The molded sight
track and soft suede lining help protect the gun’s sights and finish, and the
dual strap leg shroud with mounting holes allows for optional accessories to be
mounted to the rig. The Self Locking System’s rotating hood provides retention
capabilities and its snap-free design allows for a quick and smooth single-motion
draw. The SLS mechanism is composed of stainless steel and chemical-resistant
plastic, and is designed with extra tolerances and clearing ports to function
under extreme environmental conditions.
Like the weapon it
encloses, the SLS mechanism is a mechanical device and could require cleaning
and lubrication if exposed to extremely dirty conditions; mud, dry sand, and
airborne grit may cause the need for additional force to operate the SLS
rotating hood. According to the Safariland brand, these same conditions usually
render the weapon useless before the hood is affected. It is recommended that
the SLS mechanism be cleaned and lubricated every time users inspect, clean,
and lubricate their handguns.
The 6004USN is
currently offered for the following gun models: Glock Models 17 and 22 with and
without SureFire X200/X300 lights and the Model 1911-style pistols with and
without SureFire X200/X300/X400 lights. The SLS is available in STX Tactical®
Black, Foliage Green, OD Green, FDE Brown, or Coyote Brown finishes. The MSRP is
between $205 and $220.
The 6004USN secures to any belt
easily via hook and loop attachments and straps. The holster’s drop can also be
adjusted easily with the use of straps and hook and loop. The two leg straps
are elastic, easily adjustable, and comfortable. The buckles securing the leg
straps are plastic and work well. Other items such as pouches for distraction
devices, blow-out kits, knives or multi-tools, and magazines can also be
attached to the holster via the platform of the holster system.
The SLS holster design is both simple
and secure. During the hands-on evaluation, the Glock was placed in the form-fitting
holster, which held the weapon by the retention adjustment screw at the bottom
of the holster. The weapon was secured in the holster via the top with a thumb
tab and hammer strap.
After inserting the weapon and
maintaining a firing grip with the finger indexed properly outside the trigger
guard, the shooter presses down firmly on the tab with the thumb. This rolls
the hammer strap rearward covering the back of the slide, thus locking the SLS
system and securing the firearm. To draw the weapon, the shooter simply secures
a firing grip, indexes the trigger finger, presses down upon the thumb tab, and
rolls the hammer strap forward, unlocking the SLS system.
The Safariland SLS Tactical
Holster was evaluated on and off for a month, which included four days of
Subject Control Training in the police academy. During this period, the weapon
was drawn in excess of 300 times. Its retention was also tested during ground
fighting and grappling, where the evaluator taught a multitude of techniques
and tactics. In this training theater, the holster kept the weapon secured for
over two minutes while the subject was grappling with a large cadet attempting
to disarm him.
The only negative aspect of the
Safariland SLS is the distinct sound when holstering and drawing. This sound could
potentially be a drawback if the operator is trying to be covert and is
required to draw a sidearm during a mission. Overall, the Safariland 6004USN SLS
Tactical Holster is an excellent system, which any tactical operator should
consider before purchasing a rig for their handgun.
Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the Brook Park, Ohio
Police Department and a frequent contributor to
Published in Law and Order, May 2014