*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW*
Editor’s Note: Many have been asking what ammunition was being carried at the time of the incident to make such a big hole. The answer: Speer Gold Dot 9mm 115 grain +P+
One of our newest writers, Erin, noticed a post in a group on Facebook and asked me if I wanted to cover it. After he briefed me on the story, I had to get a hold of the poster to find out exactly what happened. This is a story that we’ve seen quite a few times before, and it will serve as yet another example of why using a proper holster is essential to safety when carrying a firearm.
The man with the extra hole is named Matt. He was gracious enough to give me a call, even though he’s no doubt in quite a bit of pain. After talking with him for over a half hour, I had a good scope of what happened, and more importantly… what lessons were learned.
He wanted to share this story, in hopes that it would stop this from happening to someone else.
Here is how Matt’s Tuesday went.
A concealed carrier for over 10 years now, Matt typically carries in molded leather holsters. Up until this point, he’s never had an issue with his setup. He was thinking of making a change to his holster, just to see how it would go. His eye was on a more expensive leather holster, however he wanted to try a cheaper nylon one first to see if it’s his style.
He went with a Blackhawk Nylon IWB Holster, Size B.
Just as cup sizes cater to a wide variety of women, ‘sized’ holsters attempt to do the same thing. They’ll provide you with one size holster, in this case B, which they market as being suitable for numerous firearms that happen to be in similar dimensions.
Almost exclusively before trying the above mentioned holster, Matt would use a Desantis Cosy Partner, which is a molded leather holster.
Here is what happened:
“I holstered the firearm in the new holster at home and made sure it was secure and comfortable, and then drove three miles over to our storage facility. I spent 10 minutes in the storage facility, just climbing around stuff and going through boxes. When I left, I walked outside and opened the car door. I went to go get in the car and just heard a loud bang,” Matt explained.
“There’s no way that just happened. That did not just happen. And then I grabbed by butt and felt a hole in my pants and said, ‘Ok that just happened.'”
Matt went on to tell me that immediately following the discharge, he unloaded the firearm and set it on his seat and then went to check on a person who was in the vicinity. Once confirming that the other person was alright, he asked a question he never thought he’d ask another guy; “Can you look at my butt?”
Matt continues, “When the police showed up, they took a look at everything and tried to determine where the bullet went. It turns out that the round went straight down through my left cheek, through the door jam of the car and then exploded on the pavement.”
As an experienced handler of firearms, Matt got home from the hospital and immediately started inspecting everything. He couldn’t get the striker to drop without pulling the trigger. Everything with the firearm is in 100% working order. He also noted that he’s had the firearm for years and has fired thousands of rounds through it without issue, and has also carried it extensively in the past.
I asked him if anything in the car could have hit the trigger area of the holster, and he informed me that he hadn’t even sat down in the seat before it went off. His (and my) best guess is this: He had a t-shirt tucked in at the time, between the holster and his body. He also had a button down shirt that covered everything up. What likely happened was a ‘bunching’ of the t-shirt that got into the trigger guard of the pistol, and pushed the nylon material inward. This is the theory as to how the trigger was manipulated.
When asked what he learned or has taken away from this unfortunate experience, Matt already had his answer for me.
“Rigid Holster. Molded Holster. Always. Know where your muzzle is pointing.”
The takeaway from this unfortunate story is to seriously consider a proper, molded holster… if you find yourself using a similar holster to the one seen above. Any holster that does not mold specifically to your firearm can set you up for a dangerous time, as the trigger is not properly protected from outside forces. With nylon and similarly soft and flexible materials, the opportunity to manipulate the trigger increases greatly.
Make no mistake: a proper holster will eliminate an accidental or negligent discharge by fully covering your trigger and not allowing anything to get in the way. This is not a deterrent to stop carrying with a round in the chamber, but a learning experience to always use a proper holster.
The holster company, in this case, makes a large line of holsters and also offers molded versions. They do a great job with them and are very popular. With the technology of holsters today, however, it’s my thought to simply get rid of the ‘one size fits all’ holsters once and for all.
I will be following up with this story in the next few days, in an attempt to highlight the importance of proper holster usage even more. In the meantime, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this happen.
The damage to Matt’s rear end was extensive, as you’ll see in the images below. As a final warning, the images are graphic. If you have a weak stomach, you may want to scroll back up to the top of the article in a more comfortable place.
The first image was taken right after the incident and shows the damage before the hospital started to take care of the wound.
*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW*
The next image is when Matt was in the hospital. I can’t imagine how painful this wound must have been for Matt.
A few days later, Matt went in for his follow up appointment. The doctors told him that it’s healing quickly and nicely, but he obviously still has a long road to recovery. While he should be able to return to work in a few weeks, he’ll be nursing this wound for some time.
And a clear shot straight through…
I want to wish Matt a quick recovery, and will be keeping in touch with him during the process to see how he’s doing.
As some comic relief, Matt told me about the conversation he had with the police who arrived on the scene. They were trying to determine how to write up the incident.
“They were arguing among themselves with how they were going to even write up the report. They said ‘This isn’t assault with a deadly weapon unless he wishes to press charges against himself.'”
One officer turns to Matt and says “Sir, do you wish to press charges against yourself?”
Matt smiled and replied, “I’ve consulted with my council and I choose not to at this point.”