7053 7TS ALS: The Safariland Shoulder Holster

— Travis PikeCADRE Dispatch

Shoulder holsters might not be as cool as they once were, but back in the days of Don Johnson and Miami Vice, they were the bees’ knees. These days, the cool kids are wearing mid-ride duty rigs or appendix carry holsters.

Personally, I’m still a fan of shoulder holsters. Maybe it’s because of my Miami Vice enjoyment, or maybe it’s because I’m a big dude, and most vehicles really cramp where I can put a gun. Either way, when I saw that Safariland has a shoulder holster, I couldn’t help but grab a 7053 7TS ALS Shoulder Holster and give it a try with my Glock 19. 

safariland shoulder holster under the arm
An all-polymer holster is new for shoulder rigs.

Shoulder holsters have a number of benefits that are often ignored. They take the gun off the waist and place it under the shoulder, making it more accessible when you are in the seated position. I like them for road trips and days when I’ll be stuck in a car longer than I’d like. They also make it easy to conceal a larger-than-average gun. Carrying a Glock 19 with a weapon light isn’t tough. 

The downside is the need for a dedicated cover garment, like a jacket or light button-down shirt. The 7053 takes a minimalist route, so an open button-down shirt works well for concealment.

The other complaint is a slower-than-average draw. Admittedly, I can draw in about a second from the appendix, but it takes about 1.5 seconds to draw from my shoulder holster. Another downside related to the quality of the holster is comfort, but that has more to do with the manufacturer than the shoulder rig concept. 

Breaking Down the 7053 

The 7053 is one of the more minimalist shoulder holsters on the market. It’s made up of the SafariSeven material, which is a proprietary polymer blend. Most shoulder rigs are soft-designed and use leather or nylon. As we know, those materials aren’t quite as strong as polymer options, and it’s interesting to see a modern polymer option for an old-school carry rig. 

Rear of 7075 shoulder holster
The 7075 is a minimalist design.

The holster features a wide and soft material strap on the side that holds the gun. This thicker strap provides more support and comfort for the weight of the gun. It is adjustable via hook and loop sliding tails so you can raise or lower the height of the holster pretty easily.

The 7075 shoulder holster with Glock 19 and cuff
The 7075 features a nice comfy cuff.

The cuff splits off into an elastic band that loops over the other arm. This cuts tons of size and weight in a very interesting way. It’s somewhat simple but surprisingly comfortable. It’s easy to set up and makes it easy to throw the holster on and off. It’s largely adjustment-free in terms of shoulder/back width.

The band stretches as necessary. I’m a big dude, and the elastic band doesn’t cut into me or feel like it’s being pulled to its extremes. 

Elastic band of 7075
The elastic band goes on your dominant arm and is surprisingly nice.

On the Draw 

The 7053 series also uses the ALS system. Most shoulder rigs utilize a leather thong with a snap and a button to secure the weapon. This creates a challenge when it comes to accessing the gun. You have to defeat the button and then draw. 

The ALS provides an active retention device that locks the gun into the holster. This replaces your leather snap with a much more intuitive system. When you reach for your draw, your thumb will naturally fall on the ALS device. 

Als nub
The ALS nub makes unholstering the gun a breeze.

A downward press defeats the device, and you can draw the gun super easily. This system is super intuitive and makes it really easy to free the gun. Admittedly, at first, the device was extremely stiff. It took a little work, but the device eventually moved easily and began to release the gun without any real effort. 

With practice I became quite quick at the draw. In no time I drove down my time to draw to 1.5 seconds, and my top speed was 1.35 seconds.

Front of holster
You can adjust the height and cant of the holster

One of the big benefits of a shoulder rig is how easy it is to draw from in nearly any position. This includes seated, standing, taking a knee, behind cover, and more. 

With my left arm high and out of the way, I could grab the gun with my right hand and get it into action quite intuitively. The holster is cut and trimmed to allow for a nice high grip on the gun without anything getting in the way. Assuming a proper grip isn’t difficult. 

Drawing the gun from 7075
The 7075 makes drawing easy.

Another positive and often overlooked feature is the ability to reholster. It’s easy to push the gun back into the holster. Other holsters with snaps and soft material can require two hands to reholster and are way less intuitive than the 7053. 

Carrying the 7053 

I’m taking advantage of the remaining parts of winter and carrying the 7053 under my jacket. I carry a fully loaded Glock 19 with a Nightstick weapon light. That’s a fairly larger and hefty setup compared to something like the smaller Glock 43X. 

The 7075 sits under the arm
Drawing from the 7053 is easy and smooth.

The weight of the gun never feels like it’s dragging me down and pulling at my shoulder. The thick cuff offers excellent support that keeps the gun riding high and tight for long periods of time. The big gun never feels like a weight pulling me down. 

The 7053 should rig allows for super easy adjustment. I like the gun to ride a little high and tight to my armpit. This helps with concealment and keeps the gun from swinging and becoming an irritant. Overall, it’s super comfortable. 

Adjustable cuff
The 7075 features adjustable shoulder straps.

I was skeptical of the elastic band and worried it would eventually cause some pain. Surprisingly the elastic band didn’t eat at me and didn’t rub. 

Like any shoulder rig, it gets a little warm, and the holster can rub your armpit and side of your body after a dozen hours of carry, but it’s never noticeably painful. 

Modern Miami Vice 

This might be the most modern shoulder holster on the market. If something more advanced than the 7053 exists, then I’m not currently aware of it. The polymer holster with the ALS device makes it super intuitive and less prone to failure. 

A fairly fast draw is possible, and the holster is surprisingly comfortable. The 7053 shoulder rig is perfect for those niche situations where a shoulder rig simply makes sense.  

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