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Open Carry holster - ALS vs. Reflex?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by jdavionic, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    For those that OC, I have seen good reviews on the Safariland ALS design. Uncle Mike's has their Reflex holster that I've been looking at as well.

    I'm not sure I like the idea of the twist to unlock functionality of the Reflex. It's cited as natural draw movement, but it locked for someone grabbing your gun. However I think of someone coming up behind you and either striking you and taking your weapon as your body responds to the blow or perhaps a quick grab attempt from behind. In either case, I wonder whether their motion would be close enough to that 'natural drawing' motion to unlock the weapon.

    On the ALS, I think it would be a little slower than the Reflex. with any holster, you should practice, practice, perhaps that's a non-issue. Any opinions on the ALS from those that own one?

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    On the ALS:

    It's a fine holster. The locking system is the best general-purpose retention I've seen to date. Its release is accomplished fairly naturally, and the time penalty is not significant if you do things in the right order.

    It's big, though, and it will always protrude a bit more than a pancake holster, or most other purpose-built concealment rigs. And you won't be able to switch between different sized models of the same gun like you might with other products. (G17 --> G19 --> G26 for example.)

  3. Most of the Safariland offerings are pretty big unless hanging off a duty belt. They are stiff, and unforgiving and very good at what they do. Practice is obviously paramount on whatever you choose, I think the UM design is similar what they offered on their duty holsters. I know many agencies did not consider those holsters level III by definition. I think the VTac/5.11 may be a better choice, not sure if you considered it or not. Despite controversy I like the Serpa's as well. They are a good value and work. People manage to shoot themselves despite what kind of holsters they use.
  4. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

    Apr 30, 2000
    Lexington, KY
    We're issued ALS paddleback holsters (Model 6378) for plainclothes work. I love it. The draw motion is natural (and fast) with very little practice. I won't open carry with anything else.

    One other thing with the ALS paddleback is that the paddle itself is very broad and the hook that catches under your belt is very deep and, consequently, secure. It slides on easily enough, but you almost have to take off your belt to get it off. It's very secure, especially compared to cheaper paddleback rigs.

    As others have mentioned, it's definitely not a concealment rig, except in heavy coat weather.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  5. G22Dude


    Jan 23, 2009
    ALS is a great holster system. I've moved from a Safariland model with just a hood guard to the ALS and I love it.
  6. LeMat

    LeMat Jellybaby?

    Aug 9, 2003
    Flathead Valley, MT
    I love the ALS as well. I found that the thumb "lever" was a bit slick and simply stippled it.

    I use them for both a Glock 20 and a 1911. Find them to be very effective open carry rigs and they offer a sense of security for me when carrying openly.

    The paddles seem to be molded for folks with a little less hip then what I have. :p

    Sent from my TT Capsule Type 40 MkI TARDIS
  7. xmanhockey7


    Dec 6, 2010
    It's what I use for OC and I like it a lot. Would recommend it to just about anyone for OC.
  8. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I love the ALS for my Glock 19 but frankly I never use it as I don't OC really ever. But they are great holsters and are especially great if you want a light-compatible version. I would NEVER OC without using a holster that has at least some kind of basic retention.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  9. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    The Serpa is my current OC holster. I have no concerns about the 'controversial' potential of an accident with it. I've even shot matches with the holster. However, I need another holster for a different gun. I'd rather get something better this go around.
  10. ACM73


    Oct 15, 2012
    I use my ALS designed for the 17/22 for both my 22 and my 19 and it works just fine. You probably wouldn't be able to use the smaller version for a bigger gun, but the bigger version works just fine for the smaller gun.
  11. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
  12. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
  13. Inebriated


    Feb 20, 2012
    My ALS is one of my favorite OWB holsters around. You NEED a good belt with them, though.
  14. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I have a nice Beltman belt.
  15. There is also the Bianchi Thumb drive holsters and the 5.11 holters for comparison.
  16. guitarded_1


    Jan 18, 2011
    I have an ALS holster, but I don't use it, as I don't OC. If I did OC, the ALS would be my go to holster. Built like a tank, very intuitive, and just rock solid. A very impressive piece of gear.
  17. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    If you look closely at the bottom of the ALS bucket, you should see a plug that holds the muzzle. It keeps the gun from tilting in the holster and causing problems for retention. If you put a 19 in a 17's holster, that plug doesn't get engaged.
  18. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
  19. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty


    It was a smart aleck anti-OC post anyway.

    Happyguy :)
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  20. up1911fan


    Mar 12, 2009
    Upper Michigan
    Hands down the ALS.