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Custom Kydex Nightmare

2013 Views 45 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Pistolkitty
This is a story you NEED TO READ.

A person I know locally came to me privately asking advice. Because this person came privately, I will be redacting all PII.

This person purchased a kydex holster custom made for this person's Sig P365XL from a local maker. It's a pretty vanilla IWB with a standard belt clip. This person was getting ready to go out for the evening when this person put the holster on at about 3:00 waistband then holstered the P365XL. An Unintended Discharge immediately occurred as the firearm was being holstered, sending a 124gr. 9mm hollow point down the barrel. The injury was minimal, thank God; it creased this person's outer thigh for about 4" or so (judging by the cell phone photo I was shown). EMS was called and eventually also the police. This person received stitches in the Emergency Room and was discharged. The police took the firearm, cartridge case, and wrote a report. The firearm has since been retrieved from the Police. The official police report states that the cause of the accident was due to a defective holster. The trigger pocket was over-molded and forced in so far that when the firearm is inserted into the holster, the kydex indentation actually catches on the trigger, effectively pulling the trigger. The officer on scene eventually demonstrated this to this person.

This person took the holster back to the maker who apologized and gave this person a refund. I suggested that this person ask the maker to pay the medical expenses; this person has insurance but there is always an out-of-pocket expense.

This person lives in an apartment. The landlord was given a copy of the police report (apparently this is SOP?). The landlord is now talking about evicting this person because of the UD.

Because the holster was over-molded, this person now has a permanent disfiguring injury (it will scar), is out-of-pocket for some amount of medical expenses, had to temporarily be without the preferred self defense firearm, and might be evicted.

And before you ask, no, "this person" is not me. I'm too cheap to buy a Sig.

Still, this could have been much worse. If the firearm had been canted in toward the leg a tiny bit the leg could have been permanently debilitated, or, worse yet, if it had been an AIWB, this person might have been killed.

Be careful about your holsters.

Peace favor your sword,
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I agree.

I disagree. I have a definite issue with the idea that any unintended discharge can be eventually traced back to negligence. I do not believe that this is a case of user negligence. It was a defective product.

Peace favor your sword,
Which made both the maker and end user negligent. Neither of them intended for the discharge to occur, but their failures to perform due diligence lead to a completely and totally avoidable incident that resulted in injury but could have easily ended in death.

Both parties could and should have test fit the appropriate firearm before delivery and/or use. Would you, as a reasonable individual, just jam a loaded firearm in to a brand new, freshly strapped on and untested holster?
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No I wouldn't. But in any other industry would we be assigning Negligence to the person who received a defective product? If a person takes their car in for repair and the mechanic screws up and it leaks CO into the cab, is the owner negligent because he didn't test for carbon monoxide? If a person buys a defective microwave oven and it leaks RF so bad that it stops someone's pacemaker is the consumer Negligent because he didn't do an RF test? Is there any other product which someone could buy that the purchaser would be considered Negligent if they used it In Good Faith, but product was defective? Of course not. The purchaser of a product has a Reasonable Expectation that the product will perform within specs and is not defective. The user is not Negligent if they receive a defective product and use it In Good Faith.

In the "gun community" we take safety and personal responsibility incredibly serious, with good reason. We are always under attack by gun prohibitionists and we know the worst outcomes that could happen. Most of us would "dry fit" the gun first, taking additional cautions beyond what we normally would for almost any other product; not because failing to do so makes us Negligent, but out of a well-earned abundance of caution.

So, yes, calling this event Negligence on the part of the user is, well, wrong. Could this person have done something to (maybe) find the issue ahead of time? Yes. Was it Negligent? No, at least not in any legal or generally moral sense of the word.

That said, again, as I pointed out already, even if it's not negligent to fail to do so, take extra caution with your holsters. This person wasn't technically Negligent but this person did suffer a negative outcome, and could have suffered worse, which could have been avoided with what is considered SOP by many in the "gun community."

Peace favor your sword,
Negligence is defined as failing to take the proper care in doing something. You are blindly ignoring the fact that negligence isn't automatically criminal. As a matter of fact, 90% of negligence cases are civil in nature. Basically if your actions, or inaction, are significantly different than what a reasonable individual would do in a similar situation... you are being negligent. So as per your own post, the "victim" is in fact technically negligent for not following gun community SOP. In addition to that, it was a CUSTOM holster. It was not a commercially produced product that would fall under standard liability laws and testing/certification processes. Here's an example. If I pay Steve to fabricate a lift kit for my truck, then I slap it on in my driveway and take off but it makes a hard left in to the neighbor's house... I'm negligent because I took a custom ordered, one-off piece of kit that isn't avaliable to anyone else and added it to my perfectly functioning and reasonably safe piece of equipment and it IMMEDIATELY malfunctioned causing injury to another person or property because I failed to take reasonable care to ensure it's functionality. Even if Steve is a reputable lift kit manufacturer, because I took on the responsibility of applying it to my vehicle, I am negligent.

So technically both the victim and the holster maker are negligent in this situation, because neither one of them function checked it.

Let's say this person did dry test it first. This particular issue could easily not be exposed with an empty gun- without something in there to go bang when holstered, how would the person be able to tell?
Your reasoning kind of loses steam when the police investigation did in fact discover the defect and did manage to reproduce the same result of the weapon being discharged due to contact with the holster on several occasions.

Personally I am meticulous with a new holster.

EDIT: And now it would appear stories are changing. Initially the holster was so overmolded it was apparent and the police easily discovered the cause of the ND. Now it's an intermittent issue that wasn't discovered during multiple dry fit tests...
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Turns out the person did actually dry fit. The issue is either intermittent or the person could not detect the issue. In any case, it appears that this person did, in fact, do the due diligence.

That aside, I stand by my original statement, a consumer using a product in good faith is not negligent.

Peace favor your sword,
I read the updates and I still stand by it being the users ND. The story is changing. If an on scene officer was able to recreate the conditions that caused ND while still on scene, that's not an intermittent issue. If the holster was so obviously overmolded and deformed in to the trigger guard, it's an ND due to lack of proper inspection.

I'm betting that the malfunction happens when the firearm is being holstered the user applies pressure to the side of the holster with their trigger finger causing the nownotsoobviousovermolding to slip in to the trigger guard and make contact with the trigger.
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Either way ND or UD. It was the holster makers faulty product. He should be responsible for damages. Tell your friend to get a lawyer.
That's not in question at all, but the burden of where 51% of the negligence lies will determine how that question is answered in court.
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I have a friend who's mother took her car in to get the tires rotated. On the way back home afterwards, she felt a strong vibration from the front and called the shop who told her that it it continues that she should bring it back in. She turned around and on the way back, the front passenger side wheel literally came off. There was damage to the vehicle and the city street. Seems that the shop had forgotten to put the lug nuts back on that wheel. This was an incident that she could have prevented if she had immediately pulled over and inspected the wheels, or inspected the wheels before she left the shop; you know, literally "kicked the tires." But she was operating on Good Faith that the shop had performed their job appropriately. The fact that she could have found the issue herself fairly easily does not make her negligent in any way, not even contributorily.

Peace favor your sword,
And again you keep defaulting to services performed by licensed professionals in licensed or certified facilities, not custom ordered products tailored to user specific equipment applied and/or installed by the user and not a professional installer...

How about the guy who shot himself through the ass with his Glock? The holster didn't fully cover the trigger and over multiple times getting in and out of his vehicle, the individual's shirt eventually bunched up in the trigger guard and when he got out of his vehicle the bunched up shirt depressed the trigger enough to fire.

Despite the holster itself failing to adequately cover the trigger, and the fact that there is no way that situation would have been tested for, it was ruled a negligent discharge caused by the user, and the holster manufacturer wasn't required to pay a dime.

I have no problem agreeing to disagree with you, but your petulant insistence that there is zero possibility that it should ever be considered an ND?
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I already have with several examples of user applied accessories to factory functional products. If I install something extra on to a normal, every day, fully functional product... and it suddenly malfunctions because of that something extra then I could be found negligent for causing said malfunction.

You yourself have given conflicting reports on your own story for this same incident. Is it intermittent or easily repeatable? Was it obviously deformed and overmolded or is it barely noticeable? Just how much user input was applied to push the holster on to the trigger guard?

You're the only person here operating with a direct information pipeline and even you don't have the whole story but you certainly came in with the preconceived notion that there is no way it could have been any fault of the user.
I'll slow this down for you one more time.

The trigger pocket was over-molded and forced in so far that when the firearm is inserted into the holster, the kydex indentation actually catches on the trigger, effectively pulling the trigger. The officer on scene eventually demonstrated this to this person.
That's directly from the OP.

If the holster deformity was so grossly evident and obvious and the malfunction was so easily repeatable that it was "discovered" while still on scene, then the user probably lied about test fitting the weapon in the holster because he's embarrassed as shit to have shot himself and KNOWS he should have inspected it properly.

You even assumed, based on the evidence given to you, that no test fit occurred. So that right there tells us that even you were wondering how somebody could miss such an obvious deformity that it would allow the trigger to be depressed while holstering.

Now you're sitting here, essentially scrambling for ways to exonerate your friend. Now he did test fit it, maybe it was a positional thing he couldn't see, maybe the retention click masked the sound of the trigger, maybe it's only intermittent. Come on man... I'll buy you a box of straws so you can stop grasping at them.

You know as well as any of us do that when a trigger is depressed to the point of firing both the sound of it and the feel of it in your hand are completely different than the sound and feel of the click that's produced by the retention system of a holster. Not only that, but let's consider the additional resistance incurred by the weight of the trigger pull as he was stuffing it in the holster. If he was just holstering the gun, that additional 5 or 6 pounds of resistance pushing back should have been a major red flag.

Maybe I'm totally jacked up even more so than originally thought, because I pay attention to things like that. I holster and unholster at virtually eye level while I inspect the fit and find contact points that might cause wear down the road. I put it on and do holster, draw, reholster drills with a dry weapon. I walk around the house for a few days with an empty weapon holstered so I can get the fit and feel just right. Yes, I randomly do quick draw drills during those few days. I'm fully aware I look like an idiot while doing so. However, I now have 100% faith that my new holster will be reliable when I need it to be because I'm weird and an idiot.

I have an extremely high level of attention to detail. You know this. I am obsessed with making sure everything is going to be done properly. It's why I work on my own vehicles, guns, residences, appliances, furniture, electronics... you get the point.

So if someone fails to do even the most basic of assessments on a piece of gear, and it fails, then to me they are negligent.

EDIT: Just thought of this other thing I do that I'm willing to bet your friend didn't. Well... technically he did... but he didn't understand the assignment...

I holster the weapon while it's cocked to see if the trigger gets depressed.

One more test that could have saved him from all of this.
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I think this current disagreement revolves around what I would call "best practices" and "failure to do so is negligence." They're not the same.


BTW, I'm a little tired of using "this person" to keep this person's anonymity. Going forward, I'll use the English Language default when gender is not known: "he." :)
Well I was half expecting it to be you because we all know most stories about a friend falling victim to their own actions is usually the story teller.

Yes, you have repeatedly said that this manufacturer's defect in a CUSTOM holster made SPECIFICALLY for your friend's firearm would have, could have, should have been detected if he had applied the appropriate level of inspection.

You know what that sounds like the definition of?

I say we call him BOB!!
No... man... no...

Why, when somebody does some gnarly mess, is it always some variation of my name? Movies, TV, stories told... :ROFLMAO: 🖕
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It sounds like a reason for me to make a thread telling people the story and cautioning them to be extra careful with kydex holsters.
Because you're a good dude, out here trying to prevent negligent discharges by reminding people to properly inspect their gear before they use it....(y)
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The story thus far says:

This person purchased a kydex holster custom made for this person's Sig P365XL from a local maker.
He probably didn't wrap the gun before he formed it
Could be he hand formed the trigger area with a heat gun and used too much heat and it sagged before it cooled enough.
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Thats why you wrap them. No sag.
I know guys that do final fit and touch up after they unwrap...
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