At some point in time, if you have drawn your firearm from its’ holster, you are going to need to reinsert the firearm back into its’ holster. In comes one of those controversies the internet loves to argue about. Should you or should you not look at your holster when reholstering?
Let me get it out of the way, I believe you should always maintain visual contact with the holster when reholstering your handgun. Looking at your holster when reinserting the handgun is a safety concern. Failure to do so could result in a negligent discharge into your own body. People shooting themselves has happened many times before. However, as with all rules, there are always exceptions.
Draw the firearm with a purpose but reluctantly reholster.
At Alpha Koncepts, we teach: Draw the firearm with a purpose but reluctantly reholster. You’re not going to win a gunfight based on how quickly you put the gun away.
Are you familiar with the term, “Glock Leg”? Glock leg is a term that’s been floating around the gun culture since the first striker-fired handguns were released. And though Glock wasn’t the first striker-fired handgun, it was the first widely popular striker-fired handgun. Because most striker-fired handguns don’t usually have a manual safety people were shooting themselves in the leg when reinserting their firearms into their holsters. Hence the name “Glock Leg”. Even to this day, people are still shooting themselves when improperly reholstering. And let me be clear, I am not insulting Glocks, “Glock Leg” can occur with ANY firearm, not just Glocks.
Even if you have the skill to reholster without looking at the holster, and let’s face it most of us do, situations could arise in a high-stress scenario, which may create an unsafe condition. Those situations could be a piece of garment getting in the way of the holster, a drawstring for a jacket or coat getting lodged within the trigger guard, a soft holster collapsing upon itself self which can sometimes block the trigger. Maybe you’ve just had to shoot a person, and your nerves are jittering preventing a safe and smooth reholster manipulation. Whatever the situation may be, looking at the holster while reinserting the handgun ensures it is always safe 100% of the time.
The Argument against looking at your holster…
The Argument against looking at your holster when reinserting the handgun is that you should be looking at the threat or should be scanning the environment. Yes, you should absolutely scan your environment before you reholster! Looking at the threat… If they are still a threat, why are you putting your gun away?
It only takes half a second to look at your holster and put your gun away, and if it isn’t safe to take that half a second, it isn’t safe to put your gun away. Get a good-quality molded holster. Then always maintain visual contact when you are reholstering, and look that gun back into the holster.
The exception to the rule…
As with all rules, there are always exceptions where it may be reasonable to ignore the “rule”. In this case, this rule makes the assumption that the average joe with a concealed carry license is carrying inside the waistband. This is when the risk for negligent discharge is greatest. However there are times when a police officer or security guard might need to put their firearm away, perhaps to retrieve handcuffs (for example) and in these instances, they might wish to keep visual contact with their subject. The differences are law enforcement often carries full-size handguns, almost always carries those handguns in outside the waistband (OWB) holsters, and most “duty” holsters are designed specifically for this purpose with funnel-like features. Unless you and your gear fit these criteria or fit these exclusions, it is best to look at the holster when reholstering.
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