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Wright leather works Maverick shoulder rig: shouldering your defense.

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WHILE RIDING HORSEBACK and hunting Alaska's Dali sheep, our hunting group startles a bear who didn't sense our march through its home of dense evergreens along a riverbank. The guide was at the front with three packhorses in tow when he was thrown off. After tossing him, the horses ran off in fear. The bear ran away, too, across the river and disappeared. My hunting partner and I managed to stay on our rearing horses, but the situation left the three of us roughly 60 miles from camp with only two horses, two rifles and few supplies. Hunting turned into survival. Luckily, the still-nervous horses remained tied to one another and tethered themselves around some trees a few miles away.

That sheep hunt in 2013 left me thinking about personal defense for extremely remote adventures in bear country. As a passionate handgun hunter, I used to believe that I needed a large-framed revolver in a cartridge between .44 and .50 caliber for proper defense in the Alaskan wilderness. However, the realist in me has always questioned my ability to shoot more than one shot with effective placement should a violent (although unlikely) bear encounter take place at short range.

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Ahead of returning to Alaska this summer, I considered the 10mm after a range day and shooting an old Glock 20 out to 100 yards. I'm familiar with the platform, and recoil management requires significantly less effort than with the big-bore revolvers I've tested. Though the 10mm is a compromise of energy against most big revolvers, the 10mm is still stout, and I can carry three magazines loaded with 15 rounds each in a shoulder rig. Though scopes are great on handguns used for hunting, I have come to prefer Trijicon's HD night sights for the high visibility and speed.

Ammunition offerings for the 10mm are more diverse than they were 10 years ago, and I selected Federal's new 180-grain Trophy Bonded load after determining that it had the best accuracy and controllability in my G20. It was time to find a shoulder holster.

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If you read last issue's Carry Rig column, it was obvious that I had a good experience with Wright Leather Works (WLW). WLW introduced the Maverick shoulder holster last May, and I ordered a walnut-colored one with a double-magazine holster to hang under my right arm. The heft of two loaded spare mags balanced the weight distribution with the G20 hanging horizontally under my left arm.

The shoulder harness is made of thin leather, which lessens weight and maximizes flexibility around the curves of different torsos. A generous number of holes are provided for adjusting to personal fit, and it is secured by Chicago screws. The kit comes with a 2ml vial of blue threadlocker, which I suggest using on all screws once fitting is complete.

The plastic connectors for attaching the holster and the magazine carrier to the back harness swivel to allow movement. Overall, the Maverick is very comfortable and could be worn as is, making it quick to put on and take off if used as a concealed carry rig. That said, the Maverick is only available with a horizontal holster, and I don't encourage anyone to point a loaded handgun behind them--even if others are unaware.

For hunting Alaska's wilderness, a horizontal holster doesn't bother me. When I'm being guided, I'm usually hiking at the rear. What I appreciated about the WLW Maverick was that it wasn't uncomfortable while shouldering a 40-pound backpack. And it's quick to draw.

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Wright Leather Works             Maverick Shoulder Holster (Right)

Materials                        Cow leather, metal hardware,
                                 plastic swivels

Carry Type                       Shoulder

Retention Type                   Level 2, friction and single
                                 button-snap

Adjustability                    None

MSRP                             $84 (as tested)

Handgun Fit                      Glock 20/21 (tested); 277 handgun
                                 designs offered

Accessory Rail Accommodations    None (optional)

Positions to Carry               Shoulder, horizontal only

Average Time to Attach           10 seconds

Comfort Rating                   5/5

Concealment Clothing             Loose jacket

Average Draw-to-Fire Time        1.76 seconds

Manufacturer                     Wright Leather Works, 419-307-6191,
                                 wrightleatherworks.com

Draw-to-fire time is the average of five clean draws from
under a concealed garment producing an A-zone hit on a
stationary target positioned at 21 feet.
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Title Annotation:THE CARRY RIG
Author:Poole, Eric R.
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:Nov 24, 2016
Words:698
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