The Safariland ALS system is easier to use than it is to explain. The Automatic Locking System retention is a lever on the thumb side on the inside of the holster. It holds the gun surprisingly tight. There is no play between the gun and the holster, which keeps it quiet.
The new 7TS ALS is made of a proprietary Dupont nylon that has a soft, almost velvety feel. The texture keeps down the glare and makes the material non-reflective. And it’s easy to maintain. If the holster gets scuffed, the flat black sheen can be restored to a uniformity by brushing it with a scouring pad.
Safariland has created a holster system that is truly solid. It is impervious to water. It can handle extremes of heat and cold without changing shape or losing any of its performance features.
And they are so confident in the abilities of the new ALS holsters that they shipped some of their debut samples in a most ingenious display package. Inside this black box was a mix of mica and Styrofoam. A dusty, gritty mess. The holster was packed in a bubble of water. I have ho idea how long it had been soaking in it, but it had to have been weeks, at least.
There was no good way to pull the holster from the packaging without making a mess. This was both slightly annoying and a great reveal. It was easily the most dramatic holster packaging I’ve ever seen.
This is a risk, I think. If the new holster didn’t live up to this level of overly dramatic hype, than Safariland was going to be the butt of some jokes. But it does. The holster is a noticeable improvement on a design that was already at the cutting edge of tactical holsters.
The holster can be attached in a number of ways. Belt loops, paddles, leg rigs, shoulder holsters, etc. I like the belt loops. The nylon rig comes in various sizes, for different widths of belts and can be angled to your preference.
And drawing could not be any easier (and still provide retention). The thumb falls naturally on the top end of the lever.
The same motion that is needed to free a pistol from a tight holster will free the gun from the ALS system. And once free of its clasp, the gun slides in the nylon. The draw is fast and effortless. And the velvet texture of the nylon won’t mar the finish of the gun.
With the belt attachment, the holster rides close to the body. While it isn’t the sort of holster that can be easily concealed by a t-shirt, it is easy concealed inside a jacket or coat. Even with a Glock 19, which is wider than many concealed carry pistols these days, the width is not obtrusive.
The ALS holsters should start $45. Depending on the options for carry, lights, etc., it will go up from there. The security they offer is well wort the price.