Buyers Guide: Duty Holsters
A duty holster is an essential piece of equipment that every law enforcement officer should have. High-quality duty holsters can make all the difference in the world, both for you and the people you are protecting.
As long as law enforcement officers were carrying weapons, keeping those weapons in the field was a concern. Here are some holster options that will help you choose the right Holster for your needs on duty.
Level 1 Duty Holsters
Safariland Level I Retention Duty Holsters are available in two models: 6390 and 7390. They come with the ALS(r), an Automatic Locking System. The Safariland Retention Level Test is a five-second "grab and grab" that an adversary initiates to determine if the Level I holster passes.
Level 2 Duty Holsters
A Level 2 holster has the same passive retention technology as a Level 1 holster but also the SERPA-Auto-Lock technology. The SERPA-Auto-Lock is an inner locking system that locks a gun in Holster by engaging the trigger guard.
Level 3 Duty Holsters
A Duty Holster of Level III refers to a three-point locking system with thumb-activated pivot protection. Retention is the primary feature that distinguishes duty-holsters from other holster designs.
The NIJ created a Special Technical Committee to identify specific requirements and needs of law enforcement. This committee identified shortfalls and developed a draft Duty Holster Standard. It was designed to provide law enforcement personnel with the security they need to carry, deploy, and secure their duty weapon. The New Standard includes:
- The minimum requirements for form, fit, performance, and testing of duty holsters that allow you to carry, deploy and re-secure your duty weapon securely.
- The standard is applicable to law enforcement duty-holsters with manual or automatic retention devices. This standard is intended to protect the weapon from being taken from an officer while it is in the duty holster.
- Both instantaneous and continuous forces will be addressed.
The duty holster was designed for military and police use. These holsters are usually large and have some type of retention device. They can be pushed away from your body. These holsters can be difficult to conceal and are not recommended for concealed carriers.
We have listed here the best holsters from different manufacturers who offer enhanced weapon protection.
Blackhawk Epoch's Holster has internal locking equipment that hooks onto its ejection port. This provides a high-level grab resistance. For extra security, the Holster comes with a Pivot Guard that covers the slide's back. The Pivot Guard is easy to release and doesn't snap back.
Blackhawk Level 2 Tactical SERPA Holster
This Holster was made for tactical operations. This Holster has a drop-leg design that allows for the best placement of your Holster. The Holster has a flexible platform that adjusts to your leg length and a Y-harness suspension system to evenly distribute weight. The belt buckles are quick-disconnect and swivel, which allows for more maneuverability. The Holster features a passive retention screw adjustment as well as SERPA automatic lock release. The Holster also has a bungee retention system.
Blade-Tech WRS Level 3
Blade-Tech also manufactures high-quality duty holsters. WRS Level 3 allows for a natural draw and does not require complicated security devices. Tactical Modular Mount System by the company allows officers to transfer the WRS Holster easily from a Duty Belt or Thigh Rig to a Tactical Vest, Thigh Rig, or Tactical Vest without taking the pistol out.
Dara Duty Holster
Dara Holsters & Gears' Duty Holster is made of thick Kydex and Melonite-finished steel. These rigs have an internal rubber retention system, as well as a rotating strap that can easily be operated with the thumb during the draw.
Gould & Goodrich K391
The K391 is a triple-retention successor to the original Gould & Goodrich duty holsters. The rotating hood and anti-blade device protect the gun from being taken by an intruder.
Safariland 070 SSIII
Safariland 070 SSIII holster is perhaps the most well-known retention holster made by law enforcement. It's still as popular today as it was decades ago. Safariland has manufactured the Safariland 070 since its conception by Bill Rogers. Many officers have been saved by this Holster. The 070 is unlike other modern retention holsters. The gun is drawn using snaps and a specific motion. If you are familiar with the 070, it can be used quickly.
Safariland Model 6360
Safariland Model 6360 holster uses ALS (Automatic Locking System). This Holster is one of the most sought-after. The rotating hood secures the weapon and separates physical barriers to stop a suspect from taking the gun from the Holster. The Sentry is an additional device to secure the weapon in its Holster.
Safariland 7360 7TS
An optional Sentry system and an ALS secure the gun. The 7TS is made of a nylon blend material that is extremely durable and resistant to temperature and weather changes. It is also completely non-abrasive for the gun's finish.
Uncle Mike's Pro-3 Slim Line
Uncle Mike's Pro-3 Slim Line holster features a traditional thumb break and an internal locking mechanism that allows officers to keep their weapons in their hands while disarming attempts are made.
Uncle Mike's Sidekick Ambidextrous Hip Holster
The Level 1 retention holster comes in an IWB or OWB version. The firearm will be secured by a hook-and-loop retention system with a thumb break, non-stretch hook, and thumb break. It can be used by either right-handed or left-handed users. A spare magazine can be stored in the forward pocket.
Uncle Mike's Reflex Holster
Reflex Holster uses Integrated Retention Technology to secure firearms. This technology consists of a combination of a retention plug along the Holster's outer wall and a press arm at its body side. The IRT locks your firearm in the Holster. Shooters can still release the firearm by simply turning the mag well towards the body.
There are three levels of Duty Holsters: level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Different manufacturers make different levels. Each Level subjected the Holster, with or without a combination of security mechanisms and types of firearm release, to tests that reflect the force required by an adversary to remove the firearm from the Holster.
Each Level has a primary security device that is used to protect the weapon. Additional security mechanisms are then added to ensure each retention level. Retention can be simplified by considering the number of actions necessary to release the weapon.
To release the weapon, the Level 1 operator must pull back on the SLS as one action. To release the weapon at Level 2, the operator must press down on the button and flip the SLS upside-down (2 actions). The additional actions of LII and LII at Level 3 are added to the total of three actions.
We hope you found this guide helpful. It's now your turn to pick the right one and grab it.