Safariland Group offers a broad range of products including: holsters, gun accessories, body worn cameras, forensic equipment, coms/hearing protection, body armor, and less lethal (OC, batons, etc). Whether you are an average gun owner, or part of a tactical law enforcement group, they have products that you can use. Rick Dembroski recently wrote an article about the 7004 7TS SLS Tactical Holster. After his article, I decided to look into Safariland for my duty holster.
I work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP Officers work at the major ports of entry (POE) into the United States, and abroad. If you go to any international airport, land border, or seaport you will encounter CBP Officers. Sometimes CBP Officers are confused with Border Patrol. Although similar, the two groups have different areas of operations. Border Patrol covers the areas between the POEs. While on-duty I carry a gun belt equipped with: OC (pepper spray), PRD (radiation detection), baton, handcuffs, magazine pouch (holds two magazines), and my service weapon (H&K P2000 .40).
Most Police Officers are required to use holsters that slow, or inhibit an attacker from getting their weapon. These types of holsters are called retention holsters. Depending on the agency, or department, there will be certain retention requirements that must be met in order for an Officer to use a specific holster. Also, there will be guidelines as to the aesthetics of the holster (material, color, etc.). I am required to use a level II (or better) retention holster, black, mid or high ride, for a 2” belt.
Safariland has an awesome compatibility tool. You simply make selections based on your weapon (manufacturer, model, barrel length, caliber, etc.), needed specifications, and all compatible holsters will be displayed. I ended up with Model 6360-97-131 (STX) Mid-Ride, Level III Retention Duty Holster. Depending on your customizations (materials, light options, etc.) the MSRP ranges from $147-$217.
Level III Retention
- Hood Guard
- Self-Locking-System (SLS) rotating hood
- Automatic-Locking-System (ALS)
- Internal locking mechanism that keeps the weapon secure regardless of the SLS system. It maintains security regardless of the direction of attack. It’s operable with the thumb, and the weapon can be drawn straight out of the holster with no twisting.
- These devices are designed to prevent someone from getting a Police Officer’s gun while in a struggle. There is a balance between making it difficult for an assailant, while making it easy for the Officer to use. Safariland created a solid holster, addressing both concerns. If you have never used retention devices, it will take some practice before you become proficient.
Customization (Customization depends on your weapons specifications and accessories)
- Leather, Accumold, Accumold Elite, Ranger, Patroltek (Click here for a description of each)
- Black, Coyote Brown, Dark Earth Brown, Foliage Green, OD Green
- Basket Weave, Hi-Gloss, Nylon Look, Plain, STX
- Draw Hand
- Left, Right
- By their very design, retention devices will slow your draw. Although the intention is to slow an assailant, there is no way to avoid adding time to your draw. Knowing this, you should set time aside for holster/draw drills, making your draw smooth through muscle memory. Be prepared in the field. Have confidence that an assailant will have difficulty taking your weapon, but also know that you may need a fraction of a second longer to put your weapon into action.
If you are in need of a retention holster take a look at the Safariland lineup.
– Robert McCartney for LoadoutRoom.com