with Andrew L. Butts
SHOT Show 2012: ThumbDrive holster from 5.11 Tactical
Many holster makers are moving away from traditional leather materials and are now using modern polymers in their place. Along these same lines, traditional makers of clothing and tactical gear are now entering the holster market.
So it goes with 5.11 Tactical out of. The Modesto (Calif.) company is well known for its line of tactical clothing, boots, and bags but might not be so well known as a holster manufacturer. In fact, 5.11 entered the holster market a few years back with the ThumbDrive holster. Originally only available for a variety of Glock pistols, 5.11 has just expanded the ThumbDrive line and is now making holsters for the SIG P220, P228 and P229, as well as most models of the Smith and Wesson M&P pistol.
Other models will soon follow.
Unique Retention System
The ThumbDrive is constructed of sturdy polymer and is impervious to gun oils, solvents and sweat. The polymer is very rigid like Kydex but unlike Kydex, can withstand high temperatures without losing shape. The holster ships with a belt loop attachment as well as a paddle attachment, and is available with a drop down attachment for use as a thigh rig.
What really sets the ThumbDrive apart is the holster’s unique retention system. The holster uses a spring loaded retaining stud that solidly locks into the pistol’s trigger guard. Once locked in, the pistol cannot be removed until the thumb tab on the inside of the holster is depressed. To unlock the tab, the shooter’s thumb must drive the tab downward, hence the holster’s name. Once the tab is depressed, the internal stud releases the pistol’s trigger guard and the pistol can be drawn freely and easily in a traditional manner.
In an effort to help with weapon retention, the ThumbDrive uses a Chop-Block attachment that partially shields the thumb tab but still allows for easy access by the shooter. The Chop-Block is mounted to the inside of the holster and may be removed if desired.
How do we keep a pistol secure while still allowing safe, quick and easy access? The ThumbDrive is a logical approach to what can sometimes be a complicated question.