Anyone ever see The French Connection (1972)?
It is a classic movie concerning a detective in New York who is on the trail of a major heroin smuggler. (Major for the time, that is.) It is known for an exciting chase sequence, and for the performance Gene Hackman turned in as the aforementioned police detective.
In the film, the detective is shown to carry his .38 snub nosed revolver in an ankle holster.
The method of concealment is mentioned at least once in the film, as a fellow police officer chides Hackman’s character for what he sees as a gimmick. The only reason the detective carries his sidearm in an ankle holster, it is asserted, are so any woman he is trying to pick up in a bar wouldn’t feel the gun when dancing close.
There are, of course, some very real advantages to carrying small handguns in ankle holsters. I have found that it is one of the most foolproof of concealment methods. After all, few people will spend much time staring at your feet, and those who are so inclined have various online websites that cater to their particular enthusiasms.
(These are not my feet!)
There are also some drawbacks, which where brought to painful focus by my latest student.
She is relatively young, which is all to the good. What is even better is that she is interested in controlling her diet, and she actually enjoys exercise.
(Not my actual student.)
The problem is that I have no interest in applying the slightest wisdom in choosing what I eat, and I find vigorous exercise to be an uncomfortable chore. This has resulted in a body type that one would expect for a sedentary 50 year old with a fondness for pizza.
(Not a self portrait.)
My student, while being admirably healthy and athletic, is also a movie enthusiast. She was interested in carrying her defensive firearm in an ankle holster, just like Gene Hackman in his Academy award winning role. In pursuit of this, she asked me to illustrate how to draw the gun at speed.
Ankle holsters are not the best choice for quick draws, but there are ways to speed the process up. All of them require the person wearing the holster to drop down on to one knee, and then to either roll around behind cover or to pop back up to their feet.
Considering my girth, the dropping down part is easy! I can descend towards the floor like a champion, with admirable speed and efficiency. It is the getting back up that has become increasingly wearisome as the decades advance.
Still, I managed to do it a few times without embarrassing myself. Then I had her practice what she had seen several times. While I had to struggle to keep from grunting while bouncing back to my feet, she smoothly rose to a standing position like a human pogo stick.
Ankle holsters are not for everyone, but she should do fine.