If you've ever carried and practiced shooting with one, you know there is an art to drawing from an ankle holster.
In some ways, drawing a gun is drawing a gun. You draw one gun, you draw them all. Right?
Well, yes and no. It is true that at its core, drawing a gun is simply the act of extracting it from its holster in a way that you can easily grip it and bring it to bear on your target, the reason you drew it in the first place.
Whether you’re drawing from appendix or strongside, the basics are the same: clear your cover garment, grip the gun, pull it out, and bring it up to a firing position (be it one-handed or two).
First, let’s talk about where to position the holster. Obviously, it goes on the ankle. Duh! But where on the ankle and on which ankle!?
Conventional wisdom is to keep it on the inside of your support side ankle because drawing is easier from inside your leg instead of outside. If you’re a righty, this means your left ankle and vice versa for lefties. As for where on your support leg, some people prefer the holster low, right on top of the collar of the shoe. The good side of this is that you have a minimal pant leg to clear to access the gun. The bad side is that when you sit down the holster peeks out from under as your pants leg rides up, giving away your little secret.
For this reason, some folks prefer to position the holster higher on the calf and either batten it down tight or wear a higher collar boot for the holster to rest on. This eliminates the accidental exposure from everyday activities, but it means you must make an extra effort to raise your pants leg material higher to draw.
The only way your gun could be farther from you is if you’re not wearing it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get to your ankle in time to draw and engage. You just have to plan and practice.
As always, make sure you have the tactical ability in the situation to draw your gun at all. If you do, drop to your strongside knee, lift your pants leg, flip the thumb break, and draw your gun. Make sure you're drawing straight up and not sweeping your calf as you clear the holster and secure a tight grip. Practice this draw in a safe manner at home or on the range.
Also, practice shooting from this position because that is probably where you will need to engage your target in real life. One tactical advantage of this kneeling position is now you are a smaller target, so your attacker might have a harder time hitting you if they return fire.
This is where an ankle holster really shines. Whether you’re sitting at a restaurant or in your car, you have great access to a gun on your ankle. You’re halfway there already just by bending at the waist sitting down.
One of the biggest complaints about strongside carry is that it’s hard to access the gun when seated because it’s behind you and the seat back is in the way. Not so with ankle carry. Just reach down and grab!
Clearing your cover is easier, too, because your pants leg already rode up when you sat down. An ankle rig can be a great option when you’re traveling because it’s easy to access your weapon if someone confronts you in your vehicle.
Whatever reason you choose to ankle carry, whether to carry your backup gun or to make a long road trip comfortable, make sure you safely practice until you get used to the motion. As with other methods of carry, the last thing you need is to fumble for your gun in a real-life shootout.
David Workman is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. In addition to being an NRA-certified RSO, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. “Real life shootouts don’t happen at a box range.”
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Workman and the CrossBreed Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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