With the increasing popularity of red-dot optics on pistols it only makes sense that they are making their way into cops' duty holsters, that is of course now that we have a quality holster to put it in. If you're a cop the odds are pretty good that you've already got a Safariland holster on your hip. They make the overwhelming majority of duty rigs out there today and are well trusted by our community. Why? Because they're affordable and damn near indestructible. I've carried one my entire career, the last several with the ALS retention system.
When my agency decided to introduce an optic-equipped pistol testing program for our SWAT team I was one of the first to make the transition. The list of duty holsters for a Glock 17 with an RMR optic is extremely short. Actually, I think there is only one company making them right now and I'll give you three guesses who.
The 6390RDS is essentially the same holster I've been carrying for years with the simple yet effective ALS retention system. Safariland expanded the iron sights channel to accommodate the taller suppressor sights and the upper slide area to accommodate the optic. At the top of the holster Safariland added a rotating hood that protects the optic from dirt and debris. The rest of the holster is essentially the same with room for the TLR-1 light and the barrel indexing pin at the bottom.
Drawing from the 6390RDS incorporates the exact same mechanics as any other ALS holster. Establish your grip, sweep the thumb retention lever, and pull the gun from the holster. The optic hood is lightweight plastic designed to be pushed aside as the optic clears the holster. When re-holstering the shooter must then manually move the hood back into place. Think of it like the older SLS holsters; it just adds another small movement to your muscle memory.
The hood itself is attached to the holster with two tabs that create the pivot point and are designed to pop off should the hood become stuck. This eliminates the possibility of the hood preventing the pistol from leaving the holster, which would be an obvious safety concern. Should the hood come off the holster it is easily snapped back into place with no tools needed.
I've been carrying my 6390RDS for a few months now and the draw just gets smoother over time. I've had zero issues with either the ALS retention or the protective hood and I have zero doubt this holster, like pretty much everything Safariland makes, will be with me for a very long time. If you're heading down the path of putting an optic on your duty weapon you're going to need one. Take a look at www.safariland.com.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department assigned to the Technical Operations Unit, Special Investigations Section. He has more than a decade of law enforcement experience in patrol, field training, and traffic enforcement.