What exactly is wrong with "tactical" thigh holsters?


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FourTeeFive
July 24, 2008, 12:49 PM
I understand they are favored by the "mall ninja" crowd, but what exactly is wrong with "tactical" thigh holsters? I just got a Tactical Tailor one and it is really nice for a full-size heavier handgun, especially when carrying other gear and weapons.

http://www.tacticaltailor.com/ProductImages/holsters/350/67110-4_350x350.jpg

The concept isn't exactly new. Wild West gunfighters used to keep the guns hanging low and some had the holster tied around their thigh.

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Thernlund
July 24, 2008, 12:52 PM
The look is really the only thing wrong. You don't want to be walking around the local shopping center is a Hawaiian shirt and a drop-leg rig.

They're good for people who drive for a living or are in a seated position a great deal of time though.


-T.

FourTeeFive
July 24, 2008, 12:55 PM
The look is really the only thing wrong.

I don't think I would wear mine any time except at a range or out in the boonies shooting. Doesn't exactly qualify as "concealed" for street carry.

HB
July 24, 2008, 12:58 PM
I don't think I would wear mine any time except at a range or out in the boonies shooting. Doesn't exactly qualify as "concealed" for street carry.

I guess you didn't know it was designed to be used under a kilt.

ochmude
July 24, 2008, 01:03 PM
They also make it a real PITA to get at the can of dip that always works itself to the very bottom of your cargo pocket, speaking from past experience.

CPerdue
July 24, 2008, 01:03 PM
Rofl

FourTeeFive
July 24, 2008, 01:07 PM
I guess you didn't know it was designed to be used under a kilt.

Brings a whole new meaning to "Going Commando"...

LB7_Driver
July 24, 2008, 01:18 PM
I hear they work well for walking & running, and especially when you're carrying a pack of some type.

The Bushmaster
July 24, 2008, 01:23 PM
I also hear the the warrior class mall ninja prefer them too...:D

psyopspec
July 29, 2008, 02:57 PM
I bought mine for deployment, but I've used it extensively for hiking. I disagree with the poster who said they're good for driving - with mine I've found it makes entering and exiting a vehicle a clumsy process, and for me it's slower to draw than the same handgun carried IWB while driving.

I don't OC, but if I did I wouldn't use the holster b/c of the vehicle restrictions I outlined above. Also, in most urban areas you'd probably get soccer moms calling the cops on the "mall ninja." In a rural setting, I might OC with a holster like this if I were constantly on my feet or on a horse.

Tirod
July 29, 2008, 03:47 PM
They have disadvantages. I have a Blackhawk I picked up at Ranger Joes, with the extra "airborne" strap keeper.

It does move the pistol down off the belt - but the hanger still takes up real estate. The leg straps take careful adjustment to get right, and the location usually obscures any access to the right front pocket or cargo pocket.

Holstering, unholstering, etc, are new skills to be learned and imprinted. It's not on the belt, you'll grab thin air. Vehicles are a relative situation - HMMV's have no space at all, a Jeep Cherokee bucket is too tight for a cell phone, much less a thigh rig banging around on the console. A chest rig seems to be preferred for vehicles since the 1911 was born. Tankers, pilots, etc use chest rigs. So do a lot of troops in Iraq. A drop leg holster is for open terrain use.

P.S. Old west cowboys kept their belts low because they were in the saddle most of the day. Real gunfighters wore holsters at their waist. They all wore fitted pants with no belt loops. Don't let Hollywood skew historical reality.

Of course, it's been said for a long time that the average soldier or cop has too much stuff to begin with. Moving the holster down to make even more room for something else is counterproductive to reducing the basic load. I've never bought into storing gear below the belt. It takes months wearing it to gain a new body image that allows walking through a door without looking like a klutz. Just stick a can of beanie weanies in a cargo pocket for a month and see what happens. The MRE was designed in pouches to reduce injuries, I don't think I want a pistol there to replace it.

If you are a member of a special response team who uses a drop leg, you can probably see the advantages. For the rest of us, it's just another race car part on an econosedan.

Phil DeGraves
July 29, 2008, 04:38 PM
Wild West gunfighters used to keep the guns hanging low and some had the holster tied around their thigh.


Only in the movies. Gunfighters had their guns on their belts, not in drop holsters.
The problem with thigh holsters is that the gun is not in a fixed position in relation to the hand. The leg moves, the gun moves. On the hip, it is always in the same place.

loneviking
July 29, 2008, 06:09 PM
The problem I have with these holsters is you are always banging them into things. It's as if your leg grew a big wart. I also find it clumsy and awkward to try to run with these things, and when climbing over barriers the gun often feels like it's about to fall out. The reason most SWAT teams use them is they already have a full belt around their middle and need a position to carry a weapon other than their middle. Shoulder holsters won't work because of the vests and radios--so the upper leg is the only spot left.

Frank Ettin
July 29, 2008, 06:36 PM
For the fastest presentation the best place for the holster is on the waist, strong side at about 3:00 (or 9:00, if left handed). It requires less movement from the holster to being on target.

And based on all that I've read, the low slung "cowboy" rig is an artifact of Hollywood, not reality.

It's my understand that the main purpose of the thigh holster is to keep the handgun (whikc is usually the secondary weapon) out of the way of more important gear.

FourTeeFive
July 29, 2008, 06:39 PM
Good info everyone; thanks. What type of chest rigs do you see for when people are using pistols as a backup weapon?

RobMoore
July 29, 2008, 06:46 PM
The one and only reason to have a drop-leg holster is because its your secondary weapon, and your belt-line if filled with more important gear.

Among all the negatives already listed, they make it harder to retain your pistol in a struggle.

They do perform one job very well though, make a wanna-be easier to spot.

rcmodel
July 29, 2008, 06:52 PM
I noticed at least one person said they are good for hiking / walking.

That has not been my experience a tall!

Dang low-slung holsters beat you to death walking, and if you strap them to your leg, they will wear holes in your hide pretty quickly.

IMO: If you don't wear full body-armor at work, they are a genuinely bad holster design!

rcmodel

The Tourist
July 29, 2008, 07:01 PM
I think the real reason they stayed so popular was that they allowed a person to carry a large frame auto pistol lower, and not take up room on the belt.

SWAT guys carry a lot of stuff, and now I see our locals carry more and more, as well. Recently I've noted more magazines, a second set of cuffs, Nitrile glove carriers, Tasers, etc. I didn't see a lot of that stuff five years ago.

Besides, I don't even think you can call yourself a ninja unless you buy half the stuff from Soldier of Fiction magazine.

rino451
July 29, 2008, 07:07 PM
Yup, try getting a pistol out of a belt holster with a chest rig in place or other gear in a harness. Someone in a Suarez class at my gun club tried it with a Glock and put one through his thigh about 2 or 2.5 months ago.

psyopspec
July 29, 2008, 07:16 PM
What type of chest rigs do you see for when people are using pistols as a backup weapon?

Blackhawk CQC with a SERPA button may be one of the better things going. MOLLE mounts, but still speed and retention. If I get into this type of rig, that would be the one. For the moment though, I like the chest rig I have and intend to stick with the SafariLand drop leg holster when in uniform. Also with the training I have, if the primary weapon goes down it gets slung across the chest while going for the backup. The balance would be in deciding when it is that you're most likely to need the pistol - in a vehicle, or while standing.

lee n. field
July 30, 2008, 12:46 PM
I understand they are favored by the "mall ninja" crowd, but what exactly is wrong with "tactical" thigh holsters?

I'd say that's it right there.

possum
July 30, 2008, 01:28 PM
the biggest problme that i see with them is that people don't wear them right. they normally have it sagging and hanging around there knee, or banging down around there calf/ ankle. They are meant to be worn with a chest rig/ body armor, and they should only be low enough so that the vest/ plate carrier won't interfer with a smooth clean draw. when i am at the range training with my carbine or at a training course i use one. I prefer the safariland 6004 over all others. if a thigh holster isn't kydex then i am not a fan, do a few transition drills with a nylon one like the one from tt, blackhawk, etc, and you will see real quick that they are a pain to work with.

Floppy_D
July 30, 2008, 01:32 PM
They suck to run with.

possum
July 30, 2008, 02:01 PM
They suck to run with.
not if you fit them right, like they are meant to be worn.

seeker_two
August 4, 2008, 06:32 PM
P.S. Old west cowboys kept their belts low because they were in the saddle most of the day. Real gunfighters wore holsters at their waist. They all wore fitted pants with no belt loops. Don't let Hollywood skew historical reality.

Actually, most cowboys (if they owned a pistol at all) kept their pistols in the pocket of their chaps or coat or in their saddle bag. In town, they'd carry them in a coat pocket or Mexican-style IWB. Custom quick-draw leather was a Hollywood invention (and that much leather was expensive on a cowpuncher's pay...)

As for thigh holsters.....unless you're wearing a garter and skirt (or maybe a burkah?...), it's probably not a great choice for CCW....

Cougfan2
August 4, 2008, 06:41 PM
Since I don't have "tactical thighs", I don't think I'll be using one. :D

Geronimo45
August 5, 2008, 08:55 PM
As for thigh holsters.....unless you're wearing a garter and skirt (or maybe a burkah?...), it's probably not a great choice for CCW....
How 'bout a kilt? :p

seeker_two
August 5, 2008, 10:27 PM
How 'bout a kilt? :p

See post #4..... :D

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