I recently received a newly designed Safariland holster to test and evaluate. Safariland has been making law enforcement duty and concealed carry holsters for decades and has established a solid reputation as one of the best holster manufacturers in the world.
I’ve previously received holsters from Safariland and other manufacturers, but I’ve never received one packaged in water—until now. Yes, you read right. The holster came packaged in a sealed plastic bag filled with water. Because of this, I actually read the documentation that came with the holster (something I rarely do, at least not until after I’ve played with the holster).
The supporting literature explained that the 7TS holster is made exclusively with a unique proprietary blend from DuPont. The material is rated to withstand heat variances from -50 to 300-plus degrees F. The structural integrity of the holster is actually enhanced by submersion in water, so the packaging wasn’t just a marketing gimmick!
Unlike the majority of holsters, the 7TS doesn’t require the addition of a different material liner. This is because the material used is non-abrasive to a firearm’s finish. As a person who values a gun’s appearance, I appreciate this feature a lot.
Another beneficial design feature is the use of “risers” on the inside of the holster for minimal contact with the firearm. This lack of surface area contact translates into air space around the gun, allowing dirt, debris and moisture to quickly fall free from the weapon and holster.
Retention System & Attachment Options
The package I received included the holster platform and two different options for attachment: a belt carry (product 7377) and a paddle (product 7378). Both attachments are secured to the holster itself via three Allen screws, for which an Allen wrench is supplied.
I wore each style for a couple of days while working a week-long department shoot. Over the course of that time, I drew my sidearm from the holster at least 100 times. I found the holster to ride at just the correct height and angle to allow a smooth, uninhibited draw.
This holster series, like many other contemporary styles offered by Safariland, makes use of its Automatic Locking System (ALS), which is among the best retention systems I’ve ever used. It’s passive in nature: As long as the sidearm is fully seated in the holster (causing an audible “click”), the handgun can’t be removed from the holster unless it’s drawn correctly. Even with the holster turned upside down and violently shaken, the gun remains locked in the holster.
Conversely, the weapon can be rapidly drawn and presented in an efficient, smooth manner. In order to release the locking mechanism, the thumb of the master grip hand must press lightly backward on an unobtrusive, yet easily reachable, release lever. The manner of release is intuitive and aids in attaining a proper grip on the handgun without requiring pressure from the trigger finger, like some other designs do. Due to the spring tension, if the lever is pressed rearward and the handgun isn’t drawn before the pressure is released, the retention is reset. In other words, in a fight for retention of the gun, it’s highly unlikely that a suspect would be able to remove the officer’s weapon from this holster, yet the officer can rapidly draw.
The standard belt loop for the holster comes ready to accept a 1.5-inch wide belt. There are two plastic tabs that can be easily cut to allow use of a 1.75-inch belt, while other product models for this holster will accommodate up to a 2.25-inch belt. The belt mount provides for three different angles: forward, straight down or rearward cant. The change is easily accomplished with three Allen head screws. The belt loop kept the holster close to my body, which aided in concealablity.
Like the belt holster, the paddle holster was comfortable for all-day wear, even while its user is seated or driving. It was also easily concealed and simple to draw from, regardless of whether the user is standing, seated, kneeling or prone. The paddle portion of the holster (the large portion that’s inserted between the wearer’s outer- and underwear) is appropriately rigid, yet flexible enough to conform to the body of the person wearing it.
The 7TS platform is currently available in black or brown with two tactical (drop-down or thigh rig) and three concealment (belt loop, paddle or belt clip) models to choose from. It’s currently only available for 9 mm or .40 caliber Glock (I tested my models 22 and 23) or the Beretta model 92. However, Safariland does intend to provide additional weapon models—hopefully in the near future.
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