BlackHawk Omnivore: The Omnivore from BlackHawk is a Kydex holster that comes with both paddle and belt attachments. This allows the holster to be customized for belt width and right- or left-hand configurations. The Omnivore is also able to accommodate the most common weapon-mounted light systems, including the Streamlight TLR-1 and TLR-2 or the SureFire X300 or X300 Ultra. And since it’s made of Kydex, the holster is easy to care for. The Omnivore has a Level II retention system, so the gun can only be released if the wearer wants it to. Retention is accomplished via the weapon’s rail system on light-bearing models. When wearing the Omnivore, the draw is accomplished by pressing downward on a sloped, rubber- padded button. This process is intuitive and won’t slow your draw down. Finally, these BlackHawk holsters will fit over 150 handguns.
Galco KingTuk: Galco’s KingTuk holsters offer comfort, speed and versatility. As the name implies, these highly popular holsters are made to be tucked inside the waistband—even with a Viridian laser on the weapon. Draw your gun and the laser activates. The KingTuk has a comfortable backing plate made of lined saddle leather with a Napa leather front, combined with a rigid Kydex holster pocket for fast draws and easy holstering. The removable metal belt clips (fitting belts up to 1.75 inches wide) can be moved up or down in the corresponding holes in the leather, enabling the user to set the carry height and angle to suit their unique preferences.
Galco Paddle Light: The Paddle Lite holster uses Galco’s proven paddle design and joins it to a holster made from premium center-cut steerhide, and a version is available for instant-on activation a Viridian laser. This holster features Galco’s patented copolymer injection-molded paddle, which makes the holster very secure yet easy to remove and replace without taking off your belt. The holster rides high and close to the body with a butt-forward cant, which offers both good concealment and a fast, easy draw. The thumb-break retention strap combines security with a quick and simple release.
Galco Stow-N-Go: The Stow-N-Go line of holsters from Galco is another series of inside-the-waistband models that facilitates a very fast draw. The reinforced mouth provides for a smooth draw and an easy return to the holster, and one variant turns your gun’s Viridian laser on/off in the process. Securing the holster onto the belt is a sturdy injection-molded nylon clip. The Stow-N-Go carries a right- or left-handed semi-automatic pistol in a vertical orientation with no cant or angle. It can be used for strong-side, crossdraw or appendix carry.
Gould & Goodrich X-Calibur Series: Gould & Goodrich’s X-Calibur holsters offer Level II weapon retention and are made of high-impact polymer with a metal skeleton. The standard (X1000) and light-bearing models (X2000) have intuitive designs that work with your body’s natural mechanics. Drawing the weapon takes a full shooter’s grip, and as you drive your weapon down into the holster, your thumb will naturally engage a lever that releases the patented locking system. Reholstering is accomplished by simply driving your weapon downward until the audible click indicates the patented locking system is engaged. Smooth and basket-weave finishes are available.
Safariland 7TS With CAS: Safariland recently designed a holster system for officers who have to wear cameras while on duty. With the Camera Auto- activation System (CAS), as soon as the gun is drawn from the 7TS Level II or Level III retention holster, the rig automatically activates the VIEVU LE4 body-worn camera, and it retains the last 30 seconds of footage prior to activation. Once activated, the camera won’t stop recording until it’s manually turned off. And for greater reliability, the system is connected with a hard wire for consistent activation. Three different 7TS holster models are available to fit popular handguns.
SureFire MasterFire RDH: SureFire has stepped up its presence in the tactical world with the introduction of the MasterFire Rapid Deploy Holster (RDH). The holster is made of lightweight Kydex, which makes it very durable, and it’s able to secure almost any railed handgun equipped with a SureFire H-Series WeaponLight. A proprietary lug and cam system locks the firearm in place with Level III retention, utilizing both a primary and secondary locking system. The weapon is released when an ergonomic thumb-break is activated for a rapid deployment. Most significantly, unlike most holsters, the MasterFire RDH interfaces with the WeaponLight, not the firearm—so you can use one holster for multiple handguns while sporting suppressors and optics. Another unique characteristic is the light activation switch, which can be set to automatically activate the WeaponLight when the handgun is drawn. This creates a one-move advantage in any combat situation, making manipulations faster and easier. You can also deactivate this feature when it’s not needed. The rig can also be customized for most hand sizes thanks to two included release button adapters, and it can fit up to a 2.5-inch belt. As long as all of your weapons use compatible lights, the MasterFire is the only holster you need.
Viridian TacLoc: Viridian’s TacLoc holster secures your weapon, speeds up your draw and activates a highly effective green laser. The Enhanced Combat Readiness (ECR) system gives the user a rapid response to any incident. Upon drawing, the ECR system ignites your Viridian laser/light unit, targeting, blinding and intimidating any threat in one quick move. The TacLoc is made of Kydex with an auto-locking system that secures the weapon when it’s holstered, providing Level II retention. In one motion, you can draw, activate your laser and be on target.
The 1966 Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” was about gunslingers trying to find a cache of Confederate gold during the Civil War. One of the most memorable scenes involves Tuco—the Ugly—was taking a bath.
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While in the bath, a one-armed gunman enters and says, “I’ve been looking for you for eight months. Whenever I should have had a gun in my right hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.”
On cue, Tuco shoots the man with a gun he had hanging on a rope, hidden in the soap foam. Tuco then utters his immortal line, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
Clearly, holsters weren’t important to Tuco, but having a good holster can mean the difference between success and failure when using a handgun. And holsters have come a long way over the years. With the current threat matrix at an all-time high, every second counts. The more a holster does for you, the less you have to worry about doing. When time is of the essence in a life-or-death situation, you need a holster that’ll increase your odds of surviving. So without further ado, here are some of the fastest retention holsters currently on the market.
For more information about the retention holsters featured above, please visit the following sites.
Galco Paddle Lite
Gould & Goodrich X-Calibur Series
Safariland 7TS With CAS
SureFire MasterFire RDH
This article was originally published in “Tactical Weapons” November/December 2017. To order a copy and subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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