The Holster Issue

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posted on April 22, 2014
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Recently, someone posted a photo of a great vintage holster on social media. Almost immediately, responses came in to the effect that it was a nice holster, but it ought to have a covering in the area of the trigger guard as most modern holsters have. This, of course, is to avoid a negligent discharge. Well, folks, let's face it, ND's are a training issue, not a holster issue.

A large majority of ND's occur during the re-holstering process, as most instructors will verify. In some circles, it has become the vogue to re-holster in a quick, snappy fashion that is supposed to let everyone know you are a really cool pistolero. Unfortunately, some folks forget to take their finger out of the trigger guard while performing this task. Some even forget to engage the external safeties on their pistol prior to re-holstering. When the two mistakes are combined, or you are shooting a striker-fired pistol with no external safeties, the trigger finger hits that trigger-guard covering and a loud noise—sometimes with pain involved—is the result.

Avoiding such a negligent discharge is accomplished by simply keeping your trigger finger straight and out of the trigger guard unless your sights are on the target and you intend to fire the gun. It is that simple. If a shooter keeps his mind engaged and has trigger-finger discipline, it doesn't matter what kind of holster he uses. And, if he isn't paying attention, the best holster available won't keep him safe.

Unfortunately, we live in a day when everyone wants the quick fix. Too many folks think they can run out, buy a gun & holster, practice for a week and be ready to become the next Bill Jordan or Jerry Miculek. I truly wish it were so, but it isn't going to happen in the shooting world.

None of this should be considered a condemnation of modern holster design. A covered trigger-guard area on a holster is just fine. We learned a long time ago keeping your trigger finger straight does not slow a person down when going for that all-important first shot. It may even help a person remember to keep his trigger finger straight. It is important to remember, however, that such a holster design doesn't absolve us from being responsible for gun safety. Looking cool is not nearly as important as being safe.

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