Founded in 2012, North Carolina based Dara Holsters is a newbie in a market already full of strong competition. Despite the odds, Dara seems to be steadily carving out a spot for their custom-made Kydex holsters. I say custom, because Dara Holsters are specifically designed for each handgun model they offer, including handguns with popular accessories like lights or lasers.
Dara D3 – Level III Duty Holster
Recently Dara released their D3 Level III Duty holster. The current models are available for the very popular Glock 17/22/31, but they have taken a bold move to offer an option for the Walther PPX. I had a chance to handle the PPX at last year’s SHOT Show and I found the pistol to be remarkably well made for ergonomics. From those who have fired the handgun it would seem that its action is as smooth as its feel.
The Dara D3 has three levels of retention as the name implies. The retention features include:
- Adjustable military grade rubber retention system, a feature on all Dara holsters.
- Thumb throw retention system, consisting of a rotating hood held in the upward position by a molded detent. This detent provides solid securement in the stationary up position, with a break forward with a “similar feel to a tight operating safety on an AR-15”. The throw hood is completely manual with no springs or buttons to break.
- Ejection port locking system which requires the grip-located snap release button to be broken and the firearm to be rocked downward to be drawn out.
The double belt loop design marries .125″ Boltaron/Kydex to .093″ Boltaron/Kydex using a riveted system for required strength and support. It does not appear that their are retention screws that secure the holster to the duty belt, so the use of belt keepers may be required.
The Benefits of Boltaron/Kydex
The Level III features of the Dara D3 duty holster have a very similar appearance and function to the hugely popular Safariland SSIII law enforcement retention duty holster. As such, those familiar with the function of that holster would likely be able to make a fairly seamless transition.
Though the Safariland SSIII provided outstanding retention security, in a high quality product, the synthetic leather materials would eventually break down over time with repeated use and exposure to the elements. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which offers incredible strength and durability over time and is nearly impervious to rust or wear from weather conditions.
The Dara D3 is a nice addition to the playing field, and perhaps the only Level III duty holster on the market for the up-and-coming Walther PPK. The availability of the D3 for Glock 17/22/31 handguns targets the majority of American law enforcement. It should be interesting to see if the D3 holster gains popularity, especially with departments that have had the Safariland SSIII holster in the past.
MSRP – $159.99