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Thread: Did You Switch to a Retention Holster When You Decided to Open Carry?

  1. #1
    Regular Member The Expert's Avatar
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    Did You Switch to a Retention Holster When You Decided to Open Carry?

    I've been talking to a few friends in my church who are known to be pro-gun and found that they are also universally anti-open carry.

    For the most part, they bring up the three consistent arguments:

    1) Open Carry turns you into the #1 Target in any Given Situation

    2) People are scared of guns and we need to go out of our way to not to do anything that would frighten others.

    3) Knowing exactly where your gun is, someone may try to take it.

    While I know we have the stronger arguments on all of these (and other) issues, I have been mulling the whole retention thing over. I know the statistics prove without any doubt that a huge percentage of officers that are shot in the line of duty end up taking that bullet from their own gun. This a major reason why we see almost all officers with some type of retention holster.

    Has anyone thought that such issues apply to civilian open carry enough to switch to either a holster with a traditional retention strap or one of those new SERPA style "Level II" or "Level II" retention holsters?
    I always open carry one of my Kimber 1911 pistols everywhere I go. Usually in a paddle holster. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    SNIP...Has anyone thought that such issues apply to civilian open carry enough to switch to either a holster with a traditional retention strap or one of those new SERPA style "Level II" or "Level II" retention holsters?
    Oh, no. We never take anything like that into consideration.

    We've just been yakking about it since Day 2 on this forum.

    Oh, and on top of the complete disregard for retention, we have an informal forum rule that we can only discuss situational awareness/Condition Yellow, every other blue moon.

  3. #3
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    Thank you.

    Beware the evil paradigm of consideration (yeah we consider), expectation (we're expected to?), becomes requirement (federal/NRA approved holsters and non-lethal ammo).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    SNIP (federal/NRA approved holsters and non-lethal ammo).
    Oh, now that is a black PR manuver of the first order--linking the NRA and fedgov.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Well, to have switched, I would have had to have been doing something different before.

    I've carried in a thumbstrap holster from day one, and switched to a Serpa when I got my XD.

    So, no I didn't switch to a retention holster, I just switched to a different retention holster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh, now that is a black PR manuver of the first order--linking the NRA and fedgov.
    Thank you. Heh heh heh I learned my lessons well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh, now that is a black PR manuver of the first order--linking the NRA and fedgov.
    http://www.nrahq.org/history.asp

    not directly connected I guess, but dang close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    http://www.nrahq.org/history.asp

    not directly connected I guess, but dang close.
    Ahaaa!! The smoking gun! And, not just fedgov, but military! And, damnYankee military at that!!

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    Course I think the civilian marksmanship program came out of the same era. Also, I find the NRA's former connection with the military and state/federal government an interesting note on how things have changed.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    I've been talking to a few friends in my church who are known to be pro-gun and found that they are also universally anti-open carry.

    For the most part, they bring up the three consistent arguments:

    1) Open Carry turns you into the #1 Target in any Given Situation

    2) People are scared of guns and we need to go out of our way to not to do anything that would frighten others.

    3) Knowing exactly where your gun is, someone may try to take it.

    While I know we have the stronger arguments on all of these (and other) issues, I have been mulling the whole retention thing over. I know the statistics prove without any doubt that a huge percentage of officers that are shot in the line of duty end up taking that bullet from their own gun. This a major reason why we see almost all officers with some type of retention holster.

    Has anyone thought that such issues apply to civilian open carry enough to switch to either a holster with a traditional retention strap or one of those new SERPA style "Level II" or "Level II" retention holsters?
    If #1 were true we should be hearing of the thousands of OC-ers shot or attacked each year. Most criminals are cowards and will choose an easier target rather than risk being shot.

    For #2 people need to get over their fear. They aren't afraid when they see a LEO carrying so why should they be afraid of a law abiding citizen going about their daily business carrying? The only people that need to be afraid are criminals!

    For #3 they may know where "a" gun is but don't know whether I have another in my pocket or a knife. When a potential gun-grabbing-criminal sees the gun he has to think that the person takes self defense seriously enough to carry.

    When I started carrying I migrated through some leather IWB, OWB and pocket holsters until I found the Blackhawk SERPA retention holster. When I started to OC more than CC I sat at a restaurant in a booth and the booth behind me had an overactive boy that made me think that criminals might not be the only ones that might try to grab my gun. So I use a SERPA 90+% of the time only because a SERPA isn't available for one of my guns yet. :-)

    Carry responsibly!
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-17-2010 at 04:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I didn't switch to a retention holster. Almost every holster I have ever owned has been a retention holster.

    My first holster was a Bianchi X2000 Phantom for my 4" Taurus 689, and it has level II retention.

    My next holster (which I still own and use) was an old-style Galco soft IWB holster for my Colt Delta Elite (sold the gun, kept the holster, use it now with my Para). It has a thumb strap.

    Several other similar IWBs, a few custom "western" style holsters, one "generic nylon" holster--all have had thumb breaks.

    These days, my main OC holsters are Serpa CQCs. I've got two for my Para and one for the Glock. I occasionally use that old Galco for the Para when I CC.

    The only holsters I have without active retention (other than friction) are the new Galco IWB I got for my Glock (which I don't like NEARLY as much as the old Galco I use with my 1911) and a Galco SSS, which I use for CC and as a "BBQ Holster" when I'm somewhere that I know retention won't be an issue.

    I've owned retention holsters of one kind or another since the late 1980's, and have always felt like my firearm is much more secure in a retention holster. You never know when the situation will require you to run, jump, dive, tumble, accidentally trip, or get in a scuffle. The idea that there is something mechanical keeping my firearm in the holster makes me much more confident when carrying.

    It's not that I'm worried so much about a "gun grab" (SA is the FIRST and most important line of defense against that--you shouldn't be relying on your rig to prevent that...). I prefer retention holsters because I'm an active, spry, squirrely guy who would sooner run away, or duck for cover than stand there like John Wayne, blasting away in the open. So I want a holster that fits my physical abilities--I can still move pretty quick, and I don't want to worry about whether my next evasive move will jostle my firearm from it's holster....

    I love my Serpa holsters. And I will continue to buy, use, and recommend them until something better comes along (or until the plastic eating bacteria are unleashed by Bill Gates and John Soros in their Plan of World Dominance (TM), and cause all things polymer to crumble--at which time I have a box of older leather rigs that will work just fine...)

    And I can honestly say that NOT A SINGLE holster I own was purchased because of how "other people" would perceive it (with the exception of the Galco SSS, because it IS a very snazzy looking rig). I don't buy gear (holsters, firearms, clothing, cars, etc) to placate the masses, or in some attempt to head off some sort of anti-gun sheeple prejudice. I buy stuff that works, stuff that fits my body, stuff that is durable and reliable, and stuff that meets MY OWN fuctional and aesthetic needs and desires.

    Fashion, perception, and trendiness are influencing factors for people who are too stupid or too lazy to figure out what works for THEM on an individual basis...

    I couldn't give a flying fig what anyone else thinks about my choice of firearm, holster, ammo, clothing, or automobile. It's MY stuff, so I am the ultimate arbiter of the appearance and functional requirements of my own stuff.
    Last edited by Dreamer; 10-17-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    Stupid question time.
    What defined a "retention holster" and are there different levels of retention? I carry in a thumb-break model most of the time. I have others that use Velcro and then there are the push-button rigs.

    Is a military flap/button holster = to my thumb-break with button?
    Is the Velcro strap = to the button strap?
    Does either = the button retained?
    What about the plastic holsters your gun "snaps" into that you have to use your thumb to push the holster off of the gun to draw it?
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    I don't have NEAR enough ammo on hand. `nuff said.

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    Every feature that helps retain the firearm in the holster is considered a level. So level one is some tension on the firearm so it won't just fall out. a snap button would be level 2. I've heard of up to 5 I think. At some point it is like getting past security at Fort Knox; very secure and unlikely unauthorized users will get the gun, but dang hard to get into very quickly even for authorized users.

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    At some point it is like getting past security at Fort Knox; very secure and unlikely unauthorized users will get the gun, but dang hard to get into very quickly even for authorized users.
    Wrong, such deactivation of safeties are fluid with the strokes of a draw.

    How about learning about the safeties instead of trying to justify a POS low level holster in which you paid 60USD.

  15. #15
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    Here is why security guards should always have retention holsters (funny video):

    http://www.videobash.com/video_show/...uard-fail-4799

    Watch closely for what appears on the floor, and then remains there as he walks away.

  16. #16
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Here is why security guards should always have retention holsters (funny video):

    http://www.videobash.com/video_show/...uard-fail-4799

    Watch closely for what appears on the floor, and then remains there as he walks away.
    Where's the BANG? I thought when you drop a gun it always goes off?
    Carry On.

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    #3 depends on the weapon carried.

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    Regular Member MatieA's Avatar
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    The holster I carry in "most of the time" has retention, but when I dress up cowboy style and carry my .45 LC revolver, I have to be very careful because the ONLY retention is a "hammer loop" consisting of a string of leather. I still carry in this holster occasionally but am more aware of the people around me, and tend to keep my hand much closer to my firearm. The holster is designed with basically no retention on purpose as it is a "quick-draw" western rig, and when I wear it I realize that ALL responsibility for the retention of my pistol relies on me being aware.
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  19. #19
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    If the sheeple are afraid of OC, then it logically follows that fat people should be afraid of spoons

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    I know the statistics prove without any doubt that a huge percentage of officers that are shot in the line of duty end up taking that bullet from their own gun. This a major reason why we see almost all officers with some type of retention holster.
    Can you share these so called statistics? Citation!
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  21. #21
    Regular Member The Expert's Avatar
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    Now I'm about to just order me up one of those SERPA holsters for my XD. Perhaps the one with the fancy carbon fiber upgrade.
    I always open carry one of my Kimber 1911 pistols everywhere I go. Usually in a paddle holster. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.

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