The Perils of Concealed Carry: Remember There's no Prize for the Fastest Reholster - ITS Tactical

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The Perils of Concealed Carry: Remember There’s no Prize for the Fastest Reholster

By Jeff Gonzales

Concealed Carry Holster Options

We’ve all more than likely seen some tragic accidents that have involved concealed carry and while I’m not sure they could’ve been avoided, my hope is that the information provided in this article can help more folks from making the same mistakes.

When Baggy is Bad

One of the problems we see in our Concealed Carry Tactics classes occurs when students are attempting to reholster. The concealment garments loosens and gets funneled into the holster’s mouth just prior to the pistol reholstering. The concealment garment gets shoved further into the holster applying pressure to all parts of the gun, to include the trigger. One of the most important features you look for in a holster is protecting the trigger and that the trigger guard has sufficient protection. In other words, while the pistol is holstered, no object can gain access to the trigger. While you might’ve chosen an excellent holster that meets this objective, shoving a piece of your concealment garment into the holster as you reholster will override your efforts.

No One is Exempt

You don’t have to be practicing from concealed to experience this issue. In fact, we brief in the beginning of all our classes that the aspect of reholstering must be conducted in a safe and secure manner. That means to first ensure there are no foreign objects near the mouth of the holster. The most common culprit is the bottom hem of your shirt, but other items to keep an eye out for are drawstring hems and zipper pulls. In fact, I have a good friend who experienced a negligent discharge as a result of a zipper pull. Crazy stuff can happen so take precaution. Next, observe the reholstering process. Look down to ensure there are no foreign objects near the mouth of the holster. As you gently reholster, be on the lookout for any resistance and if you feel any resistance, STOP! Observe whatever is causing the resistance, address the issue then continue with the reholster.

There’s No Prize for Fastest Reholster

If you find yourself in a real world situation, consider the fact you’ll be hyped up on adrenaline. These procedures will help ensure when you reholster, you do so safely. Before you reholster, ensure the scene is safe and/or the target is secure. Once you have completed all scans, consider performing some ammunition management before slowly and very slowly reholstering. Yes, I do suggest you observe the process, but keep things in perspective. The reason you’re reholstering is because you’re either being relieved, there’s no longer a lethal threat, or you’re off the proverbial “X.” If you have any reason to believe there’s still a threat to your safety, then you wouldn’t be reholstering. So in this case, taking your eyes off your battle space is the tactical imperative.

Protect the Trigger

For those who carry “off-body” I first strongly encourage you to reconsider. I realize it’s much more difficult for women to carry concealed and still be fashionable. During our Concealed Carry Combatives classes we see so many off-body ideas go the way of the dinosaur. This doesn’t just include firearms, but edged weapons. The most common is a neck knife. While standing upright it tends to lay flat thanks to gravity, but add some aggressive movement or grappling to the mix and it’s very difficult to predict where the handle will be. If you carry off body, I strongly encourage the trigger guard still be protected. That means light sheaths or in some cases a plastic trigger guard. I love the Vanguard 2 from Raven Concealment and use them all the time. In the case of “off body” I would affix the holster to an anchor point so that when I obtain a firing grip and retrieve the pistol from the concealment, it separates from the holster.

It’s easy to second guess what happened in recent tragic events, but I’m more inclined to remind folks of proper concealment protocol. There’s more to it than just covering the firearm with your shirt.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit tridentconcepts.com for more information.

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Discussion

  • Matt Vieira

    Brandon Schel Josiah Brandilee Josh Josh Kelsey

  • fj55ironpig

    Very good article to get people to think. The devil is always in those details. That’s what Murphy says anyways.

  • Stephen Wallace

    Great article. Geoff Hamilton and I were talking about this topic yesterday.

  • Jonathan Mahfouz

    Technically there IS a prize for the fastest reholster….it’s just usually a stupid one….

  • irtravis

    Great subject! One suggestion might be to take advantage of safety features like grip safeties. Whenever I holster my XDs I make sure the grip safety isn’t engaged; no chance of the trigger being actuated. I’m not a fan of manual safeties on carry guns, but the grip safety won’t slow you down and adds a great deal of piece of mind.

  • MrApple

    I’ve heard it said, “Draw confidently and reholster hesitantly.”

  • Great timing on this article, we had a couple of close calls in our last class. Follow procedures; observe the reholstering, stop if you meet resistance, remove both items, separate them then reholster safely. 

    Most accidents are not the result of a single action, they are the accumulation of several smaller actions that lead to the accident. There is no hurry when reholstering, stay safe out there.

  • Greg

    I completely disagree on the issue of looking at your holster when holstering.  The holster must be clear but its foolish to take your vision off of a target if you have to transition from a handgun.  I can tell you that it’s dangerous and difficult to holster without looking unless you’ve practiced.  In the academy I would’ve been doing pushups if I looked at my duty belt when drawing or holstering my weapon.

  • slydersnyder

    working as a snowmobile guide, we instruct guest to guard the throttle! Since picking up a pistol and carrying, I always view guarding the trigger, like guarding the throttle. It all comes down to situational awareness, Slow is Pro, Deliberate moves are Fast!

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