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FF750
08-08-09, 23:49
Now that I've gotten my CCW I'm evaluating my carry options and have come to the realization that for work the only way that would seem to work would be ankle carry. My office wear is pretty much shirt and tie (often with no coat) but most importantly because I work at a hospital I can't afford anything that has a decent chance of inadvertently being revealed not because I'll get fired but just that I don't want anyone to panic - least of all the patients. So OWB/IWB and shoulder are out because of that. I'm not considering pocket carry because I want to be able to carry something more substantial than a mouse gun.

So, any suggestions on a good ankle carry gun to consider?

I'm waiting on a M&P40 full-size to replace my XDm .40 for a HD gun and off-work carry and I was thinking of also getting a matching M&P40 compact - could that be a feasible gun for ankle carry? I thought it was worth considering since it would simplify training.

I'd prefer to stick with 9mm or above because I'd prefer something with more punch than a .380 and .380 ammo's still hard to come by here (don't know if it's easier anywhere else lol) - don't see much point to getting a good gun with no ammo to use or practice with.

Thanks in advance for any useful advice.

kmrtnsn
08-09-09, 00:00
For an ankle gun NOTHING tops the S&W 340PD in .357 Magnum. For a close second I'd take a look at the new Ruger LCR in .38+p. I am trying to get my hands on one to try it out.

BTW, even ankle holsters will show at the wrong time. If you are precluded from carrying where you work as a condition of your employment then you need to decide which is more important, carrying or feeding yourself and family.

senorlinc
08-09-09, 01:46
SW442/642? there are really light weight, with a good rig i doubt you'd notice it was there.

DocGKR
08-09-09, 02:02
For ankle carry, nothing can beat an airweight or Ti S&W J-frame in .38 sp--skip the .357 Magnum...

High Tower
08-09-09, 04:46
It depends on how/when/where/etc you carry concealed. My brother and I have done it with a Glock 26. But thats really only ideal if you are doing a lot of driving and little walking around. They get annoying after awhile.

I would agree with the others on a lightweight J frame for the most part.

firecop019
08-09-09, 06:55
Yeah, if you really have to carry I'd look at the ultra light S&W revolver's or even one of the smaller Kahr's. There's also some pocket holsters out there with a flap on the outside that breaks up the outline of a gun in your pocket. Looks more like a billfold in the pocket than a gun. There's also those tuckable IWB holster too. I've got a Desantis Tuck This for my HK USPc, it does a pretty decent job because it sits so low in the waistband.

ThirdWatcher
08-09-09, 07:22
For ankle carry, nothing can beat an airweight or Ti S&W J-frame in .38 sp--skip the .357 Magnum...

+1 ... always worked for me!!! :)

ballistic
08-09-09, 07:49
I'll add my vote, S&W 342PD Titanium Airweight .38+P.

jwinch2
08-09-09, 08:38
Massad Ayoob wrote a really good chapter on ankle carry in the Gun Digest book of Concealed Carry. In it, he discusses which holsters and rigs to consider, angle, and guns. If you are seriously considering this I would highly recommend checking out that entire book.

He recommends many of the same guns that members on here are already throwing out there. However, he also gives pro's and con's to each choice which I found very helpful.

Good luck!

FF750
08-09-09, 10:50
BTW, even ankle holsters will show at the wrong time. If you are precluded from carrying where you work as a condition of your employment then you need to decide which is more important, carrying or feeding yourself and family.

I realize that there's a risk of any form of carry showing - the ankle rig just seems to have the lowest odds of that for my situation. I'm not worried at all about trouble with my employer - they don't have any rules against it, it's just that I have to interact with a lot of people on a daily basis at my job and want to minimize the chances of freaking them out by seeing a gun as much as possible.


For ankle carry, nothing can beat an airweight or Ti S&W J-frame in .38 sp--skip the .357 Magnum...

Seems like that's the consensus. I'd been checking those out at my local FFL - I'll have to see if they have one for rental and give it a test fire.


Massad Ayoob wrote a really good chapter on ankle carry in the Gun Digest book of Concealed Carry. In it, he discusses which holsters and rigs to consider, angle, and guns. If you are seriously considering this I would highly recommend checking out that entire book.

He recommends many of the same guns that members on here are already throwing out there. However, he also gives pro's and con's to each choice which I found very helpful.

Good luck!

I'm actually in the middle of reading that book and you're right, it's a very helpful one to read.

Thanks for the replies guys!

Skintop911
08-09-09, 13:05
Don't skimp. Buy a quality holster that's contoured correctly, sized properly, and does not require over or under tensioning in order to stay in place. Nerve or vascular damage can occur if the holster isn't worn properly. If it offers one-size-fits-all or universal adjustment, beware.

Off-the-shelf mass-produced ankle holsters are sized, proportioned, and contoured for average-sized men. If you are not "average", pay attention to taper and contour for their effect on bone/muscle structure at the ankle and calf.

Counter-balance the weight of the gun with weight on the other side. A spare mag, light, or other weight helps to even out your gait and limit other tendency to "throw" the weighted leg.

Be sure to try all of the different styles and pairs of shoes you wear with your choice of holster, and be willing to change one or the other. I've had holsters that worked well with athletic shoes that were intolerable with dress shoes, and vice versa.

Practice, practice, practice deployment.

Style, cut, and construction of pants should also be considered. Finer material may wear quickly. Consider having your tailor reinforce fine dress clothes. To preserve a dress look, increase the rake of your hem with greater drop to the heel. If material and appearance are less an issue, add 2" to your inseam and drive on.

If you carry the really lightweight guns like LCPs, scandiums, and sometimes the airweights, they will mask the failures of lesser holsters. If you want to carry more gun, like a Glock subcompact or an M&P compact, you will need a better holster.

I ankle carry a G27 12-18 hours every day. I use only Alessi ankle holsters to maintain comfort and prevent injury. I've been able to carry G19s and G23s on the ankle as well, when the advice above is heeded.

FF750
08-09-09, 13:55
Don't skimp. Buy a quality holster that's contoured correctly, sized properly, and does not require over or under tensioning in order to stay in place. Nerve or vascular damage can occur if the holster isn't worn properly. If it offers one-size-fits-all or universal adjustment, beware.

Off-the-shelf mass-produced ankle holsters are sized, proportioned, and contoured for average-sized men. If you are not "average", pay attention to taper and contour for their effect on bone/muscle structure at the ankle and calf.

Counter-balance the weight of the gun with weight on the other side. A spare mag, light, or other weight helps to even out your gait and limit other tendency to "throw" the weighted leg.

Be sure to try all of the different styles and pairs of shoes you wear with your choice of holster, and be willing to change one or the other. I've had holsters that worked well with athletic shoes that were intolerable with dress shoes, and vice versa.

Practice, practice, practice deployment.

Style, cut, and construction of pants should also be considered. Finer material may wear quickly. Consider having your tailor reinforce fine dress clothes. To preserve a dress look, increase the rake of your hem with greater drop to the heel. If material and appearance are less an issue, add 2" to your inseam and drive on.

If you carry the really lightweight guns like LCPs, scandiums, and sometimes the airweights, they will mask the failures of lesser holsters. If you want to carry more gun, like a Glock subcompact or an M&P compact, you will need a better holster.

I ankle carry a G27 12-18 hours every day. I use only Alessi ankle holsters to maintain comfort and prevent injury. I've been able to carry G19s and G23s on the ankle as well, when the advice above is heeded.

Lots of great advice there - thank you very much! I hadn't even considered the possibility of balancing out the weight on the other leg or of needing alterations to my pants.

Reddevil
08-09-09, 15:24
I've been carrying a S&W M&P 340 for about 3 months now in an UM ankle holster as my duty BUG. I don't think I'd want to carry anything heavier for long hours. Surprisingly, the UM holster is very comfortable and is contoured so it doesn't slide down like my Renegade did. The UM holster also comes with an adjustable garter.

ROCKET20_GINSU
08-09-09, 16:52
I have ankle carried before with a S&W J frame air weight as well. Worked ok, but in my opinion pocket carry is much more discrete and easier to present from. I can carry my .38 in my mika pocket holster very easily, and when I want to carry a little more firepower I carry a G26 in a fist pocket holster with a G17 spare mag. If I need even more while still being discrete check out smart carry, lots of people seem to like that option when they need to tuck in their shirts.

GU

El Cid
08-09-09, 17:17
I agree about J-frames being great for ankle carry, but you could carry that same weapon in a pants pocket just as easily and get your hand on it more discreetly with less chance of it being discovered day to day.

Since you asked about the M&P compact I'll say you should be great with that weapon on your ankle. I carry a Glock 27 on my ankle almost every day. It's my secondary gun, but it's not uncomfortable or unmanageable. I tried the ankle holsters with stretchable neoprene/velcro and was disgusted. Rarely was I able to get it "just right." Most often it was too tight or too loose. I finally spent the money for an Alessi ankle holster and haven't looked back. I can't imagine a better holster for this mode of carry. Since the untimely passing of the great Mr Alessi, I'm not sure what the status of the company and production may be now.

Since Alessi may be harder to find now, I'd recommend either Josh Bulman or Ken Null for nearly identical designs. One or both of them may have been an apprentice of Alessi - I can't recall. I can say their designs appear to be as close to an Alessi as you can find and I'll be going to one of them for my next ankle holster.

As for the counterbalance on your opposite ankle... it is needed by some and for others it's not. I have a coworker who needed it because it was throwing out his lower back. He got the Galco version for a mag, cuffs and I think one other item. He's happy as can be. I got a similar version from tuffproducts.com and it's very well made. I found over time though that I didn't need to have a counterbalance and so I only wear it when I can't carry anything on my belt. My agency won't allow revolvers of any type, but I have considered for off duty getting two ankle holsters for J-frames. One on each ankle. Perfect balance, faster to grab a 2nd gun than reload a snubbie, and competely ambidextrous.

I used to have an M&P9 Compact and it's comparable to the G26/27 guns. I'd ditch my Glocks for M&P's in a heartbeat if I could and the gun on my ankle would be the M&P compact.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Kev

EDIT: Oh, and on the subject of altering your pants... a huge help in concealing is going to be putting your sock on the outside of the holster. For me, this means wearing two pair of socks as I prefer to have sock between my leg and the holster. This way, if your pant leg should ride up and expose the bottom of the holster, only sock will be visible.

f.2
08-09-09, 20:34
...S&W 342PD Titanium Airweight .38+P.

The 642 is an Airweight. The 342PD (personal defense) and 342Ti are Airlite models with titanium cylinders making them lighter than the Airweights.

You didn't ask about holsters, but I use a 642 / Renegade cozy partner 500 (http://www.adcofirearms.com/acc/ProductLine_.cfm?brand=Renegade&product_category=Holsters) (purchased at Adco) combo. Very comfortable up to 14 hours a day. Worn over long white socks, I could and do forget that I'm wearing it.