Use Caution Holstering Pistols Without Flashlight


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“Excessive praise arises from the same bigotry matrix as excessive criticism.” ~ Stefan Molyneux.

Flashlights Attached to Pistols:

Carrying pistols with flashlights permanently attached is today a common practice for LEOs while in uniform and for both LEOs and non-LEOs carrying concealed.

Holster-makers provide all kinds of holsters designed to facilitate this practice, duty-carry, as well as OWB and IWB concealment options.

Many controversial issues surround this practice, but I need to address a particularly important one herein:

For duty-carry (LEOs in uniform), a pistol with a flashlight attached can be satisfactorily accommodated within most “retention systems,” many patrol officers thus routinely carry their duty pistol with an attached flashlight with scant risk of a mishap.

Yet, for concealed-carry, a pistol with a flashlight attached makes for a bulky arrangement, but many do it anyway.

In the latter case, when the pistol (with a flashlight attached) is secured within a holster specifically designed to accommodate that particular ensemble, the pistol can be drawn and reholstered with a reasonable degree of safety.

However, a serious problem arises when the pistol, without its usual attached flashlight, is placed within a holster designed to accommodate both the pistol and the attached flashlight.

When this is attempted, acceptable retention and protection of the trigger are often absent!

I know of several cases where, in the above scenario, pistols precipitously fell out of holsters at very inconvenient times and places!

Even Worse ~ Unintentional Discharges:

In at least one case I’m aware of, the pistol UD’ed as it was being reholstered (IWB holster), injuring the person wearing the holster.

The likely cause of the UD was the holster itself.

The holster in question was designed to accommodate a pistol with a flashlight attached. But in this case, the holster-wearer holstered the pistol without an attached flashlight. As he did, a part of the holster itself entered the trigger guard and depressed the trigger.

Had the flashlight been attached, such a UD would have been practically impossible. However, the holster had not been adequately tested with regard to the eventuality of a user holstering his pistol without the attached flashlight. Further, that eventuality was not adequately addressed in the “Instructions for Use Manual” that came with this particular holster.

Accordingly, my advice is this:

When you have a holster specifically designed to accommodate a particular pistol with a particular flashlight attached, don’t attempt to carry your pistol in this holster by itself (absent the flashlight).

Those who do may well discover their pistol is suddenly AWOL! Even worse, they may experience a UD upon drawing or reholstering!

We live and learn!


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor, John Farnam will urge you, based on your beliefs, to make up your mind about what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to ensure that its students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

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