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Monday, August 27, 2012

Clothing malfunction causes handgun discharge

Lesson learned.  Always be mindful of your re-holstering.  This isn't the first story that I've heard about an unintentional discharge when re-holstering due to some kind of blockage pulling the trigger back - and probably wont be the last.
By Ed Ramsey
In June 2012, a Police Officer was needlessly injured participating in firearms training.  The officer was shooting a .40 S&W caliber SIG P229 DAK.  The ammunition was department issued Federal Premium 180 Grain HST.  The holster utilized was a right-handed Blackhawk Serpa CQC concealment paddle-style.  It was raining that day, so the officer was wearing a light weight wet weather jacket.
After having fired several rounds during the course of fire, the officer was in the process of holstering when the pistol discharged through the open portion at the bottom of the holster.  The round entered the outside of the right upper calf and exited the outside of the lower calf and was stopped by the ground.  By pure luck the round did not strike any bone.  There was little bleeding and no serious nerve damage.  The officer is expected to make a full recovery. 
Once first aid was rendered, an examination of the pistol in the holster revealed that the trigger was depressed to the rear of the trigger guard (see photograph below).  A plastic cylinder-shaped draw cord adjuster attached to the wet weather jacket the officer was wearing was lodged against the front of the trigger.  The plastic draw cord adjuster had become caught inside of the trigger guard during the holstering of the pistol. 
These draw cord adjusters are found on many jackets.  The one that became lodged was for the side/waist adjustment cord.   Remove these adjusters if you are going to wear the jacket with a gun.
We train to keep our eyes up when holstering.  When holstering with cover clothing and using the support hand to clear the holster, ensure that the support hand doesn’t get covered by the muzzle.  Keep the support hand and clothing well above the top of the holster and bring the pistol in below them.


@#$%^$#% OUch!

I like to wear XL clothes now for better concealment, and I'm always worried about my shirt or jacket fabric catching the trigger when re-holstering.  Sometimes, when I remember, I lean my hip out to the right and turn my foot inwards when I'm holstering, just so if it goes off, I won't hit myself.

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