Safariland 7371 OWB Concealment Holster for M&P Shield 2.0: A Review

Need a good holster for your M&P Shield 2.0? The Safariland 7371 OWB Concealment Holster is one of the coolest holsters I’ve used in a while. This OWB (outside-the-waistband holster) has a self-locking feature you don’t always see in micro-compact holsters. Further, Safariland puts all of its holsters through a rigorous testing process, which we’ll discuss in more detail a little later. If you’re looking for a new holster or want to try outside-the-waistband carry with your Shield 2.0, keep reading.

Safariland 7371 concealment holster
The Safariland 7371 concealment holster has a thumb release for the self-locking feature. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Not everyone carries their gun differently throughout the year. There’s nothing wrong with that. You may have a comfortable way of carrying and want to stick with it. Others, like me, carry different guns in different positions, depending on the weather (cold or hot) and what we’re wearing. When it’s hot and I’m only wearing a T-shirt, a smaller gun with an IWB holster works best. During the cooler months, I can change to an OWB holster and even a larger weapon. This is because my jacket or long-sleeve shirt will reliably conceal the gun.

At some point, it will get cold out, and I can wear a coat that allows me to carry a full-size gun on a regular belt holster. But where I live, we get a lot of that in-between weather. So, during the winter months, I often carry a compact gun with an OWB holster. However, finding a compact holster that has the same safety features as full-size holsters is challenging at times. Safariland has solved that problem with their OWB holster line.

Why the 7371 ALS Concealment Paddle Holster?

Because I carry my gun in different ways throughout the year, I like having multiple holster options. Safariland excels at making holsters, and not just duty holsters. I work in law enforcement, and I’ve used Safariland duty holsters since my first day on the job. Because of that, I used to associate them only with “cop gear” and not think of them when looking for CCW holsters. However, they offer a wide range of concealment holsters to choose from.

Safariland 7371 concealment holster
Safariland 7371 concealment holster for the M&P Shield 2.0. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
This particular holster is a slim molded holster available for several brands and models of compact guns. I purchased one for my Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, which is one of my new favorite OWB concealment handguns. This holster has several things going for it that make it pretty cool for CCW. First is the overall design, which keeps it close to your body. When I’m wearing a light jacket or loose shirt over an OWB holster, I need it to be as close to my side as possible.

If I can effectively conceal it, I prefer an outside-the-waistband holster because they’re more comfortable. When I wear the 7371 holster, it almost feels like I’m wearing a miniature-duty holster. It’s slanted forward just a little and has Safariland’s ALS (Automatic Locking System), which safely secures the gun in place. It’s an open-top design, which offers a lightning-fast draw without sacrificing the retention and security of the ALS system.

Paddle or Belt Attachments

Unless I’m wearing a uniform, I prefer paddle holsters. They are fast and easy to take on and off. Safariland developed the 571BL paddle, which is a small footprint made for sub-compact handguns. This is one feature that stood out to me because larger paddles make it more difficult to keep small holsters close to your body. It’s not uncomfortable at all, but I can feel the gun against my side when wearing it. That’s exactly what I want for OWB concealment.

Safariland 7371 concealment holster
Safariland’s micro paddle on the 7371 concealment holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
If you prefer a belt attachment to a paddle holster, don’t worry: you get that too. The 7371 Concealment Holster comes with a paddle and a belt attachment. Like most of their holsters, the attachments can be switched out by removing a few screws on the back of the holster. And just in case you don’t have the needed Allen wrench, they provide that as well.

Rigorous Testing Standards

When Safariland designs and manufactures holsters, they don’t just uphold quality assurance on the manufacturing line. They test the locking mechanism (retention) and holster attachment in person. That means someone wears the holster while someone else attempts to pull the gun out of the holster. This is done during a six-directional process.

Knowing that a holster has been tested by human hands to make sure it works correctly is extremely important when carrying a weapon on duty or for self-defense. I have always advocated for some type of retention on any holster, even IWB models. However, retention is not the same as a locking mechanism. Retention can also be a passive device that puts pressure on the gun when holstered, like a retention screw. A locking system is important when carrying a holster OWB because it’s easier for someone to try and grab it. The 7371 has an automatic locking feature that works great.

Safariland 7371 concealment holster
The 7371 concealment holster keeps the gun close to your side. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Fit and Finish

I’ve never hidden the fact that I like leather holsters. The old-school look and feel are hard to beat, and leather will last a lifetime when taken care of. But polymer is now the standard in a new age of holsters, and they fit your gun with precision. The 7371 concealment holster allows the Shield to slide in the holster with ease before locking in place. It’s also made specifically to protect your firearm.

Safariland uses their SafariSeven non-marking nylon blend to ensure a weather and temperature-resistant finish that won’t scratch or mar your firearm. That is one thing I can’t say about leather. Even though I love leather holsters, I’ll admit it wears on your gun. I have a few guns with worn-down finishes because they were holstered and re-holstered so many times over the years. With the durable finish on the 7371 holster, it will last for years, but it won’t tear up your trusty sidearm.

Best concealment for OWB carry

Over the years, I’ve worn a lot of holsters for work, including duty holsters, shoulder, belt, paddle, and pancake holsters. The 7371 concealment holster is about the most comfortable one I’ve worn, and again, it keeps the gun close to your side. For a concealed carry option for outside-the-waistband holsters, this one is hard to beat. They are priced reasonably, and you get that auto-locking feature, which is another plus. Safariland offers this holster for multiple weapons, so if you need a holster for a different weapon, be sure to give the micro-paddle concealment holster a try.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap