The Safariland 6378 ALS was $35 from Cheaper Than Dirt. It comes configured as a paddle out of the box and can be set up with a belt loop by unscrewing 3 screws. I wasn’t impressed with the belt loop plate at all and didn’t put it on. The paddle is broad and well curved and has a sharp hook on the holster body to catch the belt. I tried it both with a double thick Helliweg leather belt and a 5.11 1.5″ trainer’s belt and both worked well out of the box, which is fortunate, because the paddle attachment is not adjustable for height or cant.
One may reasonably question the wisdom of having a retention device on a paddle holster, but these designs have nothing in common with the flimsy Fobus and leather units we usually think of when we hear paddle holsters. I suppose it may be possible for an attacker to remove the gun and paddle, but with any of these designs it would require uncommon passivity on the part of the pistol carrier to be successful. Belt loops may be more secure but I feel the comfort and stability of the paddle is a worthwhile tradeoff. Another note on paddles: The literature for some paddle holsters mention that paddles are good for when a belt is not available. Not true! Without a belt, you will most likely draw the holster along with your pistol! Not recommended for any use I can think of.
Anyway, for a plastic holster, the Safariland is attractive. It’s a single piece of nicely curved matte kydex without visible seams or parting lines and only two visible hex-head screws. The interior is suede lined to protect the finish of your gun (Glock owners laugh here) and when locked, the pistol is held securely with no rattling or movement at all.
A nice side feature is that since the lock engages the ejection port, a Glock 19 will fit the Glock 17 holster perfectly. If your ejection port is significantly modified from stock or you have a Lone Wolf slide, I don’t know how well it will work, I didn’t have one to test. I also don’t know if it would work for the 26 or 34. The lock is released by thumbing the lock button rearward as you draw. Only a nudge is needed and the movement comes naturally as a part of assuming the grip on the pistol. I had no trouble disengaging the lock as long as I remembered to stick my thumb out as I got my hand on the gun.
I carried my G17 in the 6378 for a couple of plate matches and a few afternoons of lawn work without issue. The paddle remained comfortable even when working vigorously in 100+F heat. During the first plate match I occasionally found myself having to readjust my grip after thumbing the lock off and drawing, but this smoothed out with a few repetitions.
I hate to give away the comparison so early in the game, but for the bargain basement price of $34, the Safariland 6378 impressed me greatly. It’s comfortable, secure, attractive, built extremely well, and Safariland offers models for a bewildering selection of pistols, with and without lights for the same price. I enthusiastically recommend this holster. The only enhancement I could suggest would be a more robust belt loop attachment for those who want to go that way, but I suspect that such a thing is already in the Safariland catalog and I just haven’t found it yet. For less than a SERPA, you can have a real holster.
Here’s a 3 minute video I made of the 6378:
Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at the 5-11 Thumb Drive.