Thigh holsters: a more comfortable option for police officers?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by 4Rules, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. The DRTH was designed and developed by the Operational Safety and Skills Command, and is intended to address current injuries, prevent future injuries, and make police equipment more comfortable to wear.

    Published on Sep 10, 2012 by TheNSWPolice

    [ame=""]Frontline Police Issued with New Ballistic Vests and Thigh Holsters - YouTube[/ame]

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  3. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    The major downfall of the thigh holster is it is much more difficult to prevent gun snatches when an officer is in a physical fight for his/her life.

  4. i think thats the first actual negative i have heard about those. very good point.
  5. Low hanging holsters were the rage in the 50's and 60's with revolvers. (Remember Barney Fife? Seriously, the holster was common during the time period). Of course, back then police pistol whipped/sapped suspects (or shot them) and no one wanted to fight a cop in close. Guess the protests of the 60's changed that. The position of the holster migrated its way higher out of lesson's learned. Up high and tight - where you could lock your elbow down on the weapon. Guess its been so long that alot of the lessons have been forgotten.

    First holster I used in law enforcement in the early 80's was a low hanging swivel revolver holster. (The Sheriff was a good ole' boy type and I was barely 21 and wanted to impress!!!) The holster didn't last my first week...

    Thigh holsters in a non-tactical environment??? What was it that someone said about history and doomed to repeat it???

    Just my two cents.
    #4 Tired Retired, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  6. Bruce M

    As suggested there can be some retention problems and sometimes a thigh holster can be caught or bump into the door jam or door getting into or out of the car.
  7. Lior


    Here thigh holsters are used by specialized folks. In our city police station, only motorcyclists use them for pistols, although plenty of patrolmen carry Tazers in them, but pistols above in a conventional belt holster. As has been mentioned before, retention is an issue with thigh holsters more than with belt holsters, other factors being given.
    While I do confess to owning a thigh holster, it is intended for military use for me, where the bad guys are slightly further away (but just as angry).
  8. Yuup, I agree!
  9. I've also seen then get tangled up in a seatbelt.
  10. Yes, I also agree. The western rig I wore at one job was very comfortable, but car seats were a royal pain. Not much chance to draw when seated.

    I found myself always resting my hand on the grip of the revolver when out on the floor. It was comfortable, but very indefensible.
  11. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Thigh rigs suck for normal patrol work. They offer more difficult weapon retention, slower draw, and less comfort when seated in the car.

    Thigh holsters are a compromise for soldiers/tac team officers wearing large external body armor that interferes with their belt line. These officers also carry a long gun as a primary, so the pistol is not as important, and is backup to the long gun.

    Somewhere along the line people thought thigh holsters looked cool, so people started wearing them. Their is a female officer in my jurisdiction that carries one on normal patrol and it looks stupid IMO.
  12. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist
    Lifetime Member

    This, thigh holsters ere not designed for carry of a primary weapon. They were necessitated by bulky body armor for specialized roles. No one in their right mind would choose to employ one for regular carry.
  13. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Key word : right mind.

    Sent from my Federation issued communicator.
  14. From the looks of it, drawing from that holster while seated would be nearly impossible.
  15. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    I'd use a shoulder holster. :cool:
  16. Thigh holsters can create even more potential problems for users than some of the extended/drop duty holsters of years past.

    Getting in & out of many common office chairs, and especially the driver's seat of a motor vehicle (although passengers can have their own issues in this regard), becomes a bit more problematic and annoying.

    Having the leg-holstered weapon banging into everything that the outside of your thigh once pressed against, smoothly slid by or along, pushed against, or any number of other normal activities, can become a frequently annoying occurrence ... and maybe worse, depending on your activities of the moment. Navigating doorways & ordinary obstacles, as well as easily clearing some things (like fences) can become a bit less easy.

    The lowered holster is not where it can be covered by an elbow, which can complicate retention practices, issues and training. Might also create more potential for things to "go wrong" if you're rolling around on the hard ground ... fighting in the mud, the blood & the beer.

    A thigh holstered weapon is no longer at your hip, right? More hours and LOTS of repetitions are going to be needed for the user to be able to quickly & properly find, draw & present their weapon under actual stress. Ever see someone in training or range quals reach for a belt-holstered weapon that was no longer on their belt? Ties up time and conscious thought to resolve. That can become problematic in an actual encounter, to put it mildly. (It's also where shoulder holsters, ankle & pocket holsters and other non-belt carry methods can create potential training issues for users ... and that doesn't even begin to take into consideration any changes in the threat level design & mechanism used ;) .)

    I've got an early proto-type plastic thigh rig made by one of the big names in the business, back when they were first thinking about marketing something in the then-new market segment for LE/Gov users. I haven't used it even in training/range use for some years. I didn't have to wear that sort of tac gear in my plainclothes assignment, so it was only used for T&E, training, range use, etc.

    It didn't take me long to realize I didn't want to use it, and my daily gear load-out didn't require I move my issued pistol off my waistband, anyway.

    Personally, I'd leave it for the guys & gals that MUST use this carry method due to specialty assignments. Then it's another one of those equipment usage issues to be added & addressed.
    #15 fastbolt, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  17. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    This is a great summary of thigh holster functionality. Thank you for the education.
  18. De nada, but bear in mind it's only ONE perspective, by one person, and I'm sure there are any number of other persons & perspectives to be found.

    If these holster rigs weren't being used by somebody, for some applications, they wouldn't be selling in sufficient numbers to keep different manufacturers making them, right?

    It's not like there's going to be a definitive "answer" to this sort of question, anyway.

    I do tend to see them as having some practicality for those situations when a user simply can't fit a holstered pistol to either their belt, or some sort of load-bearing vest/carrier.

    I was just listing some reflections regarding their practicality for everyday LE work off the top of my head ...
  19. Put one on and sprint a quarter mile as quickly as you can like you're chasing someone. It flops around.

    As mentioned above it has it's place (such as when body armor impedes your access to the duty belt) but in this particular video and with that particular body armor that's clearly not the case.
  20. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Unless you have lower back issues, are wearing armor or other gear that prohibits belt carry, or a few other reasons, thigh holsters aren't nearly as comfortable or manageable as belt mounted holsters. They're great when they're actually needed, but discomfort and repositioning make prevent them for being a go-to solution for normal patrol.

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