Levels of Retention

Levels of Security for Safariland™ Holsters

Safariland purchased the Rogers Holster Company in 1985. At the time of purchase, Safariland adopted a security rating system that had been developed by the Rogers Holster Company in 1975. This system was based on a series of simple tests that could be conducted in the field by the end user. At the time of purchase, the Rogers SS2 and SS3 holsters were the only holsters that could pass the described Level II and Level III tests. They became Safariland Models 295 and 070 and are still manufactured and sold to this day.

Advancement in holster technology and no set standard for testing has in many ways confused the terminology used to describe security levels. Because of this confusion, many law enforcement agencies presently are shown holsters of other manufacturers and are told that the product conforms to a certain level of security. In most cases those stated levels of security do not match the same tests that Safariland has historically used. In order to clarify the Safariland tests and to make it easier to understand the levels of security when compared to present day designs, clearly defined terminology is required.

Although Safariland has not changed the method of testing its holsters, in reviewing the present mechanisms we have changed the security level rating of some of our models. Twenty years ago the use of the socket and stud snap was the primary securing lock. Now the industry uses several locking mechanisms that re-engage if the user releases them. In some cases an additional movement is required by the user to release a mechanism.

For example, in the case of Safariland’s SLS (Self Locking System), the user must overcome the pressure of two springs to push the hood down in order to unlock the mechanism. Then, while holding the unit in the down unlocked position, the user must rotate the hood completely forward to allow the weapon an opening to exit from the holster. If the user simply pushes the hood down to the unlocked position and then releases it, allowing the hood to re-lock, the holster is as secure as it was initially. However, since there are two separate and distinct motions (much like releasing a snap and then rotating the weapon forward slightly with the older 295 holster before drawing), the SLS provides two levels of security by itself. By adding a Sentry device to the SLS, which requires a separate and distinct motion by the user, a third level of security is achieved.

Levels of Retention Test Details (PDF)
Levels of Retention Test Results (PDF)