It isn't for everyone, but an ankle holster is a great way to carry a backup or deep concealment defensive firearm.
Many self-defense experts will advise that it is difficult to draw an ankle gun quickly without considerable practice, and it will always be awkward from a standing position.
But, there are benefits. As far as concealed carry holsters go, ankle holsters, when covered by a properly proportioned pant leg, are difficult to spot and more compatible with more types of clothing.
However, for some folks who spend a lot of time in a seated position, ankle carry can be a great option. Additionally, some concealed carriers and law enforcement personnel and police officers will keep a backup gun or a deep concealment handgun in an ankle holster to provide a last avenue of defense if their primary firearms should go down or be lost. It also allows for the carry of a backup gun without taking up belt space or using a shoulder holster.
Ankle carry is also historically uncomfortable, made more so the larger and heavier a gun is. However, modern materials like neoprene and kydex have cut down on weight and added comfort, especially when combined with old school materials like sheepskin. Still, it's beneficial for an ankle gun to be a small gun. A gun has to be quite small to be used with a simple wrap-around velcro holster platform, but a calf strap makes the entire affair more stable and comfortable with slightly larger guns.
Of course, comfort and the ability to draw an ankle gun well depends a lot on a quality ankle holster. Galco Gunleather, one of the best holster makers in the world, has a very solid ankle rig in its catalog, as does Alien Gear and DeSantis.
When matched with a good holster, the following guns make for great ankle carry pistols.
The Glock 43 is a single-stack 9mm semi-auto pistols that is about the size of a double-stack Glock 26 subcompact with a 6-round capacity, but considerably thinner, making it a great candidate for ankle carry.
Beretta APX Carry
Beretta makes a number of compact handguns that are good candidates for ankle carry. The APX Compact is a bit too large, but the APX Carry would make for an excellent ankle gun in 9mm with a 6- to 8-round capacity.
The Beretta Nano is an even smaller 9mm pistol with an 8-round capacity.
The Beretta Pico in .380 ACP is an even trimmer option that will conceal wonderfully.
The Ruger LCP is an extremely compact .380 ACP semi-auto pistol with a 6+1 capacity that is about as minimalist as possible, with soft lines and corners that will disappear under a pant leg with a quality holster. Its polymer frame is available in a number of color options.
The SIG P365 is the darling of concealed carriers everywhere, and this ultra-compact, high capacity 9mm is just about small enough in its SAS configuration with the 10-round flush magazine for ankle carry. The anti-snag SAS model incorporates an FT Bullseye sight embedded into the slide, keeping the gun as short as possible.
Likewise, the similarly sized Springfield Hellcat offers a large capacity of 11-rounds in its flush magazine while still being small enough to ride on an ankle.
Nobody says ankle guns have to be semi-autos. People have been relying on S&W J-Frame revolvers like the Model 442 for decades as primary and backup defensive guns. The storied gunmaker produces a variety of J-frame revolvers with five-round cylinders in .38 Special and even .357 Magnum, including several extremely lightweight and compact models that are favorites of professionals who employ ankle carry.
The Walther PPK in .380 ACP is a classic steel-frame pistol that is compact enough for ankle carry.
Walther PPQ Sub-Compact
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