Safariland QLS System: Use and Benefits

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

Have you heard of the Safariland QLS system yet? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a cool attachment that makes life much easier for anyone using tactical/duty holsters.

If you’ve ever set up a duty/combat belt and then decided to change or move the holster, you know it can be frustrating because you must take off anything on the belt that’s blocking the holster from sliding off. The QLS system fixes that. It just takes a few minutes to install with the included wrench for the three screws on the back of the holster.

The QLS (Quick Locking System) is an attachment that goes in between the holster and belt loop, paddle, or other attachment point.

Safariland QLS kit.
The Safariland QLS system works with any duty/combat holster that uses the three-hole pattern. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The QLS system will work with any Safariland holster that has a three-hole pattern on the back. Just about all of the duty, military, and tactical Safariland holsters use this pattern.

Before we talk more about the QLS system, however, let’s go over what the attachment points are and how they work with the QLS system.

Holster attachment points

The attachment point is what connects the holster to a person.

Belt Loop Attachment

This attachment comes with most duty/combat holsters and is perfect for attaching the holster directly to a belt. It’s the most secure method for carrying a gun in a holster. For those who need a duty-rated holster, this attachment is required to keep the duty rating.

Safariland tactical holster.
the belt loop attachment is used for duty-rated holsters [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Paddle Attachment

If you want a holster that comes off quickly, this is the attachment you need. The thin plastic paddle goes inside the inside the waist and the holster slides over your pants and belt. This makes it quick and comfortable but is not as secure as a belt loop attachment.

Leg Shroud Attachment

Also known as drop-leg-holsters, a leg-shroud attachment lets the holster ride further down on your leg. This type of attachment is frequently used with a vest or plate carrier. Some gear on vests is bulky and interferes with holsters on the belt loop attachment.

Installing the QLS system

The QLS system consists of two parts, the holster fork and receiver plate.  As mentioned above, it will work with any holster that has a standard three-hold pattern (pictured below).

You can purchase the QLS as a kit which includes the receiver plate and holster fork, or you can purchase them separately. There are benefits to purchasing each part separately which we will discuss in a moment.

Each kit contains all necessary screws and a small wrench for installing it. This process takes three simple steps:

  1. Remove the three screws on the back of the holster which are holding on the attachment point.
  2. Set the attachment point (belt loop or paddle) aside and place the holster fork onto the holster where the attachment point used to be. Replace the screws, being sure not to over-tighten.
QLS holster fork.
The QLS fork mounts to the holster using the three-hole pattern. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

3. Attach the receiver plate on the back of the attachment point (belt loop, paddle, etc.) and secure it with the provided screws.   

QLS receiver plate
Safariland QLS receiver plate with a paddle attachment point. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

With both parts installed, your holster can fit back together by placing the holster fork into the receiver plate. Most duty/combat holsters come with the belt loop attachment point already on them.

A paddle comes with most holsters. To make the most use of both the paddle and belt loop attachment points, purchase an additional receiver plate for the paddle. This will allow you to move the holster from the belt loop attachment to the paddle within seconds.

What are the benefits of using the QLS system?

This system makes your holster more adaptable to other platforms by way of attachment points.

For example, you could purchase one holster for a duty belt and another for a leg shroud (drop leg holster). Using the QLS system allows you to place a receiving plate on the belt loop attachment point and another plate on the drop leg holster. Now, you can move one holster from the belt to the drop-leg holster.

Safariland QLS system.
The QLS system from safarailand. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Additionally, that same holster can be used with a paddle attachment, or a different belt that has the receiver plate as well. If you have more than one holster, having the holster fork installed on both holsters makes it easy to swap one holster for the other.

For example, you may have a holster that fits a Glock 17 and another that fits a Sig P320. With the QLS system, you can simply remove one holster from your belt and attach the other in a matter of seconds.

Legos for holsters

We know the QLS system is sold as a kit or as separate, individual pieces. But you can also purchase the belt loop attachment point, paddle, or leg shrouds separately as well. This makes it possible to set up additional belts, or tactical rigs for use with the QLS system.

Once you are using the Quick Locking System, you can purchase a Safariland holster with the QLS locking fork already attached to it. This makes it quick and affordable to purchase an additional holster that is ready to use with the QLS system when it arrives.  

To make it easy and convenient, QLS kits are available with several options:

  • Kit 1 – (1) QLS 19 Locking Fork and (1) QLS 22 Receiver Plates
  • Kit 2 – (1) QLS 19 Locking Fork and (1) QLS 22L Long Receiver Plates. The long receiver plate allows the holster to ride lower on the belt.
  • Kit 3 (1) QLS 19 Locking Fork and (2) QLS 22 Receiver Plates
  • Kit 4 (1) QLS 19 Locking Forks and (2) QLS 22L Long Receiver Plates

Modular and practical

If you wish to use more than one holster or want to move the holster from one carry method to the other, the QLS system is the most efficient method. It does not compromise the strength of the holster and its connection to the belt or other attachment point.

As mentioned above, all Safariland duty holsters must be attached to a belt loop attachment point to maintain their retention level. Adding the QLS system in between the holster and belt loop attachment does not affect the retention rating. QLS kits range from $37 to $57 and can be purchased directly from Safariland on their website.

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