Thursday, March 31, 2011

I keep writing and writing, when I should have been drawing pictures...

I'm always going on about buying a good belt and holster, and how the belt and holster are as much a part of the system as the pistol, and how holsters should be rigid and the mouth of the holster shouldn't collapse when the pistol is drawn...

...or else you could come dang close to blowing your own butt cheek off.

Gear is expendable. It will wear out from use. Do not get married to your magazines, your holster, your belt, your pistol, or any other piece of gear. Inspect it frequently and, if worn or defective, repair or replace. This dude's Galco leather holster was wore slap out, and yet he continued to use it, and is lucky he got off as lightly as he did.


(H/T to Sebastian.)

34 comments:

pdb said...

I'd seen this before, but one thing I noticed today is that the mouth of the holster appears to be a single layer of unstitched, unreinforced leather!

This is a serious design fail that was bound to cause problems. Galco should be ashamed of themselves.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Lesson learned. And it's not like the holster was defective. Had it been new I'm guessing the likelihood of owie would be considerably reduced.

And it's not like the price difference between bad holster and good holster is that huge.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

That depends, PDB. How stiff IS that leather when it comes from teh factory and how long does it stay stiff? THAT holster has plenty of miles. Miles that softened it.

Maybe some oil and a back in the oven would have re-stiffened it.

Tam said...

pdb,

It's been my observation that Galco's a holster company, not the Church of Tactical Truth.

They'll sell you a soft suede IWB or an SOB rig the same as they will a nice horsehide Royal Guard with a reinforced mouth.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

And a back in the over? What does that even mean?

I was referring to bit of amateur cuir bouilli on a worn out or cheap leather holster to either restore stiffness or ruin something you were gonna throw out anyway.

John said...

Ten-Ring's [Alex Hamilton] Glock safety makes more sense to me, the older I get and the more opportunities for FUBAR appear to be an inescapable part of being alive -- no matter how well trained-and-smart one thinks one's ownse'f be's.

Still and all, this instance if AD has caused me to sift the holster pile and prompted a couple of discards to the scrap leather heap.

Thanks for posting it up.

Tam said...

John,

Put a safety on your double-action Smiths, too? The term "racing stripe" was used in cop shops back when Gaston was still designing curtain rods.

The failure here was entirely due to the trigger nut being torqued to improper specs.

Tam said...

Incidentally, the comment thread @ the original post is just packed full of epic fail.

Boat Guy said...

As I noted in my comments on a couple of other fora, there are a couple of things at work; yes you should "inspect" your gear frequently and as importantly you should buy well-designed and WELL-MADE gear to being with. I had a leather El Paso rig for my XD that was getting soft and replaced it the a plastic Fobus one for that reason.
I've got leather holsters that are still very serviceable after years of use. I wore my Pocket Concealment rig for my 226 every waking hour for a year; it still functions very well. I even have some old (very old actually)Bianchi stuff that is still very good.
I'll give creds to Galco for bringing out holsters for "new" guns - they had the only holster I could find for some time after buying my 4" Redhawk, but the lack of quality in their product (and sketchy customer service) have permanently waved me off from the company and their products.
I'll continue to use Milt Sparks, John Bianchi's Frontier Gunleather, Pocket Concealment and yes, Fobus

SayUncle said...

I treat my leather about once a year with Pecard's. And find myself buying more Kydex/Leather holster combos.

YMMV

SayUncle

og said...

Taking good care of your shit may not insulate you from harm, but it's a pretty good insurance policy. I may not always be the best at taking care of everything I own, but the stuff I rely on every day, I make sure it works and replace parts where and when needed, preferably before it becomes a necessity.

perlhaqr said...

I'm wondering about how to protect against this. Maybe a roll seam at the top with a piece of stainless wire in it to make sure this doesn't happen?

Tam said...

perlhaqr,

My Milt Sparks VM-2 has a double layer of leather around the mouth of the holster, with a metal strip sewn between the layers.

If you are carrying a holster that uses a single layer of leather, you just keep an eye on it and, if it starts to show wear, you replace it.

Or you can go with a kydex or kydex/leather hybrid. Be aware that in kydex, there are good and bad holsters just like with leather.

Ed Rasimus said...

Way too much dumb in that story. "I'll freely admit that I knew about the crease..." You've got a holster that has developed a fold inside the trigger guard of a Glock and your response is to be cautious when putting the gun in the holster? Darwin lives!

Soft leather is for James Bond's chamois skin scabbard of his PPK. I'm huge fan of Kimber and Mitch Rosen--no folding leather from them! and a Cross-Breed kydex works like a champ for pocket-pistol Kel-Tec.

Bubblehead Les. said...

"Gear is expendable. Do not get married to your...." Does this apply to BMW's Z3s? ; )

Tam said...

Les,

Of course it does. Custom 1911s, too.

Maintain your gear. If it is broken, replace it.

Anonymous said...

this is way you don't buy a glock...

hey, someone had to say it!

it seems like glocks have become the 'go to' gun for clueless newbs and idjits...

truthfully, i won't even take a shooting spot near someone at a range if they are shooting a glock...

every ND and AD i've seen in the last 15 years was a glock induced failure...

ban glocks, umkay?

;-P***

Anonymous said...

'why'... too early in the am to be typing anything...
(checks 3 times to make sure its right)

SayUncle said...

"every ND and AD i've seen in the last 15 years was a glock induced failure..."

And every car accident i've seen has involved a Camry!

Anonymous said...

I'll give the man credit for having the nerve to post his experience and take the ridicule. It certainly made me think about my holster.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"If you are carrying a holster that uses a single layer of leather, you just keep an eye on it and, if it starts to show wear, you replace it."

This.

Use your gear properly, maintain it properly, and replace it when it wears beyond repair. If you follow this single principle for all holsters - regardless of material or construction* - you will not suffer this particular style of negligent discharge.

The majority of the comments I've seen at the various blogs where this has been posted are about the design of the gun (thumb-safety v. no-thumb-safety, Glock v. 1911, etc.) or the material or design of the holster. All of these comments are wrong! The fault lies entirely with the original poster for continuing to use gear he knew was damaged.

Remember, even the best quality leather holster can get worn or damaged, and even kydex can break or crack. Check you gear regularly, and if you notice it needs replacing, REPLACE IT!!

wv: reedom - "They can take our lives, but they can never take our REEDOM!!!!"

Anonymous said...

"And every car accident i've seen has involved a Camry!"

huh, you noticed that too?

well, its good to know not everybody is asleep on their feet...

(adds camry's to list of objects to be banned) ;-P***

Guffaw in AZ said...

I knew a guy who had an early Milt Sparks Summer Special, he both carried and practiced with it. Last I heard, it had something like 70,000 presentations on it.
Kinda paper thin, except at the opening, still worked!
Even so, I posted the original article link on GIAZ, can't have too much safety/awareness. Thanks!

Gewehr98 said...

My Milt Sparks Summer Special is still going strong, but the holster opening has some serious tension keeping it open.

Then again, perhaps the grip safety on my 1911 would have broken a link in that unfortunate chain of events leading to the poor pistolero's posterior perforation?

Jim said...

I'd crack wise at his expense, but I fear it'd come off half-assed no matter what I do.

Jim

The Raving Prophet said...

When I first heard of that incident it worried me, then I saw the worn out gunleather that was pretty cheap to begin with.

I can't imagine continuing to use something that's obviously worn to that point, but then again, neither can I imagine buying something like that in the first place. Maybe it was better when new, but it was well past its prime.

The gun isn't the only piece whose reliability and quality require attention.

wv: pliosoth... is that one of the Elder Gods?

Gregg said...

Looks to me like the OP had possibly used one of those leather products that holster manufacturers suggest that you not use on holsters. I am of course referring to those leather products that soften the leather.

Joshkie said...

Jim -

You are a bad, bad man....

:-)
Josh

John said...

Tam,

Ya got me fair and square:

"The failure here was entirely due to the trigger nut being torqued to improper specs."

You are correct: Glock's don't need a redundant lever safety. I never missed nor wanted one on my Model 21, back then. However, this here trigger nut personally, doesn't think he's as infallible as he once thought he was.

While the DA revolver drill is prob'ly worn into my DNA by now, lately my thumb is trying to convince me that it misses the solid reassurance of that 'snick-on, snick-off' safe effect.

So, note to self: I want a side-lever safety on my next .45 Auto: plastic, steel, or composite.

docjim505 said...

Thanks for posting this. I appreciate that fact that you write about firearms / self-defense issues in an all-inclusive manner: firearm, mags, ammo, holster.

I suggest that the unfortunate issue with the holster underscores why many people shouldn't carry concealed (and one reason that I don't):

It's more responsibility than they can handle. "Aw, man! I shucked out $600 for the gun, $25 for a holster, and bought a box of some wicked-looking bullets with a big hole in the front. I even took the gun to the range a few times to see how it works (pics on my Facebook page!). What more do I have to do????"

An Ordinary American said...

Good story, and good reminder that complacency will do you in when you least expect it.

However, maybe the author of the story could donate his worn out holster to one of the Mexican drug cartel leaders and hopefully adjust the holster so that on the next AD, the bullet angles a bit more inward?

Seems that the cartels have decided they need to shoot and kill a Texas Ranger or two.

Drug cartels threaten Texas Rangers, ICE agents

Our response down here? Bring it on, Mexico.

Maybe we should gather up all our worn out holsters and send them south?

AOA

Matt G said...

Wow, O.A.! Way to change lanes without signalling!

I'm not seeing anyone note anything about his position. Sitting with the holster empty can cause the natural material that leather is to begin to mold to the new shape. Lots of guys take their guns out when they get home, put them on a high shelf, and leave their holster on. This frequently means that the empty holster will get more creased, without reinforcemnt from the inside (the pistol).

Had he holstered while standing, the crease likely wouldn't have been exacerbated enough to matter.

But the points here (most of them) are well made.

Discobobby said...

I love how leather wears, but stuff like this makes me go only as far as the hybrids like the Comp-Tac MTAC or a Crossbreed Supertuck. I'm not downing anybody's VM-II, I just feel better about Kydex around the parts that go bang and good leather against me. I just ordered an MTAC in the hopes I can tote a full size M&P 45 effectively, and if I can't live with the tradeoffs switch the body out for a 45c from either Smith or HK. I just can't get past the HK snobbery yet, or lack of support for the money you pay to enter the club.

I made that sound much kinkier than it needed to be, but you get the idea.

Jeff said...

Last year I got myself a new VM2 holster because I thought my old one was getting up there a bit in age. No real problems just a bit softer, The mouth is still nice and rigid. I probably really just needed new belt/loops for it.

I got it in 2001 when I had to wait a whole 3 weeks for it (they were very apologetic about the long wait time...)

If I had a holster that got all soft and crappy in a year I'd not buy another. I'm guessing it was a cheap one though. A real one is really not that much more expensive, its worth it. The biggest problem now is the 6 month lead time.