Alien Gear has a reputation for creating quality concealed carry holsters like the new Photon. These holsters are great for everyday prepared citizens. However, a different kind of holster is needed for those who carry a handgun every day for work. Duty holsters do more than simply hold your firearm. A respectable duty holster also needs to limit access and make it more difficult for a combatant to take your gun. For this reason, level two and level three active retention holsters have become the norm, even among average citizens. Alien Gear has delivered a duty holster for those who serve our communities or protect their families. This is the Rapid Force Duty Holster Tactical Tan Kit.
The Rapid Force Duty Holster:
The Rapid Force Duty Holster has everything you need in a duty holster, and we’ll talk about those features. The Tactical Tan Kit adds even more capabilities, starting with the color. This holster uses 100% IR neutral tan 499. It’s light-compatible and can fit several lights. Mine is made for the Streamlight TLR-1 HL.
● Crimson Trace CMR-205 Rail Master PRO
● Inforce APL
● Insight Technology M3
● Modlite PLHv2-PL350
● Nightstick TCM-550XL/TCM-550XLS
● Nightstick TWM-850XL/TWM-850XLS/Nightstick TWM-30
● Olight PL-2 Valkyrie
● Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie
● Pistol Enhancer LMD-PE-IR-1
● Streamlight TLR-1, TLR-1s, TLR-1 HL, TLR-7
● Streamlight TLR-8
● Surefire X300, X300U-A, X300U-B, X300V, X300V-B
● Surefire XC1, XC2
● Viridian X5L Gen 3
Some of these are only compatible with certain weapon patforms, so be sure to check the website for details.
Also included in the Tactical Tan Kit is the Swivel Drop Leg attachment, a tan leg strap, and the MOLLE Expansion Pack. This MOLLE attachment allows you to mount the holster to your plate carrier, or even inside a MOLLE-lined bag.
Re-Active Retention: The Release
I have my Duty Holster mounted using the supplied Mid Ride Belt Slide mount. The holsters male coupler sits in the female QD belt attachment. The hood is extra large to accommodate as many red dot optics as possible. This is a level three holster and requires you to push a button to release the hood. You then swipe backward on the paddle, which allows you to draw your pistol.
If you’re new to level three retention holsters, this might seem like a lot to remember when you begin your draw. The way the release is designed, there isn’t actually much thinking involved. This is thanks to Alien Gear’s patented Gross Motor Response system, or GMR. As you drive your hand down to establish your grip, your thumb presses the button. If you’re having trouble reaching the button, Alien Gear supplies different sizes. This sends the hood forward.
After the button is depressed and the hood opened, pulling your thumb back along the thumb swipe lever releases the ejection port from the holster’s locking mechanism. Now, the pistol can be drawn from the shell and employed as necessary. The mating of the two mechanisms makes this entire motion seamless. It takes advantage of the natural downward movement of the thumb during your drawstroke.
Drop It, Drop It Low: The Swivel Drop Leg
The necessity of time and tools is a crippling one. I never have enough time to do everything I need to do in one run. I also never have the one tool that I need to complete a task. Maybe it’s a curse from the Old Country. This holster, however, did an excellent job of alleviating some of that bad juju. Alien Gear’s quick disconnect system allowed me to change my holster configuration for this article, all within seconds, instead of minutes. Pull on the two textured TABS and lift the holster up to remove it. Thank you, Alien Gear, for making my day easier.
The upper assembly of the Swivel Drop Leg replaces the holster on the mid-ride quick disconnect attachment that lives on your belt. The holster is then attached to the lower portion’s female COUPLER. Fasten the leg strap, and you’ve just become the coolest version of Robo Cop.
The most valuable trait of the Swivel Drop Leg attachment is the way it articulates. The BAR that connects the two main sections of the attachment allows it to move with your leg, instead of fighting against it. This could be especially helpful when operating inside a vehicle. Pulling a gun from that low could affect your draw, in theory. In my case, the shot timer tells a different story. Any delay in my draw speed, or affect on my shooting, escaped me.
Attached at the Hip: The Mid Ride Belt Slide
The drop leg is cool, but it’s not how I typically run my holster. I’ve always been a fan of a mid ride holster, ever since my days training with Raven Wing Limited out in Southern California. My first good holster was a mid ride and I’ve never felt the need to change it. It gives you a very comfortable reach to your gun, and has a big impact on securing a quick and consistent grip.
In this configuration, there’s no specific attachment for a leg strap, but feeding it underneath the QD system works just fine, if that’s your thing.
A good duty holster should also add a level of safety beyond the locking mechanisms. They need to be rugged, durable, and tough. I had Bronson Eguchi, my photographer, make a valiant effort to get my gun from me. He pulled and twisted the holster and the grip of the gun, with no success. I didn’t have a 250 pound suspect fall on me to really test it, but I’ll leave that to our LEO friends!
The Rapid Force Duty Holster Tactical
This particular Rapid Force Duty Holster has seen thousands of reps, hundreds of wall kisses, and one happy user. The mechanisms have never locked up, fallen apart, or given me issues of any kind. I didn’t think I could ever beat anything up as much as my Glock 19, but this holster has seen its fair share. The long list of compatible lights opens this holster to all kinds of shooters, while some others limit compatibility to select, expensive lights.
If you have a compact light, there’s a version just for you. Also available is the Rapid Force LVL 2 Slim Holster if you’re looking for something lower profile. If you’re interested in any of the gear seen in this article, you can find the links below.
About the Author: Nic Lenze has been training primarily in defensive pistol shooting for the past several years. He also teaches concealed handgun permit classes in his home state of Colorado. He maintains an unwavering belief in the natural right of all people to protect their lives.
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