Safariland has been around for a long time and their retention holsters are, in my opinion, among the best. The automatic locking system (ALS) is a simple locking mechanism which locks onto the ejection port of the weapon. The weapon is released by putting pressure on a lever with your thumb during your natural draw sequence. When re-holstering the weapon, the ALS locks the firearm automatically upon re-holstering. It’s a very nifty system and builds upon the self locking system (SLS). The SLS is a hood which when rotated up prevents the weapon from being drawn. To draw the thumb depresses the hood, then rotates it forward so that the gun may be drawn. Both of these systems have been used in many excellent holsters which have been used by special operations, law enforcement and shooting enthusiasts over the years.
The Safariland 7304 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But what it does, is give Safariland holsters some improvements over previous generations of Safariland holster designs. Safariland has changed their holster material to a proprietary non-abrasive SafariSeven™ nylon. The material is noted to be strong, resilient, and of-course non-abrasive to your weapon. In my time using the 7304 I’ve found it to be extremely tough and resilient to tough training environments. In the case of mine, I’ve found it particularly hard to scratch or otherwise damage the body of the holster.
The 7304 uses both the ALS and the SLS systems. And while this isn’t new to Safariland holsters, I do feel like the designs have been improved. The SLS mechanism feels remarkably smoother in use than my other SLS equipped holsters ever did. The ALS, in the same vein of thought, performs much smoother than older Safariland holsters equipped with ALS retention systems. I believe it has to do with the SafariSeven™ nylon material that is used, in either case the improvements are a welcome surprise.
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