All posts tagged Tactical Holsters

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.


Looking for a holster with a light? There really aren’t a lot of good options but Blade Tech Holsters might have it

Blade Tech HolstersWe’ve heard about Blade Tech for years but after finally getting to check out some of their holsters, they really are worth looking at especially if you are looking for a holster that you can have a TLR1 type of light on it.   We hear about all of the custom kydex companies but there are always wait times, and I personally have seen more than a few that just didn’t cut it in the durability department, but if you have the time, there are training courses you can take where you can learn how to do it yourself.    I have yet to jump on the Handgun/Light Combo because it’s more bulk than I think I need for every day carry, but since most Flashlights especially the Streamlight TLR-1S have some much of a higher output, you are really getting a good return on your investment, and more and more of our local Police Departments  have Officers that are using them.

There is a certain amount of training you should go through if you are putting a light on  your handgun and we’ve heard from several State Police  Firearm Instructors that a lot of guys are having trouble shooting their pistols accurately and activating the lights because they are putting pressure on the switches while trying to grip and fire the gun, so don’t just throw it on and think you are going to be fine.   Check out what Blade Tech holsters has to offer and if you are a Glock person, they definitely seem to be fans of those firearms and there are inside and outside the waistband holster options that won’t break the bank and you won’t have to wait 3-6 months to get them.   They also have several Sig Sauer holsters and I expect to see more Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield XD holster options.


The good thing about the Safariland product line

Safariland holstersThe 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.


How many options should I consider when deciding on a paddle holster?

Safariland holstersWe get tons of people walking in the door hear looking for a holster that they can use for their gun with a light attached to it.  The majority of the time it’s the Surefire X300 or the Streamlight TLR-1, TLR-2 or sometimes the TLR-4 light.    Every police department in our area has some variation of those light either on their AR15, G36 or their handguns.    There are a lot of options out there for paddle holsters and in 2014 we will be bringing in more and more of the Fobus gun holsters and the Safariland holsters.  One thing we’ve learned is if you don’t have a Glock, 1911 or a Sig 229, Sig 226 or Sig 220.   You are going to be limited to customer kydex or a very few manufacturers.

We have a large number of customers that want something other than the Blackhawk Serpa and when it comes to light attachments, they are very limited.   There are going to be big increase in the number of Safariland holsters in our inventory this year because so many CCW holders are using them because they are much sturdier than Fobus gun holsters.  They are more expensive but I have yet to have someone walk in the door with a broken gun holster.  Even the local State Police are buying our holsters because they have switched from the Glock 38 to the Glock 21 like many of our local Police have.


Check out the ever expanding Rogue Elite Tactical Product line

fobus holstersNew this fall we will be bringing on the Aimpoint and Fobus product lines into our 1500 sqft tactical store along with several items from Tru-Spec and Warwick Mills.   We have dealt with several distributors over the last 9yrs and it’s gotten to the point that instead of waiting for stock to arrive, and have to deal with fighting over inventory from other dealers, it was time to start stocking the stuff directly.   There are always changes and improvements to product lines and not getting stuck with a dud product or making sure you have the newest version of something is very important.  Just this year alone we saw some major improvements to our holster and tazer product lines and LED Technology for flashlights has improved by about 85%.  Sometimes holster companies don’t have the accessories up to date with the batons, flashlights, magazine pouches ect that people want.

There have been situations where we have asked customers to look into getting a customer kydex holster becaues there needs were beyond what many manufacturers could make.   Many of our Law Enforcement sometimes have an issue with a holster breaking and just need a quick fix for a range day and that is often where Fobus Holsters come in.   I have a Fobus holster for every Glock firearm, Sig Sauer 228, 229 and Sig 220 that I own.   There are some retention holsters that I may look into picking up since we are a direct dealer now.   The new E2 holster has more flexability when it comes to adjusting your retention which was a common complaint about some of the earlier paddle holsters.


Leather holsters, best looking?

galco holstersYes, I admit it, there have been times I have picked out a holster just in the same way that women pick out shoes for a night  out on the town.  I have some really nice shoulder holsters that I have picked up from Galco that I use when I go up to the mountains or go to the mall and have a heavy winter coat on.  I really like carrying full size semi-autos but you really feel it when  you carry for very long or have to sit in a car.  We have a  lot of Police Officers tell us they hate getting in and  out of a car with some of their duty holsters because they ride up when they sit down.    Police officers no longer just carry handcuffs, a gun, and a baton.  They have radios, cells phones, tazers and more.   Finding a way to make it more comfortable to carry a firearm is something that Galco leather has done.

Probable the most popular gun holsters out there is the Miami classic shoulder holster.  This was probable Galco Holsters most famous image when the Miami Vice TV show was on the air.   I see plenty of Federal Agents carrying the Sig 229 DAK and the Glock 19 in this type of holster and recently we had several detectives and special agents still sporting this type of shoulder holster.   Most good shoulder holsters will be about $100 although you can get them much cheaper if you go with a nylon design.  There are big differences in the shoulder support of a holster and some of the reviews about these in the past have been repeated by many of my peers.   Some designs really cut into your neck and shoulders so you really have to put one on and make sure it works for you.


Summer and Winter carry and when do paddle holsters work?

fobus holstersThere are some really big differences between each type of paddle holster and not all kydex qualities are the same.   I’m not a big fan of kydex holsters that don’t have metal clips.  I tested out a few styles and most of them failed.   Even with a good gun belt some holsters will eventually wiggle off the guy when you are crouched in certain positions.  I had a Sig 239 pop off a belt when I was bending over and that caused serious concern.  All of the Law Enforcement officers in our store have caused for concern about having guns that don’t have sturdy holsters securing them and for Police, getting  killed by your own gun is something that statistics show does happen.  There is a level 2 holster from Fobus that is a thumb drive design.

The Fobus DB series of holsters is a thumb drive holster that also can be locked and this prevents anyone from just being able to hit the release button and then pull the gun out.  In a recent discussion with Fobus holsters about expanding our product line, we got feedback from corrections officers and prisoner transports.  They informed us that it’s not that uncommon for bad guys to already have handcuff keys or to know how to pick handcuff locks and many of those same people are going to know how to release a Safariland retention holster or a Blackhawk Level 2  holster.   Level 3 is a life saving holster design and one that gives lots of confidence.


Years of selling Blackhawk holsters

Blackhawk serpa holstersBlackhawk holsters on Sale for Glocks, Sigs, Beretta and Springfield XDs.Blackhawk holsters are used by Law Enforcement and Military.  Blackhawk holsters are superbly designed for serious use. The Blackhawk locking system is the most secure way of avoiding a mishap while being out in the field. We’ve seen plenty of novice shooters on the range loose sidearms during training sessions. The Serpa locking system is easily by the index finger which is in the safe position and above the trigger while being released. We have found it to be superior to the older thumb break design. Blackhawk concealment holsters come in a matte or carbon fiber finish. All Blackhawk CQC holsters come in paddle or belt loop designs.

If you are a Carbine Operator, the Blackhawk Serpa Level II holster is the #1 selling leg holster rig for those that need to carry a secondary weapons system.   Secondary firearms are locked in a secure holster Blackhawk Serpa holsters that are  easily retrieved and stays out of the way of your primary weapon.   Sling snags ect can be a common problem when too much gear becomes stored on a tactical vest and even the Blackhawk Omega holsters work very well in this platform.   Belt holsters and paddle holsters work for Concealed Carry and Defensive training classes and will hold up to the rolling and running that most extreme training courses demand


Holsters, comfort and holster and angles

fobus holstersIt was a recent discussion in our tactical store that angling a holster forward really was more about FBI guys that were sitting in their cars and didn’t want the grips to dig into their seats.   I have had some issues drawing my pistol in this angle because sometimes I’ve felt my fingers get way too close to the trigger and slip.  Roto holsters give you a little bit of flexibility and we all know how hard it is to get a holster to fit you without trying it out for awhile.   If you are in a car you may want a forward leaning angle and if you are standing most of the time a straight angle.

There have been times I carried full sized autos and if I had my Wilderness 5 stitch instructor belt on I didn’t have any issues with the weight, but with the wrong belt, it would sag.   I am a big fan of the Fobus holsters product line, and not because they are my favorite, they are the easiest and best holster to start out with.  Their paddle holsters are very inexpensive and always the first thing we sell to someone who is taking their first firearms training course.  Paddle holsters are easier to adapt to than dealing with break  in periods with far more expensive leather or customer kydex holsters.


More Blackhawk vs Safariland

We have a very long and growing list of Law Enforcement officers coming into our store with broken or worn out parts, and 95% of the time it means going back to our Safariland product book and flipping through the pages to find the right part.  There are so many variations of guns out there and slight contour differences that mean you need a new holster.   With many products this takes research and patience to get it right the first time.  There have been changes to guns, holsters and even Streamlight flashlights but it’s almost impossible to keep up to date with it. In fact one of our distributors even acknowledged that they don’t have the man power to keep their website up to date with all of the correct product info.

This year we are breaking from the drop shipping policies and moving more toward stocking the parts and accessories that we know people are going to need.  Some of the Blackhawk and Safariland holsters that we carry are the products that are the most demanded.  For instance, most departments around here use the Glock 17 and the Glock 21 so we usually stock the duty and drop leg holsters that they need.   Some of these holsters can cost over $140 so stocking the correct items and not getting stuck with a dead product they collects dust for years is something we try to avoid.

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