Practicality and etiquette questions re: open carry


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Mitlov
September 19, 2013, 08:35 PM
This isn't a question about the legality of open carry. I've reviewed the relevant laws and it's legal in Oregon except for a limited number of municipalities. It's more about the practicalities of it, as it's nothing I've ever done before.

I got my 1911 in part because I want to be able to defend my family against predators (two-legged and four-legged) while we're out camping or hiking in rural Oregon. Conceal carry is not feasible given that I'm a small-framed guy and a 1911 is, well, a 1911.

First question: is this an appropriate holster for open carry? The guy who sold me the gun threw in this holster as part of the deal. It has a lever on it so you can't just grab the gun and pull it out, so I thought it would be, but I wanted to double-check.

http://www.blackhawk.com/product/SERPA-CQC-wMatte-Finish,1145,1410.htm

Second question: should I anticipate any problem with other individuals while walking around campgrounds, small-town cafes, etc having this holstered and on my hip? How frequently does someone object?

Third question: if someone does decide to give me grief about it, how do you handle that? Ignore them? Say something in response, and if so, what?

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Warp
September 19, 2013, 08:42 PM
That is an adequate holster, but I would consider stepping up from a Serpa. It's cheap, readily available, and there's one to fit almost every common pistol out there...but it's cheap and everybody who looks at it immediately knows how to defeat the retention device. Not that that is probably much of a problem out rural/in the woods.

I can't speak for your locality, but I have open carried in 6 different states dating back to about 2006 and I have only had somebody object one time, ever (and that one time was overturned when I went home and talked to corporate, and I now actually open carry at that same store when I work a georgiacarry.org booth...I even carried an AR last time, though they required a trigger lock on it since it wasn't holstered)

Anyway...probably you won't have to deal with anybody objecting, but it is always a possibility

MErl
September 19, 2013, 08:53 PM
You say CC is not feasible. You mean that you would not be able to completely conceal right? I'd recommend still putting a shirt over it and hiding it 80% (assuming you have any necessary permit).

Cannot comment on the holster.

Re quasi open carry as described above. I'd expect no issues from that. Based on my experience (albeit in a different state) there isn't an issue just going about your normal business with a little printing or a barrel peeking out. I bicycle and it gets hot, shirt comes off and gun shows 100%, still have had no issues at all.

#3: Don't be baited, ignore individuals and respect property owners wishes while on their property.

Warp
September 19, 2013, 09:06 PM
You say CC is not feasible. You mean that you would not be able to completely conceal right? I'd recommend still putting a shirt over it and hiding it 80% (assuming you have any necessary permit).

Cannot comment on the holster.

Re quasi open carry as described above. I'd expect no issues from that. Based on my experience (albeit in a different state) there isn't an issue just going about your normal business with a little printing or a barrel peeking out. I bicycle and it gets hot, shirt comes off and gun shows 100%, still have had no issues at all.

#3: Don't be baited, ignore individuals and respect property owners wishes while on their property.

My personal opinion, take it FWIW (and what you paid for it)...IMO firearms should either be concealed (adequately) or carried openly.

I think the best way to make people nervous, or make people question whether or not you should be doing what you are doing, is to try to hide your gun and fail. If you are going to hide it...hide it.

Mitlov
September 19, 2013, 09:18 PM
I do have a CHL, so there's no legal problem with me concealing. It's just that I'm 5'6" so a 1911 with a 5" barrel is pretty visible.

As for the 80% concealment (tee-shirt over it) versus 0% (tee-shirt tucked into the belt at that point)...I'd be interested to hear other people's views as well. I don't want to make anyone nervous or uncomfortable (not only does it make my life harder, but it's just not a respectful thing to do to other people) and I'm not sure which is the better approach.

Bobson
September 19, 2013, 09:33 PM
As for the 80% concealment (tee-shirt over it) versus 0% (tee-shirt tucked into the belt at that point)...I'd be interested to hear other people's views as well.
I disagree with what Warp said on this topic, as long as both CC and OC are legal. For instance, both CC and OC are legal in my state. I only CC (G19 IWB with a tee shirt over), but I also know my gun prints a lot of the time. I don't care. It's now late September and still over 100 degrees every day in the Arizona valley. I carry as concealed as possible. If someone (either civi or LEO) says something to me, I'm prepared to quote the law to the letter. Anyone who carries a firearm should be ready to do the same, IMO.

Outlaw Man
September 19, 2013, 09:45 PM
Not trying to start an argument with you, but I have a friend that's no more than two inches taller than you, and he carries a full size Beretta 92 concealed very regularly. The options are there for you if you want to carry concealed. Your choice, though.

But since you didn't ask about concealed carry...

Since it just became legal in our state (and it's still questionable), I don't have much experience. I have open carried out of state, but not much. I think if you dress nice (relatively speaking, for out in the woods), most people won't pay a bit of attention. It's one of those things where if you look and act like you're supposed to be doing it, people assume you're supposed to be doing it.

In the woods, I can't imagine you'd get even a second glance. To me, that seems perfectly natural.

That holster is decent, and has a level of retention, so it's already better than what a lot of people use. I'd suggest a class in weapon retention, though, as it will better help you know how to react when someone approaches you physically.

If they're just talking, often times it's best to ignore them. Do NOT do what my CHL instructor (undercover cop) did one time. He was at an open air concert, and before the show started, he got some beers for his friends. His hands were full, and when his shirt rode up, he couldn't pull it back down. A man with a baby in his arms stepped in front of what he thought was an average Joe with a gun (absolutely ignorant move, if you ask me) and asked in no uncertain terms why he had a gun (open carry was quite illegal at the time). My instructor replied, "to shoot people," and stepped around him. Obviously, the uniformed police showed up a couple minutes later. He showed them his undercover ID, turned, and winked at the man with the baby.

Definitely didn't help our cause.

Outlaw Man
September 19, 2013, 09:51 PM
I disagree with what Warp said on this topic, as long as both CC and OC are legal. For instance, both CC and OC are legal in my state. I only CC (G19 IWB with a tee shirt over), but I also know my gun prints a lot of the time. I don't care. It's now late September and still over 100 degrees every day in the Arizona valley. I carry as concealed as possible. If someone (either civi or LEO) says something to me, I'm prepared to quote the law to the letter. Anyone who carries a firearm should be ready to do the same, IMO.
I completely agree with you from a legal standpoint. Tactically speaking, I'd be hesitant to do it for one reason - you're likely to avoid that situation altogether, and thus will be much less likely to make a negative experience for a fence-sitter that just may be a little uncertain of the law.

On the other hand, you might strike up a conversation and win them over, so...your call.

rondog
September 19, 2013, 10:05 PM
Even at your size, you should be able to CC a 1911 just fine, people have been doing it for 100 years. A 1911 may seem large, but it's really quite flat compared to many other autos. Check into some of the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters that tuck it in close to you. The holster you have hangs off the belt, outside the waistband (OWB), so naturally it will be a lot harder to conceal.

Warp
September 19, 2013, 10:10 PM
I disagree with what Warp said on this topic, as long as both CC and OC are legal. For instance, both CC and OC are legal in my state. I only CC (G19 IWB with a tee shirt over), but I also know my gun prints a lot of the time. I don't care. It's now late September and still over 100 degrees every day in the Arizona valley. I carry as concealed as possible. If someone (either civi or LEO) says something to me, I'm prepared to quote the law to the letter. Anyone who carries a firearm should be ready to do the same, IMO.

I thought I was pretty clear. What I said in no way, whatsoever, at all, had anything to do with legality.

The OP of this thread is concerned with his perception and with how his firearm will make other people feel/react/respond.

It is my opinion that OPEN carry or successfully-hidden carry are better in this regard because I believe people are most likely to be concerned, or worried, or uncomfortable if you are trying to hide your gun but fail.

If it's hidden/concealed well, nobody (or very few) will know.

If it's open, you obviously don't have anything to hide and don't care that people know you have it.

If you are trying to hide it...but they see it...why are you trying to hide it? Are you up to no good? Are you going to do something with it? Are you not licensed? These are some of the things that will go through some people's heads. Right, wrong, legal, illegal, indifferent, whatever...people are how they are.

USAF_Vet
September 19, 2013, 10:14 PM
I have a CPL, and would just as soon not advertise to the world I'm carrying, but in the great outdoors, I don't bother covering it. The wildlife doesn't care, and usually other people don't care either.
Out and about in town, it stays covered, but if it gets exposed, not a big deal. I took the dog into Tractor Supply last week, carrying OWB, and he twisted around me at the checkout lane when the clerk offered him some beef jerky. When we did that, my shirt tucked behind my holster, exposing the gun. Didn't even notice until I was in the parking lot loading the car. I think the only person who noticed the exposed gun was the guy in the truck parked behind me.

Before I got my CPL, I would open carry quite a bit. No one ever seemed to care, or even notice.

To answer the OPs questions: 1) its fine, not my preferred holster, but better than a cheap nylon Uncle Mike's or Bulldog. 2) in my experience, rural folk are more comfortable around guns, so I don't expect problems. 3) if you are confronted over it, and not by the police or business owner, either ignore them, or inform them what you are doing is legal. Whatever you do, don't get an attitude or get rude.

rcmodel
September 19, 2013, 10:14 PM
Open carry is legal here.

But there would be 41 airheads with cell phones calling in 'Man with a Gun' to 911 before I could get from the truck in the parking lot to the front door of Wal-Mart.

So I just don't do it.

rc

Bobson
September 19, 2013, 10:28 PM
I thought I was pretty clear. What I said in no way, whatsoever, at all, had anything to do with legality.*The OP of this thread is concerned with his perception and with how his firearm will make other people feel/react/respond.
I didn't even hint that your post had something to do with legality; I mentioned legality to make sure the OP understood my opinion. The only reason I even mentioned your name is to say I disagreed.

And I understand the OP's concern in this thread, which is exactly what I addressed. Following your first post, the OP explicitly asked for further opinions on the matter. I gave him what he asked for.

Warp
September 19, 2013, 10:44 PM
I didn't even hint that your post had something to do with legality; I mentioned legality to make sure the OP understood my opinion. The only reason I even mentioned your name is to say I disagreed.

And I understand the OP's concern in this thread, which is exactly what I addressed. Following your first post, the OP explicitly asked for further opinions on the matter. I gave him what he asked for.

You said that you don't care, and that if if somebody says something to you, you are prepared to quote the letter of the law.

I don't think that's the kind of thing the OP wants to be doing.

I think that's exactly what he wants to avoid.

md2lgyk
September 19, 2013, 11:13 PM
Open carry is legal here.

But there would be 41 airheads with cell phones calling in 'Man with a Gun' to 911 before I could get from the truck in the parking lot to the front door of Wal-Mart.

It is also legal here, though I've never seen anyone doing it. I personally choose not to, though I've been tempted lately to give it a try.

Mayvik
September 19, 2013, 11:21 PM
RE holster, should work fine if it is in good working order. I would probably opt for something leather for OC, just to avoid that potential "tacticool" stigma - more of a "my camping gun" vibe and less "my camping and shooting Taliban" vibe that people may get.

Also agree that OC is open and CC is hidden, don't halfass it. If you look like you are supposed to have a gun, people are less likely to think you are doing something shady.

MErl
September 19, 2013, 11:22 PM
My personal opinion, take it FWIW (and what you paid for it)...IMO firearms should either be concealed (adequately) or carried openly.

I think the best way to make people nervous, or make people question whether or not you should be doing what you are doing, is to try to hide your gun and fail. If you are going to hide it...hide it.

It is possible I'm underestimating how effective my concealment is but I know I print at times and I've not had any issues. The other gun I carry (owb) sometimes is 1911 sized and the barrel will peek in addition at times in addition to printing, again not an issue.

I think it is your actions and attitude that make others nervous. A partially concealed and observed handgun will play a part in that but should not be instant issue if just going about everyday actions.

Bobson
September 19, 2013, 11:30 PM
You said that you don't care, and that if if somebody says something to you, you are prepared to quote the letter of the law.

I don't think that's the kind of thing the OP wants to be doing.

I think that's exactly what he wants to avoid.
He specifically asked what he ought to do if someone questions him about his carry of a firearm. To me that means, what should I do if someone asks about my gun? I think he should do what I would do - which is clearly and politely quote the law. I'm not sure what part of that you find to be less than ideal.

Warp
September 19, 2013, 11:37 PM
He specifically asked what he ought to do if someone questions him about his carry of a firearm. To me that means, what should I do if someone asks about my gun? I think he should do what I would do - which is clearly and politely quote the law. I'm not sure what part of that you find to be less than ideal.

I follow now

Ifishsum
September 19, 2013, 11:38 PM
I've done plenty of open carrying in rural parts of Oregon, and generally don't even get a second glance. East of the cascades you're usually fine, but I generally avoid it here in the valley because too many small-minded folks either get frightened or make stupid remarks. I'd rather avoid the attention.

Mat, not doormat
September 20, 2013, 12:19 AM
First, about concealing a 1911. It is very possible, even for a smaller guy to do. It's probably not possible with that holster, though. It just rides too far away from the body. IWB holsters in general, and some designs of OWB, like pancakes, are designed to pull the gun in close. The IWB, additionally, hides most of the slide inside your britches. That, combined with the 1911's slim profile, makes for a surprisingly good carry package. A good heavy, reinforced 1.5 or 1.75" belt makes this a lot easier and more comfortable than the usual piece of leather linguine, of course. It still may not be the route you choose to go, but don't be too quick to dismiss it as completely unfeasible, either.

As to open carry, that holster would work, but it wouldn't be my first choice. As the multipart nature of your question indicated, whether a product will work for open carry is more complex than simply "Will this thing hold my gun?" The Serpa will do that, and it even has a simple retention feature built in. However, a big part of open carry is psychology, particularly how people react to you. That's greatly influenced by what sort of image you project. As another poster already said:

If you look like you are supposed to have a gun, people are less likely to think you are doing something shady.

Being well dressed, well groomed, and carrying a good looking rig will take you a lot further than a $40 piece of plastic, no matter how well it holds onto the gun. IMHO, anyhow.

As to what Oregonians think about it, I couldn't tell you. I haven't been out that way in years.

Warp
September 20, 2013, 12:31 AM
Being well dressed, well groomed, and carrying a good looking rig will take you a lot further than a $40 piece of plastic, no matter how well it holds onto the gun. IMHO, anyhow.

As to what Oregonians think about it, I couldn't tell you. I haven't been out that way in years.

I agree.

I use:

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g105/austin3161324/Firearms/339fdfd5.jpg


Which, most importantly, is "Level III" retention (according to Safariland, I think level II is more accurate) + a hood guard, which is more gun-grab resistant than a Serpa. And looks a hell of a lot more appropriate, too

Frank Ettin
September 20, 2013, 01:26 AM
Getting back to the holster question, the Serpa would not be my choice. The design makes it possible to, upon releasing the retention mechanism, put your finger in the trigger guard, on the trigger. There have been reported unintended discharges as a result, and a number of instructors will not allow the use of the Sherpa holster in their classes.

The issue with the Serpa relates to the subject of human factor engineering.

Human factor engineering is about designing things in a way that considers human capabilities and limitations to reduce the possibilities for operational errors, especially under stress, and to reduce training requirements. The Serpa doesn't seem to do that well.

While it is possible to train to use the Serpa properly and safely, its design makes it especially easy to make a particular, natural and predictable operational error that is dangerous to the user. If you are really good at using it correctly, that will be fine. But it is designed and operated in a way that makes it especially easy to make a particular mistake that can get you hurt.

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 02:31 AM
Thanks for the information on the Serpa holster and the Safariland alternative. Gives me some food for thought, whether I end up using the Serpa holster or not. I already own the Serpa, though the Safariland Level 3 looks like a much nicer (though much more expensive) option for open carry. I'll also experiment with IWB with the 1911, particularly if I succeed in my goal of losing 10-20 lbs this winter.

As for the well-groomed and well-mannered stuff, haha, I think I'm probably okay there. I've been told I give off a vibe somewhere between "east coast private school" and "Mormon missionary," and there's a good chance I'll be with my two boys (7 and 4) and open-carrying a camera. Don't smoke or drink, and don't swear unless stubbed toes are involved (no objection to people who do, just not my thing). Can only do so much with "well-groomed" after camping for three nights straight, but I'm certainly not the brash/loud/in-your-face kind.

Mat, not doormat
September 20, 2013, 03:22 AM
As for the well-groomed and well-mannered stuff, haha, I think I'm probably okay there. I've been told I give off a vibe somewhere between "east coast private school" and "Mormon missionary," and there's a good chance I'll be with my two boys (7 and 4) and open-carrying a camera. Don't smoke or drink, and don't swear unless stubbed toes are involved (no objection to people who do, just not my thing). Can only do so much with "well-groomed" after camping for three nights straight, but I'm certainly not the brash/loud/in-your-face kind.

Kind of hard to tell through an Internet forum. After all, you did say you were from Oregon, which is where they keep Portland, last I heard. :neener:

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 03:39 AM
Kind of hard to tell through an Internet forum. After all, you did say you were from Oregon, which is where they keep Portland, last I heard. :neener:

Haha, true that, thankfully I own neither Ray-Bans nor skinny jeans :D

CajunBass
September 20, 2013, 08:43 AM
I've open carry from time to time, including this week now that I think about it, and I've never had anyone say anything at all negative about it. I've had a few positive comments, and a few questions but that's it.

Now, I'm not where you are, but I'm in the middle of the I-95 corridor, about 80-90 miles south of DC. Plenty of soccer moms and little old ladies in tennis shoes around.

Trunk Monkey
September 20, 2013, 09:00 AM
I don’t live in Oregon and I don’t open carry so take that for what it’s worth.

There a lot of gray area in “concealed” I knew a guy who’s idea of “concealed’ was a skin tight t shirt over a Glock. Some people only use Smart Carry (you smart carry a 1911 you’d better expect a lot of female attention).

No one can tell you what to do for every situation but in general I would advise you to be very familiar with the laws of the state you are traveling in, always use an adequate retention holster when open carrying and do not allow yourself to be baited into a pissing contest with anyone. If a business owner asks you to leave do so with out any argument. If you’re in a restaurant and your food has been served pay for it and leave (don’t give them any cause to say you did a dine and dash) and stay the Hell out of Starbucks

JTQ
September 20, 2013, 09:02 AM
I believe I've seen forum member Mainsail show pictures of his SERPA open carry rig on several occasions. He lives just north of you in Washington state. I believe he has a G20 riding in his SERPA. If he doesn't pop in to the thread, you may want to send him a PM and ask for his opinion.

smkummer
September 20, 2013, 10:07 AM
My detective special rides high in a thumb break holster so its easy to leave a shirt untucked. Works for me and no one has said a thing as its usually cc. Although, I just started carrying this way. I still sometimes just carry my Smith 61 (22 LR) or colt agent 38 in my lower cargo pants pocket unholstered. I would rather have the element of surprise with cc over open carry. I also believe one has to be a model citizen 100% of the time including politically correct to most when open carry. I don't want to have explain my reason for carry to the uninformed or idiots.

460Kodiak
September 20, 2013, 11:24 AM
I open carry in the woods quite a lot. The holser you have pictured would probably work, but it isn't my first choice. As another posted, Safariland makes some nice holsters. I have one for my FNP-45. I OC my 1911 in a cross draw leather holster from El Paso Saddlery.

Like you, I do not like to OC in a a populated area for the same reasons you listed. I suspect you would be able to conceal it fine with a hybrid holster from Crossbreed or Hidden Hybrid Holsters, or any of the other bazillion hybrid holster makers out there.

Honstely, my advice would be to buy another gun and carry rig if you have the money. You may well be able to conceal a full size 1911, but it may not be comfortable. I CC a Springfield Armory XDs (.45 acp, The poor girl is off getting fixed in the recal nightmare.) in a Hidden Hybrid Holsters or a Ruger SP101 (.357) IWB when I'm around people. XDs will even fit in the front pocket if I'm wearing cargo shorts.

farm23
September 20, 2013, 11:56 AM
Here open carry is legal but I only do so on the farm and in the woods. When in town I switch to my 1911 and cc. With so many people uptight it is not worth the aggravation to open carry in town. In 11 years I have only seen one person open carry in town and he also had his badge showing [I think the badge was legit].

SuedePflow
September 20, 2013, 12:05 PM
I have a completely different opinion of the SERPA holster from the traditional "its not safe" internet response.

I draw from all of my OWB and appendix carry holsters all the same. With my trigger finger extended above the trigger gaurd. It's no different with the Serpa- which is a huge benefit actually. It's a natural draw that I didn't have to change to accomodate the Serpa. That's kind of the whole point to the design of the Serpa. But it begs the question that if the draw is the same on all holsters, why would anyone have problems with the Serpa? No matter the holster, my draw is the same and my trigger finger is positioned the same before, during, and after the draw.

If you deliberately bending your finder to unlock a serpa, you're doing it wrong.
If your finger enters the trigger gaurd, you're REALLY doing it wrong.

The unlocking button doesn't even line up with the trigger (see image below). Directly behind the unlocking button is the side of the receiver, above the trigger gaurd. Which is exactly where your finger should be upon the draw from any holster. A SERPA requires no specific or special training to use properly. It only requires the knowledge and use of a proper draw.

I've been carrying with one for years with various Glocks and a Springfield XD. They have all been great holsters. They may be considered entry-level, but they do work as intended. I also have experience competing in a few practical pistol matches with them. Always had a quick draw, and never a ND even when under pressure.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i17/paulvolk/Shooting/SERPA_zps974df46a.jpg

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 12:16 PM
I'll play around some more with the Serpa. I'll definitely be aware of the finger position when using it. While the Safariland looks much nicer, I might have to wait until a holiday or birthday to justify the $180 when I already own another OWB holster.

On the ND issue, even raising the possibility of a finger-mispositioning (which shouldn't ever happen now that I'm aware of the concern), the fact that I'm using a 1911 with a grip safety and a thumb safety, instead of a gun with only internal safeties, should greatly mitigate that risk, right?

Corpral_Agarn
September 20, 2013, 12:20 PM
OP, I feel you about being small and CC'ing.
I am about 5' 8" and 125 pounds but I conceal a full size Sig P226 no problem in an IWB holster riding at right around 4 'O clock under an untucked polo shirt or similiar
So there are ways to conceal even for us 'slight of build' folk.

As for the Serpa, I have one and like it quite a bit. I don't use it hardly at all, but I find it to be incredibly fast on the draw and not unsafe. When I press the button on the holster I simply do not move my finger as I draw. I slide it out of the holster and my finger is resting on the frame above the trigger guard. When I am ready to shoot I bring it down and press the trigger.

But then, I draw every holster that same way with my trigger finger riding on the outside where the frame will be after I draw it.

That's all I have for you, OP. We don't have any open carry in in good ol' Cali. :fire:

JTQ
September 20, 2013, 12:43 PM
Mitlov wrote,
On the ND issue, even raising the possibility of a finger-mispositioning (which shouldn't ever happen now that I'm aware of the concern), the fact that I'm using a 1911 with a grip safety and a thumb safety, instead of a gun with only internal safeties, should greatly mitigate that risk, right?

Not so fast. There may not be a more famous video on the 'net, than Tex Grebner shooting himself in the leg with a 1911 out of a SERPA. He takes a lot of heat for shooting himself, but I'll give him credit for keeping the video up so other's can learn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3kJ6SU3ycs

For the open carry guy, the SERPA is probably a reasonable choice. However, there is no doubt there is a very long list of holsters that would probably be better options.

I use the entering argument the SERPA lock system will always work, and the user is properly trained in the use of the system. However, I'd guess half the cost of the SERPA is tied up in the R&D and production of that lock system. Take that out and what you really have is a $20 holster. There are better options.

460Kodiak
September 20, 2013, 01:24 PM
the fact that I'm using a 1911 with a grip safety and a thumb safety, instead of a gun with only internal safeties, should greatly mitigate that risk, right?

Yes, but as the above video illustrates, watch that finger.

9mmepiphany
September 20, 2013, 01:39 PM
Yes, but as the above video illustrates, watch that finger.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the thumb safety should not be taken off until the muzzle is pointing downrange...you don't save any time by pressing it off while it is in the holster

Corpral_Agarn
September 20, 2013, 01:43 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that the thumb safety should not be taken off until the muzzle is pointing downrange...you don't save any time by pressing it off while it is in the holster

+1
I think I remember a follow up video where he explains that he hit the thumb safety during the draw instead of when he had the pistol on target.

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 02:25 PM
Honstely, my advice would be to buy another gun and carry rig if you have the money. You may well be able to conceal a full size 1911, but it may not be comfortable. I CC a Springfield Armory XDs (.45 acp, The poor girl is off getting fixed in the recal nightmare.) in a Hidden Hybrid Holsters or a Ruger SP101 (.357) IWB when I'm around people. XDs will even fit in the front pocket if I'm wearing cargo shorts.

Not at the moment, but long term that's on the radar. I'd keep the 1911 for home defense, the great outdoors, and recreational shooting, and have a subcompact for conceal-carry (likely a Sig P938 or P238 to keep the operation as similar as possible between the two handguns).

Outlaw Man
September 20, 2013, 03:28 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that the thumb safety should not be taken off until the muzzle is pointing downrange...you don't save any time by pressing it off while it is in the holster
I've had a thumb safety bumped off while holstered. I never figured out how, though.

As for pulling the trigger when you draw from the Sherpa, blaming the holster is a cop out. The four rules don't cease to apply just because the gun is holstered.

9mmepiphany
September 20, 2013, 04:00 PM
(likely a Sig P938 or P238 to keep the operation as similar as possible between the two handguns).
If that is a serious consideration, I think you'd be better served by a Springfield Armory EMP

JTQ
September 20, 2013, 04:10 PM
Remember, it's a BLACKHAWK SERPA, not Sherpa.

A Sherpa helped Sir Edmund Hillary climb Mount Everest, and he may have even carried Sir Edmund's gun, but they are not holsters.

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 04:20 PM
If that is a serious consideration, I think you'd be better served by a Springfield Armory EMP


I appreciate the head's up; hadn't heard of it before. I'll read up on it.

Fiv3r
September 20, 2013, 05:02 PM
I've only OCed a couple of times. Both times I was dressed as professional as possible. Plain Polo shirt tucked into jeans, clean cut. While I certainly wasn't trying to impersonate a law enforcement officer, I would be lying if I said that people at a glance probably didn't just assume as much. I make it a point to not look like I want to start trouble or like what some might consider a "typical" redneck with a gun.

I don't generally want to make a statement with my choice to carry a firearm. I usually just mildly conceal meaning that I use a comfortable OWB holster and wear an over-shirt or leave my jacket on. If it prints or shows, big deal. OC is legal here but covering it up a bit is just a courtesy to the casual passerby that might take offense.

I think it just comes down compromise on how far you want go explaining your actions. For me, it's just easier to hide my pistol out of sight than it is to give a lesson on Indiana gun laws. Also, I would rather have the element of surprise if I needed my gun.

460Kodiak
September 20, 2013, 07:28 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that the thumb safety should not be taken off until the muzzle is pointing downrange...you don't save any time by pressing it off while it is in the holster


Yep! Also very important.

NavyLCDR
September 21, 2013, 03:53 AM
Don't underestimate your concealment. Just because you can look in the mirror and "see" your gun does not mean that it is inadequately concealed. 90% of people won't indicate that they notice an openly carried handgun, it doesn't take much to "conceal" a gun from 99% of the population you will meet in every day life.

As far as this comment: "I don't want to make anyone nervous or uncomfortable (not only does it make my life harder, but it's just not a respectful thing to do to other people)"

What if you were black and that made some people nervous? What if you were gay and that made some people nervous? Or a tattoo? Or a speech impediment? Or a skin disfigurement? My stepdaughter's prosthetic leg makes some people uncomfortable. My crooked eyes make some people uncomfortable. If you are just carrying a firearm in a holster going about your normal everyday business, those people that it makes uncomfortable can simply leave. I refuse to take responsibility for or "respect" their unfounded fears.

Most of the time those people who are so "uncomfortable" about your gun are not so "uncomfortable" that they won't walk up and tell you about it. The people that I have experienced (and it is only 1 or 2 per year) who have been the most vehement about their displeasure if they notice my gun have been those with concealed carry permits that can't resist the urge to tell me they carry concealed and I should too.

The best way to handle them is to either ignore them if they are not addressing you directly, or remain completely calm, cool, collected - don't let them get under your skin - and politely acknowledge them and go about your normal business.

beatledog7
September 21, 2013, 08:13 AM
NavyLCDR makes a valid point of which we should all take heed.

Not doing a perfectly legal and in many ways very practical thing like OCing just because others might feel uncomfortable is an example of political correctness overcoming reason. As I've posted before, the gun owning community's CC/OC divide is wider than the divide brought on by "Fudd" being ok with a ban on "assault weapons."


There are OC wack-jobs out there who embarrass themselves regularly, but they don't embarrass me because they are not me and don't speak for me. A rational response when anyone points out such a person and claims he is bad for the gun-owning community is something like, "Would you say that one drunk driver in a Mercedes is a black eye for all Mercedes owners?"

Trunk Monkey
September 21, 2013, 12:46 PM
What if you were black and that made some people nervous?

Being black isn't a choice

There are OC wack-jobs out there who embarrass themselves regularly, but they don't embarrass me because they are not me and don't speak for me. A rational response when anyone points out such a person and claims he is bad for the gun-owning community is something like, "Would you say that one drunk driver in a Mercedes is a black eye for all Mercedes owners?"

The problem I have with this is no matter how much you say it that fact is that you don’t get to decide who speaks for you. I’m sure you’ve seen the photo of the couple in the Starbuck with the AR, look at the woman on her computer in the background. She is absolutely disgusted with their display and in her mind those two have already spoken for you.

NavyLCDR
September 21, 2013, 01:41 PM
I’m sure you’ve seen the photo of the couple in the Starbuck with the AR, look at the woman on her computer in the background. She is absolutely disgusted with their display and in her mind those two have already spoken for you.

What's her name? You must know her right? Or are you reading her mind from a photograph? How do you have any idea what she is thinking? Maybe she is having a reaction to the camera. Maybe she is having a reaction to something she saw online. Maybe there is a loud mouth at the counter who is complaining because he got too much or too little whipped cream. You have absolutely no idea what she is thinking from a single photo. You seem to be projecting your feelings onto someone in a photo that you have never even met before.

Trunk Monkey
September 21, 2013, 01:57 PM
What's her name? You must know her right? Or are you reading her mind from a photograph? How do you have any idea what she is thinking?

Don't know here at all but I can read a face

orionengnr
September 21, 2013, 05:37 PM
What if you were black and that made some people nervous? What if you were gay and that made some people nervous? Or a tattoo? Or a speech impediment? Or a skin disfigurement? My stepdaughter's prosthetic leg makes some people uncomfortable. My crooked eyes make some people uncomfortable. If you are just carrying a firearm in a holster going about your normal everyday business, those people that it makes uncomfortable can simply leave. I refuse to take responsibility for or "respect" their unfounded fears.

^^This. You are doing nothing illegal or immoral. As long as you are polite, you should help educate the ignorant.

Being black isn't a choice
And if you make exercising your rights a "choice", don't be surprised if someone else makes the "choice" to legislate those rights out of existence. :rolleyes:

Warp
September 21, 2013, 07:48 PM
It's a Serpa...not a Sherpa.

Just sayin'

Frank Ettin
September 21, 2013, 08:54 PM
It's a Serpa...not a Sherpa.Thanks for the correction. I've edited my post to correct my mistake.

460Kodiak
September 22, 2013, 12:06 PM
I have no problem with OC. But I don't particularly like drawing attention to myself for any reason. My motto in life is "just leave me alone". CC facilitates that when around people.

beatledog7
September 23, 2013, 01:33 PM
The problem I have with this is no matter how much you say it that fact is that you don’t get to decide who speaks for you. I’m sure you’ve seen the photo of the couple in the Starbuck with the AR, look at the woman on her computer in the background. She is absolutely disgusted with their display and in her mind those two have already spoken for you.

They speak for only those who don't stand up and deny their message. I do that, so they don't speak for me. If you want to declare that they speak for you just because they speak about a topic that involves you, that's your issue.

And NavyLCDR is right on this one: you cannot know to what that woman is responding.

Spike_akers
September 23, 2013, 01:50 PM
just my opinion, although i do support open carry, i wouldnt advise it. but, if you do, dont half conceal it. it makes people MORE uncomfortable to see something half hidden than blatantly visible.

my reason for not advising open cary, is although in certain areas it is legal. but it tends to make people uneasy. and although something is legal, doesnt make it a good idea, or mean you should do it. when i go hunting i carry my N frame open, when anywhere else, i carry my 1911 concealed. all because of an incident where i made someone rather uncomfortable at a grocery store because my revolver was visible. resulted in me having a talk with a cop, and then freaking everyone out when the leo's came to get me. yeah, its my right to do so, yes its legal, but its something i will no longer be doing. especially how things are right now, its probably not a good idea.

the holster is dangerous. i've heard several instances where the serpa has caused discharges because of the lever as mentioned above. i would personally recommend a leather pancake holster (galco).. if you do end up going concealed, crossbreeds holster is incredibly well built, and comfortable.

SuedePflow
September 23, 2013, 03:12 PM
the holster is dangerous. i've heard several instances where the serpa has caused discharges because of the lever as mentioned above. i would personally recommend a leather pancake holster
It's been covered in this thread already (I assume you didn't read the thread before posting), and you're welcome to your opinion regardless, but the SERPA holster does not and cannot cause a discharge. Improperly placed fingers can though, and the SERPA does not improperly place fingers either. As stated, it's always user error, which could just as easily happen with any gun/holster combo.

I've only ever seen a holster depress the trigger of a holstered gun one time, and it was a severly worn-out leather holster.

Frank Ettin
September 23, 2013, 03:48 PM
It's been covered in this thread already (I assume you didn't read the thread before posting), and you're welcome to your opinion regardless, but the SERPA holster does not and cannot cause a discharge. Improperly placed fingers can though,...And you apparently didn't read the thread carefully because I addressed that in post 23:...Human factor engineering is about designing things in a way that considers human capabilities and limitations to reduce the possibilities for operational errors, especially under stress, and to reduce training requirements. The Serpa doesn't seem to do that well.

While it is possible to train to use the Serpa properly and safely, its design makes it especially easy to make a particular, natural and predictable operational error that is dangerous to the user....The Serpa holster's design makes it especially easy for one to improperly place his fingers. I'd consider that to be a design flaw from a human factors perspective.

...it's always user error, which could just as easily happen with any gun/holster combo...And no, it cannot. None of the holsters I use require that I place my trigger finger on the holster close to the trigger of the gun in order to actuate a lever to release a retention device. The Serpa is the only holster, as far as I know, that requires that action of the trigger finger; and it is that particular use and placement of the trigger finger that can increase the risk of a particular user error.

The bottom line remains: many instructors will not allow the use of the Serpa in their classes.

SuedePflow
September 23, 2013, 04:32 PM
The Serpa holster's design makes it especially easy for one to improperly place his fingers. I'd consider that to be a design flaw from a human factors perspective.
I disagree.

And no, it cannot. None of the holsters I use require that I place my trigger finger on the holster close to the trigger of the gun in order to actuate a lever to release a retention device. The Serpa is the only holster, as far as I know, that requires that action of the trigger finger; and it is that particular use and placement of the trigger finger that can increase the risk of a particular user error.
My natural draw (with, without, and before ever owning a SERPA) includes having my index finger extended outward and above the trigger gaurd. This is why I liked the SERPA as soon a I got one. I didn't have to change anything about my draw. My natural, safe draw actuated the lock without requiring an extra, deliberate action. And when the gun exits the holster my finger is exactly where I want it to be without moving it. Once I grip the gun (with it holstered), but index finger never moves until I'm ready to fire.

This entire process requires nothing that is not required without a SERPA holster. I see zero increased risk.

SuedePflow
September 23, 2013, 04:34 PM
Where is your index finger when you draw, Frank? How much experience do you have using a SERPA?

Warp
September 23, 2013, 04:47 PM
My finger indexes the holster pretty much identically, Serpa or non-serpa.

The only difference is the pressure applied by that finger when using the Serpa.

It seems to me the only way people might have a problem is if they hook their finger instead of keeping it straight.

SuedePflow
September 23, 2013, 04:51 PM
Regarding applied pressure - I know I don't have to purposefully apply more pressure to unlock it. Just having my finger on the button seems to be enough with my draw. Maybe I have strong fingers... I could see that varying from person to person, though.

Warp
September 23, 2013, 04:54 PM
Regarding applied pressure - I know I don't have to purposefully apply more pressure to unlock it. Just having my finger on the button seems to be enough with my draw. Maybe I have strong fingers... I could see that varying from person to person, though.

I don't think it's a matter of hand or finger strength, simply a matter of how each individual person performs their draw.

For the record I was the first person to respond to this thread, and suggested a different holster other than the Serpa. When I started carrying openly it was with a Serpa, and I still have it. But my concerns are primarily about retention, not the requirement to use your trigger finger to release the gun.

Frank Ettin
September 23, 2013, 09:28 PM
The Serpa holster's design makes it especially easy for one to improperly place his fingers. I'd consider that to be a design flaw from a human factors perspective.
I disagree....You're free to disagree with me, but a number of folks disagree with you, including the highly respected trainer, the late Paul Gomez (http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=5&f=23&t=22458), The Federal Law Enforcement Training Facility (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&ved=0CF0QFjAG&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fletc.gov%2Freference%2Fpublic-information%2Ffreedom-of-information-act-foia%2Freading-room%2Ftraining-information%2FholisterStudy.pdf%2Fdownload&ei=SNhAUtrwHeH12QWAkYGABA&usg=AFQjCNFGodjhpFq0HCLK6UL7AOS2KPxteg&sig2=qTHsiG8dMARlVbMDQ1B4Tw&bvm=bv.52434380,d.b2I) (based on tests they conducted), and Nick Leghorn (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/11/foghorn/serpa-holsters-should-be-discontinued/) (TheTruthAboutGuns.com).

Since all opinions are not equal, I'll go with a highly qualified trainer like Paul Gomez, and a rigorous study by the FLETC. The FLETC report, to which I linked, is an interesting read.

Where is your index finger when you draw, Frank? How much experience do you have using a SERPA?

My index finger is right where it belongs.


I have zero experience with a Serpa -- never had one and never will have one. I much prefer leather. But I do have plenty of training and lots of experience drawing a gun -- including years of USPSA competition, classes at Gunsite and elsewhere, and lots of practice.

MartinS
September 23, 2013, 10:00 PM
Get a friend and a fifty dollar bill. Tell him, has to be a him, he gets the fifty if he can yank that iron out the holster in one grab.

scaatylobo
September 23, 2013, 10:18 PM
Scott ------ of Canada is a martial artist that I was a student of,I was a D/T instructor and I dared him to take my weapon.

I was the weapon retention instructor and was wearing a level 2 security police holster.

He took the gun ,not once --- but three times and I gave up at that point.

If your better than I was,and you can beat his abilitys ----- good for you.

But if you THINK your that good ---- sad for you !.

I thought so too !.

SuedePflow
September 25, 2013, 04:00 PM
I have zero experience with a Serpa -- never had one and never will have one. I much prefer leather. But I do have plenty of training and lots of experience drawing a gun -- including years of USPSA competition, classes at Gunsite and elsewhere, and lots of practice.
I'd recommend developing your own opinion based upon experience. It always seems to work better than being "sure" of something based upon what you heard from others.

The great SERPA debate happens over and over again on every gun forum, and I've noticed that the majority of people that dislike the SERPA have never used one and simply bash it because XXX said he doesn't like them.

I'm not trying to be a dick, but most people would at least expect someone to have used said product before they say it's a poor/great product.

Nick Leghorn (TheTruthAboutGuns.com).
This blog was a complete joke. I'm glad most of the commentors agree.

Ohh the irony in the sentiment that of hundreds of thousands of a holster in circulation, when a couple dozen people cause harm by improperly using the product, they should all be banned from use by everyone. Sounds all too much like the anti-gun rhetoric used by our current administration and other anti-gunners.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Facility (based on tests they conducted)
Thank you for sharing this link. You're right, it was an interesting read.

It seems the conclusion upon instructors is that without sufficient training, the SERPA can be used improperly by inexperienced users. I would agree with that. I would agree that that applies to anything potentially dangerous (shooting in general, driving a car, sky diving, etc...) In that article, it is spelled out several times that all ND's were a "clear violation of Safety Rule 3". Users placing their finger on the trigger due to duress and inexperience. We know the holster does not place the finger inside of the trigger gaurd, and that the shooter made one or more mistakes that resulted in a violation of Safety Rule 3. And that can even happened to an experienced shooter. But I still find it foolish to blame a holster. That's equivelent to blaming the automobile for the crash instead of recognizing that the crash was the result of a young and inexperienced driver that simply made a mistake, while the vehicle merly facilitated the collision.

People inexperienced with the SERPA forget that the lock needs to be defeated prior to drawing. And some feel the depressing of the button needs to be focused, forceful, and deliberate, when the truth is that if your finger is properly indexed, it will automatically brush up against the lever with enough force to defeat the lock. These shooters that experienced NDs all say their finger slipped because they improperly hooked their finger, or they purposefully entered the trigger gaurd albiet too soon, or forgot to remove their finger from the trigger upon reholstering. These are classic "inexperience" mistakes that can be made by anyone. Just people using it wrong because they don't know any better.

So these instructors simply choose the easy and painfree path of banning a particular holster to avoid requiring a trainee to be experienced and trained to proprly use it prior to class. Banning it means they won't have to spend time teaching anyone how to use it properly and won't have to deal with the aftermath of someone improperly using it. I don't blame them one bit. But that only means it's a product not fit for their class setting. It does NOT imply that the holster is not an excellent option for a person that is familiar and trained to use it.

It seems that the vast majority are using the SERPA successfully and safely regardless of anyones opinion. I feel that's far more definitive that anyone's blog or passed along heresay.

Frank Ettin
September 25, 2013, 04:46 PM
I'd recommend developing your own opinion based upon experience...

There's a Romanian proverb, "Only the foolish learn from experience — the wise learn from the experience of others."


Benjamin Franklin has been reported as having said, "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other."


Douglas Adams has been reported as having said, "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."

...I've noticed that the majority of people that dislike the SERPA have never used one and simply bash it because XXX said he doesn't like them...It's not so much that I dislike the Serpa. But I do understand something about human factors engineering, and the criticisms based on human factors engineering of people whose opinions I have reason to respect make sense, and since the holsters I currently have serve my purposes, I see no reason to play with the Serpa. And I pass on that information.

....It seems the conclusion upon instructors is that without sufficient training, the SERPA can be used improperly by inexperienced users. I would agree with that. ... In that article, it is spelled out several times that all ND's were a "clear violation of Safety Rule 3". Users placing their finger on the trigger due to duress and inexperience....Yes, and that means that:

That is an understood and predictable user error.


The design of the Serpa facilitates that particular user error.


And therefore the design of the Serpa is flawed from a human factors engineering perspective.

SuedePflow
September 25, 2013, 05:41 PM
There's a Romanian proverb, "Only the foolish learn from experience — the wise learn from the experience of others."
Well, what have you learned from the experience of hundreds of thousands of shooters that enjoy properly and safely using the SERPA holster?

That is an understood and predictable user error
Understood? Sure. Predictable? Not so much. It could happen to any shooter with any gun and any holster, but it rarely happens at all.

The design of the Serpa facilitates that particular user error
No more that the automobile facilitates the collision or the pencil facilitates the written words. The user is the one in control and takes complete responsibility for the outcome.

User error is not caused by design and we know this because the exact same design functions perfectly for everyone that uses it properly (free of user error). But I will concede that the design could compound user error. I feel that's really what it boils down to.

And therefore the design of the Serpa is flawed from a human factors engineering perspective.
Wrong. Nothing is 100% idiot-proof and things only function as intended. It's tough to justify a design flaw when the vast majority of users don't experience problems/issues whatsoever.

Could it be more idiot-proof? Some would say 'yes'. Most would say it's fine the way it is. And that opens up an entirly new debate about how much idiot-proofing is enough.

One more interesting point; when you read of other's negligent discharges, one common thing I've noticed is that they ALWAYS take full responsbility for it. They admit that their finger was on the trigger when they didn't intend for it to be. And they admit it was their own doing. Afterall, we're human and sh1t happens... Except for when a SERPA is being used. Then it's the holsters fault and the shooter is somewhat of a victim of "out-of-control defective product". The holster made me do it! :evil:

Mitlov
September 25, 2013, 05:51 PM
Setting aside the Serpa debate, should I be carrying at 3-o'clock, 4-o'clock, 4:30? The question is for both open carry and OWB conceal-carry (and eventually IWB conceal-carry if/when I get a IWB holster).

SuedePflow
September 25, 2013, 05:59 PM
Setting aside the Serpa debate, should I be carrying at 3-o'clock, 4-o'clock, 4:30? The question is for both open carry and OWB conceal-carry (and eventually IWB conceal-carry if/when I get a IWB holster).
That will most definitely vary from person to person. You'll have to experiment to find which is more comfortable for you and allows a quick and safe draw.

For me personally, when I carry IWB, I prefer appendix carry. For OWB, I carry at 3 o'clock.

mr.trooper
September 25, 2013, 06:34 PM
The SERPA can be had in higher retention levels with additional lock mechanisms over that of the one commonly seen in chain stores and LGS.

If you are worried about people defeating your retention holster, then you either need to buckle down and take some serious handgun retention classes, or stop carrying openly.

Frank Ettin
September 25, 2013, 07:20 PM
Well, what have you learned from the experience of hundreds of thousands of shooters that enjoy properly and safely using the SERPA holster?Well I don't know the experiences of hundreds of thousands of shooters using the Serpa. I have only heard about such from a number of anonymous denizens of cyberspace. On the other hand, the cautionary information comes from identified sources of known credibility.

That is an understood and predictable user error
Understood? Sure. Predictable? Not so much. It could happen to any shooter with any gun and any holster, but it rarely happens at all.Of course the possibility of the particular user error is predictable with the Serpa. It has happened and has been reported and has prompted the FLETC to study the issue and conclude that it reflects a design problem.

As far as it happening with other holsters, I'm not aware of the problem having been reported with other holsters. It seems that the most common ND issue with other holster is the user error of keeping the finger on the trigger when re-holstering.

In any case, the issue with the Serpa involves the need unique to the Serpa to release the retention mechanism with the trigger finger. Apparently, as you pointed out, that needs to be done in a particular way to be safe, and the unintended discharges are caused by a failure to release the retention mechanism correctly.

So in a holster with which it's not necessary to release a retention device with one's trigger finger in the manner in which it's done with the Serpa, the particular problem can not arise.

...No more that the automobile facilitates the collision or the pencil facilitates the written words....A specious analogy.

With regard to the automobile issue, in fact certain design characteristics of various automobiles have been shown to either unreasonable increase the risk of collisions or exacerbate the consequences; and there has been considerable product liability litigation demonstrating that.

With regard to writing instruments, I've found that some designs do facilitate my writing compared with others. For example, I find it uncomfortable to write documents of any notable length using a stub of a pencil.

Mainsail
September 25, 2013, 10:36 PM
I believe I've seen forum member Mainsail show pictures of his SERPA open carry rig on several occasions. He lives just north of you in Washington state. I believe he has a G20 riding in his SERPA. If he doesn't pop in to the thread, you may want to send him a PM and ask for his opinion.

I use my Serpa all the time, and have drawn from it (practice) probably a thousand times. No matter how fast I draw my finger always ends up on the frame above the trigger.

How? Because I read the freaking instructions.

Every time someone mentions the Serpa somebody declares them unsafe because some halfwit posted a video of him shooting himself. Personally, I'm surprised he was able to set up the video camera or figure out how to post it to youtube. So-and-So training academy doesn't allow them? So what? Obviously their lawyers' advice carried more weight with them than did common sense.

Anyone too stupid to operate a Serpa holster has no business loading a gun.

Whew. :p

Trunk Monkey
September 26, 2013, 04:04 PM
Anyone too stupid to operate a Serpa holster has no business loading a gun.

C'mon niw, tell us how you really feel :neener:

herrwalther
September 27, 2013, 05:41 AM
The SERPA is a very nice holster. Obviously it has little use for conceal carry but makes an excellent duty or OC holster. I have used one extensively and never had a problem with where my trigger finger ended up when drawing, and I didn't even read the instructions :p

My problems with the SERPA are minimal at best. It was mentioned that they are popular enough that they are easy to beat in a weapon retention struggle. Yup, true. Just looking at the button screams "Push me to get this handgun!" Also the rather openness of the SERPA design make it a dirt/dust/sand magnet. So if you live in those types of conditions I would recommend routine cleaning, as should be done with holsters anyway. Not enough environmental build up to effect the internal safety, but enough that it might damage the finish on your firearm.

I recommend a 5.11 Thumbdrive holster as a better alternative to the SERPA. Much more closed design and a harder to get to release for anyone but the operator.

http://www.511tactical.com/All-Products/Accessories/Holsters/ThumbDrive-Holster.html

SuedePflow
September 27, 2013, 10:42 AM
My buddy recently switched from the SERPA to that 5.11 ThumbDrive. He likes both but seems to prefer the 5.11 these days. Next time we go shooting, I'll have to borrow his holster for the day and see how it works for me.

BSA1
September 27, 2013, 07:17 PM
Mitlov,

The best advice I can think of is match the holster and type of carry to the activity you are doing. For example carrying a handgun for backpacking will require the gun to be carried in a different position than horseback riding,

The next thing would be comfort, if it isn't comfortable you won't be carrying it.

Then security to keep the gun from falling out. Backtracking your trail trying to find your gun doesn't sound like fun to me.

Be prepared to spend some bucks for some holsters. Yes I said holsterS as you are going to buy several before you find the perfect one.

In regards to someone asking me why I was carrying I would simply reply because I want too. I would not get into a debate and I would not discuss it any further unless I wanted to.

You have the right to walk around in public unmolested. If some anti-2a wants to be in your face call 911 and exercise YOUR rights.

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