Training to Reholster: Look at holster ?

dusty88

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I left a training class today because i was concerned about the safety protocols I was witnessing.

There is one thing I don't feel certain about, though I feel certain it wasn't appropriate for this group at this time. We were demonstrating/discussing drawing from the holster and reholstering. The instructor asked that we not look at our holster when reholstering. I can see a benefit of being able to reholster without looking. I can see a benefit of practicing this under the right circumstances, so you can reholster 1-handed (especially an LEO). I can't understand a benefit of telling people NOT to look while you are training them, especially beginners. I am certain that some of the attendees had little to no experience drawing from a holster and/or had a new holster. There was also a variety of clothing being worn, definitely some that could have gotten caught in a holster or trigger.

The point was made that if you look at your holster, you might miss the next bad guy sneaking up on you. I would prefer to emphasize checking your surroundings thoroughly before reholstering, rather than NOT looking at the holster and risking a negligent discharge.

Meanwhile there was no methodical step-by-step instruction of drawing and reholstering. Even when saying "don't look at your holster", there was no discussion of clearing your body with your other hand. Perhaps that was coming later; I left before the ammo came out because of this and some other safety violations I was seeing in the instructor's protocol. In fact, I should have perhaps left sooner. So I'm not regretting walking away, but I am still thinking about the reholstering issue. I was, btw, learning some "tips" from the class. The instructor is clearly a lot better shooter than I am. I was just not comfortable with what I saw as unnecessary risks.

I am wondering if any of you, particularly instructors, advocate teaching students to reholster without looking ?
 

Jackson

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Not an instructor. At least not a professional instructor. I've been in classes where looking was discouraged, and I've been in classes where it was encouraged. I'm not dogmatic about it either way. I think being able to draw and reholster with one or both hands, open or concealed, with minimal thought and without looking is an important skill to work toward. As far as class mandates, keeping people from leaving with extra holes while letting them learn the skills is paramount. If looking helps them understand the relationship between the shirt, the holster, and the gun and it's appropriate for the level of student, maybe looking is the right way to teach them.
 

sporter

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Good way to ventilate one self.

Racing to reholster is the some of the dumbest crap I have seen in my life.

Doesn't surprise me though, from the crop of "Gun Instructors" out there.
 

VERT

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For Law Enforcement learning to reholstering without looking is good skill. Usually those professionals are uniformed and wearing a duty belt. Equipment should be in basically the same place. LEO needs to watch the suspect during reholstering.

For the rest of us reholstering is a deliberate act. If it is safe enough to reholster the gun it should also be safe enough to take a quick glance to make sure there is nothing in the way. Opinions on this differ. I have trained with people who strongly discourage looking down while reholstering.
 

dusty88

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Also, I am curious about the other safety issues
Guns waving around in the classroom

They were cleared first.... but it was totally unnecessary IMO

When I came in, they said they wanted to check and make sure my gun was cleared so I thought it was just a "no live ammo" in the classroom. Then the instructor started talking about checking again to make sure everyone was cleared and I started to wonder what that was about (I mean let's just leave them in the holster at this point huh?). So I did watch closely as each gun was checked, so at least now I have more certainty everything was clear.

But I was kind of surprised when they started having people practice their draw in the classroom (when signaled, stand up and take aim at a specific poster in the front). Although everyone else was sitting down at the time and it was POSSIBLE to accomplish this without sweeping anyone, most certainly some muzzle-sweeping was going on.

My thought process kind of went from "well there are people who simulate training with unloaded, checked, cleared weapons" to realizing that there was simply no reason for this exercise, as it could have been accomplished from the firing line without the risk, had someone's gun NOT been properly cleared. In hindsight, the appropriate words to say would have been "you know, thank you but I just don't think I'm quite prepared for this type of exercise" and left then.

To be clear, there was no basic instruction on drawing a gun: not the steps I have been walked through in other classes. It was in some ways comparable to a more intermediate class I once took where everyone was asked to draw to demonstrate that they could do so safely. That other class was from the firing line, though, one at a time pointing downrange. During the classroom time today there was no emphasis of removing your finger from the trigger before reholstering, and no emphasis of moving your clothing. In fact, there was no mention of what to do with your weakside hand during the drawing and reholstering process.

There was also no discussion about everyone's experience level. I just happened to know that some of them normally only shoot at ranges that do not allow holster work, and at least 2 people had new holsters.


and what class and instructor this was.
If this were an advertised class that I paid for, I would be willing to share that.
This was a class for an organization, held at almost no cost. $20 for the class and rangetime. The organization happened to have an extra slot so I joined them as a guest.
The person was said to be a licensed NRA instructor and has experience in law enforcement but I don't know if they normally teach classes often.


After the unnecessary gun demos in the classroom and the emphasis on "not looking" being more important than avoiding negligent discharge, I decided I didn't want to be on the range with this group.
 
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Craigh

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Hi Dusty,

Thanks for taking the time to post your experience. The training community needs to be self-policing.

I think the act of reholstering has been misunderstood and therefore miss-taught. The salient point is that one should strive to become familiar enough with their equipment that fundamental gun handling is reflexive (clear cover garments, presentation, reloading, malfunction clearing, reholster, etc). As such, all should work to develop their skills to the point where looking at the holster to reholster is unnecessary. However, like every other skill, it is learned through diligent practice and not every gun owner is willing to put in the effort to master these skills.

This goal has been misinterpreted by some 'trainers' and in their attempt to enlighten the novice student, they over emphasize this rather minor skill. No one (that I've met) starts out with the required skills to safely reholster without looking at the holster and as stated above, it should not be an expectation while learning the fundamentals.

Good for you for keeping your head in the game and applying your critical reasoning to this training class.

Please keep seeking quality training.

Craig
 

BogWalker

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Learning to keep your finger out of the trigger guard while holstering should be mastered first before worrying about holstering without looking.

Being in a hurry to holster when you aren't experienced enough is a good way to shoot yourself.
 

Bfish

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I wasn't there so I have nothing to say really about your situation per say. But I do know of instructors who are widely considered "dangerous" or "unsafe" who advocate looking at your holster if need be. They say "you should never be in a hurry to put your gun away" they may encourage keeping your eyes up while re-holstering but I've heard it said (specifically with appendix) "look at your holster, make sure your garments are clear" etc.

Who knows. All I know is that it's pretty much up to you to decide what is and isn't safe. I've only ever been in a training situation one time where I felt the instructor was not being safe, and upon voicing it things changed. Otherwise I'd have felt free to see myself out also I think... Like I said I just hate to pile on someone unless I was there.
 

Denny347

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GLANCE at your holster if you need to, no need to STARE. Since I wear my rig the exact same way for 19 years, I can reholster without a glance. Remember, gun comes out quickly but goes back slowly. Take your time to reholster. In time, you will not need to even glance at your holster. The point of all of this is to be aware of your surroundings. Even as you are reholstering, something could pop back off and staying aware will save your life. A glance will still allow you to keep track of your surroundings. I've seen too many people looking down at their holster to the point that they are 100% focused on it.
 

BehindBlueI's

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The point was made that if you look at your holster, you might miss the next bad guy sneaking up on you.

That's foolish for a few reasons. As you pointed out, a scan of the area should be done before reholstering. If you think about it for a second, though, how long do you really look at your holster to put the gun away? If the bad guy was close enough to ambush you in the brief time you looked at your holster, HTF did you not see him yet? Are you training against ninja assassins? There is nothing wrong with making sure the holster is not obstructed, particularly if you've got a striker fired gun.

LE train to do this because deadly force threats often become non deadly force threats. "Drop the gun, drop the gun!" and the guy drops the gun but takes off running. He's not a "shoot" any longer, and you don't want to stop watching him OR run with a gun drawn, so the no look holstering takes place. VERT covered that already, particularly the fact a duty holster is easy to do this with, and by design.

This is also one reason I'm a big fan of a hammer on a gun. By holding my thumb over the hammer as I reholster, I've got an additional level of safety. I can feel the hammer lifting if the trigger gets caught on an obstruction, something that you don't get in a striker fired gun.

In my class, I truly don't care if you look or don't as long as you're safe and don't muzzle yourself or others. I think the no-look reholster is a low reward skill for the average carrier, something that can be worked on once all the high reward skills are mastered.
 

dusty88

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Who knows. All I know is that it's pretty much up to you to decide what is and isn't safe. I've only ever been in a training situation one time where I felt the instructor was not being safe, and upon voicing it things changed. Otherwise I'd have felt free to see myself out also I think... Like I said I just hate to pile on someone unless I was there.
Definitely not looking to pile on, just questioning myself about the look or no look practice. I am certain there are things I could learn from this person and that they have more skill than I do. Being a quality, safe instructor isn't just about skill though.

I was very conflicted when I left. Part of me was feeling silly and another part of me was feeling guilty about not saying anything to those with less experience than I have.


In my class, I truly don't care if you look or don't as long as you're safe and don't muzzle yourself or others.

I believe that's the way all of my other classes have been handled. But today I started to wonder "has everyone else been telling us not to look and I somehow missed it?". That is the single significant reason why I posted the thread.

It all would have went better with me if there had been more instruction about the draw and reholster before emphasizing the "no look". (and/or if I hadn't already had the heebie-jeebies about guns coming out in the classroom for an exercise that IMO could have been done on the line)
 

Alpo

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I've been around cowboy action shooters for 15 years. They draw and reholster more than any other action shooting sport I know. Everyone, from world-champion to novice, looks the gun into the holster. A few don't and they set themselves up for a DQ when the gun misses the leather.
 

pudly

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^This. If you are that much of an operator, feel free to reholster without looking. But for the vast majority of us, fast holstering and holstering without taking at least a quick look are both ways to increase the odds of hurting yourself unnecessarily.
 
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