Saturday, March 26, 2011

A safety warning for those who carry firearms

A recent article at ITS Tactical, Inc.'s Web site warns of the dangers of using worn-out holsters with certain types of firearms. One caused a pistol to discharge, fortunately without causing serious injury. Here's an excerpt.

The trusty, comfortable, leather holster I had been using for a year and two weeks had done what a baseball glove does after lots of use; It got soft. This particular holster carries the pistol outside the waistband, but inside the belt. The belt slides through slots in the outer side of the holster.

The problem stemmed from the leather on the inner side of the holster getting soft. A crease formed, which eventually was large enough to extend beyond the trigger. Manipulate the gun in just the wrong manner and this crease is no different than a finger on the trigger. Boom!

I can’t say I didn’t know the crease had been formed in the holster. I trained myself to be sure that when holstering, to make sure the gun was fully in the holster, with the trigger protected. On this day, did I forget to do that when I holstered up? Did the leather finally get so soft that a combination of body movements and interference by the cushy leather seat move the Glock enough to create a situation where the trigger was engaged by the holster?

I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure, but I’ll humbly admit to the former as the likely culprit. However, if it was the latter, then those of you who use this type of holster need to be aware of its limitations and the possibility of experiencing what I did.

There's more at the link. The eight photographs accompanying the article are particularly valuable, illustrating the cause of the discharge and its near-tragic effects.

I highly recommend this article (particularly the photographs) to all who carry Glock pistols, and/or others with similar safety devices. A worn holster can cause similar problems with many such weapons. (While you're there, check out some of the other articles on their Web site. They have some good reading.)



Anonymous said...

Another reason to go stay with kydex.


Scott K said...

I gotta tell you, the ears weren't too sympathetic or understanding over at the LiveJournal Guns community:

Comments include:

- 'Another case of an "accidental discharge" that turns out to actually be a "negligent discharge". :(
I wonder if the crease only appears when the holster is manipulated a certain way. If so, then this kind of manipulation and checking of gunleather/plastic/kydex/whatever should become part of the routine maintenance and inspection of your carry rig.'

- '"I didn't know it could happen" is not a valid defense. It's your JOB to know it could happen, and prevent it.'

- 'He stated in the article that he *did* know about it.
Title of the story should read "known unsafe holster is unsafe."'

- 'Maybe it should read "Gun fires due to unsafe owner."'

- 'This should be retitled, "Don't buy shitty holsters".'

- "Based on the pictures alone, the design of the holster was also faulty _or_ it wasn't designed for a G19. It didn't cover the entire trigger area, which is a discharge just waiting to happen."


Strong alternate recommendations include Kydex Blade-Tech, Milt Sparks (if you're lucky enough to get on their wait list and into a production run), and El Paso Saddlery.


And then the discussion turned to the perceived safety issue of carrying a round in the chamber, pros/cons

Anonymous said...

...followed by a heated argument about 9mm vs 45 acp, then revolvers vs pistols, and finally about how a roll of duct tape could have prevented the entire thing.

Gotta love internet gunnies.