Who would have thought years ago that the hunk of hardened and shaped leather we wear on our hips would evolve from a simple holster into a high-tech, lightweight firearm retention device? Not me.
Back then I had a push-button clamshell rig and figured it would last me through the next 20 years. It didn't. In lineup, before hitting the field, the new sport became reaching over to your buddy's holster and pushing the button. The sound of the spring-loaded outer clamshell popping open and the revolver striking the floor got everyone's attention. Thank goodness there were no accidental discharges.
But it made a lot of us think. If Officer "Jerry Lewis" could make my gun drop to the floor so easily, so could a not so funny bad guy.
Next in level of importance of safety equipment to your firearm is your duty holster. Every year a tragic number of officers are gunned down with their own weapons, after street thugs or deranged subjects grab their holsters.
This is why many of the leading manufacturers of duty holsters have put so much time and effort into upgrading the security features on their products. Using high-tech materials and innovative designs, holster makers have created a number of models that enhance weapon retention without hindering the wearer's ability to draw and fire quickly and accurately.
The following is a gallery of some of the best new duty holsters available to law enforcement officers. As detailed in the discussion of their features, these holsters display some of the latest innovations in design and materials.
If you're a working cop out on the mean streets and you're concerned about weapon retention, maybe it's time to break out the cutting torch, open your wallet, and get yourself a state-of-the-art, 21st-century duty rig.
Aker Leather Products
Aker Leather Products' "Blue Line" holsters were developed to meet the demanding requirements of a major U.S. federal agency. Each Blue Line is fitted with a thumb break retention strap that is backed up by an adjustable tension screw at the trigger guard. It attaches to the standard equipment belt (21/4 inches) with a steel-reinforced leather drop-loop hanger. The Blue Line is available in a standard or high-ride configuration, and is available for most semiautos. This Nichols design holster is made of top-quality cowhide and features a heavy-duty leather overlay that reinforces the rig at key points. The suede protects your gun's finish and a full-length sight channel protects your front sight from damage and misalignment.
SL3.2.1 SpeedLok Holster
Bianchi’s new SL3.2.1 SpeedLok Holster brings duty weapon security to a whole new level. You can actually lift an officer off the ground by the butt of his or her gun and never get the holster to release the gun without pushing the SpeedLok Lever. You just holster your duty weapon, and it’s secured. There is no requirement for engaging any external devices. Equally important, with SpeedLok, there is no requirement for can-ting, twisting, turning, or contorting of the duty weapon as part of the drawing motion. You simply deactivate the SpeedLok device and use a natural, straight up draw. The SL3.2.1 SpeedLok Holster is available in Accumold and Accumold Elite for just about any standard duty weapon.