Safariland ALS Paddle Holster Review
I ordered a few of these for my store, and being the gear nut that I am I had to try one on to see if I would like it and at the very least be able to tell people about it.
With that, here I sit with an opened package on my desk and my Springfield “GI-Spec” 1911 on my hip.
It’s a comfortable fit and doesn’t pinch or rub where it shouldn’t. The molded plastic paddle has a nice curve to it that fits my waist and doesn’t make my pants stick out flat or pull away from my body.
The molded plastic holster has a suede lining that is supposed to keep holster wear off your firearms, and it appears that it will do the job, though time will tell. The product looks well-made and -designed.
The fit on the molding is spot on for my pistol: There is no wobble or shake of the gun inside the holster. Holstering is nice and smooth and not too tight or loose.
The retention on this holster is a mechanical retention much in line with a SERPA-style holster. Where a SERPA holster catches in the trigger guard, from what I can tell with this Safariland holster, a lever gets pushed up when holstering, then springs back and seems to catch the ejection port on the slide not letting the pistol slide out of the holster. Where this differs mainly from the SERPA is the retention release on this is on the inside part of the holster between the holster and your body where your thumb would naturally fall. To release you simply pull the lever towards the rear with your thumb and draw, negating the finger drag up the side of the holster that gets all too many SERPA shooters in trouble, e.g., a bullet in the leg.
Even with this being a good design and a well-built holster, I find that releasing the retention in a hurry can be a bit tricky. If you pull up on your gun before deactivating the retention lever you lock the gun up in the holster and have to push the firearm back down and try again. Plus being a paddle holster, if you don’t have your belt tight you get a little holster pull when drawing. So we have a good holster for retention and carry, just don’t look to be quick drawing like Wyatt Earp with this thing.
I like the holster for what it is, but I don’t think I’ll swap it out for my leg rig. Having a short waist and long arms doesn’t allow for a comfortable draw for my body type.
This holster also come with a belt loop setup and can be set at a cant if wanted. It is adjustable.
All in all, a well-built holster with a decent design as far as safety goes when drawing, but can be a bit awkward and uncomfortable if you have longer arms. Maybe it would feel better as a cross draw on a heavy cant. I think next I’ll take a look at the new thumb-drive holsters, and see how I like them.