Falco Holsters was introduced to me differently than the other reviews done here. I received a link in a chat message from the owner of 248Shooter with a simple instruction “pick a holster”. Not one to question something like that from a friend I began surveying the selection all the while Charlie is describing Falco Holsters.
My honest first reaction, “Europe? Imported leather from Europe? Fancy.”
Falco Holsters was established in 1989 and made, at first, premium falconry gloves and gear.
Falconry. Even fancier. But on to the holsters themselves.
Europe has a larger firearms market than we in the states give them credit for. Items like suppressors are much easier to obtain despite the overall more restrictive atmosphere firearms, we tend to think of Europe as a giant gun free zone and that is far from the case. So a nod to our friends across the pond, they make some great items too. Hence H&K, Glock, SIG, Beretta, and specific guns like Springfield’s XDm. Most of these are now made out of US manufacturing bases but they all originated in Europe.
I had a Sig Sauer P226 without a home to ride on my hip. European origin gun. European holster. Perfect. So looking through Falco’s selection I found this…
The It. 95, a decidedly undescriptive name with an equally short and sweet description. No flashy marketing lingo or overly “tactical” display, just an open top leather holster designed to be worn inside or outside the waist band with a 1.5” belt.
Sold, designed for range use and concealed carry and no ridiculous marketing. This is a serious company with a serious product.
Also they had an option for “Mahogany Leather” a gorgeous brown finish instead of the jet black. Fancy!
The order went out… to Europe. The holsters are made to order so the lead time was 22-35 days, I understand good work takes time, but I now expected really good work for the time.
I wasn’t disappointed. Quality molding, leather cleanly stitched, and an overwhelmingly clear attention to detail with zero scaring on the leather faces. The two small vertical slats on either end of the holster make up its ingeniously simple inside/outside the waistband design.
When worn outside the waistband the snapped straps go around your belt and the belt itself tucks behind the main body of the holster.
When inside the waistband the entirety of the holster body slides into the waistband of your pants while the snapping straps will slide overtop the pant waistband and hang outside, wrapping around the belt to secure the holster in place.
If this holster has a “weak spot” where I expect wear to cause disabling damage this would be it. However after a few months of use I don’t see any, using both leather and nylon belts and being less than gentle on it. The double stitching hasn’t frayed or loosened and no unusual wear or scarring has come up on the inside of the belt straps.
Holster reviews take a while, a long while. You have to wear the thing to get a feel for it, and with leather you have to break in the leather before you can give an accurate accounting of the holster. The leather literally needs to stretch to fit the gun, and when the leather hasn’t broken in, the gun isn’t leaving the holster willingly.
A neat cheat that helps with this process, take a clean sock and put it over the part of the gun going into the holster body (slide and barrel, trigger guard, etc.). This increases the external dimensions of the gun by a small and pliable margin while going into the holster and will not damage the finish of the gun or place a rigid or abrasive surface against the leather. Work the gun all the way into the holster and leave it alone for 48 hours or so. Once done, the draw will be much easier to complete.
Once broken in it was time to run the holster. It holds my P226 in a very comfortable “FBI cant”, my preference for carry concealed or duty carry. Another concern I had based on the design was centered around the gun leaning away from my body because the weight is all above securement points on the belt. I experienced no tendency for the gun to lean outward, the It. 95 holds the gun as close and as snuggly as you keep your belt. This isn’t so much a concern while simply wearing the gun but the looseness will play havoc during a quick draw.
Reholstering had one minor quirk, since leather is flexible and the holster fits to the body (very comfortably I might add) the piece separating the slide from your body occasionally likes to grab onto the decock lever on the P226, this is entirely unique to the P226 design and has not interfered in the vastly more important act of drawing the gun.
Inside the waistband has proven to be no more difficult for drawing, or less comfortable. The leather conforms exceptionally to the body and only gets better with time worn in. Unlike nylon holsters the It. 95 doesn’t pancake when the gun is drawn, so reholstering is no issue, very nice if you’re practicing from the draw over and over and over again.
The “FBI cant” is very important in concealment, it holds the gun in a more advantageous squared up profile to the body. This puts the two points on the pistol that protrude the most prominently, the butt/grip and barrel/slide one above the other. You can now align those points much better vertically along the torso and concealment is greatly aided. Straight draw holsters tend to push the grip of all but the smallest guns out into the concealing garment causing fairly noticeable printing through concealing clothing.
No printing with the canted holster, even on larger firearms like the P226. Even wearing a t-shirt I’ve had no issue with printing and the leather flexes much better with the body than Kydex polymers, no getting uncomfortably jabbed with a tough plastic edge while turning or sitting.
In short, Falco Holsters’ It. 95 is a winner. Even with the waiting period from across the Atlantic the quality product received at the end speaks of a group of people who know and take pride in their craft. High quality and durable materials cleanly molded to the specific firearm and designed to work with the human body in the most efficient and convenient manner they could design.
I quiet likely won’t ever need or want an additional holster for the P226, and that speaks volumes to a guy who loves to buy and try everything he can for the guns he owns.
“Product used for this review was provided by the distributor of Concealed Carry and Duty Holsters – Craft Holsters. For more information about range of products please visit the website.”