Open Top vs. Thumb Break

Open Top vs. Thumb Break

This is a discussion on Open Top vs. Thumb Break within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Newbee here and wanted to get the local opinion on an open top holster, with a retention spring/clip, virus one with a thumb break. I'm ...

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Thread: Open Top vs. Thumb Break

  1. #1
    New Member Array Chumbucket's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    Open Top vs. Thumb Break

    Newbee here and wanted to get the local opinion on an open top holster, with a retention spring/clip, virus one with a thumb break.
    I'm sure there are pro's and cons to this question, i.e. draw, fit, feel, safety?
    The Capt'n.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    I prefer retention holsters, but they both have their places.

    Obviously those in the retention crowd, like myself, will argue the virtues of weapon retention during a physical altercation that does not require a weapon - or when surprised and time to draw your weapon has been eliminated.

    On the other hand, one could argue that a retention holster makes you more likely to have time eliminated with an extra split second required to draw - and in some circumstances going hands-on just won't be likely.

    I see and appreciate both sides of the argument. In my work I am charged with protecting someone else against all kinds of harm - physical harm, injury and even embarrassment. This means I am far more likely to go hands-on then draw. So I always carry with retention at work. With my family, I am not going to wrestle with someone while my family is unprotected - I am more likely to escalate quickly to protect my infant daughter and my wife, so retention is not as necessary (although I still prefer it).
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I used a thumb breaks all my life as an LEO. I like the open tops since I carry only concealed now.
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    Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
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  5. #4
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    If you're just John Q. Citizen (not fighting crime for a living), IMHO, you don't need the retention strap. I've related my embarrassing tumble down a set of rodeo bleachers one evening...the gun stayed in its place (quality holster), however, my ego was slightly damaged.

    Stay armed...use a quality your step...stay safe!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Back home in Louisiana !!!!
    A good, quality open-top holster used for concealment should work just fine.

    When out in the woods, doing a lot of moving while working, ATV'ing, etc. I like the extra retension (read: peace of mind) of a thumb break......but any other time, an open holster is the way to go.

  7. #6
    762 is offline
    Senior Member Array 762's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    i carry with a retention band. it has its pluses and minuses. it works for me because i am always dropping and loosing stuff. I never have to worry about it falling out, etc. A retention does slow the draw a bit however.
    Let's Roll - Todd Beamer


  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    When i carried as an LE off duty i considered some type retention device ( back then this was pretty much a thumbsnap for a concealable holster ) a necessity . It was necessary because I both was mandated to carry by policy , and obligated to take action in the small towns i policed in . Nowadays i look at retention a bit differently . Now if a holster will retain the pistol while i do a backwards summerset( somersault or whatever you call it that kids do ) it is fine . I am not obligated to get into any scuffle anymore and i wont . Now i dont mind retention , in fact my favorite OWB for a 1911 is an old Bianchi #3000 autodraw which has not one but two retention straps as well as a thro the trigger guard plug , and still manages to be the bar none fastest duty holster i ever used indluding simple thumbreaks .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  9. #8
    New Member Array Defensor Pacis's Avatar
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    Third Planet From the Sun.

    Holster . . .

    I might suggest you look at the Blackhawk Serpa holster. It is quick and secure. It uses a locking device that when actuated with the trigger finger of the gun hand will immediately release the gun for a smooth and raid draw. If the situation changes to a non-lethal encounter, you can quickly re-holster and secure your firearm.

    Blackhawk Serpa Holster:

    BLACKHAWK ! *BlackHawk CQC SERPA Holster - Active Retention - Matte Finish


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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    The Serpa's are pretty bulky depending on your build. I suggest looking at the Bianchi Carry Loc . It is by far the best OWB holster I have found in 12 years of CCing. The retention release is placed in such a way you naturally hit it when drawing the weapon. The last thing I wanted was something to slow my draw and this doesn't at all. I can't say the same for a strap!! The retention device has many pluses and I haven't found any negatives. I have tried a lot of OWB holsters in 12+ years and the Carry Loc is by far the best.

    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    LEOs normally carry retention holsters on duty, and since they are used to that method, it is best to carry all the time.
    But I do not think a CCW needs it. My holsters are tight enough so that even an altercation would not dislodge them. I had a friend give me a leather holster with a thumb break. When I carry it I always forget to use the thumb break and fumble with it.
    An LEO wears his gun unconcealed, and must protect from snatching. I don't have that problem, and also don't get into altercations. If I did I would have to call "time" and take a squirt of nitro.

    My view is that it is not necessary, and may be a liability, but if one wants to use it do so all the time so that the draw will be natural with it.


  12. #11
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    Array Thumper's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Chumbucket.

    For an IWB holster I don't see any need for a thumb break, heck, I don't even see a need for it on an OWB holster unless you open carry.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    With a Kydex tupe holster like my crossbreed I can actually heat the holster around the trigger guard to press it in a little more fore a more secure hold or out for less retention ,I have it adjusted where there is a little resistance when I try to draw the weapon but it comes out fast and it will not fall out even if I could do a headstand,
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    For most of carry purposes, no retention straps or devices are necessary. Only one person I know who needed one is for riding their motorcycle. Bad idea to have your gun bounce past you on the highway at 60MPH.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    I like open top holsters, but prefer a retention holster while canoeing for obvious reasons.
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  16. #15
    Member Array TuesdayClub's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Open top...Easy access in times of stress.

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