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Thread: Retention on Open Carry Holsters

  1. #1
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    I know there are some varying opinions on that out there. I OC with my firearm in the front (cross-draw type holster from El Paso Leather) and it has no retention on it. Aside from getting a snug fit and using manual retention (elbow on the firearm) that's all she wrote. For me, I am uber-vigilant of my surroundings...not sure that is an issue tied to retention on the holster, but just throwing it in there.

    I know a few (or many) may find that irresponsible, but was wondering if it is more of a preference thing, or really is an issue of irresponsibility? Lots of you carry openly with no retention?

    Just curious. Look forward to the feedback.

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    Situational awareness does, indeed, go far in promoting your safety AND gun retention. Some times a retention holster is not available.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    Some times a retention holster is not available.
    Actually, I can't think of a single "style" of carry where there's not at least one manufacturer that makes a retention holster. OC, CC, just about any position (crossdraw, 3:00, SOB, IWB, 12:00 vertical, 12:00 horizontal, etc, etc, etc...)

    I suppose some of the more "oddball" firearms might be difficult to find a "custom fit" holster for (the EAA Witness is one that comes to mind), but there are a lot fo "universal fit" holsters that are perfectly serviceable.

    I'll admit that I had a tough time finding a perfect-fit holster for my Walther P22 that fit my needs and desires (leather, paddle, adjustable cant) but after some research and with the cooperation of a friendly local dealer that let me try several holsters, I finally determines that the Bianchi "Special Agent" model #59 for the Glock 29 was a perfect fit--and had a thim-snap strap. Sure, I'm not planning to use the P22 as a defensive firearm, but I wanted a nice holster for range carry for my daughter.

    So the moral of this story is that sometimes you need to "think outside the box", and if you have a dealer that will allow you to test-fit a firearm into their holsters, there are a LOT more options than the manufacturers put on their labeling...

    What style of carry and what kind of firearm are you thinking of?

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    While I understand Dreamers point, in my mind there is a difference between a holster with a retention strap and a holster with a retention "system". For most purposes a retention strap provides most of its protection against the possibility of dropping the weapon inadvertently while simply moving around in various body positions. Sort of "anti Gravity" protection. In most cases a tight fitting formed holster will do for this purpose. A retention system can protect against gravity but it is also designed to prevent someone from "snatching" the weapon from the carrier. I think the OP was thinking more about the second situation.

    I would agree that you can find close fits to a lot of firearms or even make a holster with "anti gravity" properties, but a true retention system requires a purpose built holster and a reliable release system. Otherwise it could produce a deadly circumstance for the wearer where the weapon jams in the holster just when you need it in your hand.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    I wish Bucheimer was still in business producing the "Federal Man" high-ride thumbbreak. The thumbbreak was via a large paddle and retention was secure enough for the FBI. When I left USAF I sold my FedMan to another SP sergeant. I found two at the Dulles gun show last time around but - darn it! - they were both left-handers. Too bad, with some polish and water and cotton balls I could have had them shining like patent leather.

    Really, I think a thumb-break is retention aplenty, and I hate those composite holsters, I think leather does a good job of protecting the finish on the weapon, especially if you are carrying blued steel.

    Then again, who carries blue steel anymore?

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    ...SNIP
    Then again, who carries blue steel anymore?
    I DO AND WHAT OF IT!

    Are you saying I'm OLD!
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    ...SNIP
    Then again, who carries blue steel anymore?
    I DO AND WHAT OF IT!

    Are you saying I'm OLD!
    Yes. :P

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with blue steel, it is a beautiful finish; maybe the best bluing ever done was by Colt on their venerable Python. But bluing can wear off, re-bluing cn be expensive, and so-called "cold bluing" touchups are about as atttractive and believable as - well, have you ever seen an older woman who tries to replicate the fullness of her younger lips by applying lipstick outside the vermilion? "Cold bluing" is about as believable. Blue steel is fine, but I wouldn't carry a blue gun in a composite holster.

    Speaking of old, in the light of this weather maybe you could share some tips on what caliber works best for hunting woolly mammoth? It has been snowing hard here for 21 hours straight - I have not seen anything like it since I arrived here in 1973 - and I am starting to think that the ice age that "global warming" was supposed to engender has finally arrived.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Nothing wrong with blue steel, it is a beautiful finish; maybe the best bluing ever done was by Colt on their venerable Python.┬* But bluing can wear off, re-bluing cn be expensive, and so-called "cold bluing" touchups are about as atttractive and believable as - well, have you ever seen an older woman who tries to replicate the fullness of her younger lips by applying lipstick outside the vermilion?┬* "Cold bluing" is about as believable.┬* Blue steel is fine, but I wouldn't carry a blue gun in a composite holster.

    Speaking of old, in the light of this weather maybe you could share some tips on what caliber works best for hunting woolly mammoth?┬* ┬* It has been snowing hard here for 21 hours straight - I have not seen anything like it since I arrived here in 1973 - and I am starting to think that the ice age that "global warming" was supposed to engender has finally arrived.
    Last time I saw a storm like this in Northern Virginia was in the early 60's. I measured the depth a little while ago and here in suburban Manassas, I already have over 20" and it is still coming down very hard.

    If rouge mammoth are a problem in Alexandria, I would recommend the S&W .500 over there in the avatar for a Back up gun, and perhaps a .500 nitro express double for general self defense. Be aware that these MAY over penetrate on human targets.

    By the way, I have always wondered if it would make you nervous to pick up someone if they were OCing in your line of work?

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Nothing wrong with blue steel, it is a beautiful finish; maybe the best bluing ever done was by Colt on their venerable Python. But bluing can wear off, re-bluing cn be expensive, and so-called "cold bluing" touchups are about as atttractive and believable as - well, have you ever seen an older woman who tries to replicate the fullness of her younger lips by applying lipstick outside the vermilion? "Cold bluing" is about as believable. Blue steel is fine, but I wouldn't carry a blue gun in a composite holster.

    Speaking of old, in the light of this weather maybe you could share some tips on what caliber works best for hunting woolly mammoth? It has been snowing hard here for 21 hours straight - I have not seen anything like it since I arrived here in 1973 - and I am starting to think that the ice age that "global warming" was supposed to engender has finally arrived.
    Last time I saw a storm like this in Northern Virginia was in the early 60's. I measured the depth a little while ago and here in suburban Manassas, I already have over 20" and it is still coming down very hard.

    If rouge mammoth are a problem in Alexandria, I would recommend the S&W .500 over there in the avatar for a Back up gun, and perhaps a .500 nitro express double for general self defense. Be aware that these MAY over penetrate on human targets.

    By the way, I have always wondered if it would make you nervous to pick up someone if they were OCing in your line of work?

    Regards
    Actually no. It all depends on the totality of the circumstances. Someone comes up to the cab OCing and throwing gang signs, seeyalatermuch! However if someone is dangerous as in a potential robber, they are going to hide whatever weapon they might have. If I have any doubts about things regarding an OCer I will either just lock the door and refuse transport OR excersize my right as a Conservator of the Peace and demand surrender of the firearm for the duration of the trip. (Operators of for-hire vehicles in the Commonwealth have Conservator status while on duty). But unless there are other factors, the mere open carry of a firearm will not be grounds in my book for refusal of service. I would be a ton less nervous about someone openly carrying a loaded pistol than I would about someone exhibiting certain behaviors, such as being overly vague and evasive about a destination etc.

    Armed or unarmed and no matter race, color, creed, sexual orientatiion, etcetera; I gauge what I am dealing with by circumstance and behavior. For instance someone who wants to spend $45 on a cab ride to College Park Md. who hails the cab at a Metro stop in the middle of the day (when he could get to College park much faster and tons cheaper on the subway) is going to have to answer a few questions, and answeer them quickly and correctly. (I always couch these questions in the politest terms, never as an interrogation) Because you see, why would you spend more money on a slower ride unless you were planning on (1) ditching the fare or (2) robbing/carjacking the driver?

    Haven't had an OC passenger yet, but if I do it will be behavior and nothing else as the factor in my decision as to transport or not (and it is also the only legal reason for a refusal).


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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    ...SNIP

    Haven't had an OC passenger yet, but if I do it will be behavior and nothing else as the factor in my decision as to transport or not (and it is also the only legal reason for a refusal).
    I was just curious and have been since I first saw you posting here. Your line of work is potentially more dangerous than police work especially at night. Not everybody's cup of tea. Stay safe.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Yep, and there are occasions when I strap up, even if I do often have to cross the "Moat" aka the Potomac where if caught I face felony charges. Effed up? Majorly. Practical? You bet.

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    I have a snap thumb break on a nylon side holster, and it works without thought. Two weeks ago I took a spill on wet ice, going down hard, but the gun stayed put.

    As for retention against people, others can draw it out just as fast as you can. SA and you need to know how to move in case someone does draw your weapon. Spinning around and saying, "Give that back!" doesn't cut it.
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    GunsKillPeople wrote:
    I know there are some varying opinions on that out there. I OC with my firearm in the front (cross-draw type holster from El Paso Leather) and it has no retention on it. Aside from getting a snug fit and using manual retention (elbow on the firearm) that's all she wrote. For me, I am uber-vigilant of my surroundings...not sure that is an issue tied to retention on the holster, but just throwing it in there.

    I know a few (or many) may find that irresponsible, but was wondering if it is more of a preference thing, or really is an issue of irresponsibility? Lots of you carry openly with no retention?

    Just curious. Look forward to the feedback.
    It would help to know what type handgun you carry. AZ 'law' does not require a retention device btw. I also carry cross draw at the 10 0'Clock position and have done so 'forever'. I kind'a suspect you're carryin' a revolver? SAA maybe?

    Ar any rate, here's an 'old time' trick to consider:

    Drill two holes one over the other at the top of the holster. Get some leather shoelaces (latigo) at any drug store. Soak a length of that in oil (any) o/nite to make it supple. Make a loop with that. Insert the closed end in the bottom hole 'n pull it thru the top hole, so that the loop is outside of the holster. Insert your pistol and loop the closed end over the hammer spur. Tie the bitter ends at the bottom in a slip knot with enough length available for you to tug on it to apply tension on the top loop over the hammer spur, but still allow you to 'thumb' the loop off the hammer easily enough. This'll work on any exposed hammer pistol 'cept the 1911A1'cocked 'n locked'.

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    Retention is part of responsible carry. It involves more than the holster.

    Retention includes:

    1) Situational awareness
    2) Physical retention of the gun by the holster
    3) Offensive and defensive combatives techniques used to retain the gun in case an unauthorized person puts their hand on the gun.
    4) Shooting techniques built around retention, movement and combatives.

    If your retention skills depend upon situational awareness, you have already failed. It is impossible to maintain awareness. Even looking down to get your wallet opens you up to a rush for those two to three seconds. These things go really, really fast and a guy only ten feet away from you can stab or pummel you before you know what's happening. Needless to say, we cannot see behind us and this is a real problem.

    If you don't know any combatives, then you could be in for a serious problem if a gun grab does occur. Proficiency in only a few moves is all that's needed; decades of classes is not required. It is difficult enough to fight off a determined adversary, much less two. Once the gun is introduced, frequently (as in > 2/3 of the time) the fight IMMEDIATELY becomes over the gun.

    If you have never fired a gun while in contact with your target, it is something you should experience. The first few rounds can be quite disconcerting. Everyone thinks that they should shoot for the chest; in these situations, you take what you can get...including thigh and groin shots. This stuff generally doesn't occur to people.

    I would also include physical fitness on the list, but that's probably going a bit far considering the gun owning population's general attitude toward fitness. It is a requirement to be able to fight effectively even for 20-30 seconds.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    If I'm OCing in the great out doors, I don't worry about active retention. But if I'm OCing anywhere with crowds, I preffer active retention. It seems prudent to keep would-be snatchers a step behind, and protect from kids with sticky fingers.

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    I carry my 1911 in a thumb break holster. I'm not concerned with retention, though. I know it's silly, but I'm worried that somehow, the thumb safety will get turned off, something will depress the grip safety, and, at the same time, something will somehow pull the trigger. The thumb break will stop the hammer from falling. Yeah, I know the chances of this happening are one in a trillion or so, but it worries me.
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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    There are no such thing as retention holsters for my PT1911AR. I carry Crossdraw and the adjustable tension keeps it snug. I even have trouble pulling it out myself, if I don't pull it perfectly straight..........
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    ixtow wrote:
    There are no such thing as retention holsters for my PT1911AR. I carry Crossdraw and the adjustable tension keeps it snug. I even have trouble pulling it out myself, if I don't pull it perfectly straight..........
    :?
    It is just a 1911 w/rails.
    Safarilands 6378/6377 ALS for other 1911's with rails will work.

    I'm not a fan of retention holsters.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Agent19 wrote:
    ixtow wrote:
    There are no such thing as retention holsters for my PT1911AR. I carry Crossdraw and the adjustable tension keeps it snug. I even have trouble pulling it out myself, if I don't pull it perfectly straight..........
    :?
    It is just a 1911 w/rails.
    Safarilands 6378/6377 ALS for other 1911's with rails will work.

    I'm not a fan of retention holsters.
    No, it's a full picatinney rail. Not the usual mini rails that most have.

    I had a Silent Thunder made by Tucker Gun Leather. Sweet. It is the ONLY holster AT ALL made for it.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    :?,

    I have this and it fits the holsters listed.



    It doesn't appear to be much different than yours.

    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

  23. #23
    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Agent19 wrote:
    :?,

    I have this and it fits the holsters listed.



    It doesn't appear to be much different than yours.
    Interesting. I looked for months and everyone who sold them told me it would never fit. "The Taurus' rail is too wide" they told me. Guess my money wasn't green.

    I like what I got anyway.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    ixtow wrote:

    I like what I got anyway.
    That's all that matters in the long run.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

  25. #25
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    ixtow wrote:
    Interesting. I looked for months and everyone who sold them told me it would never fit. "The Taurus' rail is too wide" they told me. Guess my money wasn't green.
    Isn't the whole point of the Picatinny rail that it is STANDARDIZED, so that you can fit accessories from ANY number of manufacturers to it easily? I thought ALL Picatinny rails were EXACTLY the same width. That's the point--a standardized mount platform...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picatinny_rail

    Technical specificationsIn order to provide a stable platform, the rail should not flex as the barrel heats and cools; this is the purpose of the spacing slots: they give the rail considerable room to expand and contract lengthwise without distorting its shape. The Picatinny locking slot width is 0.206in (5.23mm). The spacing of slot centers is 0.394in (10.01mm) and the slot depth is 0.118in (3.00mm). The only differences between the Picatinny rail and the similar Weaver rail are the size of these slots and the fact that they are standardized. Weaver rails have a slot width of 0.180in (4.57mm), but are not necessarily consistent in the spacing of slot centers. Some accessories are designed to fit on both Weaver and Picatinny rails; but most Picatinny devices will not fit on Weaver rails
    Sometimes I wonder WTF the people at gun stores are thinking when they say stupid stuff like the above-mentioned quotation...


    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionŚand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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