Why And When You Should Use A Drop Leg Holster

Drop leg holsters, also known as thigh holsters, have become increasingly popular with wide use by military personnel, law enforcement officers, hunters, and civilian shooters.

While there are advantages to using drop leg holsters, some people can get confused as to why you'd want to use one compared to a conventional OWB holster. Let's talk about why you'd want to use a drop leg holster. 

What Is The Advantage Of A Thigh Holster?

While low-slung belt holsters with thigh straps or ties have been around for ages, the modern thigh holster or tactical holster or drop leg holster - whatever you want to call it - was devised in the 1980s for use by special operations units, with the accepted story being that it was invented by Bill Rogers (of Rogers Shooting School) for the Navy SEALs. 

The original use-case was to have a pistol holster that was a bit more out of the way than a high-riding belt holster, giving operators a greater range of movement without worrying about banging into anything.

It's still something of a hazard, though; duty gear undergoes a lot of abuse, which is why duty holsters have to be made to endure a lot of punishment and still function. 

It was noticed along the way that drop leg holsters offered the user a little more clearance between the gun and plate carrier/body armor vests of previous eras, keeping the pistol in a more accessible location.  

Another benefit is that a drop leg holster is often more comfortable and accessible when driving. Unlike waistband holsters which can become uncomfortable and difficult to reach while seated, a drop leg holster is easily accessible and doesn't restrict movement.

Swivel holsters of past eras, such as the Ted Blocker and other designs, were created for police officers for that very purpose! 

Modern drop leg holster platforms also have mounting space for attaching accessories, which is incredibly useful for the modern police officer or uniformed soldier. 

What Are The Cons Of Drop Leg Holsters?

Concealing your firearm is all but impossible with a drop leg holster, unless you're wearing a trench coat or knee-length overcoat. Even then, it's probably going to print. 

Drop leg holsters are also somewhat popular for hunting, but anyone who's gone through thick brush can tell you that everything snags. Adding a pistol on a drop leg platform is just going to make it worse, and that's why a lot of hunters prefer a chest holster instead. 

Then you have the cost. Drop leg holsters are usually more expensive than typical waistband holsters. While specialty tools have a premium involved and should, it's also the case that spending money on gear that you don't really need just because someone on Instagram has one is not necessarily a good idea. 

Unless you just want to, in which case treat your self! 

Should You Get A Drop Leg Holster? 

Where drop leg holsters excel is in the roles they were created for. People who need a little less clutter on the waist, who are getting in and out of vehicles - or on and off a motorcycle, ATV or horse - and who aren't concerned about concealment. 

If that is a use case that fits you, then a drop leg holster is probably an excellent fit and a quality example would probably be a good investment. 

If it isn't, then frankly a good OWB holster is probably a better fit. 

It's also okay if you just want one anyway.