Duty holsters are designed for an open carry and are made to satisfy the highest quality standards and requirements needed for the use on a duty. Important aspects are the retention, quality and durability of the material and appearance of the duty holster. Duty carry method is gun-carrying method is typical for the use of uniformed professionals including law enforcement officers, police, military forces etc. Duty holsters are popular also among the civilians, who want to use holsters with higher security level and the functional aspect is more important for them than the practicality of the use, as the firearm must be covered and gun shouldn’t be revealed.
Duty holster can be made of leather in a different finish such as natural, glossy or basketweave, and in nylon, Kydex or plastic materials that can be made in the various colors to match the uniform. Duty holsters are primarily designed for the overt carry on a duty belt. In the present times, there are also duty holsters available that are designed for a thigh or Molle kind of carry style. The main characteristic that differs the duty holster from other holster designs is the retention system. They typically feature at least one security retention system in order to prevent the disarming possibility of the suspects. Modern duty holsters are available with varying retention systems with more levels of the security that can be changed flexibly according to the situation or conditions. There is a security rating system available that was adopted and distinguishes different Security Levels, which indicate the level of the difficulty for an unauthorized person to draw the gun from the holster. The basic security rating system differentiated several levels with the highest Security Level 3.
The modern duty holster might feature even a higher Security Level. While the higher level of the retention system would make it difficult for the suspect to get to the gun, it will be more difficult also for the officer to draw the gun and it would require a longer action time. This is important aspect that needs to be considered when selecting the duty holster and its main purpose of the use and making compromises is sometimes the only possible way. There is some overlap between use and need of duty holsters in law enforcement or military use, where more important factor is appearance of the duty holster due to the differences within the work environments. The modern duty holster needs to be functional, ready for the performance, offering varying retention systems, with “unnoticed” type of appearance and allowing the comfort within the on/off duty carry.