The Galco Miami Classic 2: A Classic Shoulder Rig

As the resident Florida man, I’ve always wanted a Galco Miami Classic 2 shoulder holster. Blame it on Miami Vice, but the rig has always been the definition of cool to me. When it comes to shoulder holsters, there are lots and lots of options, and a lot of them are complete crap. Heck, the majority of them are complete crap, but he Miami Classic 2 is the standard and has been since its creation.

The Galco Miami Classic 2 evolved from the original Miami Classic, and the Miami Classic evolved from the Jackass shoulder holster. The Famous Jackass Leather Company became Galco years prior. The President of Galco flew to Miami to personally outfit Don Johnson with a Jackass Rig, and with the rig’s acceptance into the Miami Vice lore Galco began producing it as the Miami Classic.

The original Miami Classic and Miami Classic 2 both remain in production and have some slight differences. The Miami Classic 2 has slightly wider straps that are tougher to conceal but more supportive and comfortable. The ammo pouches are horizontal instead of vertical and use passive, adjustable retention instead of a flip-top pouch. The differences seem slight but they are noticeable. They’ve created two camps of Miami Classic fans, and I tend to fall into the Miami Classic 2 design.

Unbox and Setup

The Miami Classic 2 comes in three pieces. You have your holster, your straps, and your mag pouch. It also comes with some basic instructions, and it’s easy to set up. Loop the straps through the holster and mag pouches keepers and size it just right. You can make a lot of adjustments to make it fit your body the way you want it to. Once you have it fit to your body, install the set of harness keepers, and boom, you’re done.

The key to its success is the Spider Harness. The four-strapped system all ties in at the harness, and this harness allows for movement without discomfort or killing mobility. You won’t feel like you’re in traction while wearing the Miami Classic 2.

The Galco shoulder holster spider harness
The spider harness keeps things comfortable and allows for maximum movement.

I got the Miami Classic 2 for my P365XL. It fits just right with my Holosun EPS installed. This rig can also fit the original P365 and, apparently, the Glock 42. The gun slid into the holster with a little friction, but the leather will likely loosen up a bit with use. The horizontally designed spare mag pouch needed some tightening to fit the lithe P365 mags.

Once everything was set up, I was packing a P365 with Mag Guts installed to carry 14 rounds total, and I had a spare 15 and 12-round magazine in the mag pouches. In total, I can conveniently carry 42 rounds of ammo quite easily. If I pick up another 15-round magazine or two X-Macro mags, I can increase that ammo loadout quite a bit.

A Modular Design

We don’t commonly associate leather holsters with modularity, but the Miami Classic 2 offers you plenty of options. This includes tie-downs to better secure your rig. You can also replace the magazine pouches with a cuff pouch, a quad magazine mount, or my favorite 1980s-style device, the Shuka. The Shuka is a universal knife carrier.

leather shoulder holster with sig p365 xl
Galco uses mighty fine leather for their holsters.

You mount your knife and its sheath to the Shuka, and you can carry your favorite pig sticker with ease. I can’t think of many situations where a giant knife would be better than a reload, but damn, do I want it.

extra mag pouch on shoulder holster
The mag pouch allows for a quick reload. The retention is adjustable as well.

On top of that, you can purchase holsters separately and swap them out on your Miami Classic 2. This way, if you want to carry a different gun, you aren’t locked into the one you chose at the original purchase. Of course, mixing revolvers with auto mag pouches might not be the ticket, so you’ll need a speed loader or speed strip pouch.

Wearing and Tearing

I set my Miami Classic 2 up in about 10 minutes and was immediately wearing it around the house. Why not? What’s the best way to review a holster? Well, to carry it! So I did. I home-carried and felt cool as heck doing so. The P365XL fit snugly under my shoulder, and the two mags and 27 rounds of ammo helped provide a counterbalance to its weight.

I wore it for about 14 hours on my first day, and when I removed it, I got that feeling women must get when they pop their bras off. It was a bit of a relief to get that weight off my shoulder. By about hour 10, I’d gotten a small hot spot on the inside of my left pectoral. It wasn’t necessarily painful, just present.

I continued to home carry or slap on a Dixxon Hawaiin shirt when I left the house day after day. As I type this, I’m wearing the rig. My muscles and body have come to be used to it, and the hot spot has disappeared. The Miami Classic 2 is quite comfy, and under nothing more than a Florida-approved thin shirt, it’s easily concealed.

The Draw

Learning to draw quickly and efficiently was tricky. When you have thousands of reps from the belt line, suddenly switching it up to your shoulder feels odd. Learning the proper technique to ensure you aren’t flagging yourself is also invaluable. I used the MantisX Laser Academy to get my reps in, and boy, did I need them. Getting the thong unbuckled and the gun presented properly took some retraining.

Galco miami classic gun holstered
The Miami Classic 2 holds my gun quite well. Remember not to flag yourself as you draw.

After a few training sessions, I was feeling quite confident with my shoulder rig. Admittedly the draw was never as fast as an appendix or even belt carry position. We are talking a quarter of a second slower. At least for me, it was. Reloads are quite quick once you get used to the position of the magazines, and I had no complaints there. Hell, a shoulder rig with dual mag pouches on each side might be a valuable response tool for emergency situations where you need extra ammo right now.

Where the Miami Classic 2 Shines

I’m a big guy. In the south, the term is a ‘Hoss,’ and most chairs and vehicles I interact with always make carrying interesting. The Miami Classic 2 keeps the gun above the waistline and is easier to access when seated in my car or an office chair. It’s also much more comfortable on a long drive. A spring break vacation road trip was made much more comfortable by wearing the Miami Classic 2.

Shooting after the draw from shoulder holster
The Miami Classic 2 makes concealed carry easy.

The rig also conceals well. Admittedly you need an overshirt of some kind, but shirts by Oakley and Dixxon have made carrying it comfortable even in the summer. A good pattern or dark color hides the straps well, and even so, you probably wouldn’t get noticed by most people, including other carriers. I have a nice-sized, optically equipped weapon and two mags easily hidden.

The Miami Classic 2 isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but it can be a valuable tool. For some carrying it every day might be impossible, but for others, not so much. The Miami Classic 2 is still the standard when it comes to shoulder holsters, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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