I think in the year 2015 we’ve finally reached a point where it’s been acknowledged that the main benefit of a drop leg holster is simply clearing your body armour. There’s been a number of products or adapters that have come out which attempt to offer the benefit of a drop leg without having to assemble a subload platform on your leg replete with constrictor bands and buckles.
I picked up the GRT Holster Extender from S&S after doing some searching of my own for a modular platform that would allow me to carry high (0″), low (3″) and middle (1.5″) at will without having to exchange the entire holster for something else.
To give some context as to why this might be important, I’ll offer some scenarios. It is pretty typical for a single professional end user to go through a variety of postures and situations in a single day. This may warrant the ability to change out holsters or change the position of that holster on the fly.
Coming from “outside-the-wire” back to the FOB where you are required to carry a weapon, a drop leg might not be totally appropriate anymore. The ability to raise that platform back up to your waist could instead of changing out your holster could be beneficial. The GRT Holster Extender facilitates this need for rapid adjustment of what is traditionally a static load carriage item.
In the same breath if you are going from a tactical posture where you are afforded the ability to maintain stand off with civilians you may only require a level 1 retention holster. You suddenly find yourself going into a reduced posture where crowds or civilians within arms reach is a common occurrence you may want to swap the holster out for level 2 retention. The GRT adapter whether in conjunction with the Trifecta Connecta or the GRT Holster Extender would allow you to quickly swap holsters.
I must also point out to change holsters on the fly you’d either need to buy the Trifecta Connecta or the Holster Extender for EACH holster you own. Otherwise, you’ll be left doing some assembly and disassembly.
S&S Precision has thoughtfully uploaded a few videos on their respective site/channel that show exactly how both the GRT and the GRT Holster Extender work, so I will not be reinventing the wheel and photographing that. I’ll show you what all it came with and a few things I’ve noticed in my short time owning this piece of equipment.
The main instructions were of a high quality. Colored and carefully drawn out to ensure an easy installation process. Like a man, I totally ignored this piece of paper till I was already done installing it.
I haven’t taken this on and off the GRT that much and you can see I’ve already managed to mark it up quite a bit. I don’t imagine my GRT will disintegrate after 50 repetitions but this is pretty visible. I suppose it’s to be expected when you have metal and plastic meeting each other.
You can see where the Holster Extender contacts the GRT. The GRT is pretty stiff at this point and S&S says that there is a break-in period with this piece of equipment.
The fasteners for the GRT Holster Extender are regular screws. I know this may be disagreeable to some users out there. My first thought was: they chose the type of screw that would be easily field serviceable. Needless to say I whipped out my issued multitool and continued to install this on my holster.
The button itself isn’t hard to actuate, but offers enough resistance that makes accidental triggering improbable. If it is accidentally actuated gravity will take it to the 1.5″ setting where it will lock back up. The tolerances on the extender are very tight, the lock up is pronounced.
I wanted to end with this advisory. Obviously depending on which pants you wear your pockets may end up directly in the way of the holster extender’s dropping rail. While wearing the issued PCU soft shells I was able to drop the rail right into my pocket.
A lot of newer tactical or uniform pants don’t possess such a traditional pocket cut so this may be a non-issue to a lot of people.
During use I have found that the holster itself while on the GRT Holster Extender will follow your waist and not your leg. This may be something to keep in mind as drop leg holsters tend to stay in line with your leg and not your waist.
At the end of the day, this adapter alone runs roughly the same price as a Safariland drop leg holster. As with all personal purchases, you have to ask yourself if you will benefit from using it.
Unsurprisingly, most if not all S&S Precision products are driven by very specific demands. Unless you find yourself transitioning secondary weapon systems, transitioning secondary weapon retention systems or your mission requires you to have a handgun accessible at all times you may not see all the usefulness this product contains.