Unholstering at home after a long range session with my FFL BFF, I heard a strange rattling noise. My first thought: something’s broken inside my gun or my Raven Concealment holster. I reholstered and unholstered my Glock 30SF. There it was again. And again. How was that possible? The front site was still on the Glock and the Raven’s a Kydex holster; it has as many internal parts as a rock. So I dropped trou [ladies look away now], took off the holster, turned it upside down. There it was: a spent shell casing. Somehow, the brass had flown out of my Glock and landed inside my temporarily empty outside-the-waistband holster . . .
What are the odds? I’ve fired approximately 7k rounds out of that gun, wearing the same holster. I’ve practiced drawing and firing (and not firing) from the Raven thousands of times. This is the first and only time—in my entire shooting history—that a casing has leaped into my holster.
So, a rare event. Thankfully detected and corrected.
But what if the Glock had somehow got hung-up on the casing inside the holster? What if the casing had become jammed in the barrel? Then, if I needed my gun for a defensive gun use (DGU) . . . That might’ve gone very badly indeed.
This is not the first time strange things have happened to my carry system. I keep a spare mag in my left front pocket. Nothing else. No keys, parking garage tickets, lint, change, nada. And yet one time I brought the mag out for practice and discovered that a dime had wedged itself underneath the feed lips.
Yes, I blame the dime. The wider point: shit happens. Although nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, armed self-defenders should expect the unexpected. And be ready to work their way though it.
I taught Steve that lesson last night, before The Mystery of the Flying Brass (wow Scoob). I was teaching him how to tap, rack, attack (and NOT attack). As a newbie would, Steve got flustered in the middle. He did a kinda half rack before tapping. He looked over at me and hesitated.
“Don’t look at me” I yelled. “Keep going! Find an answer!”
In other words, keep calm and carry on. Or, if you’re experiencing a full adrenal dump, just carry on.
What are the odds that some weird ass shit will happen to you in a DGU? Or that you will screw-up somehow? If you train well and carry consistently, low. If you don’t train or train badly or don’t train frequently, higher. If your carry system is flawed, higher. If your DGU happens “out of the blue” higher still.
If you’re in a complex physical environment—say, a restaurant you’ve never been in before—higher again. If the incident doesn’t ramp-up smoothly (i.e. the violence escalates in fits and starts), higher.
Taken as a whole, the odds of a Murphy’s Law incident (e.g., you trip and fall over a baby bottle) are low. But a lot higher than you might imagine. Which is why it’s important to realize the wisdom of John Lennon’s adage “life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
The key: stay focused on the goal, not the method. You want to survive a violent attack. If you do so exactly as you’ve trained to do, good for you! If something goes wrong and you have to recalibrate or improvise, clumsily, and you survive, result!
To that end, get out of your comfort zone. Train for failure. Have a pal put snaps caps in your mags. Randomly. Secretly. Practice what you’re BAD at (e.g., weak hand shooting). Practice off the range with a blue gun. Remove your glasses. Shoot someone else’s gun.
At the end of the day, you need to know that you can do whatever it is you need to do to survive a violent attack. Even if you don’t know what that is.