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View Poll Results: CCW holster, retention vs deployment
retention 18 48.65%
deployment 19 51.35%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 29, 2012, 01:09 PM   #1
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Holsters, retention vs deployment?

What do you put more value on when buying a CCW holster, retention or deployment?

The three most comfortable holsters I have owned are two Galco brand OWB and 1 Wilson Combat IWB all without thumbreaks. All holsters fail to keep the gun from falling out when inverted so I'm replacing them all with quality holsters with thumbreak. It makes sense to me that retention takes priority over deployment for civilian use so here is your chance to persuade me otherwise.

Now before you flood the thread with photos of your favorite EDC in a friction holster inverted, consider I've already invested almost $200 in those Galco holsters alone that did not work for me.... what I'm after here is more about advice that I might have missed using friction holsters or why deployment might be higher priority than retention, not your favorite way to carry.

Oh, gratuitous photos encouraged. Here is mine.
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lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Old December 29, 2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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I did not vote in the poll.

It is more complex than that. First the holster must be concealable, I like the holster to ride high and tight. I will not sacrifice presentation for retention. I see it as a yin/yang thing. My favorite holster is a molded kydex rig that I picked up on ebay for $35.
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Old December 29, 2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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speed vs security....

As a armed professional, I'd highly suggest a well made level II rentention system. A holster like a SERPA, Blade-Tech Thumb Drive, SFS/ALS, etc. You are more likely to encounter a subject or subject who may try a weapon snatch. You might also need to run, jump, roll around, climb, etc. I've had a few sidearms slide out or drop & it's not good.
A secure, strong-side holster is a lot better.
Now if you want speed or carry as a armed citizen, a open top style may work better. As noted instructor & sworn LE officer; Massad Ayoob says, you should always use a well made holster that you can quickly access with either hand & reholster one-handed with ease.
Some concealment brands have a band around the top to aid the re-holstering.
Whatever type you choose, check it often to make sure it's clean and works correctly. You want your sidearm to be there when it's needed.

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Old December 29, 2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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Thumb snap is all I use. Keeps the gun in place and presents quickly. If someone is close enough that you need more retention then that you already messed up. For CC carry that is. As a police officer more retention can be useful.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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I did not vote in the poll.

It is more complex than that.
Me either and for the same reason. I guess the best thing we can hope for is to strive for a compromise that best suits our individual circumstances. As ClydeFrog implied, policemen and "civilians" might have different needs and priorities as to which mode of concealment holsters to choose.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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All of the holster for my carry weapons have thumb breaks. I happen to like the security of a positive retention system.
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Old December 30, 2012, 03:26 AM   #7
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personal space, distance...

I disagree. People come into close contact all the time. I've lost track of the times people have ran into me or bumped into me carelessly. Mostly in stores or malls because they don't watch out.
I wouldn't freak out anytime someone came near me. I would be aware of my surroundings & made sure my firearm/gear were concealed.
I've seen many "professionals"(plainclothes cops & security) carry pistols that printed.

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Old December 30, 2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:36 AM   #9
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Since it is for CCW I don't have much need for retention.

Have seen too many guys with a retention holster miss a draw since they hadn't practiced with it enough.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ohen cepel
Have seen too many guys with a retention holster miss a draw since they hadn't practiced with it enough.
That is a problem, and not one to be taken lightly. If you're going to carry, you must practice at home, alone, in a dark closet, in the garage, wherever you can find to practice.

Originally Posted by ClydeFrog
As a armed professional, I'd highly suggest a well made level II retention system. A holster like a SERPA, Blade-Tech Thumb Drive, SFS/ALS, etc.
Concur. I've got a couple of Level IIs that I really like. I'm not a fan of the Serpa, and I've tried really hard to like them. And, I don't actually consider the Serpa to be level II. It's more like a level 1 1/2. I'm still looking for the ultimate concealment holster that contains good ergonomics, good retention, and an intuitive draw. I thought I had found that holster in one made by Don Hume back in the -80s, but they discontinued the darn thing.
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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Why can't you have both?

When I was in LE I used a Hoyt Break Front, it was (is) extremely fast to get the revolver in action yet secure. It's almost impossible for one, other then the user of the holster to get the gun out.

Most cops spend a lot more time wrestling bandits then shooting them, I've had untold number of people in my 20 years grab and try to pull the gun from the holster, it never happened.

You don't draw it, you push it out toward the front. It takes a bit of rocking motion where you tip up the rear of the butt of the revolver as you push it forward.

It also has a security strap that can only be reached by the wearer which he naturally hits while gripping the butt of the revolver.

Also you cant get to the trigger until the gun clears the holster. It just snaps out, like I said, extremely fast.

Another benifit of the Holt is its comfortable while riding around in a car all day, and since up don't draw it out, its easy to present the revolver while setting in the patrol car.

I'm retired now, and carry my little revolver in my pocket, its secure and when I start with my hands in my pocket, I can draw and shoot in about 0.45 seconds,...............and I always walk around with my hands in my pocket.

Pretty secure too, been doing it a long time and never had my revolver fall out of my pocket. Kind of hard for some one else to get out also.

I don't think you have to choose one or the other, I think you can have both.
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Didn't vote either due to complexity of issue.

Personally, I use a thumb break for concealment on my outside the waistband holster which is probably not necessary as long as the owb holster is well molded to the pistol. Alot of good holster makers do just this. Your average person will not be running, jumping, and chasing suspects so I think the well molded, no retention is adequate. However, since I am LEO and carry both concealed and openly at times (primarly plain clothes assignment), I need to have one system to remember when it comes time to draw. For my situation, the best compromise is the Level I retention (thumb break). The main reason for the thumbreak for me is to ensure that it doesn't slip out some how if I am ever in the prone or in a bent down position. Mine are also well molded so it would be unlikely but I do like it just in case. Additionally, I think nothing of popping the thumb break open if I am moving through a higher risk area such as a parking lot after dark. The thumb naturally goes where it is supposed to anyway.

Any higher retention over level I for a concealment gun I think might be overkill. However, to each his own.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:51 PM   #13
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To me retention adds bulk (usually) making concealment harder. Police need the retention due to open carry, close proximity to crowds and "bad" guys, having to chase (running) after said BGs to arrest them. They may have to get into hand to hand with BGs.
I want to surprise my advisarry (sp), deploy my weapon, avoid mixing it up with the BG. I don't want levers, snaps, buckles, failing or hanging up on my cover cloths.
The only retention outside of proper holster to gun fit would be a screw tension option (tightens fit).
That why I chose deployment.. Just my opinion nothing more.
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Old December 30, 2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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On duty - Retention & deployment, I use a Blade-tech WRS Level 2 duty holster, plenty secure, very fast.
Off duty/Concealed carry - Deployment, usually a leather OWB open top.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:12 PM   #15
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My OWB holster is a Galco M4X, which won't release the pistol unless a small lever on the inside is depressed. Thumb falls naturally on the lever when reaching for the pistol with the proper hand. So someone walking by won't be able to just rip it out.

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Old December 30, 2012, 05:26 PM   #16
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I voted on retention. Getting in/out of vehicle, movie seats and other confining seats may work a gun loose pending the type of open holster that I may use. I like the serpa finger press to remove a gun. I also have a thumb break holster that I like as well. I no longer use open holster types in my conceal carry. For me, that is my preferred choice. I understand why many police prefer open holster. Makes sense because they live in areas they arrest people and need to be ready instantly. They also have those natural memory muscle skills of work in that arena that make them more profecient than I would ever be.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:38 PM   #17
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I sure don't plan on being upside down anytime soon, and sure don't expect to be running, playing football or softball with my gun on, or without it for that matter. Just want as quick access as possible when needed.

Here's mine for everyday and Sunday carry:

And concealable? Here I am on a Sunday morning at church, the Ruger under my coat on my right hip. (I'm the old fellow with white hair. Well, I'm the adult with hair, the other is my pastor.)

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Old December 30, 2012, 08:13 PM   #18
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All holsters fail to keep the gun from falling out when inverted so I'm replacing them all with quality holsters with thumbreak
I worry more about being able to deploy the gun quickly if I need it and as a result, I really don't think thumb straps are needed for concealed carry.

I'm also not sure that testing a holster for its ability to hold a gun while inverted is much of a telling test for security of a concealed carry rig.

Don't know about you, but I've never been upside down while carrying and can't imagine a situation in which I will be.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:58 PM   #19
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Recent news article of a man in a movie theatre who was bored. While moving about in his seat trying to endure the movie, he somehow managed to dis-lodge his pistol and it fell out onto the floor with a round chambered. He didn't realize it until he got home. Meanwhile, a child found it in the theatre and the gun was turned over to the police. This man was clearly not upside down. He was not shaking his open carry holster upside down. He stated it was a proper fit holster for conceal carry so he could have quick access. I wonder if other folks are aware of any guns having became loose??!!??
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:15 PM   #20
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Whatever straps, buttons or device your holster has it can be just as quick to deploy as an open top drop in holster. Train with it!
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:15 AM   #21
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Deployment. I don't plan on ever riding a horse or hanging upside down. I mainly carry in my pocket but I prefer a belt holster without a retention device.
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