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Safariland ALS Holsters

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by g_one, Nov 1, 2012.

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  1. g_one

    g_one Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hey guys,

    I'm in the market for a decent holster. I want some form of retention (for open carry on the motorcycle) but I also don't like the look of a thumb break; call me vain but if I'm going to open carry, I want the back half of that cocked and locked 1911 hanging out in all it's beauty. This narrowed it down to the Blackhawk Serpa and the Safariland ALS, unless there are others that I don't know about.

    I don't really like the Serpa. I'm familiar with the controversy surrounding it - and that's not why I don't like it, so please no "there's nothing wrong with the serpa it's all user error" or "you'll shoot your foot off if you get a serpa" posts. Like I said, call me vain but the locking mechanism hanging out by the trigger is just ugly for open carry.

    So, unless anyone can recommend a good alternative, does anyone have any experience with the Safariland ALS holsters? From what I understand they are suede lined, so this should significantly reduce holster wear. Since the locking mechanism uses the ejection port, has anyone noticed any extra holster wear around there? Or on the barrel itself?
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    I have one for my 1911 that I used for a while in IDPA competition...I finally gave up on it and went to a Blade-Tec.

    I found it bulky as it had to inclose the blocking insert when fits into the ejection port...and the spring in front of it. I also found it was awkward to draw from with a with a 1911 as the motion to release the retention places the thumb in such a position that it needs to be re-cocked to swipe off the thumb safety...either that or you could release the thumb safety in before it clears the top of the holster. The release works very smoothly with any pistol that doesn't have a thumb safety located where the 1911's is.

    I didn't fine that the lining reduced wear on the bluing much. It was showing quite a bit of wear in the bluing on the sides of the front of the slide during the first couple of hundred presentations. Suede isn't a good lining for holsters anyway is it retains sand and dust which abrades the finish.

    I've had much better luck with a SLS holster (6004) with the rotating hood, because it is much more resistant to dirt and jamming...but the hood covers the rear of the gun.

    If I wanted a open topped holster to show off my gun, I'd lean toward a leather one...or at least on that depended on fit to retain the pistol.

    My friends who ride cycles or ATVs usually use a Bianchi UM-84 or a Backhawk Serpa to protect the gun for falling out and from brush
  3. postalnut25

    postalnut25 Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Colorful Colorado
    My duty holster is the ALS from safariland- works great, is secure, and it's stil fast out of the holster.

    However, I took a Safariland thigh holster to Afghanistan that was equipped with both the ALS and the SLS. I would stay away from the SLS sytem. The rotating hood can bind up very easily. I think it only took one or two grains of sand to lock it up. Taking apart a holster to clean it too often is a pain. I would bet that you could get enough gunk in the locking system riding a motorcycle to bind up the hood.
  4. Iggy

    Iggy Member

    Dec 24, 2002
  5. silversport

    silversport Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    those are BEAUTIFUL pistols...

  6. hariph creek

    hariph creek Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I've had both, for my 1911.
    Don't like the Serpa. Not a safety issue, just don't like it.
    The ALS is better. It has very positive retention and is quite fast to deploy. Protects the gun pretty well, too. Sturdy construction and a myriad of cant adjustments.
    However, it's not a good concealment holster, even with a winter coat. I also agree that the suede lining does little to prevent excessive finish wear. The points where the locking system contact the gun cause allot of damage. Plus I found that my XS Big Dot front sight was prone to snag on the draw.
    All that said? If you don't mind the wear and tear and have a low profile front sight? It's a good open carry or field holster. If I still wore a duty rig, it might be my choice?
    I'm partial to leather with a thumb break. But, am kicking around the idea of a Kydex or Bianchi flap holster, for a field/open carry holster.
  7. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    I love the ALS; best duty holster I've ever had. Incredibly fast. Incredibly durable.

    I don't worry too much about finish wear on the pistols I use in these holsters, but I really haven't noticed any undue wear on my pistols from the ALS. If you're gonna use a stainless or parkerized pistol, it shouldn't be an issue at all.

    Great product. Best law enforcement or open carry holster out there, IMO (sorry, all you Serpa fans!).

    Looks way better than the Serpa, too, if you're gonna use it for open carry.
  8. JohnnyOrygun

    JohnnyOrygun Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    Southern Oregon
    I like the Bianchi CarryLok holsters, uses your middle finger to release the gun instead of your index finger. The holster is open top with no strap, just a little black "lever" that locks on the trigger guard, the holster is available in leather and I believe a nylon model. I have the CarryLok for my Springfield Armory 1911 and it works very smoothly and doesn't require any special training, your middle finger naturally sweeps the lever as you wrap your hand around the grip. Good Luck
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