Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Question about drop-legs holsters

Pros and cons, please. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t go all mall-ninja fanboi on me. I ask because after much careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there are only two comfortable places for me to carry. Shoulder rig and drop leg. And this is why:

This is my Dad, circa 1947, give or take a year, when he was in his early thirties. See the short waist? See the long legs? Well, I inherited all that from him, plus some rather abrupt curves in vicinity of my hips from my Mom. There just isn’t any way for me to comfortably carry on a belt without something digging in, or sticking out. (And, oh do I wish I could!) And drawing? My elbows just about rest on my hips to begin with. In my aging, decrapitated state, I’d dislocate something if I had to draw in hurry. And no, purse carry won’t work for me, as I occasionally put it down -- like when I’m eating in a restaurant. That loss of control is a no-go for me.

So if anybody (Bueller?) has any pointers, I'd love to hear therm.


  1. Belly Band? I know Kathy Jackson of likes them and I would think that with the amount of flexibility they provide in placing the firearm that you could find a position that works well.
    -D. Davis

  2. My experience with drop-leg holsters is limited to my friend who uses a tacti-camo one for his 44 magnum when he goes hunting with it. Is it possible to concealed carry with one? Or are you thinking of OC?

  3. Anon - When seated, a belly band would turn into an underwire. When standing, there is 6" of clearance between my bra band and my belt. The belly band would have to sit at my waist, putting the muzzle above my elbow. Wearing a belly band for cross-draw would put the butt behind my boob. I am 6' tall. I am very short-waisted, I am a freak, I know.

    bluesun: OC is okay here in VA, and I have a below-the-knee coat that would work, especially if I put some musket balls in the hem as weights. *grin* I'm not sure I want to jump on the OC bandwagon. I probably *should*, but for now I could run to the local hardware store with it, and one of the local pizza joints where they know me. It would be a start.

  4. Would using a coat pocket - with suitable installed holster - work?

    Have you considered a gun with a smaller size for regular carry? As Frank W. James pointed out, the 22LR is not a good choice for personal defense - and yet is arguably the most frequent caliber for defense. It is the weapon that is there and ready, that makes for the best defense. In the past, derringers up the sleeve, hideout guns in the boots, and the mall ninja/death wish sawed off shotgun slung from a cord around the shoulder have all been used (in the movies) to address the compromises of safely having a useful defense weapon on hand at need.

    Maybe a derringer or sharp hat pin, or both, in a hat, depending on your attire at the time, would be one way to compromise.


  5. Nancy,

    Drop leg carry is very comfortable. The drawbacks include hitting your car door on the holster when you close it while in the driver's seat (lefties) or passenger seat (righties), smacking it on random stuff while out and about (DL holsters stick out further than hip holsters), and lastly, the thigh harness can make your pant leg ride up depending on how you tighten it.

    Hollywood portrays the DL holster as being worn way too far down, close to the knee You generally want it to ride high on your upper thigh for stability, right at your pocket level. This will keep the pistol straight up (not tilted with the butt hanging out), which minimizes knocking it into stuff, as well as keeping your pant leg from riding up. BLACKHAWK! makes the DL Serpa holster with two separate attachement points at your belt so that you can still use your pocket. Other types have a nylon strap that covers it as it drops from the belt to the holster.

    I have seen people OC with a DL holster in VA without issue. I've worn one lots, just not in the US. Again, they are very comfortable - - you can see how the holster itself is pulled up high, with the thigh straps kinda at an angle. The holster is very stable like this.

    That you are even considering it makes you the coolest female blogger out there!

  6. More:

    Here is NOT how to wear one, if you value comfort and a handgun that doesn't fly out of the holster -

    You can see the single strap that rides down from his belt, and the holster body is on his knee. That sucker will flap around when he moves.

    I don't think you should have anything to fear from OC in VA. I have OC'd for years, and I have friends and family that does the same. No issues to report.

    As far as shoulder carry, I have friends that that's the only way they will carry, concealed or open. They really conceal well that way. I have shoulder carried a good bit, but again, not here in the US, and not concealed. Usually it's been the over $100 price for a good leather rig that gets me, although these days it's just laziness.

  7. Pannier carry! :-D

    Worked for Madeline Stowe in Last Of The Mohicans.

  8. CTone: Thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for.

    D.W. Drang: You have no idea what sorts of contraband I've carried in my pocket hoops ... *grin*

  9. Like CTone I've worn drop-legs a lot for "work" where their main benefit is getting your sidearm down away from your armor. The vehicle disadvantages were mitigated by having a second holster on my plate carrier and using that while in a vehicle.
    Unlike CTone I do NOT recommend the Blackhawk Serpa rigs AT ALL. I've had much better success with "soft" rigs and traditional thumb-break retention. Try SOTech - their gear is far better than Blackhawk and except for one product line is made in the USA.
    Full disclosure; I once briefly worked with Jim Cragg, the owner of SOTech. The website can be difficult and slow to load because they have a LOT of gear.
    Depending on your "other curves" you may wish to look at a shoulder rig. I wore them a lot before we went to thicker armor and chest-mounted gear. They can be very comfortable if you spend the money on good stuff. Unfortunately I can't really recommend a good company for shoulder rigs anymore, though perhaps the Bianchi "Tuxedo" rigs haven't fallen as far in quality as most of their other stuff has these days. I had one for a SIG 232 that I literally wore under a tux but gave it away with the gun. Can't say whether a new production one would work for you.
    Good luck
    Boat Guy

  10. BoatGuy,

    Thanks for more helpful, first-hand information. I'm currently carrying with a Galco Miami something-or-other shoulder rig. It works reasonably well, but it's always good to look at other options. As far as the drop-leg goes, I don't have to worry about armor or anything "work-related" getting in the way.