Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fobus Ankle Holster Review

OK, so I've never had an ankle holster before so I don't have anything to compare this one to, but maybe that has an advantage as I don't have any favorites. To tell you the truth, I thought I wouldn't like it and just drop it in the bottomless box of holsters. I have bought quite a few Fobus holsters over the years and have nothing but praise for them. Most of their paddle holsters start at $25.00, so for $50.00 you can have a gun holster and magazine holster that will last for many years. That is exactly how many of my carry guns have started out.

While consulting google-the-wise one day, I came across a Fobus ankle holster for $39.95 on Magills.com. Not a bad price considering others start out at twice that price. I bought the one for a Glock 26 and have been sporting it around to find out how I like it. Here's the holster with my Glock:
The little pistol snaps into the holster pretty tight and I don't see it inadvertently coming out in a scuffle. The instructions say to practice with an unloaded gun until the user is "thoroughly competent and proficient in its safe use." There are lots of other warnings listed to avoid the legal minefield that is our rule of law.
Also of note is that the instructions say "do not use the trigger shoes or the grip adapters!" I'm not sure about the shoes but the grip adapters probably include the ones from Pierce Grip which I have for this Glock. It is obvious that the instructions are for all of their holsters considering it talks about the paddle and roto holsters as well.

This thing takes only seconds to strap onto your ankle using the velcro strap. Cinch it down pretty tight, not too tight, and you may have to re-adjust once you holster the pistol. It takes some pressure to get the gun snapped in and when you do this is what you've got:
For all of its small size I think the Glock 26 is pretty big to wear on the ankle. My wife's Kahr PM9 would be better suited for this role, but I often carry a Glock 17 which makes the Glock 26 the choice for a BUG. Virginia law is kinda murky when it comes to more than one gun but I don't read anything that would make me think that it's illegal. Two is one and one is none.

This would be where you re-adjust to make sure that the holster won't spin around your ankle when you walk. Also note that I have half boots on. This helps keep the holster up higher. I don't know how this holster will work wearing regular tennis shoes but I'll check that out when I have time. I think if I wear this over regular 9" boots it would be even more comfortable than it is now. If you wear white socks they will turn black around where the padding from the holster sits and it doesn't take but a couple of hours for this to take place.

Here is a picture of the Glock with the Pierce Grip installed:

I think I will carry with the flush magazine installed to keep it a low profile. This definitely will not be my regular mode of carry anyways, I use a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster for this gun day-to-day with the Pierce Grip magazine in the gun. My spare magazine is usually the standard flush fit mag, but sometimes I will have a full sized Glock 17 mag as a back up.

I initially though about buying this holster for my little Taurus 85 but the Glock 26 made more sense. The Glock is way more accurate, holds more rounds, has better sights, is a better backup for the Glock 17, and is just as small. The full sized and subcompact Glock team is just good-to-go. I bet police officers around the country carry a pair of Glocks for just that reason. I really wish I still had my Glock 20 so I could go out and get a Glock 29 to match. It makes it way easier to have spare mags that are compatible with both guns.

Last part of all of this is how well it conceals and how comfortable it is. Here is the gun concealed by my pant leg:
Nothing exciting there. It is very comfortable and it stays put all day. A slow 20 yard sprint doesn't make it move and that's about as far as I run these days. Maybe I'll pick a fight with my brothers to see if that makes the gun move, or not.
Wearing this in public is no problem. Nobody screamed "HE'S GOT A GUN!!" and ran off flailing their arms so that's a good thing. I'm wearing Levi 560 jeans with a slight taper in the leg and I think a boot cut or straight leg would be even better. This definitely won't work with my 5.11's unless I went up a size larger.
Sliding the pant leg down over the gun and holster feels a little tight but I can pull it back up over the gun and draw with no problem. I will have to do some draw and shoot drills and get those results posted here later. Maybe I'll pick up a shot timer to get some really good data.
Well that's all I have. When I get more time I will do more testing.




Update: The ankle holster has been serving well. I was wrong about the half boot helping to hold the holster up. The bottom edge of the holster slides in between the top edge of the boot and my ankle which produces a small but painful bruise after a few hours of wear. New Balance hiking shoes have been working better and the Glock 26 rides comfortably all day. I still think the pistol is a tad large for ankle carry.

One thing to avoid is smacking the pistol against the rocker panel of your vehicle when your getting in. You get used to it after a few hard bumps. It doesn't matter whether you wear a sock or not from a comfort standpoint, the holster stays put regardless.

Drawing is better than I anticipated. I would still recommend straight leg jeans over any with a taper, but I have no problems with the draw either way. You have to draw with a sense of purpose as the holster holds the pistol very tight. Re-holstering can feel like the gun doesn't fit but you just have to give it a good push.

Overall I'm very impressed. The price was good and I don't think I can wear it out in my lifetime. I know I can get the pistol out in a hurry and I know it won't come out when I don't want it to.

Try one, you won't be disappointed.
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