Holsters that do not cover the trigger


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Flechette
June 6, 2013, 02:11 PM
I picked up a nice old Interarms holster for a song at a gunshow that looks like it was made for a Walther PPK, but fits my Sig P-230 perfectly. However, its shape has a distinct curve to allow the trigger to be exposed.

It is clearly factory made (not modified by someone).

It has an open bottom and is a thumb break design. The thumb brake does not restrict the hammer from cycling. It could conceivably allow firing the pistol from the holster.

Why would someone design a holster that does not cover the trigger?

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9mmepiphany
June 6, 2013, 02:27 PM
That has been a common design for many years.

I first came across it in the writings of Elmer Keith in reference to the TomThreeperson's holster.

http://xtrooper.net/Tom_Threepersons_holster.jpg

Bill Jordan had it as a prominent design feature in the Border Patrol holster which was a standard for LE holsters for many years

http://www.gunblast.com/images/WBell_PoliceHolsterHist/Police-Holster-History-115.jpg

It wasn't until the advent (80's) of Breakfront style of holsters that covered trigger guards were commonly seen in LE circles. In 30 years, I don't think I've ever seen a factory non-breakfront LE revolver duty holster with a cover trigger guard



IIRC, the covered trigger guard gained it greatest popularity by it's exposure in IPSC/USPSA competition

tinygnat219
June 6, 2013, 02:30 PM
Personal preference:
I don't carry holsters that don't cover the trigger. Just my personal preference.

Archaic Weapon
June 6, 2013, 02:32 PM
I personally like the open style. Helps you get you grip in the right spot with fewer adjustments.

Flechette
June 6, 2013, 02:33 PM
So what is the purpose, or design intent, of an open trigger?

rcmodel
June 6, 2013, 02:33 PM
Old school design.

Covered triggers on sporting & SD holsters are a fairy recent innovation.
Dating mostly from the Glock Safe trigger.

http://www.epsaddlery.com/images/Product/medium/65.jpg

http://www.epsaddlery.com/images/Product/medium/97.jpg

And it could be the thumb-snap actually did block the hammer on the exact gun the holster was designed for.

rc

Archaic Weapon
June 6, 2013, 02:52 PM
It lets you have the finger at or in the trigger guard at the point of draw, which allows you to get the pistol into play faster, with less movement. The tension keeping the gun in the holster is usually a hammer catch of some sort.

Flechette
June 6, 2013, 02:54 PM
Thanks.

9mmepiphany
June 6, 2013, 02:58 PM
So what is the purpose, or design intent, of an open trigger?

1. Not putting your finger on the trigger before getting onto target is also a fairly recent development in gun handling. (the 4 rules of safe gun handling aren't that old) There used to be a holster, which was very popular, which had it's release inside the trigger guard. It was even called the Safety Speed holster:

http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/2048/img5280cropjc5.jpg

2. Many older holster were made with leather (or nylon) that wasn't as stiff as what is common today. The open trigger would prevent accidental activation of the trigger while reholstering.
3. Some designs that cover the trigger guard also prevent gaining a complete, or high enough, grip on the gun in the holster; this is usually avoided with an open trigger guard...this was the original intent of the Tom Three Person's holster and was considered quite an advancement in holster design at the time

X-Rap
June 6, 2013, 03:00 PM
Times change, in the old days having your finger on the trigger of at least in the guard wasn't seen as bad form.
Tom Threepersons was an accomplished lawman on the border and given the times and what probably amounted to little or no liability litigation against a ND having the gun ready to fire when it came on target might have been prudent. When looking at the various old styles the intent seems clear to me, the designers wanted that finger to be in place during the draw.

Archaic Weapon
June 6, 2013, 03:06 PM
The old thought line was firearms rule #1. If you aren't willing to shoot it, don't point a gun at it in the first place.

The finger being on the trigger during the draw is a really big thing when you are using an older model gun from back when that was common. Like it was pointed out, the trigger guarding holsters are Glock era inventions, meant for the new age guns that lack any other safety features than not engaging the trigger. My 2 cents.

CraigC
June 6, 2013, 03:15 PM
With a single action revolver, which is what the Threepersons was designed for, there is no reason to cover the triggerguard. It serves no purpose but as stated, can impede drawing speed. Tom Threepersons was a real deal gunfighter and knew what was needed but more importantly, what was not needed in a holster design.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/leatherwork/large/IMG_1349b.jpg


Prior to that, most holsters did at least obscure the triggerguard like most Slim Jim/Californian and Mexican loop designs.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/leatherwork/large/IMG_1402b.jpg

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_1170b.jpg


If not completely cover it, the cylinder and the hammer areas (not mine).

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d133/lennowenoxie/P8010075.jpg

smokey04
June 6, 2013, 07:05 PM
Folks, let's think beyond the obvious.Tom Threepersons had the right idea for his time and his idea has not gone to seed today.The open trigger guard helps increase speed but it also enhances the ability to "index" your hand on the pistol. The difference is,today, we wisely advocate keeping your finger off of the trigger during the "draw stroke".However, keeping your trigger finger next to the frame does increase the initial line up of the target during the draw stroke. Try it, you'll like it! Nick

Iggy
June 7, 2013, 10:20 AM
A lot of old lawmen managed to get through an entire career packing holsters with the trigger exposed without shooting themselves in the butt.

There was a couple of times that having to release a "safety device" to get my side arm in action woulda got me kilt just a little.

The ability to quickly clear a Jordan "Border Patrol" style holster and get the gun into action from the hip saved my life more than once.

An afternoon shooting with ol Bill din't hurt neither.

g_one
June 7, 2013, 10:30 AM
I only want my trigger guard covered if I'm carrying IWB or pocket (or really anything except OWB).
If I've got a gun OWB on my hip though, it means I'm open carrying and I don't like it to be covered up by all that holster - I want the gun to stand out rather than the leather.

mokin
June 7, 2013, 01:40 PM
Lots of beautiful leather in this thread. As well as some insightful history. Thanks.

X-Rap
June 7, 2013, 01:58 PM
Many of the old classic open trigger designs have a strap that either hold the hammer down or back (in the case of 1911's). If these features are used I think the holsters are generally pretty safe and just as useful today as in the past.
I also think the straps snapping down below the hammer impede both both draw and reholstering.
Don't mind even a strapless open trigger on a SA/DA revolver but I'll keep the trigger covered on my autos.

Old Fuff
June 7, 2013, 02:19 PM
This is mostly a double-action revolver vs cocked & locked single-action pistols, or those with a lever-in-the-trigger safety issue.

Double-action revolvers are carried with the hammer at rest, and to fire usually requires a 9 to 12 pound pull on the trigger with a long travel. Here an exposed trigger guard offers little liability.

Single-action pistols (think 1911 platform) that are carried cocked & locked are safe as long as the safety lock (a.k.a "manual safety") is indeed "on" but if it somehow get's "off" one can see why a covered trigger guard might be a good idea.

And it is absolutely necessary when one of the new striker-fired (think Glock) pistols with a trigger mounted safety lever come into the picture.

So the make and model of whatever handgun is being carried should dictate the choice in holster design. I see no need for a covered trigger guard on either single or double-action revolvers, and I would extend that to single-action/double action pistols (think SIG/Sauer). But if anyone finds this to be of concern you'll find trigger guard-covered holsters for any handgun you can think of - or you can have one custom made to your own specifications.

And while I don't think it's likely, If I should go to any pistol that has a trigger fingerpiece mounted safety, the holster it's carried in will cover the trigger guard.

CraigC
June 7, 2013, 02:32 PM
I agree. The Threepersons I'm doing for a 1911 will have a covered triggerguard. I don't think I'd make a holster for that model that didn't.

GRIZ22
June 7, 2013, 05:27 PM
If the gun can be fired with the thumb break snapped the holster is too big for your gun and it probably can be pulled from the holster with the thumb break snapped or you may lose you gun thinking the thumb break is securing it.

You can move the snap to tighten the thumb break if you want to use this holster.

9mmepiphany
June 7, 2013, 05:28 PM
Let me add that one of the reasons that covered trigger guards became more standardized in LE holsters was in response to gun grab attempts. Wrestling around on the ground isn't the time you want someone/something getting a purchase on your trigger.

To give you an idea of how things in LE changed over time; Bill Jordan's Border patrol holster did not have a thumb break safety strap, but rather one that came over from the rear and snapped to the face of the holster. His practice was the leave the strap snapped in daily wear and to unsnap it prior to going into a dangerous situation.

Common LE practice by the 70s, was to leave the thumb break stap snapped until you began the actual draw

Vern Humphrey
June 7, 2013, 06:01 PM
It lets you have the finger at or in the trigger guard at the point of draw, which allows you to get the pistol into play faster, with less movement.
Yes -- and it can get your finger on the trigger before you want it there -- like while the gun is still in the holster.

CraigC
June 7, 2013, 06:07 PM
Yes -- and it can get your finger on the trigger before you want it there...
You don't have any control over your finger???

Vern Humphrey
June 7, 2013, 06:10 PM
Why, yes I do. Can you see it?:neener:

Texan Scott
June 7, 2013, 06:12 PM
My da guns have holsters that cover the trigger. My one sa, I don't care.
Like Gene Hackman said in "Heist";

"Were you really gonna shoot me? ... Then you shouldn't have pointed the gun. It's insincere."

9mmepiphany
June 7, 2013, 07:35 PM
It lets you have the finger at or in the trigger guard at the point of draw, which allows you to get the pistol into play faster, with less movement.
I meant to address this earlier.

It 1) doesn't put the pistol into play any faster and 2) the amount of movement is exactly the same.

I'll address the second point first. At some point in the presentation, the finger must move from being off the trigger to being on the trigger. I'm not sure how you are seeing less movement if it goes on the trigger before it is pointed at the target.

It is much safer to access the trigger after the muzzle has been rotated from the vertical to the horizontal. It must be rotated before a shot should be fired. If the finger is placed on the trigger after, or during, the rotation, how is it any slower. If you extend the gun before firing the first shot, there is plenty of time between Position 3 and Position 4 (in a 4 step draw) to access the trigger.

During testing in the late 60s, they found that there was no difference between the times, to the first accurate shot, from a holster, between a DA revolver, DA/SA pistol or SAO pistol

Vern Humphrey
June 7, 2013, 07:44 PM
It is much safer to access the trigger after the muzzle has been rotated from the vertical to the horizontal.
As "No Toes" Lewis found out -- the hard way.;)

rcmodel
June 7, 2013, 09:54 PM
During testing in the late 60s, they found that there was no difference between the times, to the first accurate shot, from a holster, between a DA revolver, DA/SA pistol or SAO pistol Exactly who was doing that testing??

The way I recall it, the fastest times ever recorded where being done by the fast draw crowd like Bob Munden, and the guys at Big Bear lake who invented the speed-shooting combat games.

Copper, Jack Weaver, Eldon Carl, Michael Harries, Thell Reed, and a few others were inventing modern combat shooting technique and leather to go with it.

Nobody used a covered trigger holster in those days.

And they beat everyone that came along for speed, and accuracy.

Last I heard, they still all had all their toes when they died too.

rc

9mmepiphany
June 7, 2013, 10:29 PM
Exactly who was doing that testing??
You just named them. Cooper wrote about it in Cooper On Handguns

Copper, Jack Weaver, Eldon Carl, Michael Harries, Thell Reed, and a few others were inventing modern combat shooting technique and leather to go with it.

Nobody used a covered trigger holster in those days.
Gee, except for Weaver (with his K-38), these guys sure look like they are wearing holsters which cover the trigger guard (Chapman, Carl, Reed, Cooper, Weaver)

http://www.thellreed.com/assets/images/The_Original_Combat_Masters.jpg

Archaic Weapon
June 7, 2013, 10:32 PM
They aren't. Those are lowered fast draw rigs that sit around the bottom of the cylinder, or would if they were revolvers. They still sit high on a 1911. I have a kydex concealed carry in the same pattern..

Archaic Weapon
June 7, 2013, 10:35 PM
The movement from trigger guard to trigger is an added step, it does change the the grip, specifically, and it's not a problem if you have training in doing it. Finger on the trigger, and finger pulling the trigger on the draw are two different things.

9mmepiphany
June 7, 2013, 10:48 PM
They aren't. Those are lowered fast draw rigs that sit around the bottom of the cylinder, or would if they were revolvers. They still sit high on a 1911. I have a kydex concealed carry in the same pattern..
Maybe a picture with the guns holstered

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a317/gmoats/Oldshootingpics120.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/178801AT-Rogers.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/17880rogers-hack.jpg

Archaic Weapon
June 7, 2013, 10:58 PM
Interesting. I can see how that would work with a 1911.

CraigC
June 7, 2013, 11:24 PM
The key to speed with those 1911 holsters is that the holster does not come to the back of the triggerguard. So the second finger goes right where it's supposed to. I still don't think people should be quite so afraid of the trigger. You still have to deliberately press it after flicking off the safety.

rcmodel
June 7, 2013, 11:30 PM
And even if they did have an ND every once and a while?

The extreme foreword rake of the holster put the bullet in the ground in front of them.

So they didn't shoot their toe off after all!

rc

Archaic Weapon
June 7, 2013, 11:32 PM
As somebody who has been shot in the foot, I can most definitely say that it had nothing to do with the trigger being pulled exiting the holster.

JRH6856
June 7, 2013, 11:34 PM
We did things 20 years ago that we didn't do 40 years ago because no one thought of it until 30 years ago. We do things to day that we didn't do 20 years ago because no one thought of it until 10 years ago. And in 10 years, we will probably be doing things someone will come up with tomorrow.

Techniques and equipment evolve. It's a process. Some call it progress. Most of the time it is.

rcmodel
June 8, 2013, 12:05 AM
+1

I had one of those Jeff Cooper inspired, low-cut, steel-lined 1911 speed rigs about 40 years ago.

Never forget the time I fumbled a fast draw and threw a cocked & un-locked 1911 about 20 feet down range by accident. :what:

Dang!
It was all slow motion in flight, like stuck on a railroad track with the train coming.
Like watching a coiled rattlesnake just before you set your foot down on it.

Tumbling end over end with the polished barrel bushing & muzzle glinting in the sun!
Made the hair on my head stand up!
When I still had hair.

But the 1911 grip safety worked as designed, and it didn't go off when it hit the ground and bounced twice.

Thankya, JMB, and the Horse Calvary era Army Ordnance people who insisted on a grip safety!!

rc

Elm Creek Smith
July 3, 2013, 06:21 PM
I picked up a nice old Interarms holster for a song at a gunshow that looks like it was made for a Walther PPK, but fits my Sig P-230 perfectly. However, its shape has a distinct curve to allow the trigger to be exposed.

It is clearly factory made (not modified by someone).

It has an open bottom and is a thumb break design. The thumb brake does not restrict the hammer from cycling. It could conceivably allow firing the pistol from the holster.

It would block the hammer movement of the gun for which it was designed.

Why would someone design a holster that does not cover the trigger?

Because they aren't Glockities.

My primary carry and holster:
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/04/ejuregy6.jpg

My secondary carry and holster:
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/04/qa5yvezu.jpg

What are your questions?

ECS

Sent from my little slice of Heaven.

Old Fuff
July 3, 2013, 10:31 PM
The Walther PP/PPK, SIG P-230 and Smith & Wesson post-1945 revolvers have one thing in common. They cannot be fired unless the trigger is held all of the way back while the cocked hammer falls. In the case of the two mentioned pistols this is true even if the manual safety is in an "off" position. Because of the respective designs, covering the trigger or trigger guard is completely unnecessary.

So far as the revolver is concerned, the above picture shows that the entire handle is exposed so that it can be correctly grasp, while the thumb releases the safety strap and the trigger finger is along the side of the trigger. There is no leather in the way to hinder a fast draw. At this point all one has to do is present (point) the gun, and if necessary pull the trigger and shoot.

brickeyee
July 8, 2013, 05:10 PM
Watch out for the AOW trap if the gun can be fired while still in the holster and it no longer looks like a gun.

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