by • February 25, 2016 • Concealed Carry NewsComments (0)1494

Thumb Break Holsters and Single Action Autos

We answer many questions about holsters during the course of any given day. During our conversations with customers, we are often asked about the benefits of one holster over another, is this one more comfortable then that one, does model A conceal better than model B, etc. We are often asked whether or not to choose an open top holster or a holster with a thumb break. This is not always an easy question to answer, as choosing a holster with a thumb break adds some variables to the equation – such as the need for additional training and practice. Please see our more in depth blog post about this topic if you want to learn more.


One item that comes up on a very regular basis these days is the way to carry a single action auto in a thumb break style holster. Due to the popularity of great CCW guns like the Sig P938, Sig P238, and compact 1911’s, we are seeing an increase in the number of people that want to carry these guns in a thumb break equipped holster.

We point out to people that holster manufacturers design their thumb breaks to be engaged when the gun is in Condition One, or “cocked and locked” as it is often called. This means that the hammer is back, the safety is on, and there is round in the chamber. (The thumb break will go between the slide and cocked hammer of the pistol.) This often surprises people, especially if they are new to firearms, CCW, or to single action auto pistols. They are usually expecting to carry the gun hammer down on an empty chamber (Condition Three), and have the thumb break go over a hammer that is resting against the slide.

1911 Hammer

These guns are designed to be carried in Condition One, so that is how the holster manufacturers design their thumb break equipped holsters. We understand that some people are not comfortable carrying a pistol this way – however, that is the way single action autos such as the 1911, Browning Hi Power, Sig P938 and Sig P238 are designed to be carried. This is not a post to debate condition one carry vs condition three, or carrying with a round in the chamber vs carrying with an empty chamber, that can be a topic for another day. There are plenty of articles on the internet about those two topics. Practice your Google Foo if you have more interest in those debates. Our purpose was just to let our readers know that the manufacturers we carry design their thumb break holsters for Condition One carry. As always, please call us with any comments or questions, or feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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