When and why to choose a thigh holster

Chicago police responded to shots fired in the lobby of Mercy Hospital on Chicago’s south side.

Upon arrival, officers encountered a gunman and exchanged fire.

One officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. Two hospital workers, a doctor, and a pharmacy resident were also shot and killed.

A second police officer was also shot while running toward the gunfire.

But the second officer was not injured, because the bullet that hit him struck his holster and embedded itself in the officer’s gun.

A photo released by police showed the bullet hole in the holster and the bullet lodged in the firearm.

The attacker was also killed during the incident. It was unclear if he was killed by police or by a self-inflicted injury.

According to the Chicago Police…

“Those officers that responded today saved a lot of lives. They were heroes because we just don’t know how much damage he was prepared to do.”

Police believe the motive for the shooting was a domestic situation.

It’s unclear what specific holster the officer was wearing. Yet there was no question it played a role in keeping the firearm in place even after it had been hit by a bullet.

These days more police officers are switching to different types of holsters such as thigh holsters.

Drop leg holsters, also referred to as thigh rigs are designed for use when movement and accessibility is key.

These holsters place the firearm at hand-level and free up space on the wearer’s waist.

With that being said, here are a few reasons you may or may not want to consider a thigh holster as part of your gear.

Hand position:

The biggest advantage to a thigh holster is that it puts the gun where your hand naturally falls.

To illustrate, if you stand up with your hands to your side, your hand should be directly on the gun if it’s in a thigh holster.

On the other hand, hip holsters require you to reach above your waist to retrieve the weapon.

Then, you have to bring your arm up even higher to remove the weapon from the holster.

Some shooters will argue that it takes more time to retrieve a weapon from a hip holster than a thigh holster.

The reason is that the thigh holster is where your hand will naturally be.

Also, in a close-quarters fight, it might be impossible to get your hand to your hip, whereas grabbing your thigh would be easier.

Non-dominant hand:

If your strong hand becomes injured it’s going to be easier to use your weak hand to remove a gun from a thigh holster.

This is especially true for bigger people.

If your shooting hand is injured it could be difficult to reach around your waist.

Less weight on your hips:

As I mentioned, police officers carry a lot of weight on their waists.

Even if you aren’t a cop, you might have a gun, extra magazines, a knife, and other gear on your waist.

Over time, this weight can cause pain or injury.

Removing the gun and putting it on your leg will take away a lot of weight.

Also, this will free up space for other gear.

For instance, you could wear your gun on your leg and wear a backup magazine on your hip.

But wearing a thigh holster is not without its drawbacks. Here are a few for you to consider…

Retention issues:

Waist holsters keep your gun close to your hips.

On the other hand, a thigh holster puts your weapon farther away from you. This means it could be easier for a criminal to grab.

Also, there is no way to conceal a gun on your leg.

Wearing a thigh holster is for open carry, since everyone will see it.

Tactical appearance:

You’ve probably seen soldiers and police wear thigh holsters. These are often worn by special forces or police SWAT officers for tactical reasons.

Even though you might wear a thigh holster for comfort, people may overreact and think you are ready for war.

Sadly, society is too sensitive to people who might have a tactical look.

This is something you wouldn’t have to deal with if you carry your gun concealed on your hip.

Get in the way:

Thigh holsters are more cumbersome compared to hip holsters.

They can be uncomfortable when driving and can get hung up on things.

They also get in the way if you are shooting while sitting or lying on the ground.

Think about how often you bump your leg on something. This will occur a lot more since your leg will have a holster extending out.

If you want to give a thigh holster a try, you can check out brands such as the Safariland Tactical Leg Holster or the Blackhawk Level 2 Tactical Holster.

Thigh holsters have some excellent benefits.

Such as if you are spending the day shooting or bugging out during a tactical situation.

Your best bet is to give one a try and see if you like it.

Keep in mind that if you choose to wear a thigh holster that you should train with it.

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