1911 Holster debate.


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wendelb
April 6, 2011, 01:55 AM
EDIT: 93 views, and 2 responses. You guys are boring.

I'll admit. I truly want clashing opinions on this. I was reviewing a holster I own on MidwayUSA, the Bianchi Black Widow 5, for the 1911. It's a leather form molded holster, with the thumbreak. On several 1911s, if not all, the thumbreak often nudges the thumbsafety off. And a user "Curtis" wrote a one star review on how crucially dangerous this was. I wrote a counter review, and I would like peoples opinions on the facts in my review. The points aren't really debatable, it's fact. Whether or not you still feel it's safe, or unsafe, to carry with the above holster, is the debate. Thanks for all your input. For staying on topic: we're talking about functional, up-to-date firearms... specifically Curtis' Kimber 1911....

My review:
I've owned this for years, and never reviewed it. After seeing Curtis' review. I just had to. Yes, the thumbreak causes several 1911s to nudge the external thumb safety off. And this is NOT dangerous, for a plethora of reasons. One... holstered, the thumbstrap blocks the hammer from falling. Two... there is a grip safety. Three... There is a hammer catch built into the gun, that catches the hammer at half cock, if the hammer slips, without the trigger being pulled. Four... there is a firing pin block in the gun, so if the hammer slips, COMPLETELY, and hits the firing pin, unless the trigger is pulled, the gun still won't fire. So to summarize. GUNS DON'T GO OFF UNLESS YOU PULL THE TRIGGER. And.... this holster is a high rise, close fitting holster, that is very comfortable. I would recommend it. Lastly, if you're STILL worried about the gun magically firing, you can make a very subtle, curved wedge into the strap, that would look normal, and natural, to keep that part of the strap from touching the safety... but you don't need to.

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Auto426
April 6, 2011, 02:14 AM
It is true that no properly functioning 1911, Series 70 or Series 80, would be able to fire unless the grip safety is depressed and the trigger is pulled. As long as the holster covers the trigger, the gun shouldn't go off unintended.

However, I'm sure that there are plenty of people, myself included, would rather have their thumb safety stay on when they put it on. The only time the safety should be off is when the gun is being pointed in a safe direction, and pointing down toward your hip/leg is not what I would call a safe direction. There are other holsters out there that don't disengage the safety, so I see no reason to use one that does.

Chindo18Z
April 6, 2011, 02:23 AM
I agree with you and for all the points you've already enumerated. Curtis is wrong.

I've been carrying personal and issued 1911s both CCW and duty style for more than 34 years. In that time, I've carried cocked and locked 1911s in belly bands, speed scabbards, boned leather, kydex, yaqui slides, flap holsters, hard shell thigh rigs, inside the pants suede clip-sheaths, ballistic nylon, bungi secured 5.56 rifle magazine pouches, pancake holsters, vertical and horizontal shoulder holsters, fanny packs, and duty retention rigs.

I've frequently had my safety wiped off due to pressure applied through the side of a holster or by snagging the safety on other equipment, seat belts, hard objects, etc. It is not anything I worry about precisely because of the redundant safety designs built into the 1911.

Regarding why safeties come off in the holster, I have found that the prime culprit is invariably an extended paddle safety lever or (more often) extended ambidexterous safety levers. These enhanced large paddles are more subject to being snicked off by light pressure through the side of a holster, especially the outside (off body) lever on an ambi-equipped model.

I can't remember ever having a stock Colt safety disengage while holstered except when carried in a soft suede belt clip sheath. There, my own body pressure while seated could rub the soft leather against the safety lever.

I have routinely found my extended safety flipped to "fire" even when carrying in a hard shell Safariland 6004 retention thigh rig while in Iraq.

No Worries. Especially (as you already mentioned) with a locking hood, a thumbstrap, or a bungi cord riding between the hammer and rear frame. Not to mention the grip safety! Not to mention the firing pin block on most modern versions (Series 80 design).

I simply check periodically throughout a day of carry and, if I find the safety wiped off, flick it back into place.

The Bianchi model you mentioned is a perfectly fine holster and I am familiar with it.

wendelb
April 6, 2011, 02:26 AM
I agree in that when I wear it, and notice the safety off, I pop it back on. But it's almost a placebo. If there were no thumb safety, just the grip safety, and other failsafes, I would feel fine.... a glock has no safeties, I'm not worried it's going to just go off and shoot itself at my leg.

I think people get the feeling that if a gun has a safety, it's therefore unsafe without it. No one I know carries a SA/DA (like a Beretta), with the safety on. And they'll carry it half cock or full cock. It's just as safe. Is there a Murphy's law, that although you know a modern firearm going off without pulling the trigger, defies the laws of physics, if you don't have the safety on, then you'll be the one that has every redundant failsafe- fail?

LiquidTension
April 7, 2011, 02:43 AM
I had a FIST holster (complete POS, by the way) that had my safety come off a few times. They had molded the leather around a gun with the safety off instead of on so it was putting downward pressure on the safety all the time. It also ate holes in the finish of the gun but that's another story :fire:

JTQ
April 7, 2011, 07:06 AM
If the issue is the holster, I don't want to own a holster that manipulates the controls of a pistol for me. It looks like a below average holster and not worth my investment.

If the issue is if the 1911 is a safe pistol, then I agree it is a very safe pistol. It is safer if you take advantage of all the safety features offered.

No one I know carries a SA/DA (like a Beretta), with the safety on. And they'll carry it half cock or full cock.

While it is certainly possible you do know people that carry a Traditional Double Action (TDA) with the hammer cocked, I don't consider that a good idea and would guess that technique is not taught by any of the major firearms trainers.

Old Shooter
April 7, 2011, 07:40 AM
I want my weapon to come out of my holster in the same condition that it was when I put it in the holster, every time.

If it went in safety on, it should come out safety on.

A holster that manipulates the controls of my weapon is unacceptable...period.

wendelb
April 7, 2011, 04:56 PM
It may not be taught, for liability/civil suit reasons, but those same schools also teach you that if you have a gun with a decocker, you have to decock as soon as you go to compressed ready. Do they expect you to do that in real life? Not a chance in hell, but just to help mitigate NDs, during their school, to the lower class of students that flow through, they teach that way. I am referring to schools such as PSD programs etc, that teach you for real life/combat situation- Not schools to get your ready for a competition, and teach USPSA rules.

The beretta can't fire, for the exact same reasons as the 1911, half cock catch, and firing pin block. People don't carry it with the safety on, because it's not the easiest safety to flip off during a draw. 1911s thumb safety, I hit off as soon as my hand grabs the gun, by how my thumbs rest.... so it's never a hindrance. If it was- I'd carry with the thumb safety off.

But like Chindo pointed out..... the vast majority of holsters for 1911s that have a retention strap of sorts, nudge the safety off occasionally while carrying. Bianchi makes very nice holsters, and you could get the same issues with a high noon holster, or desantis, or any other holster.

So I'm simply making the argument, the just bc the thumb safety is off. For the gun to fire, the grip safety still has to be depressed, and the trigger still needs to be pulled- to release the hammer past half cock, and to depress the safety block. I'm in the same boat, if I can carry the safety on, I'll carry it on, but the gun is not UNSAFE, because the thumb safety isn't on. Four redundant safety systems, and the holster covers the trigger guard, AND the thumb strap blocks the hammer from falling. So you can make the argument that you don't want a holster that manipulates your firearm, which you would be ruling out A LOT of holsters, but my argument is that the holster is not dangerous.

RetroMan
April 7, 2011, 05:21 PM
I'm new here but not new to carrying firearms. I'd like to ask the OP what is the intended use of this holster ? Open / duty carry or concealed carry ?

This is just my personal opinion but I believe a thumbbreak has no place on a conceal carry holster.

earlthegoat2
April 7, 2011, 05:31 PM
Proper holsters should not let the safety come off. Period.

Zerodefect
April 7, 2011, 05:32 PM
CCW systems are like lightsabres. Your skills aren't complete until you make your own pistols & holsters.

http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC02068.jpg

http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC02069.jpg

Note that the holster holds the safety on. But that 1911 can still be reholstered safety off, slide locked back, or even backwards (for reaction hand only draws, or malf clearance).

Still it's perfectly safe even with the safety off. Not a big deal. I really don't like thumb breaks. Some thumb break holsters are designed for hammer down empty chamber carry.

wendelb
April 7, 2011, 06:22 PM
Pretty holster. I started getting into leather work and thermoplastics about a year ago. Built a few "crossbreed" type models, and just made one for my G22 w/ attached SLR-1 modeled after the raven phantom. $5 of material and an hour of work sure beats $85 and a 12 week waiting period.

The Lone Haranguer
April 7, 2011, 06:30 PM
A holster that manipulates the controls of my weapon is unacceptable...period.
Agreed. However, if an overly large safety lever is the culprit, or a contributing factor, I would trim it down or opt for a lower profile one.

Bonesinium
April 7, 2011, 06:32 PM
I'll be honest. It doesn't seem like you were reviewing the holster. The other person, was. He was saying how the holster would cause the safety to come off. That is what the holster was causing. Whether or not you think it is safe or not, is moot. Because that is the fact of the holster. You posted a couple of things about the holster surrounded by your opinion on the safety of the 1911 and your views on firearms safety in general.
Your review should have looked like this:

I've owned this for years, and never reviewed it. After seeing Curtis' review. I just had to. Yes, the thumbreak causes several 1911s to nudge the external thumb safety off. When holstered, the thumbstrap blocks the hammer from falling. This holster is a high rise, close fitting holster, that is very comfortable. I would recommend it. You can make a very subtle, curved wedge into the strap, that would look normal, and natural, to keep that part of the strap from touching the safety.

That is a review on your opinion of the holster. It explains how the holster functions, what can happen, and how you like it for those reasons. It doesn't include your opinion about the way people should or shouldn't carry, or that you think other people are wrong for not liking the holster when it disengages the safety. That would be your review on their personal views on firearm safety...not the holster.

wendelb
April 7, 2011, 06:42 PM
That would be a normal review of mine, purely about the product, not about the shipping time, or bad customer service, or anything else nonproduct related. Just the product. I deviated because Curtis' entire review was one sentence about the thumbreak, and then a paragraph on how dangerous it is to carry with the thumb safety off. So my review was a counter review. Because some people don't know any better, and think, off of Curtis' review, that their gun might fire, while holstered.

Off topic, what part of NH are you from? I grew up in Hillsborough (Peterborough, Wilton, Milford, Nashua, Merrimack).

Bonesinium
April 7, 2011, 06:47 PM
You didn't mention anything about shipping times, bad customer service, or anything else, so I don't understand why you are bringing that up now.

I didn't see his review, only what you said about it. With that being the case, then you could have easily added "The safety being disengaged will not cause the firearm to go off and I don't feel the holster knocking the safety off is dangerous. And then left it at that.

wendelb
April 7, 2011, 10:28 PM
Yes I could've.... but I didn't.

saying "I disagree with Curtis" has no merits. Logical reasons why I disagreed, make a difference in someones mind. However, this thread isn't about critiquing my review, it's about opinions on the holster, and whether or not the gun could just go off, holstered, with the thumbsafety off

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