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Thread: Safariland, sadly...

  1. #1
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    Safariland, sadly...

    I was recently issued a brand new Safariland 6280 holster for a newly issued pistol.

    This holster has the SLS retention system, which is - all in all - pretty decent. The body is some form of artificial leather or leather with a plastic backing. It functions. However, the hanger is a single cast piece of plastic. It is functional I suppose, but it is cheap. Just stinking cheap. It looks cheap. It goes on (and comes off) the belt cheap. And it puts the holster body in exactly the wrong place; right where it pushes into one's side seated in an automobile and blocks the strong side trouser pocket. (Where I carry my car keys.)

    This cheapness may be due to the tendency of some agencies - mine, for instance - to insist on absolutely the lowest price available. I'd like to give Safariland - who I regard as an old, established, respected and reliable company - the benefit of believing they wouldn't make something so tacky unless it was demanded.

    I have to wonder out loud if plastic is that much cheaper than leather and if no one has any taste left? I know most of the people on this site have better taste and know enough to spend a little extra money to get quality; but I don't think any purchasing agents or decision makers read these forums.

    Okay, it's off my chest now. Thank you all.
    My opinion; guaranteed worth twice what you paid for it.
    Archie
    Please check out my journal at http://archiepreacher.livejournal.com/

  2. #2
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    Plastic has to be cheaper than leather. I'd also imagine that it lasts longer.

    But yes, they can keep it.

  3. #3
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    Archeologists have found leather fittings for armor dating to the Roman Empire era. I make holsters as a hobby (too much fun to screw up by making it a job) and find leather a most suitable material for many things.

    I suppose molding plastic is cheaper than paying a semi-skilled worker to make one from leather. How sad.

    Thanks for your moral support, Ranger. Maybe good taste can make a difference in the long run.
    My opinion; guaranteed worth twice what you paid for it.
    Archie
    Please check out my journal at http://archiepreacher.livejournal.com/

  4. #4
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    I suspect that in a high-volume operation, both raw material and production cost differentials trend in favor of the molded plastic constuction.

    But I agree, there's just something about the smell and the creak of leather that you can't duplicate with plastic.

  5. #5
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    Given the proper conditions leather can last a long time, but most plastics can last longer than most people which is really all that matters for a piece of equipment used for personal defense or issued for carry. I'll take leather for looks and lack of rattling, but good plastic is quite durable and we can only hope that Safariland is using the good stuff.

  6. #6
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    I carry one of the Safariland holsters daily and my current 'rolltop' is a decade old and still going strong. I have one "new" and one older model.

    The new back plate while aggravating to those who like their holster locked into position, is very popular with a large number of officers despite the detraction's.

    One bonus is that only 3 back plates need to be stocked, low, mid-ride and hi-ride. Before a good number of holsters (most) had different back plates and each one had to be stocked, inventoried and dispersed to various retailers. Worse yet, if they ran out of back plates before holsters, they'd have to make a whole new run of back plates that may not sell. Bad for merchandising and inventory.

    Actually the Safari-Laminate that they use, is very durable, proven by the fact that it's been in use for decades now.

    But if it really offends you, the back plate that is, depending on your weapon, check with your local cop-shop and have them try to find you one of the older models with the dual set-screw back plate.

    Cheap and dirty trick, mark your holsters position on the belt where you like it to ride, take the rig off and put some 2" industrial velcro between the holster back plate and the belt. It does help prevent shifting. If height is the issue, get a different back plate.

  7. #7
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    They have merged with Bianchi, and even though they have both the leather and the elite, I favor the non leather. First you can't tell the difference at first sight. More durable and no maintenace. My area is damp, and the leather will hold moisture, the other doesn't seem to. The cost for the full duty belt isn't any less expensive ( somewhere close to $400) but is very much more durable. Only downside is I have had to replace retention scews on both. The Bianchi one of two that retains the holster from sliding on the belt, and on the Safari, the two that hold the holster to the belt loop.
    If it wasn't for department policy for a level two retention, I would be using a single retention that is quicker and not so unhandy. Somehow, someways disappointed, as I feel a 100 to $130 holster shouldn't need to be fooled with I do favor the controls on the Bianchi over the Safariland that is basically a top and near the bottom next to the trigger guard thumb snap. Bianchi is a lever release next to the guard.

  8. #8
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    Could be worse - we issue FOBUS!
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

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  9. #9
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    I love the old school basket weave safariland holsters.

  10. #10
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    Yeah me too! That Bianchi elite simulated leather is basket weave. It looks great, and have had remarks of it being a good looking set of leathers! Just nod my head, and don't disclose that it isn't leather. If you have to go to the brush in this country or in and out of the patrol car in this country, it tears leather up pretty good S3econd owner on this set, and it still looks new. Wipe off with a damp rag followed by a soft dry restores it without a bunch of work.

  11. #11
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    When I was a working LEO we still used and issued leather. And had to reissue it fairly regularly. I have to imagine the plastic stuff will last longer even if I don't like it. All my holsters and rigs are still leather although it is getting harder to find.
    I prefer not to shoot cartridges younger than I am!

  12. #12
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    You should have your wallet and keys on your left side anyway-you should have your weapon hand free when you're wallet is out, or you're opening a door.

    At least that's what they told us in training...

    Larry

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