Pros and Cons of Ankle Concealed Carry

Pros and Cons of Ankle Concealed Carry
Pros and Cons of Ankle Concealed Carry
Pros and Cons of Ankle Concealed Carry
Pros and Cons of Ankle Concealed Carry

Like many things involving guns, Hollywood has made carrying a gun on your ankle look “cool”, which is why I hear a lot of new shooters wanting to give this carry method a try. But the fact is, there’s a lot to know about carrying a gun on your ankle and I don’t recommend it for most people.

First, let me start with the ultra-simple. If you are a right-handed person, you wear the gun on the inside of your left ankle. This allows you to reach down with your right hand and easily draw the gun.

Second, when you are drawing the gun you need to bend slightly at the knees. With your support hand you need to pull up your pant leg so that your shooting hand can access the gun. This is obviously something you want to practice. If you decide that ankle carry is right for you, you would want to spend 10 minutes, 2-3 times a week practicing your ankle draw with a safe and empty weapon.

Third, ankle carry is never as comfortable as everyone says it is. It’s not horrible and you will quickly get used to it. But, if you’re the type of person that wants to carry a gun with as little discomfort as possible then you’ll probably want to go with pocket carry or outside the waistband carry.

Fourth, consider the calf-retention strap. The truth is, unless you want to wrap the holster so tightly around your ankle that you cut off the blood flow to your foot, you’ll likely want to get a calf-retention strap.

This is a strap that goes higher up on your leg and it keeps the ankle holster from sliding down your leg. (If you don’t use a retention strap, the holster will eventually slide down your ankle and run into your shoe. Trust me on this.)

Fifth, the reason I don’t recommend ankle carry for most people is because it takes longer to draw the gun. Drawing from your pocket, or inside or outside the waistband is much quicker since you don’t have to bend over to access the gun.

I don’t have to tell you that in a life or death situation every second counts. In fact, the only situation that ankle carry is really worth it is when you’re driving. So, if you take a lot of long road trips this type of carry may be for you.

If you do decide to go with ankle carry remember that you want to carry a small and lightweight gun. If you try and carry a Glock 17 on your ankle then you’ll instantly hate it and think ankle carry is the worst thing ever.

The gun I use for ankle carry is a Ruger LCP and I use the Galco Ankle Lite holster. I’ve tried several other ankle holsters but this is the most comfortable one I’ve found. If you get this holster (or any other) just remember that at first it will be tight and you’ll have to shove the gun in it and leave it in there for a day or two to break it in.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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James Andrews

Ankle carry can be comfortable, but, unless you a re a fairly large person, it is also easier for the gun to “print”. I also believe that ankle carry is somewhat more dangerous as well, as it can mean slower draw time, for starters.

Brian Mumford

It’s definitely not as fast as IWB or OWB, but I wouldn’t call it dangerous. Dangerous IMHO would be leaving your gun at home because you put on a couple of extra pounds and it’s getting too uncomfortable to carry. Should I buy bigger pants and a bigger belt? Or can I take the weight off? Well, carrying on your ankle until you figure that out is an option, and it’s also effective in a vehicle or for a backup gun to arm yourself or someone else with in dangerous situation you can’t extricate yourself from.

James Andrews

I’ve always felt that it might be easier for an attacker to get a hold of your weapon like that, but you bring up good points. It is in interesting discussion, one way or another.


How does size play into ease of carry on the ankle? I am smaller framed, thin and my pants conceal my weapon just fine. I suppose if you were trying to conceal a full size grip weapon maybe; in order of preference, I carry a P938, LCP w/Laser or S&W 632.

James Andrews

Glad it has worked for you; it doesn’t seem to work for me.

Brian Mumford

Good article and I mostly agree. I have the same holster/strap sitting in a box. Part of the reason deals with what was stated in the article, but I also sold the M&P40c as well. My new Glock 26 uses the exact same model holster, so I plan on using it on extended road trips. I’m also going to experiment with EDC this winter as well. I don’t agree that 20-30 minutes of practice each week is necessary for most civilians as the chances of having to use the weapon are very slim, and I don’t think that much time is necessary to maintain how to safely draw the weapon from concealment once you’ve practice enough to get it down. If a person’s wardrobe choice lends itself to an ankle holster, I say go for it but do so keeping in mind everything else stated in this article because it’s good advice. I look at it as a potentially effective backup system, as it won’t be the fasted draw outside of a motor vehicle, but it can work as a primary method of carry in limited circumstances if you need it to. After all, having a gun is the most important thing in a gunfight, but Galco ankle holsters aren’t cheap, so don’t waste your money if it’s only going to sit in a box.

Bayou Castine

It is also more dangerous because you will be bending down to reach it. Bending down before an opponent is NOT A GOOD IDEA – even if you are ONLY bending your knees, a little.

Brian Mumford

That could very well turn out to be the case bending down as a chest shot may become a headshot, or it may go above your head. There are so many situations that can play out. You might want to jump behind a car or some other cover, for example, forcing you into a crouching position with easy access to your weapon. I still leave all options on the table because having the gun on you is the first step. Depending on your body type, jeans and a new t-shirt someone gave you might favor wearing a Glock 26 or snub nosed revolver on your ankle.


I recommend the Glock 27 over the Glock 26, but that is because my primary sidearm is the Glock 22 and the Glock 27 is able to use the Glock 22’s larger magazines.

James Andrews

That’s what I have always thought as well.


Personally I cannot do ankle carry draw in the car, so I do IWB front with a short barrel (3″ or less). I ankle carry when hiking at times and do not experience any of the issues listed. Only once did the weapon need to be readjusted (the 1st outing) since then no issues. I wouldn’t do climbing, but on hiking trails it’s a breeze. I think part of the difference for me, I don’t wear anything less than mid-height boots, so the gun cannot ride too low and bother the ankle and or foot. I wear lose pants legs and you would never suspect a thing. I do not use the calf strap and do not have to make it so tight that it becomes uncomfortable. The weight and size of the weapon are the factors and I only do this with the P938, LCP w/Laser or S&W 632. Very rarely with the revolver as it is a little long compared to the others, but it will work if I want a more powerful firearm.

james lagnese

Looking at this I have an idea…I wonder if anyone has even made an ankle holster that was part of a boot?


Galco and some other companies have police style ankle duty-holsters (backup weapon) that the boot laces into. You choose the boots.


I personally favor the ankle draw. I have the calf retention strap and it works and feels fine. I however don’t put my gun on the inside of my left leg. I use my right leg. It’s alot closer and quicker. I use a Bersa .380 Thunder as my ankle carry. Nice little gun with a not so nice of an outcome if I have to use it. I read where it would not be the prudent place to carry one if confronted. Well, as you all know, we are SUPPOSE to be aware of our surroundings and anticipate certain circumstances. Never go where angels fear to tread and don’t put yourself in a position where a maybe confrontation could take place. Easier said than done, right? The only place that I could possible be surprised would be in a store or shopping mall. That in itself though would give me time to draw also with all the confusion. I don’t bend down to get my gun, I RAISE my leg. You bring the gun to you, don’t you go after the gun. That’s if you carry on the ankle. Safe shooting.


Good option for a secondary gun, something small and light like a Walther P22.


I haven’t looked at all the comments, but one thing I always practice is draw, move, shoot as close to one movement as possible. Not to mention if you get in to a situation of having to run/move it will be hard to draw your weapon until to stop. I guess if it is your only method of carry, it better then nothing.


Uncomfortable and awkward. That’s pretty much the long and the short of it.