-12 times.
4. Allow the bagged/wrapped firearm to sit in the holster for about 15 minutes.
5. Remove the firearm from the holster and remove the bag/wrap from the firearm.
6. Insert the unloaded firearm into the holster, which should now be snug but not loose. If it is still too tight, repeat the above steps until the holster is broken in to your satisfaction.

If the holster has a retention strap, it may also need some break in. You can watch a video on retention strap break-in here.

1. Place your unloaded firearm in the holster.
2. Hold the firearm grip in your right hand and the retention strap in your left.
3. Prepare the strap for stretching by grasping the snap and pulling the strap taut (remove the slack).
4. Twist the strap back and forth in a clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, while keeping it taut, 10-12 times.
5. Firmly push the firearm away from you while pulling on the strap and continue rotating the strap.
6. Release the tension for a moment and repeat two or three times.
7. Pull the strap over the back of the firearm without releasing tension.
8. While maintaining the strong tension, attempt to snap the retention strap closed.
9. Repeat steps five and six as needed.

Try the fit with your unloaded firearm again. Repeat the process as needed.

Try our Draw-Ez applied to the inside of the leather holster to shorten the break-in period and to provide a slicker draw. Draw-Ez only treats the interior surface of the leather and will not be absorbed by the leather or harm the finish of the firearm.
It is the user’s responsibility to maintain the holster by regularly checking component parts for excessive wear and proper function. This includes but is not limited to, tension units, snap closures and retention devices.

Galco’s saddle leather and premium horsehide holsters, belts, and accessories will need minimal care and maintenance throughout their service life.

Our saddle leather products are made from natural steer hides that are range bred and grown. Therefore there may be natural range markings in the grain of the saddle leather. This is normal for top grain steer hide, and adds to the beauty and character of your Galco leather product. These same natural range markings will appear in our genuine horsehide.

By following the instructions below, you will add to the service life of your Galco product.


If soiled or exposed to heavy perspiration, clean your leather product with Galco Leather Lotion or use a hard bar glycerin soap. Work soap and a small amount of water into a lather and apply to the surface of the leather, rub in and wipe off with a soft cloth. Galco Leather Lotion will replace the natural oils of the leather. Do not use additional oils such as Neats Foot or Mink oil, as they will soften the leather too much.

Dry the leather naturally – do not use any type of artificial heat.


Do not submerge or saturate your leather product in water or any other liquid. Do not dry your leather product with heat from a hair dryer, oven, radiator, direct sunlight, etc.

Do not use oils such as Neats Foot or Mink oil, as they will saturate and soften the leather too much.

Do not leave your leather product on the dashboard of your car in summer, or leave it otherwise exposed to the elements.

The above care and maintenance instructions cannot substitute for your good common sense. Following our recommended care and maintenance tips, along with common sense, will allow you to get the maximum service life from your Galco leather products.

Experienced shooters recognize that a firearm is a tool, and wear on a tool’s finish is inevitable when used for its intended purpose. All tools show wear with use, and guns carried for defense, range shooting or hunting are no different.

The same holster that protects a firearm from the abuses of daily carry will also eventually wear the finish on that same firearm. Constant rubbing or bumping on the outside of the holster will transfer, to some degree, onto the firearm inside the holster. That said, wear on a gun or holster’s finish can be understood and often mitigated.

Lack of regular holster/firearm cleaning and frequent storage of the firearm in the holster will escalate the aging process of both the firearm and the holster. Some things you can do to maintain your holster and mitigate wear on both tools:

1. Clean the holster’s exterior and interior regularly with approved maintenance products.
2. Clean and oil the firearm regularly.
3. Remove the firearm from the holster nightly and allow the leather or other material to dry (from perspiration and/or humidity). Removing the firearm from the entrapment of the holster will allow the firearm to dry, as well. Holsters are intended for firearm carry rather than storage.

Hobbyists who wish to preserve the pristine, factory-new finish on a firearm should not utilize it as tool. Such firearms should be left in the safe and treated accordingly. A “safe queen” is the pretty gun displayed to friends. A “tool” is the working gun displayed as a last resort.

It is the user’s responsibility to maintain the holster by regularly checking component parts for excessive wear and proper function. This includes but is not limited to, tension units, snap closures and retention devices.

Dirt and grit may become trapped in your holster, especially after use in dusty conditions. Simply wipe out the interior of the holster using a clean, damp cloth and allow to air-dry.
It is the user’s responsibility to maintain the holster/product by regularly checking component parts for excessive wear and proper function. This includes but is not limited to, tension units, snap closures and retention devices.

Dirt and grit may become trapped in your holster, especially after use in dusty conditions. Simply wipe out the interior of the holster using a clean, damp cloth and allow to air-dry.
Galco's 1880s cartridge belt, Kodiak Ammo Bandolier, Butt Cuff and three cartridge wallets all have cartridge loops that are not adjustable.

Applying Galco Draw-EZ to the inside of the leather cartridge loops is generally a quick and easy solution to tight new loops needing break-in.

Cartridge Loop Stretching Procedure

Tools Required:

Correct cartridges for loops
Warm water

1. Wet Q-tip with warm water.
2. Wet the inside of a few loops with Q-tip to soften leather. This may require multiple dips of the Q-tip into the water and repeated daubing of loop interior.
3. Let wet loops sit for a couple minutes allowing the water to penetrate into the leather. Insert cartridges into those loops prepared with water.
4. Proceed to the next few loops repeating the process using additional cartridges.
5. Let all treated loops dry with the cartridges in the loops for approximately 8 hours. Although the exterior of the inside of the loops may dry quickly, we want to allow for the water soaked into the leather to dry and the loops to form around the cartridges.

The above process generally achieves the desired (or close to) the desired break-in. A little use will yield additional break-in.

Do not use additional heat sources to dry loops. Do not set loops in direct sunlight to dry. A natural prolonged drying process is ideal.

Alternate method

If one requires the cartridges to be much looser than achieved from the above stretching procedure, without a natural break-in, the above process can be repeated with the use of a zip-lock bag.

Place each cartridge in a separate freezer or thinner-mil sandwich bag before inserting in damp loops, and follow all the instructions above. The additional thickness of the plastic bag will further stretch the loops. It is strongly recommended that you test one loop first, to determine if this additional stretching will result in loops being too loose.

Information on Galco's product guarantee, returns and repairs.
Great care was taken to select the finest materials available to craft your Galco product. It was designed in accordance with the highest engineering standards and hand made using traditional leather craft practices that have become Galco hallmarks over five decades. In the unlikely event a repair is necessary to an unaltered Galco product, simply contact our Customer Service department at 800-874-2526 or We will issue you a Return Authorization (RA) number to print on the outside of your shipping container and provide you with detailed shipping instructions.

Our Repair Department has extensive hands-on experience determining wear on Galco products. The process of evaluation utilizes documentation of field-tested products and lab testing of leather, fabrics, thermal plastics, cast metals and other materials used in our products. Please be assured, this is not a profit center for Galco. Any repairs billed to you are strictly at or below our cost.

We will make every effort to complete the necessary repair quickly and return your item to you promptly, we will notify you of any charges for your repair before the work is performed.

Please note that some products may be worn to the point of being irreparable, and its service life has reached the end. In this case, the item should be replaced.

Retail customers who wish to return a product purchased directly from Galco Holsters should follow these simple steps:

- Contact Galco Customer Service at 800-874-2526 or within ten business days of receipt of the item.

- Obtain a Return Authorization (RA) number and shipping instructions from a Galco Customer Service Representative.

- Return the item to Galco in new, unused condition for a full refund (less shipping and handling fees) or an exchange to:

2019 West Quail Avenue
Door A
Phoenix, Arizona 85027

Please make sure to be certain that your RA number is clearly marked on the outside of your package.

Returns will be processed within 30 days of the product’s arrival at Galco. Please note that financial institutions vary greatly in their refund policies and time frames, and it may take up to an additional 60 days for refunds to appear in your account.

Original shipping fees are non-refundable. Shipping is considered a service and non-refundable once the service has been provided. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer.

Many lost parts can be ordered directly from our website under our “Miscellaneous Accessories” category.

If you are unable to locate the parts that you need Contact Galco Customer Service at 800-874-2526 or Galco holsters are generally identified with a two-part code stamped or molded into the body of the item. Please make sure to include this two part code with your inquiry.
Information about mailing/faxing orders and shipping.
1. Print or type your full name, complete address, and daytime telephone number, including area code.

2. If ordering a holster, state the firearm's manufacturer, and model number, including the barrel length and caliber.

3. If ordering a belt, include size (in true inches).

4. Provide the model name of the product you would like to order and color choice when applicable.

5. Indicate choice of right or left-handed design when applicable.

6. Calculate shipping and handling fees using this website's shopping cart function, or call Galco Customer Service at 800-874-2526.

7. Payment options are check or money order payable to Galco Int. Ltd. or American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

8. All Galco products are made in the USA and produced according to rigid specifications. Prices and models are subject to change without notice.
Galco’s goal is to ship in-stock items the same or the following business day, Monday - Thursday, excluding holidays. Backordered items may take up to 6 weeks to ship.

Shipping options are displayed in the shopping cart and may be limited by delivery location.

International shipping is available. Fees vary based on order size and delivery location. Please contact us by email to determine the costs associated with your specific order, so that we may help you calculate your total prior to sending payment. Once the order is placed, you will be contacted via email with the exact amount of shipping to your location. Please note that there may also be customs fees or duties not related to Galco's charges that you are responsible to pay before delivery of the product. In order to proceed we require the customer to authorize the international shipping charges. If we do not receive authorization within 3 business days the order will be canceled and refunded.

All international orders will be shipped via FedEx and only when the entire order is complete. Galco does not currently ship to Russia or the continent of Africa due to widespread fraud in those areas.

Information on Galco's Privacy Policy and Terms of Sale.
Galco International is extremely concerned with the security and safety of ordering on our site. It is vital to our success because we understand that our customers need to feel secure about Internet shopping. Our policy is to never sell, display, or compromise the email addresses of our customers. We respect your privacy and would never expose you to the inconsiderate people who choose to spam.

We use cookies to keep track of persistent data for your session over an encrypted connection.
Galco International will never sell your personal information (name, address, phone or email) to any third party agency or vendor.

If you have any questions about secure Internet shopping or the information discussed above, please feel free to contact us.
Information on Galco's history.