Always ask questions. Always ask why. Because the whole, “This is the way we do it” justification might be based on erroneous information.
The photo: Taken outside the location where a subject known as Soulja Boy was arrested. Without casting aspersions on the people in the photo, or Soulja Boy for that matter, let me tell you what I see:
- Deputies in plain clothes.
- Body armor.
- Drop-leg holsters.
It is a look. And certainly sends a message of, “We’re cooler than beat cops”. But here’s the problem: these officers are at a disadvantage when compared to wearing the duty uniform.
The body armor, while thick, isn’t full coverage. It’s “vitals only”. Which is fine. Actually that’s normal. Look at how high it rides. That’s normal. It’s so normal why aren’t they wearing duty belts?
Seriously. A regular duty/gun belt would fit just fine on any of those deputies. Or even a generic, 3 o’clock, kydex holster that many of our civilian readers own? That holster would fit just fine with this armor.
But that’s not why we are here.
I’m setting up all that, to talk about this: The drop leg holsters shown are a train-wreck. While they might help you get a job as a extra on Dog The Bounty Hunter, they are dog-dung as currently worn. Let’s get into it:
- Drop leg holsters were designed to give officers a pistol option when wearing full-turtle armor. Such armor rides so low (lower abdomen & groin) a regular gun belt collides with it. So they needed a holster system that rides BELOW the armor. Not necessarily on the leg. Just low enough to clear the armor. The guns pictured are way, way too low.
- The drop-leg holsters as configured in this photo are boat anchors. And the lower the holster sits on the leg, the more of a boat anchor it becomes. So much so, I bet within 7 running strides, that gun is flopping back and forth between quad and hamstring. Trust me, that’s bad. I could out run Jessie Owens on his best day if he was wearing this setup.
- Heaven help them of they need to reach for their pistol under extremis and the gun isn’t where it’s supposed to be. And while we are on the subject of shooting under pressure, what about the clock? How much you wanna bet they shot quals with a 3 o’clock holster? Because if they were shooting under time with drop legs configured like this, magically the holster configurations would start to get higher and higher.
- So how to fix this problem you ask? It’s issued gear you say? Correct. And the solution is super simple. See the two leg straps? Always cut the top strap completely off and hike the entire system up to the hip joint; with the single strap riding the crotch. Or damn near. A properly configured drop-leg holster should present the gun at a level where the user doesn’t need to lean the torso to draw.
While it may not be as high at her 3 o’clock duty rig? It’s only a few inches lower. So the draw is functionally the same. And the user isn’t fighting to find the gun under stress or having it boat anchor under them when running down, “Subject Number 1″.
Disclaimers: be very careful in how YOU approach this subject after reading this. And especially your attitude towards these deputies. I’m not interested participating a circle-jerk so you can MF these people while really stroking your own ego. They don’t know what they don’t know.
So…go forth and lead by example. Keep those leg holsters high. And spread the word in your circle of friends. The rest will take care of itself.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”