With our own holsters we dont use the gaurd but have made some with it . The gaurd just insures that you dont snick off the safety which has never happened to me in years of carry with our style . The other advantage is in keeping sweat off you peice . I like being able to get my thumb on the safety as quickly as possible . Its a 50/50 deal to me .
Rafter S Gunleather 417-277-5636
When wearing a paddle holster with exposed thumb safety, I recently noticed that the thumb safety had been moved to fire position.
Reconstructing the situation:
1. When I got into my car, the muzzle end of the holster pushed the holster up.
2. The holster pivoted up and into my side.
3. Contact between my side and the thumb safety pushed the safety into fire (Condition 0) position.
I reproduced the condition by getting in/out of my car three times.
I will be replacing that paddle holster with a holster like the Safariland 5181 or similar design that does shield the thumb safety.
Maybe Bruce Nelson wasn't 450 lbs either! I am only 1/2 to 450, but I appreciate the guard. For a gun with an ambi safety, the guard helps to assure the outer safety does not get tugged and the gun ready to fire, so the guard keeps things in place.
Thumb breaks are fine and I sometimes carry my OWB holster with a thumb break if I am out and about in nature as opposed to being in the city. The thumb break is great when you happen to take a tumble while hiking down a rough hillside. I don't like the thumb break for urban/city situations because under stress, I don't always remember to pop the break before trying to pull the gun. The gun doesn't come out, my pants DO get pulled high on that side, and I get wedgy I didn't have before.
As far as wanting to get my thumb on the safety as soon as possible, I like that as well. However, I can't get my finger on the trigger before I get my thumb on the safety, so no problem there.
I noticed that the guys who shoot and don't have the guards on their holsters seem to get nice little grease/oil/residue stains on their shirts and the occasional small holes there. Also, without the guard, they are more likely to get part of the shirt tucked in the holster with the gun on reholstering than those people with the guards.
What is important is that you get whatever system you want that is set up in the manner that you want and can perform how you want it to perform.
Ky-Tac Braveheart IWB/Kimber Compact
Some holsters have "body shields" built so that it doesn't impede ones grip, while protecting the gun from the body. In the case of the Ky-Tac Braveheart, the kydex is molded around the thumb safety in the "up" position, so it helps keep the safety engaged. It depends on the gun and the particular Braveheart you get, but with the combo pictured above, if you insert the pistol in with the hammer back and the safety disengaged, the holster will push the safety up to engage as you insert the gun.
SKD Tactical Accessories www.skdtac.com
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