Some thoughts on reholstering

This is a discussion on Some thoughts on reholstering within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A few days ago it was posted on the forum of a well known Tactical School in Tennesee that a student had shot himself in ...

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Thread: Some thoughts on reholstering

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    Some thoughts on reholstering

    A few days ago it was posted on the forum of a well known Tactical School in Tennesee that a student had shot himself in the butt with a .45 auto while reholstering his firearm. He apparently had his finger on the trigger while reholstering and the weapon discharged.

    This post is not about the school or the student. These folks have a stellar reputation and there instructors are top notch. This post is about the act of reholstering either on the range or under duress.

    No matter how fast you draw from your holster, deliver the shot, scan and access the act of reholstering should not be a timed event or a speed contest. The training facility involved in this does not teach that reholstering is done as quickly as possible it is done when everything is over and it can be done safely.

    As an LEO I can remember doing a few pushups but later on making my students doing a lot of pushups for looking at their holster while reholstering their weapon. "Keep your eyes on the suspect at all times". As I look back I see it was probably not the best of ideas under some circumstances. Yes when alone and having to cuff or approach watch your suspect and you should have the ability to reholster without looking but if there is time, opprotunity and backup on the scene already watching the bad guy, by all means look the weapon into the holster. Should you have the abilty to reholster without looking sure I do it everyday but why not use a safer method if time and circumstance allow.

    On occasion I carry AIWB. (Appendix Inside the Waistband). I am not really partial to any one gun over the other for this but I do train differently and treat them differently when reholstering.

    One of my favorites to carry this way is my Para Carry Nine. It's basically a 1911 with a really neat Light Double Action Trigger. When I reholster I simply place my thumb over top of the hammer and can feel it the trigger is snagged or for whatever reason causing the hammer to come back. I can do this simply by feel I don't have to look. Do I look on occasion? sure if I feel the need to but I don't have to because I can feel the mechanics of the gun and know what is going on.



    Same way with a small frame revolver, or traditional DA auto. My thumb goes over the hammer while reholstering and I can feel what is happening. With a traditional 1911 I simply engage the thumb safety and keep my thumb underneath it all the way into the holster, again knowing the mechanics of the gun tells me it cannot discharge with the safety engaged. My hammerless 642 I will treat basically the same way as I will lay my trigger finger along the trigger guard so I can feel if the trigger starts to move, or I feel resistance. At anytime I have doubts I will stop and look it into the holster.



    Now if I am carrying a striker fired weapon, Glock or M&P, it would do no good to put my thumb over the back of the slide and try to feel for a mechanical reaction to reholstering as there is no hammer. The trigger could be snagged and the weapon about to fire and I would not know it unless I felt undue resistance in reholstering. These type weapons I will "look" them all the way into the holster if I am not comfortable with the process. My finger is always straight and off the trigger so I know that I will not mistakenly apply pressure when pressure is not needed.



    This is why a quality holster that is semi rigid or has a reinforced opening is essential when attempting to reholster no matter how you carry. The cheap nylon or suede holsters that do not maintain there shape or collapse when the weapon is drawn can be an accident waiting to happen if you attempt to reholster without both looking a guiding the weapon back into the holster. Todays kydex holsters or quality leather holsters are molded to the gun and rigid enough where this takes some of the worry out of this but not all.



    To me reholstering a weapon is a controlled motion. No need to be Speedy Gonzalez and shoving the weapon back in. If you want to be quick fine gain all the speed you want from high ready, or whatever position, and then to the holster, "Point A to Point B" so to speak then STOP, PAUSE or whatever you want to call it and then look at what you are doing, if it is safe to do so, and guide the weapon back into the holster. Refasten any retention devices and carry on. Repeat as needed.

    Again IMO you are reholstering because the threat is over, whatever has happened has happened. Take that extra moment and do it right the first time. Remember though just like loading, unloading and malfunction clearance different weapons may require different techniques or specific techniques to be reholstered. Some are more forgiving than others in regards to what mistakes we the shooters are making before we are reminded.



    By the way from what I have read from the other forum the student after taking the hit which transversed his butt cheek leaving a 6" long 2" wide internal wound channel was treated at the ER and was back on the firing line in just a couple of hours. Before you say it must have hit just fat or so on this kid has apparently about 12% body fat and it went through pure muscle. Kudos to the staff as they apparently executed their medical drill perfectly and kudos to the student for showing a true warrior spirit. I do not know and they have not posted what weapon holster combo was used.
    TSiWRX, Guantes and WHEC724 like this.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    "A few days ago it was posted on the forum of a well known Tactical School in Tennesee that a student had shot himself in the butt with a .45 auto while reholstering his firearm. He apparently had his finger on the trigger while reholstering and the weapon discharged."

    I agree that seldom (if ever) is there a true need for speed "reholstering" - this individual also suffered from a lack of 1911 disipline because had he simply remembered to engage the thumb safety his 1911 would not have discharged during the act of reholstering...even if his finger was on the trigger.
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    I also place my thumb on the rear of the slide, actually next to the hammer, so I can feel it if the hammer is, for some reason, being pushed back by the trigger while re-holstering. I have Sigs and a Glock in my carry rotation. I love carrying the Glock but I'm extremely careful re-holstering.

    Practicing "on target, on trigger - off target, off trigger" also helped me build the habit of keeping the trigger finger up on the slide long before it gets close to the holster.

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    Re-holstering any sidearm is always an exercise in practiced caution for me. Since I don't even own an open-carry holster, speed is never a consideration.

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    Good thread. I never look at my holster when reholstering. I see your point of looking if the condition allows, but I feel that may create bad habits. If it is my duty belt, there should be nothing that will snag the trigger. If it is my off-duty rig, I make sure that the cover garment is clear and reholster. All of the off-duty rigs that I use have rigid mouths for easy holstering.

    I teach firearms and defensive tactics, sometimes you need to go hands on and get that gun back in it's holster pretty quick. But it should never be rushed. It should be practiced on the line in a controlled envirement until it becomes automatic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY27 View Post

    I teach firearms and defensive tactics, sometimes you need to go hands on and get that gun back in it's holster pretty quick. But it should never be rushed. It should be practiced on the line in a controlled envirement until it becomes automatic.
    What are some instances in which you have have the need to reholster rapidly? Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but I was curious,
    "If an awalu [freeman] should blind the eye of another awalu [freeman], they shall blind his eye"
    -Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.E.)

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    I never grasped the concept of one-handed, no-look holstering. If my weapon is drawn, you can be absolutely sure that it's not going back into the holster until the threat is over and it's perfectly safe to reholster--with two eyes or none.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS208 View Post
    What are some instances in which you have have the need to reholster rapidly? Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but I was curious,
    ^ Speaking solely for myself, and only as "an average Joe citizen," one framework for that scenario would be in the context of an active-shooter situation, where, for whatever reason, I wanted to re-conceal my weapon as I try to reach safety. To further elaborate and to add another level to the "what if," I could add that for whatever reason, one of my hands/arms has been downed, and I needed the other to usher or even carry my daughter to-safety.

    In the above scenario, I think that if I'd had to, I'd even stick it in my pants or just tuck it under my arm. But I would much prefer to return the firearm to my holster: and yes, before anyone asks, I have undertaken instruction, on a live-fire range, to learn how to do this properly and safely, using my carry firearm, my carry gear, in my every-day clothing. How realistic do I think this scenario would be? how likely would it be for me to be found in that situation? My personal assessment is that it is not very likely, but I like knowing that at least my mind/body has been there, and that there are tools in my skill-set that I can call upon, should that unlikely scenario ever play out.

    I'm a beginner in all of this. I've been to three local schools so far, and every one of them (all geared towards civilians who may use firearms for self-defense) has reinforced the critical thought that once the gun has come out of the holster, there is no reason to hurry to put it away. Be *sure* that the threat is over (as well as comply with law-enforcement orders, if necessary). Take the time to break out of the adrenaline rush while you're assessing, and then re-holster the firearm safely: both in the context of the fight (that the threat is down, so it is safe to do so) as well as in the context of safely handling the firearm. That doesn't mean that I have to spend the next five minutes re-organizing my clothing or my gear, nor does it mean slamming the gun home, if my assessment says to "get the heck out of Dodge" - rather, it means to take the time that's appropriate, to safely return the pistol to its holster: if that means needing to taking a quick moment to look (i.e. because I've been hand-to-hand with the assailant and my clothing is messed up or because I'm not wearing my normal cover clothing), then that's fine, too.

    I agree with much of what has been written by the more experienced members here, and those techniques are what I practice, and I base my hardware selection (both the firearm as well as my carry/support gear) on such considerations, too.

    IMveryHO, this thread is a must-read for anyone in the concealed-carry community, particularly the beginner.

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    You have to think to this is a good reason to carry your weapon in the same basic location, you know where it is everytime.

    Over here I carry my Glock 19 in a Blade Tech Kydex holster on my right side. I can draw, clear the weapon or engage a target and reholster without looking because the weapon is in the same location, same cant to the holster and so on. Even with all this being said I have to catch myself from just doing it out of habit.
    Everytime you put your hands on your firearm learn something from it.

    NY you are correct in that there are sometimes you have to get the weapon back in the holster quickly. When the situation goes from covering the suspect to let us pray and practice laying on of the hands you need both hands so the weapon has to go. The ability to reholster smoothly, quickly and without looking can be a very useful tool at that moment. Didnt mean to answer the question LS208 just kinda worked in there.

    Old vet you are correct but in LE sometimes the situation dictates that you do it. Hopefully you have practiced the act enough to do it correctly. Also remember guys reholstering into a duty rig or OWB holster can be simpler/easier than reholstering into a CCW/IWB rig.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    QK was it a 1911? I have not heard.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    You have to think to this is a good reason to carry your weapon in the same basic location, you know where it is everytime.
    Same weapon, same holster location and same holster setup (although it may not be the same exact holster: I use different holsters to help with concealment, but they are all open-top holsters, all set at the same cant angle, etc.), always.

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    IMveryHO, this thread is a must-read for anyone in the concealed-carry community, particularly the beginner.

    Wow. Thanks.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Great initial post on a subject that is often overlooked or neglected.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Suarez actually had a pretty good thread on this a while back:

    Looking At Holster When Reholstering - Mistake or Advantage?

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Wow. Thanks.
    No, thank YOU.

    Virtually every trainer/school that I know of - to say the least of the ones I've had the opportunity to attend - they all place great emphasis on teaching us beginners good and safe ways of going about re-holstering. Yet, it's something that's rarely spoken of, on-line.

    I really do feel that your post is very important!

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