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Old 06-08-2008, 05:48 AM   #1
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Bianchi X 15

While I have and use GI tankers in the wintertime under heavy coats have never owned a true Shoulder Holster. Looked at a lot on line and figured for my longer pistols vertical carry was best.



On Ebay the other day 4 X 15's came up about the same time. Fit info is confusing, Bianchi on there web site specifies the same holster for widely different guns, same for 1911 and 4 inch K frame Smiths for example. Anyway one was going cheap and got if for less than 20 bucks delivered, It was bound to fit something I own.



Turns out it's a perfect fit for my MK II HP. The Holster is the Older X 15 type with spring close only no extra retention strap, and the elastic off side strap. Cleaned it up and have been fooling with the adjustments. It carries real well. Hot like it is doubt if I will be using it much for a while but this winter expect it's going to be a useful holster for coats and driving.



I am not so sure about the elastic off side strap though. Looks like the new X 15's have a leather strap.



Boats
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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Bianchi X 15

Howdy Mr. Boats,



It sure sounds like you got a great deal on the X15 rig sir. I have used them in the past, especially when I first used shoulder holsters in the past for duty weapons in plain clothes. All of mine were the old style as well, without the retention strap. Well I take that back, the last one I bought had the retention strap, which I immediately cut off, lol.



As far as the offside elastic strap, I actually preferred it to leather. It had just enough give if I had to bend or stretch, it allowed the gun to stay positioned and not print more.



I never had a problem using a variety of handguns in the same unit either sir. I used the same one for 4" K frame Smiths, Colt GM and CC, and BHP. The internal spring retained all of these well, and still allowed for a smooth draw for me.



The only down side I ever found to either the X15 or any other well made leather rig, is that over time, used in a hot climate, it will absord perspiration odors. I was using it in Atlanta, while having to conceal handguns for a federal agency, primary under suits. We handled 9 southern states, so summer time, you would sweat in a suit. I tried several things to remove the odor, and nothing really worked.



I finally called Bianchi customer service, and said tell me what to do. After suggesting a couple of things I had already tried, they finally suggested I replace the leather unit with one made of ballistic nylon. They said when the harness began to retain odor, it could simply be throw into the washing machine. So eventually I made the move over to ballistic nylon.



I have also become a big fan of the Bianchi Tuxedo rig as well sir. I have discovered though not a big build, if I angle even a 5" pistol properly, it conceals as well as the X15 style, and offers ME a bit faster presentation of my weapon.



But again sir, I think you got a great deal. Enjoy it sir, it will do you well in my opinion.



twoguns
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:54 AM   #3
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Bianchi X 15

Twoguns, It cleaned up nice, was sort of musty smelling but saddle soap and scrubbing the elastic strap did the trick, I can get a 4 inch K frame into it but does not cover the trigger and cylinder holds the clam shell pretty wide, really only the grip on the revolvers cylinder is holding things in. High power or full size Colt & Commander size 1911's are perfect fit.



Another one was up for sale marked for 38/357 2 & 2 1/2 inch should be perfect for my M 10 2 inch round butt, got it too but at a lot more money. 40 bucks, average it out thats 30 each. Not so bad in my book. Not in yet so can't say if it is OK



On the offside elastic strap. It was rigged to go behind the neck over the front of the right shoulder then behind the back to the holster.



It also works behind the neck in front of the right shoulder and down to your belt at about the 2 o'clock position. That's how El Paso's shoulder rigs ride. Either way conceals well under a coat or light jacket



Which is best ?



Boats



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Old 06-08-2008, 10:36 AM   #4
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Bianchi X 15

Gents,



About 15 years ago I used a Bianchi X-15. The holster is comfortable and retained my Colt Government Model well. On the downside...it's a fairly large holster and was not all that easy for me to conceal. Probably not the holsters fault as I'm only 5' 4". That finally turned me off about the rig was the effort undertaken to re-holster the weapon. It felt like wresting a gorilla to get the holster open enough to re-insert the weapon.

I do have a nylon vertical holster now, but don't consider it for serious carry. They're fine for the woods.

If looking for a vertical holster today I'd take a hard look at the F.I.S.T. vertical shoulder rig.

Enjoy your new holster. Sounds like you made a good deal and will have a very usable rig. My only real complaint about the X-15 was the re-holstering issue.



Wes
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:42 AM   #5
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Bianchi X 15

Howdy Mr. Boat,



On the harness question, I have always preferred the X harness. At least once I tried my first shoulder holster that used that type of harness. From then on, I have simply used holsters and ammo carriers removed from "standard" harnesses and attached to an X one. I found it much more comfortable while wearing it for long days (some of which could be 24+), since the harness crosses over both shoulders.



It distributes the weight better for me. It also allows for the off-side (for me, right side) of the harness to be used to carry a double mag pouch or double drop pouch, depending on the weapon carried. Having spare ammo is a real plus to me, and another reason I prefer the X harness too.



Not a real answer, but it has been so long since I have used a standard harness, I really can't remember now which of those I would prefer sir. Btw, if you are interested, I believe on Midway, you can purchase accessories for the Bianchi Tuxedo, including just the X harness. You might also be able to find a leather X harness too if that is what you would pefer.



Mr. Boats, I think 2 X15 rigs averaging $30 each, is a heck of a deal to me sir. I am sure you will be happy with the other unit when you get it too. But we look forward to you updating us on things as well.





Mr. Wes, on the reholstering, I never really had much of a problem sir. I simply would start the muzzle of the weapon into the top of the rig, and push down. The muzzle helped to open up the spring as more of the weapon went into the rig. Initially I did what you did too. I felt like I needed 3 hands to reholster my weapon, trying to pry open the spring - they use a serious spring in that holster, lol.



But once I discovered the trick of starting the muzzle into the top of the unit, my problems largely disappeared.



twoguns
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Bianchi X 15

Hello Boats,



Is the Size stamped on the back-side of your X15?



I'm a fan of shoulder holsters as well, and have thought about the X15, but never ordered one because their not available in a Black Finish.

http://www.bianchi-intl.com/product/...TxtModelID=X15
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:06 PM   #7
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Bianchi X 15

Howdy Mr. Bob,



Just wanted to offer one suggestion on the color sir. I, like you, prefer my holsters in black. I have taken more than one non-black holster to a shoe shop and paid them to dye the leather black. Leather is leather I reckon, and for someone who knows and works with leather daily, dyeing the holsters are easy. They have the ability to use the black dye in a way that it is absorbed and does not rub off too.



Just a suggestion you might want to consider sir.



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Old 06-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
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Bianchi X 15

Hello Twoguns & Thanks!



I have considered it in the past, but I've also heard of guys having mixed results with the out come, ie. the black dye bled onto their clothing.



Ya know, I'd be willing to bet that Bianchi would add Black as an optional color if they received a few request... They might even see a jump in sales after the fact, from guys that had wanted a Bianchi X15 or another model that had only been available in Tan before.
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John Browning & Dieudonne Saive's Designs Will Always be Light Years Ahead of All the Others.

Fighting Anti-Gun Tyrants & Traitors is a 24/7 Job that Must be Done!

I'd rather beat a bad guy to death with my Browning High Power, than shoot him dead with a plastic pistol.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:33 AM   #9
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Bianchi X 15

Thanks all for the replies and information.



Two Guns am on the same line of thought, they sell the other harness systems separately and that X Type looks to be the one to have. Carrying other items on the off side would balance the load better. My usual weak side OWB mag pouches interfere with the X 15 as rigged.



Wes it is difficult to re-holster. Hopefully will not have to draw and re-holster under adverse conditions. Tell you the truth my carry preference is a 342 Smith in several rigs depending on how I am dressed and were I am going, Tankers or this shoulder rig are for my late night dog walk or the little bit of hunting I do.



Bob this one says X 15 Med, it seems to me the Bianchi number system has changed and they don't make as many different models in the X 15 holster as in the past. Now It seems Small Med and large is the only thing they make. As far as I can tell something like a N Frame Smith with 4 inch barrel is out of luck. large but not long.



On the finish. I do some leather work and have dyed often. You can go from Tan to Black easily with a couple of cautions. If the holster has some dressing, finish, or even has been waxed it can keep the dye from setting. Once applied dyed items should be coated with a dressing that keeps the dye from rubbing off. Good shoe shop should be able to do this or Tandy Leather stores sell everything you need.



As far as Bianchi I sent an Email when trying to figure out the size designations and the return address was a BAE Systems address, BAE is a large British Defence Contractor, they own one of the local shipyards. I guess being a big company makes it difficult to respond to individual requirements, Of course used off Ebay or at a gun show gets around that with the risk of getting stuck on something that won't fit.



Let you know when I get the snub model holster going or convert this one to X harness.



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Old 06-09-2008, 06:25 AM   #10
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Bianchi X 15

I have several X-15s I purchased when younger and also a few that show up in the used holster bin. I certainly would not pass any up for $20.



Though I am not much on the "one size fits all" approach, the X-15 (and a couple of other designs) work well due to the spring closure.



I found out quickly that shoulder holsters are very tiring when wearing them 12-18 hours a day. Also the X-15 and the corresponding safariland allow the butt of the handgun to swing out. Not a problem for field use but it does get bothersome when carrying concealed.



The X-2000 (think it was called a "stinger") was just a little better but not much.



The only shoulder holster I own that I really think of as serious is a Hardy-Cooper by Milt Sparks. It has a belt slot that not only holds the butt in but it also supports half the weight.



That said, I keep an X-15 for my 6" 629 in the truck in case I want to take off afield.



Jim H.
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