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Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

If you are serious about carrying concealed and you are still using clips to secure the holster to your body consider this. Everything works until it doesn’t!

For a while now I have been posting observations about clip style holsters, which predominately seem to be inside the waistband or IWB. Many of the users clip it to their waistband and load up without a second thought. How many have done their own serious gear validation or proofing to really determine if they are truly good to go. Because if more did, they might discover as soon as things get physical with an opponent or they have to perform light physical activity things change. Your body is responding to the physical demands and it’s composition changes to a certain degree. Is it reasonable to expect a slight bit of exertion in a fight? Do you see yourself moving aggressively, possible even tussling with your opponent to stay on your feet or worse have to fight from the ground?

These are the test grounds that need serious attention to discover clips suck! I use to think the exception was metal style clips. They typically were made of spring steel and gripped a little better than their plastic cousins. After witnessing a few guns fall to the ground in recent classes because the holster separated from the shooter I am thinking even they are not good enough for everyday carry. I see that term thrown out a lot, everyday carry or EDC. I’m not really sure I have the same definition as the average person who chooses to carry concealed. Mine comes with an acknowledgment a fight could be around the corner, one where I will have to give 200 seconds of surgical violence and pure aggression.

Part of the reason we carry concealed is personal protection, there are others, but that seems to be the most common response when asked. When I ask how someone might expect to protect themselves, under what conditions, a common response is the subject of a criminal act such as a robbery/mugging. If you continue down this train of logic you figure out you are being ambushed, surprised being a big component and as such are reacting to the threat. Do you think you will have the advantage of going to guns right away or will you need to create time and space. If you need to create time and space I’m betting it is going to involve some physicality and there is where we see the problem with clips on holsters. The ability of that clip to securely hold the pistol on your body is suspect big time.

Don’t be that guy who wasted all those training hours because their holster wouldn’t stay on their body when it counted.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, LLC is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who has worked in a variety of environments and capacities throughout the globe. He specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. His motto is “Concepts that meet reality”. Jeff’s goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn, they offer some words of wisdom.

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12 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

  1. Mike says:

    What alternative do you recommend?

    • PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

      Common belt loops…

    • Eric B says:

      I carry a Milt Sparks IWB and it has belt loops with snaps. Ive carried it for years and it is quite securely attached to the belt. But, the weakness comes from the possibility the snaps get pulled open. Better then clips, but not as good as a threaded belt loop

  2. Bill says:

    A: Why do we need paddle holsters? I’ve never been in THAT much of a hurry to put on or take off a holster. They are convenient, and I’ll confess to using one sometimes off-duty, but even though I chose one that had the most vicious looking paddle I could find, I have no illusion that it will stay attached to me during a fight.

    B: Why do we have snap-on holsters that are supposed to be as “convenient” as paddle holsters, but have more snaps than a virgin’s bra? And they are invariably those directional, pull-the-dot style snap that are always facing the wrong direction, so in the end they wind up getting used as normal belt loops, or you tell your wife that you’ll zip her dress if she snaps your holster.

    Second vote for belt loops or tunnels

  3. lightfighter says:

    I carry IWB in the appendix position and that raises a few eyebrows. I’ve been questioned on why I do it and I give several reasons; one being the body’s flinch response re-directs the hands toward the midline. Another is that it’s much easier to defend a gun grab from AIWB than from the OWB hip.

    A friend suggested AIWB was dangerous and, after asking him if he had brought an extra holster to our class, I proceeded, with little effort, to rip his SERPA off its attachment point on his belt. As you might imagine, he was pissed but I paid for a new holster and, thankfully, he saw the light and realized what a dangerous piece of junk the SERPA is and how easy it is to strip someone of their entire holster and weapon when hip mounted OWB using a poorly designed attachment system.

    • mike says:

      Did you break the standard rectangular belt attachment or the drop extentions? Did the attachment point break, did the holster break of the attachment point, or did the holster itself break? I’m genuinely interested as much of my customer base uses issued SERPAs and often asks if there’s a good reason to buy up. I would love to have some additional information to share.

      • lightfighter says:

        It was a circular adapter that failed not the belt loop slide. The gun remained in the holster.

        On a previous occasion to this, after rolling around in dirt/ sand / gravel etc I have had a SERPA get hinky and I was unable to release my gun without having to stop and clear out the release button and holster.

        If I remember correctly, a search of Military Arms Channel on YouTube will reveal a similar outcome for Tim while he’s testing a SERPA in SNOW.

        OK, my apologies Jeff, I did not intend to hijack the thread and turn it into an anti Serpa diatribe.

    • PETE says:

      I am with you othe AIWB advantages – less exposed to gun grabs and lower profile balanced against reholstering risk. I starting reading Gonzales thoughts about clips, looking forward to how wrong it is… Guess I am OK because I agree plastic clips are risky and personally use metal only. Plastic has a place in Glocks, reputable security holsters and chew cans.

      A decade ago, my area was having some Safariland level 3 security holster failures, including one torn off a belt in a fight as Lightfighter described on a SERPA. Plastics fail over time, especially when repeatedly stressed. Metal fatigues as well, but polymer seems to have less resilience than spring steel, particularly when exacerbated by cold temperatures. I think Safariland is a top tier manufacturer, but the physics of aged plastics is working against security strength over time. If plastic holsters are required, choose wisely and replace frequently.

  4. trvsmcdowell says:

    While I realize some hate clips I have been happy with my GCode Incog for the last 2 years. Pairing it with an Ares Gear belt it has made it through a Pannone Covert Carry class, Defoor Pistol class, (3) TAPS classes, and a rigorous Shivworks ECQC class that included a separated shoulder / torn bicep. Add to that countless dry fire draws and daily carry with nothing ever coming loose or breaking. I did order new clips recently in the way I gradually replace magazines before they fail. At this point I feel my daily carry rig has been vetted to a level I am comfortable with, I’m open to everyone having their own preferences that they have vetted themselves.

    • LCSO264 says:

      trvsmcdowell makes a good point. The belt you choose to wear is every bit as critical as the type pf holster you use. I see it every day, guys wearing their best Wal Mart belt to (try) support their holster, magazine, and other equipment. They think I’m crazy for spending nearly as much for my belt, as I do for my holster, which is easily two to three times as much as they spend on their holster(s). The same guys can’t understand why I would spend as much $$$$ as I do for a Milt Sparks IWB (my main go-to concealed carry holster). Hell, the combination of $$$$ spent on my holster and belt is more than $$$$$ than they will spend on all of their concealed carry equipement in a lifetime. However, I always assume the worst, and I know the value in buying quality equipment.

      SERPA’s are crap, we don’t need to re-hash that, there are probably 100’s of reviews that say as much. The fact that many instructors forbid them from their classes, and FLETC moved to ban them from thier training says as much. There are other similarly garbage holsters on the market, I only mention SERPA becasue someone else mentioned it, and I still see people buying and using them.

      just my opinion…. I’ve never used clips, plastic/metal, or otherwise. So my thoughts are really more about buying quaility equipment, to inlclude a belt ment to support a holster and other equipment.