Safariland 5377 GLS Outside Waist Band holster review

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.

 

Adjustment for cant is accomplished using one of the three holes at the bottom

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 GLS and Dark Star Gear OWB compared.  The GLS is much more bulky due to design.  Note the release button on the GLS.

Views showing the weapon inserted and comparison shots.


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.

  In the past, I’ve written about a certain trend in the Open Carry movement; that of using the junk SERPA holster or a SERPA knockoff.  Open Carry folks, please consider the GLS.  It’s a whopping fitty bucks or so shipped and at that price, it is worlds better than the SERPA or Uncle Mike’s you normally carry.  It’s even made for the Open Carry movement’s pistol of choice: the Springfield XD.

  Law enforcement personnel, if a Level I retention holster is mandated by your department; This.  Is.  It.  Just get one.  The draw speed is such that you can take your retention duty holster to your local IDPA/USPSA gun games and not miss a beat as you compete with your duty gear.  Hikers, folks who work outdoors, get you one of these.  It’s the ideal retention holster when concealment is not an overriding priority.

  Safariland knocked this one out of the park.  Now if they can follow up on their success and make a true CCW friendly GLS; that would make many gun owners very happy.  Ditch the requirement for the three hole Safariland mounting system capability and just give the holster two belt loops.  It’s OK to make CCW only holsters, Safariland.  Also, Safariland…..please consider working on your website’s layout and navigation.  It’s in desperate need of a refresh. 
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.

5 thoughts on “Safariland 5377 GLS Outside Waist Band holster review”

  1. No, it’s lined with the Safariland felt material that posed exactly no problems for my Glock 17 and 19.

  2. Nice review. Safariland has been hitting that price, availability and performance sweetspot for a long time. And I’ll second your thought on the CCW version with belt loops. C’mon Safariland make it happen!

  3. Joe, it just depends. If your goal is more than Level 1 retention, the ALS wins obviously. If you want retention with no impeding your draw, the GLS is better than the ALS. Either are great holsters.

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