Are Thigh Holsters (you know, for women) Hollywood B.S. Or Actually A Good Option?


September 29, 2008, 12:23 AM
I'm not talking tactical thigh holsters, but the kind that is worn under a grament. Been seeing them in movies forever. Maverick, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, now Burn Notice, etc. Is this just typical Hollywood B.S. like shooting two guns at once and shooting "gansta" style, or is it actually a good concealment option for a woman in a skirt or a guy in a kilt :eek:?

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Kind of Blued
September 29, 2008, 12:33 AM
I don't know, but I like them. :)

...on women! :uhoh:

September 29, 2008, 12:37 AM
I love Burn Notice but havent noticed the thigh holster? Is it Fiona that wears one? Have a pic you can post for reference?

September 29, 2008, 12:40 AM
I love Burn Notice but havent noticed the thigh holster? Is it Fiona that wears one? Have a pic you can post for reference?

+1 to loving Burn Notice. +10 to needing a picture.

Bennett Prescott
September 29, 2008, 12:56 AM
I was about to ask the same thing in a new thread about ankle holsters in general... I wanted to carry a back up gun that way, but all the holsters I've tried have been total crap. Bulky, prone to slipping down your leg (limping around with a gun around your ankle is NOT COOL). One of the "movie style" ones with a garter around the top of the calf might work... but where to find a good maker?

September 29, 2008, 01:03 AM
It might look hot on TV , but I thing outer thigh and it would be pretty hard not to print and inner theigh would make walking akward. And I cant imagine being able to draw it efficiently or discreetly.

September 29, 2008, 01:05 AM
ones with a garter around the top of the calf might work... but where to find a good maker

September 29, 2008, 01:09 AM
Probably not quite what you're talking about, huh?

Oleg Volk
September 29, 2008, 01:17 AM
Slightly risque image ( of such a holster. According to the owner, quite practical.

Bennett Prescott
September 29, 2008, 01:31 AM
Well, if Lori likes it, I guess there's a lot to like!

Thanks for the link to the Galco, Soldiersurfs. They don't make it for the LCP, maybe I'll have to buy a gun to fit a holster... ;)

September 29, 2008, 01:33 AM
Fiona from Burn Notice:

This is after she pulls the strap. On the strap is a pink flower.

Unfortunately, there is no longer shot of this, we assume it is her because she has the Walther in the next shot of her sitting in the car. I think this might be the only place we have seen her holster, the gun just appears in future scenes without additional explanation.

September 29, 2008, 01:34 AM
I've got an AnkleGlove and it carries a Model 49 like it's not even there

September 29, 2008, 01:37 AM
Ooooooooooooooooooooh Fiona! I love Burn Notice!

September 29, 2008, 01:42 AM
Kind of Blued:I don't know, but I like them.

...on women!

Might work for dudes wearing Kilts :D

September 29, 2008, 02:17 AM
thanks Damien, the visual defintely helps. I did a quick search and there was a patent for a shorts/holster combo that sounded pretty functional. I'm thinking the inventor has cargo shorts with an integrated thigh holster involved and access from a pocket. Interesting to say the least!

Great pic of Lara Croft BTW :)

September 29, 2008, 08:10 AM

September 29, 2008, 08:21 AM
As a person of Scottish descent, I do occasionally wear a kilt
In that sometimes I have also been required to be armed on these occasions (It's involved, I won't go into it), I do happen to have a garter holster.

I have to agreed with Kind of Blued, I prefer them on women.

However, the holster does work, though you will know it is there as you walk, and the draw is not terribly compromised, though I have to practice at it a few times, as it is so markedly different from any other holster I use.

Hope this helps

September 29, 2008, 08:46 AM
One of these?

September 29, 2008, 08:56 AM
One of these? There is a preview button for a reason.

I believe the following were what you were after.

30 cal slob
September 29, 2008, 09:04 AM
what if ya gotta pee?

4v50 Gary
September 29, 2008, 09:08 AM
Considering how close fitting a woman's clothes are, I think thigh holsters are impractical. It's much harder for a woman to conceal a handgun than a guy. We guys can be slobs and still look good (in our eyes). Womens' fashion tends to dictate tighter clothes to show off their figure. Of course, if she's smart, she'll wear looser fitting clothes that allows her to CCW (and not in a silly purse that may be snatched).

September 29, 2008, 09:30 AM
If Rosie O'Donnell had one, she could wear a Super Redhawk down to the thickness of a dime just by walking to Starbucks.

September 29, 2008, 09:31 AM
I wanna know how these things stay in place instead of migrating down to your knees in a bunch....

September 29, 2008, 09:41 AM
I wanna know how these things stay in place instead of migrating down to your knees in a bunch.... Have you never heard of a garter belt?

September 29, 2008, 10:44 AM
I strongly suspect that they would only work to hold small guns and only for women with slim legs -- neither heavy nor muscular -- and a broad bony structure in her pelvis. Both heavy and narrow-hipped women have problems with their legs rubbing together as they walk.

I have NEVER, not even when at my ideal weight, been able to keep thigh-high stockings from sliding down and falling off. A thigh is normally a tapered cylinder and the only stop where a garter can be securely fastened without the use of the special glue used for medical compression stockings is immediately above the knee. On the knee joint is not a good place for a gun.

September 29, 2008, 10:59 AM
Right, 3KB. The only option would be something that holds the gun on the outside of the leg, not the inside, and that is hidden under a pretty loose, free-swinging skirt. And even there, unless you have legs like Twiggy, it's not going to be pleasant to try and keep it in place.

I haven't yet given up on ankle carry, but I need a thinner and less scratchy rig than the one I have. That, and boot cut jeans. Tapered leg jeans and ankle carry do not mix. :uhoh:


September 29, 2008, 11:02 AM
I like full-circle skirts on my figure. But even the wool ones flow down and outline my knees when seated.

I think the only good options to conceal an outside the leg thigh holster would be crinolines or hoopskirts.

September 29, 2008, 11:13 AM
A thigh is normally a tapered cylinder and the only stop where a garter can be securely fastened without the use of the special glue used for medical compression stockings is immediately above the knee.And I can only guess how poorly they'd work for most women when asked to support the weight of a loaded pistol.

Outside the thigh (drop) rigs usually have a strap that secures them to a belt to keep them from migrating downward under the forces of gravity; I wonder if anyone has tried this for a concealment holster.

September 29, 2008, 11:25 AM
What was risque about that, Oleg Volk?

I was glad to see it worn inside, on the right leg, with butt forward, by the model.

Actually, I use an el cheapo Uncle Mike's ankle holster on occasion. I bought it only to try out ankle carry, but ended up kinda liking it.

It has an over-the-upper-calf "garter," a wide band of fabric which is velcroed. The only unconfortable part of the whole rig is if you don't get the Velcro lined up right it rubs on your leg. Otherwise, (bear in mind that I do not want to chase BGs down alleys and climb chain link fences after them) it is very comfortable with my Detective Special. I can wear it all day without discomfort, and in fact have done so. It only needs adjustments occasionally, as either the fabric stretches out a little during the day, or my leg meat gets displaced a little. Haven't figured out which, but it doesn't matter.

And I found, like your pic, that it is best to carry it on the inside of the right ankle, butt-forward.

The only real problem I had with it was last year when I stupidly stood by a curb and a car drove by and hit a puddle right by the curb and got my pants really soaking wet down there.

I think the sumbinch did it on purpose.

I got a plastic bag from a Kwik-e Mart and went into the restroom to dry things off and wrapped the gun in the bag and tore off the excess plastic and stuck it back in the holster. I worried about rust for a couple of hours, but when I got home, it was OK. The gun itself really didn't get much moisture on it in the first place, but the holster was kind of damp, and of course, my pants leg, right by the holster, was soaking wet and hadn't even dried off completely by the time I got home

It's slow, but I am armed. No kiddin', though, by actual timed test, it's sometimes faster to drop your pants to get it rather than pull up your pants leg. Depends on the trousers, and I was toying with the idea of cutting the inside seam on that one particular pair of pants and putting hidden Velcro or snaps on there to get at it --just as an experiment. But it's easier to just not wear those pants, and I abanded that research project.

Interestingly, even though it is designed for "small auto" on the left ankle, it seems to work better with my Detective Special revolver, and on the right leg with the butt forward.

As you can see, I don't give much of a darn about rules, as long as I can get it to work.

"Rules are for those who don't understand the underlying principles involved, " as I often say.

September 29, 2008, 12:57 PM
...elsewhere (

There are several variants of thigh holsters, including frilly ones, suspended from garter belts, that look more like kinky bedroom accessories than combat gear. Others, with a more masculine appearance, simply support the gun with an elastic band. One problem with the latter ones is that thighs are basically elongated cones in shape and the holster is likely to slide down the leg as you go through the day. While a man could arguably access a thigh holster by unzipping the fly in his pants, that's hardly a quick-reaction technique; garter holsters are best suited for those wearing dresses, skirts or kilts. The garter-style holster supported by a connection to a belt might be an option for the woman who is required to wear dresses. My concern, however, is consistency. If you carry in one mode on work days and another while wearing pants on your days off, your reflexes will not be properly tuned to reflexively reach for the gun in the right location on the day that you are surprised by an assault.

September 29, 2008, 03:52 PM
double post

September 29, 2008, 04:00 PM
In general I do not think they are a good option. An open carried outer thigh holster offers a quick drawing option, but many types are also much more difficult to practice retention with. Concealed ones would be very difficult to reach in the middle of a struggle.

Let's be honest, a woman is generaly going to have less strength than most men. A trained women can make up for that against an untrained male, but its still a disadvantage.

What they means is they really want all the help they can get with retention if an attacker suddenly goes for thier weapon. If the weapon is carried on the waist it is in the waistline and pinning it in place is easier while struggling with the attacker. Less effort can be used to retain it, while fending off the attacker with the other hand, or to get in a position to successfuly draw and use it against the attacker.
It is quicker and easier to angle hips away from an attacker than to shift the leg being used to stabilize you in a struggle.

If the pistol is just barely in reach of the arm when extended (or even out of reach) then it makes for fast drawing, but worse leverage in retention. It also does not have the arm covering it most of the time while going about daily activites. It is sticking out there on a thigh. So the benefit of some 'passive retention' for lack of a better term is lost with many thigh holsters.
There is a reason police officers have worn thier pistols the way they do for a long time.

So for offensive operations open carried thigh holsters are just fine. They put the pistol within reach of a fast draw but out of the way when it is not in use. So for offensive military purposes they work great. They could also work decent when another barrier of defense is in place, like the walls of your home. Anyone breaking in is already recognized as a threat so retention against an unexpected attack is less important than a quick draw.
For retention they are not so great, so for potential defensive use when you don't know an attack is going to happen until it does they should probably be avoided. That covers most times a person is mixed with company or interacting with other people.Especialy if the person wearing it is likely to have a lot less strength than the unexpected attacker.
If an attacker is in close it will be much more difficult to reach something carried on a leg if you have to bend to reach it (like with most of the concealed ones.)
A sidearm for civilians is as a defensive tool, and so I would carry it in the method best used for defensive purposes.

So no I would avoid thigh holsters for women, and often for men as well.

(I was partialy addressing the open carried thigh holsters, but most of this goes for the concealed ones as well.)

September 30, 2008, 08:14 PM
This one goes back a few years. It's obviously a staged picture as the gun/holster would fall out as soon as she stood up.

Interesting holster, it looks like it is designed to NOT cover the trigger guard. Can anyone ID the weapon she is carrying?

September 30, 2008, 09:00 PM
U-235, if you look carefully there is also a band holding the holster to the leg above the knee. Might be a bit difficult to walk if you had to bend your knee however other than that the gun/holster won't fall.

Thigh holsters used to be extremely popular for women and would carry anything from some of the very small .22 pistols up to at least .380/32. I would suspect today you can find them to fit some of the small 9mm, 40 S&W and even some of the small .45acp pistols. They aren't designed for a quick draw, very few really concealable holsters are, but under a loose skirt, kilt or even loose shorts it is amazing how quickly you can learn to get a weapon out and into operation.

A thigh holster is no slower to draw from than an ankle holster or Smart Carry holster; it just takes the willingness to take the time to practice. Btw, I have personally seen someone draw from a Smart Carry in front of a CCW class without anyone having realized he was carrying and this was after the class had been going on for some time and the instructor had been walking around and standing in front of us. The gun, btw, was a S&W 500 Magnum with a 5" barrel.

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