May 21, 2021
By Eric R. Poole
Versatile is an accurate word to describe the Safariland 578 GLS Pro-Fit holster. It’s primary feature is that it adjusts to accept more than 225 firearms, not to include variations. Look at the sticker on one side of the package and several popular models are listed ranging from the G19/23/38 to the FN FNS9/40 and the Ruger SR9/40/45. This holster also accepts Smith & Wesson’s M&P 4-inch models, the SW99, the SD9/40 and others. Another sticker features the “Compact Fit Guide” that suggests fitment for guns ranging from a Bersa BPCC in .380, 9mm or .40 to the Walther PPQ M2 4-inch model, also in 9mm or .40. The holster accepts handguns made by Caracal, Century Arms, FMK, HK, Rock Island, Sarsilmaz, Tanfoglio and Taurus, just to name a few other makes, too. You get the idea.
The 578 GLS Pro-Fit is an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster that was designed to secure a handgun by engaging the front of the pistol’s triggerguard with hook. Trademarked as the Grip Locking System (GLS), a hook engages the triggerguard when a pistol is inserted. The pistol is released when the middle finger presses the large pivoting lever under the triggerguard while the shooter establishes a full firing grip. Deactivating the GLS is intuitive.
Additionally, the 578 GLS can be configured as an OWB paddle holster or a sliding belt rig. The paddle is injection molded and quite large with complex curves. It is incredibly comfortable when worn around the hip. The paddle is not adjustable for cant or height, but it does feature a port to allow a belt hook screwed onto the holster body to protrude. The belt hook is rigid and effective. The paddle-and-hook design accepts belts up to 2-inches wide.
The belt-slide kit includes the necessary hardware, the screws and a tool to convert the holster from paddle use to an OWB belt rig. Also injection molded, the belt slide backer includes adjustment holes for setting the cant and ride height of the holster. The two belt loops feature tabs that make the slide ready to accommodate 11/2-inch-wide belts, but the tabs can be snipped and removed to accept 13/4-inch-wide belts. This feature wasn’t an afterthought, and I appreciated how secure the holster is along the slide. Unlike many universal designs, Safariland’s holster doesn’t move up with the pistol as you draw. The belt slide also allows the holster to be worn for crossdraw use.
Don’t call it a Kydex holster! The body of the 578 GLS Pro-Fit holster is made of a proprietary nylon blend, and not some cheap plastic knock-off of Kydex. Safariland has even trademarked the “SafariSeven” name to describe the lightweight material. The major takeaway is that it is completely non-abrasive to the gun’s finish. Though firearm finishes have become extremely resistant to frequent hard use, SafariSeven offers users peace of mind that the holster will not scratch or wear the surface of a pistol. The material also has a high melting point, meaning that it doesn’t warp when subjected to mankind’s tolerance of hot and cold temperatures. Even after 60 days of everyday carry, including several trips to the range, Guns & Ammo’s sample still looks new.
60-Day Carry I ordered the 578 GLS Pro-Fit holster to accommodate Smith & Wesson’s new optic-ready M&P9 M2.0 Compact. Though I was impressed by the list of pistols the holster allegedly fits, I was also interested in verifying that the top would be cut low enough to allow for a common red-dot sight — and it does! What I also learned was that the sight channel was made tall to allow for suppressor-height sights. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the angle cut above the barrel hood is also sloped, which allows for quick visual inspection of a loaded-chamber indicator.
The muzzle is open, which means that a threaded or compensated barrel can protrude, and the muzzle of my new M&P9 Compact with 4-inch barrel fits squarely flush. The corner of the holster is even contoured and mirrors the shape of the front sight. The 578 GLS Pro-Fit may support more than 225 handguns, but it seems designed specifically for this one.
The 578 GLS Pro-Fit was one of the most concealable and secure OWB holsters we’ve tested. With various guns, there was almost zero rattle that we typically hear with most polymer-blend,
universal-fit holsters. The paddle is perhaps the most comfortable available, and the belt slide was useful, too. It’s hard to determine which setup I preferred more. If you only have time for one holster, this could be it.
Safariland 578 GLS Pro-Fit Specs
Materials: Safariland SafariSeven nylon (holster); polymer
Carry Type: Outside the waistband (OWB) or crossdraw
Retention Type: Locking lever, triggerguard
Adjustability: Yes (belt-slide only); cant and height
Handgun Fit: Semiautomatics; more than 225 models; many optic-ready models
Accessory Rail Accommodations: No
Positions to Carry: OWB, 3 o’clock (paddle); OWB, 2 o’clock to 5 o’clock (belt slide); crossdraw
Average Time to Attach: 15 seconds (paddle); 45 seconds (belt slide)
Comfort Rating: 5/5
Concealment Clothing: Jacket or loose-fitting, untucked button-down shirt
Average Draw-to-Fire Time: 1.3 seconds
Manufacturer: Safariland, safariland.com
Note: Draw-to-fire time is the average of five clean draws producing an A-zone hit on a stationary target positioned at 21 feet.
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