Vehicle Holsters with the Safariland Quick Locking System
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Vehicle Holsters: Slightly Modifying the Safariland Quick Locking System for Use in a Vehicle

By Rob Henderson

Recently I found myself in the search for a good method to carry a firearm in a vehicle. I had a few requirements in mind for the setup I wanted to create and that led me to pick up the Safariland Quick Locking System. Not only did the system work perfectly for my vehicle setup, it ended up changing how I use holsters everywhere else.


Safariland Quick Locking System 01

I’m not a big fan of leaving the weapon in the vehicle all the time

My goal for carrying a firearm in a vehicle was simple. I wanted a holster setup that would allow me to conceal my Glock 19, but also have quick access to it.

I also needed a method of retention on the holster in case of a crash or rollover. The last thing you want floating around the inside of a vehicle during an accident is a loaded pistol.

I was already familiar with Safariland’s products and I use one of their ALS holsters on my go-to pistol belt. In researching different setups people online had used for securing a holster in a vehicle, I learned about the QLS (Quick Locking System) from Safariland. It’s a fairly simple concept, but it’s executed quite well.

The Quick Locking System

Safariland Quick Locking System 02

The system includes two pieces, one being a locking fork and the other being a receiver plate. The receiver plate mounts to your belt mount, vehicle, or other areas, while the locking fork mounts directly to your holster. This allows a temporary, but solid connection between the holster and your mounting location. The Quick Locking System is designed to work with Safariland’s UBL holster pattern, which is simply three screws in a triangle pattern.

The benefit of this setup is that with a simple squeeze on the ends of the fork, the section mounted to the holster detaches quickly. This is ultimately what led me to select this system, as I’m not a big fan of leaving the weapon in the vehicle all the time. However, I’m also not a fan of carrying a weapon to and from the vehicle without a holster covering the trigger guard.

Mounting the Receiver Plate

Safariland Quick Locking System 03

I planned to mount the holster system in the center console of my vehicle. This would allow concealment of the gun, but also provide quick access to it in an emergency. Luckily, the center console is fairly deep and the sides are simply made from plastic. I knew that I’d be able to drill through the plastic to mount a holster inside.

The retention offered by the holster is a great peace of mind

The Safariland QLS only includes hardware for mounting to their UBL platform as mentioned above, but I was betting I could source some nuts and bolts from the hardware store that would do the trick. I made a quick trip to the local store with one of the Safariland screws and found that the metric 4mm size worked best. (Safariland is a Canadian company, which probably explains the metric nonsense.)

I chose flat-topped bolts so they would fit flush inside the receiver plate and not interfere with the locking fork mechanism. On the other side, I simply chose a standard nut. I was more interested in testing whether the setup would work than selecting the exact perfect fit, however, I will probably upgrade the system in the future with a better and more secure end nut.

Safariland Quick Locking System 04

To mount the receiver plate in the center console, I simply placed the plate where I wanted to mount it and outlined the screw holes with a silver permanent marker. This allowed me to see where I needed to drill through to mount the plate. I used a power drill to make the holes through the wall of the console and then used the nuts and bolts I’d purchased to mount the receiver plate to the console.

From there, I mounted the locking fork of the QLS to a Safariland Glock 19 Holster I picked up and was relieved to see that the holster docked into the QLS system perfectly. The system offers a tight lock and no amount of tugging or jostling made the holster come loose. The retention offered by the holster is great peace of mind and other than upgrading the third party hardware, I can’t see making any changes to this setup.

Upgrade All the Things

Safariland Quick Locking System 06

Now that I had a holster with the QLS system, I found myself wanting to upgrade my other holsters to the same. Being able to quickly swap out holsters is a great feature, especially if you ever change the type of holster or weapon attachments you use. On some occasions, I run my Glock 19 with a Surefire X300 weapon light, which requires the use of a separate holster and manually threading these holsters on a belt is a time-consuming process. One final benefit is the slight bit of extra width the QLS provides. The mount adds a little more than 1/2″ of width between the holster and the belt/mount, but I actually find that I prefer this extra clearance when drawing.

While using the Quick Locking System does lock you into purchasing Safariland holsters and mounts, but I’m comfortable with that because I’ve found their products to be top notch. They offer a wide variety of holsters with varying retention and the holsters I own from them have taken quite a beating without issue. If you’re looking for a great method to mount a holster in a vehicle, or you’re just simply looking for a setup that allows you to change holsters quickly, the Safariland QLS may be just what you’re looking for.

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