So I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of modularity – whether guns or accessories, like the concealed carry holster I reviewed recently from Priority 1 Holsters. Today, instead of concealed carry gear, I’m going to review a modular duty holster system: the Safariland Quick Locking System (QLS).
I’ve been using Safariland holsters for a long time (probably 10+ years), but I just started using their QLS within the last two years. A couple of things started driving this use – I became a reserve deputy sheriff and wanted to be able to use the same holster across multiple missions, and I started contract instructing that required me to run demonstrations with an M9 instead of my usual Glock.
The QLS allows me to mix and match my holsters and accessories to meet the mission. For example, the duty belt that I wear on patrol is an awful lot to wear if I’m doing administrative work or attending a meeting. So instead of having to wreck my back unnecessarily, I can unclip the holster and put it on a basic belt loop attachment instead of having to buy two different holsters at $50-100 a piece. On my training belt, if I’m teaching a pistol class to civilian students, I normally teach with my Glock. When I switch over to my contract classes, all I have to do it switch out the holster and my belt configuration remains the same without having to buy two complete belt setups. This will become even more important as the M18 makes its way into the system and I may have to teach with both the M9 and M18.
The QLS is made of two parts: 1) the locking fork and 2) the receiver plate. The receiver plate mounts to your accessories, whether a standard belt loop, universal belt loop, or a drop rig. The locking fork mounts to the back of the holster of your choice. Safariland sells these pieces in kits as well as separate, so you can buy one of each or multiples of one, depending on whether you have multiple holsters, multiple mounts, or both. The fork slides into the receiver plate, engaging four points: a set of teeth at the top of the plate, a lug slot at the bottom, and locking point on each side of the plate. To release, simply squeeze the forks and lift up.
The multiple points of engagement (top, bottom, and sides) makes the lockup very solid and stable. The large size of the QLS also spreads out the weight a bit more, as opposed to some systems that concentrate the weight in a small 2-3″ area.
As far as negatives go, probably the biggest one I’ve noticed is that the QLS does push the holster out away from your accessory by about 1/2″, as you can see in the picture below:
As I mentioned before, I have not noticed any additional flop or sagging from this added space.
Now, if the idea of being able to pull off your holster sounds both awesome and risky to you, Safariland has a solution to that as well – the QLS-22L. This gets a little tricky, as both the QLS-22 and 22L have the same part number molded on them, but the 22L incorporates two nubs at the bottom of the receiver plate that keep the locking forks from being disengaged without purposeful effort.
As you can see from the picture below, those nubs on the 22L sit behind the forks. If you try to disengage, it requires a much more purposeful squeeze and lift instead of the simple squeeze of the QLS-22. This is ideal for individuals such as LEOs or security personnel who may be concerned with retention during an altercation.
Overall, the QLS is a great system for those of us who need a modular solution for our holster needs. You can purchase QLS kits here, or purchase the fork and plate separately. Please keep in mind that if you want the QLS-22L, you need to buy it in a kit. I have not seen it for sale on Safariland’s site separately, although you may be able to find it at other retailers.