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shoulder holster safety

How Safe Is the ShapeShift Leather Shoulder Holster?

A holster is used for safety. That's the primary reason it's there. That's what you need to be concerned with first and foremost when shopping for a leather shoulder holster.

Forget everything else for a minute. Disregard all other concerns. Forget about those comment sections filled with tacticool geniuses.

Safety. That's what matters. Shoulder holster safety should prioritize retention, trigger guard coverage, muzzle cant and proper materials.

Here's how those elements were tackled with the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster:

What Makes For The Best Leather Shoulder Holster Retention?

leather shoulder holster

The best leather shoulder holster retention should reflect your personal needs based on situational requirements.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster features up to three levels of retention — two active, one passive.
Why does that matter?

Theft prevention is a strong reason to rely on active retention, which requires the user to actuate a mechanism to access their firearm.

Alien Gear's shoulder holster features a thumb break strap. The carrier pushes inward on a metal snap installed on leather straps that connect behind the handgun's slide.

This optional feature comes included with the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster, as does the active retention thumb release that is also optional.

The thumb release is installed on the polymer handgun shell trigger guard. A small arm extends below the shell and hooks onto the handgun's trigger guard. It locks the handgun in the shell unless actuated correctly by the carrier.

An optional passive retention unit is also bolted into place on the other side of the trigger guard. It can be tightened or loosened, which means another small arm extends deeper into the trigger guard.

All of these features provide little to no effect on the handgun itself.

But what's the best level of retention for you? Well it depends on your needs. Some add more tiers of retention for peace of mind.

Others add more depending on the danger of a given location. Many consider passive retention enough.

Try out all the options for yourself. Make the decision based on your needs. All three are offered with Alien Gear's shoulder holster.

Retention is important, but so is the holster's construction.

How Should Hybrid Shoulder Holster Materials Function?

hybrid shoulder holster
A hybrid shoulder holster includes multiple materials.

Altogether, this type of shoulder holster offers more performance characteristics than shoulder holsters limited to a single type of material — typically being leather.

All materials should focus first and foremost on safety.

But how safe are the materials in the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster?

In research and development tests, this has proven extraordinarily difficult. Alien Gear's mechanical engineers use various machinery and procedures to test the security. They also beat each other up in mock trials, trying to disarm one another.

Someone should probably talk to HR about that. Poor interns.

Editor's note: no interns were harmed in the making of the shoulder holster.

The stitching thread used to assemble the holster is military-grade nylon thread, and the hardware used to assemble the shoulder holster was tested to over 100 lbs of force without breaking. We stress tested the holster hard, to see if it would hold up...and it does. Under normal conditions, the holster doesn't break.

Another common concern is muzzle cant. People don't like flagging others while carrying. It's just a good rule of thumb.

Despite that, many shoulder holsters naturally rest the handgun horizontally on the the side of the body, meaning the handgun's barrel is directly pointed at others.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster has adjustable cant in various angles: 70⁰, 40⁰, 20⁰, 0⁰ and -30⁰. The muzzle can be pointed directly to the ground while carrying.

Materials aside, what does the holster offer that keeps you secure?

Shoulder Carry Configurations With The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

shoulder holster configuration

There are several shoulder carry configurations in the ShapeShift Modular Holster System.

You can carry two handguns in this rig — one left hand draw and one right hand draw.

You can carry one handgun and two mag carriers.

You can carry just one handgun. You can carry just two mag carriers.

You can carry up to four mag carriers.

You can carry how you want.

Alien Gear provides options — all offered with a 30-day test drive and lifetime warranty.


About The Author

Jake Smith gun blog writer