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Retention Issues Galco VHS with a 1911 Login/Join 
Jack of All Trades,
Master of Nothing
Picture of 2000Z-71
So experienced a couple of retention issues on this weekend's road trip. The holster is a Galco VHS shoulder holster and the gun is my Dan Wesson Razorback 5" all steel 1911 in 10mm. I know, shoulder holsters have issues, but I like them for long road trips; ease of access and nothing on the waist to interfere with seatbelts and getting comfortable, etc.

First issue was doing some photography. Walked out to the face of a cliff to get some photos across the inlet. Bent over to access my camera bag I had placed on the ground and my gun fell out of the holster into the snow on the ground, fortunately it stayed on my side of the cliff face. The retention strap had come unsnapped freeing the pistol to slide out. I chaulked this up to wrestling with straps on the camera bag and the retention strap becoming snagged and releasing.

The second was coming home yesterday. Stopped at an extremely busy gas station/strip mall that's just off the highway. Holding my leashed dog and my girlfriends leashed dog as she went into the ice cream shop. Her dog decided to do laps around mine tangling up all 4 of his legs with the leash. So bent over to untangle my dog and, "THUNK!" My gun falls out and hits the sidewalk. Fortunately it's Alaska and no one walking by freaks out. Collect my gun, stuff it under my jacket, free the dogs and hightail back to the truck. Once in the truck I reholstered the gun ad discover the retention strap was still snapped closed.

Got back home unloaded and started to inspect it. Found out it's actually possible to slip the pistol out of the holster with the retention strap in place. I'm going to have to do some additional experimentation with this setup, needless to say after this weekend I'm not comfortable with it. I've got a VHS that I use with my Smith 329 and have had no issues with it. I really think it's the design of the retention strap going over the trigger guard and the shape of the 1911. Add to it the heavy weight of an all steel 5" 1911, bend over and gravity just takes over.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: 2000Z-71,

My daughter can deflate your daughter's soccer ball.
Posts: 11738 | Location: Eagle River, AK | Registered: September 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know exactly what you are experiencing. I bought a Galco VHS for a 1911 a couple years ago. I was fairly satisfied with it until bending over to pick up something from the ground I felt the gun sliding out the top of the holster. This was very disappointing. My solution was to punch a hole through both pieces of holster leather (front & back) where they meet at the top about an inch below the harness attachment. I then used a Chicago screw to secure the two leather holster pieces. This shortened the vertical space and still allowed me to put the gun into the holster and draw it. It seemed to solve the problem but I later noticed the gun could still be removed without undoing the retention strap. Perhaps I should have punched the hole a little lower not that it matters at this point. The Galco VHS now holds the distinction of being the most expensive holster mistake in my box of no longer used holsters. My real solution was to get a Sam Andrews Monarch shoulder holster system. It is superior to the Galco product in every respect. I wish I had gotten the Andrews rig in the first place. Oh and learn. That the Galco holster does not properly secure the weapon is an unforgiveable design flaw.
Posts: 688 | Location: Ohio & UP of Michigan | Registered: April 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
Picture of arfmel
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I believe I’d call Galco and see about a refund. That design flaw could get someone killed.
Posts: 26778 | Location: Jerkwater, Texas | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree. The retention strap should go over the grip, not under it. This would ensure the gun seats down properly in the holster and be held in place by the grip and the beavertail.

End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
Posts: 15922 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Looked at their website. $336?

Field tested and no one found this issue?

Trying to simplify my life...
Posts: 4995 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: January 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Field tested and no one found this issue?"

Puzzling isn't it.
Posts: 688 | Location: Ohio & UP of Michigan | Registered: April 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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