We live in a great time to carry a gun. I mean that literally because holsters are everywhere and there’s a design for everyone and every gun out there. Not just guns but accessories, gadgets, and gizmos too. For example, I recently needed an OWB holster with active retention for my P365XL slide/P365 frame. My P365, for example, wears a Holosun EPS and a TLR-7 SUB. Finding a holster for both proved tricky, but Alien Gear was around to satisfy my requirements.
Alien Gear has expanded quite a bit recently. They were originally a holster company that made hybrid holsters, and while they still do, they’ve moved passed hybrids. They are now producing all polymer rigs of several varieties, like the new Photon for concealed carry. Alien Gear recently dived into the world of duty holsters with the Rapid Forces series. That’s a big world to get into, especially from a company that famously makes concealed carry rigs.
Alongside their Level 3 Rapid Force Duty Holsters, they recently released a Level 2 Rapid Force known as the Slim holster. These holsters are aimed at the duty-ish market as well. They are designed for the plain clothes guys, the investigators, or maybe private security. That’s their role, but like most things, it can work outside its role.
The Alien Gear Level 2 Rapid Force Holsters
Like any modern duty holster, the Level 2 Rapid Force Holster is all polymer and made to last. This particular holster fits a light, but that’s just an option and not a necessity. One of the small annoyances I had was with Alien Gear not being exactly clear on what light fits with the holster. The P365 series essentially has four lights available, the TLR 7 SUB, the Surefire XSC, the TLR-6, and the Nightstick TCM-365.
I can confirm it works with the TLR-7 SUB, and the XSC fits, but it doesn’t exactly fit well. This is a light for the TLR-7 SUB and likely the TCM-365, but I can’t confirm the latter. The optics compatibility extends to most models, and there are a few Elite models of the P365 that it’s not optics compatible with.
The Rapid Force Level 2 has access to the Quick Disconnect System, which allows for a seamless transition from platform to platform. Mine is the plain Jane paddle, but with the QVS, you can quickly move the holster to a MOLLE platform or maybe a drop leg rig, a surface mount, paddle, belt loop, or whatever else your heart can dream up.
No, actually, I just listed the various attachments. However, don’t let that get you down.
Finally, we get to the level two nature of the Slim Holster. The Rapid Force Level 2 rig utilizes a lever design. The user can use their thumb to press the lever rearward, and this releases the gun from the holster.
On the Belt
I needed this holster because I like to adventure. Hiking, kayaking, climbing this, and climbing that. Riding ATVs, and you never know when you might get into late-in-life mountain biking. Activities like this cause bumps, bruises, and lumps. The bumping portion makes losing a gun easy, and depending on the activity, you might drop your gun without ever knowing.
Active retention is a must-have for these activities. With that said, I also wanted alight because I’m way more likely to have a hand occupied by something that’s quite important, depending on the adventure. With that all said, you might wonder, well, what about concealment?
Without a specialized cover garment, it’s likely a non-starter. It sticks out too far from the body to be easily concealed by a T-shirt in a public place. Keep that in mind if you are hitting that add-to-cart button.
Once on the belt, it locks in place, and the paddle provides some support in keeping it from sagging outward. It’s quite comfortable and sticks out nicely and far from the body. Nothing is present to poke and prod the user. Even when moving and sitting or assuming awkward positions, the holster remains comfortable and, more importantly, easy to access. While it might break concealment, the holster being pushed out from the body makes it easier to access in all positions.
On The Draw
Establishing a good grip is quite easy. Shoot your hand to the gun and begin your draw. The retention device is a lever that’s easily contacted by your thumb when you establish a good grip on the gun. Press it rearward, and the gun is released, making it easy to draw. The lever isn’t exactly easy to beat if someone tries to take the gun, either. Trying to push the lever free from any position other than right above will be a challenge.
Getting the gun free, up, and on target didn’t prove to be exceedingly difficult. With a little practice defeating the retention won’t provide much challenge. The gun sails freely from the Rapid Force holster once the retention is defeated. There is nothing to hang up on or stall your draw.
The holster is cut properly. Your middle finger won’t catch or get got on anything that can be punishingly painful when playing quick draw. Returning the gun to the holster isn’t difficult, and it clicks into place without difficulty. After hundreds and hundreds of draws, the Rapid Force held up, and the retention never slacked.
After a little adventuring, the holster holds up quite well. We’ve faced plenty of dirt, salt water, angry yellow jackets, and lots of lead spit out at the range. It’s held up without issue and seems to be rock solid in the durability department.
A New Alien In Town
The Rapid Force Level 2 Slim Holster is a purpose-built design that’s not perfect for everyone. Most average Joes are just looking for a concealed carry option, and you won’t find that with the Rapid Force Level 2 holster. It’s designed for duty and, in my case, adventuring. If that suits your use case, then the Rpaid Force Level 2 Slim Holster will fit your bill.
Alien Gear is making a lot of great changes, and the Rapid Force lineup is quickly challenging some established holster makers in the duty world. What says the very knowledgeable audience that makes up our readership? Does Alien Gear stand a chance in such a crowded market? Let us know below.