Deep Concealment Discharge
"I'm not eager to post this, but an airline pilot friend of mine told me that my AD changed his mind about how he carries on duty, and maybe my story will change someone elses' mind as well.I want to be clear on a couple of items. First, this unfortunate injury did not happen to me. No further telephone calls or condolences to my spouse are necessary.
Friday, Sep. 5 is a day I will long remember. I'm 47 y/o, married, father of three (10,18,20 y/o olds) and I've been shooting since I was ten. I've never had an AD or ND; I've never been injured by a firearm. I'm the type that triple checks for safety; the type that reads the manuals of a firearm to know how it operates.
This spring, I bought a CZ 82 which is a Makarov design, 9mm Makarov caliber pistol. I've shot the CZ 75's on several occasions and I like the simplicity of the CZ design along with the all steel frame. I'm not a big fan of autoloaders, as they have a propensity for AD/ND that revolvers don't have. But, I figured the little gun would be a good BUG and good for the wife or girls to shoot and/or carry. At the time, I only had one handgun and that was my full size, Colt .357.
One big problem with the CZ 82 is finding a holster. I had looked at a lot of holsters and was intrigued with the Smart Carry holster for deep concealment. Reno had a big gun show at the end of August, and I had hoped to find the folks from Smart Carry there so I could look at their holsters 'up close'. Instead, I found someone selling a nylon version of this holster. He claimed that this holster was thinner and the nylon was tougher than the Smart Carry material, so the holster would last longer. At $30 the price was right, and the CZ snuggled into the pocket like it was made for it.
So, I tried out the holster first with the gun empty. I normally carry the CZ 'cocked and locked', and I wanted to make sure the manual safety wouldn't come off. The problem I had was that the gun wanted to slide into a 45 degree angle with that double stack grip canted over on the right side, which was uncomfortable. Anyway, the gun seemed to carry safely with the manual safety staying on, but the problem was comfort. I wasn't carrying with the gun trapped under my belt, it was below the belt and not comfortable.
I pulled up the Smart Carry site and the video they have of putting on a Smart Carry rig and tried that technique, which seemed to work. You have the gun carried on the centerline of your body, with the grip under (or just below) your belt and the barrel pointed straight down. On the morning of the accident, this is how I was carrying the weapon.
Friday morning and I've put the holster on, slipped the gun into the pouch and I'm planning to go to town on errands. The dogs are bugging me to go for a walk along the river, and I figure it won't take that much time. We live on a hill above a small river, so I take the dogs and head out down the dirt road to the river. At the river, I check the guns' safety, and it's still on (remember, this is a new position for me to carry it in).
I walked for three or four hundred yards along the river, as usual. Coming back there is a point at which I have to stop and pull the stickers out of my little Schnauzers fur. I squatted down to pull the stickers, and the weapon discharged one round into my groin.
When the weapon discharged, I remember standing up and yanking the weapon out of my pants, wondering just what the #$%^ had happened. It's an odd feeling being shot. The body is screaming that it's in trouble while the mind is racing to catch up on what just happened.
I realized I was bleeding pretty good, but not enough to have hit an artery. I safed the weapon, stuck it behind my back and put pressure on the wound. I then discovered a big mistake I had made---no cell phone! I had to walk back, about 1/4 mile to the house to roust my daughters and call 911.
I'll make a long story short in that I was Careflighted to a trauma center where a very good surgeon took three hours to repair the damage. The round was a 95 gr. Hornady XTP that patially fragmented. I had three holes in my penis and a smashed left testicle. I know this is a bit graphic, but especially the guys need to realize what can happen when you carry a gun 'ready to go' inside your pants.
I was discharged the next Monday, and a full recovery is expected. Folks, everybody needs to be really careful not only how they carry, but in what they carry. I can only figure that having the slide under the belt allowed the safety to come off leaving the gun cocked. The holster material was very thin, which apparently allowed the heavy denim of my jeans to bunch into the trigger guard and set the gun off.
One of the rules of choosing a holster is to get one that covers the trigger guard---but you also need one that is made of a material stiff enough to prevent anything from pushing on that trigger!
You also really need to think about a worst case scenario if you're carrying a semi-auto IWB that is ready to fire. Is that really a good idea? Or would a revolver be a better choice. I know that some jurisdictions have rules on firearm carry that make it almost impossible to carry except in deep concealment. But do yourself a favor and carry as safely as possible."
Second, I use the SmartCarry holster frequently with a cocked and locked 1911. I believe it is a safe and superior product. I have never had a 1911 become cocked and unlocked in it, much less discharge. Most holsters, if one looks at them critically, place some part of somebody's anatomy at risk some of the time. The difference between the holster used here and a SmartCarry holster is significant in the thickness of the material surrounding the firearm. That bit of thickness protecting the trigger makes all the difference.
Labels: Negligent Discharges