4 holsters holding their own at SHOT Show 2018
New products from Desantis, Galco, S&S Precision and UM Tactical are expanding the options for how cops carry their firearms
For more hot products and industry trends from SHOT Show 2018, visit our special coverage page.
One of the things I wanted to accomplish at SHOT Show 2018 was to find holster innovations. It is pretty tough to find new stuff in the holster industry. After all, how many different ways can you hold a gun? Here’s what caught my eye.
I wanted to get this on record before they change it. DeSantis Gunhide released the Model 160 – currently called the Pipe Hitter Holster – which is deep riding with an integrated magazine pouch in the front.
It is designed and constructed exactly the way cops like this type of holster. It has adjustments for cant and the depth it will ride in relation to the belt line. It is extremely low profile and differs from its competitors because most of the flat area, which causes the print, is toward the outside of the holster.
Everyone knows that DeSantis is a “no-nonsense” brand. The company does a great job of promoting products before they are released on the street. However, I am guessing that the name Pipe Hitter for the Model 160 probably won’t be in the final release. I think they should keep the name. What do Police1 readers think?
Following the success of the KingTuk series of holsters, Galco has released the ExtremeTuk IWB holster.
The KingTuk is a hybrid IWB holster that uses leather typical of the Galco product line. It’s called a hybrid holster because the backing plate is made of leather, while the shell is made of Kydex. The KingTuk holster uses premium leather, while the ExtremeTuk uses a cow hide backing plate, which brings the MSRP down to $45.
If anyone knows the history of Galco, they know Galco originated from The Famous Jackass Leather Company, a leather holster producer known for high-quality products. The most famous of these was the shoulder holster popularized by many movie and TV cops.
Rather than use a vest holster while wearing a utility uniform, I carried an Officer’s Model in a Galco shoulder holster, which never failed me. I have known many officers who swear by the KingTuk. The introduction of the ExtremeTuk will only make it more popular.
One of the coolest things on display at the S&S Precision booth at SHOT Show was a product called a PlateFrame. It is a skeletonized web that surrounds the plate. Rather than using a plate carrier, straps and accessories are attached to the PlateFrame. Thus there really isn’t a plate carrier, only a lightweight thing that goes around the plate. The cummerbund and shoulder straps – which are also lightweight – are attached in the PlateFrame loops.
S&S Precision also makes holster products that can be fitted to the PlateFrame, or anything else, actually. The company’s Trifecta Connecta is a universal plate that is designed to attach to any standard holster mount. Using S&S Precision’s Holster Extender GRT, users can adjust, attach or remove holsters from one gear set up to another.
S&S has solved one of the most common LE issues in the industry: How a cop can go from working on a critical response team to patrol to detective and still use the holster he or she trained with.
The UM Tactical Qualifier is a IWB holster made of Boltaron 4332, a lightweight, strong PVC that thermoforms like Kydex and offers uniform thickness when pressed. It has a moderate amount of pinch retention, which is common for a Kydex scabbard.
The Qualifier really isn’t much different from the one I carry now, except for one feature: a lightweight strap with belt loops. The strap attaches to the outside of the holster in place of the belt clip, converting an IWB to an OWB.
UM Tactical’s Keith Houston told me that the Qualifier was designed by a regional DEA Agent. Their officers normally use IWB holsters. When they do their annual qualification, the policy dictates qualifying with an OWB holster. I’m assuming that someone is working to address the policy. In the meantime, the Qualifier is the answer.