Now before I start I would just like to get the obvious out of the way. The Safariland 6354do is leagues ahead if the TMC clone in every aspect except cost. The purpose of this article is to discuss if paying 5 times more for the legit model is actually worth doing, or if TMC’s model is passable enough for most.
I’ll start off discussing the differences I can find between the two in terms of their design. The first thing I noticed is that the TMC seems to be made of pre moulded ABS and is comprised of two pieces sealed together at the front and back. This differs from the Safariland which is made of a very intricately folded sheet of kydex, and features an adjustable tension screw. While the TMC does have adjustable tension I have not found that it holds very well and always comes loose. The only other major differences I can find are in the quality of the Multicam wrap and suede lining, the Safariland being far superior as expected. Aside from these points the overall design is very well replicated in the TMC, and it certainly would pass for genuine at a glance.
I’ve been using the TMC since the start of this year with both my TM G17 and KJW G19, equipped with a Surefire X200. I definitely had some fitment issues with the TM at first, as it was very tight and at times quite difficult to withdraw. This abated over time as the holster was worn in, and it eventually became quite a good fit. I did notice that straight away the suede lining began to peel off at the top of the holster, but it only seemed to go so far and so I didn’t give it much thought. The multicam wrap on the outside of the holster started to peel around the optic hood immediately, and seems to worsen with every use which is somewhat more concerning.
More recently I’ve been using the TMC model with my KJW G19 and this is where the real problems started to arise. As I was using a shorter slide and shorter torch than the holster was designed for, my pistol would drop straight into the bottom of the holster and there was no hope of retention. I tried to remedy this with a foam insert in the torch housing, and it had some effect but I could still just rock the pistol back out of the lock and draw it if I pushed hard enough. I was also left with a lot of side to side rattle which became very annoying very quickly.
For these reasons I decided to get myself a genuine model and see if there would be any improvement. I knew I’d made the right decision straight away when my G19 locked into a G17 holster without even having the torch on. Also the overall quality was obviously a massive step up. The Safariland also now holds my G19 with an X300U and threaded barrel perfectly as expected. Interestingly though with the new upgrades the TMC now holds my G19 perfectly too.
So for me this raised the question of “Is the genuine article worth it?”, as the TMC had functioned perfectly well with the pistol it was designed for, and perfectly well with the G19 after I made it more similar to a G17 in terms of it’s length. And honestly I don’t think it really is. Don’t get me wrong I love my Safariland and I will definitely be keeping it as it was paid for by the sale of other bits of kit, but knowing what I do now I don’t think I’d buy it again outright.
The main reasons for my opinion is that the real problems I had with the TMC could be fixed by mods I was planning to do anyway, and cost significantly less than the difference between the holsters. Also the delaminating of the suede and camo-wrap could easily be remedied with some cheap adhesive and so isn’t a real put off for me.
So in conclusion I would definitely recommend the Safariland 6354do to anyone thinking of buying one, who can easily afford it or is just stupid enough to go without food for the sake of having Gucci kit. But for anyone else I would say that the TMC is certainly the sensible option. It’s a long way from perfect but will definitely put a smaller dent in your savings and will give your significant other less to mither you about, and with a little effort can be made to be a perfectly functional holster as long as you only try and make it do what is was designed to do.
Thanks for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions please feel free to post them either here on the blog or over on my Instagram @thegeardocrow .