Safariland 578 GLS Pro-Fit — A holster to replace all others?

By CTD Blogger published on in Gun Gear

I’ll admit it; I’m a little ADD when it comes to which holster I pull out to wear for the day. I change “favorite” holsters more than Paris Hilton changes boyfriends (is she even relevant anymore?). A lot of it is driven by which firearm I deem appropriate for where I’ll be going, and what I’ll be doing for the day. As a result, I tend to burn way too much daylight standing glassy eyed in front of a drawer full of holsters.

By Gordon Meehl

Safariland 578 GLS holster with Glock pistol

The open top, low-cut profile allows the 578 GLS Pro-Fit to sit comfortably on the hip. The GLS retention system keeps your pistol secure while facilitating release with a natural draw motion.

At best, I’ve found a holster I could use on similar models, like a Glock 22, 23, or 27 for instance. The Safariland 578 GLS (Grip Locking System) Pro-Fit, however, is the solution to my first world problem. With a simple adjustment, this polymer nylon holster can fit dozens of handguns. Not only can it fit a wide variety of pistols, it can keep them nicely secured against your hip.

As a level 1 secure duty holster, the 578 GLS Pro-Fit automatically retains your firearm when holstering the gun by locking on to the trigger guard. The open-top design provides for unobstructed access to your firearm, allowing for an intuitive and positive draw. Using your natural draw motion, your middle finger pushes the locking lever forward to free the pistol in one smooth action. This design allows your weapon to be drawn from a secured holster without needing to add an additional step to your draw sequence or utilizing a fine motor skill to unlock the retention, which can slow your draw.

The holster is made of a polymer nylon material known as Safari Seven. This material is extremely durable, yet slick and soft, so as not to harm your gun’s finish. It can take a beating and if gets scratched or gouged, simply buff out the blemish with something semi abrasive—steel wool for example.

The 578 GLS conjoins to your body in one of two ways. Safariland includes a paddle backing as well as a backing designed for those who’d rather slip the holster onto their belt. Both are made of the same Safari Seven molded polymer as the holster itself. Each backing is secured to the main holster body with three Allen screws rather than using cheap rivets. These screws provide a very strong marriage of the backing to the main holster body. The height and cant can also be adjusted by re-positioning these screws.

Safariland 578 GLS holster paddle

Included with the 578 GLS Pro-Fit are tools and parts to switch from a paddle holster to a belt loop carry.

The first things I noticed about the paddle were its size and vigorous curve. I found the paddle to be comfortable, providing for a stable platform for the holster. I was worried that the polymer belt backing would feel stiff and uncomfortable, but it proved to be as secure and comfortable a platform as the paddle.

Safariland also includes a T-handled hex wrench to adjust the holster tension to fit your pistol of choice. Simply place your chosen firearm in the holster, and adjust the tension screw so your firearm is lovingly snug within the holster.

I tested the holster with my Vayser Arms Glock 19, and it performed perfectly. Even though I was using the version of the 578 designed for compact pistols, I wanted to test the holster’s versatility but also to test it with my M&P 45 and 1911. Again, the holster exceeded expectations. The holster comes in 4 lengths to match the size of pistol you wish to carry (keeping in mind, however, long pistols can fit into the shorter holsters with the barrel protruding from the bottom.) The available sizes are sub-compact, compact, standard, and long.

The 578 GLS Pro-Fit is comfortable and secure as an open-carry duty holster, but also held up to scrutiny when worn concealed. I’m in the habit of carrying IWB with a touchable holster, so I was wary of how well the 578 GLS would disappear under a windbreaker, sport coat, or untucked knit polo-type shirt. However, the compact profile did not print and was easily drawn from concealment when worn with looser fitting “heavier” apparel. Though it remained relatively innocuous under longer t-shirts and dri-fit golf shirts, the position of my carry became a little more obvious when moving around in lighter garments.

The biggest selling point of the 578 GLS Pro-Fit is its ability to easily holster a wide variety of popular pistols. It is greatly reducing the number of holsters in my quiver and eliminates the morning head scratcher of which holster to wear. The level 1 retention of the grip locking system is far and away a better option than the harder to draw friction-based systems.

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Comments (7)

  • William Forbes

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    I have seen plenty of reports; some one shoot themselves in the leg while even training. Happened in my department, with a 3 step system also. So its all about training and confidence in handling of a firearm.

    Reply

  • JR Bailey

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    Being dirt poor, and currently not owning even a single sidearm, I must say that I busted out laughing at your “glassy eyed” statement: the fact that you have so many holsters, is because you have so many sidearms!!!

    My heart bleeds due to the severity of your situation!!

    Reply

  • Daniel Wisehart

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    The only person I ever saw shoot himself in the leg in competition used a holster with a retention system.

    Almost everyone else uses a race holster with nothing more than friction retention and they do so without endangering themselves or others. A few of the LEOs and retired LEOs use a duty holster with a leather loop over the top of the hammer, because that is what they carry every day. Note that if you drop a gun during a competition–loaded or not, and we run around a lot in a three-gun match–you are disqualified from the match, so there is a heavy penalty for losing control of your gun.

    My concealed carry holster does not have retention and I think it is a lot safer because of it.

    Reply

    • Quek Cumberbatch

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      I didn’t realize the review was restricted to competitive situations.
      About thong, or for that matter velcro’ed safety straps, aren’t you in your comments assuming no modifications to trigger pull pressures? Competent smithys will tell you that below 4lbs the risks for accidental discharges and discharges from mishandling or dropping go up dramatically. Static competitive shooting is one thing. Active movement competitive shooting is something else.
      Also, aren’t you assuming that through dry fire and live training, users of such devices cannot be trained up to your safety levels? I don’t see any proof, circumstantial or otherwise, to the contrary. Do you? If you do, please share it/them.
      Finally, competitions are different. Everything is pointed in one direction. There’s no imminent actual or potential physical threat. Hence, you don’t “need” the added self-protective precautions.
      Semper Fi

      Reply

    • Me

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      My wife and I have been members of Front Sight Firearms Training for many years, the best in America. They don’t allow retention holsters on their ranges, if they don’t allow it, they always have a really good reason, almost always safety related. As far as accidental discharges, there is no such thing, only negligent discharges. If you are interested in a lifetime Diamond membership for $100, let me know.

      Reply

  • QuekCumberbatch

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    Pardon me if this is out of line, but:
    -1- is there a left handed version?
    -2- might they have been considerate enough to accommodate laser pointers or illumination devices?,
    -3- shouldn’t you have addressed whether or not the holster design results in the user increasing or decreasing their visible profile as they move to unlock and then draw?
    And,
    -4- if so, what’s that added movement(s) do to the time required to draw and point, and likely suggest the need for serious dry fire practice?
    Otherwise, good info.
    Semper Fi

    Reply

    • Adam

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      1) According to safariland.com, there are left-handed versions.

      2) No, there isn’t room for a rail-mounted accessory – the trigger guard lock mechanism is in the way.

      3) How, exactly, do you think this holster works? Your middle finger ends up against the lock as you grip the gun. Push with that finger as you begin to draw, and the pistol is free.

      If you’re in a situation where you’re worried about “visible profile”, you likely shouldn’t be drawing a pistol in the first place.

      4) You should practice the draw stroke any time you plan to change your regular pistol, holster, or carry location.

      Reply

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