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Old November 29, 2012, 08:55 PM   #1
PH/CIB
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Breaking a Rule, Reholstering

Have had some training classes,,,watched some videos,,,read some books,,,and have some experience....All the experts seem to say when the threat is over,,,scan your area left and right for any other threats and then with your eyes downrange looking for danger you reholster your pistol without looking at the holster.

One thing is pretty obvious the experts would probably have you scan 360 degrees your entire perimeter for threats,,,and obviously you cannot do that at the range or in a class or in IDPA because you have people behind you,,,but in a real situation I would scan 360 degrees all around myself,,,would you?

The second point or rule I always break,,,I always look down at my handgun and holster while reholstering.....I have heard of too many people being shot or having an accidental discharge while reholstering,,,looking down at the handgun forces me to have my finger out of the trigger guard and to see that there are no obstructions that might accidentally get in the trigger guard and fire the gun,,,between the gun and the holster or in the holster. Considering the moving around,,,the cover you take,,,the positions you might get into and the things around you, in a possible confrontation, I consider this reasonable.

Well you say,,,you might get shot by looking down to reholster the handgun and I reply then you have not done a very good job of clearing the area and the handgun should not be reholstered until you are sure the area is clear and safe.

Thoughts?
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:03 PM   #2
Chris9472
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If what they say is true about the police being only minutes away... then you will have at least a minute to reholster your handgun safely and properly.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:40 PM   #3
kraigwy
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I don't see that its that hard to holster your gun without shooting yourself.

I dont have any problem re-holstering without looking.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:51 PM   #4
Nnobby45
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The second point or rule I always break,,,I always look down at my handgun and holster while reholstering.....I have heard of too many people being shot or having an accidental discharge while reholstering,,,looking down at the handgun forces me to have my finger out of the trigger guard and to see that there are no obstructions that might accidentally get in the trigger guard and fire the gun
Are you really serious that it's necessary for you to look at your gun in order to insure your finger isn't on the trigger when reholstering?

OK, but people have been shot when drawing their weapon, also. Don't forget to ignore what's happening down range and make sure you look at your holster on the draw, also.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:03 PM   #5
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You shouldn't use a holster that you have to look down to hit OR use your weak hand to get it in.

IMO you also shouldn't use any holster where the retension device can get inside the trigger guard.

Buy cheap and risk an AD, while the muzzle is right by your hand or butt.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:44 PM   #6
PH/CIB
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Thanks for the replies, but I would respectfully disagree...In a self defense situation you of course have to draw as fast as you can,,,but after it is all over and you are positively sure your surroundings are safe and clear,,,you have all the time in the world to reholster....as a civilian and not professional law enforcement or military you will not have to handcuff anyone, or watch a suspect, or restrain a suspect, and if you do have to do that as a civilian, I would suggest keeping your gun out until help arrives to assist in such activities.

When are your surroundings safe,,,are your surrounding safe just because you kept your eyes downrange while reholstering or because you cleared the area and know your surroundings are safe....Also if you follow that rule and reholster with your eyes downrange,,,can you assume your surroundings are safe at that point and lower your eyes or at what point can you lower your eyes or not be vigilant? Obviously the answer is when you have cleared the area and know it is safe and you had better do that before you reholster.

I have carried with practically every holster system imaginable,,,including IWB where you have to clear a garmet to draw and reholster, OWB where you have to clear a garment to draw and reholster, pocket holster carry in a front pocket, Thunderwear or Smartcarry holster and we all know where the handgun is pointing with that holster, fanny pack holster worn in front, shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, waistband or belly band holsters, cargo pocket holsters, pager pal holsters, etc, and some are easy to reholster without looking and some are not....why not err on the side of safety and be very careful while reholstering using your eyes and in some cases both hands to reholster, it only makes sense and I do not think anyone can argue that is would not be safer for everyone.
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Last edited by PH/CIB; November 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PH/CIB
...but after it is all over and you are positively sure your surroundings are safe and clear...
Because you can never be that positive. That's why you learn to re-holster without looking, so you can keep an eye continuously on what is going on around you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PH/CIB
...I would suggest keeping your gun out until help arrives to assist in such activities...
You'll be better off with you gun holstered, keeping your hand on the gun until the police arrive, at which time you raise both hands empty. If your gun is in your hand when the police arrive, you look like a target. They won't know that you are the good guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PH/CIB
...can you assume your surroundings are safe at that point and lower your eyes or at what point can you lower your eyes or not be vigilant...
You can't assume that everything is safe. You continue to look and pay attention, keeping your hand on your holstered gun in case you need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PH/CIB
...why not err on the side of safety and be very careful while reholstering using your eyes and in some cases both hands to reholster, it only makes sense and I do not think anyone can argue that is would not be safer for everyone....
Why not follow bet practices as taught by all leading instructors. There's are reasons we are taught to do things certain ways.

Using a good, strong side belt holster (which I favor) there is nothing unsafe about re-holstering one-handed without looking -- at least if you've trained and practiced.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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rule #1 is don't point a gun at something you don't intend to destroy. If your hand/body is part of that, sounds like a bad plan.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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Respectfully disagree. Across the board. You should be able to slot your weapon without looking at it. I have holsters where I can't do that. They're in a box to remind me of what not to use. If you can't re-holster the weapon without looking, you need to find another holster. And my own experience has been that practice with whatever holster you settle on will cure any doubts.

As to standing around a defensive shooting situation with a pistol in your hand, the cavalry charging in, that's just suicidal.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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When I carry openly with retention holster I never need to look when re-holstering. When I carry inner waistband I ALWAYS look. Way too unsafe to clear a shirt and find the opening without looking. I have a galco reinforced IWB holster I wear strong-side a four o'clock. It requires that I use both hands to holster SAFELY. Every time I have attempted one handed the tension from my belt tends to rack the slide as I push down and creates a situation I feel is conducive to accidents. Besides, my way of thinking if I have to shoot to defend my self I would like to keep alert and ready until police arrive. When they do arrive the gun would be on the ground and visibly not in my possession. I would not want to be armed in any way when they come in guns drawn. When called to shots fired they will come in hard and fast to control the situation and I can't imagine anyone having a gun on them is going to get friendly service.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:59 AM   #11
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It depends. Holsters can get jammed full of the weirdest stuff... Sometimes I look, sometimes I don't.

That said, there is no "re-holstering".

There is draw, and holster.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:04 AM   #12
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Geez, some great replies, and I would agree I would not want to have a gun in my hand when the police arrive....but after I have cleared the area I could reholster my gun by looking down and safely because if the area is not safe after I cleared it when if ever will it be safe? And if it is never safe why should I reholster my gun?

Still I googled up "reholstering accidents" and got 68000 hits, now I did not read them so anyone's quess if they are appropriate or not but I would bet that more people get shot while reholstering than by a bad guy while they are looking down to reholster after a self defense encounter.

The Firing Line and other firearm forums are great and think of all the guys and gals and all the different guns they carry and all the different holsters they use,,,sure they should all get well trained in gun safety,,,but once again I would bet more of them will get shot by a reholstering accident than by a bad guy in a self defense encounter if they looked down and were extremely careful while reholstering....

Sometimes I think in this one area the training schools are incorrect.

I quess I have been in enough dangerous situations that I tend to over think things and am overly cautious,,,these have been some good replies and I might have to adjust my thinking somewhat.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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It depends on the gun, holster and carry method. To blanket statement that you must be able to re holster every time without looking is simplistic. You should not be in a hurry to holster, it should be a slow deliberate act. You should ensure your cover garment is clear.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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I usually carry IWB, so I would not feel comfortable holstering my gun - which is under my shirt/sweater/jacket - without either looking, or feeling with my other hand.
I'm not worried about my holster or finger hitting the trigger, but rather a bunched up knot of clothing.

In a real world scenario, I can't imagine holstering my gun if I was still unsure enough about my surroundings to be able to shift my focus to my holster for the 1-3 seconds it takes to put it away.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:00 PM   #15
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Maybe it's just the way I read it, but you do know that a 360 degree scan does not include a 360 sweep of the weapon?
Just your eyes doing the scan.
With head attached, of course.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:35 PM   #16
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All of the guns I carry (Usually an EMP or P938 and a P238) have a safety in addition to the trigger. Drawing the weapon to fire I instinctively flip off the safety. Before re holstering the safety gets put back on. Not as much to worry about inadvertently reholstering without looking. Not having a safety in addition to what I find to be the horrendously long trigger pull inherent to most DA only pistols is just another reason why I will never have a DA only pistol.

IMHO if you can't reholster anything without looking, you are carrying wrong or just plain not practicing enough.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanuk
It depends on the gun, holster and carry method....
Which is why I choose a gun, holster and carry method which allow me to safely holster one-handed, without looking.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:46 PM   #18
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Opinion:

A lot (didn't say all) of "holster without looking" theory is predicated on cowboy-western-movie notions of "expert gun handling". It has more to do with looking like you "know what you are doing" than doing what is necessary or prudent.

The rougher Force-on-Force and CQB training I've done strongly suggests to me that my clothes and the holster may not be where I expect them to be, (or where they have been in less physical training) in any situation where I actually have to defend my life with a gun.

Add to this the known physical effects of threat-to-life circumstances, and it starts to sound like a recipe for something ugly. I've read enough stories of the good guy getting shot by police (because he was holding a gun) to make me believe it's a good idea to put that sucker away as soon as it is safe to do so.

I've read enough stories of ND-on-reholstering, under comparatively calm, day-at-the-range circumstances to make me believe that it's more important to be safe than to look good.

The smartest advice seems to be that you shouldn't be holstering unless it is thought safe enough to do so. "Safe enough" means that the known threat is down and you've done what it necessary to insure that there are no other known threats. Having gained some combination of distance and cover, a quick glance upon reholstering, and keeping a hand on the weapon until authorities arrive ... seems like no downside to that approach.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
PH/CIB

Breaking a Rule, Reholstering

Well you say,,,you might get shot by looking down to reholster the handgun and I reply then you have not done a very good job of clearing the area and the handgun should not be reholstered until you are sure the area is clear and safe.

Thoughts?
The scene after a defensive shooting should be considered a "fluid situation"; a situation that is subject to change in an instant without notice.

Consider that if the shooting takes place inside of a building there are a great number of places you can not clear unless you search.
If the shooting takes place outside in a parking lot there are a great number of places that a shooter could pop up or out to engage you as you look down to holster. If, if, if . . . .

If your handgun lacks a safety device that prevents the handgun from firing should the trigger snag some material or a defective holster, then consider changing to a handgun with a safety that will prevent that from occurring. For example, the 1911 has a thumb safety that should be engaged before holstering.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mello2u
The scene after a defensive shooting should be considered a "fluid situation"; a situation that is subject to change in an instant without notice.

Consider that if the shooting takes place inside of a building there are a great number of places you can not clear unless you search.
If the shooting takes place outside in a parking lot there are a great number of places that a shooter could pop up or out to engage you as you look down to holster. If, if, if . . . .
Consider also that after a self defense incident there might be other reasons you will want two hands free but to also have your gun immediately available in your holster. And it can be helpful if you can get it into your holster safely but without diverting your attention from what could be more important goings on.

Just as you can not predict ahead of time how a defensive encounter will play out and what you will need to be able to do to be successful, you can not know ahead of time what you'll need to be able to do immediately afterwards. Being able to holster your gun one-handed and without looking just might come in handy.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:35 PM   #21
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At the risk of getting flamed, . . . let me just throw an opinion here: if you have to look at your holster to make sure you are putting your weapon in it without shooting your leg, butt, or other hand, . . . you are in definite need of some serious equipment, . . . some serious training, . . . and probably a good dose of self confidence.

A good holster, IWB, OWB, shoulder, or even a thigh rig, . . . should be easily entered with one hand, . . . in the pitch black of the darkest night.

But then again, if you bought one of those $12.95 Uncle Mike Nylon, . . . well, . . . you got what you paid for. Same goes for the $15 half leather, half kydex piece of trash you bought at the gun show, . . . and he even made it in his toaster oven as you watched.

Take a day off of fishing, . . . bowling, . . . shooting pool with your buddies or whatever else you do for fun, . . . spend it getting acquainted with your firearm, your holster, your cover garment, . . . and just maybe, . . . go buy some decent equipment.

May God bless,
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
rule #1 is don't point a gun at something you don't intend to destroy. If your hand/body is part of that, sounds like a bad plan.
And to paraphrase Kill Bill these are parts I will miss!
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Old November 30, 2012, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
At the risk of getting flamed, . . . let me just throw an opinion here: if you have to look at your holster to make sure you are putting your weapon in it without shooting your leg, butt, or other hand, . . . you are in definite need of some serious equipment, . . . some serious training, . . . and probably a good dose of self confidence.
Dwight,

No flame here. I just been carrying a gun for over 30 years and Mr Murphy is my friend. I know cops who shot themselves in the butt with a crappy factory double action revolver trigger.

My point, there is no rush to holster, it should be a controlled activity. I see a divide with the guys who carry guns with active safeties and those who do not. I carry a Glock, it offers many things that to ME that outweigh other designs. I am very confident in my abilities and equipment and I have had some of best training in the country.

On a duty rig, yes you need to be able to holster by feel, concealed carry is another beast. That is why a carry system is a "System" and not just a gun and a holster.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:00 PM   #24
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Deal with the threat in an appropriate manner. If possible, make like roadrunner and get the hell outta there.

If your gun is in your hand, leave it there until you're sure you're out of the danger zone or the immediate need has passed.

If so, replace the gun back in its carry mode in the safest manner possible. You may be shaking and breathing hard and if so, your fine motor skills are trashed- so be extra cautious. If you need to look at the holster, gun-bag etc. then DO that. The object of having a concealed weapon is to avoid death or serious injury at the hands of an attacker. It sort of defeats the purpose if you shoot yourself.

If the cops show up while you still have a gun in your hand, expect to be treated to a roadside gun show and expedient handcuffing. You will probably not be shot so long as you don't point the gun their direction and follow instructions immediately.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:26 PM   #25
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Sarge
...If possible, make like roadrunner and get the hell outta there...
Sorry, but in general that can be a very bad idea -- unless you can demonstrate that you had good reason to believe you would be at risk staying and waiting for the police. Flight can be treated as evidence of guilt.

We've discussed dealing with the immediate aftermath of a self defense incident here, here, and here.
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