Skills Check: Ankle-Carry Drill

posted on January 7, 2020

While it offers excellent concealment, ankle carry requires extensive practice to master the various draw techniques one may require to bring the pistol into action.

Do you carry a defensive handgun in an ankle holster? It’s a popular deep-cover-carry method that has several advantages and a few disadvantages. Advantages include good concealment that allows you to dress without having to wear a jacket or baggy shirt to conceal a pistol on your belt, a reasonably secure carry method that makes it hard for someone to disarm you and ease of access while seated. Accessing the pistol while driving can be difficult, in my experience, although some folks find it easier than dealing with a strong-side holster due to the seatbelt issue.

Other disadvantages include the inability to access the pistol while walking or running and having to remain stationary and immobile while drawing the gun. Similar to ankle carry, boot carry is popular with my friends who wear boots as part of their daily attire. Boot carry also requires a holster, usually one that clips to the boot top. Whether ankle or boot carry, trousers with loose or baggy legs are needed, so you will have to give up the skinny jeans.

If you’re right-handed, you will want to position the ankle holster on the inside of the left leg; left-handed requires placing the gun on the right leg. Presenting the pistol to the target requires a large step or lunge forward with the leg holding the pistol while dropping to a single knee (speed-kneeling) position. Next, grasp the trousers with both hands and pull the trouser leg up to clear the gun, grip the pistol, pull it loose from the holster and come to a two-handed shooting position. If you’re new to ankle carry, do some dry practice to get a feel for drawing the gun before moving on to live fire.

Small pistols and revolvers are suitable for ankle carry, either as a primary or backup weapon. If you carry with an ankle rig, or want to try it, practicing this drill will give you the skills needed to carry with confidence.

Here’s the Drill

You’ll need a single target and 12 rounds of ammunition, but I suspect you’ll want to run this several times and might need about 50 rounds.

3 yards  Kneel, present the pistol and fire two rounds, stand and fire two more. Total: 4 rounds.

5 yards  Kneel, present the pistol and fire two rounds, stand and fire two more. Total: 4 rounds.

7 yards  Kneel, present the pistol and fire two rounds, stand and fire two more. Total: 4 rounds. 

Total 12 rounds

Variations include standing and taking a step to the side before shooting or doing a reload followed by firing two more rounds.


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