LEO's where do you carry your bug?


October 26, 2003, 09:15 PM
I was watching that new cop show 10-8 tonight, and at the beginning of the show a veteran officer was told a younger officer not to carry his backup gun on his ankle. He said that he wouldn't be able to reach it if he was rolling around in a tussle with a bg. He recommend that he carry it behind the trauma plate of his vest. L.E.O's your thoughts on this? How many of you employ this type of carry for your bug?

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October 26, 2003, 09:30 PM
It needs to be carried where it can be accessed quickly, which means pretty much anywhere.
I won't do the ankle anymore after almost losing my J frame one night and not even realizing it until I saw it laying on the ground. Not a good feeling.

October 26, 2003, 09:36 PM
"LEO's where do you carry your bug?"

That's like asking a Magician how he does his tricks, or a Fisherman what he's using. :D

October 26, 2003, 10:18 PM
Hanging out at the gunshop a while back and there were several LEOs present; State Trooper, couple of city cops, couple of sheriffs dept and Fish & Game. All but one were off duty at the time.
The subject of BUG's & holsters came up, as if on cue pant legs came up and out came an assortment of guns from S&W revolvers to Glocks.
I always figured these guys carried when off duty but until then never gave it much thought.

October 27, 2003, 08:48 AM
Ankle holsters cause me to gimp. I prefer to carry my BUG inside my vest carrier.

October 27, 2003, 10:19 AM
Why only one BUG? :D

I know several LEO's who carry at least two BUG's, and one who carries three! All of them have one on the ankle, and one in a hip pocket: the guy who carries three has the third in a specially-made pocket inside his jacket. His three BUG's are all Kel-Tec P32's, so concealment is relatively easy.

El Tejon
October 27, 2003, 10:29 AM
SW638 behind the mags on the port side on the belt. Have used ankle, used an Alessi. Do not forget your second sock!:)

October 27, 2003, 10:48 AM
new cop show 10-8

Once again, I was actually impressed with the gun handling in this show. Plus I loved the statement by one of the TOs: They get one chance, then squeeze. Two to the chest and one to the head. Repeat as necessary.


October 27, 2003, 10:58 AM
Why only one BUG?
Kel-Tek P32s are tiny -- collect them all!

Joe Demko
October 27, 2003, 01:54 PM
Weak-side trouser pocket in a pocket holster.

October 27, 2003, 02:33 PM
Well, if you're going to adopt an ankle-carry method for plainclothes or off-duty, at least make sure it's concealed ...

The other day a friend and I met at a Starbuck's coffee shop for a few minutes, and sitting inside the coffee shop, in shirt & tie (lacking jacket), was a fed agent known to my friend. Exposed for all the world to see, under his hiked-up left pants cuff, on the "outside" of his left ankle ... was his holstered weapon. We don't often see that many uniformed cops stop in that particular store, let alone fed plainclothes, so it's not like it would be a common sight to see an "unintentionally exposed" weapon, either.

Ankle carry does work very well in the respect that it places a weapon within easy reach while "trapped" behind the seat of a marked or unmarked car.

I don't carry a secondary weapon at the moment ... (although I've carried a couple of primary weapons when I felt the situation called for it) ... but back when I carried one I had it in my strong side jacket pocket. If I were to carry one in my present assignment it would be a 642 in a pants pocket.

I've seen secondary weapons carried in many places the owners couldn't easily reach even under normal conditions, and it makes you wonder how they'll fair when they're under stress, and/or fighting for their lives in some awkward maelstrom of limbs and unanticipated obstacles banging into them during a fight, doesn't it? I suspect that most of the uniformed people I've seen carry secondary weapons select their method of carry more for day-to-day convenience, than for the practicality of being able to actually reach and present the weapon ... and under even worse circumstances than they experience while presenting their holstered service weapon.

I'm not saying that ease of carry isn't a consideration ... especially off duty ... but familiarity & practice are perhaps even more important with carry methods employed for secondary/off-duty weapons.

Series 70
October 27, 2003, 02:41 PM
Once again, I was actually impressed with the gun handling in this show.

Yeah, but there were two situations in that show, one especially where they were gonna storm a warehouse with a bad guy inside, where they went in with sidearms only. Shotguns were left in the squads. That didn't make any sense.

October 28, 2003, 09:34 PM
SW 640-1 on the ankle.

October 28, 2003, 09:52 PM
S&W 642 on the ankle in DeSantis Apache holster.

October 30, 2003, 08:14 PM
I actually thought that show, and segment.. was kind of stupid.

An officer would have to unzip his/her uniform shirt..most have zippers
behind the buttons..them lift the velcro flap from the trauma plate
pocket..and reach in for the BUG. That is..if there is any room there
to accomodate a pistol..especially the .38 snub that the Rookie
was carrying. Something really small like my Beretta .22 would
fit, but it was always a real chore to extract it. Carry on the
ankle of a .38 or 380 is much better and faster, even the carry
position on inside the shirt..and on the vest straps under your
arm(providing you don't have a full coverage vest) is far better
than the trauma plate pocket. That is best reserved for a
last ditch weapon.

Shows you just how much TV writers actually know. Watching
crap like that could actually get unknowing Rookies killed on the

October 30, 2003, 09:49 PM
Why only one BUG?

The more you carry the more you have to retain. I recommend only one back up weapon. I have seen officers lose back up weapons in scuffles that were not secured well.

October 31, 2003, 07:24 AM
A 1974 S&W Model 36, that my dad carried on his ankle for 27 years on the Highway Patrol. I carry it the same way loaded with 148 Wadcutters, darn thing can't handle +p! Oh well.

I don't carry in a vest holster because we have pullovers for the winter, and they don't have buttons or a zipper to rip open. I wear it tucked in, so pulling it up to access it really doesn't work.


October 31, 2003, 05:44 PM
He said that he wouldn't be able to reach it [on his ankle] if he was rolling around in a tussle with a bg.

Bracket contents mine.

A few points.

First, I fail to see how a weapon on the inside of the trauma plate would be easier to access with a bg on your chest than a weapon on the ankle.

Second, if you're already grappling with a suspect, what are the odds you've got a hand that isn't busy either defending yourself or assaulting the bg?

Which leads me to my third point, which is that reaching for a sidearm when the fight has already gone to the ground might not be the best idea. Perhaps it would be best to apply some of the ground combatives that the academy taught you, and either cuff the suspect or gain distance and draw a sidearm.


November 1, 2003, 07:05 AM
Left (weak side) inside ankle.

I do not wear a vest when I am in plainclothes. Since I am a detective i am in plainclothes most of the time. No vest carry for me. I had to qualify the other day and deployed my BUG from my ankle holster. The slowest part is getting the pants leg up.

November 1, 2003, 07:34 AM
Carry my airweight jay in weak hand front trouser pocket in a holster. Under a jacket in winter I normally just carry a second .45.
Never tried the ankle thing, seems too far away and in theory made running more challenging.
The Body Armor carry I have tried and was not at all satisifed with speed or access.

November 1, 2003, 07:38 AM
sorry people, only a fool leo would tell anyone he or she is carrying a back up gun, and certainly no one in their right mind would say where it's at.


El Tejon
November 1, 2003, 08:13 AM
edw, not to worry, ex-LEO here.:D

BTW, welcome to THR, sir!

November 1, 2003, 11:02 AM
Jwmoore you said "slightly OT"... did you mean offensive title? If so, I didn't mean in it a negative way.

Teufelhunden, good points.

edw794, it's not like the we know who the guys on this forum are, or where they work. I think it's safe for them to say. Just look how many have responded.

November 1, 2003, 11:47 AM
Jwmoore you said "slightly OT"... did you mean offensive title? If so, I didn't mean in it a negative way.

Off Topic... My comment was a tangent from the discussion. No offense taken. :neener:


November 1, 2003, 03:57 PM
I doubt I will run into many of you in Indiana. I doubt even more that if i did you would pose a threat to me or any LEO. Am I wrong?

El Tejon
November 1, 2003, 04:52 PM
No way, not me.:D I "Eddie Haskell" up really well.:p

November 1, 2003, 08:28 PM
Not LEO myself. Quite a few of my LEO friends retired (ing). Not uncommon to have more than one BUG, in various places. Not uncommon for me to know,incase something happened, or we leave a courthouse be handed one, we eat lunch, give back , re enter courthouse. :)
I shot , hunted, fished with these guys, actually just an accepted fact we all carried, heck I'd get fussed at if not.

I would imagine if I ran across an THR LEO, heck any member of THR we would just accept we were CCW. Probably get fussed at if I wasn't, and one of my permits said I could.

Illinois, humm problem there If I ever meet a mod we have that is LEO with the laws being what they are. Now Lawdog might give me a citation for not cleaning my gun...

"Son gonna write you up , not for speeding,nope, for nelphs, nelphs ain't allowed in firearms in this neck of the woods..."

May 9, 2004, 11:55 AM
I used to carry a Kel-Tek P-32 in a pocket holster strong side.

I just started to carry a S&W 4516 strong side IWB.

Reading several threads about BUGS, it made me consider the posibility of my strong side arm/hand being incapacitated at some time when I needed it the most.

So I'm probably going to continue to carry the P-32 weak-side in a pocket holster.

Comments or suggestions?


May 9, 2004, 02:22 PM
Some of the other issues related to this, listening to the comments and questions of cops discussing it ...

Ankle-carry allows for the Secondary to be accessed much more quickly in situations where the person is seated behind the wheel, especially if they hadn't taken the time to adjust their seat belt, and car coat, properly when they got in the car ... Or, the seat belt and car coat became twisted and displaced during a violent series of movements while driving code, and coming to a sudden stop ... and then the suspect is suddenly outside the vehicle, armed & SHOOTING ... while you're belted in your car. This isn't a hypothetical situation, as I know someone who found themselves in this situation, and unable to "extricate" their holstered service weapon while getting shot at.

Some cops apparently only consider their Secondary to be primarily intended to replace the Primary weapon when it either runs totally dry, or else is disabled or unavailable for whatever reason ... and plan on being able to draw & present their Secondary with their dominant hand. They seem to think of it as more of a "second primary" weapon. Placement which emphasizes dominant-hand use seems to be their choice, and weapon type selection seems consistent with their primary weapon.

Other cops seem to think their Secondary weapon is going to be mostly used when they're unable to access their Primary weapon, or else they're fighting for control of their Primary ... and they plan to be able to use their non-dominant hand to draw and use the Secondary. In some instances, you'll hear discussion of a small revolver being considered preferable for such duty, since a small platform semiauto, used during stress in a non-dominant hand, MIGHT involve a bit more potential for the weapon to experience a "grip related" malfunction if the operator doesn't get the "proper" grip on it during those critical moments of high stress, and perhaps violent physical exertions.

Some folks seem to think that just "having a Secondary" is sufficient, and apparently don't think much beyond that ... not about the caliber, weapon type, method of carry, etc., etc.

Some folks seem to think that Secondary weapons of just about "full size" dimensions are preferable. I've seen Commanders & M66's carried as Secondary weapons ... and other folks seem to think diminutive guns and calibers are sufficient.

Some agencies have guidelines for the method of carry, placement on the body, type & caliber of Secondary weapon ... and even issue them.

Listening to different folks explain their thoughts and desires regarding Secondary weapons seems to reveal that the concept and envisioned purpose of Secondary weapons can vary somewhat among folks. These varying ideas can change not only the opinion of what weapon/caliber is better suited for different needs, but the method of carry considered, as well.

May 10, 2004, 04:58 PM
Somewhere, I can get to it, and where a thug is unlikely to grab it. The latter half is why I won't give out details. ;)

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