I had a chance to pick up one of these holsters and I was very happy with it. Personally, I was looking for a concealable holster that had some type of retention. Safariland makes a great product and I figured I would check out their ALS Holster.

I did not want to use a SERPA because I think they are junk and not very well designed.(notice where the trigger finger goes after you press the release–right onto the trigger area as you draw)

My other favorite holster when retention is not a factor is a Comp-Tac kydex holster. They are built like a tank and are comfortable to wear. If retention is not a big deal for your particular contract, then this is a great holster.

Why then would retention be a good idea for contractors?  A concern in today’s war zone contracts, and especially in places like Afghanistan, is working around folks you just don’t trust. In other words, you do not want to make it easy for them to grab your pistol out of your holster and then shoot you and others with it.

The other reason why I like retention is that it holds the pistol in place while you are moving and running around. With a regular kydex holster, this could be an issue. It is easy for a seat belt to get caught on your pistol and it just pull it out. Or you sit down and a chair armrest knocks the pistol out. Having retention just keeps that pistol in place, where you need it.

As to the variants of this holster, you can get a pistol light ALS holster, or even a duty ALS holster. The duty ALS holster has a guard on in it, which can be nice if you want to protect the release button on the top from your gut/kit/clothing or attacker going for your gun. You can also get other mounts and attachments for the ALS holster to put it on a drop leg or lower the ALS holster on your belt. There are even different colors you can choose from. Lots of options and it is up to you how you want to set it up.

The initial kit that you get, gives you the option of a paddle or belt loop slider piece. I carry it with the belt loop slider, just so the pistol and holster are locked into place on the belt at all times. But sometimes a paddle is nice too. Although one critique of the belt slider piece is that it is very basic.  Safarliand should have put more effort into making a piece that is more form fitted to the body, kind of like what the Comp-Tac kydex holsters have.  I am sure a custom shop might be able to make something for you there, or there might be a piece that Safariland has made to replace that. The drop down mount looks a little more doable, but I have not tried that yet.

As for the draw, it is very easy to get good with this thing. Plus the release button forces you to place your hand in the same grip every time.  So if you are trying to achieve consistency in that regard, this is a good pistol holster. Plus you are using your trigger finger for pressing the weapon trigger, and not pressing some release button and then your trigger. Here, you use your thumb to release, and they are great for a Glock user. (which is the most common pistol on contracts) For holstering, you don’t have to do anything and it just automatically locks it in again.

This shows the release button and what the belt slide looks like on the back.

For any reduction in draw speed?  Maybe, but I haven’t played around with it to that level, and I am sure it is marginal. But hey, if you want to convert this holster into a kydex type open holster, you can remove the retention mechanism. Lots of options with this holster depending on what you need. (check out this video of it being drawn)

Not to mention that the suede lining is a nice touch. It makes it very quite to holster or un-holster, and it protects the finish of the weapon. So for companies that are looking for a tough holster with retention that will protect their pistols, this is an option.

As for concealment, this is not bad. It sucks up against the body alright, but maybe not as close as some of the current types of kydex. It doesn’t wrap like a Raven Concealment holster, but it still hugs just fine for what it is.

My only con for this pistol is that it would be cool to be able to lock the release button out. That way you could just keep it open for some scenarios and have a free draw without having to worry about retention. That would be useful for walking patrol duty at night or something–but be able to switch it back when you are operating around crowds again.

Finally, this is not the only retention holster out there. Do your own research and look around. Choose kit that works for you and your pistol, and for the mission/contract that you are on.

Take good care of that kit and bring what you need to keep it operational. That means buy extra screws or bring allen wrenches so you can work on this stuff. With contracts, you never assume that the kit they will issue is good or that they will have the parts/expertise to fix your stuff. Hell, I have been on some gigs where they gave you a pistol and yet they did not give you a holster! So bring a holster is the lesson.

Be self-sufficient, buy good kit, and have confidence knowing that your stuff is familiar, is tough, in good condition and functions well. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. -Matt

 

Safariland Glock 17, 22 6378 ALS Concealment Paddle Holster (STX Black Finish)

Product Features
-ALS Automatic Locking System secures weapon once holstered, it locks into place
-Slim and low profile design for improved concealment
-Simple straight draw once ALS is de-activated
-Formed, sturdy paddle design for comfort and easy on and off
-Fits 1.5″ to 1.75″ belt widths

Product Description
The Safariland Model 6378 Holster is a concealment version of the Automatic Locking System (ALS ) series holsters. Once the weapon is holstered, it “locks” into place, providing an extra measure of security from standard open top holsters. A simple straight up draw is possible once the ALS is de-activated by the thumb while obtaining a shooting grip. IDPA approved. The Model 6378 holster features an all-new injection molded paddle design that is highly concealable and rides close to body with a slightly forward weapon cant. It also comes standard with the 567BL belt loop, fitting 1.5″ to 1.75″ belt widths. Additionally, it features suede lining to help protect the gun’s sights and finish, and its SafariLaminatestructure with wraparound design provides the strongest design combination available.

Safariland Glock 17, 22 6378 ALS Concealment Paddle Holster (STX Black Finish)
List Price: $54.00
Price: $43.90
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Buy the holster here.