Thumb Break vs. No Thumb Break IWB/OWB?

This is a discussion on Thumb Break vs. No Thumb Break IWB/OWB? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey all, this is my first post here on the forums. I recieved my LTCF and bought my first handgun (XD9 Service) back in march. ...

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Thread: Thumb Break vs. No Thumb Break IWB/OWB?

  1. #1
    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    Thumb Break vs. No Thumb Break IWB/OWB?

    Hey all, this is my first post here on the forums. I recieved my LTCF and bought my first handgun (XD9 Service) back in march. So I've been carrying for a while, and OC is good to go in PA. I usually OC everywhere but lately I've been going to alot of social gatherings/work related meetings that requires a dedicated concealed holster. Right now I use the Serpa so when I try to CC with it, it doesnt go over too well unless I keep my coat on the whole time, and that sucks..

    I'm looking for an IWB or an OWB, but I dont know how much I can trust the retention of a holster that doesnt have a locking mechanism or a thumb break. So in your experience guys, have you ever had your gun fall out of a holster without a thumb break?

    At first I wanted to pick up an OWB but I've done some research and for me the IWB holster will give me a real advantage when it comes to CCing. I suppose if it's a dedicated CC holster I don't have to worry so much about gun grabbers. Still though, it makes me a little uncomfortable knowing it can just be yanked out if someone knows its there.

    Anyways I have come to the decision to purchase the Comptac MTAC as my first IWB/real CC holster. I read some reviews and it seems some people have been having retention issues. Running causes the gun to shake loose from the holster if not fall out completely etc. In the line of work I do and the funny things I often find myself doing, I need the retention to be top notch.

    Thanks for your insight everyone and if you can recommend a few nice holsters for me I would really appreciate it. Even if its a very concealable OWB. However if its OWB I think I might like a thumb break!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!


    For most of us, a holster that's properly designed and constructed for your specific weapon has no need for additional retention devices.

    An argument for an exception can be made for LEO's/security professionals that could be expected to routinely end up rolling around on the ground struggling with a suspect.......most of us don't have that kind of concern however.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    If you're carrying the gun concealed I see no reason for a Thumb Break.

    Use a good quality Holster, like a Milt Sparks and you shouldn't have a problem.

    Biker

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    There's really no need for a thumb break. It's just your mind telling you that you must have a thumb break because that must be the most secure way to go. If you buy a QUALITY holster it's just not needed. Find a good IWB and you can finally take your coat off in public. ha! Two that I've found work terrific for me are Gary Brommeland's Max Con V (expensive) and the Crossbreed Super-Tuck (great price and lifetime guarantee). If you can put your firearm in the holster and turn it upside down and shake it and it doesn't come out then you know when you put it IWB and tighten it down with a belt that it's staying in place.
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

  6. #5
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    The only holster that I have with a thumb break is for a revolver (full size 4" barrel) I carry hunting.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  7. #6
    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    yeah i know having a thumb break isnt a necessity while carrying concealed. but the likelyhood of me getting into a tussle is just as likely as me getting into a defensive shooting situation. Perhaps both are involved in the same situation. I don't know how well I can rely on something that can just tumble out if i hit the ground the wrong way.

  8. #7
    Member Array smotta's Avatar
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    OWB - no break if CC

    When visiting GA - if OC - Blackhawk SERPA, so it has retention - just no thumbreak.
    "In God we trust, as for the rest of you... keep your hands where I can see them" - Unknown

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcabin View Post
    Hey all, this is my first post here on the forums. I recieved my LTCF and bought my first handgun (XD9 Service) back in march. So I've been carrying for a while, and OC is good to go in PA. I usually OC everywhere but lately I've been going to alot of social gatherings/work related meetings that requires a dedicated concealed holster. Right now I use the Serpa so when I try to CC with it, it doesnt go over too well unless I keep my coat on the whole time, and that sucks..

    I'm looking for an IWB or an OWB, but I dont know how much I can trust the retention of a holster that doesnt have a locking mechanism or a thumb break. So in your experience guys, have you ever had your gun fall out of a holster without a thumb break?

    At first I wanted to pick up an OWB but I've done some research and for me the IWB holster will give me a real advantage when it comes to CCing. I suppose if it's a dedicated CC holster I don't have to worry so much about gun grabbers. Still though, it makes me a little uncomfortable knowing it can just be yanked out if someone knows its there.

    Anyways I have come to the decision to purchase the Comptac MTAC as my first IWB/real CC holster. I read some reviews and it seems some people have been having retention issues. Running causes the gun to shake loose from the holster if not fall out completely etc. In the line of work I do and the funny things I often find myself doing, I need the retention to be top notch.

    Thanks for your insight everyone and if you can recommend a few nice holsters for me I would really appreciate it. Even if its a very concealable OWB. However if its OWB I think I might like a thumb break!

    You mention you have the Serpa, but what base do you use? Belt loop or paddle? That is important to consider in the question you posted, IMO. There are a few quality holster makers that make IWB or OWB with a thumbbreak if that is what you desire. I have looked because my dept requires some form of active retention for off-duty holsters.
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I use both. I use a thumb break at times both IWB and OWB. They are no issue to me, and don't slow anything down at all.

    Many try to push the thumb break with their thumb to unsnap it first, then grip the gun ..... don't..... you just slide your hand down onto the gun like normal with your thumb pushing in between the 2 parts as you put your hand on the gun (normal motion) , and it unsnaps as you do. It's no slower or quicker than an open holster.

    I've had a gun , in a good fitting / retaining open holster, fall out .... and consequently in some circumstances definitely want the thumb break. Some brands of holsters for some of my guns, I can't find it with a thumb break or they would have one too.

  11. #10
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    In my 30-40 holsters, only one had a thumb break...a real pain in the butt...OMO

    None of my present holsters have a thumb break, and I don't every want one.
    In another thread, I shared my tumble down a flight of bleachers and the gun stayed secure.

    If you use a good quality holster, retention is not a problem.

    Stay armed...good holsters secure your sidearm...stay safe!
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  12. #11
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    If I open carried I might consider a thumb break holster for retention in case someone tried to grab my weapon. But I don't care for OC so no thumb breaks on any of my holsters, IWB and OWB.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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  13. #12
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    Have a look at the cross breed super tuck IWB. They work very well.

  14. #13
    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    I carry both OWB snd IWB. If I had to choose only one it would have to be IWB.

    Most people will tell you a quality holster does not need additional retention. However, in my case EVERYTHING that can get loose from me will. Cell phones, pagers, GUNS... they all get loose and come off.

    I have not had a gun get loose since I started using thumb breaks. Neither has my wife. (She dropped one in the woods once.)

    I even had a big (fairly new) belt suddenly break in two as I was in Wal-Mart once. I NEED as much retention as I can get but I am not typical. If choosing a holster with a thumb break make sure you can pop it AS you draw as mentioned above. That way it will slow you down very little if at all!

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