Self-Deception vs Real Gun Handling

By John Farnam

Glock Load Indicators Stick Out G42
Glock Load Indicators Stick Out
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( “You can fool yourself, you know. You’d think it’s impossible, but it turns out it’s the easiest thing of all.” ~ Jodi Picoult


A good friend and maker of kydex holsters recently sent us an IWB appendix holster for Vicki’s Glock G42 pistol.

It was wonderfully made, but would not allow smooth re-holstering. The problem was that Glock has put a block on the forward edge of the G42’s extractor that serves as a tactile “loaded-chamber indicator.”

When the pistol is unloaded, it re-holsters smoothly, because the loaded-chamber indicator is depressed. But, when loaded, the loaded-chamber indicator is elevated, because there is a round chambered. The elevated block then hits the edge of the holster and prevents quick and smooth re-holstering.

Of course, we don’t holster empty guns, so this problem became evident to us immediately!

Plastic models used by the holster-maker to construct the G42 holster were modeled after an empty pistol, so the holster-maker did not notice the issue at the factory.

“Loaded-chamber indicators” take several forms. S&W’s M&P uses a visual peep-hole. Springfield Armory’s XD’s version is a small “teeter-totter” on the top fo the slide. Neither of these affects holster fit.

Glock’s “extractor block” does, at least in some cases.

The interesting point here is that we were the first customers to report this issue to the holster-maker! He has been making this style of G42 holsters for months and has had no complaints, until now!

My conclusion is that many of his “customers” are not actual “users.” They either carry guns with no round chambered, or don’t carry at all!

Either practice represents a form a self-deception!


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

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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Sounds like the some people that manufacture Blue Guns need to take note.


I see a bigger issue than a holster maker field testing or people even knowing what should and should not be acceptable for fit and function. Loaded chamber indicators are nothing but fluff. An old man taught me that accidents only happen with an unloaded gun because they were unloaded when someone did what they should not have been doing – yet the round miraculously appears. Point is if you do not know whether your weapon is loaded you should not be using a semi-auto pistol. It means that one is truly not trained to use that style of weapon.… Read more »


So it would appear that NOBODY at the company “field tested” the holster at the range . . . hmmm. . . that actually says something about the holster maker, doesn’t it?


I agree that “gizmos” are not the answer! Glock’s side-mounted indicator was not very well though-out.

I carry a – loaded – service (4″ barrel) XD, in a well-made IWB holster from AlienGear. Luckily, my range does certify individuals, to allow draw-from-holster training.

Wild Bill

It almost does not matter what if you have. Gismos are not the answer. Practice is the answer. If all you have is a P-17, but you practice with it like religion, then you are a dangerous person. Practice is the U.S. military’s secret weapon. No other country in the world practices like our armed forces. Everyone likes to win. No one likes to practice.

Duck Tape Commander

I think Vince Lombardi said it well, it’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win. In the case of concealed carry, you might say it’s the will to prepare to live. As far as practicing drawing, shooting, etc, I’ve always thought the practice is fun, it just gets too expensive to do it as much as one wants. I do agree, gizmos aren’t the answer, and all guns should be treated loaded. It’s the “unloaded” guns that are dangerous.

Dan Davis

I have not purchased this particular holster, but if I had, I would have just grabbed a file or my Dremel tool and adjusted the holster. I have needed to make minor adjustments to almost every holster I have ever used. Just like molding a baseball glove to a ball and hand, I mold my holsters to my firearms and body before I use it on a daily basis. I would not call and complain about it. (I do agree that carrying with an empty chamber is a grievous mistake.)


Would you provide the name of the maker? I want to order two one for G26 and one for a G19l both or which are carried loaded.

D. Murphy

I agree, I carry all my guns loaded. My holsters are made for bolstering a loaded gun, I also do all my training from the holster. Something most ranges do not allow.

jo ann

I’ve carried my Glock 42 loaded for two years n never even noticed the indicator block til i read this. Carry in Jason Winnie leather OWB style. I guess Kydex is Very Precise, not forgiving at all. So is your friend going to use loaded guns for the molds now. Interesting story John.