Being Relieved of Your Firearm While Working
Do you need to up your holster retention level? Does the work you do demand you to be extra physical? Has your sidearm popped out of your holster while working?
There’s going to be a time where your activities will interfere with your firearm. From backpacking in the great outdoors where you pack is in the way of your sidearm (hip carry in the 3-9 o’cock position), to a job you normally might be crawling in tight spaces or you’re working a project where objects around you are so close that they get in the way of your firearm. Like your pistol grip hitting furniture for example. Some of these activities may have you crawling on the floor to getting into tight spots. I have been relived from my firearm when I was working in close quarters with objects around me and they have lifted my pistol out of its holster and it hits the ground. Now remember, if this happens to you, never grab your firearm if it pops out of your holster. You don’t want to risk one of your fingers hitting the trigger and you have an accidental discharge that could be deadly. Just let it hit the floor. Again…. Let it land on the floor.
If this happens to you, you may have to change your holster’s retention. You’re going to have to find something that will keep your pistol in its holster while your in tight quarters. Since there are so many types of retention levels by different holster manufacturers, they may not line up with each other and this can be confusing. So I decided to create one that makes sense for those who carry concealed legally. This is straight out of the book “Way of the Concealed Carrier” and it is a nice guide in determining what type of holster to get. Even though the retention numbers may not match with some of the holster manufacturers, just read through it, find the type of holster you’ll be needing and use the descriptions to get a better idea of what you’re looking for. Then you can go online and find what you need.
Grandpa “G’s” Concealed Carry Holster Retention Levels
Level 0: These holsters have no retention what so ever. You can slide the sidearm into them, but if you held it upside down, it would fall out. Nothing is holding the firearm in place. These would be your flimsy holsters.
Level 1: These types are molded for specific firearms (most common for concealed carriers). When you slide your sidearm into them, the tension from the plastic or leather mold for that particular firearm holds it into place. If you turned it upside down, it will not fall out.
Level 2: These types of holsters use a release lever or a top strap that either your thumb or finger is used to release the firearm.
Level 3: These holsters contain additional retention (top strap, rocking release, release lever, etc.) since the environment these people work in need extra security since they may be dealing with some bad people (common among law enforcement) and want to prevent their firearms from being taken away from them. Or what you’re doing needs a high retention, like climbing or crawling on the ground, since you don’t want your sidearm to slip out while performing any of these. Level 3 holsters or higher are for more rigorous activities.
Remember, you want to create a safe environment for yourself and others. If you do some sort of activities that will get in the way of you firearm, you’re going to change the type of holster you have. Don’t end up taking out your firearm, placing it somewhere and when you need it later, you forgot where you put it. This too can be dangerous. Sometimes when I am working a project at home that may get in the way of my firearm, I take the pistol out of my regular holster and insert it into the floppy holster I am carrying. This will protect the trigger and I will find another carry position on my person and move it accordingly if needed. But if you’re going to be out in public and need to keep it concealed, then you’re going to need a higher level of retention.
When you have a higher retention holster, you’re going to have to practice dry firing with it so you know how to draw out of this type of holster. Keep practicing all the time with it. You just may end up with a high retention holster for the rest of your concealed carry career. Or you might go back and forth. If you do, you truly need to practice with both types to get that muscle memory going.
Here are some jobs that may require a higher level retention holster…
- Moving people
- Home inspectors
- General contractor
- Utility people – like those who work in the sewers, climb poles for power or telephone lines, road repair people, etc.
- and many others.
Just to recap, if the activities you’re doing interfere with you sidearm, find another holster that will not allow your environment to relieve you of your firearm.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed”!!
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