The Handgun Sling? No. Just… no.

Just saw a promotional video for a new product called “The Handgun Sling”.

No, I’m not going to link to the product website as I don’t believe this product is a good idea; no point in driving traffic that way. You can Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo search for it if you’re curious enough.

But here’s the gist.

It’s a doubled-over length of cord. One end has a “coin tab”, the other has an 8mm tube. The instructional video shows the “holster” being placed in the small-of-the-back. You make a lark’s head knot around your belt (passing the tube end through the “loop” end of the coin-end). You then insert the tube into the muzzle of the gun and shove the gun into your pants at the small-of-your-back. You then loop the coin end around the back-end of the slide to hold it “firmly” in place. To draw, you have to reach around to the small of your back, attempt to locate this coin, lift it off and over the gun , then remove the gun from your pants.

Oh, and the video ends with this disclaimer:

The Handgun Sling is NOT a safety device nor does it claim to have any safety features. Failure to understand and comply with gun safety can result in property damage, bodily injury, or death.

So much facepalm.

Where to begin?

Small of the back is a horrible place to carry. I hope you don’t fall down or get knocked down, because your spine sure doesn’t think a lump of steel makes a good cushion. As well, it’s quite a difficult place to draw from. Not just issues of flexibility and mobility, but get into a clinch and try to draw. Or how about from under a coat?

Nothing to cover/protect the trigger.

When your heart is pumping and adrenaline dumping, you now need to find this little tab and lift it off and over the gun and THEN get a grip on the gun and THEN draw it? Yeah, good luck with that.

The gun is held in essentially a vertical position; that’s a difficult draw from that location. Due to how our body and arm physiology work (you know, angles), as things go around the body you want to have them angled in a position most natural for your hand to grip without having to bend your wrist into awkward positions. Try it. Grip a pen or pencil in your hand (to simulate gripping something, like a handgun) so you can see the relative angle of your grip as it runs perpendicular to your arm. Keep your wrist locked and orbit your arm around your body at your waist. Notice how that grip angle changes? at the small of your back that pencil is almost perpendicular to the ground (parallel to your spine). This “holster” positions the gun’s grip essentially opposite of that (parallel to the ground, perpendicular to your spine). Break your wrist position to make that sort of grip possible (you have to bend your wrist almost to its furthest extent). Sucks doesn’t it?

Also notice how this “small of the back” design runs counter to every other “small of the back” holster design. Not just the angle of the gun, but that the gun is “upside down”?  Why do you think all those other designs might be designed that way?

To holster the gun I have to put it out of my sight, fiddle fart with it, point the muzzle at my fingers and hand, shove things up the barrel… and then they want to display disclaimers about not following gun safety? You damn right it doesn’t have safety features; in fact, I dare say the features of this product require you to perform unsafe actions in order to use the product.

I could go on, but if the above isn’t enough to convince you this is a bad idea, well… do what you wish. It’s a free country, which includes the freedom to make bad choices.

I haven’t conferred with Karl on this, but I feel pretty safe in saying this sort of product won’t be allowed at KR Training. Certainly I won’t allow it in any class I’m a part of, as a teacher or a student.

Jerry Morris (inventor), this is nothing personal. If you read this, I know it may be hard to read this because it’s critical of your product, of your invention, of your baby. I do applaud your desire to innovate, to try new things, to be an entrepreneur. Certainly you have every right to sell your product. And I have every right to be critical of it. I also reserve the right to change my mind. Convince me your product isn’t a bad idea. Give some samples to Craig “SouthNarc” Douglas of Shivworks and see if this product holds up in ECQC classes. Give some samples to other notable trainers; heck, I’ll even be happy to try it myself in our Force-on-Force classes. Basically, if you believe this is truly useful and valuable life-safety equipment that offers greater advantage and less disadvantage to the private citizen that will lead towards a better ability for them to carry a gun on a daily basis and use it when their life depends on it, then put the product up to scrutiny and test it.

Here’s the thing. What problem is this product solving that is actually improving the world in some way? I’m just not seeing it. I see this product having greater potential for harm than good. Not just the fact you have to violate basic gun safety runs in order to use the product, but the fact it seem to complicate the single most important thing you need to do when you need your gun (draw and present it), I just don’t see how this product is a good thing.

I’m willing to be proven wrong tho.

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