The legend of the Sword in the Stone goes back to a 15th-century story. Merlin the Magician was counselor to Uther, the High King of Britain. After Uther's death there were no known heirs. The barons fought among themselves over who would be the next High King of Britain. Merlin had a fix. Using his magic he plunged Uther’s sword into a large stone and declared the one man able to draw the sword from the stone will be the rightful heir and High King of Britain. Many tried, but no one could draw the sword.
Now it gets complicated - as magic often does. Sir Ector and his son, Kay, go to a tournament where the sword is captured in the rock. Arthur was his squire and Kay’s sword is broken. He needs a new one. Arthur, being the good squire, goes looking for one, passes the rock and draws the sword from the stone. Everyone was surprised, shocked, amazed, astonished, thunderstruck, flabbergasted and as the English are fond of saying, gobsmaked.
So, Merlin declares Arthur is really Uther's son and places the sword back in the stone daring anyone to draw it. Again, no one succeeds - except Arthur. Thus Arthur became High King of Britain.
What does all this have to do with a holster? Other than the name - not much - it’s just fun fiction.
Excalibur was the name of the sword in that story. In this story, the name of the Tactical Design Lab’s new duty holster is Xcalibur and unless you know the “secret” you won’t be able to draw your gun from the stone - I mean holster. But, Mike Lowe, the owner of TDL will teach you. And, no other will be able to disarm you.
Tactical Design Labs
Years ago, as the Rangemaster of a large Southern California Police Department, I met with Mike about a new holster he designed called the “Professional.” It was ugly as hell, but a really great holster and I authorized it for officer purchase. When my son was hired and attended the academy, I gave him one - I trusted his wellbeing with that equipment. He was teased incessantly about having a “coffee maker” on his belt. But, no one could disarm him - not even the defensive tactics, ninja warrior, touch of death, 97th degree blackbelt instructors we had - they didn’t know the secret. The new Xcalibur has a similar secret and since this isn’t the most secure method of communication I’ll only touch on part of it.
The internal workings of the Xcalibur lock up to the ejection port of the gun. Most other internally locking holsters lock to the trigger guard. Obviously, locking to hard steel makes for better retention under heavy pressure such as some 6'5" shaved ape parolee at large trying to wrench your gun away.
Mike applies reality-based considerations to his designs using principles of HVHP (High Velocity Human Performance), a concept of human performance in chaotic and volatile conditions. It looks at maximizing the role of the cop, soldier or firefighter in high-stress situations involving high stakes, physical danger, incomplete information and an unpredictable future.
The ergonomics of the Xcalibur are a critical design feature allowing the user to immediately and properly index their hand to the gun without the obstruction of straps, snaps or flaps which require additional movements or unnatural contortions of the hand to activate a release. Those can deliver an improper grip and delay your access to your gun. Lowe’s F.A.S.Technology provides features critical to natural reactions in high-stress situations often encountered by cops. The Xcalibur accommodates light mounted weapons with both the necessary speed and security we require. Also, it’s a handsome rig that presents a highly professional appearance. It can accommodate lights from Inforce, SureFire’s Ultra, X200 and X-300 Series, Streamlight’s TLR-1 and the Veridian X5L.
Taking A Ride
Maybe the suspect will fail to access your gun, but in his efforts, deny you access as well. I’ve seen many a holster ripped right off the officer’s belt because the belt hanger device wasn’t strong enough. That will not be an issue with the Xcalibur. The holster is attached to the belt hanger via a mounting plate with four bolts. That in conjunction with the stainless steel reinforcing band surrounding the entire holster and attaching to the mounting plate will keep the holster securely attached to your belt. There’s a greater chance of the belt failing than the holster. A large person could lift you off the ground and you won’t have to worry about your gun. You’ve got way too much to worry about if that happens without being concerned about gun retention.
That’s an old name with linage back to the old ammunition dump pouch that predated speed loaders for revolvers. Maybe a more accurate name would be magazine holder. TDL’s F.A.S.Technology is put to use in this area also. The design of the F.A.S.Tech Mag Pouch is for use by law enforcement and allows solid retention and easy access. This is not a competition shooter’s device. It’s a unique open top design, but with two layers of retention. Friction is the first by holding a magazine snugly and not allowing it to fall out even if turned upside down and a retention hook is the second by locking the mag to the pouch. With very little practice you can become lightning fast on your reloads.
The TDL Site
Tactical Design Labs has an excellent website with information about their products. The videos are very good and you can find a great deal of information on retention versus security, your draw, holster performance and HVHP issues. You can find it at: www.tdlabs.com.