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Thread: So, how safe before it becomes a hinderance?

  1. #1
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    So, how safe before it becomes a hinderance?

    So, here's a question.

    How safe is too safe?

    The only gun I have readily available is my carry. I can't carry to work, so my gun sits in a quick access safe mounted to the wall. I carry when I'm off work obviously.

    So how safe is too safe? Is a triple retention holster and a quick access safe being too paranoid and hindered too much when the day comes I actually need my weapon?

    What kind of routine does everyone else do?

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    The two (gun safe and holster) are meaningfully divergent.

    Holster:
    In realistic scenarios, your ability to defend yourself will not be determined by the speed of your draw. More accurately, the speed of draw, in and of itself, is a vanishing detail when contrasted against your awareness, your presence of mind, your intestinal fortitude, and the strength of your practiced discipline. While one can demonstrate significant relative difference in draw time between an open-top holster and a level 3 retention holster, this difference disappears in actual practice. Choose your level of retention not based on the speed of draw, but on your analysis of risk and your level of risk aversion. Once you have chosen a holster, practice (ideally, with a Blue Gun, but at minimum with a personally-checked, unloaded pistol) slow, smooth draws regularly. Establish unshakeable confidence in your ability to bring your weapon to bear in defense. That's what will protect you in need.

    Safe:
    You can't use what you don't have. You must determine what degree of inaccessibility protects your family while you are at home without preventing you from accessing your pistol in need. The goals of protection from theft and accessibility in need are fundamentally antithetical. You will not achieve a balance between them, so don't give it a moment's thought. Protection from theft requires a degree of security that precludes urgent access. If you're away from home, either lock them in a properly-installed, bolted-down, side-protected safe, or don't bother locking them up at all, unless you have children, in which case you'll need objectively to gauge your children's discipline and maturity, with a minimum of trigger locks (in my opinion; some would argue a full safe is the minimum). If you're at home, the level of security you establish depends, again, on your objective evaluation of your family needs. Every step toward safety of your family is a step away from accessibility. No one can evaluate this for you, and guidelines would be misleading at best. All I can say is that even a four-digit, 10-value combination with repeatable values has only ten thousand possible combinations. Do you realize how bored kids can get at home alone? In my opinion, mechanical finger combination safes are an industry scam; they provide zero real security against a bored child. A quality biometric safe is the minimum I'd consider.

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    It depends on what your doing. On the job I used triple retention holsters a lot more chance of getting into a situation where physical activity could cause you to have your handgun come out of its holster.

    Nothing wrong with a good retention holster

    Now I carry in a single retention holster like a serpa or plain old thumb break. I do use a lanyard also some times like when I am canoeing, rock climbing, riding an ATV, where dropping it could mean lost or severe damage.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    ....

    Now I carry in a single retention holster like a serpa or plain old thumb break. ....
    You are apparently forgetting that friction is the first level of retention. Thumb breaks, Serpas and the like are Level II retention holsters: friction + something.

    In response to the OP and their question - in reverse order:

    - if you can draw from your triple-retention holster and get the first shot off in time to meet and stop the threat it is safe enough. But double and triple retention holsters are more about not losing the handgun than being able to get it into action in time.

    Nobody has ever, that I know of, come up with a time that is definitively the slowest you can draw (get your handgun into action) and still stop the threat. Which is why folks keep trying to cut down the time while still getting the shot lined up and taken.

    - How safe is too safe? Safe enough that you cannot get to your handgun, line it up on the target, and get the shot off in time to stop the threat. Which means that at some time holding it in your hand, pointing in the general vicinity of COM of the threat, will not be safe enough. A safe such as you describe, coupled with sufficient barriers to give you time to get your handgun from the safe and line it up etc. and stop the threat is just safe enough. A safe that makes you use more time than is needed to access the handgun, line it up, etc and stop the threat is too safe.

    We can talk about what we personally use, or what Chuck Norris uses, or what ninjas would use if we could see what they used. But that only works for us, Chuck, and them.

    Invest in some snap caps or an airsoft, get a buddy who trusts (after verifying) that all live ammo has been removed both from the gun and the room, and put your safe to the test by having your buddy simulate breaking in from various points. If you can stop him before he stops you, your set-up is safe enough. If he stops you first it was too safe for you.

    Again - if you are going to do something like that, check, re-check, and have someone check again and verify that no live ammo could be put into play. I hear shooting your best buddy, even if they live, is a good way to lose a best buddy. Among other negative consequences you can expect.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    You are apparently forgetting that friction is the first level of retention. Thumb breaks, Serpas and the like are Level II retention holsters: friction + something.

    In response to the OP and their question - in reverse order:

    - if you can draw from your triple-retention holster and get the first shot off in time to meet and stop the threat it is safe enough. But double and triple retention holsters are more about not losing the handgun than being able to get it into action in time.

    Nobody has ever, that I know of, come up with a time that is definitively the slowest you can draw (get your handgun into action) and still stop the threat. Which is why folks keep trying to cut down the time while still getting the shot lined up and taken.

    - How safe is too safe? Safe enough that you cannot get to your handgun, line it up on the target, and get the shot off in time to stop the threat. Which means that at some time holding it in your hand, pointing in the general vicinity of COM of the threat, will not be safe enough. A safe such as you describe, coupled with sufficient barriers to give you time to get your handgun from the safe and line it up etc. and stop the threat is just safe enough. A safe that makes you use more time than is needed to access the handgun, line it up, etc and stop the threat is too safe.

    We can talk about what we personally use, or what Chuck Norris uses, or what ninjas would use if we could see what they used. But that only works for us, Chuck, and them.

    Invest in some snap caps or an airsoft, get a buddy who trusts (after verifying) that all live ammo has been removed both from the gun and the room, and put your safe to the test by having your buddy simulate breaking in from various points. If you can stop him before he stops you, your set-up is safe enough. If he stops you first it was too safe for you.

    Again - if you are going to do something like that, check, re-check, and have someone check again and verify that no live ammo could be put into play. I hear shooting your best buddy, even if they live, is a good way to lose a best buddy. Among other negative consequences you can expect.

    stay safe.

    thanks for all the opinions guys. If im not using my weapons, they are safed, trigger locked, and in some cases firing pins swapped to one that is ground down. I have two pistols in a quick access safe, both stay loaded. one is my carry gun, and one is my home defense pistol. When im out with my weapon and someone is home, there is another loaded gun ready to go. The safe is for burgle prevention. the quick access is simply to keep my 2 year old from getting at them. When we leave on vaca, my carry goes with me, and the 38 auto goes into the safe with whatever else will fit that we dont want burgled.

    It is a fantastic suggestion to use someone else as a scenario to how quickly you can get to the gun. I have a airsoft m9 that I will probably be doing some drills with my wife at some point in the near future. Great suggestion.
    Last edited by Tackett; 09-04-2013 at 02:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    You are apparently forgetting that friction is the first level of retention. Thumb breaks, Serpas and the like are Level II retention holsters: friction + something.
    .
    I would guess depending on the holster there are a lot of holsters out there with thumb breaks and latch's that fiction provides no retention at all. I wouldn't call them a level II holster by any means.

    With out the latch on my Serpas the firearm would just fall out. I don't believe in gravidity locks.

    You can believe in friction if you want but I don't trust holsters with out some kind of manual latch. I seen to many hand guns come out of friction only holsters during hard physical activity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I would guess depending on the holster there are a lot of holsters out there with thumb breaks and latch's that fiction provides no retention at all. I wouldn't call them a level II holster by any means.

    With out the latch on my Serpas the firearm would just fall out. I don't believe in gravidity locks.
    Just when did the ability to carry eggs come into the mix? (snicker)

    gravidity

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    ...
    Nobody has ever, that I know of, come up with a time that is definitively the slowest you can draw (get your handgun into action) and still stop the threat. Which is why folks keep trying to cut down the time while still getting the shot lined up and taken.
    ...

    Invest in some snap caps or an airsoft, get a buddy who trusts (after verifying) that all live ammo has been removed both from the gun and the room, and put your safe to the test by having your buddy simulate breaking in from various points. If you can stop him before he stops you, your set-up is safe enough. If he stops you first it was too safe for you.
    I like the way this man thinks!

    Sometimes I think I'm the only person that espouses such testing. People talk about gun access, storage, deployment, night-time use. It's EASY folks. Just load up with snap-caps and have someone challenge you. Try to run through every scenario you might reasonably encounter. Put your firearm near the bed in whatever storage or location you normally use, (snap-caps!) and take a nap and have a buddy sneak in and confront you.

    I think you'll rapidly discover just how awful your chosen method really is. That's why you need layered defense, time and distance and you need to have cooperative partners who will help you remember to set your alarms, and help fund hardening your home and help remind you to be safe out there, and in the car.

    I really like the idea of storing your firearm around the house but hidden (no untrained children though), teaching your kids to shoot and handle responsibly. Teaching your spouse. Running something like a fire drill. Once you've done it a few times and worked out the bugs it's a lot more helpful than just going to the range and lugging around a 2 pound handgun by yourself.

    But beyond that, the most important thing is to figure out how at the 3-5 year mark you are still being reasonably safe, attentive and cautious. We all are very vigilant in the beginning. That's why layers, partnering, teaching and training the whole family are part of the equation. You are kidding yourself if you think you can do it by yourself (IMO).

    Good posts!

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackett View Post
    .... If im not using my weapons, they are safed, trigger locked, and in some cases firing pins swapped to one that is ground down. ....
    In my house that would have passed overkill a long time ago. Obviously your mileage varries. I'm not going to try to change you to my ways, and I'd appreciate it if you did not try to change me to your ways. Unfortunately, not all gun board correspondents take that attitude.

    But just in case your way does not work, I'm calling dibs on yur stuff.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    In my house that would have passed overkill a long time ago. Obviously your mileage varries. I'm not going to try to change you to my ways, and I'd appreciate it if you did not try to change me to your ways. Unfortunately, not all gun board correspondents take that attitude.

    But just in case your way does not work, I'm calling dibs on yur stuff.

    stay safe.

    No no no. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to cause an argument or try to push my practices upon you. Nor am I a "fire arm safety thumper."

    I was simply stating the way I roll here at my household. Simply for informational purposes with no other meaning behind it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackett View Post
    So, here's a question.

    How safe is too safe?

    The only gun I have readily available is my carry. I can't carry to work, so my gun sits in a quick access safe mounted to the wall. I carry when I'm off work obviously.

    So how safe is too safe? Is a triple retention holster and a quick access safe being too paranoid and hindered too much when the day comes I actually need my weapon?

    What kind of routine does everyone else do?
    You obviously are not real concerned about your safety. If you were, you would not keep your firearm where it will be useless to you if you were to ever need it. The safest place to keep your firearm is on your PERSON; you have it if you need it and you also know if anyone is attempting to take said firearm when they shouldn't.

    As for not carrying at work: why do you not keep your firearm in your car? Sure, your company probably has a "no weapons in personal vehicles" policy, but how would they know? You honestly think they will ever ask to look into your vehicle -- your private property? I'm not sure about WV, but KY forbids an employer from disciplining someone for keeping a firearm in their vehicle, you might want to check WV law for something similar. Regardless of what law says, I would not allow a company policy make me keep my firearm at home.
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 09-04-2013 at 11:32 PM.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackett View Post
    thanks for all the opinions guys. If im not using my weapons, they are safed, trigger locked, and in some cases firing pins swapped to one that is ground down. I have two pistols in a quick access safe, both stay loaded. one is my carry gun, and one is my home defense pistol. When im out with my weapon and someone is home, there is another loaded gun ready to go. The safe is for burgle prevention. the quick access is simply to keep my 2 year old from getting at them. When we leave on vaca, my carry goes with me, and the 38 auto goes into the safe with whatever else will fit that we dont want burgled.

    It is a fantastic suggestion to use someone else as a scenario to how quickly you can get to the gun. I have a airsoft m9 that I will probably be doing some drills with my wife at some point in the near future. Great suggestion.
    You always know the firearm on your side will be into action when you need it; you can't say the same for one that is in the gun safe can you? Too many factors come into play during an ACTUAL self-defense situation -- practicing without experiencing those factors could get you killed when the actual life or death situation comes around. Keep your pistol at your side where it should be; leave the guessing game to checkers and chess, not your LIFE!
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    You obviously are not real concerned about your safety. If you were, you would not keep your firearm where it will be useless to you if you were to ever need it. The safest place to keep your firearm is on your PERSON; you have it if you need it and you also know if anyone is attempting to take said firearm when they shouldn't.

    As for not carrying at work: why do you not keep your firearm in your car? Sure, your company probably has a "no weapons in personal vehicles" policy, but how would they know? You honestly think they will ever ask to look into your vehicle -- your private property? I'm not sure about WV, but KY forbids an employer from disciplining someone for keeping a firearm in their vehicle, you might want to check WV law for something similar. Regardless of what law says, I would not allow a company policy make me keep my firearm at home.

    I won't carry one to work in my car because I don't want it stolen while it sits out in the parking lot for 12-16 hours. People's vehicles are constantly broken into out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackett View Post
    No no no. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to cause an argument or try to push my practices upon you. Nor am I a "fire arm safety thumper."

    I was simply stating the way I roll here at my household. Simply for informational purposes with no other meaning behind it.
    Never thought you were thumping anything. The comment was directed at everybody else.

    Heck, I might even invite you to visit me, but you'll need to promise not to get the vapors. If you invite me to visit you, I promise to try not to show how much I'd be cringing.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    .... Regardless of what law says, I would not allow a company policy make me keep my firearm at home.
    Being retired I no longer have to worry about the consequences of defying company policy, or about needing to find a new job on really short notice. Most folks who are not yet retired or independently wealthy understand that there may come a time when violating company comes with a very high price. I applaud folks who have strong convictions - but only so long as they do not whine about what happens when their convictions come up against known and expected consequences.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    You always know the firearm on your side will be into action when you need it; you can't say the same for one that is in the gun safe can you? Too many factors come into play during an ACTUAL self-defense situation -- practicing without experiencing those factors could get you killed when the actual life or death situation comes around. Keep your pistol at your side where it should be; leave the guessing game to checkers and chess, not your LIFE!
    I'm available to actually break into your house unannounced. PM me for rates.

    Remember, you are doing this to practice under the most realistic conditions, so you will still need to have only snap caps. Would it be OK if I used blanks and wax bullets, just for the closest simulation of real life?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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