With the increase in demand for using a red dot optic on pistols, the holsters capable are rarely talked about. There are many companies that make holsters that are capable of holding a pistol with a red dot sight. However, Safariland has 39 options for a red dot optic holster and they’re all worth your time and money.
Use this blog as a guide to starting your research into your next holster. The biggest fact to consider is not all holsters are capable of safely and securely holstering your pistol with an optic on it. These holsters have to be designed a little differently than traditional holsters.
What Makes a Red Dot Optic Holster Different?
Red Dot Sight (RDS) holsters have to consider the optic before holstering because the height will be different and the optic will be exposed to the elements. The 2 Safariland holsters that I have protect my optic from dirt, scratches, mud, debris, and helps deflect some of the water from rainstorms.
RDS Holsters have to be built with more clearance in the front of the holster where the slide rests. This clearance allows your pistol to be seated properly and engage the locking mechanisms correctly for security and retention.
There are 3 types of RDS holsters available from Safariland (military/tactical, concealment, patrol) based on your purpose or mission for carrying. Personally, I have a concealment RDS (Model 7367RDS) and a tactical holster (Model 7305RDS) that I wear when I go out hiking or hunting in the wilderness. The good news is that you can wear any 3 holster models in any environment or job specialty.
People often ask me what are the best pistols on the market and my answer is the one that shoots best for you. I don’t mean to be smug, but if you shoot better with a revolver than you do with a Glock 34, then please stick with what you’re good at.
When your life comes down to you making a shot, you’ll thank me when it’s over. This same principle applies to holsters. If you like one style over another, don’t switch someone because you think you’re supposed to.
What Are The Patrol RDS Holsters?
The Patrol RDS Holsters are always going to have a higher retention level because of the level of security required for police. The reason I chose the Model 6360RDS is the diversity in the number of guns it fits and the Level IV Retention system. Nobody wants to get have to worry about your pistol being pulled out of your holster by an assailant during an altercation. This Level IV Retention will ensure your pistol will only release when you want it to.
When choosing a Tactical Holster I try to consider the retention level, ease of draw, and practicality. You want your tactical holster to have less than the maximum retention because time is everything in a tactical environment. That split second it takes to push a button to release can be life or death for our soldiers.
I chose the Model 7305 7TS because the ALS® (Automatic Locking System) provides enough security to lock your pistol in with your RDS. The ALS® is used in the Duty holsters too and locks the pistol in all directions, so nobody can reach and pull your gun out. With a simple flip of the thumb, the SLS™ (Self Locking System) lowers the hood and allows you to pull your gun straight up in an instant.
When you wear a concealment holster, you have to think about draw speed, comfort, and printing through shirts. Not many companies have holsters that are capable of holding an optic and I’m glad I chose Safariland. I chose Model 7367 because I personally use it on my Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS. I never have any printing issues and love the way it feels on my hip. I recommend buying the loop for a size bigger because I’ve noticed my thicker belts hold the holster much better.
One of the coolest features on the Safariland website is a page called the Holster Finder. This page allows you to type in your purpose of carrying, the type of holster you’d like, and the type of gun you have to find a holster. If you’re new to firearms and are not sure where to start your search, this is a great spot to start your research.
Carrying a pistol comes with certain responsibilities and requirements for public use. Whether you’re in law enforcement, military, or just a 2nd Amendment loving American, Safariland has the right holster for you. With more of us buying an RDS to improve our overall efficiency and comfort, accommodating that RDS is important to consider. My Safariland Holsters have been great and have no complaints other than I wish there more options for my Walther PPS M2.