There are a couple of sayings I remember from when I was young: “Dress to impress” and “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

As a young boy I can remember watching my dad take off his gun belt with all the necessary accoutrements—holster, magazine and OC pouches, cuff cases—and polish them. As he polished the leather and shined the brass snaps, he would say, “If you want people to treat you like a professional, you have to look and act like a professional.” Never once did he go on duty—much less into court—looking like someone out of the Dukes of Hazzard.

Safariland 6280 holster shown with Hansen’s Kimber TLE/RL II fitted with SureFire X300 weapon light.

Several months ago I received some duty gear from Safariland for evaluation. First up was a Model 6280-5340-81 holster for my Kimber TLE/RL II fitted with a SureFire X300 weapon light.

This holster is a mid ride with a Level II retention device. Longtime readers know I am a big fan of retention devices, especially for a uniformed officer. The 6280 is equipped with Safariland’s SLS (Self Locking System). In order to release the retention strap, the user presses down on the release latch with the thumb and, while keeping pressure on the latch, rolls the strap forward and clear of the weapon.

Back of holster has hard plastic piece that attaches to holster with three heavy-duty screws.

Any retention device will impede the speed of the drawstroke to some degree, and so diligent practice is a must until releasing the retention device and drawing the weapon in one smooth motion become second nature. I have observed more than one officer release the retention device on their holster while walking up on a vehicle stop or going up to a door at night, because they thought they were faster to the gun if it was unsnapped.

Obviously, however, this defeats the reason of having a Level II rig in the first place. If you have to go hands-on with a suspect and you go to the ground, having the added retention is going to play in your favor.

The outside of the Safariland 6280 holster is made of heavy grain cowhide, and while the 6280 is available in different finishes, mine was black in color with a basket-weave design, making for a very nice-looking holster.

The inside of the holster is a soft suede leather to protect the gun’s finish. The back of the holster has a hard plastic piece that attaches to the holster with three heavy-duty screws and allows the holster to attach to the gunbelt. This belt attachment cants the holster outboard very slightly and forms a “jacket slot.” At the rear of the holster is a tension screw that controls how tight the pistol is held in place. The bottom of the holster has a hard plastic cap to protect the lens of the weapon’s light.

The entire holster is completely dehorned of any sharp edges and has a very nice finish to it. I found this holster to be an excellent Level II retention rig and plan to wear it a lot.

It has been said that a good belt is the foundation for a good drawstroke. I couldn’t agree more. With that in mind, I attached the 6280 holster to Safariland’s Model 875-38-8 duty gun belt. This 2 ¼-inch wide belt is double thickness—stitched together its entire length—has a Sam Browne-type buckle and black basket-weave finish.

Holster is equipped with Safariland’s Self Locking System.

A uniformed officer can do some one-stop shopping with Safariland. When kitted out with the other necessary items—magazine and OC pouches, cuff and radio cases—the quality of Safariland products is such that they are likely to serve well for many years.

I was very pleased at both the quality of this gear as well as the appearance.

“If you want people to treat you like a professional, you have to look and act like a professional.” Mission accomplished.


Dept. S.W.A.T.
3120 E. Mission Blvd.
Ontario, CA 91761
(800) 347-1200

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