Safety Warning/Service Bulletin Safariland 6070 Raptor™ holster for SIG P220/P226 and SIG P228/P229
July 01, 2008
In June of 2008, an officer in Bridgeport Connecticut accidentally
re-holstered a loaded SIG P229 pistol into a Safariland Raptor
holster model 6070-744, with the hammer cocked in the single action
mode. The pistol discharged in the holster resulting in a non
Technicians at Safariland have studied this matter extensively. The Safariland
holster, model 6070 for the SIG SAUER pistols, P220/P226 and
P228/P229, require a middle finger locking device with an upper and
lower cam, (refer to Figure below).
The cams are required to engage the trigger guard of the pistol upon
initial holstering and to move the locking arm to the outside
This allows the pistol and trigger guard to enter the holster,
before snapping back into position and locking the weapon from being
rotated rearward. Both cams are required for the listed holsters to
accommodate the dimensional variations of the SIG pistols
manufactured under the same model designations. Under certain
conditions, such as when the weapon is re-holstered in an abrupt
manner, the middle finger locking arm is displaced with extra energy
and it returns with additional force. There is a slight interference
caused by the upper cam touching the front side of the trigger, when
the hammer is cocked and the pistol is in the single action mode.
The cam is angled such that when it snaps back in place and touches
the front side of the cocked trigger, it propels the trigger slightly
in a rearward direction. This interference is not sufficient to
maintain contact with the trigger and pull it all the way back to the
firing position. However, the bumping action of the trigger with the
returning finger locking arm, combined with the simultaneous rapid
downward motion of the pistol, can impart enough force to the trigger
to cause the trigger to move back under inertia and disengage the
hammer from the sear. SIG pistols, as well as most other modern
firearms have a firing pin safety device that helps to prevent such
"inertial" firings. The firing pin safety device is designed to
be moved out of the path of the firing pin by pulling the trigger to
the most rearward position, while simultaneously releasing the hammer
from the sear. The actions of the human body are such that the
trigger finger cannot release the trigger as fast as the hammer can
fall and strike the firing pin into the primer of the loaded shell.
With an inertial release of the hammer, such as the case of a dropped
pistol or the situation described above, the trigger return spring
immediately moves the trigger forward after the sear has released the
hammer and the spring loaded firing pin safety plunger immediately
moves back into a position to try and prevent the firing pin from
striking the shell. The two mechanisms are truly in a race to see
which one can have control over the end result of the firing pin. If
the firing pin safety plunger is well maintained, clean, properly
lubricated, and is working smoothly, it can usually block the firing
pin in an inertial type release of the hammer from the sear. If the
action of the firing pin plunger is retarded in any manner for
instance by a weak spring, dirt or old lubricant, it is not likely
able to prevent an inertial firing of the weapon. Technicians at
Safariland used a standard SIG P229 pistol loaded with a primed only
shell. The pistol was placed in a single action mode with the hammer
cocked back. It was repeatedly slammed into a Raptor 6070 holster.
Numerous attempts were required to cause the hammer to fall. A count
was made of each event that the hammer fell but the weapon did not
fire. The weapon fired on the 14th hammer drop. The timing of the hammer fall and the return of the
firing pin safety block is clearly separated by milliseconds.
conclusion, Safariland has confirmed that an accidental discharge
with a SIG P229 pistol and a Safariland 6070 can occur if all three
of the following conditions are met during the same event:
- The operator fails to de-cock the pistol before re-holstering.
- The weapon is re-holstered in an abrupt manner.
- The timing of the firing pin safety device is such that it allows an inertial
firing of the pistol.
It should be noted that Safariland has manufactured thousands of this
model holster for SIGs, since 2001 and this accident is the first and
only to be reported.
Action to be taken
action concerns only Safariland Raptor holster model 6070 for the SIG
P220/P226 and SIG P228/P229 pistols. Inspect your holster to see if
it fits these criteria. If it has two cams as pictured in figure 1,
you should return it to Safariland, at your earliest convenience, for
proper modification. Until your holster can be upgraded, you should
do the following to prevent an accidental discharge:
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- Strictly follow the safety guidelines of both SIGARMS and Safariland operating
manuals and de-cock a loaded pistol before attempting to re-holster
- Thoroughly clean and inspect the firing pin safety plunger in the slide of your pistol
and insure that it is clean, lubricated with a fine oil, and is
working smoothly before reassembling.
- Avoid jamming or quickly forcing the pistol into the holster when