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Question about retention holsters off duty?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by KiloBravo, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    I am not a LEO as of yet...however, I have come up with some questions lately, and this is one of them.

    I realize the type of holster you use off duty might be dependent on department policy, but I was curious as to who here feels that the one you use when not in uniform should have some sort of retention device? I mean more than a passive system as well, such as a "nub" or otherwise. I am talking something like a button, lever, or strap that must be disengaged to draw the weapon.

    There are a ton of great concealment holsters available. If I get picked up by a department, I was just wondering if retention off duty, should be looked at the same as it is on duty? I only carry concealed, so that to me would be one method of retention in of itself, but not letting others know that I am armed.

    What say the coppers of GT on this matter?
  2. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I don't think it's a must. The gun should be concealed, so that would cut down on a lot of the reasons for having a retention system better than just friction. In fact, I think that some retention systems make for unnecessarily large or bulky holsters that actually hinder concealment. Even a thumb break on some holster configurations "prints" worse than the gun itself.

    I'll stick to my friction retention Galco stuff for off duty.

  3. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    none of my off duty holsters have any type of retention device. when i carry my 637 it goes in my cargo pocket. when i carry my G30 it goes in a cbst. i really don't think you need retention if you are carrying ccw. if carrying openly i would be a little more concerned with it
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  4. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

    Sep 16, 2009
    NW Burbs
    I don't think it's a deal breaker if the thing doesn't have it, but my preference is for a holster with SOME kind of retention. A cheap Uncle Mikes universal fit holster, a scared young lady at a park and the deep blush I had when I had to pick up my dropped Sig put me off friction-fit holsters.

    Granted, my reaction to them is based on emotion, not logic, but still...
  5. That's not a extension issue - that's an Unkle Mike's issue. No matter what you buy, don't buy Unkle Mike's.

    Ive never owned an off duty (concealed) holster with retention. I have had one Bianchi owb holster with their retention system and it was OK. If you're more comfortable, by all means buy something with a thumb break, but I bet when you get some time under your belt, you'll be fine without it.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  6. tusk212


    Jan 31, 2004
    Central PA
    I carry concealed off duty in a Raven Concealment holster. I'm always concealed off duty so a retention device is not that big deal to me. I do however, have a Safariland 6378 for court and other plain clothes duties where the handgun will be exposed.
  7. My last departments policy for off duty holsters was it had to be leather, have a thumb break and the trigger guard had to be covered, be it OWB or IWB. My current department has issued holsters for on duty uniform and plain clothes. As far as off duty holsters, anything goes and is a personal preference. I'm a big fan of some of the newer kydex holsters on the market, specifically ones made by Kytac. Back in the day, the only available material was leather with nylon holsters being few and far between.

    and this.....:thumbsup:

  8. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    <------Not a leo, but I use a level 2 retention holster for work(Desantis Facilitator) and while it is concealable, I don't wear it when I'm not working. I wore it exclusively the first month just to get used to it, but I see no use in a level 2 or higher retention holster for concealed carry, unless your forced to.
  9. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    All my off-duty holsters have a thumb break. Not required by department, but prefered by me.
  10. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Me too. All leather, no paddles, and a thumb break.
  11. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Historically, I did not use a retention device off-duty.

    Then I went to a plain-clothes assignment where I had the opportunity to tussle with bad people. That called for retention, and I now generally carry that way off-duty as well as in plain-clothes.
  12. mrsurfboard

    mrsurfboard The Anti-Glock

    May 23, 2010
    If I'm in a suit and tie or plainclothes and I'm carrying OWB, then yes, I use a thumb break holster. If I'm carrying IWB, no retention. We have no dept policy either way.
  13. Ou agency requires a thumb break for off-duty, backup guns and plain cloths assignments. Our duty holster also uses a thumb break motion.

    So the acquired muscle memory is to use the thumb.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  14. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    No off duty requirements, as we are on our own and under LEOSA. I use what is safe to use for me, and minimal printing is a must for some occasions. I have a Bianchi Carrylock that I sometimes use in colder weather, as it is easier to get to with a coat on. Other than that friction in kydex, (spelling), and I also keep my kit in a fanny pack in the house, in case I need to be in a hurry about having it for something.
  15. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    My cousin is a cop in NJ. Offered to give him a nice quality holster (most of his personal off duty holsters are low quality). Turns out his department policy is must have a retention device (thumb strap, button). :(
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  16. Cruiser1

    Cruiser1 Still Alive

    Jul 15, 2010
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  17. our policy for off-duty carry is you must carry it in a holster that covers the trigger.
    that's it. no mention of retention, owb/iwb, etc. that's why we can use pocket holsters. it doesn't even mention that the gun has to be on you (our female officers actually stick their guns in their purses, but it's in a holster that covers the trigger)


    see what your dept. says on the issue before going out and spending lots of money when you get hired.
    also, when we qualify, we qualify with that weapon the way we carry it off duty.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  18. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
    I carry an EMP in a JIT Slide or Nemesis. If I have my P238, its in a Desantis leather pocket holster or on my vest under a uniform shirt in a 5.11 holster.
  19. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Thanks everybody! :wavey:

    I have had thumb break holsters in the past, and think I may go that route again if/when I graduate from the academy. That way, the same carry rig will work for off duty and when working in plain clothes with an exposed firearm.