No Booger Hook Needed

8-Aug-12 – 16:49 by ToddG

For years in classes I have warned people of the danger created by plastic draw cord adjusters found in many wind jackets, vests, and similar outer wear. They have an unnerving habit of finding their way into trigger guards while someone is trying to holster, and the result is often an accidental discharge without the shooter’s finger ever touching the trigger.

A couple years ago, I had a student holster his loaded 1911 with one of these adjusters sticking through his trigger guard and out the holster. It was only because his safety was on that he didn’t shoot himself. Students roll their eyes when I tell them to take a knife to their favorite windbreaker or vest… it will never happen to them, right?

In June of this year, a law enforcement officer working with a federal task force wasn’t so lucky. The adjuster got stuck inside the trigger guard as he was holstering his SIG P229 DAK in a SERPA holster (not that this particular accident had anything to do with the SERPA). The arrangement was recreated by the range staff and shown in the photo at right. If you look carefully, you can see the adjuster stuck in front of the trigger, pressing it backwards.

The shooter took a round of 180gr Federal HST to his calf. You can see a photo of the wound by clicking this link. It’s not particularly gory but it’s a real gunshot wound so browse at your own risk.

Luckily, the officer is expected to make a full recovery.

Incidents like these are  exactly why I’m an advocate of putting the shooting hand thumb over the hammer while holstering DA/SA, DAO, and similar hammer-fired guns that aren’t using a manual safety. Not only will you feel it if the hammer starts to move, but if you’re really pushing down with the thumb you will usually be exerting enough force to prevent the gun from firing even if something does get inside the trigger guard. A couple years back while teaching a class in Los Alamos, NM, I actually bent the trigger bar on my backup HK45 while demonstrating this… the steel part deformed under the pressure I was exerting on the trigger but the hammer still never cocked and dropped.

If you wear a garment that has these evil little plastic trigger-pullers on them, ask yourself if you’ve ever tightened them down while carrying concealed. The answer is no, because no one wants a tighter garment at the waistline while CCW’ing. Cut those things off. Do it now.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

(thanks to KJ for the photos and details)

  1. 13 Responses to “No Booger Hook Needed”

  2. Beware the little pockets that can exist on the front, inside, bottom of button up shirts as well. Hard to describe exactly where it is without pictures.

    But when practicing draw strokes from conealment I have had the front of my muzzle get stuck in there on a couple of occasions. The best part is that as you press out it tends to point the gun right back towards you. A single stitch should fix the problem.

    By gggnotaz on Aug 8, 2012

  3. Thanks for this, a great reminder for the coming fall/winter.

    By Jess Banda on Aug 8, 2012

  4. A most excellent and tissue saving post! Thanks!

    By Jon on Aug 8, 2012

  5. Here is another example of why you don’t want those dangerous devices near your sidearm.

    By John O on Aug 8, 2012

  6. Great advise.

    I dream of the day when we can wear jackets and windbreakers here in Texas again….sigh.

    By xpo172 on Aug 8, 2012

  7. !!!


    By Les on Aug 9, 2012

  8. That happened at the Sacramento AFHF class a few years back next to me and you just happened to catch it before the student finished holstering.

    By Shenaniguns on Aug 9, 2012

  9. Ok, you know someone had to ask. About a certain pistol starting with a G, with a certain device also starting with a G, developed in part by someone whose last name starts with G…

    Any news?

    By NWGlocket on Aug 9, 2012

  10. Only to say that it’s moving forward. We’re still hoping to have the first test pilot/beta units in testers’ hands soon.

    By ToddG on Aug 9, 2012

  11. I’d love to be a beta tester if given the chance. FWIW I’m a CGA.

    By NWGlocker on Aug 9, 2012

  12. Thanks Todd. Great advice. I guess that’s the closest you can get to, “The gun just went off by itself.” Looks like the bullet went in and out clean without hitting bone or even too much muscle. Lucky he wasn’t using an appendix carry holster!

    By Kevin 61 on Aug 10, 2012

  13. Another item to be outlawed to keep us all safe. Only those who have been trained to & tested for their use should be licensed to have & hold these dangerous items. controlled sales through licensed dealers after safety class may transfers be made.
    let’s be careful out there, leo

    By sally on Aug 10, 2012

  14. I wear a Woolrich Elite Series fleece jacket that has the drawstrings in the pockets, nothing to get snagged. Also unzips on the sides for easy weapons access. I think IDPA now sells them with their logo embroidered on it but I prefer my sterile version.

    By Tyler on Aug 10, 2012

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