This review is about the Safariland 5377-83 GLS OWB (Outside Waist Band) holster for Glock 17s (Glock 19s and 26s will fit as well). There is a paddle variant of this holster, denoted as the Safariland 5378 and a clip model, the Model 5379. This model is also known as the “GLS” or Grip Locking System. The holster is classified as a Level I retention holster in that it can withstand active attempts to remove it for at least five seconds without the safety/retention device enabled.
This holster was generously provided for review by my friend Chris Abernathy of XS Sights. Since reviewing this, I made sure to purchase one as a gift for my brother, who is now a full time cattle rancher and prefers a retention OWB holster he can rely upon when a’horseback.
The holster is typical Safariland quality, in that it’s (excuse the pun), nearly bullet proof. Heavy duty plastic, felt lining (not thick felt though), and a sturdy belt slide which is adjustable for cant, three positions. You may adjust the tension of how securely the weapon is retained with a hex key. The holster is compatible with all of the Safariland three hole mounting systems.
Safariland bills this as a concealed carry holster but that is most certainly not the case in real life. This is the holster to have for anyone considering OWB (outside waist band) carry that doesn’t want a slow draw but does want Level I retention. The GLS is noticeably thinner than the industry standard (and standard for many police and military) ALS.
The silver hex head is how you adjust tension with regards how securely the pistol is held in the holster
Using the GLS is easy and…..instinctive. Simply bump the button with the knuckle of your middle finger as you draw. It took me roughly ten dry fire draws before I was drawing and dry firing without thinking about hitting the button. Reholstering is similarly easy and instinctive but you do have to shove the weapon down into the holster until you feel the retention device engage.
Using sand, Virginia dirt, and talcum powder; I was not able to disable this holster’s locking mechanism (anything can be disabled with enough dirt, I concede). Adults were not able to wrench the unloaded weapon out of the holster when I was wearing it. My body was literally pulled and twisted around as folks tried to (in testing) to wrench the pistol out of my holster.
Using my shot timer, I was not able to register a statistical nor perceived difference between the GLS and my “go to” OWB holster; the outstanding Dark Star Gear OWB. However, using one made me miss the other:
- Using the GLS made me miss exactly how well the Dark Star Gear OWB hugs my hip. I really don’t think OWB holsters are “concealed” for the most part but the Dark Star Gear OWB is the best OWB in my “box o’ holsters” for concealment with an untucked shirt.
- Using the Dark Star Gear OWB made me yearn for the simple, intuitive, and secure GLS retention system. Once you use it, you “get” the need for it. You understand WHY? people like retention holsters.
I would like to note that I received the GLS holster as a loan and am sending it back to Chris at XS Sights. The Dark Star Gear OWB was bought and paid for by myself.