After having heard debates and insight on duty gear I wanted to add my own
two cents worth.
How many agencies have taken the gear they issue, use, or approve for wear
and really test its worthiness?
A case in point. Our agency issues the Don Hume the H739 SH NO. 34 as a
duty holster. We use this holster to carry our SW 4506s in. After many
years of complaints and bitching about its lack of quality a study was
conducted. Two recent disarming where the gun was still in the holster
after the officer was disarmed prompted this. We performed actual
destruction testing on these holsters by attempting to pull the holster off
of the gunbelt. Every single time the holster failed at the jacket slot
connection. Kinda hard to retain your weapon if it isn’t on you belt. The
same holster is used for the SW 4506 and SW4506-1. These are two different
weapons. The -1 is a 45 on a 10mm frame and the trigger guard is rounded
not hooked like the 06. this means that the gun rides about 3/8″ of an inch
lower in the holster and it is difficult to resnap because the snaps do not
We then contacted our uniform supplier for sample holsters of all makes and
models that on the surface appeared to be what we needed. Videotape was
used to document the weapon retention and disarming attempts.
Leather holsters failed every time. The only holster that withstood a full
sized man aggressively pulling attempting to pull the weapon off of the
gunbelt was Safariland. Every holster from the Top Gun, the SSIII, and the
6280 perform very well. While several other holsters were satisfactory in
fit, finish, and function, none could withstand the test of being ripped off
the gunbelt. Upon sending the rejects back to the supplier he raised hell
and wanted to know why they were all busted up. We said that he allowed us
to have them for testing and evaluation and they failed.
End result. What you think is strong may not be. If I shelled out my own
money I would not be ready to destroy my own holster to see if it would hold
up. However this needs to be done. Obtain samples from your uniform
supplier and test them. It may save your life.
Sgt. Alex W. Behnen #5271
Columbus Division of Police
120 Marconi Blvd.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone 1-614-645-4924 2p-10p Thu/Fri off
Fax 1-614-645-2517 Anytime
Until next time, stay safe.