In the video above, James Yeager riffs on his instructor’s infamous negligent discharge, whereby a stomped-on SIG did what guns do when you pull or otherwise actuate the trigger. Mr. Yeager still reckons intentionally dropping your pistol is a good idea, training-wise. DILIH teaches you not to try to catch a falling gun and to drop your gun immediately when the cops ask. And a couple of other things. So, have you ever dropped your handgun, either intentionally or unintentionally?

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71 Responses to Question of the Day: Have You Ever Dropped Your Gun?

  1. You mean today? j/k Actually, I never have. A friend dropped my revolver once and scratched it. (I still haven’t gotten over that.)

  2. I’ve run drills where we drop the gun, but it’s always without the mag in. Then we grab it, put the mag in and hit the targets. It’s great training, makes it a bit more challenging.

  3. In over 20 years of carrying daily, I have dropped a pistol. Once.

    Was wearing a Galco Jackass shoulder holster and carrying a Star Firestar M43. Apparently the retention strap that went around the hammer was NOT fully snapped – my fault – and the pistol dropped out of the holster and onto a concrete floor as I bent over. So only fell about 3 or 4 feet.

    While my heart stopped and the gun fell in super slo-mo, I had a lot of thoughts… but it didn’t discharge. It did get scratched/dented. Not my proudest moment but an awesome (and cheap) lesson in positive retention and effective gun safety systems.

    • The same thing happened to me, also with a Galco Jackass rig, but for a Beretta 92FS. As I got out of the car at a gas station, I felt a subtle shift of weight on the straps on the left side of the rig. In the split-second it took to realize what was wrong, I had just enough time to look down and see the butt of the gun smack the concrete next to the car, and clatter to the ground. I thought the retention strap was secure when I left the house, but for whatever reason, it turned out I was wrong. Georgia’s pretty gun-friendly, but with all the liberally “enlightened” folks moving down here, I had some legitimate concerns about it being seen. I don’t think I’ve ever re-holstered a gun so fast.

      From what I’d read, the 92 series was pretty thoroughly drop-tested from heights well beyond the two feet or so this one fell, but I was still kicking myself all day for it, just on general principle. When I got back home, I put another full turn on the tension adjustment screws on that holster, and re-learned the feel of a draw with a bit more resistance from the leather. The lower edge of the 92’s backstrap still has a shiny little scuff from that encounter, and I still double-check the retention straps of any holster I use to this day.

      • They do rock!

        The Firestar was a great pistol – a little heavy, but small, superbly controllable and reliable. Plus it had the ‘starvel’ finish going for it…

        Prior to the Firestar, I carried an M-28 for several years – one of the first wonder-nines and a technical marvel for the time.

        • A Star 31pk is the holy Grail of my Star collection. They’re just a bit out of my price range though.

          As is, usually, the Megastar.

    • Ditto on the Jackass Rig but with a G30. Totally my fault, I didn’t have the snap fully engaged. After that I done check it and it’s never happened again.

      • Just the same I don’t think I will be using the Jackass rig, I like simple idiot proof systems. The 3 experiences mentioned above confirm my misgivings with shoulder carry.

        • I’ve carried in shoulder holsters off and on for years. Something like a Bianchi x1000 is about as foolproof as it gets, and even without the retention strap in place it’s difficult to get a pistol to drop free from one.

          I’ve also carried in the Miami Classic from Galco now for the last 4 months or so (G19). It is a horizontal ride holster, which does give one pause about how well the pistol would fair without the retention strap, but the retention on the holster with screws for the purpose is so secure that in order to effect a draw without fighting the holster for possession of the pistol I have to carry with the retention set somewhat below half. Even at that, it’s hard to imagine the gun falling free short of some serious forces coming into play, and that’s after the retention strap has somehow been defeated.

          Any holster choice, especially for concealed carry, is in the end a personal one, but don’t let a few anecdotes put you off what might be at least one of several methods for you.

          Full disclosure, I have ‘dropped’ a pistol from a shoulder holster, but in defense of the concept, it was a cheap, ‘universal’ holster, ill fitted to the pistol in question. I’ve actually had more issues out of belt holsters w/o a retaining strap than with shoulder rigs, but that’s another story.

        • To be fair to the Galco rig, that was the *one* time I – and I must emphasize “I” – dropped a gun from it in about 15 years of using it for daily carry. It was most definitely *not* the rig’s fault, but my own. In rushing to get out the door that day, I must have figured that hearing the retention snap make a “click” sound must have meant it was fastened. I didn’t look at it, or thumb-check the snap to see if it was completely engaged. That’s entirely on me.

          It was a valuable lesson not only about what can result from a momentary lapse in discipline, but for how to properly set the retention screw to reduce the chances of a repeat performance. I have another Galco Jackass rig I use for discreet carry of a smaller-framed weapon in more formal settings, and I have zero complaints about it whatsoever. After the lessons from the Beretta drop, it’s never come *anywhere* close to dropping its contents.

          Ardent is right; carrying methods are all personal choice, and for me, I’ve found the Jackass rig is the most comfortable choice for what I do, and how it feels on my person. I should have been more clear that I wasn’t trying to cast aspersions on the reliability of the rig, and I apologize if I gave that impression.

        • I will pay head to the well reasoned explanations and give shoulder carry another look. I don’t know how I could integrate it as I am usually a no overshirt/jacket guy (it’s hot in Texas) but one more holster doesn’t hurt. I have tried almost every type of carry and holster(pocket w holster, iwb owb, ankle, belly band, drop holster) and have found pocket carry (g43) to be my favorite. Anything bigger gun and I prefer a forward canted, 9-10 o clock carry (Devils hand). To be fare I dropped my g43 once putting it into a vertical iwb clam holster. Got rid of the holster the next day but it was my fault for not paying enough attention while holstering.

        • I am a rather rotund fellow and as such belt based carry is not so practical for various reasons. To that end I have found an eminently practical method by which to conceal my shoulder rig and yet remain very comfortable on hot days. I have an old west style 6 button waistcoat in solid black that I wear. My cheap rig does show a few straps but a proper Maimi rig should be 100% concealed.

  4. I was waiting in line at Baskin Robbins, when the guy in front of me was searching his pocket for cahnge and dropped a .380 on the floor. The manager was right there and said, “That could be a handy item you got there.”
    The customer mumbled something and left with an ice cream cone in his hand.

    If he was a LEO, he sure didn’t have his gun in a proper holster, if he had a CCW (in Ca), he definately should have known better and at the least been embarrassed about it. If he were carrying without a license, it should have rattled him enough that he should have left in a hurry and taken the firearm to a safe place.

  5. Never dropped one. Did have one blown off the table by the muzzle brake of a 50bmg going off next to me. Thankfully there was no magazine in it.

    • I can’t imagine (I probably can) what would have happened to you had you ever dropped your weapon.
      Some of us left our lock to our locker, in which our M14 was stored,on the last number. You should have seen the Barack when we returned from chow.
      Only did that once, lesson learned.

  6. Yep. Years back cheap ass fabric belt allowed a good quality holster to twist around and dump my pistol. Last time I ever used a belt like that.

  7. I did once, my EDC XDs, it was in a On Your 6 IWB I was removing it from my belt and as I lifted it out of my pants it slipped from my hand and fell about 3 feet to the floor muzzle up. It was super slo-mo as it fell I could see the muzzle pointed right at my forehead, it hit the ground obviously it didn’t discharge as I am writing this today. Rear sight was dinged but that was it, not my proudest moment. Hey it passed the drop test…….

  8. Not a pistol but a long gun…to which my Drill Instructor said “get down with it and push out 20”.

    That was over 37 years ago.

    • One of my squad members had his sling come undone while in inspection formation, and it was *loud*. My senior DS had him fall out, put him in the front-leaning rest, and told him to “push until I get tired”. I’ve double-checked my slings before heading out ever since.

      • We snapped to attention and the sling swivel retaining pin snapped and there I stood, my sling in hand and my rifle on the ground.

        The dude in the smokey bear hat actually looked it over before going apeshit. Which saved me from push ups til time ended.

        Armorer fixed it with a bent nail.

  9. Before I learned about the necessity of Locktight on the retention screws of a Kydex holster, I had a M&P40c hit the restroom floor in Applebees, yes it was”drop safe” and yes it sucked being” that guy”.

  10. Sure. Have dropped several by accident. Twice dropped a handgun on purpose when I tripped while carrying a loaded pistol in hand – not in a holster or case – and so ended up gently tossed it ahead of me while falling. The absolutely last thing I ever want to do is touch off a round while intending to so something else, like trying to stop me from falling or trying to land gently. Just get it out of my hand and away from me. Figured that was the best course of action.

  11. Went to put my home defence pistol in the safe and dropped it in the tile. The TLR4 on the rail didn’t make it but everything else was fine and I still have all my body parts. It did what it was supposed to do and it didn’t go off.

  12. Dropped my 9mm Shield on the bottom of my gun cabinet door frame. Gun was almost new. Bang! “Well, that wrecked the slide finish…” I thought. Chipped the finish on my gun cabinet but the scuff on the S&W slide wiped off with my fingertip!

  13. No, but my girl friend accidentally pulled a Benelli M1 Super 90 off of a high shelf and it fell and landed on her head. She was super angry but thankfully the Benelli was undamaged, her scalp on the othet hand…

      • Even though she loves guns she was angry with me for being equally concerned about the shot gun.

        Not one my better moments I’m afraid to say. 😒

        • Obviously I can’t speak with reference to her. But for any of mine (short of my wife perhaps), I’d have just let her keep thinking the concern was “equal”.

  14. I dropped my Ruger 1911 out of its shoulder rig picking it up off my bed once. The clip wasn’t snapped well and it fell onto my rug so no damage done but it was a bit jarring.

    The only other time was my Glock 32 off the kitchen table onto a tile floor at my grandmas house. Scuffed up the slide a bit but that was it. It was dumb, there was a sack of groceries or something that fell over and pushed the pistol over the edge.

    The Ruger was chambered but not the Glock. It was definitely the more alarming of the two events.

  15. I’ve dropped a pistol a time or two. Once like the other guy commented, while taking the gun and holster off. And I’ve dropped it when trying to reholster and somehow missed the holster or something. And I’ve been knocked on my ass by some falling boxes and the gun slid from the holster when my rear hot the concrete. Didn’t go off but it did make me tighten the retention, as I didn’t want to get knocked down and loose my gun in a defensive situation. And I’ve fallen off a ladder and practically landed on the gun, still no bang. Course it was in a quality holster. All in all I’ve never had a gun go off when I didn’t pull the trigger.

  16. Yeager is too hard to watch. He’s all over the map and isn’t a good speaker at all. There are better and professionally capable people to learn about firearms handling from than him.
    I’ve dropped my guns and not tried to catch them. I don’t need to practice doing just that one time for any reason.

  17. Only while cleaning thanks to lube and not gripping at the intended point

    Unless dropping with the gun (prone) counts.

  18. My IWB has much better retention when I’m wearing it than not. I once removed my holster with my CZ-75 still in it and the gun slipped out. Landed on the muzzle and pushed the slide back enough to cock the hammer. Learned my lesson real quick that day. Now I remove the gun before I remove the holster.

  19. Yes, once. I fumbled a gun while changing hands for one-handed practice. It was loaded with one in the chamber. Ruger sr9c. The gravel scratched it, but it did not discharge.

  20. Was on a Fast Attack out of Norfolk in the early eighties. A little skinny 110lb kid from a one streetlight town named Peebles Ohio was stood watch as topside sentry one night. Quiet kid, about eighteen going on thirteen. The strap on his Mossberg 500 broke sending the firearm clattering down the curved hull into the water. He was a good kid, worked hard and was well liked. The command reasoned that it was the weapons department fault for lack of proper maintenance so they let him slide. He was rechristened Rambo after that.
    A couple months later, his older and more worldly barracks roommates took him out to see a movie entitled “The Fly”. Jeff Goldblum had the starring role and it was a science fiction horror flick. The movie was rather scary and upon returning back to the barracks that night Rambo wouldn’t let them shut the lights off. That went on for two weeks.

  21. Twice in about 12 years of owning and carrying a gun. Once my Glock 30 fell out of my winter ski jacket inside pocket. It fell in slow motion and the muzzle was pointing right at my face as the back of the slide hit my drive way. Thank god Glocks are drop safe. The gun was, no bs, undamaged.

    The second time was just last week. I forgot to zip my backpack/range bag all the way and my Sig 320 slipped out and hit the floor. The gun was empty. The rear sight and slide are scratched. I immediately loaded it and shot a mag to check function and sight picture. Both were fine.

    I have to say the Glock finish is more durable than the Sig. I still regret selling that Glock.

  22. No, I have never dropped a firearm.

    Even when I fell off icy steps coming out of a deer hunting blind, went flying through the air, and landed on my back, I still had my rifle case (with rifle inside) in hand. (Fortunately, I had a huge duffel bag which was filled with poofy winter clothing and blankets and I was wearing it like a backpack. That provided a nice, cushy landing on my back.)

  23. I don’t think so… if I did, the predictable happened (nothing).

    My guns tend to have fairly heavy trigger pulls so they would take more than gravity to set off.

  24. Yeah, my husband knocked over my first and then only gun at the range. Landed on concrete. I wasn’t happy, but the gun was fine. Funny, he’s never dropped a gun of his……

  25. I pocket carry and have problems finding jean and other styles of cargo pants with deep enough to pocket conceal carry. My Every day carry is a Ruger LCR 22lr. It’s 8 rounds of CCI minimags. Fairly quiet and if you don’t place your finger like shooting a pistol, you are good to go. May have to convert over to RugerSR .22lr. My right hand trigger finger is becoming painful with arthritis. Also recoil with stub nose under 2″ is becoming an issue.
    Oh and question of “have you ever accidentally dropped a hand gun? Nope never have and plan never to!

  26. *sigh* Yeah, kind of. Had an overcrowded safe, something must have shifted and my SIG .40 got caught on a strap on the door, pulled right off the shelf when I opened the door and down it went. Wasn’t loaded or anything, but got a chip right through the finish on the beavertail where it hit the lip of the safe. Couldn’t have been more irritated. Really stupid way to damage a nice gun.

  27. The first time a shoulder harness dropped a S&W semi-auto right on the spur with the barrel pointed right in my face as I leaned over. That was unsettling. It was also the last time I EVER carried in a shoulder holster. The only other weapon was one that slid out of a holster in the car and fell on the ground when I opened the door. It was a little SR22. I was not carrying it and had set on the floor in front of the drivers seat. Me no like dropping firearms. Twice in 40+ years is pretty good I guess.

  28. I’ve had two rifles dropped or fallen over but in nearly 30 years that isn’t bad.

    The first was a Yugoslav M48 with a scout scope. The impact loosened the scope mount and I couldn’t get the mount secure enough to get an effective zero. Now that gun is set either for the original back sight or a Mojo sight to be fitted. Probably the latter.

    The second was my Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1 .233 conversion. The front hooks on the Springfield sling unhooked and the rifle impacted the ground moving the front sight slightly off the centre line. I adjusted the sights for on at 100 metres and only use that rifle at that distance with my budget reloads. 200 and 300m require holding off to right a little bit.

    I try to avoid dropping guns because of the risk of damaging the guns, the sights (especially optics), and/or the sight mounts. It’s also a reason why I transport the guns in a locked padded case.

  29. Once when hiking I had one in an external pocket on the backpack. The zipper wasn’t up to the weight while I was jogging downhill and it went clattering across some rocks. No real damage, just some minor scratches.

  30. Keltec 32 fell out of belly band in Walmart. Big belly pushed left side carry out of unsecured holster at a gas pump, Holster and gun on the deck, not exactly a dropped pistol but had the weight of a Glock assist in gravity displacement of Pants,

  31. While on vacation, at the Houston Zoo. My 1911 Para border patrol edition suddenly hit the concret. Then the rest of my alien gear otb holster hit. Scratch the $hit out of the green paint job. Never did find one of the screws. O and it did not go off! I dont think my wife has never turned that pale!ever !

  32. Yep.

    Both intentionally (in a non-yeager class) and unintentionally (on a competition stage).

    Nothing happened both times. Yeager is right about this.

  33. Yes. Same gun, twice. The first time was at the police training range. My wife and I were the only two there. They allowed public access to the range one Saturday per month and this day it was slightly raining so we had the run of the place thanks to Julian, the range officer. He volunteered his time to run us through some drills. He had me pocket my wife’s Nano and shoot my Glock 19 till empty then transition to the BUG. When I did the transition, I dropped the Glock on the ground which was covered in chipped slate. I still have the scratch on the slide where it hit the ground. Julian was yelling at me that I shouldn’t have dropped the gun as I was taking shots with the Nano. Why train for something you won’t do in the real world? If I am in a gun fight and my primary gun fails causing me to go for the BUG, why would I waste time holstering a gun that is out of commission?
    The second time I dropped my gun was in my kitchen on the tile floor. It hit on the rear sight that I had just installed. Meprolight tritium night sights. It caused a blemish but nothing major. The gun was still in the holster and I was carrying some other objects so I tucked the gun under my right arm. I reached to set something down that was in my right hand and the gun fell from under my arm. From that day, I never hold anything with the gun in the same arm/hand.

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