By Brandon via concealednation.org
This is a story that we’ve seen quite a few times before, and it will serve as yet another example of why using a proper holster is essential to safety when carrying a firearm. The man with the extra hole in the photos below is named Matt. He was gracious enough to give me a call, even though he’s no doubt in quite a bit of pain. After talking with him for over a half hour, I got a good picture of what happened and, more importantly, what lessons can be learned. He wanted to share this story, in hopes that it would stop this from happening to someone else. Here is how Matt’s Tuesday went . . .
A concealed carrier for over 10 years now, Matt typically carries in molded leather holsters. Up until this point, he’d never had an issue with his setup. He was thinking of making a change to a new holster just to see how it would go. His had his eye on a more expensive leather holster, but wanted to try a cheaper nylon one first to see if that would be his style. He bought a BLACKHAWK! Nylon IWB Holster, Size B.
Just as cup sizes cater to a wide variety of women, ‘sized’ holsters attempt to do the same thing. They’ll provide you with generally sized holsters which they market as being suitable for numerous firearms that happen to be of similar dimensions.
Before buying the BLACKHAWK!, Matt almost exclusively use a DeSantis Cozy Partner, which is a molded leather holster.
Here is what happened:
“I holstered the firearm in the new holster at home and made sure it was secure and comfortable, and then drove three miles over to our storage facility. I spent 10 minutes in the storage facility, just climbing around stuff and going through boxes. When I left, I walked outside and opened the car door. I went to get in the car and heard a loud bang,” Matt explained.
“There’s no way that just happened. That did not just happen. And then I grabbed my butt and felt a hole in my pants and said, ‘Ok that just happened.’”
Matt went on to tell me that immediately following the discharge, he unloaded the firearm and set it on his seat and then went to check on a person who was in the vicinity. Once confirming that the other person was alright, he asked a question he never thought he’d ask another guy: “Can you look at my butt?”
When the police showed up, they took a look at everything and tried to determine where the bullet went. It turns out that the round went straight down through my left cheek, through the door jam of the car and then exploded on the pavement.
As an experienced handler of firearms, after getting home from the hospital, Matt immediately started inspecting everything. He couldn’t get the striker to drop without pulling the trigger. Everything with the firearm was in 100% working order. He also noted that he’s had the firearm for years and has fired thousands of rounds through it without issue, and has also carried it extensively in the past.
I asked him if anything in the car could have hit the trigger area of the holster, and he informed me that he hadn’t even sat down in the seat before it went off. His (and my) best guess is this: he had a t-shirt tucked in at the time, between the holster and his body. He also had a button down shirt that covered everything up. What likely happened was a ‘bunching’ of the t-shirt that got into the trigger guard of the pistol, and pushed the nylon material inward. That’s the theory as to how the trigger was manipulated.
When asked what he learned from this unfortunate experience, Matt already had an answer for me.
“Rigid Holster. Molded Holster. Always. Know where your muzzle is pointing.”
The takeaway from this unfortunate story is to seriously consider a proper, molded holster. Any holster that doesn’t mold specifically to your firearm can set you up for a dangerous event, as the trigger isn’t properly protected from outside forces. With nylon and similarly soft and flexible materials, the opportunity to manipulate the trigger increases greatly.
Make no mistake: a proper holster will eliminate an accidental or negligent discharge by fully covering your trigger and not allowing anything to get in the way. This is not reason to stop carrying with a round in the chamber, but a learning experience to always use a proper holster.
The holster company, in this case, makes a large line of holsters including molded models. They do a great job with them and are very popular. With the technology of holsters today, however, it’s my thought to simply get rid of the ‘one size fits all’ holsters once and for all. I’ll be following up on this story in the next few days in an attempt to highlight the importance of proper holster usage even more. In the meantime, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this happen.
The damage to Matt’s rear end was extensive, as you’ll see in the images below. As a final warning, the images are graphic. If you have a weak stomach, you may not want to scroll down any further.
The first image was taken right after the incident and shows the damage before the hospital started to care for the wound.
The next image is was taken at the hospital. I can’t imagine how painful this wound must have been for Matt.
A few days later, Matt went in for a follow up appointment. The doctors told him that it’s healing quickly and nicely, but he’s obviously still has a long road to recovery. While he should be able to return to work in a few weeks, he’ll be nursing this wound for some time.
I want to wish Matt a quick recovery and will be keeping in touch with him during the process to see how he’s doing. As some comic relief, Matt told me about the conversation he had with the police officers who arrived on the scene. They were trying to determine how to write up the incident.
“They were arguing among themselves as to how they were going to even write up the report. They said, ‘This isn’t assault with a deadly weapon unless he wishes to press charges against himself.’”
One officer turned to Matt and said, “Sir, do you wish to press charges against yourself?” Matt smiled and replied, “I’ve consulted with my council and I choose not to at this point.”