All posts in Safariland

If you are looking for a flashlight for your handgun, you’re safe with Safariland Holsters and Streamlight Flashlights

















It’s a re-occurring issue every week, several times a week.  Someone walks into our store with a gun they just got and want to put a light on it.   That’s the easy part, the hard part is finding a holster for it.   If you are looking for something other than the Streamlight Flashlights or Surefire Flashlights your holster options are going to dwindle.   The Streamlight TLR-1 is brighter than ever but if you have a preference in activating the toggle, the Surefire X300U is another option but it will cost you more.  There are plenty of other flashlights you can use, Olight Flashlights, Inforce Flashlights, but you will not find many holster options.

If you are looking for a laser light combination, it’s Streamlight TLR-2 or Surefire X400U and it’s the same old story.    Some nylon companies have options but not that many.   Blackhawk made a major market mistake years ago by only catering to Ziphos flashlights which nobody used, and finally got around to making holsters that took the Streamlight Flashlights and Surefire Flashlights.  Check out Safariland Holsters, holster fit guide before you buy a gun, because they really are the place to go to find out what your options are.


Safariland Holsters aren’t just for Cops

Safariland HolstersSafariland is pretty much a staple product line for Law Enforcement around the Country, but they don’t make everything just for that leather looking State Police Officer.  If you’ve never checked out their competition shooting holsters, there’s a whole other world out there in the firearms industry that has grown to the point that it’s almost becoming a new industry within the firearm world.   There’s a reason most Law Enforcement need retention holsters but it’s not something anyone with a CCW should rule out.  Having retention on a firearm holster does not necessarily mean that it’s going to be slower to pull out.    I’d highly recommend level II holsters because I’ve seen guns fall out of holsters and heard more than a few stories of firearms ending up in toilets.

I’ve pretty much cleared out most of my Fobus holsters that were not the E2 versions because there is that extra tension I can get with the tension screw that is somewhat of a comfort zone for me.   I definitely foresee having more of the Safariland Holsters like the ALS growing in my collection because you will probable get the most variety of flashlight options for your weapon.  The paddles are very secure but somewhat of a pain to get off, not as easy as a Fobus paddle but the other factor you have to be careful about is, how far off the body your holster is going to ride.  I’ve not done exact measurements but it does feel like the Blackhawk Serpa holsters seem to sit further off the body and make CCW rather difficult.   Wearing the right type of gun belt is going to make a big difference as to weather a holster is going to be comfortable so always keep that in mind when evaluating holsters.


5.11 Partners with Bladetech for the 5.11 Tactical Thumbdrive holster

5.11 Thumbdrive holstersWe have yearly cycles of sales for certain products in our store, or we get asked about the same products every time there is a graduation from a Police Academy.   There is a mad rush of people graduating that need all of the basics, they may not have their duty gear yet but they know they need an off duty holster which usually is one of the following, any Glock 9mm, Glock 45 or Sig 229 or Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm or 40 cal.   Those seem to be the most common firearm holsters every year because that’s what most of their employers are issuing.  “I just need a retention holster” or a “Level II” they say.

I’m all about letting the customer choose what they want, but if there is any hint of them being a Novice,   I push them away from the Blackhawk Serpa Holsters,  I personally think the Safariland ALS is a better starting point although the holsters are very heavy,  One other holster we have considered stocking are the 5.11 Thumbdrive holsters.  Using your thumb to release your firearm is a much safer approach  than using your index finger.   We also noticed this year that Elite Survival Systems is releasing a Thumbdrive holsters and we will do a thorough comparison between the two in the future.   Definitely consider these 3 for Level II retention, Safariland ALS, Blackhawk Serpa, and the 5.11 Thumbdrive holsters.  Bladetech worked with for their level II and it seems to be a very well accepted holster.


Safariland Holsters vs Blackhawk Serpa

DG_6378_black_zoom_interiorSafariland Glock HolstersIn the years we have been running a retail operation we have all the sales data to tell us what our customers are continuing to use.  There are always new guns coming out like the Sig P320, Sig P227,  and Glock 42 and Glock 43.  People are coming to us about getting holsters from companies like Blackhawk, Safariland, Desantis and Galco.  It’s normally 9-12 months after a gun comes out, that the holster manufacturers come out with product and that’s always based on gun sales data and demand.   If you buy a Sig Sauer pistol or a Glock, you’re probable going to find more holster options but the more features you want with a holster the fewer your options are going to be.

When it comes to holsters with retention,  people have easily adjusted to either the Blackhawk Serpa holsters or the Safariland ALS holsters.    I tend to let people pick what they want, but if they are new to carrying a firearm, I do voice My issues with the Blackhawk Serpa design.  I’ve used them for years but just like putting Magpul B.A.D. levers on AR15s, you have to pick a mode and stick with it.  Muscle memory is extremely important for safety and under stress, if you’ve never trained for it, is going to nab you in the butt.   I’ve seen people draw firearms from holster and watch them spin in the air because they didn’t have a good grip on it, there are plenty of videos showing gun accidents with the Serpa, and there are also plenty of people that put a 124gr hollow point through their hand when disassembling a Glock.   It happens when you aren’t disciplined and money can’t buy that,  thumbreak holsters aren’t as common now that there is so much to choose from but I’d definitely lean towards the Safariland ALS holsters to start with, they are a bit on the heavy side but they work


Open Carry, Retention, Night Sights and Flashlights, things you need to think about

I’m all for looking for ways to improve whichever firearm you choose to carry, even if you shoot it well on a firing range and it fits your hand, how well will you shoot it in low light? How well do you shoot it in 95F temperatures on a bright sunny day?   Sight pictures with black on black in dark hazy days can mean not having a sight picture and there will be no contrast.   Even the designers of the Trijicon TA01NSN knew to put a front night sight on the backup irons.   Technology is changing and and there are reasons why you should consider updating whatever iron sights you have and even consider putting a light or laser or your firearm.   Sure there is always a balance between lightweight and bulk but even for a home defense firearm, pulling a full size semi-auto having a TLR1 flashlight is a none issue.   There are plenty of really bad stories in the news about people accidentally shooting girlfriends or wives and lighting up your presumed threat might mean not shooting.

Shooting a firearm with a light is very different than shooting without a light, you will have to practice so you don’t pull the firearm off target when you activate the light and under stress, you have to really practice to unlearn this.   I can’t say enough that people need to spend more time with firearm safety training and scenario training because there are just so many bad examples in the news right now of Cops shooting unarmed individuals and these recent South Carolina shooting is just gas on the fire.   I don’t care how decorated you are, we’re talking about defending lives and taking them, whether you are Law Enforcement or non-Law Enforcement.    If you are open carrying, there should always be consideration about levels of retention so you aren’t one of those people that discharges a firearm while sitting on the toilet.   Sounds funny but that bullet is going somewhere and can end of life.    Recently Blackhawk has released the Black Hawk Epoch holster and although it looks like they are still working on broadening which firearms they are manufacturing them for,   Safariland Holsters ALS Holsters that can also give you a Level II holster and can be used as a paddle or belt holster are excellent choices.


We can give you gun holster options, and point you in the right direction

Gun HolstersWe can’t accommodate everyone in this industry because the tactical world is much like the restaurant business.  What do you want for dinner?  Are you for Italian Food, Seafood, going away camping?   There are a lot of advantages with Kydex holsters but we’ve seen so many of them break, that leather still seems to have an edge for longevity, even the cost of various types of leather holsters can vary in quality and features.  I’m still old school with shoulder  holsters, especially when I’m toting a large frame revolver or semi-auto handgun.   The Galco Miami Classics are still very popular with detectives but there are plenty of people buying smaller “off duty” handguns and recently many of our Law Enforcement are looking for Diamondback .380 holsters and Glock 42 holsters.  It always takes awhile for the holster market to catch up to the sales of new firearms but if it’s a good firearm, someone is going to make a holster for it.

If you are looking for leather  holsters, we often point people towards Desantis Holsters, Galco Holsters and Don Hume holsters.   Each of these holsters has different qualities and styles and the vary from expensive to inexpensive depending on the one you want.    If you are looking for inside the waistband gun holsters there nylon holsters like the Elite Survival Systems belt clip holsters which are very universal and fit a lot of firearms and are also ambidextrous.   The Desantis Insider is pretty popular because they are a little over $20 but leather sometimes has its drawbacks in very hot weather.   The new rave seems to be tuckable holsters and Galco Holsters has a pretty big selling rate for the Smith & Wesson bodyguard, check out all of the products we sell and if you don’t see what you are looking for feel free to ask.


Want a light? No, not a Bud Light, a new TLR-1 300 Lumen one and a Holster that takes it!

Safariland HolstersHandguns with TLR-1Probable the increase in holster sales with flashlights is due to all of the technological advances being made and that they are so  much more powerful and durable that if you have a light on your car, your bike or at your front door, why wouldn’t you consider it on your firearm.   Sure I am well aware of the fact that a light on a firearm should not be used as a hand held light because you would never use a weapon mounted light for searching.    The Streamlight TLR-1S has the strobe built into it and I am already aware of two incidences where police did not have to shoot because they were trained to “strobe” someone and used tacticals to subdue the bad guy without firing a shot.   Strobes on flashlights are not going to do the same as a taser or stun gun, but they can buy you a second or more of reaction time.   As a matter of fact, any powerful flashlight can give you a second or two in reaction time, if deployed properly.

Safariland leather duty holsters and concealment holsters are hands down the first place we go when someone wants a handgun light and although there are good companies like Blade-Tech and Desantis, none of them have the selection that Safariland has.   Recently the more “off duty” holsters have been popular with the6378  Safariland Holsters like the 6378 ALS or the 5188 paddle holsters.  It’s all about how much retention you want, as far as I know there is always a level of adjustment to these paddle holsters but the ALS is probable the best “off duty” holster if an Officer is trained to use 6280 style thumb release with the hood.   I would definitely not go back and forth between the Blackhawk Serpa Index finger release and any of the Safariland ALS or other Retention holster.  I think a similar problem can be had by going from an AR15 with a B.A.D. lever on your SWAT Gun and then a standard trigger on your Patrol vehicle, under stress, one mistake can be costly.


Tactical gear for yourself or send your spouse for a gift certicate

Philadelphia Police SuppliesIn this industry, it is so technical that it’s very rare for someone  in the Law Enforcement community to send someone in to shop for them.  We get a lot of last minute buyers when someone finds out they got moved to a SWAT Team or recently got hired to be a  Police officer in the Delaware County, Chester County or Philadelphia Police Department.  Usually customers come in in waves, after Graduations at the Philadelphia Police Academy or the Delaware County Police Academy.   Recently we started getting customers from the Montgomery County Police Academy Training Center.   Each week we’ve been setting up 1 or 2 Police Departments for their Clothing Allowances and logistically speaking, the customers are glad we are here in Delaware County so they can walk in and walk out.  Shopping for tactical pants, shirts and body armor is something that people want to do in-store and not online.

Our 1500 sq ft Broomall, Police Depot and tactical store is in the heart of Delaware County in the Broomall Industrial Park.   We are a stocking dealer for many in the region and we are a good source for Philadelphia Police Supplies from tactical boots from the Original Swat Footwear company, Tru-Spec, 5.11 tactical, ATS Tactical,  Streamlight Flashlights like the Stinger and Strion, which are rechargeable flashlights that the vast majority of Upper Darby, Marple Township and even the State Police are using.  We stock many of the handcuff and Safariland products that new Police Officers will need for their duty gear.  CR123 batters are something we need to keep in store at all times because most local places that sell them are 50% more than what we charge.


Keeping your light on your gun but switching holsters

safariland holstersWe  have a lot of Cops come in here and ask us for paddle holsters that hold the TLR-1S flashlight.   Some of the Pennsylvania State Troopers have recently switched to the Glock 21 but they are using the Surefire X300.   The holsters are going to be different depending on the light you use, but it’s a royal pain for them to have to show up in court and have all of their duty gear on them.   We  had a lot of requests for these holsters and started stocking them.  The problem with dealing with the Safariland product line is that it tends to be on the expensive side and some of the small time dealers don’t stock the real fancy holsters and rarely stock duty gear.

The Safariland 6280 is the most common duty holster in our neck of the woods but it’s not a good CCW or off duty holster.  Nobody wants the rention even if they like Safariland holsters because the duty gear with the retention hood is meant to protect the Officers gun from being used against him or for flying out of his holster during a pursuit.  The Safariland 5188 is the Glock 21 holster that is getting the most use around here and it does work with the Surefire X200 light if you are using that.  Think about the holster you really are looking for before you pickup some odd ball flashlight that nobody makes a holster for.


Tactical holsters, duty holsters and off duty holster options for Safariland

safariland holstersWe’ve expanded our tactical holster line in recent months and really moved away from just CCW style holsters and into a lot of Law Enforcement products.  It seems that a lot of our local Delaware County Police Departments and even Philadelphia Police are not happy with various vendors and then there are also a lot of tactical teams that do different types of training than Patrolmen and want various holsters with flashlights.   Most Patrolmen want to keep their load as light as possible so sometimes tasers and pepper sprays sit back in the locker.   We had some requests for Safariland Level III holsters for Glock 21 and Glock 38 guns so we decided to check out some of their Paddle holsters that hold the TLR1 flashlights.

The Glock 21 seems to have taken over most of the Delaware County and now the Pennsylvania State Police.   The State Police have switched from the Glock 38 to the Safariland holsters that hold the Glock 21.     They are using the Surefire X300 as opposed to most Police in our using the TLR1 Flashlights.   Its sometimes easier for Police to take their duty guns and just use a paddle holster if they have to appear in Court.   We are still in the early stages of figuring out what type of holsters we should stock because just a change on one person at a Police Department can mean a change in firearms and duty gear.   Switching from the Safariland 6280  holster to the 5188-3832 holster is a very easy thing and we have a store full of them for right handed and left handed shooters.

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