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.
July 21st, 2008 11:24 AM
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?
July 21st, 2008 11:30 AM
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
July 21st, 2008 11:31 AM
I used a thumb breaks all my life as an LEO. I like the open tops since I carry only concealed now.
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
July 21st, 2008 12:26 PM
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 holster...watch your step...stay safe!
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
July 21st, 2008 12:34 PM
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.
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
"Sometimes when you're making gumbo, people just show up.", Leah Chase
July 21st, 2008 12:36 PM
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
July 21st, 2008 01:19 PM
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 .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
July 21st, 2008 01:38 PM
July 21st, 2008 01:52 PM
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!!
July 21st, 2008 04:36 PM
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.
July 21st, 2008 04:41 PM
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
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
July 21st, 2008 05:05 PM
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 .
July 21st, 2008 09:40 PM
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.
July 22nd, 2008 08:23 AM
I like open top holsters, but prefer a retention holster while canoeing for obvious reasons.
America: Your government is not ignoring you, it's insulting you.
The Bill of Rights: Void where prohibited by law.
July 22nd, 2008 12:17 PM
Open top...Easy access in times of stress.
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