Gear Review: Instant-on holsters for the Viridian C5L (VIDEO)

Earlier this week we reviewed the Viridian C5L.  This sub-compact weapon light is one of the best and most versatile light/laser combos available for small railed pistols.  The 5 megawatt green laser is visible in daylight, the 100 lumen light is bright enough, and the whole package is small enough to fit under the barrel of a Springfield XDs.

The real selling point, though, is Viridian’s Enhanced Combat Readiness (ECR) feature.  Why waste valuable time pushing the on button with your extended trigger finger, which falls directly on the on/off button?  Wouldn’t it be better if you could simply switch the light and laser on by removing the gun from the holster?

TacLoc holster with a C5L on a Glock 19. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

TacLoc holster with a C5L on a Glock 19. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

ECR holsters from Viridian

As the C5L grows in popularity, more holsters are becoming available.  The ECR magic is dependent on an ECR equipped holster.  There’s a very strong magnet that rests just below the light inside the holster.  When you draw, the light slides over the magnet and a switch (hidden inside the light) activates the light and laser.  Slide the gun back in and the process happens in reverse.  The manual controls still work, but you may not need them.

The TacLoc holster is a basic OWB retention holster built on the Blackhawk CQC holster model.  The retention is similar to what you would find on a Serpa holster.

Numerous way to wear it. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

Numerous ways to wear it. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

It holds the pistol very well.  There’s no slop, at all and only minimal noise in the draw.  We picked up one for the Glock 19 and 23, and it works exceptionally well.  The holster can be positioned in a number of ways, making it very versatile.  Check out the Viridian page for available models and orientations.

My one issue with the TacLoc holster is that the finger pressure required to remove the tension from the retention and pull the gun may transfer to the switch that controls the light.  This is due, in part, to criticism of the Serpa holster’s release, which left the trigger finger directly over the trigger, which some claim resulted in adrenaline fueled accidental discharges.

The TacLoc system leaves the trigger above the trigger.  Without the light, it hit the joint between the guard and the frame on a Glock 19.

IWB ECR from (Photo by David Higginbotham)

IWB ECR from (Photo by David Higginbotham)

As I was getting used to drawing from the TacLoc, I sometimes cut the light off with my trigger finger.  Granted, this was a new holster, and a new light, and I was trying to simulate stress.  After working with it a bit, I learned how much pressure was needed to release the gun from the holster.  The draw becomes habitual, so don’t lose faith if you have issues early.  Prices vary, but the mass production keeps the cost reasonable.  The Glock holster runs right at $50.

ECR holsters from MultiHolsters

The other option is to go for a true custom fit.  I don’t want any sort of retention on a concealed carry holster.  And I’m very fond of carrying the Springfield XDs in my waist band on my hip.

Thin. Like an IWB should be. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

Thin. Like an IWB should be. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

The C5L is perfect for the XDs.  And if you don’t want one of the holsters Viridian offers, you have options.

Multihosters has worked with Viridian to incorporate their ECR magnet systems in custom holster options.  This IWB is ideal.  The holster is thin, very well finished, and fit to an actual gun and laser.  It doesn’t have any active retention besides friction, but fits well enough that that will keep the gun in place through anything but an actual draw.

I called the company to give the necessary details (model, ride, cant, orientation, gun, etc.) and the perfect holster, perfect for me, arrived in the mail.

Plenty of clearance. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

Plenty of clearance. (Photo by David Higginbotham)

You will pay a little more for the attention to detail you get from a custom holster maker, but it is still reasonable, and absolutely worth the cost.  It is only $18 more to get the C5L option on any of Multiholsters’ options.

Final thoughts

The advantage of the TacLoc system is the modularity inherent in Blackhawk’s line of holsters.  This one holster can do a number of different tasks.  The advantage of a custom rig is obvious.  They typically do one thing, but do it very well.

Either way, the ECR feature won’t work without one.  And that is one of the many things that sets the C5L apart from the other lights and lasers kicking around out there.  Why not take advantage of it?

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