Views On Drop-Leg Holsters And Other Tactics And Procedures

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Aesop has a post on drop-leg holsters with interesting remarks and also interesting comments to the post.

According to her blog, the above is a dumb holster idea.

“Basically, unless you’re wearing a plate carrier or LBV or something that interferes with a normal belt mount, you should probably leave the drop-legs to Hollywood space pirates and B&W cowboys.”

Oh really?

Point of order.

Look, I can give you eleventy times and places where a drop leg of any type is weapons-grade dumb (self-castration optional); BTDT and got the t-shirt. But I can also think of several situations where it’s pretty wizard-level. And let’s face it, not everyone is a Travis Haley gunslinger, nor trying to be one.

What about for someone who’s not trying to look tacticool at all, but maybe earning a living driving a truck all day, or a cabbie, an Uber/Lyft driver, or a pizza delivery guy?
(Not in NYFC or similar anti-gun locales, but in places where the Constitution still applies most days.)

[ … ]

Sit in a car, a delivery van, or a semi rig cab, and show me your IWB or appendix-carry draw, against, say, a robber or carjacker.With your seatbelts on (in observance of the law, natch), and maybe wearing a jacket, just to make it interesting for you.  I’ll wait.

(We won’t even talk about where that IWB is digging into you all shift, or where your appendix carry muzzle is pointed, sitting in a vehicle seat. And to be sporting, we won’t stipulate that one might be a bit on the portly side.)

Now, sit in a car seat, same conditions, and tell me where your hand falls on your upper leg:
unless you’ve got gorilla-length arms (which you’d need to get to any ankle rig), that’d be right where this holster sits. Handy. Readily available. Not pointed at your junk.
Five stars.

Several things caught my interest in this.  First, I just can’t stand a one-size fits all approach to anything, and it sounds like Aesop agrees.

The Travis Haley video at the link has Travis sporting a Kydex holster with retention.  I hate Kydex, and I’m not an operator in SOC.  I choose not to wear Kydex – just because that’s what I choose to do, and I choose to do what I want.  I’m not interested in being tacticool.

I also hate appendix carry.  I hate sticking a pistol barrel into my groin / lower stomach.  It isn’t comfortable and I refuse to do it.  I can carry at 3:00 (IWB), on my ankle, or OWB.  I simply will not carry IWB appendix.

And I recently discussed how the 1911 fits my arthritic hands because of its narrow frame.  Everyone’s physique, capabilities, and jobs are different.  I can see sitting in a car or truck as a driver and needing something other than high waist carry (my seatbelt interferes frequently with me).

Similarly, Travis can make the suggestion to carry as high as possible with a drop-holster, and with the few I’ve worn I would agree, and he can make the suggestion to simply move gear around to facilitate that, but it’s not that simple.

My Marine son and I have talked about this before.  He hates drop holsters.  When clearing rooms and moving quickly through domiciles, the holster bangs on couches, flops around, and gets in the way of every movement.  It might be nice to say “move gear,” but that involves leaving behind SAW ammunition drums, or some other essential gear he might have needed for 16 hours in Fallujah.  We’re not talking about cops doing a ten minute job.  We’re talking all day and into the night, house to house, room to room, sometimes nothing happens, sometimes gunfire is streaming through the doorway.  Besides, the body armor he was issued wasn’t so amenable to wearing a drop holster high.

He also has an interesting view of the C-clamp or thumb-over-bore grip.  Yea, it looks cool, and he’s used it, but if you think you’re going to use that grip for 16 hours in Fallujah, you’re mistaken.  You can hold that for five minutes, and then you’re using another.  That’s for short-term direct action ops, not long term urban combat.

So in his job he had to use a drop holster.  He hated them.  In other jobs, people might need them.  I have no need of one, but open carry from time to time with a much higher holster, sometimes leather, sometimes Cordura.  I never use Kydex because it’s a free country and I don’t have to.

In the gun community we need to recognize differences in sex, physique, comfort, need, job and simple differences of opinion concerning what people like.


  1. On January 20, 2020 at 12:00 am, Old Bill said:

    Your last sentence is the crux of it.
    One of the big red flags I watch for in potential instructors (or even shooting companions) is the “my way or the highway” mindset. In fact I have always taught that different things work for different people, meaning the RIGHT answer for me is not necessarily the right one for you. That flexibility is an important component to being a good shooter, much less being a good hunter, competitor, defender, or teacher.
    Thanks for your site, Herschel; always interesting, and a special thanks for being a faithful Christian. Whether you get it in feedback or not, it’s balm to many or us to see! God bless you.

  2. On January 20, 2020 at 12:01 am, Dan said:

    The issue of drop leg holsters vs whatever is pretty much like ALL issues related to firearms and carrying…..concealed or open. You use what works best for YOU under the circumstances YOU are in at THAT point in time. What anyone else says is minimally relevant…at best.

  3. On January 20, 2020 at 5:16 am, Duke Norfolk said:

    I don’t know anything about this gal, but I’m inclined to think that she got just what she wanted out of this. She stirred a bunch of folks up and got more clicks/views/whatever. There’s also the fact that some people just can’t help telling others how they’re so smart and “this is what you should and shouldn’t do.”

    But hey, maybe some people learned something out of the whole kerfuffle.

  4. On January 20, 2020 at 7:13 am, Heywood said:

    @Dan. Thanks for saving me some typing!!

  5. On January 20, 2020 at 7:14 am, Jack said:

    Herschel says: “In the gun community we need to recognize differences in sex, physique, comfort, need, job and simple differences of opinion concerning what people like.”

    Having just spent a few days training with Travis Haley, I can confirm he’s 100% on-board with this sentiment, and not once did he say “do it this way because I said so!” Haley Strategic training is all about adapting principles to make them work for your specific body, ability, and requirements (mission).

  6. On January 20, 2020 at 7:54 am, joe said:

    there are 20 places a holster will fit/sit/velcro inside and immediately available to the driver of a vehicle….don’t see why you would leave your gun on your body when it could be easier and quicker to get to outside the body…

  7. On January 20, 2020 at 11:42 am, portrait of the soldier as a young man said:

    A buddy offered some leg holster setup in the mancave but I said it is too slow.
    You must be able to pull and shoot within two seconds.
    The Lee Van Cleef cowboy style carry is my favorite due to the speed.
    It is almost like a second Johnson made of metal that can shoot hot lead projectiles at evil doers who will be sent where they belong.

  8. On January 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm, Black Talons said:

    The best gun and holster setup? The one that saves your bacon.

  9. On January 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    I’d love to spend a few days with Travis. My post wasn’t meant to knock him. He is teaching a certain segment of the population. My intent is to point out that not everyone is in that segment of the population, not even someone who spends months in Fallujah clearing rooms.


    True that. With Velcro and Molle on vest, there are also places to put a pistol that isn’t on your belt. My son did that too, but of course, that adds weight to your vest and shoulders. There are benefits and disadvantages to everything.

  10. On January 20, 2020 at 5:54 pm, ROFuher said:

    Cross Draw solves a lot of issues for most of us, whether sitting more and/or still wanting to conceal.

  11. On January 20, 2020 at 6:34 pm, Bill Buppert said:

    I use G-Code RTI for all my OWB carry and as a right handed shooter, picked up a left handed RTI holster and mounted it on the vehicle mounting system to the right of my calf in the drivers seat. Problem solved for AIWB when driving.

  12. On January 20, 2020 at 10:05 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Old Bill,

    It’s nice to hear the kind words. And seldom do I hear them.

  13. On January 21, 2020 at 10:17 pm, Donk said:

    Drop holsters are convenient for motorcycle carry but so are tank bags

  14. On January 22, 2020 at 8:30 am, Sanders said:

    How does what holster someone else uses impact one’s life?

    Maybe if you need to depend on them to have a fast draw to watch your back, but that’s about it.

    Just use what works for you. To hell with what any one else thinks about it.

    A couple things the internet has done. 1) it exposed a lot of gun rag “experts” as nothing more than hacks. And 2) it gave a lot more hacks a platform to declare themselves “experts”.

  15. On January 22, 2020 at 9:13 am, Fred said:

    @sanders, that made me laugh.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 19th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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