Many are aware, but if not – Safariland is having significant issues in getting duty holsters to customers. Given that they are pretty much the only game in town, it’s a problem.
One of the things I was looking for at SHOT this year was options. Alien Gear and Blackhawk were two companies advertising they had them.
Alien Gear, normally a maker of less than wonderful hybrid CCW holsters, was advertising a duty holster in the lead-up to the show.
Went to Alien first, visiting their downstairs booth. What appeared to be one of the duty holsters was sitting on a chair there, but I was directed upstairs to see them.
Looking at and handling the design – it looked injection molded, like the 7T series, but maybe with a “more” porous surface on the non-basket weave models. I could not form an opinion about how it would hold up in terms of weapon retention.
The release mechanism is a downward push by the shooting thumb, like the G-Code SOC and BH Omnivore holster designs. Also, like the G-Code SOC, the release mechanism sends the bale forward and down. Unlike those, it has a guard on either side – front & back – to aid in preventing a release by someone grabbing the gun. I did not check to see how easy it is to try depressing it with the support hand, so I can’t comment on that. It would need to be looked at in testing – like other designs have been.
Speaking with the salesman, I asked about agency testing, use, etc. He told me they sent several pre-production samples to the armorers at a large Midwest police department. Those armorers supposedly gave it a thumbs up and have said they’ll be recommending it. What about weapon retention, defensive tactics, and the like? Recently they have sent production versions to the defensive tactics (arrest & control) instructors at the same agency. Samples had gone OCONUS to a national police agency. And, he mentioned over one hundred domestic agencies have sent T&E requests.
Looks like there are multiple versions: with or w/out a WML, PMO hooded or non-hooded, and plain or BW exterior.
I saw one advertised price for a non-WML, non-hooded version of $119.95. Being retired I’m not sure I’d rush out and buy one for that; maybe if the full featured version shows up below $100.
Blackhawk has deservedly taken a lot of grief over the Serpa. They introduced a new “T” series duty holster that has gone beyond the Omnivore. I don’t recall seeing a PMO version in their part of the booth but there was a WML capatible model (see my photo).
The release is an inward push mechanism with a paddle that looks to sit about where one’s thumb would land if they did not have a frame mounted safety. The covering for the sights/rear of the slide acts as a guard to the front of the paddle. There is a ridge guarding the paddle towards the rear of the holster as well.
It is molded with a finish similar to any other BH holster.
I haven’t seen a MSRP, MAP, etc on it yet. No chance for discussion on whether or not it had been in agency hands yet and what T&E was showing – not that I’d expect to have heard anything other than glowing reviews. Like the Alien Gear holster, if the price was reasonable (and they make it for a M&P w/WML and PMO) I’d be willing to buy one and evaluate it.