I made the decision years ago that I would carry a backup gun at work. For a number of reasons I bucked tradition and chose to carry a snubnose revolver, namely the Smith and Wesson 442. It was chosen because of its reliability, simplicity of action and light weight. Having seen my partners stash their backups inside their uniform shirts or inside a pants pocket I didn’t like how decidedly one side dominant those hiding places were. Plus there was always some unsightly bulge. These reasons led me to look into ankle holsters.
I’m happy to give the immediate disclaimer that an ankle holster is an imperfect beast, but as so many things in life are a compromise it’s not the worst. I was lucky enough to also know co-workers that had different styles of ankle holsters so I was able to see what system I liked and didn’t. There are holsters that are made of everything you’d find on someone’s belt – kydex, nylon and leather. In the end I liked the thin profile and inherent retention of the leather. Of the products with a leather holster I settled with the Galco Ankle Glove. I found a used one on Ebay, lest I get it and hate it. The style I got was the open top without the thumb break. I thought I’d miss the extra retention but I never have.
The Ankle Glove is a molded leather holster mounted to a neoprene band, which is secured around your ankle/leg with Velcro on the ends. The holster does have an adjustable retention tension screw. To cushion your leg there is a patch of sheepskin placed on the inside of the band opposite of the holster. If you are a hefty person with stout legs or if you are going to wear the holster over a boot there is an optional band extender. The ankle glove also comes with an attachment point for an optional calf strap that helps to keep the holster from sliding down your ankle. These last points didn’t apply to me as I have chicken legs and I wore the holster so that it sat above the top of my boots.
Now to my field experience with the Ankle Glove – I have never had the holster work loose in three years of wearing it. This includes a particularly memorable four mile run up and down some beautiful hills. My snubbie has never moved from the holster unless it was intentionally drawn. With the airweight Smith and Wesson and the comfort of the holster, I didn’t really notice I was carrying it after the first week. It has a thin enough profile that it doesn’t present as a huge bulge on my lower leg. Only when sitting in an office chair and crossing my leg would you see the holster’s location. In case you’re wondering what the “non-factory” looking growth is on the band, in the desire to carry an extra cylinder of .38 ammo I sewed a ballistic nylon pouch on the outside of the band which holds a speedstrip of 6 rounds. Just like the snubbie, I hope to never need them.
When I think of my Ankle Glove I really can’t come up with any negatives. If there’s anything, the interior leather can be a tad rough on a finish, but you’re wearing an ankle holster with an ankle gun…. If you are thinking about trying ankle carry I encourage you to give the Galco Ankle Glove a long hard look. It’s reasonably priced and the quality is outstanding.