Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Dirty-Shirt Draw

A friend sent a blurb from John Farnham's recent issue of DQ Quips, describing a problem that we should all recognize: although we may not all be familiar with it.   Here is an edited version of Farnham's description of the issue:

The mishap occurred during the presentation of the pistol as part of a live-fire exercise.  Drawing from concealment, from a strong-side, IWB,  belt holster, the shooter’s light-weight shirt got between his strong-side hand and the grip of the pistol.  As the pistol cleared the holster, the fabric of the entangled shirt started pulling on the pistol, retarding the draw sequence. Manual safety was pushed into the “off” position, and a finger obviously made contact with the trigger well before it should have. ----------- Here is what I think we can all learn from this: 1) Thin, filmy, flimsy concealment garments are a bad idea!  Whatever  you use to conceal your pistol needs to be substantial enough so that is unlikely to snag the gun itself. 2) Going too fast is a bad idea!  We all need to train well, so that  we can both draw, and reholster, our concealed-carry pistols smoothly and correctly.  Smoothness is the key!  “Pushing the speed envelope” needs  to be done with great caution!  Concentrate on smoothness and correct  sequence.  Speed will come naturally, and in its own good time! 


This is something which I see quite often teaching the Intro to USPSA class.  Shooters have either an un-tucked t-shirt, or a light jacket, or some other item of upper-body apparel which they allow to flap in the breeze.   

This garment interferes with their safe gun-handling in a couple of ways:
(1) it gets between the gun and the holster when they are holstering, and interferes with their draw because the grab for the gun and the shirt acts as a 'wedge' so they don't have a smoothe draw;
(2) they holster after completing a stage with the shirt in the way, and when they raise their arms (as if to stretch to get more ammunition when reloading magazines) the shirt-tail actually pulls their pistol out of the holster and drops the gun on the concrete.

However, the above narrative is the first time I've heard that it actually caused a negligent discharge.

I categorize this among the Draw-String Deputy kind of story; you can't believe it, but it really happens.


Anonymous said...

Maybe not a solution, but many in the south do carry with our pistol covered by a loose floppy shirt tail out garment (something about 100+ degree days six months out of the year). In that case you practice using your off hand to get and keep the shirt tail out of the way until your pistol is completely clear. Same thing when holstering. It saves on those embarrassing moments.

Jerry The Geek said...

Yes, that's the most common practice in the North as well ... if we're not wet from sweat in the summer, we're wet from rain (when it's not snowing). Lots of times folks wear an un-tucked outer shirt, or a light rain jacket. Same problem, just seasonal variations.

Anonymous said...

The weather you describe is why I don't live where you live. I grew up with snow, sometimes lots and lots of the nasty stuff and I detest it.