The Covered Trigger Guard

The Covered Trigger Guard

This is a discussion on The Covered Trigger Guard within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I touched on this once before on CombatCarry (as part of another thread) but, not sure that it ever reached any completely satisfactory conclusion. How ...

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Thread: The Covered Trigger Guard

  1. #1
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    Post The Covered Trigger Guard

    I touched on this once before on CombatCarry (as part of another thread) but, not sure that it ever reached any completely satisfactory conclusion.
    How did the misconception get started that wearing a holster that covers the firearm trigger & trigger guard helps prevent negligent discharges?
    I thought that the shooter keeping the trigger finger out of the trigger guard & off of the trigger was what prevented negligent discharges.
    Pretty much all negligent discharges happen when folks are fiddling with their firearm outside of the holster or cleaning the firearm or while reholstering the firearm. Most Often ND's happen when the "UNLOADED" firearm turns out to be loaded.

    My "thought out logical opinion" is that a negligent discharge is actually MORE LIKELY to happen with a "covered trigger guard" holster - if the index finger is inside the trigger guard while reholstering the firearm.

    It is then that the leather or Kydex holster material in the location of the trigger & guard (the material that covers the trigger guard) that forces the trigger finger up to operate the trigger.

    Can you picture that in your mind?

    No solid material covering the trigger guard area equals nothing to force the finger upward to contact the trigger and discharge the firearm during a Whoops!

    Also...having the trigger guard covered on a holstered single action revolver does nothing since the firearm is carried hammer down & the SAA must be "Thumb Cocked" in order for THAT firearm to discharge.

    Holstering a "cocked and locked" 1911 pattern pistol is also no safer with a covered rather than uncovered trigger guard.
    Since you can squeeze the trigger until your index finger turns blue and with the thumb safety engaged and that firearm still will not discharge.

    I've also heard is said that having the holstered in a rig with the trigger guard covered prevents something like a tree branch from entering into your holster and pulling your trigger for you. A guaranteed quite unlikely scenario for any street carried defensive firearm.

    I can see how LEOs that carry in any Threat Level Retention holster would want the trigger guard covered AKA during a Gun Grab the firearm stays locked & hopefully securely contained in the holster with the guard & trigger covered.
    That sounds logical to me even though most Serious Bad Guys have the workings of the retention style holsters pretty much all figured out by now.

    So...while I sure don't (In Any Way) want to change the design style of any modern holsters. Nope!
    That's NOT my intention at all.
    I DO think the Safety Aspect of having the trigger area always covered has been greatly magnified way out of proportion during the past 20 some years or so.

    I do see some advantage directly related to "Holster Construction" of having a solid continuous opening to the rig - to aid in preventing possible holster collapse. That makes sense.

    Placing the trigger finger in the guard and/or on the trigger prematurely (either while drawing & presenting or reholstering) is a Shooter Technique Issue and NOT a holster or equipment issue.
    More careful practice and a hard review of the Safety Rules & Regs solves that particular problem.

    There are already so many unnecessary and silly restrictions placed on shooters from "outside forces" that I hate to see us over~restrict ourselves because some Guns & Ammo Gunwriter Myth took root, budded and blossomed 20 years ago.

    OK...now I'm all braced and ready for all the Knee~Jerk impulse reactions of:
    "Well, I'll Still Always Carry With The Trigger Guard Covered."

    Guess What? ~ With modern holsters...you really don't have a choice anymore....anyway!

    That was not my point.

    My point is that it's really not the big, huge, deal that so many people make it out to be from a Firearm Safety Standpoint.

    The only real reason that I am even posting this thread is that on the various gun forums...I must hear the same old diatribe safety~mantra of the "holster w/ covered trigger guard" preventing ND's at least 100 times per year. It's such an illogical statement.

    So what is it? Is it a "feel good thing" because some shooters do not trust themselves to just keep that finger out of there. Afraid you might forget? I'm just honestly curious so fill me in and/or tell me where I'm wrong.

    Just my personal opinion.
    Yours is always welcome...feel free to post your thoughts.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Addition:
    By The Way...The most common holster related ND (that I've read about in recent years) is reholstering and shoving a DAO Glock back into the rig...with the trigger finger still inside the trigger guard.
    In that particular unfortunate happenstance - having NO material in the holster trigger guard area would actually PREVENT that ND & would not cause it.


  2. #2
    Member Array plblark's Avatar
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    Truthfully, I don't worry about my finger being in the trigger guard early. What I worry about is a snag on a screen door catch or seat belt clasp or a tree branch or ... I'm sure you can imagine the list.

    For me, the completely covered trigger guard is for when I don't have my hand on the weapon. It makes it so my booger hook is the only thing having access to the bang switch and that only when I intentionally choose to.

  3. #3
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    I pretty much agree QK - and draw and holster always with the straight trigger finger.

    Just perhaps there is thinking for some - Glock shooters maybe - that an exposed trigger just could get caught on some protruberance when moving in confined spaces etc.

    I have had rigs where trigger was well exposed and never in fact had any concerns - they were mostly revo rigs.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    I see what you're saying, and, in part, agree.

    I would disagree, if you carry a Glock or Sig, especially on duty. In the "olden days" it would not be unusual for the old bucket holsters to be loose enough to allow the cylinder on a well broken in or tuned Colt or S&W to move if the trigger was pulled- I think this is a big part of where the mantra comes from.

    Picture something like a Hellwig Tac Speed holster, with no trigger cover, being carried CCW, or by a Detective, holding a Glock. Getting in and out of the car, with those reinforced seatbelt fasteners, flapping at your strong side........

    With a 1911, I would have less difficulty with the concept, aside from the nagging knowledge that all mechanical safeties eventually fail.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    I never really gave it much thought, I guess because I carry a 1911 and single action revolvers. The 1911 has a covered trigger because (as you said) I don't really have a choice, and don't particularly notice it since I'm drawing with my index finger extended anyway.
    With single action revolvers, my holsters have the trigger guard fully exposed, because I'm grabbing the gun mostly with my finger stuck right on the trigger and then operating the action with my thumb (on the hammer). So, I'd want that open trigger guard to get leverage on the gun in the first place. I've never considered this unsafe.
    However....... I do think if I were carrying a Glock or some firearm without any other method of safety except the trigger, I'd prefer to have the trigger covered. As Rob pointed out and I'd be likely to do, nothing like getting some dumb thing in my truck seat stuck through the trigger guard and blowing a clean hole in my dirty seat.

  6. #6
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    and blowing a clean hole in my dirty seat
    ''Clean"" - hmmm - how about them powder burns huh?!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    I always thought that the only reason that holsters covered the triggers is because it had to, that a holster with trigger clear (able to be used) was considered a AOW.

    Other than that, I don't know.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    ''Clean"" - hmmm - how about them powder burns huh?!
    P95 -- would probably be cleaner than that nasty old seat

    Actually, getting in and out of various vehicles is one place where I do pay a lot of attention - I kid about my old truck but it's easy to jump in and out without getting hung up... it's a 92 Dodge and doesn't have any fancy anything in it. Seems like as vehicles get newer, there are more auto-seatbelts and stuff that could potentially be a problem.

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    Years ago I witnessed a Negligent Discharge (NDs are more frequent than ADs, but that's for another thread).

    Myself & two others were searching for a deer one of the guys had shot. The deer ran a couple of hundrred yards threw thick woods. We had left our long guns & two of us had pistols. The other armed man with me had a Bianchi holster that held a 686 with an open trigger. He went into some brush & a small limb got into the trigger guard & the weapon fired! It ruined the holster but with the bullet went into the ground without harming the man. Keep in mind this was a double action Smith & Wesson revolver & it takes a lot to pull the trigger. (it was a hunter style holster, carried cross draw)

    After that my opinion of open trigger holsters changed to negative. I even owned a couple for single action revolvers!
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

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    Senior Member Array torrejon224's Avatar
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    Many years ago I carried a S&W Model 15 (yep that long ago) in a holster that left the trigger and trigger guard exposed.
    One night during a foot pursuit I had to go up and over a fence and somehow wehn I came down I could actually hear the 15 starting to cock.
    I froze and noticed that a small piece of pipe from the fence that had come loose had managed to find it way almost totally into my trigger, definitely enough to start cocking the weapon.
    I was fortunate enough that my hearing was in "hyper" mode at that time and managed to free it before the weapon discharged.
    Fom that point on, I never used a holster that did not fully cover the trigger and trigger guard!!
    I'm sure that there are others that have had similar experiences.

  11. #11
    Member Array mstarn's Avatar
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    I'm a believer in the old adage: If you don't want the gun to fire KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER.
    Mark
    SC CWP Instructor
    NC CCH Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor

  12. #12
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    Oh...so the main objection to an open trigger guard is a possible foreign object or protuberance entering into the trigger guard area with a double action revolver or a "SIG cocked pistol" or any striker fired DAO (or generic DAO) pistol like GLOCK?
    That's interesting.

    The feelings would be the same then for a IWB holster in the same configuration...No Wait...Cancel That Question ~ Silly question (on my part though) since there aren't any existing IWB holsters with an open trigger guard.

    My main objection (while searching the web for custom cowboy holster pics last week) was noting that especially many of the production holster makers and also the custom Western leather holster makers have moved away from the "gunfighter" style holsters for Single Action Army type rigs.
    That's sad because it's such a timeless classic holster style.
    I see absolutely no reason to shy away from an exposed trigger for SAA cowboy guns. Liability concerns maybe?


    I know that any double action form fitted revolver holsters that feature a retention strap that snaps down tight over the revolver hammer are almost impossible to ND by having the trigger forced back while the revolver is holstered.
    That is because the D.A. revolver "action" is all integrated together...in other words the cylinder must be able to turn and the hammer must be free to move or the trigger cannot move.
    If the hammer is locked down and the cylinder is wet molded tight then the firearm cannot discharge in the holster.

    I am actually only bringing this up because I mourn the loss of some SAA cowboy holster styles that seemed to have caught the "Holstered Negligent Discharge" flu bug.

    Also: one of my favorite old holster styles for the Colt 1911 pistol (intended for Cocked & Locked carry) has an open style trigger guard. It's a very nice classic holster.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    You could ask some of the holster makers (either here or on warrifles) to take a stab at making them again and see how it goes.

    For my cowboy rig, it would be interested in something like that. I used to love watching the old cowboy shows on the boob tube when I was growing up.

    Oh, and thank you all for educating me that not all holsters with open trigger aren't AOW. It's one of those, "Well, the regulation that I read was clear as mud", as is all of atf's regs.

  14. #14
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    I would think that for most hunting handguns a fully flapped holster that covers the entire firearm might be best for busting through thick brush. Keeps a lot of "natural fine debris" from making ingress into the firearm guts.
    My favorite old tromping through the woods revolver was a Ruger Redhawk.
    I parted with it (moons back) since I no longer hunt at all.
    I probably should have held onto it though now that I'm again blazing new trails (once a year & only with a camera) to take painting landscape reference shots.

  15. #15
    Member Array M1911's Avatar
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    Oh...so the main objection to an open trigger guard is a possible foreign object or protuberance entering into the trigger guard area with a double action revolver or a "SIG cocked pistol" or any striker fired DAO (or generic DAO) pistol like GLOCK?
    That's interesting.
    Yup, that's it. That's why holsters should cover the trigger guard and why a holstered gun is a safe gun -- because once it is in the holster, no one and nothing can pull the trigger.

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