The Amazing Difference Between Retention Level 2 vs Level 3 Holster

A holster is an integral part of your handgun and can help you conceal the weapon. Holsters are basically the type of pockets that you put your gun in. In some cases, a holster is just a pocket on your belt, but in others, it’s a specially designed holster that has features like a strap to hold your firearm securely.

The levels of holsters are measured on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. The levels of holsters usually vary based on the type of holster, the size of the gun, and the body style.

When we talk about different types of holsters, we are not only talking about the different styles but also about how they can be used. The most basic kind of holster is what we refer to as a level one holster. A level one holster is a traditional holster. The most common type of holster is a level two holster. The level one holster is a holster that is carried in a pocket, while a level two holster is worn on the hip. There are three types of holsters:

Level 1 – This is the traditional, belt-style holster. They’re usually inexpensive but provide very little security.

Level 2 – These holsters are more secure than level 1 but still don’t offer much in the way of concealment.

Level 3 – These holsters offer the best security and concealment, as well as the best protection for your gun.

What is a Retention Level 2 Holster?

Retention level 2 holsterA retention level 2 holster is one that can hold an L2 pistol securely yet comfortably. These holsters are often made for law enforcement officers and security personnel. They have an additional retention strap that goes around your leg, in addition to the ones already holding the holster in place. The idea is to prevent the gun from falling out accidentally if you bump against a wall or something while running, jumping, or doing any other kind of sudden movement.

Level-2 holsters are the most common and come in many different styles. They attach to your belt with a clip or some other quick-release mechanism. When you want to carry your weapon, you simply remove the holster from your belt and pull the gun out. When you’re done, you reattach the holster to your belt and go about your day.


  • The quick-draw retention level 2 is great for everyday carry.
  • Retention level 2 is ideal for law enforcement and military use.
  • Ergonomic design contours to body shape.
  • Fits most sizes and shapes of waists.
  • Made from durable polyester and nylon.
  • Retention level 2 approved for carrying a concealed handgun.
  • This type of holster is extremely lightweight.
  • Concealable on the outside of your pants.
  • Quick-draw when you need it.


  • It is not comfortable for long periods of time.
  • Difficulty drawing the weapon when under stress or in a fight.
  • Limited access to the weapon for cleaning.
  • Fumbling with the slide when putting on or taking off the holster.
  • Risk of losing the weapon in the holster.
  • The inability to carry more than one weapon.
  • Inability to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Inability to use the weapon for self-defense in a civil action.

What is a Retention Level 3 Holster?

Retention level 3 holsterA retention level 3 holster is a type of concealment holster that has a retention level of 3, which means that it will not come out of your body when you reach for your weapon. These holsters are great for law enforcement officers, military personnel, and anyone else who carries a sidearm on a regular basis. They are very comfortable, have a high retention level, and are easy to put on and take off. They are also very inexpensive.

With a Level-3, you don’t have to remove the holster from your belt to get your gun out. Instead, all you have to do is push a button on the holster and your gun will instantly pop up and be ready to go. When you’re finished carrying your weapon, just push the button again and your gun will drop back down into the holster. Level-3 holsters are far superior to Level-2 holsters. That’s why most law enforcement agencies in the U.S. use only Level-3 holsters.


  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Easier to access.
  • Can be concealed from view.
  • Can be carried on your person.
  • Can be worn under clothing.
  • Doesn’t protrude into your pants.
  • Quick to draw when needed.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Easy to store.
  • Simple to load.
  • Easy to adjust the retention level


  • It can get very hot in the hand.
  • If the gun gets too hot, it can accidentally discharge.
  • It doesn’t stay put well.
  • The barrel gets scratched.
  • The holster has to be removed for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Cannot be worn under a shirt when outside the home.
  • Holster may not fit all guns.
  • Retention level 3 is only for handguns.

Difference between level 2 vs level 3 holster

The difference between level two and level three holsters can be confusing. It’s easy to get caught up in the nuances of the two types and not realize that the big difference between the two is that a level three holster is built to function as a level four holster. A level three holster, on the other hand, is not. This is why you can’t just buy a level two holster and expect it to function as a level four holster. Here I’m going to describe key features comparison of level 2 and level 3:


The lower the number, the easier it is to draw the gun quickly. However, the higher the number, the more secure the gun is inside the holster. So what exactly are the difference between retention levels 2 and 3?

Retention level 2 holsters are more open than retention level 3 holsters. The main difference is that level 2 holsters have a flap that closes over the trigger guard and trigger area. This helps conceal your firearm and makes it harder to pull the trigger.

But while a retention level 2 holster may look more concealed, it has a few drawbacks. It can be hard to put on the gun and remove it. Some people say that it doesn’t fit their hands well and can cause finger numbness. So you’ll need to test out the level 2 holster to see which one is best for you.


If you are looking for a holster that fits comfortably on your body, there is a huge difference between a level 2 and a level 3 holster.

A level 2 holster is one where the pistol sits directly against your body and is supported by the holster itself. Level 3 holsters are more like a jacket with the gun strapped to the inside of the jacket, which sits over the shoulder, allowing the gun to be more comfortably worn.

This is not to say that a level 3 holster isn’t comfortable – it can certainly be, but it requires a little practice to get the hang of it. When you have your gun in your hand, it’s very easy to forget that the gun is attached to the inside of your jacket, so you need to pay close attention to the way you wear the holster to ensure you don’t snag your clothes or skin your gun while you’re carrying it.

The other thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing a level 3 holster is that they are slightly bulkier than a level 2 holster, and thus require more room to comfortably carry them.


The Level 2 and Level 3 holsters are the same size and have a similar design with two and three retention levels respectively.

When choosing a retention level, the most important thing is to make sure that your gun can be secured and carried comfortably in your holster.

In general, the retention level of a holster determines how tightly it secures your firearm. You should also note that higher retention levels generally mean more bulky holsters.

For example, the retention level of a Level 2 holster is usually between 3-4 while a Level 3 holster is often more than 4.

However, there are some manufacturers who make holsters with different levels of retention, so you may want to get an idea of what they offer.

Ease of Use

When choosing between a level 2 or level 3 retention holster, it’s important to consider how comfortable the holster will be, and how easy it is to put on and take off. Some of them are more adjustable, some are more secure, and some are easier to use in general.

If you are a frequent traveler, then you know how important it is to keep your firearm concealed. If you are looking for a great concealment holster that offers comfort and convenience, then you should definitely check out the Retention Holster. It’s a lightweight design that offers a great fit and comfort for your gun. It has a simple-to-use button at the back for putting it on and taking it off, and it’s designed to offer the greatest amount of retention for your gun.

You can find this holster in both level 2 and level 3 retention, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Man or Women

Another important consideration is the retention level of your chosen holster. Some holsters are designed for men with a higher degree of retention, while others are designed for women with lower degrees of retention.

The most common type of holster used by women is the retention level 3 – it is the softest and goes around the midsection. This type of holster allows a woman to have a little more freedom and mobility than the retention level 2, which is designed to fit closer to the hips.

Side-by-side comparison between level 2 vs level 3 holster

Level 2 Holster Level 3 Holster
A Level 2 Holster is one that holds your firearm with two hands. A Level 3 Holster is one that secures your firearm to your body with one hand.
The level 2 holster is available in black or brown, while the level 3 holster only comes in black. The level 3 holster has an elastic strap and shoulder pad.
The level 2 holster is less expensive and less comfortable than the level 3 holster. The level 3 holster is smaller, sleeker, and more comfortable than the level 2 holster.
Level 2 Holsters are ones where you wear the weapon inside your clothing. Level 3 Holsters are completely hidden unless you want to remove the holster.
A “level 2” holster is usually worn low on your hips or at your sides. A “level 3” holster is worn much higher on your hips.
A Level 2 holster does not have a thumb break. A Level 3 holster has a thumb break.
Level 2 – this is where many people who are serious about self-defense choose to carry. Level 3 – this is where very few people choose to carry.
Level 2 holsters are usually sewn into the waistband of your jeans or trousers. Level 3 holsters are usually belt-mounted and made to look like a traditional gun-sheath.
A Level 2 holster, attaches to a belt via a clip or D-ring, is the most common holster type. A Level 3 holster is a combination of holster and retention strap
A basic level 2 holster is relatively inexpensive. A more expensive level 3 holster has greater functionality.


What is an active retention holster?

An “active retention holster” is a product designed to hold your phone or another mobile device securely in place when deployed in a stun mode. This prevents it from falling out of your pocket or bag while you are running around doing your chores. There are many different types of AR holsters available in the market, and you can get them for your phone, tablet, or any other small electronic device.

Do cops use Level 3 holsters?

Yes, some cops do use Level 3 holsters because they have greater safety features. The Level 3 holster design has been used by cops for decades and is one of the safest designs available. However, they’re not for everyone; hence, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right holster for your needs.

What is a Level 3 duty holster?

A level 3 duty holster is one that has a level 3 retention rating. It can hold any weapon securely and prevent accidental discharge while being worn. This is the highest level of retention, and it’s commonly seen on body armor and tactical gear.

What are the different levels of gun holsters?

There are three different levels of gun holsters, which are designed to be worn by different types of users. A high level of security and protection is offered by tactical and duty holsters, while a middle level of security is provided by personal and sports holsters. A low level of protection is available for those who don’t carry a firearm often.

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