Retention Holsters: What Makes the Ideal Duty Holster



For as long as law enforcement officers have been carrying weapons, retaining those weapons in the field has been a safety concern. Keeping in mind the need for security and drawing speed, presented here are a variety of holster options to help you find the best fit for your on-duty needs.

Uncle-Mikes-Sidekick-Ambidextrous-Hip-HolsterUncle Mike’s Sidekick Ambidextrous Hip Holster

This level 1 retention holster can be worn as an IWB or OWB holster. The secure non-stretch hook-and-loop retention strap and molded thumb break keep the firearm snug. The reversible belt clip makes it ideal for right- or left-handed users and the forward pocket will accommodate a spare magazine. MSRP $33.

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Blackhawk-Level-3-SERPA-Auto-Lock-Duty-HolsterBlackhawk Level 3 SERPA Auto Lock Duty Holster 

SERPA Auto Lock technology allows the user to draw their weapon rapidly under stress, using a natural drawing motion with no unnatural maneuvers or complicated sequences to remember — and no snaps or hoods to accidentally open. MSRP $108.

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Safariland-7TS-ALS-SLS-Mid-Ride-LevelII-Retention-Duty-HolsterSafariland 7TS ALS SLS Mid-Ride Level II Retention Duty Holster

This holster features both Safariland’s SLS (Self Locking System) rotating hood, which allows for a smooth, single motion draw, and the ALS (Automatic Locking System) internal retention device, providing excellent retention with an ergonomic, simple straight-up draw once all releases are deactivated. MSRP $105-178.

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Uncle Mike’s Reflex Holster

exclusive-content-bugThe Reflex Holster securely retains the firearm using Integrated Retention Technology (IRT), which features a retention lug on the outer wall of the holster in combination with a press arm on the body side of the holster. While the IRT secures the firearm in the holster, the shooter can easily release the firearm from the holster by gripping and turning the mag well of the firearm toward the body. MSRP $35. 

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Uncle-Mikes-Thumb-Break-HolsterUncle Mike’s Thumb Break Holster

exclusive-content-bugUncle Mike’s Kydex Thumb Break manufacturing has been brought in house, drawing on Uncle Mike’s own injection molding capabilities, resulting in a high level of quality and consistency at a great price. This holster features adjustable thumb breaks in addition to tension screws, which together or apart meet most departmental standards. The holster’s lead edge was reduced to facilitate use in confined spaces or by people with shorter torsos, and the wearer can adjust the cant to suit several carry locations. MSRP $25.

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Blackhawk-Level-2-Tactical-SERPA-HolsterBlackhawk Level 2 Tactical SERPA Holster

exclusive-content-bugMade specifically to meet the demands of tactical operations, this holster has a drop-leg configuration for the ideal holster location. It comes equipped with a flexible thigh platform that conforms to leg size, a Y-harness suspension system for even weight distribution, and quick-disconnect swivel buckles on belt mounts for superior maneuverability. With passive retention detent adjustment screw and SERPA Auto Lock release, the holster offers immediate retention and audible click upon re-holstering and accommodates a bungee retention system. MSRP $135.

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Crossbreed-Last-Ditch-HolsterCrossbreed Last Ditch Holster

exclusive-content-bugThe Last Ditch is not a true retention holster by definition, but it may be your best chance if you ever find yourself in a situation where things have gone horribly wrong. Designed in response to the direct request of several law enforcement officers to allow them to carry a back-up gun within easy reach and completely concealed, the Last Ditch attaches to the Velcro portion of an officer’s ballistic vest and is further secured by the elastic closure band. The uniform shirt covers both, resulting in a backup option that is accessible by either hand simply by busting open the buttons on the shirt. MSRP $40.

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TacProGear-Universal-Drop-Leg-HolsterTacProGear Universal Drop Leg Holster

exclusive-content-bugTacProGear’s Universal Drop Leg Holster is a fully adjustable drop-leg thigh holster with quick-release belt mount. It features elastic, rubberized leg straps that provide plenty of stability and comfort. A Level I retention system, this holster includes an adjustable thumb break with extra hook-and-loop retention. There is also a front-mounted pouch, ideal to accommodate an extra magazine, knife or light. The TacProGear Universal Drop Leg Holster is available in both right- and left-handed configurations: MSRP $58.

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N82-Tactical-Professional-HolsterN82 Tactical Professional Holster

exclusive-content-bugThe Professional is made of polycarbonate, an extremely durable thermoplastic with 30% more tensile strength and almost double the impact strength of acrylic-polyvinyl chloride, the material used by many of the most popular IWB holsters on the market. Using polycarbonate also allowed for a positive retention IWB holster with N82’s Twist Release System. With the Professional on your side, the body puts pressure against the backing, which presses the firearm against the polycarbonate, which then holds the firearm in place and provides additional security for the retention. Driving a thumb between the holster and the grip, then slightly twisting the grip toward the body releases the trigger guard from the retention bump. MSRP $70.

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Read the full article on duty holsters in the Winter 2013 FOP Journal.

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