Ok, first things first, the Pros:
- They look cooler than shit.
- Big CDI (Chicks Dig It) factor here.
- They’re also great when you’re standing still.
- If you’re a team member dropped from a vehicle into a CQB scenario, they’re fine for backing up your PDC (Personal Defense Carbine).
That’s about where the benefits end.
- Even with double anchors, they have a tendency to creep as far as possible toward the front of your body when crawling. Single anchors? It’s going to be in your groin or between your thighs. Even when you crank the horizontal retention straps down tight. They slip.
- If you’re crawling in any sort of wet terrain, you’re going to have mud on your rear sights and the back of the slide. This photo is relatively clean.
- When on long walks (aka, ‘patrols’), your legs are not going to appreciate the additional stress of lifting that 3 pounds of pistol, holster, mag, and possibly an additional mag every other step. You’re also unbalanced weight distribution wise, which will take an eventual toll.
- If you’re in any sort of swampy area, crossing water, etc, and it’s deeper than your thigh, your pistol will be submerged for as long as you’re in the water.
- If your retention holster fails (and Kydex is not infallible), you will probably lose your pistol, which might just ruin your day.
So, what do we recommend here? Simply, one of three set ups:
First, a holster on web/retention/ or pants belt. Depending on what system you’re using, you might need an extender to get it out from under your pouches. We also recommend a flap to protect the pistol when not needed. Yeah, that’s old school, but old school works, too. The surplus M9 can be adapted as a shoulder holster outfit, as well.
If there’s a chance that we need a quick adapting holster, we also use the Blackhawk CQB holster due to it’s excellent retention and adaptability to MOLLE vests, LBE, and (for those that must have one) chest rigs.
Best one we’ve found for LBE set ups is the ‘shoulder holster’ in the vertical model, because when you’re crawling, the horizontal model will put too much of the pistol into the ground.
or ‘chest holster’ types, such as the US issue M7, modeled below by JC Dodge on his site, Mason Dixon Tactical.
The whole idea being to get the pistol off your leg, more protected, and still usable should you need it. That’s our recommendation; YMMV.