The first Safariland product I ever tried was an old leather paddle holster that a rep gave my husband years ago. He let me use it for my first IDPA match; it was his favorite holster… Yeah, I liked it so much that after trying several others I finally just added spacers (to help with my hips curvature) and “his” became “hers”. Safariland now makes holsters especially for women but we’ll talk about that some other time.
When I started shooting more USPSA matches I decided I deserve an ELS belt. I had seen them on other people and desperately wanted one. At the time I worked at MidwayUSA so thanks to my employee discount I acquired the (black) belt, the under-belt and the locking system kit pretty cheap. Boy, oh boy, is this thing sturdy! Soon I bought another black belt (just because I had to have the basket finish too) but today I want to talk about and show you in pictures my current RED open gun rig setup (first saw it on Maggie Reese and had to have it). I absolutely love it, I would never switch, and I hope my pictures & review help you in your decision-making process!
Review: This belt/holster set up is not only stylish, it is extremely sturdy, customizable and multifunctional. The (hard) plastic receiver plates can be bolted onto the belt and the “male” ones to various pouches and accessories. It makes for super easy and quick switches, not to mention you can adjust the angle! The 014 holster (which you can bolt directly onto the belt or use a receiver like I have) is AMAZING! It has a patented system in it (looks like a ball inside) that allows you to adjust it to whatever, I mean whatever angle you like. You can also adjust the length & tightness. The locking devise is perfect for me – super secure so I know my gun won’t fall out when locked, yet easy to unlock. Not to mention it is super lightweight (aluminum probably) but strong. The red powder coating on it is also super durable. I have used this setup for a year now and there are no scratches! Seriously, I am really rough on my gear and this thing looks brand new. I guess the only complaint I have is that the belt is so hard & sturdy that when I fully load it for 3-gunning for example – it bruises my hips. I guess men won’t have the same complaint, not only because of the lack of hips but also because “too sturdy” is hardly a complaint. Did I also mention that the red color is killer – really my style but also suitable for men. It turns heads at the range regardless of gender and I have already talked several of my friends into buying one. I wore it during the Bianchi Cup last year and got tons of compliments – read about that experience HERE.
For both weekend warriors like myself and serious competitors – it just doesn’t get any better than this system. Worth the money 100% and I think they have a Holsters.com deal going on right now: you get a 50% off card if you renew your IDPA membership: Click HERE for details. Also, you can watch Jim Stoutten’s video review HERE.
- Look: 10/10
- Durability: 10/10
- Comfort: 9/10
- Usability: 10/10
So, this is how the whole setup looks (sorry, my pics are a bit dark):
Here is a detail of the basket finish – personally I like it better than the nylon look because it reminds me of fiber glass:
Here is the front/top of the mag pouch – you can see how thick, yet light it is; then the leather(?) is glued on top.
Here is the back of the pouch: you can see I have mine at an angle.
You can see I have my holster attached to one of the receiver systems for easy holster swap but you can also bolt it directly to the belt.
Here is the side view. You can adjust the tension with the round dial and the black “thingy” above it is the locking mechanism.
Here is the back view (facing your thigh). It is very comfortable even when I bump into it.
Here is where your gun sits; as I said earlier – the locking mechanism is very reliable (if you remember to use it) but even when not on “lock” the gun still sits in very well so it won’t just fall out unless you’re jumping around. I still wouldn’t chance it so please don’t try that!
Here is an overall view of the holster:
I hope you have enjoyed my review. Please leave a comment if you did or if you have any additional questions. As I have mentioned before – I am very far from a professional so I probably can’t get very technical but I’ll do my best. Also, please know that while some of the items I review have been sent to me as free samples, my opinions are honest and true – you can count on me to tell you the truth as is!
Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,