The need for a back-up or hide-out pistol goes hand in hand with holsters made for out of the way places, like ankle holsters. I have used ankle holsters that ranged from wearable to painful but I have finally found one that you can actually carry the gun in without noticing it. These are intended for maximum concealment, not fast draw, but ankle holsters are never very good for fast draws.
The Gun Sox Stretx Holstering System from Cheata Tactical consists of a well padded stretch sock-like section that goes between the ankle and the knee. It comes in the original full lower leg length and a mid-calf length for those wearing boots. On each side is a pocket for a pistol covered by a wide stretch flap that completely covers the grip of the gun carried. The pistol itself has its trigger guard inside the pouch for more secure carrying. The padding effectively prevents the gun from digging in and gouging your leg. One or both pockets can also be used to carry valuables safely away from pickpockets.
Drawing the Gun
Drawing the gun is accomplished by jerking back the retention flap to expose the grip and the back of the slide. This can be done with one hand but is faster and more sure if two hands are used – one to pull the flap up and one to draw the pistol, the same way some men draw from a military flap holster.
The Gun Sox is removed by pulling the top down and turning the sleeve inside out as it is pulled off.
This system is designed for small- and medium-sized pistols and holds them quite securely when running or jumping. You never have to worry about your pistol bouncing out. I know a policeman who was chasing a suspect when a flash of light caught his eye. It was his S&W M60 snub nose .38 bouncing out of his ankle holster and going flying through the air. That won’t happen with this holster. I have tested this rig thoroughly with a .22 Sterling automatic vest pocket pistol and I have complete confidence in this ankle holster.
Those unfamiliar with deep cover hiding of pistols may not be willing to accept the fact that they will never perform a fast draw like an open carry hip holster. Well, that is another class of holster altogether for an entirely different purpose. I remember my old friend, the late Paris Theodore, who owned Seventrees Holsters. For the record, Paris made the first pancake holsters before Roy Baker popularized them. The only thing Roy Baker could patent was the oval stitching around the cut-outs for the belt instead of the more comprehensive traditional stitching.
Among Intelligence Men at the time, Paris was considered the world’s best at hiding a gun for special purposes. They weren’t always comfortable, but that man could hide most any type of gun on most anybody. There are times when concealment is everything. You can’t walk around with a gun in a fast draw rig where you don’t want people knowing you have a gun. Ideally you will draw the gun before things get hairy, just as any soldier or lawman will do, but just having it there when you need it is the overriding concern.
Ankle carry has never been as popular as it could be because it has often been uncomfortable or even painful. The Gun Sox Stretx Holstering System changes all that and should make life a lot more pleasant for those who need to employ ankle holsters.
Editor’s note: The Gun Sox Stretx Holstering System can be found at shooting-depot.com.
Story and photos by Jim Dickson