What do John McClane, James Bond, and Mad Max all have in common? Besides having terrible sequels in the later years, they all kick ass by scraping together the best gear they can find in their circumstances. One constant, however, is that they all utilized a shoulder holster in some form or fashion. Everyone uses different methods for carrying a pistol, but I think we can all agree that rocking a shoulder rig is easily at the top of the list in the “cool” department. Most kid’s superheroes wore capes, but mine wore shoulder holsters.

I recently had the chance to get my hands on a great product from a company called Craft Holsters. While I’m all about the “Made in America” mentality, I believe there is something almost nostalgic about the way Craft Holsters makes their products. In fact, the business prides itself on bringing products from the Old Continent based on the tradition of European craftsmanship. There is no mass assembly line or robotics that pump them out by the thousands at sub-par quality. No, you get every holster to order. Handmade. From Europe.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest

Regardless of how you feel about the sourcing of the material and location of the work, you instantly appreciate the product when you get your hands on it. I knew immediately that this wasn’t going to be another budget holster that I would be rotating around with others in my inventory. The stitching on my Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster was top of the line. Everything from the stitching to the placement of rivets and buttons just felt like it was purposeful and didn’t cut corners like I’ve experienced with other companies and their products. Now, it may be my nostalgia for old-world craftsmanship, but I pictured a medieval blacksmith hard at work putting together a sword in a forge somewhere. Typical stereotype, I know, but you can really tell that a lot of thought and work has gone into these products.

The Vertical Roto-Shoulder Holster that I had was made my for Glock 17 and was custom made for me in Black Leather, complete with an embossing of initials that were printed into the leather. This is an option that Craft Holsters offers in a variety of their products. It’s a small touch, but an authentic one that only costs 10 dollars. As far as the details go, my shoulder holster featured a nice sturdy loop that seemed to be doubled up and riveted in place to the holster itself. This was something I was worried might be an issue, because it’s usually the first thing to fail on a shoulder rig as it’s getting the most use during a draw. In this case, Craft Holsters made the loop seemingly indestructible.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest

Moving up to the holster itself, you are met with the durable double stitching that one would expect from a custom holster. I can tell you that quality wasn’t skimped out on in my holster when it came to the stitching pattern. The holster is actually installed into the shoulder rig in a way that allows a wide degree of cant as you draw. With the pistol tucked in nicely to your side, you can get a grip on the frame and angle down for a quick draw in one fast motion.

The only drawback, which is common with leather, is that it takes some time to break in the pistol for a smooth draw every time. You can’t expect your first draws to be perfect with this holster as it takes some time, care, and repetition to get to that point. Craft Holsters understands this problem, and they’ve included a detailed page about breaking in and caring for your leather.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest

A solid steel-reinforced thumb break as an added safety feature is included. I thought this might be an issue until the leather was broken in, but it ended up working out pretty quickly. The draw can be a little slow, but this all depends on how you care for the leather and how many repetitions you put into your practice. Once you get comfortable with the tilt feature and thumb safety, you will have a smooth and deliberate draw each and every time.

The harness itself features a variety of fitting locations to make sure that you have a perfect alignment, no matter your body type. Craft Holsters offers the harness in sizes up to XL, which is equivalent to a 47″ chest circumference, 23″ top shoulder to waist length. If you have a bigger size, you can include this information in your order and they will be sure to make their best efforts for customization.

All in all, the Vertical Roto-Shoulder Holster is a great option for concealing your pistol. With a Glock 17 in the right-handed setup, you were completely unable to see that one was being worn through a very thin fleece jacket. The harness does an excellent job of keeping the holster tucked in very tight to the body. Depending on how you adjust your harness, you can increase or decrease the tightness against your body.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest

Whether you are going out to get groceries or to save the world at a black-tie affair, Craft Holsters has you completely covered with the Vertical Roto-Shoulder Holster. You can find this holster in either Black or Mahogany Leather in left or right-handed configurations.

I usually don’t like saying this, because it feels lazy, but I honestly don’t have enough time or room to type out how many different guns and models they have this holster available for. If you have an old flintlock pistol (this is a jab at you 1911 folks, if that wasn’t already obvious), a modern fighting pistol, or anything in between, Craft Holsters has what you need.

The Premium 5 year warranty is another added benefit offered by Craft Holsters. They stand by their products and they want you to know that. As a guy that is strictly IWB, the Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. As soon as I put it on, I envisioned myself at a cocktail party with a gorgeous blonde on my side (my wife, you heathens) as I passed secret information to an asset.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest

If rolling across the Australian outback and fighting off raiders like Mad Max isn’t your thing, that’s okay as well. Craft Holsters has an incredibly large and diverse line of products and gear for you to check out. In fact, just for Glock 17 owners, you have this entire line of holsters to choose from.

For the Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster, you’re looking at paying $119.95, plus $10 for embossing your initials. You’ll have your holster in a few weeks as it’s being handmade, and you’ll love every detail about it, much like I did. Stop looking at budget holsters and make the decision to pay for something that is created by the old world craftsmanship that seems to be so lacking in our society today. You won’t be disappointed.

Vertical Roto Shoulder Holster: Old world craftsmanship at its finest


Author – Rodney Pointer is a former Army Infantryman. After graduating from Airborne School, he was ruthlessly assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana to live out his days as a dirty leg. He served with the 2nd BN, 30th Infantry of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Following his deployment to Afghanistan, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Operations. He currently works as a nuclear security contractor.