By Sam Hoober
There are a number of “rules” for guns, gear, shooting, concealed carry and everything related to it which we are exhorted to follow.
Usually the “rules” exist for good reason. For instance, pocket carry without a pocket holster is verboten (and stupid) because you’re liable to have an accidental/negligent discharge. That’s a no-brainer.
You shouldn’t leave a loaded gun in a car, because it might get stolen. Wildly obvious, right?
5.7x28mm is .22 Magnum for people with more money than sense. That’s definitely a rule.
But there are other “rules” that sometimes have exceptions that don’t always get talked about.
Bear in mind, this isn’t to say that you can all of a sudden become cavalier about gun safety or handling. That’s not it. This is, however, to say that dogma can falter under the light of some realistic scrutiny.
For starters, how about dry fire and the Four Laws of Gun Safety?
If one is religious about not breaking the Four Laws of Gun Safety, how exactly can one ever dry fire?
Most people don’t live in the middle of nowhere; there is almost no potential direction (except the floor unless you live in an apartment complex) that isn’t to some degree “unsafe” if the gun were loaded.
Then you have the first rule: treat every gun as if it were loaded.
What if you literally just unloaded it? You can’t shoot a loaded gun indoors unless there’s a homicidal maniac in your sights that’s trying to mangle you with a hatchet. Is that to mean you can’t dry fire because you can’t treat the gun as if it’s unloaded?
Nobody actually told Jeff Cooper that; the story is he’d dry fire at empty beer cans on top of his TV set, which would mean he was also drinking and handling guns.
Then we have reholstering as a positive aspect of holsters.
Anyone with half a brain in their head knows you need a holster that doesn’t collapse on the draw. That way, you can reholster the gun after shooting.
On the range, that’s an absolute. You need a holster that lets you put the gun back into it. How else are you supposed to be able to practice shooting on the draw? You also need it for dry fire practice, which should totally involve drawing and dry firing, and preferably on a timer.
Now that would ordinarily disqualify the simple leather scabbard style of gun holster from pretty much ever being used for anything other than a sheath for storing the gun in the safe. Except the thing is a lot of those leather gun store holsters at affordable price points still cover the trigger guard and safely retain the gun while you’re carrying.
And as the philosopher Aday said…
You could actually carry with a holster like when out and about, but you would have to have a better one for practice/training purposes. For the ruthless minimalist, you can make it work if you wanted to.
Granted, that’s also stupid; a Summer Special (or Summer Special clone) leather IWB with a reinforced mouth is barely any less minimalist and has a reinforced mouth that allows for the full range of function.
In fact, that’s why they were one of the default choices of concealed carry holster for decades.
And frankly, you can get a kydex holster for like $30 on Amazon that’s passable. Maybe spend an extra $10 for some belt loops or a DCC Monoblock and they work pretty darn well.
And so on and so forth; there are plenty of other “rules” about guns and gun-related stuff that are treated as religious dogma that can be blown out of proportion when adopted too religiously, and that’s something we all have to deal with.
Is that to say the Four Rules of Gun Safety are bad, out of date, or shouldn’t be followed? Well OBVIOUSLY not; that should speak for itself. It’s more that they don’t necessarily allow for nuance that frankly merits knowing about.
This also isn’t to say you should ignore best practices for anything. They’re best practices for a reason.
But this is to say that it’s okay to question things.
Sam Hoober is a hunter and shooter based in the Inland Northwest.