DeSantis N.Y. Undercover Shoulder Rig: Comfortable, Reliable Concealment

Sometimes it’s good to embrace methods that deviate from the standard that we are used to. In this case, we are talking about holster options for concealed carry. I’ve recently tried shoulder carry, and the DeSantis N.Y. Undercover Shoulder Rig meets a few needs in my life.

First, when I carry my Glock 19X Outside The Waistband (OWB), my hip hurts after a while. It’s just a little too heavy for my comfort sometimes. Carrying full-sized handguns in a shoulder rig takes the weight off the waist and distributes it higher, making carry more comfortable in many cases. This holster gets the weight off my hip and distributes it amongst my shoulders and upper body.

Second, during the cooler/colder months I can wear the rig under a flannel shirt or underneath my coat and it’s perfectly concealed. And lastly, on rare occasions when I wear a suit, it is difficult to conceal a handgun on my waist. For such times, the shoulder rig works perfectly.

Despite the fact that I’ve been carrying a concealed handgun of one sort or another since the late 1980s, I never really used a shoulder holster before, having always carried on my waist. This has been a new experience and it does take some getting used to.

Desantis NY Undercover shoulder holster seen from the front.
The New York Undercover rig is comfortable.


As with all of their holsters, the New York Undercover Shoulder Holster is constructed of top-grain cowhide molded to fit the exact model of the gun it is intended for. The one I tested hosted my Glock 19X. The packaging states that this holster will also, in addition to the 19X, accommodate the following Glocks: 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 36, 17 Gen 5, 19 Gen 5, and 45. This is one aspect that you might like if you happen to have a slew of Glocks; there’s a good chance that a couple of yours may fit this particular holster rig.

Overall, the construction is really excellent, which does not surprise me since I’m familiar with DeSantis holsters and have used them over the decades. The harness portion of the rig is pliable and comfortable, as it needs to be. I imagine it will wear in more over time too, so I expect comfort to get even better. Leather has a tendency to loosen up over time.

The holster portion, on the other hand, is molded hard to conform to the gun’s shape. Experience has shown me that the way DeSantis molds a holster, it will hold up for a couple of decades. We don’t want the holster itself to soften up because then safety and retention are compromised.

The holster portion of the rig.
The holster is similar to many other DeSantis rigs, in that it is molded to the shape of the handgun it carries. Note the retention adjustment screw below the trigger guard to adjust the tension. The quality is everything we’ve come to expect from DeSantis Holsters. Also, note how the holster covers the trigger for safety.


Speaking of retention, this particular model is great at keeping the pistol where it needs to stay. A thumb break with a snap keeps the handgun secured, and it does so perfectly. At the same time, it’s easy enough for the thumb to break the snap so the pistol can be drawn. The balance between retention and ease of draw seems to be perfect.

Thumb snap.
The pistol is held in place firmly with the trigger covered, and the thumb break allows the weapon to be drawn quickly, yet holds it securely. The snaps on the rig are top-notch.


Naturally, the New York Undercover rig is not only for Glocks but will accommodate a wide array of handguns. Among them are pistols from the following makers: Beretta, Browning, Glock, Colt, Kimber, Para Ordnance, Ruger, Sig, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Taurus. All told, there are dozens of various handguns that can be carried in this rig.

The base rig can be utilized, as all the user has to do is buy the appropriate holster and fit it to the rig by snapping it into place. In this way, one rig can accommodate dozens of pistols. GunMag Warehouse carries holsters that can be fitted to this rig, including those for S&W Revolvers and 1911s. The cost for those holsters and spare magazine/ammo pouches, at the time of writing, is $131.99.

This rig will fit folks with up to a 54-inch chest and they’re available in right or left-hand models. Buyers can also choose between black and tan colors.

The entire DeSantis shoulder holster, spread out.
The rig comes fully assembled from DeSantis.

Ammo Pouches

A double ammo pouch comes standard on this rig. Mine holds 2 pistol magazines and the flaps are secured with snaps. The weight of the magazines offsets the weight of the handgun being carried on the opposite side and balances the rig.

shoulder holster Magazine pouch
Glock 19X/17 magazines with +2 floor plates will not fit in the magazine pouches, as they are too long. Standard magazines must be used.

Those who have the Glock 19X know that it comes with 3 magazines: 2 with +2 magazine extensions (they hold 19 rounds each), and 1 standard 17-round magazine. Full-size Glock magazines with the +2 baseplates will not fit into the magazine pouches because the flaps won’t close. There is not enough extra leeway for those flaps. This isn’t the end of the world; I simply used standard-length spare magazines instead. But it’s worth mentioning for those who don’t know so that they can acquire proper magazines in the event they decide to use this rig. I will say that carrying two spare 17-round magazines in addition to the one in the pistol did not leave me feeling the least bit under-gunned.

Ease Of Adjustment

The New York Undercover rig is adjustable all around; Both sides can be tightened or loosened via prongs and holes in the leather. The leather is stiff enough that it takes some effort to get the prongs through those holes. Of course, the leather has to be thick and stiff enough to support the weight of a handgun and spare magazines, which it is. I found the rig sufficiently adjustable to fit my body.

Adjustment tabs on DeSantis shoulder holster
Here we can see the adjustment tabs and the holes that they fit into. These hold the rig together very securely.


As I mentioned, it took me a bit to become accustomed to carrying a pistol in this manner, as it has been a new experience. After a short time, I’ve come to enjoy it and see the benefits. Drawing from the New York Undercover rig has become easier as I practice and become more familiar with it.


The potential for use on this rig is great and I’m very glad that I obtained the New York Undercover rig. It gives me another method by which to carry my pistol, which I consider to be important. It carries efficiently and discreetly. This one gets a big thumbs-up!

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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