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Cowboy Boot Holster for J-Frame

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by Hunter.V.White, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Nov 13, 2011 at 7:44 PM
    #1
    Hunter.V.White

    Hunter.V.White [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I want to start carrying my S&W J-Frame 38SP (Model 442) as a secondary or back-up CC weapon, and thought that my ankle would be a good place.

    I typically carry my primary weapon in a Crossbreed SuperTuck (IWB) holster. I've looked and asked around about ankle holsters, and have come to the conclusion that the biggest problem with them is keeping them in place for comfort, concealment, and consistent draw - I've been told that they tend to slip down the leg.

    So my next thought was to use the support of cowboy boots to hold the holster (and revolver) in place. I'm thinking that a slim holster with a clip (or two) for the top of the boot would be sufficient. I would wear it in my left boot to the inside of my leg. This way I can draw with my right hand and should maintain maximum concealment.

    The problem is that I can't find a cowboy boot holster. Does anyone have any experience with carrying in cowboy boots, or know where I could get a holster for them? I'm thinking that I may either end up settling for a cheap IWB holster or trying to make my own.

    Thanks for any help and advice!

    Attached is the only picture I could quickly find on google to illustrate what I'm looking for. I believe this picture is featuring an IWB holster clipped to the boot though.

    Cowboy boot holster.jpg
     
  2. Nov 13, 2011 at 7:47 PM
    #2
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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  3. Nov 13, 2011 at 8:01 PM
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    Hunter.V.White

    Hunter.V.White [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for the reply! I will definitely look into that.

    Have you used one before? My concern would be comfort, as this setup wouldn't have anything between my leg and the revolver (rubbing, pulled hair, sweat, etc). The upside however, is that it wouldn't add any width to place inside the boot (leather from a holster), so I would have the least "bulge" possible. Hmmmm.... more things to consider :)
     
  4. Nov 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM
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    JimBeam

    JimBeam BECAUSE INTERNETS!! Moderator

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    Do you normally wear cowboy boots?

    I wear some slip on boots similar to cowboy boots all the time, but they have a bit more room at the top and I have been known to utilize my ankle holster my putting it on a little high and putting my boots on and then sliding it down so it sits just a little in my boot and then retightning the holster

    Works pretty well but not the easiest to get to because it's 8" up my calf or so
     
  5. Nov 13, 2011 at 8:10 PM
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    BradleyScottETC

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    I use a simple IWB neoprene deal for my J-frame, not in the boot though- I agree with the clip criticism and I haven't tried one yet.

    The one time I wore my ankle holster I was so concerned about it slipping that I took it off before I ever got out of the truck! I don't carry a redundant weapon, though- I wore it because I wore a tucked-in dress shirt without a jacket and couldn't utilize my IWB.

    Do you have an ankle holster? They usually come VERY adjustable and versatile. One of my friends has carried in the boot with the same one I have. I'd pick one up and experiment with that first.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2011 at 10:57 AM
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    Rmodel65

    Rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    i use a clip draw like in the picture above but not in my boot....i use it mainly for days like today when im wearing gym shorts and the clips holds the gun perfectly on my waist or for slipping it in a pocket with the handle exposed
     
  7. Nov 14, 2011 at 11:26 AM
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    Hunter.V.White

    Hunter.V.White [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, I actually just picked up a pair for this very reason. I used to wear them as a kid, but dropped the habit in high school and college. The cowboy boots I bought are the classic style, not ropers or work boots, so they have the tall heel and the taller sides coming up the leg.

    The other shoes/boots I wear aren't conducive to ankle carry - either running shoes or Army combat boots, and I am trying to avoid having to rely on friction between my leg and a holster to hold my revolver in place.

    I may try getting an ankle holster that I could wedge between my leg and boot, thereby taking some of the required force off of the ankle holster and instead utilizing the structure of the boot to hold the holster/revolver in place.

    More things to consider... Thanks everyone for the help with the brain storming!
     
  8. Nov 14, 2011 at 11:37 AM
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    Rmodel65

    Rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    hunter are you a member of www.GeorgiaCarry.org ?? they have been behind the expansion of carry rights here in GA. in the days before GCO Georgia was more restrictive than even California for off limits places etc..... you might want to look at the Remora brand of holsters they work on friction to keep in places and you can wear it in your waist line, pocket etc...

    www.remoraholsters.net/
     
  9. Nov 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM
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    Polymerhead

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    I use a pocket holster every day for my 637. Just a thought. Easy to carry and you can put it in your offhand pocket if you want since it's a backup.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2011 at 6:30 PM
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    Catcrazed

    Catcrazed Save a horse ride a Railroader

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    Why don't u take ur boots to a leather guy and have a pocket/ holster added to the inside it would suck to have to get it done on every new pair of boots. Or maybe he could add snaps to the boot and the holster could snap in then each set of boots would only req snaps.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2011 at 5:31 AM
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    Goldstar225

    Goldstar225 Well-Known Member

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    While I use a Mika pocket holster for off-duty carry of my 642, don't completely discount the ankle holster. On-duty I use the Galco Ankle Glove over my duty boots. For those with larger legs they make an extender. They also have a calf strap available. It goes around the upper portion of the calf with a strap that connects to the top of the holster to keep it from slipping down. The Ankle Glove may be too large for wear inside cowboy boots. If that's the case look at the renegade ankle holster. From what I've seen it's not as bulky as the Ankle Glove.

    JMO, I would be concerned about a clipped on holster coming out of the boot at the most awkward time.
     
  12. Nov 19, 2011 at 8:23 PM
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    Bajatacoma

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    Have you tried drawing the gun from inside a boot yet? Ankle holster is one of the hardest ways to carry effectively and one of the most difficult to draw from. Ideally you need to be able to grab your pants leg with your offside hand, pull the pants up above the gun then grab the gun with your gun hand- high topped cowboy boots are going to compound the problems in that they normally fill your pants legs so it's harder to get them up, you have to pull your pants higher to clear the gun and if it's inside you got to reach inside the boot itself.

    Not saying it can't be done, but most officers who carry a backup on their ankle have it over their boots or they're wearing lower cut shoes. Dress pants are much easier to pull up than something like blue jeans too.

    Several other points: If you have athletic or fat calves it's much harder to conceal and the extra weight on one ankle will affect your walk; even on folks who've been doing it for years you can often tell by their stride. A lower cut shoe or an offside pocket may be a better choice.
     
  13. Nov 20, 2011 at 11:56 AM
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    Hunter.V.White

    Hunter.V.White [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all of your replies! Everyone has brought up some interesting points.

    So far, I have tried a neoprene pocket holster, but quickly realized that without a clip, any holster will fall too deep into the boot to be comfortable / useful. This would rule out any holster that relies on friction to stay in place. The constant impulse acting on the holster/revolver from the taking of a step is enough to slide any holster down.

    I also tried an Uncle Mikes IWB holster, which did come with a plastic clip. So, logically the next step was to use the clip to secure the holster from sliding down. While this did marginally prevent the holster from slipping into the boot, it did not prevent the holster from slipping out of the boot when drawn. Clearly, a stronger clip(s) is necessary.

    So far with the limited testing I've done, I've ascertained that an ankle holster of any sort experiences much more disturbance than a typical holster carried at the waist or higher, due to the kinematics of walking. What ever the solution ends up being, it will have to be very robust and secure to be effective. Anything less will need frequent readjustment, and will likely be ineffective in concealment and comfort.

    My next step is to try and make my own holster over the holiday season when I have some time off. This will be an interesting design challenge due to the geometry of where the holster will be located (I've noticed that I have much more room in the front of the boot then on the side next to the inside of my leg), how it will have to attach to the boot (in the front of the boot is the classic swoop down from the sides to the middle), and the material used (leather) to prevent the holster from being too thick to conceal. I will update the thread with what I end of making.

    I have considered the constraints of drawing from an ankle holster, and especially with the added difficulty of drawing from a cowboy boot. I set up the problem like this:

    Whatever ankle carry method is selected, it will always be my secondary weapon. This means that it will never be utilized unless my primary weapon a) jams and cannot be cleared, b) runs out of ammunition, c) is taken from me, or d) is being actively used by myself and I need to arm another person (back-up, METT-TC dependent).

    With the low probability of even using my primary weapon, it is a much lower probability that I will need to use my secondary weapon - assuming an independent probability between the use of my primary weapon and the occurrence of (a) - (d) above. Of course anything can happen, but it has been my training that if my rifle fails and I'm not behind cover, I need to get to cover asap and then draw my sidearm. Because of this, I assume that if I ever end up drawing my secondary weapon in a combat situation, I will be doing it from cover and will hopefully have a few extra seconds to make a clean draw from my boot - slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

    I will freely admit that I have never had to do this under the actual stress of combat, so if anyone out there has experience in this - I'd really appreciate the feedback on this model.

    Thanks again everyone for the help!
     
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