Viridian Tac Lock ECR System
Laser, Tactical Light And Holster.
Since when do we consider a holster high-tech? Okay, it’s made of plastic, or should I say injection molded high-density polymer, because that sounds a bit more high-tech than just plastic. Still not buying it? Are you beginning to believe I’ve suffered a recent stroke? After all, holsters have been around since Genghis Kahn was causing hate and discontent. I know because he showed me his holsters when we were in the same preschool class. He was an Adam Henry back then too.
Lasers have been around for a while — not nearly as long as holsters, Kahn or me — as have LED weapon-mounted lights. Green lasers are moderately new on the scene, relatively speaking compared to red. But red or green, I can easily say lasers qualify as high-tech. And, in this very specific case, the Viridian TacLoc ECR system holster rates the high-tech label too.
Enhanced Combat Readiness
W hen I first laid eyes on the ECR System I was skeptical. Frankly, there are times when I want my laser or weapon-mounted light not functioning. Why do you need the light during the day? Most lasers are not clearly visible in daylight, so why waste battery life? The company, Laser Aiming Systems Corporation of Maple Plain, Minn., the manufacturer of Viridian Green Lasers, did their homework with actual end users and developed a useful tool for cops.
You preset the laser and light combo before hitting the field, slide the gun with it attached into the ECR holster and off it goes. You’re not walking around with the light or laser shining out the bottom of the holster. But when you draw the gun, the system initiates. There are no extra steps, no pushing buttons in any sequence or flipping switches. It’s instant on in the same configuration as when you placed it in the holster.
If you want just the light, just the laser or both, set it that way. If you want it dark, leave everything off and put the system in the holster. The system will activate as you’ve set it during the draw cycle. The holster and the device essentially talk to each other, thus activation is accomplished. It knows when it’s going into the holster and when it’s coming out.
Speaking of coming out or in this case, not coming out — inadvertently or with the intentions of another — the ECR aids in weapon retention. The holster includes their TacLoc technology, which could be categorized as Level 2. When starting the draw, keep your index finger straight. Contact the TacLoc lever and push to unlock the gun. Continue the draw cycle and your trigger finger is perfectly indexed and ready to go.
Viridian has partnered with BLACKHAWK! and together they’ve engineered the ECR TacLoc to fit any of the BLACKHAWK! 3-screw attachment platforms, combining security with versatility. The combination is more than adequate for law enforcement administrative assignments or for investigators. It’s also a very good system for off-duty carry or a day at the range.
However, not having the opportunity to test the system to destruction, I cannot, at this time, recommend it for patrol or other field use. It’s worth critical evaluation for such use.
Laser & Light Systems
The ECR holster only supports Viridian systems. Viridian makes a laser-only unit, the C5, and a light-only unit, the CTL. Both are ECR compatible. The other ECR-compatible laser and light combinations are the C5L and X5L. The C5L is smaller and handily fits most rail-equipped compact pistols. The C5L’s white light puts out 100 lumens while the X5L yields 154 lumens.
Previously, I mentioned most lasers are not clearly visible in daylight. Note the use of the word most. Viridian’s lasers are green and easily seen in daylight. Why? Green is right in the middle of the light spectrum perceived by the human eye. Green, being in the middle of the spectrum, is where our eyes see most efficiently. Red (most lasers) is at the far end of the visible spectrum near infrared and not as easily seen in daylight. Red is good in dark or poorly lit areas, but green is more easily seen at any time or under any lighting condition.
Viridian Lasers are equipped with their SMARTLASER Technology. This too was developed in consultation with real end users consisting of street cops and SWAT guys. The lasers have four modes — constant (a continuous beam), a low-speed pulse at 5 pulses per second, medium-speed pulse at 7 pulses per second and a high-speed pulse at 10 pulses per second. It also has an automatic power shutdown feature in case the Viridian is left on accidentally. It’ll shut down in about 10 minutes but will first provide a brief warning period. If you want to keep it powered up just press either button to reset the power down timer.
An additional low battery indicator will blink once approximately every 10 seconds when battery power reaches a low level. This can be affected by using batteries other than those recommended by the manufacturer or temperature extremes.
By Dave Douglas
For more info: www.americancopmagazine.com/viridian