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
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.
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.