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Old 03-22-2020, 08:44 AM
Swiftflyer Swiftflyer is offline
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Default spring open holster

Can anyone school me on this holster? It springs open when the trigger finger pushes a button and the pistol literally falls into your hand.spring open holster-holster-jpg

spring open holster-holster-2-jpg


spring open holster-holster-3-jpg
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:54 AM
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Clam shell holsters were very popular with police departments in the 60s, but fell into disfavor in the 70s and 80s. Your holster certainly looks like it is from that bygone era.

They generally held a K Frame Smith or a Colt OP. I've never seen one for an auto loader before.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:43 AM
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Safety Speed clamshell holster. Relatively popular with law enforcement agencies in the 1960's to early 1970's. Both LAPD and California Highway Patrol used variations of the clamshell type, including a low-riding swivel-style that allowed the user to carry the larger handguns (such as 6" revolvers) and still get in and out of a car easily.

Trigger finger through the trigger guard to press the release mechanism that locks the holster closed, then (as the OP noted) the handgun literally falls into the user's hand. There were some occasional failures caused by the spring-loaded latch becoming jammed, effectively locking the holster closed. In other words, everything is good as long as everything works; not so good when something fails to work.

Several companies offered this holster type including Safety Speed, JayPee, and I think Berns-Martin may have offered one. By the mid-1970's this holster type had dropped out of favor and became part of history.

Clamshell-style holsters were featured in the "Adam 12" television series.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scharfschuetzer View Post
Clam shell holsters were very popular with police departments in the 60s, but fell into disfavor in the 70s and 80s. Your holster certainly looks like it is from that bygone era.

They generally held a K Frame Smith or a Colt OP. I've never seen one for an auto loader before.
Yep, they were made for autos, some anyway. We had an idiot, I mean officer, who had one for his Taurus PT92. This would have been early 90s. Donít recall the maker. The rest of us carried Hoyt break fronts.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:42 AM
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Commonly referred to as the “clamshell” holster.
Patent originated in the 1930’s by Frank Jewett, also made by Stanroy, C. A. Hoffman, and Safety Speed Co.
Very few made for autos, as the design had gone out of favor in the early 1970’s before autos became standard police carry.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:52 AM
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Good read on Revolver Guy to supplement the schooling above.

Fighting Leather: The Clamshell Holster - RevolverGuy.Com
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:35 PM
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Thanks to all.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:24 PM
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Pictured are the Clamshell holsters I have collected over the years. They are for "N" and "K" frame S&W revolvers except the one at the lower right.
That is one I converted from a 4" "K" frame to fit a Colt Combat Commander that I carried for several years.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:41 PM
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I remember a partner who carried a S&W model 15 in one about 1972. His had an aluminum frame inside the leather. Somehow the frame got bent and it failed to open as advertised. In a panic he forcibly pulled his revolver out the top and discarded the holster. As I recall other holsters had a steel frame that was more durable.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:57 PM
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I recall back in the day (circa 1980s) LEOs I knew talked about how some officers thought it funny to hit the hidden release button on the holster causing your revolver to fall clattering to the ground. I'm told this led to a number of fights as a result. I was never a LEO, but I imagine it's somewhat similar to the military in that there's always a practical joker or two who never knows when to stop. BTW, thanks for the article, Hard to Handle - excellent read.

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Old 03-29-2020, 09:05 PM
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I recall back in the day (circa 1980s) LEOs I knew talked about how some officers thought it funny to hit the hidden release button on the holster causing your revolver to fall clattering to the ground. I'm told this led to a number of fights as a result. I was never a LEO, but I imagine it's somewhat similar to the military in that there's always a practical joker or two who never knows when to stop. BTW, thanks for the article, Hard to Handle - excellent read.

Regards,

Dave
They were in fairly wide use in LA during the '70's but I never knew anyone with the hair to try that stunt.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:16 PM
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There's also the issue of the finger inside the trigger guard before the muzzle is clear of the owner...
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:21 PM
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One of our officers lost his M10 from a defective swivel holster. A civilian found it, picked it up gingerly... 2 fingers as I recall... and turned it over to the OIC (Officer In Charge). There was a lot of flack from that event. I never liked swivel holsters... swivels were prone to failures which could cause guns to be lost.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:45 PM
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In the late 1960s I used Berns-Martin front break holsters. Afterwards I returned to the Jordon Border Patrol Holsters Tried a Clam Shell holster for a while but convinced Myself That the mechanic release could and would fail sooner or later.
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
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Yep, they were made for autos, some anyway. We had an idiot, I mean officer, who had one for his Taurus PT92. This would have been early 90s. Donít recall the maker. The rest of us carried Hoyt break fronts.
The Hoyt (made in Coupville, WA) was my preferred holster too. I used one throught my career.

A few of the troops had Nelson break fronts. As I recall, they were made in Oregon. They had a slightly different basket weave pattern that never really matched the standard BW pattern that most of us used.
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:38 AM
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So it required two hand to reholster ?
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Old 03-30-2020, 03:07 AM
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bulletslap,
You are correct, it required 2 hands to reholster.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:19 AM
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I worked with a guy who got his clock cleaned by a suspect because he couldn't re-holster his precious Python fast enough to go hands on when it came to a fist fight. His "less lethal device" (his stick) was sitting in the car along the A pillar.

He came back to work with a thumb break holster like the rest of us.

Last edited by Nomadmax; 03-30-2020 at 09:21 AM.
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