Get a Diamond D Leather Chest Holster for Your Man-Sized Gun!

The Diamond D Custom Leather Guide’s Choice Chest Holster is a great option for bear country.

What do you do when you need to carry a man-sized gun? I’m not talking about the one you use for bad guys. I’m talking about the one you need for lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Yes, I know, a bear has been killed before with 9mm, .45 ACP, .22LR, and a flintlock. But all other things being equal, if I am worried about mountain lions or larger animals, I want at least a 10mm.

10mm is a fantastic choice for autoloaders, and I like autos better than revolvers. Fortunately, for the option I found this week, it is available for both the Glock 10mm and revolvers chambered all the way up to the mighty .500 S&W Magnum.

I am not normally a fan of chest holsters, but they do have their place. One of those places is carrying very large guns or carrying any gun when you are enjoying the great outdoors.

Inside the waistband with backpack & buckled waist strap = FAIL!

An inside-the-waistband holster is great at 7/11, but not so ideal when you’re humping a heavy pack on a long hike and want to buckle up the waist strap to balance the load.  That strap is likely to dig into your holster or, worse, cover up the handle of your sidearm making quick deployment impossible. Fishing in a creek? Last time I checked, waders don’t have belt loops. And, IWB on a bicycle is a good way to check your gun’s resistance to asphalt.

This week I got my hands on the Guide’s Choice Leather Chest Holster from Diamond D Custom Leather. They are based out of Wasilla, Alaska, so it’s a safe bet they know a thing or two about grizzlies. The Guide’s Choice has been around for over a decade and has been a go-to setup for serious outdoorsmen.

Bike carry: Check!

Baby carry: Check!

I found the Guide’s Choice Chest Holster to be extremely well made, a top quality leather product. No shortcuts here. Every stitch is perfect, and the fit was exceptional. Most importantly, I found it to be very comfortable. Not many carry options make a Glock 20 and a reload easy to carry, but this did the trick. If you ever carry a handgun as a back up in bear country, this is a product you need to look at.  MSRP is $175.  For more information, make sure to visit the Diamond D Custom Leather website.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Steve A. September 8, 2019, 3:42 am

    I almost feel embarrassed carrying a 4 inch 44 mag in my chest rig.
    Not that great for a survivalist.
    But can carry the same gun for counseled carry.
    Nobody will stand there and laugh at you when you take it out of your waistband. It worked very well, the time I caught someone inside my car.

  • Charles F Linder August 17, 2018, 2:14 pm

    I opted for a Guide’s Choice for my Ruger 454 Alaskan after MUCH investigation as to the best holster for the application.
    A good OSB belt holster would have been nice but everything I looked at was a terrible compromise, a custom MIGHT overcome the various deficiencies of the ready-mades but you will certainly pay dearly for the one-offs,

  • mojobear October 19, 2017, 10:04 pm

    Duuuuuude, You are the Perfect Father, like guns, like bicycles, AND aren’t afraid to say the III%ers are whack!?! My kind of guy – looking forward to seeing your videos. Take care – mojobear

  • Rick September 15, 2017, 11:03 am

    Pays hell with mucsle memory,find the gun that works carry it in the same place at all times.When I pee I know where my pecker is 🙂

    • Dave September 16, 2017, 4:18 pm

      Like Clay said: This ISIN’T an everyday carry rig. It’s for big guns being carried in non typical situations, so muscle memory has nothing to do with it. I use one to carry either my S&W 629 .44 6 1/2″ or my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 7 1/2″ while Deer or Elk hunting. I wear a pack with waist belt so a belt holster DOES NOT work, period. Besides, a big heavy gun on your belt, even a drop down holster, is very uncomfortable, drags your pants down and the gun is exposed to brush, etc. With this chest rig the weight is distributed evenly, the gun is within easy natural reach, and the gun is protected and out of the way on your chest. Also there are several adjustments to position the gun from left or right shoulder, under your arm, over your belly or middle of the chest and anywhere in between. Also the Diamond D owner is a great guy and very helpful selecting the right products, and the quality is unmatched while still being reasonably priced. If you cinch it down tight, you can draw one handed. There is also a safety hammer loop to keep it secure.

    • Doug December 27, 2017, 5:42 pm

      Muscle memory helps, but it’s not the be all, end all, of personal protection that everyone seems to think it is. I used to lose sleep over muscle memory, but that ended one day when I was carrying my pistol in a shoulder holster that I’d seldom trained with. At a dead sprint, I needed my pistol with no warning, and the next thing I knew I was pointing my handgun at the target (2 legged in this case). I had no conscious memory of drawing the weapon…one minute I realized I needed it, and the next instant it was in my hand, up on target. And from a cross-draw shoulder holster. My hand never went first to my right hip, where I’ve carried my duty weapon for 16 years. I think we’re smarter than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. Don’t get me started on the fine motor skill debate…that’s another fallacy that real world experience has proven otherwise with.

  • Alan September 15, 2017, 11:03 am

    I have one for my Ruger Blackhawk. It slides off my shoulder once in a while when bending over. Not a big deal. No one handed draw but that may get better with use. Clay is wearing his differently then shown on the Double D website, maybe that fixes the sliding off the shoulder problem.

    • clay martin September 15, 2017, 4:21 pm

      just noticed you are right. The way I put it on felt the most natural, like an old school tankers holster. It was very comfortable this way, and it never slid around in my activity. worth a shot.

  • christian September 15, 2017, 9:01 am

    hey clay
    shoot me an email and let’s meet at the fair or white rock on the bikes? good review thanks

  • db3737 September 15, 2017, 7:38 am

    I won’t argue with you regarding the efficacy of 10mm versus a charging grizzly but my brother in Kenai, AK has this rig for his 500 Smith and RAVES about it. Great for fishing when you need your hands free and are wearing hip or chest waders. Even when not wearing waders, carrying a big revolver on your belt is tough.

    His bear medicine of choice is a 700 grain solid. The recoil is “intense” but he figures your only going to get one shot in the brush/tall grass/alder thickets so make it count.

    The real solution is 12 gauge or lever action but those end up leaning against the bank or a tree while fishing. Not helpful.

    I’ve never had to shoot a bear (and never want to) but sometimes you don’t have a choice, particularly if an old bear is starving and desperate.

    • clay martin September 15, 2017, 4:22 pm

      totally agree with you, we mostly have Black bear in Idaho, which makes 10mm enough. 500 S&W is a bit much for my hands, but if I lived in Alaska, 500 or 454 Casull would be the weapon of choie I think.

  • Neil September 15, 2017, 4:31 am

    I love the Diamond D chest rig. I have one for my S&W .44mag Stealth Hunter and it carries the big 7.5″ revolver effortlessly.

    PS: You better teach your kid to plug his ears!

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