Tourniquets On Tactical Holsters: A Good Idea?

What do you think about placing a tourniquet on your holster? As people train and find ways to be prepared, I’ve started seeing holster mounts for tourniquets hit the market. When I first saw this, I thought it was a bad idea. But then I remembered that we can all be guilty of dismissing ideas just because they are new. I work in law enforcement, and cops are guilty of this more than anyone. But part of that reason is that we like to stick with what works.

Holster with tourniquet attached.
The bracket held the tourniquet holder well, but it made the holster feel bulky. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Being critical of a new idea or method is ok, but we should still have an open mind. So, with that thought, I decided to order the parts and try it for myself. I’ve had some concerns about this idea. These all center around the tourniquet getting in the way of the gun and other items. When I first became a cop, always having a tourniquet on you wasn’t as common as it is not. My agency had one in a medical bag, which we kept in the trunk of the car.

Now, we have them attached to our tactical vests and duty belts and keep them in the driver’s door for easy access. More shooters are seeing the benefits of having a tourniquet within reach, especially when carrying a firearm. But is it a good idea to attach one to a holster? I’ve ordered some parts to assemble one, so let’s find out.

Installing the Tourniquet Holder

Just about all the brackets I’ve seen for attaching a tourniquet to a holster are made for Safariland holsters. I’m guessing this is because Safariland holsters have a standard three-hole pattern with removable brackets. They are also one of the most popular brands of holsters for law enforcement and the military. Anyway, it didn’t take me long to locate a generic bracket for a Safariland holster. I used the Safariland 6378 Level I retention holster for a Glock 19 with a mounted Streamlight TLR-1 light.

To install the bracket, remove the three screws from the back of the Safariland holster. Your holster may have a belt mount, paddle, or quick-release fork. These should all work with the new bracket. I use the quick-release system, so mine has a fork attachment on it. Regardless of your mount style, the process is the same.

Tourniquet bracket for Safariland holster.
Make sure the bracket lines up with the three-hole pattern on the Safariland holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
First, you will need to attach the tourniquet holder to the bracket. I purchased a generic tourniquet holder with multiple holes for mounting options on the back. I removed the MOLLE attachment and mounted the holder to the bracket using the provided screws. Once installed, you can place the bracket directly on the holster, followed by the mounting system you just removed from the holster. The bracket I ordered came with longer screws which worked great.

Tourniquet bracket for Safariland holster.
Attach the tourniquet holder to the bracket before installing it on the holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Attaching to a belt

The bracket I ordered has two mounting positions, which adjust how close the tourniquet holder is to the holster. The first position is meant to hold it close to the holster, and the second a little further out. The first position didn’t work on my holster, so I used the second one. Once installed, the bracket is sturdy and won’t be going anywhere.

Now, to try it out.

I was concerned about the holster getting in the way of the gun. I think the first setting may have held the tourniquet too close, but the second one keeps it away from the holster. Before I put the gun in the holster, I was starting to think I liked this new trend. After putting it on a belt, however, I’m not so sure again. Depending on what you have on your duty/tactical/combat belt, there are already plenty of things to get in the way. I’m used to having bulky items hanging from a duty belt, but this bracket really sticks out in front of the holster.

Attaching a tourniquet to a holster.
The second position holds the bracket away from the holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Another thing to remember with this type of system is that you are limited to what holsters you can use. While most Safariland holsters have the same three-hold pattern, newer holsters are made to accommodate optics. A cutout for an optic may work with the tourniquet, but a flip-open hood like those on the RDS models may not. This would be something to test with different styles of Safariland holsters.

Is it good or bad?

Most of the time, it’s not hard for me to decide if I like something or not. With this, I can’t seem to make up my mind. I like the idea of it, but I’m not sure I can get used to something sticking off the front of my holster that far. Some of this may depend on how badly you need room for a tourniquet. If I have room on my belt, I think I’d prefer to keep it on a belt holder or vest if applicable. If your belt is full and there’s no room for a tourniquet, this may be a great option.

This may fall into one of those optional categories that is helpful in certain cases. It’s not bad, but for me, it’s not the first option. I wore this around for a couple of days and didn’t have any trouble with it, but I just couldn’t get used to it. I have more than one holster, so I plan to leave this one on here to give myself that option when needed. With the quick release system from Safariland, it makes it easy to switch holsters around.

Like I said in the beginning, having a tourniquet on you is a good idea. It’s not a rule you are breaking if you don’t, but it can help in those life-or-death situations. Deputies in my agency used them multiple times last year when responding to vehicle accidents. But if you are going to carry a tourniquet, make sure you train with one. It’s important to know how and when to apply for one. Deciding where to carry your tourniquet is going to be up to you. This method is just one more option to choose from.

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.

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