Third Degree: Retention Duty Holster - Tactics and Weapons -

Third Degree: Retention Duty Holster

Safariland’s Model 6360 holster is designed for efficiency



Abner Miranda | From the May 2011 Issue Friday, May 20, 2011

There was a time, not long ago, when weapon lights were only for SWAT. Thankfully, that idea has changed and patrol officers are now using lights on their duty pistols too. However, I’m still bothered by officers who have their lights in a holder on their duty belt, instead of on their pistol. As cops, we should have lights on our weapons—and here’s why.

Several years ago, I found myself in a nighttime pursuit after a gangbanger who’d shot someone and was trying to evade us. When we stopped him, I confronted him with my pistol. The only reason he didn’t fire at me or run was because he was busy staring into the bright light on my gun.

As I flanked him, I noticed he was reaching for the pistol on the seat beside him. I screamed, “Young man, do you want to get shot?!” His hands instantly came out the driver’s window. I approached him with an order to open his door, and he complied. Then in one single motion, I grasped his outstretched hands, switched off my tactical light, shoved my Glock into my holster and flipped up the lock bar as I simultaneously yanked the subject from the car and launched him onto the asphalt. 

I shudder when I think about what could have happened had I been fumbling to get my light off my gun, or trying to cuff the subject with a gun in my hand. Both options raise serious concerns. Thankfully, I was able to move efficiently through the steps of securing my weapon and the subject. I attribute that successful arrest in part to two pieces of gear: My tactical light and my light-bearing Safariland holster.


Safariland Model 6360

I distinctly recall the holster I was wearing that night: Safariland’s Model 6280. Compared to today’s holsters, it was nothing more than a bucket to drop a pistol with a tactical light attached. It had a locking hood, but no other retention capability. In fact, the gun tended to jiggle while locked down. Even still, it afforded me the ability to have a light on my weapon, which proved to be a lifesaver.

When my coworker recently showed me his Safariland Model 6360, I knew I had to have one. It’s the next generation of the 6280 with a passive restraint that locks the gun with no effort from the officer. It’s known as Safariland’s Automatic Locking System (ALS). The ALS uses an internal locking device to securely retain the weapon even if the hood is flipped open. The 6360 rides close to the body and features a tough SafariLaminate finish that matches the look of traditional leather, but with the longevity and ease of cleaning found in synthetics.

The 6360 is such an intuitive holster that if you think about how to draw from it too much, you’ll muck it up. However, if you just draw in reflex, you’ll get the gun out every time. The motion of drawing consists of flipping the hood forward and down, mashing your thumb down on the unlocking tab, then pulling straight up. This motion conveniently puts your hand into the proper shooting grasp. Holstering consists of shoving the gun into the holster and flipping the hood up. The ALS emits a solid click sound during holstering to let you know that your weapon is secure.

This model is a standard Level III. However, you can push it to Level IV with the optional Sentry installed. It’s available in plain black, basket weave, high-gloss finish or STX tactical.


Final Thoughts

The longer I’m a cop, the more I seek to simplify my duty gear. I’ve always looked to Safariland for my duty holsters because they’re the standard by which all others are judged. I’m pleased to see that Safariland isn’t resting on their laurels, but consistently raising the bar instead. That’s technology at work, and Safariland is clearly listening to our needs as officers. For that, I’m truly grateful. 

Until next time, practice hard, and I’ll see you on the streets.


Safariland’s 6360


• ALS secures weapon once holstered

• Solid lens protection cap at base of holster

• Draw stroke is clean, smooth, intuitive

• Tactical light switches off when holstered


• None

Approximate street price: $143.40





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Abner MirandaAbner Miranda is currently a patrolman for Signal Mountain (Tenn.) Police Department.


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