There is something about a shoulder holster that is iconic. Maybe it’s got that allure from the movies I grew up on in the 80’s and 90’s, especially for a Beretta 92. Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson and the characters they portrayed all rocked that leather shoulder rig and full size Beretta, one of the first and still one of the greatest of the Wonder 9’s. Mullets notwithstanding, something about the shoulder holster just has that badass, rogue cop factor. Thanks to the dozens of movies
That being said, I had the itch to pick up one for my Beretta, even though I rarely carry a shoulder set up. The people at Craft Holsters lived up to their name, and really craft a fine product. I tested out a Beretta 92 Vertical Shoulder Holster with a double mag pouch on it.
The fit, finish, and craftsmanship that went into making this holster are second to none. The leather is high grade, and you need to break it in, just like any other holster. I let my pistol and loaded mags sit in it overnight so it could form to the exact dimensions of my pistol, although these are custom made for each type of firearm. From this simple task, the retaining strap went from, frankly a bitch to snap home, to much easier to snap and unsnap. The riveting on the roto-design is great, and angles smoothly when you go to draw from a vertical orientation to a roughly 60 degree orientation.
Getting the holster adjusted took a couple minutes and some tinkering, but once it’s fit to your frame, the rig snaps onto your belt, so it won’t flop around like some older rigs. That being said, you can’t just slide in and out of this. Once it’s on, it’s on. The shoulder straps are smooth and well made, finished, and crafted extremely well. There wasn’t a burr or rough edge anywhere.
Then we move to the mag carriers. These too, much like the holster, were tight, and needed to sit with come loaded mags overnight. Again, it went from a chore to snap close the pouches to easy, making you able to access a mag left or right handed and get it free. These allow you to orient the magazines one way with ease, and you should carry all your mags the same, that way it’s simple muscle memory when you need to reload.
The rig, even with a full size duty gun, disappears under a light jacket – especially the Bodyguard, a bulletproof jacket we just love here at SGPT. While this would certainly print with a light overshirt, this can be worn in the colder months or in colder climes without drawing attention. Speaking of drawing – this isn’t as easy to pull as say an IWB holster, but after a couple reps, it’s just natural. Reach, pop the snap, rotate the pistol slightly, pull, and present. Just like the movies, right?
Overall, it’s an exceptionally well made rig, and scratches that itch of nostalgia. You can’t put this on without immediately thinking of Die Hard or Lethal Weapon, as childish as that sounds. But this is no kid’s toy, this sucker is stitched, hitched, and ready to get after it.
High grade leather, with a 5 year warranty and available in classic black as shown (or that brown mahogany leather if you want to go full 80’s cop, mustache not included). Their customer service is outstanding and they answer all your questions on time, every time. What’s more, it’s open muzzle design and vertical orientation is much safer that it’s horizontal counterpart, as you’re not immediately flagging the guy behind you should you need to draw.
Pros, what we like: Eceptionally well made, great stitching, supple leather, easily adjustable, and a 5 year warranty. Great customer service to boot!
Cons, what we don’t like: Takes some time to break in, but that’s with every leather holster.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.
His where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.