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I have seen some of the pancake style holsters with a protective tab on the body side extending over the thumb safety. Is this a useful safety feature? Also, does it make the holster more comfortable? Thanks for your input.
 

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The "tabs" can ease the digs made by hammers, sights and grip safties, and, to some extent, keep body moisture off the gun. On a "try on" basis, for a few minutes, they seem to make no difference at all. 8 hours into an "umpteen hour" day, they can be a godsend. As a safety factor, on a condition one 1911, the tab helps guard against clothing packing up against the thumb safety, which might depress it under certain conditions.
 

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I experienced two incidents of finding that the thumb safety of my Para P12 was in Condition Zero (thumb safety on fire position) while carrying in a Fobus Paddle holster.

Experimenting, I discovered that when getting in and out of my vehicle, the muzzle of the gun/holster was pushed up and into the side of my body when I sat in the vehicle. I was able to reproduce this by getting out/in my vehicle three times.

I was also able to reproduce this with my SA Champion.

Since that experience my carry holsters feature full body shields (IWB designs by Alessi and Paddle design by G-Code).

The problem would seem to be aggravated for 1911s with extended thumb safeties and ambi safeties, in open-top holster designs.
 

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For the astute pistolero a well designed back pad allows the gun to be indexed at some speed while reholstering.

Of course if it is molded correctly it will lock on a 1911 thumb safety so it can not be disengaged in the holster, ambi or not. It does protect the skin from the "sharp" back end of a 1911 and keep your body moisture and oils off the gun. So a pad can add safety and comfort to a holster design. But of all of the attributes of the pad, indexing the gun at speed while trying to do other things...like cuff or fight is by far the biggest advantage IMO while used in a strongside BTH position. If you don't have to do such things then you only see and feel some of its advantages.

Bruce Nelson, who designed the Summer Special, carried a Commander in strong side appendix position I am told. The position is very fast on presentation. Which is why it is the position of choice in USPSA.

But while others (Gordie Davis one of the first) added the back pad to his design, I suspect Nelson would have added that pad long before, if his own carry position would have been BTW.

Maybe Tony or Lou could add something to the conversation on the history of the "pad"?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-09-09 14:31 ]</font>
 

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Dane, I’m not really sure who was the first to offer the pad, sweat guard, shirt guard, backflap, thingamajiggy or what ever one wants to call it. That Gordon Davis had it on his holsters doesn't surprise me (I didn't know that). Elmer McEvoy of the Leather Arsenal also built his version of the Summer Special with the pad.

When I began working for Milt back in 83, I know we had several Summer Special handcut patterns in our files with extended leather for those who would request it. Ron Sharp (I believe you might know him :grin: And our Summer Special for large revolvers has always had that extension built into the holster. We really didn’t start offering the backflap (our term) for semi-autos as standard equipment on our IWB holsters till the early 90,s, when increased demand from customers warranted that we change our patterns. Right now our original Summer Special is the only IWB holster we make sans the backflap, cause I really didn’t want to mess with that classic design. Ironically I am now getting some requests to remove the backflap off holsters that have been made with them and I have removed two in the last week and a half alone.

Who the originator is??? I haven’t a clue, but it was definitely around before my time. Maybe Lou knows…

Tony
 

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The first time I saw a holster with the back side built up was on a Gaylord IWB for a J frame S&W. After that, the Seventrees Undercover Special (UNS) was designed to cover the back side of all the guns that were to be used with that holster. We started using that feature in the early 70's, with our Belt slide holsters, and shortly after that with all our IWB holsters.
I would have to say that Paris Theodore was the most prolific user of that feature, and he may have gotten it from Gaylord. I think it's more important as used with IWB holsters to protect the gun from sweat, and to prevent the thumb safety from moving on a 1911 pistol, but as Dane says, it also serves as an index point for reholstering the weapon. OWB holsters can be designed either way, but I find more people who don't want a back flap on OWB than who do.
Lou
 

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Geeze guys, thanks! It is so cool to have guys like Tony and Lou pop in and answer darn near anything a guy asks.

The forums are AMAZING, as are the folks who frequent them!
 

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On 2001-09-10 08:04, buzz_knox wrote:
What about something like the USP, where the safety can be used or not used while in Condition 2? Will the tab force you to choose one way and not allow you to change modes without getting a new holster?
The USP has been a pain in the ass regarding holsters. The size difference between the 9/40, and the 45 requires us to have multiple guns in those calibers. Then you have the various conditions of the safety. You see where this is going. Our castings are all made with the safety in the up, or on position. So far it hasn't become a problem for us, but I can see it happening in the future.
Lou
 

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The USP has been a pain in the ass regarding holsters. The size difference between the 9/40, and the 45 requires us to have multiple guns in those calibers. Then you have the various conditions of the safety. You see where this is going. Our castings are all made with the safety in the up, or on position. So far it hasn't become a problem for us, but I can see it happening in the future.

Ditto, what Lou said...

Tony
 

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Dane, could you please elaborate on the concept of "indexing the holster with speed during reholstering.." I believe I understand why the extra material (the pad) helps during the reholster, but I'm hoping for some clarification. Could you explain how holsters with this pad make reholstering easier at speed?
EricO
 

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Eric, When reholstering, the backflap acts somewhat like a funnel. It helps to guide the muzzle of the gun into the holster without hitting the edges or 'mouth' of the holster. When a holster is symetrical around the mouth, it's sometimes hard to find by 'feel', whereas if the back side is higher, you can find it easier with the muzzle, and it sort of 'guides' the gun back into the holster.
Lou
 

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Thanks Lou, that's what I had thought. I have a double mag pouch that uses this concept also, although placing a mag back in a holder "at speed" certainly isn't as important as being able to reholster your sidearm quickly. Thanks again, EricO
 

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I noticed that while the fat guard protect the safety from being wiped off accidentally, it's harder to reholster a 1911 with extended safety. The extended safety bumps against the tab, the tab had to be pushed out of the way for the gun to fully seat in the holster.
 
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