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 Safariland Holster Retentions Levels Explained 
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Post Safariland Holster Retentions Levels Explained
Safariland Holster Retentions Levels Explained
by: Steve Arya

Safariland has defined retention levels in three categories. Each level of retention provides the user a specific amount of security in order to avoid having the weapon removed by an unwarranted person.

Although many holster manufacturers claim to have some form of retention, at the time of this article Safariland is the only company that has defined their levels of retention and also integrated it with their current lines of holsters.

Safariland defines retention levels based on the amount of security or retention devices that are available in order to release the gun from the holstered position.

A good example of this type of retention is the Safariland 070 holsters.

Safariland Retention Level I

All current holster manufacturers including Safariland sells a form of this retention which provides a basic thumb break mechanism which must be unbuttoned or unclipped in order for the weapon to be removed. This is considered the simplest form of retention and should be considered as a minimal security device for the weapon carrier. This form of retention during a confrontation can easily be compromised causing the weapon owner to lose control of their gun.

Safariland Retention Level II

A level two holster is where the user must remove the thumb break and also rock the weapon forward or backwards to unlock the internal mechanism. This type of rocking action provides the user with the ability to remove the weapon easily however thwarts anyone not wearing the holster to remove the weapon.

A Safariland level II retention system is the retention most preferred by law enforcement throughout the world. Allowing a quick draw and also a secure form of holstering. Keep in mind the greater the retention level the more training is required in order to make sure optimal weapon draw is achieved. In most user opinions the Level II retention is considered the best medium of retention and also the most optimal draw.

A popular example of the Safariland Level II retention holster is the Safariland 6280 Mid Ride

Safariland Retention Level III

Take for example the Safariland Raptor 6070 Level III. This Level 3 retention holster allows a rapid draw and an excellent retention, as long as the draw is frequently practiced. This requires the officer to be dedicated to the holster and make sure he is fully comfortable with the weapon and the way it is holstered. However, since a majority of departments only require annual or bi-annual qualifications of the handgun and holster, there is a good chance Level III retention will result in miscued draws.

Safariland has recommended the user of a Level III holster should practice drawing and holstering the weapon approximately 200 times before actually using the holster on duty. However it has been duly noted most police officers and users are unwilling to invest that amount of time to make sure they are fully comfortable with retention methods of a Level III holster. Safariland has also mentioned the learning curve from Level II retention to Level III retention climbs a dramatic curve and requires an enormous amount of time to be fully proficient.

We realize the decision you make on a Safariland holster is one that may save your life one day and we are always willing to make a recommendation. If you are uncomfortable with choosing the correct holster for your needs or wish to speak to someone with knowledge about Safariland please feel free to give us a call we will be happy to help you.

About The Author
Steve Arya has been involved with the sales of Safariland Holster for over six years and has a well rounded knowledge in holster technology and retention methods. For further information on

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:15 pm
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