I once went to a training session where the two instructors warned those of us who were watching the other trainees at the targets, that they would shoot us if we aimed our weapon up range at the other instructor or trainees. They smiled and chuckled after, but I could tell they were definitely serious. Why? Because that’s how you accidentally shoot someone (and sometimes yourself). Their threat was meant to be a deterrent and to remind us of the first rule of gun safety.
But there are other things you can do (whether threaten or not) to keep yourself from an accidental discharge.
1. Retire the old, worn-out holster.
There’s no telling what all your holster has been through—mud, grease, dirt, rain, sweat, dog hair, lint, etc. But the more it rides on your belt, the more it’s exposed to those things, and that means it’s going to change shape or deform. Even your quality, expensive holsters. They might be durable, but after years of heavy work it will wear out eventually. If the holster doesn’t keep proper retention and the material is starting to creep and bend into the trigger well, it’s time to retire it.
2. Buy a Quality Holster.
Like I said above, a quality holster will eventually wear out. Now, that might be in 5 years, it might be in 15—that depends on the type, the material, the amount of use and abuse, etc. But don’t opt for that 15$ “it-kinda-fits-my-gun-right” holster.
I’ve never had it happen personally, but one of the first IWB holsters, my wife, Amy used eventually wouldn’t stay on her belt. The plastic clip would creep up over the belt and both the gun and holster would almost fall to the ground. No Bueno. I bought her a great kydex IWB as soon as I could. Which leads me to the final thing…
3. Don’t try to catch a falling gun.
Just don’t. Too many stories have flown across my email, social media, etc. about how some unthinking-sap tried to keep his gun from falling and BANG—accidental discharge.
“But Marshall, what about those cases where the gun hits the ground and goes off?”
Good question. But I’ll be honest, I don’t want to be carrying a gun where that’s a risk. To address it, though, you still need to let it hit the ground because you are more like to the screw up more by trying to catch it than letting it hit the ground. Gravity (hopefully) won’t mess up as bad.
I couldn’t touch on all of the things you can do to prevent a careless discharge, but is there one you think needs to be in this list? Let me know in the comments and as always stay armed, and stay safe, my friends.