Saturday, June 13, 2020

Another Shoulder Holster Review

Falco Shoulder Holster System from Craft Holsters. Note: each square is one inch.
      Back in early April of this year, I posted a review of a shoulder holster provided to me by Craft Holsters, and manufactured by Vega Holsters in Italy. My oldest son was so impressed with it that he wanted to order one for himself. Craft Holsters did not offer a Vega model in left hand for the firearm my son wanted, but did have it available in a shoulder holster system from Falco Holsters in either brown (shown) or black.  My son paid them the $139 (plus shipping) and had it a few weeks later.

      Although the Falco system is similar to the Vega system, both of which are modeled after the Galco Miami Classic holster system, there are significant differences between the Falco and Vega systems; and for some of you, these differences may justify the $10 price difference.

Front (or outside) of holster

Back-side of holster
     First, as you can see from the photographs, the Falco holster comes with two tie-downs, designed to clip around your belt, to keep the holster from flopping around. I've shown those tie-downs attached, but, like me, my son actually doesn't use them when wearing the system, and thus wears the holster with the tie-downs removed.

     Second, instead of a buckle type system for adjusting the length of the straps on the harness, it uses screws to secure the end to whichever adjustment hole is used.

     Third, the construction of the holster differs significantly from my Vega system. Both the Vego and Falco systems use an open muzzle design, but whereas my Vega used a spacer in the holster because it was stitched closed at the top of the holster, the Falco is completely stitched on the bottom edge. A very thick leather backer (which also doubles as the thumb break) is stitched to the back. (See photograph below).

      Like the Vega system, the Falco system is designed so that if you had to, you could remove the harness and use the holster portion as a belt holster. However, while the Vega attaches the straps to hangers stitched into the holster, the Falco runs the straps through slots cut into the leather backer on the holster. Leather can wear and weaken over time as the leather is flexed, so eliminating the hangers on the holster should give the Falco holster an overall longer life.

A view of the thumb break--note the 3-layers of leather.
      Fourth, the harness straps are connected together via two leather pieces (one above and one under) the straps and all of them riveted together. (See below). As you may recall, my Vega system used a silicone piece to which the harness straps attached via metal snaps.
How the harness straps connect (outside view)

How the harness straps connect (underside)
     There are also some differences in the construction and design of the magazine pouch.

Magazine pouch (top-side)

Magazine pouch (under-side)

Magazine pouch with two 15-round Glock magazines
      When I got my holster, I didn't need to use the leather break-in kit that was also provided. This one was a tight enough fit, though, that my son did have to use the leather break-in kit to stretch both the retention strap around the firearm and to fit the magazines into their pouch. The process was simple and only needed an over-night treatment. So I would recommend getting the break-in kit if you order this system.

      My son had previously carried his pistol in a DeSantis inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster with a Kore brand gun belt, but prefers this holster for three main reasons: first, it doesn't tend to pull down his pants during the day as did the DeSantis holster; two, it allowed him to carry extra magazines; and, three, it is less trouble to get on and off. He did note that the holster was initially uncomfortable to wear, mostly because he wasn't use to it, but that quickly passed due to adjusting it as needed to fit him correctly and acclimation to it on the shoulders.

     In short, my son really likes the Falco shoulder holster system and has been very pleased with it.

     I discussed some aspects of wearing a shoulder holster generally in my prior review, so if you want to learn more, I would suggest that you take a glance at that article.

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