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Bandolier Holsters

By 
Philem Withlead
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Published Aug 11, 2021
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Our Top Picks For Bandolier Holsters

Reviews Of The Best Bandolier Holsters From Our Research

Crossfire Elite Alaskan Frame Hip/Belt Holster

Crossfire Elite Alaskan Frame Hip/Belt Holster 2" Medium, Ambidextrous, Black (CRF-AVH2MF)
  • Converts from a hip holster to a shoulder holster
  • Fully ambidextrous holster system; Wear the holster left-handed or right-handed
  • Wear the holster in a cross draw or traditional carry
  • Sport type: Tactical & Military

The Crossfire Elite is a nylon holster that can be worn bandolier style or on the hip. It is a fully ambidextrous holster when worn in either style. It has a thumb strap safety to hold a gun more securely and a nice feature about this holster is the broad range of sizes that it offers.

The holster is available for small, medium, and large frame revolvers and all barrel lengths from 2 inches up to 9 inches. Unfortunately, the holster is only made in black. One potential issue for taller or larger people is that the shoulder strap can be a bit short, particularly when hunting with a heavy jacket.

Otherwise, the Crossfire Elite is an affordable option for people that want a pretty simple hunting or outdoor holster.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous
  • It can be worn bandolier or hip style
  • Available for just about any size of revolver and barrel length

Cons

  • The shoulder strap could be a bit short for taller people

Galco - Kodiak Holster Ammo Bandolier for S&W X FR

Galco Kodiak Shoulder Holster S&W X Frame 460 Right Hand Havana KK172H
  • DESIGNED TO FIT SMITH & WESSON AND TAURUS 8-3/8": Galco's Kodiak Hunter Chest Holster is designed and molded to fit the Smith & Wesson X FR 460, X FR 500 8-3/8", and Taurus Raging Bull 8-3/8".
  • ACCOMMODATES MOST FIELD ACTIVITIES: Actual placement and angle of the Kodiak holster on the front torso can be easily changed throughout the day to accommodate most field activities, without interfering with the normal range of motion.
  • COMFORTABLE FIELD CARRY: The Kodiak Shoulder Holster is designed to keep a large hunting firearm both comfortable and accessible. A padded shoulder strap combined with a torso strap allows for instant adjustments and a full day of comfortable field carry.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Galco's Kodiak Hunter Chest Holster is constructed from full grain premium saddle leather..
  • MADE IN THE USA: The premium saddle leather used in our holsters is sourced from the top 2% of leather available in America and is transformed into pieces of functional beauty by our experienced craftsmen in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Galco Kodiak is a well-made leather holster for X frame revolvers, specifically the S&W 460,500, and the Taurus. Note that the product picture includes a leather bullet holder which is sold separately. The bullet holder attachment is available in five or six round options.

The Galco has a nice padded shoulder strap and torso strap to make carrying a heavier revolver more comfortable. This model of Galco holster is a right-hand only holster, however, Galco does make a few very similar holsters that cater to left-handers as well.

The safety thumb strap on the holster is firm but easy to flip open, allowing for a pretty quick draw. A feature of the Galco is that the shoulder strap is adjustable but also long, which makes it a good choice for large or tall hunters.

The only drawback to the Galco is its price, but this is to be expected when buying a holster that is well-made and uses quality saddle leather.

Pros

  • Fits X-frame revolvers very well
  • The shoulder strap is more than long enough for the tallest of hunters
  • Great bullet bandolier accessory

Cons

  • The holster is on the expensive side of the market

Adirondack Leather Military-Style Shoulder Holster

The Adirondack is a leather holster that copies the old-school US army-style bandolier holster. It’s made from genuine cowhide and fits most medium-sized auto-pistols, specifically 1911s and Berettas.

It has a snap leather safety strap and the holster can be very stiff when new. It will definitely be necessary to use some leather conditioner on all of the holster parts before you assemble it. The Adirondack is probably the cheapest leather bandolier holster that you will find but considering the price, it’s a great buy. If you carry an auto-pistol when hunting and are not looking to break the bank, then this holster is definitely worth trying out.

Like with some of the other holsters reviewed, the Adirondack shoulder strap could be a bit longer. Tall hunters will find that the holster sits pretty high.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good quality for a cheaper option
  • Fits most medium-sized auto-pistols

Cons

  • The Shoulder strap could be longer
  • Right-hand only

BLACKHAWK Scoped Pistol Bandolier Holster

BLACKHAWK Scoped Pistol Bandolier Holster, Size 04, Right Hand, (Scoped 6-8½ DA/SA Rev & 10" TC Cont )
  • Fits scoped 6 -81/2 medium and large Double and single action Revolvers and 10 T/C contenders
  • Ideal for carrying large, scoped hunting or target guns across chest or back
  • Adjustable, padded shoulder strap and belt loop
  • Removable, adjustable, padded flap protects gun in all weather
  • Retention strap included for Use when flap is removed

The Blackhawk bandolier holster is designed to fit revolvers with a telescopic sight. The holster comes in a few sizes and can fit medium to large revolvers with six-inch and up to 10- inch barrels, including the Contender pistol.

The holster has a padded flap to protect a gun in all-weather but it also has a safety strap, which gives you the option of using either or both. The shoulder strap is paddled and the holster also has a belt loop to secure it to your waist.

The Blackhawk is a good quality nylon option and is reasonably priced. The only gripe is that this holster is right-hand only and is available in one color, black.

Pros

  • All-weather flap
  • Fits scoped revolvers and the Contender

Cons

  • Right-hand only

Bulldog Cases Right Hand Black Scope Bandolier Holster

Sale
Bulldog Cases Right Hand Black Bandolier Holster Size 14 (Fits Most Revolvers with 5 - 6 1/2-Inch Barrels, S & W K,L,N Frame)
  • Durable heavy-duty Nylon
  • Fits most medium frame revovlers w/ 5"-6.5" barrels
  • Adjustable Shoulder Strap
  • This model is without scope compartment

The Bulldog bandolier holster is made from heavy-duty nylon and is designed to fit most medium-sized revolvers with eight-inch barrels. The holster also fits revolvers with scopes but a thinner version is also available for hunters that don’t use a telescopic sight.

The Bulldog has a clip retention strap and the shoulder strap is long enough to ensure that tall people can adjust it to sit at the right height. One little grievance is that the shoulder strap is not padded, which may not be an issue if you are wearing a heavy jacket.

The Bulldog is a straightforward holster that is great for the price. Unfortunately, it’s also a right-hand-only holster.

Pros

  • Fits revolvers with scopes
  • Good price

Cons

  • Could have a padded shoulder strap

Buyer's Guide For Bandolier Holsters

A bandolier style holster is a belt holster that is worn over the shoulder and allows for quick and easy access to your firearm. Typically, this style of holster is used by hunters or hikers where the more conventional holsters (IWB and OWB) are either impractical or uncomfortable.

We have scouted around to select five of the best options for people looking for a hunting- style holster. Most of our choices cater for revolvers with standard to long barrels.

To suit all preferences, we have balanced our picks between nylon and leather options-with most being able to accommodate a gun with a telescopic sight. Where ever possible, we also like to include a few ambidextrous or left-hand choices as it can often be difficult for southpaws to find a decent holster.

Apart from my usual selection criterion, our top five picks all fall within the low to mid-price range, with the exception of the Galco Kodiak leather holster which is heading towards the higher end of the price range.

If you find something that you like, look above under our top picks section for the “buy” button that will take you directly to the products Amazon page.

Features

Four of our bandolier choices are for revolvers, as this is the most common gun used for the bandolier style. If you hunt with a semi-auto or simply carry one as a back-up when hunting or hiking, head straight to the Andirondack holster review-it’s the one bandolier holster on our list that is designed for auto-pistols.

Most hunters looking for a bandolier holster will have larger revolvers. As such, your gun will be heavy and can cause discomfort on the shoulder when worn all day. Most of our choices have been designed with extra padding on the shoulder sling for this very reason. If you choose a bandolier holster without the padded sling it may not be an issue if you are wearing a jacket, otherwise, you may have to put some kind of padding of your own on the shoulder area of the sling.

Other Hunting Options - Shoulder Holsters

This review focuses on bandolier style holsters but some people may prefer a shoulder holster rig for their revolvers. If that is the case, we have a separate review article that provides a top selection for shoulder holsters.
For hunting and hiking, the bandolier style is generally a more practical choice as it can be worn under or over a jacket, depending on your preference. The bandolier style is also more suited to a revolver with a telescopic sight, as many are designed especially for this purpose.

Other Hunting Options - Chest Holsters

A chest holster is also a very practical choice for hunting and hiking. Some manufacturers may not differentiate between a bandolier or chest holster and it is true that some bandolier holsters can be worn around the chest.
Typically, a true chest holster will sit squarely in the center of your chest, whereas a bandolier style holster will sit lower and closer to your hip. I don’t think that you could say that either is better than the other.

It really boils down to the position that you like to draw your gun from. Many chest holsters on the market can also be designed more like a small backpack that sits on the front of your chest and will have a range of compartments for other things that a hunter or hiker may typically carry with them.

If you want a holster that also has space for everything except a collapsible barbeque set, then look for a chest holster. I find that the bandolier style holster is better and more comfortable for revolvers that have telescopic sights attached.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our round-up of bandolier holsters.

Happy hunting, we hope that we have been able to assist your outdoor adventures in at least some small way.

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