Now that you have received your Cloak Series Shoulder Holster, you can fine tune the adjustments for the perfect fit. This article will cover all the adjustments that can be made on this holster, some of which may be addressed in this video.
First, take a look at the parts chart below to familiarize yourself with our nomenclature:
This article covers the following adjustment guides:
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 is how tight the draw is on the firearm when un-holstering. This is determined by the 4 screws holding the Cloak Shell to the Shoulder Holster Platform and can be customized to your preference. Each Cloak Shoulder Holster will have a hardware pack that contains larger and smaller screws and spacers to make adjustments. Medium retention thread locker, such as Blue Loctite or clear nail polish is recommended once the customization is complete to keep hardware where you you set it.
First, determine if you will be using the leather thumb break for active retention. If only passive retention is desired, start with checking the fit of the firearm in the holster as is. If the firearm goes out of battery or otherwise feels too tight, move to the larger screws and spacers. It is easier to remove the screws and spacers on the trigger guard side first, then swap out, one at a time, the screws and spacers on the slide side of the shell. The leather cover that sits over the shell is held in place by these screws and can be difficult to realign if removed entirely. It may be easier to use longer screws than necessary to ensure the screws thread into the embedded nut, but be aware that it is possible for the screw to protrude through the nut on the back side.
Keep in mind that the screw and spacer sizes can be mixed- some people desire a looser retention along the slide than the trigger guard, or want the mouth of the holster to be wider than the bottom. It may take a few tries to find what works for you personally.
If you wish to use the included leather thumb break, the retention will need to be set differently than that of a passive retention only holster. Since the thumb break sits between the firearm and the platform, larger spacers will most likely be needed. A set of 2 screws 1 inch in length are included in the hardware pack for this purpose. For larger framed firearms or double stack guns, some folks may need to stack spacers to get the desired retention. This involves using the smallest spacer stacked with the mid size or large size spacers and the 1 inch screws. The spacers themselves are slightly conical and work best if the wider sides are put together.
Here is an example of double stacked spacers in green:
It is recommended to use the 1 inch screws along the slide side of the shell before working with positioning the thumb break. If a tighter retention is desired after finding the needed position, the screws can always be swapped out, one at a time, to the size that best fits the spacer. Determine where you want the thumb break. Some people like it over the slide and others at the beavertail. Be advised that positioning the thumb break at the slide may cause more wear and tear on the firearm if the metal snap of the thumb break is scraping against the slide as it is drawn. Altering the angle of the thumb break may mitigate this, or drawing in such a way that the snap is held clear when drawing.
Having the firearm seated in the holster will help in determining the orientation of the thumb break. The thumb break should be snug against the firearm to ensure a clean snap when drawing. The strap with the male end of the snap and the loops of the hook and loop fasteners will be sitting on the outside of the shell and attached to the leather cover. The strip of loop material from the trigger guard side of the shell should be pulled snuggly up. Once the top thumb break strap is positioned, take your firearm out of the shell platform in order to place the bottom strap. Press the strap against the inside of the shell as you slide the strap in. Once in the desired position, press the strap firmly onto the hook material on the platform. Check the fit and draw and reposition as needed.
In conclusion, the Shoulder Holster may require many minor adjustments to make to fit your natural draw style, body shape and firearm. It may take some time to dial in your specific preference, but once done, most folks find they do not have to continue to make adjustments for weight or season.