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Holsters that do not cover the trigger

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Flechette, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. Flechette

    Flechette Member

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    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?
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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.

    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

    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
     
  3. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Personal preference:
    I don't carry holsters that don't cover the trigger. Just my personal preference.
     
  4. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    I personally like the open style. Helps you get you grip in the right spot with fewer adjustments.
     
  5. Flechette

    Flechette Member

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    So what is the purpose, or design intent, of an open trigger?
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Old school design.

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    rc
     
  7. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    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.
     
  8. Flechette

    Flechette Member

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    Thanks.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  10. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
  11. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    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.
     
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    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.

    IMG_1349b.jpg


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

    IMG_1402b.jpg

    IMG_1170b.jpg


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

    P8010075.jpg
     
  13. smokey04

    smokey04 Member

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    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
     
  14. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    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.
     
  15. g_one

    g_one Member

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    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.
     
  16. mokin

    mokin Member

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    Lots of beautiful leather in this thread. As well as some insightful history. Thanks.
     
  17. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  19. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    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.
     
  20. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    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.
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Yes -- and it can get your finger on the trigger before you want it there -- like while the gun is still in the holster.
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You don't have any control over your finger???
     
  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Why, yes I do. Can you see it?:neener:
     
  25. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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."
     
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