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SHOT Show 2023: Holsters, night vision & battle belts

Here are more product reviews as I continue my journey around the more than 13 miles of exhibits at SHOT Show

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Photos/Ron LaPedis

Safariland Vault

My colleague, Lindsey Bertomen, was invited to Safariland’s press conference (insert jealous emoji here) and details his take on the new SAFARIVAULT – Safariland’s next generation of holster, which is positioned above their 7TS duty holster line.

The agency that I work with for writing purposes has standardized on the 7TS, which needs to be spec’d as to the sidearm, slide length and light combo, so I wanted to see what improvements Safariland could make, and I was not disappointed.

First off, the holster has a much more robust structure with many of the moving parts positioned inside the holster instead of on the surface, has a larger thumb release and more resistance to someone taking the firearm from the officer. Safariland also added a magnetic slide glide that facilitates much smoother reholstering, and has a molded attachment point for the AXON Signal Sidearm.

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The Level 3 Safarivault has a much cleaner look than the 7TS – all of the springs and other working parts were moved inside the holster body, which now is much more rigid.

Photos/Ron LaPedis

Along with opening up the bottom of the holster for both the muzzle and light, the gun now is held via the ejection port and not the light. Further, the same holster can be used for more versions of the same firearm. For example, the Glock 17, 19, 45 and 47 all fit the same holster, as does the SIG P320 full size, compact, and carry, with or without a threaded barrel.

Since the P320 is designed so that the end user can replace the slide or grip in seconds, this allows an officer to select the appropriate sidearm for their upcoming mission without having to worry about a holster swap as well.

There are two versions of the holster for each series of sidearms: one for smaller lights such as the TLR-7 and one for full-size lights like the TLR-1HL. A tensioned plastic finger rides on the bottom of the light to keep it from rattling. The new automatic hood will fit any optic up to the size of an Aimpoint ACRO.

For more information, visit

Sionyx OPSIN

I covered Sionyx and their “Black Silicon” the first year that they showed up at SHOT Show with a plastic-cased consumer device – although they may or may not have been known to the military before that.

While most commercial night vision cameras capture images in grayscale or monochromatic green, Sionyx’s black silicon technology uniquely can produce full-color photos and video in low-light conditions, including near-total darkness, which is ideal for a variety of military, security and consumer applications. A key point is that unlike night vision tubes, the Sionyx technology doesn’t degrade over time, and most importantly, exposure to bright light won’t immediately destroy the device – and in fact, it can be used day or night.

Since the Sionyx OPSIN is very similar to a digital camera in its operation, it has some valuable advantages over traditional night vision:

  • Overlays such as GPS, compass, battery life, frame rate and gain can be added to the image.
  • 400-1200nm spectrum (short wavelength infrared through visible).
  • Navigational ability during moonless starlight (1 millilux).
  • Capture of a man-sized target at 150m in clear weather with ¼ moon.
  • Microphone for audio capture.
  • Image storage to a micro-SD card up to 250GB.
  • 8-hour operation on a charge.
  • OTA (over-the-air) software updates.
  • Mobile device app.

The IP67-rated 10.6 oz OPSIN is designed for helmet mounting and included are the separate battery pack and charger, swing arm, MOLLE pouch, micro-SD card, eyecup, lens cap and safety bungee. The battery pack and unit plus arm weigh about the same, so they create a balanced system when helmet-mounted. It is designed to survive a drop of 2m. While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supported, the device cannot yet stream video. But since it supports OTA updates, it could be implemented in the future. MSRP is $2,595.

For more information, visit the Sionyx LEMIL page.

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Left top and bottom: The OPSIN and its battery pack both weigh 10.6 oz., so they balance each other when helmet-mounted. Right four photos, left to right, top to bottom: room light, overcast, IR point source, IR flood.

Photos/Ron LaPedis

Quick Disconnect Systems

I covered a number of quick disconnect systems in my article on battle belts. At SHOT Show, I was introduced to additional systems from Ulticlip and Bladetech along with a new battle belt from 5.11. I’ll be writing a more detailed follow-up after putting each system to use, but as a teaser, you can see the image below.

The Bladetech Tek-Mount is a two-part system consisting of a receiver and a 360-degree insert disk. This system gives users the ability to cant their holster or other gear instantly without the use of screws or posts in 10-degree increments over 360 degrees. For more information, visit

The UltiLink by Ulticlip, is a rapid attachment, modular linking system that makes it easy to transfer items between MOLLE, duty vest, belts, packs and from person to person. The composite and stainless-steel lock offers 12 angles of attachment making horizontal, vertical and diagonal carry possible. For more information, visit

5.11’s Maverick Battle Belt D Ring builds on the original Maverick Battle Belt, based on an inner/outer belt system. The MOLLE-compatible outer belt is made with a proprietary TAC-LAMTM high-strength laminate on top of a dual nylon webbing and offers both top and bottom weaving for the convenient arrangement of gear. The Austri Alpin COBRA buckle allows quick attachment and removal without sacrificing security. For more information, visit

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Clockwise from Left: UltiLink by Ulticlip; Bladetech Tek-Mount; 5.11 Maverick Battle Belt D Ring. The red arrow is pointing to Bladetech’s unique locking MOLLE mounts which I’ll cover in detail in a future article.

Photos/Ron LaPedis

For more Police1 SHOT Show coverage, check out reviews from my fellow columnist Lindsey Bertomen and visit

Ron LaPedis is an NRA-certified Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA, USCCA and California DOJ-certified instructor, is a uniformed first responder, and frequently writes and speaks on law enforcement, business continuity, cybersecurity, physical security and public/private partnerships.