Our Shoulder Holsters have many small adjustments to fine tune the fit of the holster to your preference. This article will cover every adjustment that can be made on the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster.
First, take a look at the parts chart below to familiarize yourself with our nomenclature:
The angle in which the firearm sits will play heavily into what adjustments may be needed on the straps of the Shoulder Holster. The most common angle tends to be the vertical cant, especially for larger firearms. This angle points the muzzle downwards instead of straight back.
The Shoulder Holster "Rig" is the same part for both ShapeShift and Cloak Series holsters and is designed to accommodate up to a 3XL tee shirt size. The straps that hold the magazine platforms or shell platforms for the gun are part of the Rig. Tailoring the fit of the holster may take some time at the front end, but most folks find there is little adjustments to be made between seasons.
First, determine how you want the firearm to sit on the body. Ideally, the back plate that the straps connect to should be positioned below the neck along the center line between the shoulder blades. The holster design should prevent the back plate from riding up while wearing.
If you want the firearm to sit lower, adjusting the front and back straps outwards should achieve that; if you want it to sit more forward on the body, adjusting the back strap outwards more than the front strap should help. Canting the shell platform may also impact how the firearm sits.
It is possible to adjust the Shoulder Holster Rig outwards using only one binding post per strap. This may be needed if it is fitting on broad shoulders and/or the firearm is sitting lower along the body.
The belt hooks are optional and may not work for taller or shorter individuals. They do help provide stability if the holster is not worn with a jacket, or if the firearm is sitting lower down.
For short torsos, the minimum length to adjust the belt hooks is about 5.5 inches from the bottom of the belt hook to the top of the platform connector and requires modification. Determine how short the belt hooks need to be; you may wish to have different length belt hooks from the firearm side than the mag carrier side. Start by removing the binding post and unthreading the buckle. Punch holes at the desired location with a leather punch or awl. Screw in the binding post, then trim the excess leather strap. The shortened belt hook pictured below does not have the leather trimmed but shows the binding post placement. The buckle is not needed with this configuration.
For longer torsos, the belt hook can be changed to a maximum of 11.5 inches. Determine the proper length of each belt hook first. Remove the binding post and buckle. If the maximum length is desired, just thread the strap through the platform connector and use the existing holes. Feel free to customize this to fit the way you want by adding holes where needed.
Bear in mind that the cant and ride height will impact how these may fit, so it is important to adjust the holster to fit before making adjustments to the belt hooks.
The "Mag Platform" is where the magazine buckets are attached. The Mag Buckets can be adjusted for cant and retention and are used on other holster products, such as Cloak Mag Carriers and Drop Leg Holsters, for increased modularity. The buckets will be locked onto the platform but can be removed without the use of the allen key.
Twist counter-clockwise to unlock the bucket.
Once the bucket is unlocked, the slide plate on the opposite side can be pushed into the bucket to pull it off the platform. You may have to wiggle it because it has to be perfectly lined up to disengage.
There are 2 ride height options and 360° cant adjustability on the buckets for maximum customization potential.
To adjust the retention of the mag bucket, first locate the small 1/16 allen key embedded in the bucket by sliding the plate all the way back.
It will be seated in there pretty firmly, so the first couple times it is removed, we recommend taking a pen or pencil to stick in the notch on the side of the bucket shown below- that will pop out the allen key a little easier than trying to pry it out with a fingernail.
The 2 screws at the top and the 1 at the bottom can be loosened or tightened to dial in your perfect retention, based on how it will be worn. Be advised that a Single Stack bucket will not adjust to fit a Double Stack Mag and vice versa. Similarly there are few mag designs as well as calibers that may not work in our mag buckets.
The Mag Platform's cogs can be adjusted left or right to increase the cant of the mag buckets. Extended magazines may need the buckets to be offset to ensure they can be drawn and to improve how the magazines ride. For example. longer mags may require the Mag Cog to be installed further towards your back to offset the weight of the magazine and keep the magazine from drooping forward. The Mag Cogs are fastened with a screw on the back side of the platform and a hex nut embedded in the cog.
If you did not wish to carry the additional magazines, the parts kit will include a Strap Link Adapter, which connects the shoulder straps on that side together.
The Strap Link Adapter is installed much the same was as the to the Mag Platform: rotate the platform connectors 180 degrees to pop them out (it may help to have a little pressure on the leather to ensure a good disconnect when the cam lines up). Twist the platform connector into the Strap Link Adapter.
Alternately, some people find they do not want to carry additional magazines and like having the balance of the mag platform. This can be achieved by removing the Mag Buckets and unscrewing the Mag Cogs from the Platform. The Mag Platform is a little bigger but will allow the belt hook can be attached and deployed.
Retention of ShapeShift ShellLink text
Retention is how tight the draw is on the firearm when un-holstering. When the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is ordered, the thumb release for Level 2 active retention is pre-installed. For details on making passive retention adjustments, check out our article for the ShapeShift Adjustable Retention Unit.
If you have ordered the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster Expansion Pack and would like to run the active retention thumb release, simply follow the instructions below.
You will need the shell half that has the thumb release and the trigger guard attached to start. The thumb release will be moved to the trigger guard.
On the inside of the shell, in front of the trigger window is the screw holding the thumb release on. Unscrew it using the included allen key from your parts pack.
The thumb release will sit on top of the trigger guard as pictured below:
Insert the same screw into the hole on the inside of the trigger guard and tighten securely. A drop of medium retention thread locker, such as blue LocTite or nail polish will ensure it stays in place.
From here, the trigger guard will slide onto the strong side draw ShiftShell (with the Adjustable Retention Unit) and secured with the Twist Lock.
The shell will press onto the Holster Connector of the Shell Platform. Secure with the Connector Lock and Twist Lock.
If you find that the thumb release is touching the platform or otherwise impacting the function of the thumb release, try altering the alignment of the shell to the platform via the 2 screws on the Holster Connector.
The thumb release should clear the platform for optimal function. It may take a little trial and error to achieve the perfect alignment for you and your pistol. Remember that the cant of the platform also impacts the function of the thumb release. Many folks find that having a slight vertical cant on the platform helps with a clean draw.