Friday, May 26, 2017

Gear Tip: Your Friend Velcro

A decade and more out of the .mil, and finding out to my chagrin that running around pulling security on the southern border for what became several years would require me to gear up and ruck up in an epic grunt flashback, one of the new iterations of weapon carriage I tried was the drop-leg holster.

Ignoring completely the Tactically Cool Tactical Operator Operating Tactically and CDI (Chicks Dig It) factors, there were practical considerations, in that it's much easier to get it down below chest and vest gear rigs and body armor (and yes, with cartels dumping entire magazines into the faces of downed Border Patrol agents nearby, you can damn betcha we wore all that, even for mending fences, when only 10 yards from Mexico), and easier to deal with jumping into and out of vehicles day and night, and still being able to reach and draw the weapon, should it become necessary.

But, like with spawn-of-satan single point slings (don't get me started), the bane of the existence of drop-legs is that sooner or later (sooner if you run, even briefly) they inevitably end up smacking your weapon(s) right into your junk. By malign design.


And I've tried them nearly all, so don't bother suggesting Brand X or Tacticool Overpriced Widget Maker Y in comments. They all do it, because anatomy.

This is because no matter if you tighten them to tourniquet levels of adjustment, your leg is a cylinder, and things will go where they will go, usually at the worst time, and in the most uncomfortable way.

The same is true even for unsecured belt holsters. Heavy things gravitate to your middle when you move, because they can. Where they'll gore your junk, eventually. Even if you're Indiana Jones.

My solution was simple: I switched back either to a Bianchi GI issue holster and belt carry, clipped in place nigh-immovably, or used either the old- or new-school versions of GI shoulder holster, and the pistol is where I left it, no matter what I do.

But some people haven't learned their gear yet (which is the bigger take-away lesson, IMHO), and I've seen a couple of folks, even those on duty, and in courses still trying/using the drop-leg. Some of them because of agency policy. With the same painful short-comings. So for those who're still enamored of them, this tip.

Most larger Wal-Marts, and sewing-type craft stores, sell the two items you need: a wide swath of Velcro strap, and Shoe-Goo. Glue a 3-4" long section (or two side-by-side if they're narrow) of the widest hook piece you can obtain (If you find 3"x4" or 4"x6" pieces now because Internet, even better) to the back of your holster. Leave the loop attached, and press it into place at least overnight with bricks, books, weight plates, etc., after stuffing it to its normal dimension with either the (safe) weapon in place, or newspapers/rags stuffed in to approximate the normal profile.

Do the same thing in reverse: Shoe-Goo the loop section (make sure you get this right, or you'll have two Velcro pieces that won't lock together) to the trouser leg(s) you're likely to be wearing when SHTF, in the corresponding location where you want the pistol to stay on the side of your leg, versus digging into your wedding tackle.
Again, press into place, and weight it down with heavy items, and let it set overnight, if not for a full day.

The ambitious can use C-clamps and boards in either or both cases instead of weights.

Then when you wear drop-leg with trousers, it gets stuck where you want it, and stays where you put it, in perpetuity. FTR, I have sewn entire garments and repaired shoes with Shoe-Goo, and in every case, the Shoe-Goo outlasts the garments/shoe you repair with it.

If you do this, the prospects for you someday having children, and not screaming like a girl at an inopportune moment, will respectively increase/decrease, to your great relief.


Retired Spook said...

Great idea, and I'd like to implement it, but the chances of me wearing the Velcro-equipped trousers when needed rank right up there with my chances of being transported bodily into heaven in the very near future.

So, since I will never be one of the cool kids, and have come to terms with that, I can point out that, in the absence of a really nice tanker holster, you can take your common Fobus kydex paddle holster, and find it a good home on the chest strap of your average ruck. And unless you're practicing tactical belly flops in random mud puddles, it seems to work out pretty well.


Aesop said...

That's a given. I was using dedicated play clothes for play time.
And I still went with another option. But some people are stuck with the damned drop-legs, so...