Galco Kodiak Hunter Shoulder Holster
Lewis Creek Shooting School 12.23.13
Squirrel hunting was a family tradition when I was a boy. There were no deer in our area, so we hunted small game. In my family, it was considered ungraceful to shoot squirrels with a shotgun; we shot our squirrels with a .22. In fact, my dad and uncle hunted rabbits with a .22. I may have done it, but I don’t remember a single shotgun squirrel hunt in my lifetime, and I did a lot of squirrel hunting as a kid.
When I learned to shoot a pistol well, I decided I needed to rise to the challenge of taking squirrels with a pistol. I had an old High Standard space gun, an eight-inch-barreled Supermatic with weights and a muzzle brake. It was a great pistol and as accurate as most rifles, provided you could hold it and see the sights. It was also as much trouble to carry as a rifle since there was no practical holster for the beast.
Hunting with a handgun is a fast-growing sport and it requires serious shooting skills. In most cases, it’s done as a personal challenge, though there are locations where it’s the best option. Handguns for hunting, like my old High Standard, tend to be big and cumbersome. Carrying handguns like my High can almost be as obtrusive as carrying a rifle. I’ve seen handguns with slings to make them easier to carry.
Designed to keep a large hunting handgun both comfortable and accessible, Galco’s new Kodiak Hunter Shoulder Holster carries a magnum revolver diagonally across the torso. Following the same principles as modern backpacks, a padded shoulder strap is used in conjunction with a torso strap that allows for instant adjustments throughout a day spent afield. As the torso strap is tightened, weight is shifted off the shoulder strap, allowing for a full day of comfortable field carry.
Actual placement and angle of the Kodiak holster on the front torso can be easily changed throughout a hunt to accommodate most field activities, including driving ATVs and trucks, without interfering with one’s normal range of motion. No screws or tools are needed to make adjustments to accommodate heavy winter clothes, wear it under the coat, or simply over a shirt in warm weather. The Kodiak Hunter will accommodate both scoped and iron-sighted guns.
All this sounds good, but how well does it work in the real world? Very well, thank you. The Galco Kodiak Hunter is made from beautiful top-grain leather. There are solid brass rings on the lower strap mountings, contrasting stitching, and suede leather lining on the shoulder strap. Its snaps and buckles are of the highest quality, and the holster is easy to put on and adjust.
Once the Kodiak Hunter was on, my Ruger Super Redhawk rode comfortably across the left side of my stomach. The gun is completely out of the way when walking, driving, or working. It’s close enough to the body to not be a problem climbing into a stand, and once in the stand, the gun and holster rest comfortably in your lap. There is a plastic fitting on the end of the strap that facilitates unsnapping, and the gun can then easily be drawn from the top of the holster from almost any position.
Galco probably produces the highest-quality mass-produced concealment holsters in the business. This is no exception. Every component is top-drawer.
I carried my Redhawk for a couple of days in this holster. I can’t imagine a position or task where the gun would not be safely retained or easy to access.
I suppose it might be possible to duplicate the functionality of the Kodiak Hunter with a synthetic material and make it cheaper, but this is a very good, high-quality holster. While its MSRP of $199.95 is a bit high, it’s worth it.
Big handguns are almost always awkward to carry in a holster while still having reasonable access. The Kodiak Hunter allowed me to carry a big, heavy, scoped Redhawk in true comfort.