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Holster Retention Levels And Your Safety

There is a lot of concern in the Law Enforcement community for the safety of law enforcement officers. In 2019 146 officers were killed in the line of duty.  Three died from assault and 50 by gunfire.   Most agencies recognize the need for helping officers keep their weapons from falling into the wrong hands

 

Currently, there are no government requirements and no industry standards for rating holster retention levels as there are for body armor protection. Companies are free to develop their own protocols for testing and ratings. As such, retention levels are not directly comparable across the industry, and things can quickly become confusing.

 

In the early 1970s, Bill Rogers, former FBI agent and founder of the Rogers Holster Company, studied and tested all of the existing duty holsters to see which designs were effective.  Bill developed a system based on a series of simple tests that could be conducted in the field by the end user. Today these have evolved. Below are Safarilands test retention requirements for duty holsters.  These are used because they are in writing and have been around for a long time.

 

Security ratings used by Bill Rogers and then Safariland after buying Rogers Holster Company, are performed using a suitable duty belt.  As such concealment holsters and tactical holsters were and are not rated.  Tactical holsters are generally attached to the body using nylon or Velcro.   Concealment holsters are attached to the body using numerous kinds of pant belts or just inserted into a pair of pants by some.  It does not matter what security rating a holster has if it is not secured to the officer’s body.

 

Below is the Rogers / Safariland testing method used to rate levels of security for their products.

 

The Test Retention Level I™

 

The Holster Retention Test is described as applying all the force to the grip or handle of the weapon by an individual while the weapon is totally secured in the holster and mounted on a suitable belt being worn by another individual.  The test is to simulate a “grab and snatch” initiated by an adversary.  The direction of force is unlimited but the duration of the force is limited to 5 seconds.  At the end of the 5 seconds, the weapon must still be secure in the holster and the holster must still be attached to the operator.  The operator must be able to accomplish a draw after the attack within the times set as a standard by the controlling department or within two seconds if no standard exists.  If the holster passes this initial test, it qualifies as a Level I Retention™ Security Holster. The Holster Retention Test described above is referred to as the “Test”, but over the years, it has become synonymous with “Level l test”

 

Level II Retention ™

 

Before a holster can be considered for a Level II rating, it must first past the Holster Retention Test. After passing the Test, the primary lock must be disabled and the same Retention Test is repeated. In order to test the holster for a Level II rating, the primary securing device must be determined.  The primary securing device is defined as the lock that requires the first action by the user in order to start the drawing sequence.  This initial action is an individual and deliberate action by the user to start the unlocking of any securing mechanism.  The holster is tested with the initial lock disabled.  It does not have to pass the complete test.  If the holster exhibits the ability to further secure the weapon in a meaningful way after the primary lock is disengaged then it qualifies as a Retention Level II™ security holster.  If after disabling the initial lock, the holster can again completely pass the Holster Retention Test, then it is clearly is rated as a Level II and may qualify for additional levels of security.

 

Level III Retention ™ and additional levels

 

A Level I holster that has completely passed a second Holster Retention Test, with the primary lock disabled, is clearly rated at a Level II.  It can be further tested for additional levels of security.  To determine a further rating, the second motion or action required by the user to continue the drawing sequence must be simulated.  As in the example described in the Level II rating of the secondary lock would be in the final unlocked position before the Retention Test is performed.  The holster does not have to pass the complete test.  If the holster exhibits the ability to secure the weapon in a meaningful way after the secondary lock is disabled, then it qualifies as a Level III Retention™ security holster.  Of course if the holster passes a complete Retention Test with the second lock disabled, it can be tested for further security levels by continuing to disable additional locks and conducting the same tests as outlined above.

 

So, if you’re shopping for a Security / duty holster — as an individual, a supervisor or buyer, you need to go beyond the sales pitch and fully understanding how the security features work. You need to ask questions about the specific tests that a manufacturer uses to rate their products. Until the NIJ and or the industry unite around a single standard, it’s not enough to assume that all rating denotes a comparable level of security between the different manufactures.   Many departments are using pull testers to test the strength of the holster and the mounting brackets of different holsters.

 

Every year Officers are still killed in the United States with their own weapons, duty holsters need to be secure but still easy functional under all levels of stress.  All Duty Holsters can be defeated if the attacker knows how they function.  The only way a manufacturer can produce a duty holster that cannot be defeated with today’s technology is to weld the pistol into a metal holster.  If the officer can get it out a suspect can get it out.   Everything on a duty belt is a tool that can be used by and for the officer to do their jobs.   Tools are great but Defensive tactics and training is still a necessity.

 

Thank you for your service and be safe out there!

Quantico Tactical As A Resource

“How’s everybody doing”? “Stay healthy”! It’s how we open and close every conversation. Gone are the days when we wish people to stay safe and wait for them to come back to base. We know you put yourself on the line to complete the mission. We all knew there was always the possibility of a silent enemy like this. But now it’s here and we’re expected to be socially distant to confront the enemy. It’s not what we typically train for. It’s not our day-to-day.

At Quantico Tactical we pride ourselves on helping you prepare for every mission. It’s typically gear like helmets, weapon lights, portable power units, antennas, routers and various other personal or weapon accessories. Now we need to make sure we have all the proper medical tools at our disposal. We have been working with companies night and day to line these tools up. Not just getting brand names on our page, but actually working with the companies to verify the products. We work with these companies daily to check inventories and process orders. But like every order, we will confirm your order with the manufacturer before we process it. We need to be sure that we can deliver what we promise to deliver.

Quantico Tactical started as a small business outlet that provided high quality gear at great prices. Since those early days we have grown to over 50 employees and service the Department of Defense, federal law enforcement agencies, fire and emergency services, state and local law enforcement as well as business to business.

Even though we have grown so much over the last 16 years we believe that we need to be an industry leader in distributing the products our customers need to have. Today we are rated as a DLA Gold Superior Supplier and one of the largest contractors with the Tailored Logistics Support Program.

As an industry leader, we have sourced the products you need. We talk directly with the manufacturers and have an open, award winning complete purchase cycle. Join us by calling to discuss your wants and needs, COVID 19 related or not. We have the best products for the best people.

Stay safe and healthy.

Scout Light Pro is Authorized for USAF

Running out of rail estate? Need flexibility mounting a white light?

We all know that we have more accessories available for our rifles than ever before.  And having a white light on the rail is standard.  But the #SureFire #Scoutlight Pro weapon light raises the bar by which all other weapon lights are measured.  You’ve trusted the SureFire Scout Light for years.  This new Pro version features the new Low-Profile Mount, LPM.  The new LPM delivers unprecedented versatility by allowing the user to optimize the lights’ position relative to the handguard and the laser aiming device (if installed). For the first time we need no specialty after-market products to ‘custom fit’ our gear.  The Scout Light is proven rugged and reliable; the LPM can be easily and securely attached to any MILSTD-1913 or M-LOK rail.  The Scout Light Pro with the LPM is a tactical powerhouse, featuring a recoil-proof, premium LED that generates 1000 blinding lumens from two 123A batteries.  Focused through SureFire’s proprietary TIR lens, it produces a far-reaching, high-intensity beam with ample surround light.  The shrouded Z68 push-button tailcap provides easy, instant activation with a single click.  Constructed of lightweight aerospace aluminum with a Mil-Spec Hard-Anodized finish, and O-ring sealed to keep out the elements.  The tough Scout Light Pro will help you adapt and overcome in combat conditions without any sacrifice in weapon maneuverability.

Scout Light Pro is authorized for purchase for USAF.

The Scout Light Pro has a great set of features.

  • New Surefire Low-Profile Mount, LPM, greatly enhances versatility, allowing the user to mount the Scout LIght Pro in the optimal position on any MIL-STD-1913 or M-LOK rail.
  • Virtually indestructible ultra-high-output LED generates 1000 lumens of blinding light; produces tactical-level light for 1.25 hours on two 123A batteries.
  • TIR lens shapes versatile beam with enough reach and surround light for medium to longer range operations.
  • Mil-Spec Hard-Anodized aerospace aluminum body, tempered window and O-ring seals make the Scout Light Pro rugged, durable and combat ready.
  • Reliable activation via Z68 momentary/constant-on push-button switching with protective shroud.

Panasonic Toughbook

The first time I saw #Panasonic #Toughbook, I knew that Toughbooks would be the only computer that could stand up to Marines’ rough treatment.  I was assigned to the Marine Corps Tactical System Support Activity (MCTSSA) as an engineer and we put those devices (CF-27s back then) to the test and they kept working.   As a deployed CommO years later, I was grateful for the wise choice by some of the program managers and engineers to give the operating units equipment that would hold up.  As a result of their proven performance, those Toughbooks have become pervasive throughout our tactical and weapon system networks because of their reliability and durability.  As those networks and weapon systems have increased in complexity, demanding more connectivity and performance options, the Panasonic Toughbook line has kept pace.  Released in 2019, Panasonic’s CF-33 2-in-1 laptop can run from laptop office computer, mobile tablet, to deployed laptop/tablet.  I have not run over it with a JLTV, but I have put it in my pack and traveled with it, had hirsute operators playing with it while I try to explain its features, and it’s taken the beating I’ve given it.  Here’s why I love mine:

 

The first feature I noticed on my CF-33 is its standard, beautiful #4K, 13”, 2160X1440, 3:2, 10-point capacitive glove-touch, rainproof screen.  Running WinTak on it, the maps and icons on it are crisp and clear.  Photos and videos displayed on it are vibrant and realistic.  With a 1080p webcam (with on/off indicator) with dual array mic, video teleconferences are clear and lifelike (bandwidth permitting, of course).  The screen comes with an anti-reflective treatment, so during outdoor daytime use the screen is still viewable.  If a fingerprint on a screen drives one crazy as it does me, this screen holds out longer than most commercial tablets before needing a wipe, but one can always use the integrated IP55 stylus.  Having several other higher end graphics computers and tablets of my own, I find this screen to be every bit as pleasing, and I don’t have to put a protective case around it to keep it working.

 

The interface and expansion configurations that come with a CF-33 are significant, and they are nearly evenly divided between the tablet portion and the premium keyboard portion.  On my tablet configuration, I have an embedded CAC card reader, Ethernet, micro SDXC, USB-A, HDMI, DS-9, and a nano-SIM port (more on this to follow).  My premium keyboard has SDXC, HDMI, USB 3.0 X 2, USB 2.0, and DS-9.  All the interfaces come with a lockable cover with that satisfying “click” so that one knows it’s closed.  Panasonic understands that backwards compatibility to older or highly specialized equipment is still needed, so it has not eliminated those interfaces.  Splitting the interfaces between the tablet and the keyboard makes mobility so much easier.  With a removable solid state hard drive, one can leave the keyboard docked (it’s backwards compatible with older docking solutions, too) at the desk, move over the required connections to the tablet, and go!  There’s a power port on the tablet as well as the keyboard, so make sure one brings a charger (buy a second one).  The tablet includes dual, hot swappable batteries that provide 10 hours of work time, but one can get extended life batteries that will give you 20 hours, if needed. 

 

For connectivity, one can implement the aforementioned Ethernet (10/100/1000), or dual band wireless (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) with a high gain antenna, but that nano-SIM port makes the CF-33 4G/LTE capable via AT&T (including FirstNet), Verizon, Sprint and Panasonic’s P.180 network.  The P.180 Network is a great option for those world travelers who don’t have the time, or the staff, to coordinate getting local connectivity at the distant location.  P.180 provides end-to-end connectivity for the entire line of Toughbook devices and it works in 180 countries for a set monthly price.  Go anywhere in their network and it’s the same monthly bill with no roaming fees.  Panasonic has coordinated with carriers in all the countries to provide service to its Toughbook P.180 customers.  While one needs to be in an area with a providers coverage, it may be a good alternative to constantly buying local SIM chips, or paying high international data fees from the normal carriers.  If I were planning global missions again, I’d talk to Panasonic about this capability to determine suitability and security. 

 

There are a variety of features I have yet to explore on my CF-33, but I’m looking forward to finding them and seeing how they work.  While I will always love those older Toughbooks, the capabilities and uses of the CF-33 exceed them.  I’ve developed college course videos on it, done some Android development on it, and implemented WinTak servers on it and it’s worked flawlessly.  It truly can be the desktop to deployed device, as well as the mobility solution.  At just over 6 lbs, it’s not designed to be the “business traveler” laptop, unless one’s business is military, law enforcement, or emergency services operations.  It’s worth the weight!

 

COVID 19

Well here we are.  COVID 19 has us all changing our routines.  We typically get the chance to see you at tradeshows, industry days and demonstrations, like AUSA, Shot Show and Modern Day Marine.  These venues offer a great opportunity to see you face-to-face.  We get to learn what problems you are facing and we get to educate you on the latest solutions.  Unfortunately, with the current circumstances these events have been canceled and seeing you face-to-face is a little more difficult.  We want to be safe and want you to be safe.  To do that we need to keep our physical distance but we want to connect with you to inform you of the best products in the world for your mission.  Launching now is our new blog as an addition to our website.  We’ll fill this blog with the best, most relevant products and brands that we think you need to know about.  If you want more specific information about a product, pricing or availability please email at Quotes@QuanticoTactical.com.

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