Security Mechanisms

Safariland® and Bianchi® holster models offer a variety of security devices that provide firearm retention, stability and security.

Security Mechanisms Explained

The ALS is often called a thumb release or lever, and it sits to the inside of the body of the holster against the user. The system uses an internal locking mechanism that secures the gun in all directions simply upon re-holstering. To release the firearm from a positive lock, the operator must press the lever back. Once the device is released, the weapon can be drawn straight out of the holster with no twisting or other motion required. Additionally, holsters with this ergonomic design are completely operable with the thumb, and the straight up draw makes them very instinctive to use. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The ALS® guard provides additional security for select ALS® concealment, tactical, and duty holsters. This device covers the ALS lever to prevent any accidental or unauthorized use. It can be retrofitted onto existing ALS holsters without the SLS System. The ALS Guard can be added to the ALS to achieve Level II Retention. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The ALS/SLS combination provides an extra measure of security. Safariland’s patented ALS locks the firearm into place immediately upon holstering, while the SLS rotating hood and tension device ensure added security. The ALS/SLS can be elevated to Level IV Retention™ with the addition of the Sentry. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The dual spring closure provides firearm retention and stability, with a thumb break over the back of the handgun and another around the trigger guard. The second strap keeps the handgun in place, and from falling forward out of the holster. The dual spring closure is used in the #X-15® vertical shoulder holster.

An elastic loop retainer is an elastic band that wraps over the back of the pistol, or the top of equipment to provide secure retention. To disengage, it has to either be disconnected or moved out of the way.

The FingerLok™ mechanism is a spring loaded cam lever that locks onto the trigger guard of the handgun.  The release lever is positioned behind the trigger guard enabling the user to deactivate it by depressing it with a sweep of the middle finger as a natural part of the drawing motion. The result is a smooth and efficient draw stroke that does not require any unnatural movements. The FingerLok device automatically engages the pistol’s trigger guard as the user reholsters the gun.

A flap covers the entire back of the handgun, and typically has a clasp which needs to be undone to lift the flap. The flap protects the handgun from the elements and are commonly found on military holsters.

The GLS is a unique retention device in which the middle finger is used to release the firearm. With a proper shooting grip, the middle finger sits directly on the GLS lever. During the draw, the lever is depressed allowing for a smooth and easy straight up draw out of the holster. GLS holster models offer a low profile and compact design, perfect for concealability. The low cut sides allow for a rapid draw and easy re-holstering. The SafariSeven™ construction provides excellent fit in a durable, lightweight holster.

The Model 6000 Hood Guard is a uniquely designed accessory providing protection for the SLS holster system. It will adapt to any SLS holster. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The Model 6002 is a combination of the Hood Guard and Sentry. The Hood Guard provides added protection to the SLS holster system while the Sentry increases the retention level by one. It attaches to any SLS holster. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The PRD™ (Pinch Retention Device) is an internal device that secures the firearm by gripping onto both sides of the trigger guard when the gun is fully seated in the holster.  Made of a durable, high-tech polymer, it offers enhanced retention and allows the user to feel when the handgun is fully seated in the holster. It holds the firearm firmly in place until the user is ready to draw. It offers added security with a smooth, instinctive draw.

The Model 6001 Sentry Guard provides additional security to the SLS holster system. It attaches to any SLS holster and increases the level of retention by one. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The SLS utilizes a rotating hood retention device, which allows for a smoother, single-motion draw and greater protection against attempted weapon takeaways. To unlock the mechanism, the user rotates the hood forward as they obtain the shooting grip, and holds it in the unlocked position, which allows an opening to draw the firearm from the holster. The SLS strap has a ridge (a small flat purchase surface) along the inside area next to the operator. The ridge or button must be pushed down and then forward to flip the SLS strap out of the way, thus allowing the gun to be drawn. Rated for retention on duty models only.

The traditional thumb break or thumb snap, first designed by John Bianchi in 1960, features a strap that wraps around the hammer area of the handgun front to back securing the holstered firearm. The back part is typically steel reinforced, allowing for the thumb to push back towards the body to release the snap upon the draw.

The thumb break with double lock includes a secondary retainer strap for a double lock on the thumb break.

The thumb Break/PRD™ uses a combination of the thumb break snap and PRD (Pinch® Retention device) to provide secure retention of the handgun.

The holster is molded closely around the trigger guard creating a tension fit. Sometimes, there is an adjustment screw that allows you to set the tension level.

The trigger guard lock is an adjustable mechanism on competition holsters that locks onto the front of the trigger guard. With a simple push to the front, the lock secures the handgun into the trigger block, retaining the gun in the holster, and allowing competitors to move around the range. With a simple slide to the rear the trigger block is unlocked, allowing for a fast and efficient draw. The tension on the device can be adjusted from strong to prevent the gun from to being drawn at all, to extremely light once the user prepares to draw.

Note: Trigger guard lock can also refer to a lock that encapsulates the trigger guard so that the trigger cannot be accessed. It usually requires a key. These are common for home storage of the firearm and can be used on rifles and shotguns.