Safariland 6354 RDSO Holster

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I’ve reviewed a number of holsters in the last few years, but I have never gotten the chance to test one this in-depth. Let’s be upfront: I have contributed to Safariland’s blog, and they invited me to a media event. They provided the holster for the event and allowed us to keep them for free. However, I have no reservations about being critical of their holsters, and they have never asked me for good coverage of their product. It’s Safariland. I’m a very small fish to them. They didn’t even ask me to review this holster and didn’t have any expectations of a review. Even so, I wanted to be upfront before we dived into the review of the Safariland 6354 RDSO holster. 

The 6354 RDSO holster is designed to be a level 1 retention holster in accordance with Safariland’s retention designation system. It’s a big and mean duty-style holster capable of working with handgun optics and lights. However, since the ALS system attaches to the gun’s ejection port, it can work in the holster without a light or optic attached to the gun. 

Mine is Multicam, but plenty of other options exist. The holster’s active retention device is the ALS lever. The lever is protected by an ALS and Hood guard to protect the ALS lever from grabs and attacks. It’s a simple system and is one of Safariland’s key retention devices. 

How I Tested the 6354 RDSO Holster 

I decided to review this holster because of the hell I put it through. I hadn’t used a Safariland duty holster prior to this, but I knew their reputation. The rig certainly lived up to its reputation. How did I test this rig? Well, over two days, Rich Graham of Full Spectrum Warriors put me and a team of writers through a training regiment. 

This training regiment included: 

Retention Combatives
Simmunition Training
360-Degree Shoot House 
Dynamic Night Shoot 
In-Vehicle Shooting
Around Vehicle Shooting 
Obstacle Course 
More 360-Degree Shoot House 

That was a lot to fit into just a few days. The training was intense, and since most of us, as writers, were already fairly serious shooters, we got to push things further than our typical open class. We got rough but had a ton of fun. The retention training, in particular, was a bloody fight in the dirt over a handgun, with each shooter trying to take the other’s gun. 

It was tough, and we did a lot of twisting, jumping, climbing, and more with a Walther PDP locked into the 6354 RDSO holster. It never came loose. Even in our ground fighting and combatives, no one was able to snatch one of the firearms from the holster. The ALS device does a great job of making sure the firearm stays put.  

In Action 

Beyond the retention, the holster performed admirably. The 6354 RDSO exists as a high performer in the field of duty holsters. We used the QLS attachments and duty belts with thigh straps. The holster delivers some real modularity and provides a fairly modular system. Every shooter set their rig up to work for them, and throughout the training, I didn’t hear a single complaint. 

Once we started shooting, I had some small problems getting over the ALS guard. I kept reaching directly downward, and the guard often caught my hand. It took some practice to get over the guard, and this was my first time training with such a device. Once I figured out how to get my thumb around the guard, my draw was rapid and nearly flawless. 

My thumb had no problems finding the ALS lever and pulling it rearward to release the firearm. It’s easy to integrate the ALS device into your natural draw stroke. I drew my gun hundreds of times in the two days, if not more, and it became quite easy to free the gun and get it into action. 

How easy? Well, when we were in vehicles, I was able to draw the weapon and deploy it in a multitude of angles. I’m a big guy, and vehicles are close quarters for me. The 6354 RDSO made it easy to get the gun up and in action regardless of what position I was in and what I was doing. 

Breaking Holsters 

Of all twelve writers, we only broke one holster. During one of the combative wrestling matches, a writer fell directly on the holster and gun. The retention system didn’t fail, but the gun was locked into the holster. The Safariland folks had never seen that type of failure, but they think it might have been due to the fact we were holstering blue guns, which aren’t known for their dimensional accuracy. 

Overall, the 6354 RDSO is a rock-solid holster. I don’t have a PDP, but the holster happens to fit my Walther P99 perfectly, so I have a use for it for the rest of my days. Check it out over at Safariland.

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