In today’s increasingly violent and dangerous world, the need for a well built pistol holster is as important as ever. We never know when and where a threat to our safety, or the safety of our loved ones, will present itself. Being able to deploy a side arm effectively can mean the difference between life and death in these situations. When shopping for holsters there are a few things to take into consideration, such as what material you want and what style of holster would best suit your needs. Whether that holster be made of leather, kydex, or some other polymer is solely up to your preference as the user. There are dozens of brands and styles of holsters on the market, with more being rolled out almost monthly. How do you sort through this maze?

In the recent past Nick “The Reaper” Irving has talked about his preferred type of conceal carry options for a sidearm. Former Green Beret Mark Miller and I have also covered concealed or covert carry options, and pistols. What we have presented are just a few of the options available on the firearm accessory market. What happens when you need an open carry or duty holster for your sidearm? Many of us who served in the Armed Forces are familiar with the Bianchi M12 Beretta 9mm or the Blackhawk SERPA style holsters. Within this group of veterans, there are many who were not pleased with them, or they don’t fit our current needs. With the help of the Safariland Group, a solution to this problem exists.

The Safariland Group is no stranger to the pistol holster market. With more than fifty years of experience, they are also no stranger to the readers of our site. Safariland has had six different products reviewed by our staff, and today we present the seventh. The Safariland Model 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster. The 7004 7TS SLS is a leg-drop holster packed with features which make it ideal for anyone looking for a holster with a safety retention system to use while performing vehicle based operations or law enforcement/security duties.

Safariland 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster
Inside view of the Model 7004 7TS SLS Holster

Type Models of weapons supported:

69 popular models from Beretta, Glock ,Sig Arms, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, Taurus & Walther

Weight: 15.6 Oz

Length: Holster: varies according to pistol

Curved leg shroud: 7” long 5 3/4:”’wide

Colors Available: Black or Flat Dark Earth

Construction Materials: Proprietary Dupont Nylon blend, Stainless steel springs in the Self Locking System

MSRP: $153 – $168

Unique Features:

  • Proprietary Dupont Nylon blend protects your firearms finish from wear
  • Raised interior spaces create airspace around your weapon to prevent debris from coming in contact with your weapon
  • Extreme heat tolerance tested to +300*F
  • Extreme cold tolerance tested to -50*F
  • Can be submerged in water indefinitely and retain shape and performance
  • Matte finish for easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Compatible with all Safariland holster mounting systems
  • Non slip backing on thigh strap reduces holster movement during motion
  • Self Locking System rotating hood for safety and retention


  • Ideally suited for military, law enforcement, and security personnel
  • Anyone needing a holster while performing vehicle mounted operations
  • Anyone wanting a holster that is easily accessible, while also featuring a weapon safety and retention device
  • Competitive pistol shooters


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  • Easily accessible
  • Able to tolerate wide range of temperatures
  • Manufacturer with proven history of quality products
  • Built-in retention device
  • Easily adjustable between different users


  • The Self Locking System might take some getting used to
  • Cost
  • Thigh holsters may not be appealing to some potential users.
Safariland 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster
Self Locking System Hood

Overall Performance:

Never having used a holster with a retention system, such as the Self Locking System, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. My previous experience with open carry style holsters was limited to the aforementioned Bianchi M12 holster, for a military issued Beretta M9 pistol. Upon opening the package I was pleasantly surprised to find that the inside of the thigh strap featured two lines of raised material that appeared to act as a gripping agent, which help hold the holster securely in place.

One of the drawbacks I had previously heard about thigh holsters was that they tend to bounce around and slide up and down the wearer’s thigh during running, crouching, and other movements during drills. None of this was present in the drills and tests I performed. The strap left no marks or residue on the pants worn. To me, it’s obvious that the folks at Safariland really did their homework on this part of the holster, and listened to consumers’ advice and input.

Safariland 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster
Inside view thigh strap

Using the Self Locking System

The Self Locking System is a key component of this pistol holster. The use of a locking gate on duty holsters is becoming a mandatory item in the world of law enforcement and security work. This feature is intended to help enhance officer safety. The SLS is a well thought out feature, and it’s use can be mastered quickly through pistol deployment drills. I feel it is a step above other competing systems. The internal components of the SLS Hood system feature stainless steel springs and chemically resistant polymers, which resist wear and provide a functional holster in even the most austere conditions. If the holster is exposed to severe conditions for prolonged periods of time or repeatedly, Safariland suggests flushing the mechanism with warm water. Once it is dry, the user should actuate the rotating hood, and apply  a small amount of lubricant to the mechanism. Safariland also recommends that a few drops of the same lubricant you use on your pistol be applied to the spring of the rotating hood.

As you can tell from the video, using the Safariland 7004 7TS SLS holster is rather simple. You depress the hood with your thumb, flip it forward, and draw the pistol. You are then ready to engage targets. Honestly, I was skeptical of the holster at first. My skepticism evaporated after a few minutes of drills. The thigh and belt straps both feature hook and loop style retention bands, which secure any excess material. Once the final adjustments have been made, these retention bands can be placed in a manner that not only assists with streamlining excess material, but can help prevent the loss of tension. These help provide an uncluttered holster fit, which reduces the risk of snagging during drills and use. Features like this are what set Safariland ahead of competitors in the market of tactical style holsters.

I hope you enjoyed our inside look at Safariland’s newest holster offering. If you are in the market for an open carry style holster, and use a commonly available full size or compact semi automatic pistol, I would highly suggest you check out their web site at Using their website to find your weapon specific holster is a simple process.

Safariland 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster
Holster as worn

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— Rick

Quote of the Week:

Freedom lies in being bold. — Robert Frost, American Poet 1874-1963