What Makes Holster “Safe”?

So I’ve seen this video from Active Self protect over the years. He sets up criteria for a “safe” holster. Hybrid holsters do not fit his category. (I actually disagree with some of his points here, he went off on the alien gear without the right info, but I also he made a video calling alien gear bad for no good reason. I’m not a huge fan of his channel. He rants a lot, but he does have some good content).

I am actually looking at getting a cross breed OWB holster on sale. What are the thoughts on OWB Hybrid holsters? Crossbreed has a sale. They make good quality products. I just wanted to discuss hybrid OWB in general.

https://www.crossbreedholsters.com/snapslide-owb-holster.html

I would not bat an eye at an IWB hybrid holster. I have no reservations about using one. They do have some disadvantages, but none that make these holsters obsolete. They are very secure and comfortable. The OWB holster is interesting.

What features do you look at in a holster to be safe?

I do look at retention, I want the gun to not fall out when being shaken. I want the trigger covered, but I don’t flip out if there’s a small space in the back (watch the video and you’ll understand what I mean), holster needs to stay securely on my belt. If there’s screws, I monitor and loctite as needed.

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My requirement is that it has a thumb break and that is getting harder and harder to find.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Watched it Scoutbob and its very interesting because I have a box just like the one he pulled out in the beginning of the video. I have wasted my hard earned money on holsters that were garbage. I have never owned an Alien gear holster so I cant comment but I heard good and bad reviews on some of them. But like you I will try different ones to see which ones are more comfortable.

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Have you checked out Safariland holsters? I have two that work very well for me.

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My first, instinctual answer to the question posed by the thread is, “the user.”

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Retention, and the ability to re holster single handedly.

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… and a very rigid gun belt is a must.

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I’ve seen the holsters from them that hang below the hip. Do they have ones good for concealment?

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@Scoutbob I will answer that question with a screenshot of my Amazon review.

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My Glock 43 Safariland…


Versus my Glock 17 Safariland holster…

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For me safe holster has to:

  • be made from hard case
  • cover trigger guard
  • have a retention (I don’t care if the holster keeps or not the handgun if shaken like crazy upside down)

The next criteria is to check how much the holster wears the firearm. This the reason I prefer kydex/boltaron holsters with leather layer inside.

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I like that retention strap in the second pic. Both look like great holsters.

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@Scoutbob The retention “latch” on the G43 holster is amazing. It is actually my favorite holster in the holster drawer. My kids tried to wrestle my Glock (unloaded, I have to point that out unfortunately) out and couldn’t. But with a simple flick of my thumb on the retention release “switch” it comes right out. A very quick and smooth draw.

To all new gun owners… I cannot stress enough how much safer and easier your draw is with a rigid duty belt. Buy one (or 4 like me).

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My number one requirement has also been keeping the trigger guard covered. But a note on that video, that ISN’T his requirement despite saying it is. His requirement really is “trigger guard encased in a way that prevents the finger or other object from touching the trigger when holstered, even against intentional attempts to do so”. It’s a far harsher requirement. It’s food for thought, along with the need for a trigger guard itself (they weren’t always there, and protect against a limited though rather obvious set of problems), the Colt 1911 Series 80 firing pin safety, the need for a manual safety, etc. It isn’t clear going that far meaningfully adds to actual safety. I would clearly prefer a holster that met his definition, but also recognize that it could force compromises that hinder safety, concealability, and usability.

On retention, that is one I look for retention in use not invented conditions. And I will tell you that 25 years ago instructors told you to not rely on holster retention when doing things like go to the bathroom. Instead they would suggest removing the gun from the holster and resting it somewhere (like on your pants). These days with clips and snaps you can remove the holster with the gun in it for that. The reason I mention this is some of the most classic successful holsters do not have the level of retention he described. An example are holsters from Milt Sparks like the Executive Companion. Meanwhile a leather holster that does, Mitch Rosen holsters, are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen but hold the gun so well you almost can’t draw from it. Even with the recommended lubricant. So he misses a key attribute, the ability to actually draw from the holster without performing ninja moves. But again, generally, I agree with his thought.

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This is a really good point :+1:

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So of course I had to go play with my holsters to see how they stood up on access to the trigger and retention

First to my Hidden Hybrid. Yes the leather backing is soft enough that if I work at it, wiggling my finger in (and hurting my cuticle in the process) I can reach and pull the trigger. So I see the issue, but honestly you have to work at it sufficiently that you aren’t going to be accidentally pulling the trigger. Particularly when you think that your fingers point down the kydex side. If I was grading I’d take a point off for this, so maybe you’d say trigger protection is a B+. A+ on retention.

Milt Sparks Executive Companion. Trigger fully covered and there is a steel band on the outer edge of the holster, so you aren’t getting to the trigger unless you are The Terminator. On the other hand, retention is minimal. So A+ for trigger protection, D for retention. But its an awesome holster nonetheless.

Mitch Rosen. A+ on trigger protection. A++++ on retention. As mentioned before retention (particularly if you don’t use lubricant) is excessive and possibly dangerous.

Clinger Comfort Cling friction holster. These are the surprise of everything I own. They cover the trigger guard completely, and although soft they are thick which prevented me from manipulating the trigger through the side. On the other hand I could have pulled the holster away from the side of the gun and inserted my finger. So on one hand I wanted to say A, but probably really a B+ on trigger protection. Retention what also surprisingly good, I’d say A-.

My beloved Kramer Pocket Holster was a disappointment in that while the trigger guard was completely covered, it was too easy to pull the leather away from the gun and access the trigger. Again I don’t consider it fail level, one is not going to accidentally access the trigger. But it is certainly easier than other holsters so I’m giving it a C+ on trigger protection. Retention was B+.

Jerry Ahern Pocket Holster. Paper thin leather barely covers trigger guard and allows very easy access to the trigger, so F on trigger protection. Retention tested out pretty well, B+.

Simple slide holsters, I have a couple of these very minimalist holsters and they were A on both trigger protection and retention. They’d also be A+ on being able to get a full grip. But then they drop to C or less on just about every other characteristic you might think of.

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It looks like we all have preferences on holsters, but I think the list of what makes a holster “safe” is probably a little shorter.

  1. Protects the trigger
  2. Holds the firearm securely
  3. Releases the firearm when you need it most

Different holsters accomplish these things in different ways, and some may be more effective than others, but a holster that can’t do these 3 basics should be thrown in the trash. (I feel like I’m missing something on the list, but it might be one of my own preferences, again.)

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I’m new here and new to carrying. I bought a paddle holster after much back and forth (with myself) at Rural King and I’m pretty sure I bought the right one. It’s alot like the one in the video. What I like about it is that the release button on the side of it is where your finger would naturally land if you’re holding the weapon correctly ie. finger alongside the frame. Still not used to wearing it yet and not sure I ever will be. Anyone have suggestions?

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@Brett19,
Are you talking about this button?

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Mine doesn’t look like that one, but yes.

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