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 Accidental Discharge

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!

Leather Holster Accidental Discharge

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?

Leather Holster Accidental Discharge

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.

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 Accidental Discharge

Holstering 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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Joe
Joe

This is something that could have been prevented by a grip safty, or just buying a better holster that covers the trigger gaurd.

michaelboland
michaelboland

Just do away with the leather holster. In warm climates leather has a tendency to soften up due to sweat and humidity. A polymer shell with a neoprene backing eliminates this problem and allows a person to carry safely while staying concealed.

doccas2003
doccas2003

@michaelboland I have owned just about every type of holster from just about every manufacturer. About a year ago I bought an Alien Gear IWB holster for my Walther. It was so comfortable I bought another one for my 1911 and yet another one from my SIG. And all three of them cost less, together, than just one of the many other holsters I bought and discarded over the years. AlienGear.com is one of the best things I have ever found on the internet. I highly recommend them. :)

Greggg
Greggg

I've used a Don Hume molded inside the waistband holster for more than eight years and it still hasn't softened; and it is designed to cover the trigger guard.

gkgreen3
gkgreen3

i'm a weapon collector and  have 2 glocks . the model 19 is 1 of the best 9mm's ever . i also have several other striker fire weapons , one of them being the ppq m1 9mm that has one of the best factory triggers i've ever shot . i live in MS. where we have the gunslinger law so l have weapons in my auto's . home and on me . im in construction and always doing work around the house or on my land . im not comfortable carrying glocks but l like polymer . so H&K's is what i carry . my daily ccw is usp45c and sometimes the hk45ct . BUGs are colt xsp , sig p238 or sw 642 . i like 1911 style and i find the safety on hk's work for me . next  purchase is gonna be sw chief special and retire the 642 l prefer sa/da . YMMV !

Mikial
Mikial

Hey, ya' know, each to his own. If you feel like you have the level of training and skill the Israelis do, and you can draw and rack and get a shot off quicker than a bad guy who already has his gun pointing at you or your wife or child, then by all means go with that style of carry. I've spent time in Israel, and I know they are very competent so if you are at that level, then my hat is off to you. Personally, I would rather not have to try to rack my gun under the duress of having a gun pointed at me, but that's just me.

Studebaker_Hawk
Studebaker_Hawk

@Mikial I'm good with it. I don't want to be the guy in the photo at the top of the article, and I don't ever want something like a Veronica Rutledge on my conscience.

Mikial
Mikial

@Studebaker_Hawk @Mikial


Agree completely, Sir. That was another tragic example of improper carry that has left a child without a mother and who will no doubt carry that knowledge and memory of what happened to his grave.

CrackMonkeys4Hire
CrackMonkeys4Hire

The problem was he didn't seat the gun fully into the holster. Yes a leather holster can get soft. I have a leather holster that is more than 2 years old but because I fully seat the gun into the holster it can never discharge like this. Funny but Glocks have the highest rate of accidental discharges for any handgun. Again Operator error here. If the holster was too loose to hold the gun tight he should have NEVER used it.

Mikial
Mikial

@CrackMonkeys4Hire


Exactly. Proper gun handling is a critical skill for anyone who carries. 


Glocks do have the highest rate of accidental discharges (although LA Country Police are having a large increase since switching to M&Ps) because they require  a very high level of skill and competency to handle them safely. Skill and competency far too many people carrying them do not have, including some LEOs. There are plenty of nice guns out there that are a lot more idiot proof, as the saying goes..

Malakie
Malakie

Not just the holster is an issue as far as I am concerned..  had the weapon had a thumb safety, this also would not have occurred.

Studebaker_Hawk
Studebaker_Hawk

@Malakie No, it's all these yahoos running around with one in the pipe. 


Israeli Carry is the only safe way to have a gun on your belt.

I LoveLiberty
I LoveLiberty

Why I love plastic Molded not Kydex holsters IWB and OWB  retention is the key when walking or jumping etc. if the Holster does not cover the Trigger guard then don't buy it.Any Snubby Revolver that does not have a Transfer bar safety do not carry it the new revolvers today have this only a fullt reward cocked revolver will fire.Now an Inertia Smack on the hammer can set it off   A  One in 1  million chance of it happening or buy a OWB Leather holster,with a thumb break Strap, which reduces your chance of Winning a gunfight.


Check out Google search  Or on Amazon..Mitch Rosen for Glock Holsters and  Retention Belts too..Most use a Plastic shell Holster design for CCW. I do, check out Alien holster.com.a lifetime shell swap for shipping and handling and replacement too.

bichplz
bichplz

@I LoveLiberty Learn how to spell and punctuate, idiot. You make gun owners look like assholes. Actually, most of them are.

coyotehunter
coyotehunter

Some like blondes, some like brunettes, and some like the wired hot redheads...Me, I prefer a manual safety on my redhead.  Been carry guns of one sort or another since 1956, including a tour in RVN, they all have one thing in common, they all had a mechanical safety, this notion that you'll forget to take it off in a stress situation, it takes time? huh!, never understood that one, If you practice with your weapon of choice it becomes as natural as drawing it....You sure as heck don't walk around in the woods deer or elk hunting with your safety off, why in hell would i do that around people?

bill matteson
bill matteson

GTK...But I am not familiar with glocks or how they work.....was this gun  cocked and locked?  is it a SA stricker fire?

My pocket piece is  Ruger LCP DA Stricker fire.....which I consider as safe as a revolver to carry.....

any feed back on this

RJCC
RJCC

@bill matteson They are striker, SA, but that does not mean like 1911.  They have aprox. 5 pound trigger pull, which is adjustable.  They do not have an external safety, but they have what the call the "safe action" trigger and the safety is part of the trigger. They say, ". To fire the pistol, the trigger safety and the trigger itself, must be deliberately depressed at the same time. "


But not sure how that qualifies as a safety, when it is part of pulling the trigger.  I always thought a safety meant it would prevent the trigger from being able to fire the weapon, even if the trigger was pulled.  With Glock if you pull the trigger is disengages the safety.  Go figure.  So basically, no safety.  Their link is included below.



https://us.glock.com/technology/safe-action

Mikial
Mikial

@bill matteson Glocks are technically considered a DA pistol since, mechanically, it is not cocked until the trigger is depressed all the way. The act of pulling the trigger completes the cocking action inside the pistol, and then releases the striker to fire the round. This is one of what Glock considers the internal safety. The trigger cannot be depressed unless the safety lever on the trigger is depressed with it. In other words, you can rack the slide on a Glock, and then if you put your finger against the edge of the trigger without touching the safety lever, it will not depress and fire the gun. BTW, my G21 has had work done on it to give it a 4 pound trigger.


Is this a conventional safety? Not really. It is a safety mechanism intended to prevent the gun from firing if dropped or when sitting in a holster. It is not as safe from an accidental discharge as a gun with an external safety, or better yet, a decocker. So, you have to keep your wits about you in terms of care when holstering or even drawing. Most ADs I've seen with Glocks occur during the holstering process when some allows something to get into the trigger guard and depress the trigger. This is why I only carry my Glock at level 3/Red in a composite holster with a stiff hostler that covers the trigger guard. 


If a person is not comfortable with this or experienced enough to manage it, they definitely should not be carrying a Glock, M&P or even an XD (although the added grip safety on the XD is another layer of safety).


Guns like a KelTec PF9 and I believe your LCP (I've never even held one so I could be wrong), don't have external safeties either but they are DA with very stiff triggers so it is very difficult for one to go off in your pocket, although it can happen if someone carried other items in their packet with a gun that was not in a good pocket holster.


A lot of the arguments between pro-Glock and anti-Glock shooters centers around the extra motion of releasing a safety before being able to fire in a self defense situation. While I do think there may be a very small advantage in speed with a gun like a Glock, the real reason I carry one is because I am extremely accurate with mine because it fits me perfectly, and it is utterly reliable.

bill matteson
bill matteson

@Mikial @bill matteson thank you very much your explanation is very informative

I carry my LP in a "Pistol sheath" in the pocket the trigger is covered at all times

Bill


Mikial
Mikial

@bill matteson @Mikial My pleasure, Sir. And thank you for your kind words.

My BUG is a PF9 in a pocket holster, so I agree with you completely on the safety factor. I would never carry a Glock in my pocket, even in a pocket holster.

Boney Shoulders
Boney Shoulders

I make custom leather holsters that fit to the exact shape of the pistol it is made for. The holster pictured is a good example of a bad design. There are tons of makers on the internet that will custom make and even personalize your holster. Take advantage, some of these are works of art and not much more money than this piece of junk. Good luck and be safe.

flnatv
flnatv

@Boney Shoulders I have a Jak holster for 3 of my carry weapons. My EDC is a Glock 27 and has been on my hip for over 6 years. Am I a Glock fan? No but as one poster stated, I'm deadly accurate with it and it never fails. That said, after reading this article I tried to duplicate this situation by intentionally pushing the leather of my 6 year old Jak holster into the trigger area from both sides with no luck in compromising my or others safety. Just because you build custom holsters I don't think calling Galco Jak holsters junk is warranted and believe his experience to be the exception rather than the norm. 

JimThibault
JimThibault

Like any GLock, has no safety. I only carry guns with external safeties on it. Easier to flip a safety than shoot yourself in the leg or worse.


Popo
Popo

Like any piece of equipment if you see wear it's time to replace it. Items like holsters aren't made to last forever, like it or not. If your belt stretches out and your pants keep falling down you would get a new one right?

RJCC
RJCC

"Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges!"  


This is NOT true, it should say NEGLIGENT OWNERS cause Accidental Discharges!!


He even admitted that he knew the holster was defective!! 


But it is still a good warning to get a properly fitting holster that fully covers the trigger.  And there are leather holsters that have a metal reinforced opening, which helps to prevent this situation.


Thanks for the heads up!

RJCC
RJCC

"Worn Leather Holsters Can Cause Accidental Discharges!"  


This is NOT true, it should say NEGLIGENT OWNERS cause Accidental Discharges!!


He even admitted that he knew the holster was defective!! 

doccas2003
doccas2003

Lesson learned? Don't carry a Glock! The only time my partner was injured in line of duty was when he shot himself in the leg while holstering his Glock.

Mikial
Mikial

@doccas2003 So now we're blaming the gun for human error? Sorry, but that sounds sort of like the Libs saying all shootings will stop if they can just get those pesky "assault weapons" out of people's hands because it's the gun that's to blame, not the shooter.


You can not vilify a gun because of operator error. I've carried a Glock for 15 years and haven't had a mishap yet. I also worked as a DoD security contractor in Iraq and did escort missions out on the very dangerous roads several times a week with a lot of other stressed and tired guys, all of whom were carrying Glocks and none of whom accidentally shot themselves or anyone else.


The article put the responsibility squarely where it belonged; the owner wasn't paying attention when he holstered, and he knowingly continued to use a holster that was no longer in optimum condition for safety. People spend hundreds of dollars on their gun and practice ammo, even training classes, and then cheap out on their holster. Drop $60 and buy a good Crossbreed holster and this will not happen. But, don't get complacent because there is always something that can go wrong.

Mikial
Mikial

@doccas2003 @Mikial


No guarantee of that. I've seen people have NDs with guns that had external safeties. It's all up to the operator. 


But, I do get your point, and agree that if someone does not have the experience, training or just simple common sense to carry a gun like a Glock or XD, then I would have to agree with you. They should be carrying a gun with an external safety, or better yet, a de-cocker.

trumanj
trumanj

this i

s great information for ALL of us and specifically the CCW Holder.  I carry the Glock and would not consider any other weapon.  Having said that it is not for everyone and people need to choose wisely.  I saw another incident similar to this when the draw string inside a gentleman's jacket did the same thing, discharged his Glock.  If having an external safety makes you feel more comfortable then consider that weapon otherwise train & be safe.

coyotehunter
coyotehunter

Just another reason for "safety's" on weapons...unless your trained operator the "normal" ccw person just doesn't need a weapon that has no external safety...sure it may take a second longer..but at least you won't blow a hole through your butt or worse, but i agree, moulded holsters are the best, sometimes uncomfortable but.....

Mikial
Mikial

@coyotehunter


My suggestion to anyone who carries . . .  spend $35 to $80, buy a well made holster with solid protection for your trigger, take some training classes, and carry a gun you can deploy quickly. One second is a looooong time in a gunfight.


By the time someone has drawn and flicked their safety off, i have already fired at least two rounds of 230 gr HTP hollow points with my Glock.

coyotehunter
coyotehunter

@Mikial @coyotehunter If you've practiced enuf the safety comes off without a second thought....You play with your clock, and i'll stick with my 1911...

Mikial
Mikial

@coyotehunter


Sounds good, Brother. I love my 1911, I just happen to be a better shot with my Glock. Either way, the idea is for the good guys to win, so i wish you the best always.

Mikial
Mikial

@SirATooley (great nickname!)


Thanks. I agree. I've had my 21 for a long time, and other than a 4 pound trigger so I could use it in USPSA matches to practice before going to Iraq for over 2 years to do Personal Security Details, it is still original. It has never failed me and I trust it with my life. i carried a G17 for a while in Iraq and it was just as comforting to have on my hip because, even though I prefer a .45, I knew that when I pulled the trigger it would reliably put the round where I wanted it to.

SirATooley
SirATooley

Mikial, The G21 is a great choice firearm.  I have the G20 also. Gen 3, SF models.

Mikial
Mikial

With a good, solid holster like my Crossbreed with a ridged fitted holster component, I never have any fear when carrying my G21 locked and loaded. Yes, i am very careful when holstering the gun, but haven't had an issue yet.

SirATooley
SirATooley

Good thing you weren't appendix carrying  LOL

Zipakna
Zipakna

1 that holster (Galco K919T) was not made for a glock. 2 that is a Very Old Galco holster. newer models have a hard leather rim sewn in to prevent exactly this.

Guest
Guest

This is why I use a trigger plug on my glock

Matt Vieira
Matt Vieira

Theres pictures if you read the article

Randy Allen
Randy Allen

Looks like more of a reholstering issue, and that's a glock.

Brad Landes
Brad Landes

Love my black hawk one of my favorites for sure.

Brad Landes
Brad Landes

Don't really care for leather myself but good to know.

Matthew Hill
Matthew Hill

There is never accidental discharge it is always negligent discharge

josephcrawford
josephcrawford

That is not true, in this case I would consider it to be negligent due to the fact of a faulty holster.  However there are accidental discharges due to mechanical failure in some weapons.  For instance I have seen 12 gauge pump shotguns fire the round as soon as you pumped it to chamber the round.  Nothing was near the trigger.  That would be an accidental discharge.

Here is just one example of accidental discharge, nothing he did was negligent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBX7mEBVOao

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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