Shoulder holsters ripe for debate. They have quite a bit of negatives with just a few positives which we will go into later. I got the opportunity to review a holster of my choosing from Alien Gear and I decided to keep an open mind while satisfying a bit of nerdy curiosity. I wanted a holster for my Walther PPK/S and when I looked at what Alien Gear had to offer, their Cloak PPK Shoulder Holster piqued my interest.
Hero Shoulder Holsters
Let’s be honest with ourselves here, a PPK/S is not going to be my number one choice for a CCW. But there may be times I want to carry it and I would need a holster for it. It is not a secret that I own a PPK/S solely because of James Bond movies. However, there is a more recent reason to have a shoulder holster and that is the Sony Playstation Nathan Drake’s Uncharted series of video games.
Take a look at the two photos above from Alien Gear Holsters. I am not sure if it was a subconscious decision or purposefully for the cosplay larper but the wardrobe chosen for the model in those pictures resembles the video game character, Nathan Drake. Compare those to the character designs from the latest edition of Uncharted by lead character artist Frank Tzeng. You can see more of his work here.
While the Alien Gear PPK shoulder holster is not an exact replica of the one designed for Nathan Drake, it is functionally the same. I chose the brown leather version over the black leather version solely for its resemblance to Drake’s shoulder holster.
Why a Shoulder Holster?
There are many reasons not to have a shoulder holster. Speed and safety are the two major reasons. It is slower to get the gun out of a shoulder holster than it is from a typical belt mounted holster. Safety is another concern since the handgun can be positioned to point behind you and as you draw the pistol out you flag everyone behind and to your left, assuming you are right-handed. There are other cons to having a shoulder holster but no need to beat a dead horse.
However, there are some benefits to a shoulder holster. Comfort is one when carrying a large handgun. Obviously, the PPK does not fall into the large pistol category. But if you were to carry a large revolver with a long barrel it is much easier to carry it in a shoulder holster. Another consideration is shooting prone or on your side. Shoulder holsters do not get in the way whereas belt mounted holsters can get in the way depending on your position. This is something I experienced when I had to shoot urban prone behind low barricades in a low light course. Another boon for the shoulder holster is drawing from a seated position especially in a vehicle.
Alien Gear PPK Shoulder Holster
The Cloak Shoulder Holster is actually a hybrid Kydex holster bolted to a cushioned leather pad.
The Cloak holster actually comes with a removable leather thumb break. However, I did not like it as it impedes my PPK and causes too much friction. I would easily adjust the tension by adjusting the four screws on the Kydex half shell but I am not a fan of thumb breaks, to begin with, so I removed them.
The holster is actually modular and you can reposition the angle of the gun any direction you want.
The straps are easily removable. Just rotate them 180° and they pop out of the backing for the holster. Reinsert them and spin them 180° to lock them back into position.
The shoulder holster harness straps converge at the back between the shoulder blades. The attachment point for each strap is actually a point of articulation and allows the straps to move freely independent of each other around each axis point.
An unexpected surprise is hidden underneath the cross piece. The immortal words of the Second Amendment are molded into the underside of the cross piece.
The shoulder straps have padded shoulder pads that are lined for comfort. Also, the front straps are attached inside with elastic so there is play in the harness system. You can see the front straps recede up into the shoulder pads.
Shoulder Magazine Pouches
Just like the PPK Shoulder Holster, the magazine pouch carrier is also modular but in a different way. The anchor points for the straps only have one position on the padded carrier. It is the pouches themselves that are modular. Below you can see three mounting positions for the mag pouches.
Actually, there is more customization than meets the eye. The mag pouches have a quick detach system that is toolless. Along the left side of each mag pouch is a small locking lever. Right now it is in the unlock position.
With the locking lever up and out of the way, push this flat tab, on the right side of the pouch, to the left.
Sliding the plate clears the KeyMod style attachment points and allows you to pull the pouch off the carrier.
Since the toothed gear has three positions and the pouch has two attachment points, you have 6 total different mounting positions for one pouch. That is not even counting the angle of the pouch.
You can position the magazine pouch at any angle when you attach it to the geared post on the carrier. So long as you don’t interfere with the other magazine pouch.
Each magazine pouch has a hidden Allen key tucked away so you can adjust the tension of the mag pouch.
I found this invaluable when I want to switch from .380ACP to my .22LR PPK/S. The .22LR magazines are thinner than the .380 magazines and require a small adjustment for positive retention.
No adjustment was needed to accommodate the .22LR PPK/S pistol. My only complaint is that I cannot leave my rimfire suppressor on the pistol and draw it from the holster.
Final Thoughts Of The PPK Shoulder Holster
Out of the box, there was a considerable amount of squeaking coming from the brand new leather of the PPK shoulder holster. It was so obnoxious that I wondered how James Bond ever did anything quietly with a shoulder holster. However, this is just a characteristic of new leather. It needed to be worn in and the squeaking subsided.
Driving with a shoulder holster is a lot more comfortable and much easier to access the firearm than with conventional belt mounted holster solutions. The PPK shoulder holster is a bit bulky in my mind and I feel like the grip is printing every time I wear a jacket to cover up the concealed pistol. The same problem arises with the mag pouch carrier. While they are both padded for comfort, they feel like they stick out like a sore thumb. That is until you adjust the pouches and holster.
The PPK shoulder holster from Alien Gear starts at $133.88. Pricing depends on the make and model of the gun as well as which side is your dominant hand. I like the modularity of the PPK shoulder holster design. It allows for a lot of customization and personalization that you do not typically see in other shoulder holster designs.
For more information check out Alien Gear’s website.