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Thread: Retention Levels

  1. #1
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    I'm rather familiar with condition levels of carrying for pistols, but I have a vague grasp of retention levels on holsters. As soon as I think I get it, I see something that screws with the list.

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    VtCO wrote:
    I'm rather familiar with condition levels of carrying for pistols, but I have a vague grasp of retention levels on holsters. As soon as I think I get it, I see something that screws with the list.
    The "retention level" of a holster is just the number of locking devices that have to be disengaged before the gun can be drawn.

    What creates some confusion is that Blackhawk misnames their holsters. Their CQC Serpa line are labelled as "level 2", but in fact they're level 1. You have to hit one button, then pull.

    I'm not aware of any other manufacturers doing that. With Safariland, for example, a level 3 holster has three devices: a thumb brake, a middle finger release and an ejection port lock that is unlocked when you rock the gun backward.

  3. #3
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    Do friction locks count as a retention level?

  4. #4
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    Friction is normally not counted as a form of retention.

    Retention levels also vary by the manufacturer.

    Safariland considers level 1 = thumb break, with level 2 being thumbreak + something else...

    Blackhawks level 2 = just the finger button on the side

    Basically the only thing to know is the higher the number, the more features holding your firearm in place, but again, it varies. There is no SET guidelines.



  5. #5
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    I ordered a Safariland SLS holster earlier this week. Concealment paddle type. Most of the LEOs around here and all the Arizona Rangers (whom I hope to be joining soon) use the duty version of it.

    It's level 2: push down on thehood, then pushit forward. What I like about it is that if I dojoin the Rangers and I use the dutyversion of the holster, I will have themuscle memory for thatparticular system in tact whether carrying on duty, OC or even on the rare occasion that I choose to CC (the holstertucks up nicely against the body).

    I also have the Serpa, it's also listed as aLevel 2 holster, but there aren't two separate motions for that, so I'm not sure Iwould consider it level 2.The serpa's not working out too well for me because it was not specifically manufactured for my sidearm- though it does an OK job most of the time, there are times when just doesn't lock the gun in 100%. :shock:

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    Dahwg wrote:
    I also have the Serpa, it's also listed as aLevel 2 holster, but there aren't two separate motions for that, so I'm not sure Iwould consider it level 2.The serpa's not working out too well for me because it was not specifically manufactured for my sidearm- though it does an OK job most of the time, there are times when just doesn't lock the gun in 100%. :shock:
    You might want to look into modding that holster a little bit. There are quite a few people who have firearms that Serpa doesn't have a specific holster for. But if you find the right one and cut it in the right spot they work.

  7. #7
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    David.Car wrote:
    You might want to look into modding that holster a little bit. There are quite a few people who have firearms that Serpa doesn't have a specific holster for. But if you find the right one and cut it in the right spot they work.
    It can't hurt. It'sa nice little holster. What's the worst I can do? Ruin it and it will get about as much use as it does now. Currently I'm not doing much OC because of the lack of a retention holster. I'm strictly CC with my Galco MX5 until my safariland comes in. Did I mention I don't like waiting?

  8. #8
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    swillden wrote:
    VtCO wrote:
    I'm rather familiar with condition levels of carrying for pistols, but I have a vague grasp of retention levels on holsters. As soon as I think I get it, I see something that screws with the list.
    The "retention level" of a holster is just the number of locking devices that have to be disengaged before the gun can be drawn.

    What creates some confusion is that Blackhawk misnames their holsters. Their CQC Serpa line are labelled as "level 2", but in fact they're level 1. You have to hit one button, then pull.

    I'm not aware of any other manufacturers doing that. With Safariland, for example, a level 3 holster has three devices: a thumb brake, a middle finger release and an ejection port lock that is unlocked when you rock the gun backward.
    YAY! I thought I was going to have to explain that! You said it very well, Swillden. Safariland was the first company to release an "official" retention level system, and their description is what has been adapted by most agencies and such that have policies regarding holsters. http://www.productwizard.com/safaril...explained.html

    The idea of retention levels is pretty much common sense, though. It's a simple matter of how many SEPARATE retention devices have to be DEACTIVATED or BYPASSED in order to remove the weapon. Friction doesn't and shouldn't count, since it does not PREVENT the weapon from being removed. Rather, it just makes it more difficult.

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