If you are like me and spend a lot of time in the woods you want some kind of personal protection. So you go out and buy a nice handgun that suits your tastes as well as budget. Now you need a holster. A holster is one of the most important pieces of gear any shooter can use; a good holster keeps you alive and safe, a bad holster can get you killed. I have found an option that suits both the practical and the tactical shooter and it is the Safariland 578 Pro-Fit GLS (Grip Lock System) Paddle holster. It is safe, reliable and extremely durable. I trust my life and my family’s lives with this holster because it suits my needs and it may do the same for yours.
Before You Buy
There are literally thousands of holsters to choose from so finding the right one can be quite an overwhelming task. Each holster boasting different options to suit the needs of different shooters, so it is important for you to ask yourself a simple question: What do I need this holster for? For myself, I need a holster that is comfortable, safe and reliable. I also needed a holster that I could carry all day, no matter where I am going or what I am doing and concealment is not always a concern of mine. Consider the safety, the comfort, and reliability of the holster. This is a tool that carries your weapon and this is an important decision.
Safariland‘s GLS™ (Grip Lock System) secures the weapon once holstered, it is designed to fit a wide array of different handguns, it is made from an injection molded polymer and has a molded paddle with integrated belt loops. The Safariland’s GLS™ (Grip Lock System) allows the shooter to simply use their middle finger to press a lever in as they draw, FAR safer and more intuitive.
Safariland got its start in the industry over 50 years ago when their founder made a holster for his father inside of his home garage. They have made holsters used by law enforcement, security contractors, civilians, and even private purchase for the military. The Safariland 578 is my go-to holster for everyday carry which is my Glock 21. For me, the holster works better as an open carry option and there are far better options for those who require more concealment.
- Grip-Lock System allows for safer and more intuitive draw
- Integrated belt loops in the paddle allow for multiple carry options
- Injection molded polymer is extremely durable
- Interior of holster designed not to wear down finish on weapon
- Not well suited for total concealment
- Polymer is not as comfortable to some as other options
- Not Ambidextrous (can be only ordered in left or right)
- Integrated Belt loops require removing belt to remove holster
Features and Benefits
The Safariland 578 boasts many useful and practical features giving the user lots of options. The ability to use the integrated belt loops on the padded holster makes it easy to set your weapon up no matter how you draw. Cross draw? No problem, it easily fits on your opposite side just as easily as it fits for those of us who like our weapon on our strong side for standard draws.
The Grip-Lock System is perfect in its simplicity. It keeps the weapon retained very well in the holster, yet still allowing for a safe, quick and easy draw. I have worn this holster fly fishing in the backcountry using some tight, overgrown trails. Never had an issue, and the paddle keeps the holster pretty tight to your body, so it tends not to get snagged anymore than anything else does in the willows. Having the ability to know my weapon is secure, but also accessible is a great thing to have when you are in the thick bush and startle mamma bear.
The Injected mold polymer is tough and durable. I put my holsters through hell, and I expect them to come back and the 578 always comes back. Rain, mud, snow, desert heat, submerged in rivers (I have worn this on my wading belt when fly fishing) any clime or place it has held up and functioned perfectly. While I do not carry every day in town, I do carry when I travel. Its design fits snug up to your body making it concealable by a jacket or a larger shirt, however, I carry a larger frame pistol so it does tend to print a little bit.
I have used paddled holsters in the past before that I felt were uncomfortable after long-term use and they tended to nearly fall out when doing lots of maneuvering in tight places. The paddle on the 578 with its ability to also attach to my belt, means it stays right where I need it, so when I want it I know it will be there. That said, it does mean I have to undo my belt to take it off when I go to places where carrying is frowned on or illegal.
If you carry in your vehicle, the holster stays tight to your body yet is still about as comfortable as you would generally expect when carrying a holster, but it’s not uncomfortable by any means. It also allows the weapon to ride in an easy to reach area but also allows for being in plain view or could also be easily concealed depending on your preference and laws for carrying in a motor vehicle.
Concealed or open carrying the draw on this holster is smooth and very safe The grip lock is released by a lever pressed by the middle finger when drawing. The way the finger lines up when pressing the lever is very natural and intuitive. As you press up, the lever releases the grip and the weapon is free to draw. The proprietary nylon blend stands up to extreme heat and cold but also is not abrasive on the finish of your weapon.
I mentioned the weapon I carried, this holster carries a large assortment of weapons like the Glock 17, 22, 20, 21, S&W M&P 9/40, M&P C.O.R.E., and the H&K P30L. There are other versions that allow for the carry of other weapons as well. Even longer framed pistols like the ones made by Beretta fit in them, in all Safariland makes the 578 to fit over 70 pistols.
Since everyone has their opinion and we all like when our opinions are validated I took to the internet to check reviews on the Safariland 578. I was happy to see that I was not alone and that the majority of others who bought this holster were very happy and for the same reasons. Take a look at what some others have said about the holster.
CYA Supply is a Veteran owned company that backs their products and produces high-quality holsters. Their IWB option is better suited for concealed carry so for those of you who are looking for a good concealable option this would be my choice. Solid design, good retention, and an easy draw.
Blackhawk is a household name among shooters. They have been in the business of supporting shooters across the board from Civilian to military and have some very high-quality equipment. I do like the Serpa holsters, but I am against the idea of pushing my TRIGGER finger IN toward the trigger guard when I am drawing. That is really my only hang up on the holster, beyond that it functions perfectly and has a lot of the same qualities that I look for in holsters. It is not an unsafe holster, there are just safer holsters.
Not everyone is a fan of polymer holsters or they prefer the look and feel of leather more. Aker makes a great holster that has a thumb-break retention device to keep it safe and secure. It is sleek, close to the body, and comfortable to carry. It is also quite handsome in my opinion and offers a more classic look.
Safariland 578 Pro-Fit GLS Paddle Holster Review Final Thoughts
What you carry is not nearly as important as what you carry it in, because when seconds count you do not need anything in your way. The Safariland 578 offers you a safe, reliable, and comfortable carrying option. Whether you are backpacking and want some extra protection, or you are driving cross country to do some fly fishing the 578 has you covered. I use mine often, almost every day and I recommend you do the same. Personal preferences vary from person to person so if not the 578, find what works for you and make it happen.
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