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Discussion Starter #1
What is the level of retention on your holster(s) that you use on a regular basis? And, how far down the weapon does the holster cover? For the purpose of this discussion I’m going to use the following definitions of retention level:

0 – there’s nothing keeping the gun in the holster except friction and gravity
I – now you’ve added at least one adjustment screw to increase or decrease the tension of the holster against the sides of the gun
II – now you’ve added a motion or barrier, like a thumb-break or some type of lever release
III – now there are two motions or barriers involved, like press the lever AND twist the weapon, for example
IV – more than two motions or barriers

For the past two, maybe three, months I’ve been using a Safariland Model 578 GLS Pro-Fit holster almost exclusively as my EDC holster. Using my definitions, it would be a level II holster (it has an adjustment screw, and your middle finger engages the lever, releasing the locking mechanism). And, the holster covers all the way past the end of the gun, but with an open muzzle design. The few times I had to carry IWB, I used a Galco Triton holster. It’s a level I holster, and it goes all the way past the end of the gun with an open muzzle design too.

Today, I decided to pull out my (El Paso Saddlery?) Atkins-style holster for a change. It’s a level 0 holster, and the muzzle sticks out past the holster about an inch. I didn’t have it on for two minutes before I started to feel uncomfortable. I began thinking of all the things, real and imagined that could possibly happen. For example, I imagined scuffing up the muzzle of the gun (not a big deal). I imagined getting something jammed up into the barrel of the gun (big deal). I imagined it getting pushed up and out of my holster all together, and then falling on the floor (big deal). I went back to my Pro-Fit and all my fears were relieved.

So, why do you have the level of retention and weapon coverage that you currently have? Have you thought about a change, and why?
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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level 0 is what I'm using lately, although it's a pretty snug fit.
I'd say it's equivalent to level I with a tensioning screw. There's no way the gun is going to come out from anything I do with my body or any move I make, although if somebody were to snatch it, and if they pulled straight up, it would come out for them.

Level II, with a thumb-break strap, is what I prefer, and what I use for handguns whose shape allows a retention strap to secure the weapon.

But the hammerless revolver I carry these days doesn't have a place for such a strap to engage without just sliding up and over the topstrap of the gun.

(I know they make Blackhawk Serpa and similar holsters that clamp on the trigger guard to lock the weapon in, and I'd use one of those if didn't already have a good stiff leather holster that I like.)
 

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Cross-drawer
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Level II. 90% of the time I carry in one of those dangerous, eventually gonna shoot myself in the leg Blackhawk SERPA holsters worn on my belt.
 

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IWB and concealed: level 0. It stays put quite well.

OWB and open: level 2.

I've been IWB a lot lately. Both holsters cover the entire end of the firearm. The end is open but nothing can knock into the muzzle.
 

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I watch the watchers
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Safariland als if I carry owb usually
Safariland 6378 ALS with added guard here if OWB. Concealed is usually just a Glock Sport Holster in Large so that it fits both the Glock and the S&W.
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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Falls, Savannah Dan, Rmodel65: Can you tell us what level of retention your holsters have, using the 0 through IV rating system in the OP?
We shouldn't have to Google your holsters by name and model number and read about their features to figure this out.
 

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I'm kind of a big deal
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I CC 99% of the time in one of two ways:

IWB - 0
OWB - 0

Occasionally (rarely, actually) I CC in a shoulder holster - 2 (thumb break)

Also carry a BUG in my pocket so I guess that's a 0.

On the rare occasions that I OC it can vary from 0 - 2 (just based on the holsters I own and what I am doing etc.).
 

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Both IWB and OWB have been lvl 0. IWB is an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck. OWB rotates between a leather Tagua high-riding holster, or a custom-made kydex holster.

It's been difficult finding a lvl 2 holster to fit my P320 Compact. Some say the Serpa for the SP2022 works, but I haven't tested it yet. Though my current train of thought is to go for a leather holster with a thumb break.
 

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Swollen Member
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-I

I Mexican carry.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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For OC, I always wear my Serpa OWB. For CC, it's usually a leather holster with friction retention.
 

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My Name is Inigo Montoya
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Owb - 0 in a cb leatherworks or level 2 als
Iwb - 1 cooks holster.
 

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Full size Beretta 92FS OC'd in a Blackhawk Serpa CQC level 2 retention holster. If you look closely you can see all the pent-up seething hostility in that Serpa as it waits to shoot me in the leg. :cheers:

 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE: Nine days after starting this thread I switched back to my Blackhawk Serpa CQC holster. It has the same level of retention, but less coverage of the weapon (see moe mensale's post photo above as an example).
 

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Wouldn't Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holsters be Level I since you can tighten the screws?

That's what I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wouldn't Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holsters be Level I since you can tighten the screws?

That's what I use.
Under my definitions, yes.
 

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Just a Man
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Just so we don't get lost and have any misrepresentations about Holster Retention Levels, the OP has nothing to do with the industry standard for holster retention levels created by Bill Rogers of the Rogers Holster Company in early 1980. Safariland Holster Company bought Bill Rogers company in 1985 and adopted his holster retention standard.

The Holster Retention Standards are discussed in this video by Bill Rogers


A Blackhawk SERPA CQC holster cannot pass a Level I holster retention test. The gun can be ripped from the belt or paddle attachment per Claude Werner, when he commented on a poorly written internet article about holster retention.

Claude Werner
September 23, 2014 at 9:59 am
It probably would have been best if Corey had done a little research and contacted Safariland about their retention rating system before writing about it.

That system, devised by Bill Rogers, the inventor of the modern security holster, has nothing to do with the number of mechanisms that the holster has. Corey’s interpretation is a common misconception in the industry. Safariland’s system is based on a series of hands-on performance tests in which the holster is physically attacked and tested. The holster must pass, in sequential order, each test to achieve a given level of rating. A holster can have several mechanisms on it and still not achieve any rating at all if it doesn’t pass the hands-on (literally) tests.

In point of fact, the Blackhawk Serpa holster pictured in the article will not pass even a Level I rating test, regardless of the number of mechanisms it might possess. The reason is that the holster must remain attached to the belt while attacker is pulling on it with a given amount of force. Because of its relatively small mounting area where the screws attach to the belt plate, the entire Serpa holster will pull off the belt when subjected to a Level I test. Unless, of course, the holster itself breaks, which has also been known to happen, when subjected to a hands-on test. Nor will an unreinforced leather holster, such as the Blackhawk slide holster pictured, pass a Level I test.

http://www.gundigest.com/concealed-carry-news/understanding-holster-retention
 
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