SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges!

by March 21, 2011 03/21/11
Leather Holster AD

Editor-in-chief’s note: We’d like to thank the anonymous individual who came forward with this important information and allowed us to get it out to everyone here at ITS Tactical.

“What the hell was that?!?” she said. It took me a half a second to realize that my gun had just gone off…on my hip…in its holster. My wife and I had just finished breakfast at our favorite cafe and got into the car.

Me being the passenger, I rotated my torso to the left to fasten my seatbelt like I always do. When I straightened again, my Glock 19 discharged, blowing a 9mm hole through my pants, underwear, the leather seat and bottom of the car’s door frame.

The bullet nicked my hip, but the wound is nothing a bandage couldn’t cover. So what went wrong? Guns never go “Bang” all by themselves.

After ensuring I wasn’t hemorrhaging profusely and didn’t have to make a dash for the hospital, I stayed seated in the car as my wife came around to my door and opened it. I undid my belt and slid the Galco JAK202 Slide Belt Holster, with the gun still in it, off my belt. Why it went off was immediately apparent.

Accidental Discharge

Leather Holster AD 05The 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!

Leather Holster AD 01I 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?

Leather Holster AD 02I 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.

It might have been a very different story had the incident happened while we were dining. That bullet ricocheting off the concrete floor could have done untold damage and just as easily killed somebody. Fortunately nobody got hurt and damage to the car was minimal. It will be an interesting conversation with the insurance company to see if they’ll cover the repairs.

Lessons Learned

Leather Holster AD 08Holstering your gun can be just as important as drawing it. Make sure you pay attention when doing so. If your leather is getting soft and worn, be sure that it won’t interfere with your trigger or just replace it.

The back of the slide and/or grip was being pushed downward into the leather holster…or the holster was being pushed upward with some force. My guess is the firearm was being pushed and the fold in the holster acted as a finger and depressed the Glock trigger safety.

This truly brings home the importance of taking care of your equipment and ensuring it’s in proper working order. Hopefully you can learn from my situation and prevent an accident like this from happening to you.

Editor-in-chief’s note: We’d like to thank the anonymous individual who came forward with this important information and allowed us to get it out to everyone here at ITS Tactical.

Please share this with everyone you know that carries in a leather holster!

Click here to view the photos on Flickr.


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CodyFawcett
CodyFawcett

All the more reason for Hybrid holster OR Full kydex style holster with COMPLETE Trigger and trigger guard coverage.

SFCRetired
SFCRetired

Quality holster is an especial necessity with Glock-type firearms.  My own preference, and note that I said "preference", is both a quality holster and a firearm with a separate manual safety (1911-type).

Proactive Shooters LLC
Proactive Shooters LLC

Some of the comments in this thread are mindboggling. Some folks here need to take a safety course. Some of you need to take a defensive handgun course. This was an equipment failure - the HOLSTER, not the GUN. The gun did as it was designed to do. The gun owner failed to inspect/replace his worn holster and that caused the discharge. Worn equipment, and owner negligence. The Glock has 3 mechanical safeties that all disengage when you pull the trigger. Its not much different than a revolver in that aspect.


and carrying without a round in the chamber? Good luck with that one. If you don't feel safe carrying with a round in the chamber, then carrying a gun is not for you. You are at greater risk without a round in the chamber, than with one.

Personal Dynamics LLC
Personal Dynamics LLC

This has nothing to do with the safety on the firearm.

It does have everything to do with lack of a quality holster..

Macaroon22
Macaroon22

Another argument against the "my finger is the safety" argument as if nothing in the universe can possibly push that trigger.

Bos027
Bos027

I have an older/ first gen S&W M&P .40, full LEO edition and it also has no safeties. Been carrying it since around 2005ish and never had a discharge that wasn't meant to happen unless I wanted it too and the trigger is the main safety, magazine is second... That's it, nothing else.

panch0villa
panch0villa

All the GLOCK no safety hating.  May I mention that my SIG P220 does not have anything in the way of a safety?


It's my daily carry.  It is my experience that a mechanical safety simply makes people complacent.

bikerbry
bikerbry

Another accidental GLOCK discharge... Hmm imagine that. I get into arguments all the time about these firearms and their lack of a mechanical safety. Would NEVER own a Glock. Accident waiting to happen. I'll let the Cowboy wanna be's and gangbangers shoothemselves with this weapon.

Bos027
Bos027

@Grenadier  Seriously dude?  I agree with you about the safety course for people who are unfamiliar with guns and such to a small point, but you must definitely be one of those people because it IS NOT a big no no in police or military.  I have been in the military, retired and am now a federal LEO and also work part time at a state department and EVERYONE has ALWAYS carried with one in the chamber, it is stupid to not do so.  Ok, so if that is what you mean unfamiliar people carrying a gun should do then fine, but to blatantly lie that military and police officers NEVER carry one in the chamber is moronic.  You need to learn your facts before you go blabbering stuff because it makes you look like as much of an idiot as the people who carry with no experience and no safety courses.

ERNIE A
ERNIE A

I just bought my first Glock because I found I could buy a thumb safety kit. My Glock 30sf is at the gunsmith right now having it installed.

Sharpie
Sharpie

The gun show, actually it was $10 and it was an uncle mikes nylon holster.

Gerry from TEXAS
Gerry from TEXAS

this is an in the pants type holster. So, it is right. Linda, have you been around firearms long or are you one of those people that have an opinion about something you know nothing about. Neophyte.

Gerry from TEXAS
Gerry from TEXAS

you got to check your gear daily. This is a firearm not a garden hoe.

Linda Denton
Linda Denton

If you look closely at the photos and his description of where he it carried he had the holster backwards. With a holster such as this the gun is outside of the belt; the belt goes behind the gun thru loops on the back from right to left then to belt buckle, not with gun between belt and pants. Wearing the holster the way he described causes the holster to bend backwards causing the weakness to form on the front of the holster

Uncle Dave
Uncle Dave

HUH??? Plastic push button bead?? That is attached to the drawstring? HUH? An empty chamber can't stop stupid. The new FBI stat is that 75% of gunfight occur -WITHIN- 6 FEET! Do you really think that you are able to draw and rack within that time frame and space? You're going to be fighting for your life and load the gun at the same time?

Greg M
Greg M

I have to dis agree with one of your points, a police officer is not going to carry without one in the pipe. Yeah it only takes a couple seconds to rack the slide but that is a couple seconds he could be using for sight alignment. I train with ex military and current and ex police officers on a regular basis. They all say the same thing: "if you don't carry with one in the pipe you might as well leave your gun at home" ... Where do you think the term "lock and load" comes from anyway?

Greg M
Greg M

And that is why I won't buy a glock. no decocker or safety except the trigger safety which I am NOT a big fan of.

Pat
Pat

I've seen another discharge event like this at a LE shooting range. When the officer was holstering his Glock, the plastic push button bead that is attached to the draw string got caught in the trigger guard. The bullet went through his thigh. I've always carried empty chamber. And practiced drawing and racking. Since I'm not L.E. this is a much safer way to carry. This discharge accident would not have happened if he carried condition three. My 2 cents.

Grenadier
Grenadier

That is what happens when people who never been in a military have a right to get a gun without any safety course or any kind of course what so ever... it's insane to carry a gun with a bullet in a chamber... it's big no no in police or military, except special force when they approach terrorists... Only clueless amateurs can do that, internet is full of morons and "rangers" who support this idea... Holster is just a holster, some of them soft, some hard material, it shouldn't matter...

Dave
Dave

This isn't really a safety warning, more a "don't be a dumbass" warning.

Seriously, who would willingly use that holster? It has Tex Grebner written all over it.

If you value your safety, check your gear regularly and trash it when it's worn out. This is easy.

Dave
Dave

This isn't really a safety warning, more a "don't be a dumbass" warning. Seriously, who would willingly use that holster? It has Tex Grebner written all over it. If you value your safety, check your gear regularly and trash it when it's worn out. This is easy.

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

Man! such a rare incident, but it can happen. Glocks are amazing, but this is why they're not as safe as having a thumb safety. But! You can't beat a glock. They're just amazing.

danO
danO

A well designed KYDEX holster of any stile, IWB, OWB, or pocket carry is the way to go.

glad all is well and be safe !

danO
danO

A well designed KYDEX holster of any stile, IWB, OWB, or pocket carry is the way to go. glad all is well and be safe !

Jo
Jo

Doesn't matter if it was a Glock or a Sig ... a $ holster or a $$$ holster .... regardless of whether it happened the way he stated or not, the main focus should be safety. The article reminded me, once again, of how we should all be cognizant of our responsibilities as gun owners whether it's checking our equipment, our surroundings, etc. I'm glad he wasn't hurt ...

voodoo3507
voodoo3507

If your running leather you have to treat it right. Keep it cleaned and oiled. But not a lot of people know what to do with soft leather. Chemical stiffeners are available, but when I was playing baseball in college (TX & NM) we would throw our gloves in zip lock bags and toss them in to ice baths to stiffen them up. Works during the game. Or buy a raven concealment.

JAE
JAE

Kydex/Plastic time.

Greg
Greg

Form fitted holster and pistols with 1911 style safeties are the way to go, Like the M&P or the XDM. I know the galco holster is not cheep, But this is still a cheep belt slide holster. Holsters the are made so the mouth stays open are even better. Never have been a fan of the glock for this reason.

Bill
Bill

Obviously, if the guy had a DA or a pistol with a safety, this would not have happened, even with the beat up holster.

Glock leg strikes again.

Bill
Bill

Obviously, if the guy had a DA or a pistol with a safety, this would not have happened, even with the beat up holster. Glock leg strikes again.

JG
JG

Clearly user error.... WTF did you expect with that cheap ass holster, pushing against the trigger?

Chad
Chad

As a holster maker I'm disturbed by the design of this rig. It's unfortunate that the title of the article is "worn leather holsters can cause AD's". It should be "Worn, thin & poorly designed leather holsters can cause AD's". The holster in question lacks the support and weight of the leather to be regularly used inside of a belt, of course it's going to be crushed and buckled. This is a combination of bad design and careless ownership/gun handling. I am a fan of leather and Kydex holsters, neither of which should cause this kind of problem.

jaydee
jaydee

I don't get why people who carry a pistol want it in a sweat absorbing leather hoster. Glock and Fobus have far superior polymer holsters that don't break down into mishapen accident initiators.

tim12232
tim12232

glad you were ok! Nice to see people still drive stick shifts too!

lone wolf
lone wolf

I have owned a glock for a decade now. It is reliable, accurate, but not sure I'd use it for carry. If I would have it in a holster I wouldn't dream of carrying it around with one in the pipe. Your mileage may vary, that is how I call it for myself.

Mark
Mark

Note the author's quote "I can’t say I didn’t know the crease had been formed in the holster.". Wait a second. You KNEW the holster was damaged, and damaged right at the trigger, and KNEW that was potentially Lethal and you STILL used it?

Please turn in your firearms, you are far to irresponsible to keep them.

JaggerHuff
JaggerHuff

@Macaroon22 Well, I will say a safety is a lot better idea than an empty chamber...Although, good gear should negate the need for a safety in all conceivable circumstances. A holster that completely covers the trigger guard is a first step.

Veedubklown
Veedubklown

@bikerbry because all the cowboy wanna-be's carry polymer semi-autos, just like the lone ranger, right?  Let's not turn this into a glock-bash, this could have happened with a revolver, too.

panch0villa
panch0villa

@Bos027 Every police officer I have ever worked with across any agency carries with one in the pipe.

Macaroon22
Macaroon22

@Greg M

If it takes you two seconds to rack the slide you really shouldn't own a gun.  I keep one in the chamber but quite literally it should take you at most a few tenths of a second to load that first round if you so choose to.  The only problem I see with no round in the chamber is needing two hands or a strong belt and square rear sights.

StupidAndCrazyIsNotAPlan
StupidAndCrazyIsNotAPlan

@Grenadier Shut up, you Brit tool.

You're not even allowed to play with toy guns any more, in your pathetic nanny-state.

 

Bryan
Bryan

@Grenadier  - Military carries condition 1 (cocked and locked) or condition 2 (hammer down for double action pull). Both modes are with a round chambered. The only military force in the world that I know of that carries condition 3 (no round chambered) is the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).

Police usually carry condition 1 or 2 as well (NEVER condition 3), and often carry in what many would describe as condition 0 with glocks (a short trigger pull similar in feel to a cocked single action...but with no safety).

You're right, the internet is full of clueless amateurs and morons. Where you're wrong is which side of that you're on.

Bos027
Bos027

@Grenadier  Seriously dude?  I agree with you about the safety course for people who are unfamiliar with guns and such to a small point, but you must definitely be one of those people because it IS NOT a big no no in police or military.  I have been in the military, retired and am now a federal LEO and also work part time at a state department and EVERYONE has ALWAYS carried with one in the chamber, it is stupid to not do so.  Ok, so if that is what you mean unfamiliar people carrying a gun should do then fine, but to blatantly lie that military and police officers NEVER carry one in the chamber is moronic.  You need to learn your facts before you go blabbering stuff because it makes you look like as much of an idiot as the people who carry with no experience and no safety courses.

kusokurae
kusokurae

Galco can hardly be classified as cheap-ass. This was a design flaw, although the holster itself was probably fairly expensive.

Uncle Dave
Uncle Dave

Really? Those brands are made to be cheap and don't fit well. I am not impressed. It's like the old Bell Helemt ad "If you have a 20 dollar head, wear a 20 dollar helmet." Most of the mass produced holsters suck compared to a reasonably priced custom made holster than may cost and extra 30 dollars that conceal better, more comfortably and last longer. I know that money is tight, it's tight for me too, but the extra money for a good holster means alot less hassle in the long run. Leather is just more comforatable as you carry for extended period of time. If sweat is your worry then get horse hide. Your goal should always be maximum concealment and comfort.

Stephen
Stephen

No, he knew his leather holster had a crease in it. That doesn't exactly mean it's going to explode. I don't think anyone knew that creased leather was potentially lethal -- few gun owners expect their holster to try and shoot them.

Bryan
Bryan

@kusokurae  - Looks like a Galco Jak Slide holster. Which, yes, is somewhat of a cheap holster. ~65 is pretty cheap. Good leather holsters pretty much start at $80 if you've found a good deal, usually more like $100+

Trackbacks

  1. [...] JAK202 might want to read this Even though I guess this could apply to any leather holster… SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! If you want peace, prepare for war. Reply With Quote   + Reply to [...]

  2. [...] causes accidental discharge. Just read this at another forum and thought I'd share it here: SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  3. [...] Leather Galco JAK202 Slide Belt Holster Can Cause Accidental Discharge SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  4. [...] Caused by a soft leather holster. Interesting. A good case for kydex or hard leather holsters, I suppose. [...]

  5. [...] Leather Holster Causes AD Read the whole thing. –> Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! [...]

  6. [...] let's all look at the muzzle blast wound from the pistol discharging in the holster upon sitting: SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! __________________ Hey, hey, ho, ho, Dick Lugar has got to [...]

  7. [...] grief~~~safety warning SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! watch out for those old holsters I don't have a License to Kill I have a learners Permit [...]

  8. [...] Check this out SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Reply With Quote + Reply to [...]

  9. [...] up why one must never use any kind of softening agent on a decent, wet-molded holster. Click on: SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  10. [...] safety notice ADs (NDs?) do happen. SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! [...]

  11. [...] in your hand. I enjoy the extra peace of mind afforded me by the grip safety on my XD too. I saw This Article right about the time I was looking for a gun and it helped me settle on the [...]

  12. [...] to add) Here is a link to why I prefer Kydex holsters and pistols with safeties. Warning, there are some bloody pictures [...]

  13. [...] Insteresting Article On Holstering Safety Good article about a Glock that went off unintentionally while holstered. SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! [...]

  14. [...] Holster / Glock Combo The folks at ITS Tactical have re-posted a story from a guy who, unfortunately, had an ND/AD.  I say re-posted because the author (the person who [...]

  15. [...] – Worn or Cheep Holsters SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! A "gun free zone" is tyrannys playground. Reply With Quote [...]

  16. [...] owner even fesses up that it is his fault so a lesson learned and thank goodness none was hurt. SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! __________________ This space for office use [...]

  17. [...] This is an interesting article about a ND that happened while the gun was in it's holster. SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! I'm not hating on Glocks but… My XD wouldn't do that! __________________ I may be paranoid, [...]

  18. [...] worn-out holster can lead to negligent discharges, especially when carrying a firearm without any manual [...]

  19. [...] already holstered when he turned to do the seatbelt and his Glock bit him in the ass…literally! SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! [...]

  20. [...] another good reason to check your equipment and make sure you are using a good quality holster! SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous [...]

  21. [...] this becomes especially true. guns: Leather Holster Safety Warning: Check your holster condition! SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Glock goes off in holster Also, as long as I'm on my soap-box, when you carry a pocket gun (Ruger [...]

  22. [...] you're extra careful and responsible 100% of the time (especially under times of stress). But this guy wasn't. And neither was this guy. Blame them all you want for their NDs but I'm betting that both [...]

  23. [...] Holstering/unholstering will not cause a gun to fire. False [...]

  24. [...] Came acrossed this and thought its an pretty important artical for the leather holster users. SAFETY WARNING! Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges! Ruger on!   [...]

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