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American COP July/Aug 2010 - Page 22

CARRY OPTIONS FROM hOLSTERS TO hAvERSACKS. MARK hANTEN Retention HolsteRs: Ret O ne night, my partner and I went to a loud party call in the heart of Barrio Logan to find a “Quinceañera” in full bloom — all the family and half the neighborhood was in attendance. It was very loud, it was about 0200 hours and this wasn’t our first trip there, so after we made contact with the “responsible” party, we put him in cuffs in the back seat of our patrol car. Moments later, when his drunken wife showed up, she was hell bent on getting him out of the back of our car. When she attempted to shove my partner out of the way he reflexively pushed her back. For a second, all you could hear 500 DRAWS This well-worn Safariland Model 070 “Rogers” SSIII served me well for years. It’s one of the first Level 3 holsters, and is still available. You have to practice with it. 5.11 Tactical’s new ThumbDrive (Level 2) holsters are a collaboration with Blade-Tech Industries. The optional “Chop-Block” attachment protects the release from inadvertent deployment by an aggressor or over-aggressive waistline … was the collective inhalation of the front 50 or so people, as they all decided at the same instant we had crossed the line. This was an, “Oh shit!” moment I’ll never forget. I had never seen this many people go from disliking me, to wanting to kill me, so fast. It was like their big inhale sucked up the buffer space between us as they instantly closed from 8 feet to 3 feet, with the closest drunks starting to take swings. The decibel level went from loud to super loud, and I had no idea if my call for cover went out over the air. At that very moment I was never so glad I was wearing a level-three retention holster in my life. I was carrying the Safariland Model 070 “Rogers” SSIII. At the time this was one of the most secure holsters available, and it’s still in production today. It has a thumb snap and a finger release snap below the triggerguard. When both are unsnapped, the pistol still needs to be rocked back in order for the ejection port to clear the ejection port lock and allow the pistol to be drawn from the holster. If you don’t do all three steps, it’s kind of like a Chinese Finger Trap, and you can pull the grips off your gun before you’ll get it out of the holster. Range masters hated them because they frequently watched cops who couldn’t unholster their guns during regular qualification shoots. At one point, our department banned them because so many cops weren’t taking the time to master them. What Level Are You? This Level 2 BLACKHAWK! SERPA Concealment holster should be mandatory detective-wear. It comes with both belt loop and paddle configurations. There are patrol versions in Level 2 and Level 3 (with a hood). 22 d o you even know what the level ratings mean? There’s no NIJ standard for any of them, but in theory, a Level 1 means there’s one method of securement you must overcome to draw your gun. A tension screw or thumb snap is considered one level of retention. A Level 2 retention holster indicates there are two separate securements to overcome. A thumb snap and either a tension Continued on page 54 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2010

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