21 comments on “For Your SHTF Set Up, Consider LOSING the Drop Leg Holster for Your Own Benefit

  1. Same thing for plate carriers and chest rigs. Great for urban operations, poor for extended rural patrols.

  2. What you’re relaying in your article is what I noticed about these carry methods too.
    The umc or the bianchi flap holster is what I’ve gone to. Yeah, they’re not too sexy
    but they protect my handgun, and it stays in place…at least for me.

  3. Pingback: DTG: For Your SHTF Set Up, Consider LOSING the Drop Leg Holster for Your Own Benefit | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. What you have pictured wouldn’t work with my setup (maybe I need to change my setup but it seems to be working for me). I have gone to a “drop and offset” holster like Bladetech makes an adapter for (their actual holsters are way too big in my opinion). I like that it doesn’t flop around low on my leg but sits down low enough that my chest rig doesn’t interfere with my draw. This is still susceptible to some of the cons you listed above like getting mud in the rear sight but in certain situations the quicker access of not dealing with a flap (or other retention) would be worth having to point and shoot which inside 10 yards can be done pretty darn accurately without sights. Anyone who doubts this can put electrical tape over their sights and go shoot at 10 yards or less and you’ll be shocked at how accurate you still are (provided your other fundamentals like trigger squeeze are solid).
    Definitely food for thought though, thanks for the write up!

  5. Used drop-leg types for many ops in Iraq, but it was very dry, and most of the work was on my feet. Getting off the helos, especially the CH-47’s presented a challenge to keep blowing debris out of the actions. This was done by completely wrapping the pistol in a rag of some sort until clear of the HLZ and then quickly unwrapping the now clean and ready pistol. The rifle faced a similar method, where I wrapped a shemagh around the body of the rifle, covering the sight,mag well,and seam between the upper and lower to keep debris out, Muzzle was always taped anyway. Pulling it off was quick and easy too. Sometimes I could just hug the rifle close to me and cover it with my arms and keep my back to the helo and keep it pretty clean that way too.
    I understand the fatigue of walking with a holster like this, but mine was always high enough that walking many miles wasn’t an issue. The holster being low enough and “outboard” enough that my armor wouldn’t interfere with a pistol draw was the big thing.
    Back in my early days, Central and South American Jungle was the place to be, and if a pistol was carried, it was in a nylon shoulder holster of some kind. Wet was the way of the world, and the shoulder rig helped a great deal. Others have many more stories, but throughout my career I never had to go to the pistol as a back-up or transition. I used the pistol deliberately many times for moving captives or searching small spaces with one hand and a light, but never the other way. Also, I eventually shaved down my pistol mag load-out to 1 in the gun, and 1 reload. If I need more ammo, bring more rifle ammo! That being said, I would never leave home without one, and keeping it safely retained, easy to reach, clean, and ready for that oh-sh!t moment is the only way to go IMHO.
    Try out different systems. Where and how you are working can make a big difference.

  6. If I may suggest, perhaps the first thing to do is question if you really need a pistol with your patrol rig in the first place. I think you may be in a position where you have a accepted a starting position, then looked for a way to make it less painful, when maybe the real thing to do would be to question if the starting point is valid in the first place.

    Having said that. I’m in Afghanistan now. I’ve played around with a couple of different setups (again). My preferred is actually a high leg holster for comfort. But there are some disadvantages to that when running around that have made me go to a battle belt setup instead (quality of life reasons for the most part rather than tactical reasons).

    I carry a pistol because I am required to and for no other reason. We aren’t allowed to carry rifles during our advising engagements – we have ‘Guardian Angels’ for that they tell me.

    In a situation where I would carry my rifle, I would not carry my pistol by choice. Certainly I never felt I lacked anything when I was patrolling and carrying a rifle without a pistol.

    Consider that your patrol pic closer approximates Ranger than it does SF.

    Just something to think about.

    • My approach to kit is either a current molle vest with mag pouches or old school alice belt/suspenders, depending on weapon. On my hips is a GI pistol belt with modern (not alice) fanny pack, canteen, knife, first aid pouch, and compass. Weighs about 8-9 lbs. and barely room for a holster. Given the weight I was not too keen on hanging a gov’t. mod 1911 and spare mag on it. Maybe an alloy Officer’s would be better. On the other hand, my daily carry is a J-frame .38 in the pants pocket. If I kept that and had to ditch all my outer gear and look like a harmless civilian (wearing dull earth-tone civvy clothes not BDU’s) I’d still be armed as usual. Not a “first-line combat pistol” but still works fine up close to get somebody else’s bigger gun. And as the above poster says, if I have a rifle and plenty of ammo, I shouldn’t really need a full size pistol for much.
      Just a thought.

  7. I carried with a drop leg holster a few times. Didn’t like it flopping around. In twenty odd years of carrying, I have settled on the strong side belt holster and for a nice close fit, i wear it with the belt over the outside of the holster. Keeps my 1911 tucked nice and close to my body and is great for concealment.

  8. That about covers it. My experience is the same.
    1) The only way to use a thigh rig, if you like your giblets, is with a homebrew bombproof Velcro panel applied to holster back, and mating patch to side of pants leg. I’ve done it, and it works. Quite well.
    2) That said, I still don’t prefer them, for all the other cons listed. All it prevents is pistol beating your junk. Without that, you get near-castrated every time. Tradeshow manikins are not normal use.
    3) A dummy-cord/retention lanyard is the only way you’re guaranteed to be keeping a sidearm under dynamic use. Period. that’s why they’re a thing.
    4) My personal preference is still any of several GI shoulder/chest carry holsters, or the issue Bianchi side carry belt holster. Pistol, right where you left it, every time.

    Off topic:
    DTG,
    Reply on my site re: K-pots, etc.
    Apologies regarding any misunderstanding at WRSA.
    Best wishes,
    Aesop

  9. I never got into the drop leg concept. Purchased the stiffened drop leg Bianchi UM84 ‘paddle’ (for want of better word) because it was supposed to allow more comfort and quicker access to gun. Nope and nope – sitting or even ‘schrunching’ down was a nightmare. Still have that dude somewhere in pile.

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