Saturday, July 9, 2011

His Holster Apaprently Confused Him...

...and the result was that he shot himself. I have to hand it to Mr. Tex Grebner for posting his accidental, albeit negligent, discharge video on YouTube. It is a good warning for the rest of us. Is it a better warning than the blog post that I put up last August called "Don't Let Your Holster Confuse You"? Maybe it is better for shock value but if you had read my piece and taken its advice you maybe would have been less likely to have been confused by your holster and maybe more likely to have avoided an accidental (albeit negligent) discharge like the one he experienced. I will admit, the video below is much shorter than my blog post (the post is pretty long). The video also has value. Yet, I still think my  blog post on the subject  is worth the read, especially if you use holsters that differ from one another with regard to retention devices.

Watch the video, then when you have some spare time, sit back and read Don't Let Your Holster Confuse You. While it does not discuss the same holsters used by Mr. Grebner, it discusses problems that can arise when you use different types of holsters from one day to the next or even on the same day as did he) and why I do not mix and match holsters with different retention devices if possible.

On a side note, I have to say a couple or few more things. An accident like that could have happened to anyone who used holsters with differing retention systems, especially during the same shooting session. Yes it was an ACCIDENT even if he was negligent (anyone who leaves a comment arguing that will have there comment dumped). I do believe he was negligent but also believe the holster he was using may have been designed negligently and may have in part caused the accident seen in his video. I do not believe all the fault for the accident is his but I do believe him most at fault - that is my personal opinion. I also have to hand it to Mr. Grebner for keeping cool after having shot himself. I can almost guarantee that most people would not have handled themselves as well as did he in that situation. The very first thing he did was to place his trigger finger along the slide, then he put the safety on the weapon and grounded it. Then he apparently took a look at the wound, called for help, and treated himself by applying first aid. He was pretty darned calm about it all even though for the first moment or two he seemed to be in disbelief but then as the initial shock of what he had done had passed he was cooler than I think most people would be and he not only was cool but took proper action. Then, with apparent nerves of steel, he took the video and placed it on YouTube for the whole world to see and to ridicule and many have done just that in a nasty obnoxious manner.

I do not know him but admire his pluck for having published that video in the face of what would certainly be a lot of ridicule. I will have none of that here. Leave comments that are decent regardless of what you think of him and his accident. Comments that are critical of him in a civil manner are okay - just do not leave nasty or impolite comments that rag on him; comments like that will not be allowed.
All the best,
Glenn B


Kansas Scout said...

To me, this was just a variation of the old fast draw shoot yourself in the leg trick well known to medical folks. When I was an Army Corpsman, this happened on occasion with guys home on leave.
Practicing fast draw with live rounds is asking for trouble.

Glenn B said...

Whenever I shoot at the range for qualification, I almost always draw as fast as I can. Most times, when I am practicing or training at the range, on a qual day, I draw as fast as I can. Everyone else, at the same quals, does likewise. In all my years of shooting for the job, I have only seen one shooter who shot himself like the guy in the video in question. Why? because he had a holster that did not cover the trigger guard, placed his finger on the trigger as he was drawing, then forgot to hit the thumb snap and when the pistol stuck he yanked harder. Ouch. The bullet stayed in his leg as I recall. I think, the problem is not just utilizing a fast draw, nor practicing with live rounds (it is difficult to practice realistically for combat drawing and shooting without live rounds in the gun), the problem (the greatest part of it) is placing the finger on the trigger while drawing or before being ready to shoot. While speed of draw may contribute some to this particular situation, other factors contributed as much or more to this accident and we also need to examine them not just to say it was one factor alone.

This guy was not an inexperienced shooter but he was actually, for the moment, unaccustomed to the holster he was using when he shot himself. That was because he had just been using another holster that required different action to release the retention device. He sort of forgot which one he was using. Thus he was confused due to the change he made in his equipment. That quite likely led him to doing things wrong and speed may have contributed somewhat. Regardless of draw speed, it seems quite reasonable to pay attention to the holster, in this case, because of its design and what it requires you to do with the trigger finger and because he had just changed holsters. The one he used, while he shot himself, requires pressure from the trigger finger to release the holster retention device the one he used earlier did not. The holster type apparently possibly leads one to place the finger so as to have it in a position that it will naturally go right to the trigger upon drawing and to still be in a position and in an action as to apply pressure on the trigger instead of going right to he side of the frame. That makes it a little bit more incumbent upon the shooter to make a conscious effort to remember to straighten the finger after hitting the release and to place the trigger finger correctly each time he draws.

While speed, should not necessarily effect any of this for someone used to this draw, it is possible that an inexperienced or confused shooter would become less likely to get it right as speed of draw increases. Had he done this in a real slow motion move he probably would have been less likely to have shot himself - or at least a shooter who normally has good shooting habits would have been less likely to be negligent with finger on the trigger. But that would mean you would have to be moving almost at a snail’s pace and not using a normal draw as you would in practicing combat shooting.

(cont. below)

Glenn B said...

So what was there, at a normally fast draw speed, that also possibly contributed to the accident. In this particular instance it was not so much speed that was the factor but more likely the design of this particular holster and the fact that the shooter had just finished using a different type of holster, with different retention device. I believe he should never have done that or should have taken mire time refamiliarizing himself with the design change before trying to do anything along the lines of combat shooting with it. That would have meant an hour or more of practice with it, maybe even several hours - especially if he normally wears the another type of holster like the other one he had been using that day. It is obvious, from what he said, that he tried to draw the weapon at least in part as he would have from the other holster and he applied his thumb as if there was a thumb snap on the second holster. So, if he was already confused by that change, why would the necessity to utilize the trigger finger to release the retention device not confuse him even more. Let's face it, there is an awful lot to say about what is called 'muscle memory' in this instance and the changes required to draw the gun safely from the second holster had not been firmly set in his mind by repetition of action before he used that holster in a combat style practice scenario.

I am not saying his speed was not a contributing factor but that there were other factors also involved. You cannot, or should not, disregard everything else that went wrong otherwise those factors may again contribute to an accidental discharge even at a slower speed. For safety's sake - everything he did wrong really needs to be critiqued.

I am quite happy that you brought up the speed issue, I don't think I mentioned it myself. It almost definitely had to be a contributing factor but again most definitely was not the only factor leading to this accident.