Safariland ALS Hanging Up Draw Stroke

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by D.B. Cooper, May 3, 2022.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have a brand new Safariland ALS holster that I'm just starting to work with It is constantly hanging up on the draw stroke coming out of the holster. Not sure if it's my technique, my body profile (i.e. "love handles") or a real problem with the holster. Does it need to be broke in? I can see the locking mechanism hanging up on the front of the slide as I'm drawing the pistol out.

    My technique is pretty standard. I've been shooting USPSA with a kydex holster (no retention) for a few years (but not with this gun-gun and holster are both brand new). Grab pistol with shooting grip, thumb on the lock release. Press release. Draw gun straight up. Drop elbow. Gun is parallel to ground. Punch out and build two handed grip in one movement. Pretty straight forward stuff. I seem to get better results with this kit if I try to cant the pistol rearward before it's out of the holster.

    Do I need to adjust my technique? Is there an adjustment on the holster? (Can I just remove the mechanism and have no retention?) I'm going to Gunsite in 4 weeks, so I'm running out of time to make adjustments. My backup holster is a USGI M12, and I don't think Gunsite will allow it.
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Why don't you get a copy of the holster you use for USPSA for your new gun?
     
  3. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    That was made by a local company. They don't offer a model with belt loop; their holsters use belt clips, and I don't think Gunsite will approve. I could probably rig something up with zip ties.

    Yeah, you're right. I need to come up with a backup.
     
  4. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I worked with it a lot last night. Hours of repeated draws. One thing I've noticed is I'm slightly rotating the pistol counter clockwise just slightly. So some of (perhaps all of) this is my technique.
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I recall we talked about this stuff a while back, but I don't remember all the details. I tried to search your old posts to refresh my memory on what gun you are using, to see if I could recommend an easily obtainable back up holster, but it seems you, or somebody else has disabled that capability.

    Comp-Tac and Blade-Tech are two common training holsters that cover a lot of gun options (not as many as they used to) and typically ship pretty quickly, in addition, they are often available through other retailers.
     
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I finally found it, a Beretta 92FS for Gunsite 250 class https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/gear-for-gunsite-250.899997/

    Considering that I recommended the following holsters in the other thread ...

    Blade-Tech Classic with SRB/ASR https://blade-tech.com/products/classic-owb-holster

    Comp-Tac International https://www.comp-tac.com/international-neutral-colors

    Dale Fricke Gideon Elite https://dalefrickeholsters.com/product/gideon-elite-holster/

    JM Custom Kydex has multiple options https://www.jmcustomkydex.com/c/Beretta-Holsters.html

    Muddy River Tactical https://muddyrivertactical.com/product/outside-waistband-kydex-holster/

    Red Hill Tactical https://www.redhilltactical.com/Beretta-Competition-Holsters_p_33.html

    Dara Holsters https://www.daraholsters.com/owb/

    ... while some of these models can be had with a retention device, the primary models from these makers don't have retention devices and wouldn't cause problems on the draw stroke like the Safariland does ...
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
    D.B. Cooper likes this.
  7. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Not sure what's going on with the OP. But I use two different ALS holsters. One for a Glock 22, one for a Glock 26. The G22 version is a Safarilaminate duty model, the G26 version is all plastic.
    Both of my ALS holsters are smooth as silk, when the catch is pressed.
     
  8. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    Unfortunately I think it’ll just boil down to needing to practice. The Safariland holster I recently got (SLS/ALS) was a little tight when I first got it, but it did loosen up a tad bit after a few draws. It is still a bit tighter than my older SLS/ALS holster (several years old with many more draws) but it’s significantly better than when it first came out of the box. If you’ve spent a night doing dry draw practice, you’re probably over any initial “break in” type issues.

    I would try to figure out what exactly is happening when you get a hang up. When you establish your grip, are you missing the lever? Or are you not pulling the lever far enough?

    I have noticed that the lever does like to hang up if you put upward pressure on the gun prior to disengaging the lock. If you can always find the lever and you always push it until it won’t move any further, this is probably what’s happening. The only solution to that is to practice and slow down your draw making sure that depressing the lever and trying to move the gun are distinctly different steps. Then once you’re 100% on that, start to increase the speed.

    Another option is the “nub mod” which makes the lever a bit larger. Not too expensive and is surprisingly effective at making it easier to disengage the retention.



    I would recommend keeping the retention system on the holster and learning to use it well. If you’re ever doing something like a carbine course with a lot of movement, it is really nice to know that there is no possible way for your pistol to fall out of the holster. I know a good holster should be able to retain a loaded gun if it’s upside down, but sometimes the environment can mess with that. Bump against cover, chairs/car seats, kneeling down next to a strategically placed tree branch… all can put upward pressure on the grip of your gun and make it come loose. That won’t happen with a good retention holster. The gun will always be where you left it. (Plus, I’ve seen some courses actually require a retention holster.)

    Anyway, if you do decide that you just can’t live with the ALS system… for a non-optic holster there should be a hex screw at the front of the holster (along the sight pistol’s radius) that holds the ALS system. If you have a holster designed for a pistol optic, there will be a screw on the outside of the holster that does the same thing. The pistol optic model also uses a spring, so watch for that. I don’t believe the non-optic version uses a spring.
     
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  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You might also try a different holster of the same model. Maybe your issue is variations in manufacturing tolerances? I don't have another duplicate holster to try out, but you might want a spare anyway for a match/class gun.
     
  10. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    The Safariland ALS holsters do not require any break-in. I've used the 63 and 73 series ALS holsters as duty holsters since abound 2006 and not had any issues like what you describe.

    Question: do you depress the release tab with the ball of your thumb or do you put your whole thumb over it, pressing down with the tab right under the crease/joint of your thumb?

    If using the tip of one's thumb, definitely creates uneven pressure on the release (side to side) instead of completely unlocking the retention tab.
     
  11. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I don't know how; I couldn't find it, either.
     
  12. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So, what I can see that's happening is the front of the slide on the 92FS, you know how they have that long, open-top design? At the front of that is a bridge on which the front sight sits...that bridge is hanging up on the locking tab on the way out of the gun. Since the Glocks don't have that design, this isn't an issue for them. And no, I'm not buying a Glock.
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I think you're right. I think it's my technique and form. I think with this gun type and this holster in combo, it's going to require a near perfect draw stroke every time. This is probably not the ideal holster for my particular gun, but it's probably not insurmountable, either.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
  14. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    (If not solved with the above:)

    All I have seen/heard is not depressing the release lever ALL THE WAY and on some guns (like M9) for as long as you can, meaning till your hand comes off it during the draw, instead of just pressing and releasing for a moment as though it's an electronic pushbutton.

    This is why The Nub was made, and with my weirdly short thumbs, I really needed it to get a consistent draw with the ALS. I thought most/all came from Safariland central command with extended levers, but may have dreamed that. Pay attention to the thumb pushing all the way down, till the lever doesn't move any further, (even if for now it's a weird angle to move your thumb over there for now) and if that solves, it, get this so you can do that with a more natural hand position instead.

    A /handful/ of gun/holster combos can also get sorta... locked up in there, though I hate saying it like that, so if it is not the above, try being more vigorous about seating the web of your hand into the backstrap, effectively pushing the gun down ever so slightly just before/as you hit the release. That may kick the gun loose from whatever is going on inside so it comes up. Not sure what is happening internally, but reportedly it fixed some people's issues I have heard of and not a bad thing to really get on the gun anyway, so shouldn't be unnatural.


    Also, yeah, I've been to Gunsite with Blade Tec, no problems at all and perfectly reliable. If you want to get a different range holster because you won't otherwise be using a retention holster outside of class that is. I do love the ALS and have done classes with mine, so once you are used to it, days of drawing is just still not a problem.
     
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