Tactical Tailor

Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Statement on the Summary Investigation into a Small Arms Weapons Incident that occurred on November 5, 2020

After an investigation into the incident, CANSOFCOM just released their statement on the November 5, 2020 unintentional discharge of a holstered SIG P320. The statement concludes that debris in the holster caused the incident and verifies that the holster was not the proper holster for the weapon. However, they go on to say that a properly fit holster would not have prevented the incident. I’m sure holster manufacturers will have something to say about that. Investigation into the incident will apparently continue.

As a reminder, here is our article containing SIG’s statement on the incident after it was disclosed by CBC on February 5, 2021.

June 30, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Summary Investigation into the unintended discharge of a holstered pistol during a Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) training event on November 5, 2020 is complete.

The investigation found that the procurement process and execution of the training event were not contributing factors to the incident, and that no technical failure occurred within the pistol. The pistol functioned as per the requirements as demonstrated by the weapons technical experts who trialed thousands of rounds without a reoccurrence. The probability of this same incident reoccurring is assessed to be extremely low.

The investigation concluded the primary probable cause of the incident was due to a partial depression of the trigger by a foreign object combined with simultaneous movement of the slide against the pistol frame that then allowed a round to be fired whilst the pistol was still holstered. The investigation also determined that the previously issued holster employed at the time had not been modified for the new pistol. While the investigation concluded the use of a holster not specifically designed for the new weapon was found to be a contributing factor, it determined the use of any other holster would not necessarily have prevented the incident.

The investigation made several recommendations in the areas of further improvements to the process when procuring leading-edge equipment, fielding improvements and weapon system modification.

Central to the decision on the way forward is ensuring our members’ utmost confidence in the effectiveness and safety of their equipment and weapons. As such, the Command assembled a working group consisting of operators, weapons experts and procurement specialists to develop and assess a number of options.

CANSOFCOM leadership has directed a safety/risk assessment be conducted by a third party before taking a final decision on a way forward. This safety/risk assessment will take a number of months to complete.

9 Responses to “Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Statement on the Summary Investigation into a Small Arms Weapons Incident that occurred on November 5, 2020”

  1. miclo18d says:

    Meanwhile our near-peers are shooting live rounds next to each others heads, instead of getting diversity training. I feel bad for them. They just have no idea how badly trans-soldiers feel.

    How does an accidental discharge from CANSOF make its way into the news like this? Really? I’d hate to see the investigation when a Canadian soldier slips on spilled mashed potatoes in the chow hall!

    • SSD says:

      How does it? See my original article on the subject.

      • miclo18d says:

        You mean your article from 5 months ago? Sorry Eric, either I missed it or my memory is gone.

        So basically, this is a follow up to a procurement screw-up? Maybe a summary or link to the older article would help us FOGs in the future. Thank you, that is all.

        I think my over all impression was that this was making a mountain out of a molehill. I was at the forefront of the Blackhawk holster “fiasco” and I can say that perhaps the design flaw was only the fact that a soldier can farkle up anything.

        • SSD says:

          Yeah, that article. That’s why I included a link to it. The issues I raised were validated by the statement. The comments by the people who got it wrong are always enlightening.

  2. Amer-Rican says:

    It’s amazing what an errant piece of frozen walrus meat can do to a holster.

  3. SSD says:

    It’s too bad TxJM can’t come in and accuse CANSOFCOM of being shills for SIG.

  4. Sparky says:

    So basically, it’s no one’s fault, except maybe the soldier for not checking for debris. Kinda. It’s definitely not the head shed’s fault or anyone in the decision making process to not field the appropriate holster or provide guidance and procedures for modifying the holster and QA’ing the modification. Definitely not that. Investigative findings: shit happens. No one above the Joe-level of leadership is responsible (how dare they try and make due in the absence of guidance). Above all: no one with a career position in leadership is at fault. Ever. Previously, now, or in the future. For anything. End of report.

    If this is what is considered a successfully investigation, I’d hate to see what a failed one looks like…

  5. Jeff Clement says:

    I guess I’m old school but this is one reason I really like a manual safety. Train with it, just like we do with every rifle, and it really doesn’t slow the shooter down that much.

    • H says:

      They wouldn’t have needed manual safeties in the first place if they were issued holsters that actually fit the p320. Manual safeties should not be used to protect yourself from blatantly unsafe handling of a firearm, like using holsters that allow foreign objects into the trigger guard while holstering.