Making a retention holster in the era of the modular weapon system—handgun with lights and optics—requires the designer to rethink how to lock the gun in the holster.
“When you start to attach more things to the firearm, then you find that the previous engagement surfaces like the front of the trigger guard no longer can get the purchase we need because we are starting to change its dimensions,” says James Fairfield, director of training and product support for the Gould & Goodrich brand of Point Blank Enterprises.
While developing Gould & Goodrich’s newest retention holster, the T.E.L.R. (pronounced “teller”), Fairfield decided that the best feature to use for locking a handgun equipped with lights and optics into a holster was the ejection port. That’s why the new Gould & Goodrich holster goes by the name T.E.L.R.; the acronym stands for “Thumb Activated Ejection Port Lock Retention.”
Fairfield says designing a retention holster to accommodate an optic can be especially difficult. “Everybody in the industry is challenged by that because it can compromise the body of the holster. There’s a fine line between reducing the holster body to accommodate the optic and maintaining the structural integrity of the holster,” he says.
The structural integrity of the Gould & Goodrich T.E.L.R. holsters has been thoroughly tested. Each of the holster models has been subjected to a pistol retention testing protocol that involves six directions of pull and instant shock loads. They have yet to fail under conditions that officers could realistically encounter in a gun grab attack.
The company says the toughness of the holsters are a result of the joining of the strengths of Gould & Goodrich and its parent company Point Blank. “Creating this holster involved a combination of the duty durable DNA of Gould & Goodrich and the innovation, resources, and drive of Point Blank,” says Scott Nelson, president of Gould & Goodrich.
T.E.L.R. holsters are available in a variety of different models and in two different retention levels. The Level One models feature the ejection port locking system without additional retention methods. The Level Three T.E.L.R. Holster features a hood that covers the top of the firearm as one method of retention in addition to the ejection port locking system that is standard on all T.E.L.R. models.
Fairfield, a retired SWAT officer, recommends that officers become familiar with the mechanisms on the T.E.L.R. before placing it on their belts. In a video on the Gould & Goodrich website, he demonstrates how to draw from the Level Three T.E.L.R. The hood is rolled down off of the pistol with the thumb. Once the hood is rolled down, the shooter’s natural grip should place their thumb on the thumb release, which releases the ejection port lock, and facilitates a smooth draw. “ There is no crazy manipulation involved,” Fairfield says. When you replace the pistol in the T.E.L.R. holster, you should hear an audible click as the ejection port locking engages.
Fairfield recommends that once you put the holster on your belt you should practice drawing and firing from a variety of positions until you feel comfortable with it. “For some officers it will take 50 rounds and for others 100 rounds, everybody will be different,” he says.
Gould & Goodrich T.E.L.R. holsters are available in duty and off-duty models and in fits for the SIG P-320 and for the most popular Glock duty and concealed carry pistols. The holsters range in price from $59 to $135, depending on features. .