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.
This is a sensitive debate because there is plenty of proof that a lack of training with any mechanical device, gun holster, Magpul Accessory ect, will lead to accidents or to mechanical failure. Any operator that does not have the discipline to keep their finger off the trigger while racking the slide is eventually going to have an ND and pushing the Blackhawk Serpa on them in My personal opinion a really bad idea. I’ve seen enough novice behavior on firing ranges to know that range time and muscle memory isn’t something that will always come quickly and there are other retention holsters for Law Enforcement or CCW that are entry level yet still excellent holster.
Now that so many guns are being made with accessory rails, making sure you get the correct holster fit is going to mean double checking all of your specifications. Safariland has a very good holster fit guide on their website that will help narrow down all of the available Safariland Holsters so you will know if they even have a holster for you if you are looking for one for your M&P or Springfield XD and want a TLR1, TLR2 or Surefire X300 flashlight on it. There are a lot of reason to go with a Sig Sauer, Beretta 92, Government 1911 or Glock firearm if you want a light on it because even though Safarilands product line is vast, they don’t make holsters for every firearm design out there.
The good thing about Safariland’s product line is they probable have the best selection of CCW and Duty holsters for the majority of medium to large frame firearms. My experience with them is they are not outrageously priced and can be a bit on the heavy side, but at least you can get a holster. Now that so many people are getting compacts and sub-compact firearms for off duty, it is an issue that takes a lot of patience and research to find a holster and probable 10% of the time we just tell our customers they might want to look into getting a custom kydex holster instead of buying a factory made holster and finding out they don’t like it. We have been stocking more and more of the Safariland holsters for Glocks and Sig Sauer handguns because so many people, including our own State Police are using the Surefire X300 on their Glock 21s and want an off duty holster that also holds the light.
Safariland probable has the best holster fit guide where you just click through the questionnaire and answer things like, Manufacturer, caliber, barrel length and if you want a light. There are more left handed Safariland holsters than the Blackhawk Serpa product line and you can also use a non-xiphos flashlight in them. The xiphos flashlights are really a bad idea and I can’t name a single person that likes the light, let a lone the Blackhawk Serpa/Xiphos combination. I saw a holster design last year for a new Flashlight option from Blackhawk but it was not available for many firearms and is an endless issue for Police or Citizens trying to use the same gun. If you are using or want a Streamlight TLR1,TLR2 or Surefire X300U, your best bet is to research the Safariland product line.
This year was a very successful year for us in the Delaware County area in launching our tactical store and we double the size of our business in the first 6 months. People are still finding out about us via word of mouth whenever they need a new holster, police boots or even just Ambulance companies hiring and people needing to get a pair of pants. Much of the product line we stock in our store is for people to checkout instead of buying it online. Duty gear like handcuff keys and various police belts are things that people in the Law Enforcement industry lose or wear out over time and are always in need of. Police vests, tactical pants, uniform pants, belts, hydration unites, SWAT team bags are things that are always wearing out and need to be replaced.
We’ve learned there are so many types of handcuffs, swivel and hinged doesn’t always narrow it down, some are different weights and types of metal. The items we have brought in this year are the Safariland lightweight handcuffs and in our region there are no Philadelphia Police Supplies shops around here and many of our Law Enforcement Officers are very happy to see a business like this open up. Tactical vests, body armor are all things people need to be sized up on and this is something that has to be done right so that there are fewer returns. We stock a large number of Blackhawk serpa holsters, safariland products, pepper spray, mace, tasers, batons, police badge holders and more and more duty gear.
We get phone calls from customers that ask very broad questions and sometimes it’s apparent that people just want to know we’re open and when they can stop buy. The whole point of having a showroom here in the town that we have one, was because there are a great many things that people don’t want to buy online. There are all kinds of parts and accessories that also Police and Security agencies lose or wear out. Identify badges, leather wallets, key chains, handgun keys and the list goes on. A few days ago we had mace pouches that we had to fit to various pepper sprays because the fit had to be perfect and not just hold it, it had to hold it correctly so it would be easily secured and deployed.
Handgun and flashlight holders are all different in style and fit. We’ gone through a long list of accessories and flipped through the Safariland holsters and accessories book that we got when we became a dealer. The differences between a holster that worked for you and a holster that was kinda working are slight and some safety issues can come about if you don’t go by product codes or get technical support. Even the differences between a streamlight Strion, Stinger ect can be vest because the bezel or lenses have different dimensions. Sometimes it’s nice to just be able to go in and ask questions from someoone that knows what they are doing.
Now that so many people do their shopping on Cyber Monday or just order things from Amazon and Ebay, many small business have been put out of business. One thing that hasn’t changed though are returns and exchanges. Sometimes people mis ready technical details about the size of a product or they order a wrong color. When it comes to buying shoes and certain types of clothing, people really want to walk in a shop, hold it in their hands and then walk out the same day. We’ve had several people tell us that we should stock certain products and many of our nearest competitors do now. Nobody wants to walk in a retail store, order something online and then go back in and pick it up when you can easily go home and look it up on google and get it in a couple days.
With holster sizes, flashlight and laser accessories its very hard to know what you are getting with a gun holster. In the area we are in we draw a lot of customers looking for Philadelphia Law Enforcement supplies that are willing to drive several hours just to try it on and get it right the first time. You can be one size in on line of tactical apparel but another size or in between sizes with another and only when you are standing in front of a mirror will you know if it’s for you. Whether you’re looking for a gun holster for your Glock 21 with a TLR-1S light or a new pair of boots, we stock most of what local law enforcement personnel are looking for.
Not only have we finished setting up our new tactical shop here in Broomall, we are getting setup for the Fall outwear promo with TruSpec. This year Gunny will be releasing his own tactical pant from TruSpec and we were happy to hear that this tactical pants has a gussetted crotch. This has probable the only consistent complaint we got about the TruSpec pants. They really are comfortable to wear and the pockets are very unique. The material designs make it an easy transition from 5.11 tactical pants to the TruSpec design because they are both a polyester cotton blend. Its hard to find places to try stuff like this on but now we have a location here in Southeaster Pennsylvania.
Tru Spec has a big 2 month long outerwear promotion going on from October 1st to November 30th and it will be a good time to stop in early October to get the best deals and selections. There aren’t too many places to tryout things like this and Philadelphia Police and Security Supplies doesn’t usually mean that you are selling tactical pants. Many stores that market that mostly deal with uniforms and the like but we are a full stocking dealer for Tru spec pants, jackets, vests, shorts and jackets. We are located in the Broomall Industrial Park just right off of 476 South. We are open Tuesday- Friday 12am-6pm and Saturday’s 10am-5pm.
I remember when Glocks started showing up in Law Enforcement agencies and people were claiming that they were more dangerous than previous firearms that were issued. Supposedly they were sold as not having a safety and from what I saw, yes, I actually did see more accidents over a course of a year when they first were issued. Now that Glock pistols have decades long experience you can’t argue with something that obviously works and work well. The military issued sidearm the Beretta 92 or M9 as it is called defanitely is not up to what the Glock can do and by watching what military contractors are using.
The Glock trigger safety really should not be called a safety because it does not work like a traditional safety at all. It is more of an accidental discharge prevention safety but a top selling Safariland holsters with the ALS system are the reason we refer to the Glock as an unsheethed knife. If a Glock is put in a retention holster it is like sword that has been sheethed. There are always trade offs with firearms but it truely is an out of the box point and shoot sidearm. Love them or hate them, they work, and work well
We have been selling far more Blackhawk holsters than ever before but several Law Enforcement Agencies that we deal with have bad mouthed them and have told us that they have banned them from training classes. There are flaws in the Blackhawk system and it is true that a dirty locking system will cause the gun to get stuck and it will be difficult to retrieve, but the funny thing about the videos that are floating around YouTube are that if you did the same thing to an M16, the gun would jam up also.
Many of our Special Forces and Law Enforcement still prefer the Safariland holsters although they do seem a little bulkier than other holsters. There really are duty holsters and for the most part Safariland Holsters are best for that job. People that bash locking holsters need to take new students to a range and have them use thumb break holsters and you’ll see in about 5 minutes that Safariland and Blackhawk designs are superior. Not only is it about being able to get your firearm out quickly, it’s also about locking the gun in place so it doesn’t fly out when you have to run or are in an altercation.