A retention holster most likely saved at least one life this weekend.
I was teaching my First Steps Pistol Orientation class this weekend. The facility I use has two classrooms, and is located in a full-service gun shop/firing range. It's perfect for my purposes.
The class started at 11am. The manager of the shop had an employee that wasn't able to get there at opening (10 am), so the manager was in the shop by himself. All of the shop employees carry sidearms, open-carry.
For my class, the NRA requires that no live ammo be present in the classroom. So, I'm in the back of the building, with 6 students, 7 pistols, and no ammo.
Around 11:30, a young guy walks in to the gun shop. He says he wants to see about picking up a pepper spray for his girlfriend. The pepper spray display is locked up, at the front of the shop. It required the manager to come out from behind the counter to open the case.
As he was unlocking the case, the young man grabbed the manager's gun from behind. Thankfully, he was using a Serpa Retention holster.
For those of you unfamiliar with what this is, it's a holster with a button on the side of the holster. When you're gripping the gun, you run your index finger down the side of the holster, and it unlocks the gun, allowing you to remove it from the holster. If you just try and pull out the gun, it stays put on the hip of the owner.
Anyways, as the guy is grabbing the gun, he slams the manager's head into the case, dazing him. The manager was able to throw an elbow and spin around so he's facing the young guy. The manager then pulled back and hammered the guy square in the face, dropping him to the ground.
As the manager cleared the cobwebs from his head, and went to draw his gun, the guy scampered out the door into a car with an accomplice. As much as he wanted, no shots were fired as the threat had retreated.
There were a couple of guys in the shooting range when this happened, but they were as oblivious to what was happening as my class and I were. Had the manager not been wearing the retention holster, he would have likely been shot in the back.
The bad guy would have had the run of the gun shop - the unimpeded ability to take as many guns as he wished. And plenty of ammo. If he got bold enough, he could have entered my classroom and done as he pleased. The best-case result would have been acquiring another 7 handguns.
Accept The Challenge
If you're carrying open-carry, wear a retention holster. Cops do this for very good reasons, you should as well.
While I personally prefer the Serpa's, one may not be made for your specific gun. Consider a thumb break style -
There's a snap or velcro strap that goes over the rear of the gun. This strap attachment is "broken" with your thumb while drawing the gun.
If you're carrying a gun on your hip (concealed or open), be very aware of allowing anyone to be behind you. Your concealed handgun may not be as well concealed as you may think, and could become a target of bad guys.
Oh, and I will no longer be unarmed when teaching any of my classes. I'll drop my NRA affiliation before unnecessarily placing my life at risk.
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