Gear Review: Model 53 Cozy Partner Ankle Holster

Gear Review Model 53 Cozy Partner Ankle Holster I’ve been considering ankle carry as a possible solution to the concealment challenges posed by my workplace Dockers/button-down attire. As a medical professional, I’m extremely mobile; I sit and walk constantly and have up-close-and-personal interactions with dozens of people each day. Tuckable holsters work well, but they’re uncomfortable and I’m extremely reluctant to change my entire wardrobe to accomodate a pistol. Pocket carry works—until I sit down. So I ordered up a Model 53 Thumb Break Ankle Holster from Renegade. The telephone-only customer service was excellent. The holster arrived in two days. The price was right ($57.95). Saying that . . .

I thought the $12 shipping charge was unreasonable and don’t get me started on the $5 tax. In terms of concealment, the holster couldn’t be more discreet. The only way anyone’s going to know you’re packing heat is via a metal detector or some serious under-the-table footsie. Being a happily married man working in an environment where the only screening involves medical diagnosis, neither was a concern.

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And that’s about it for positive feedback. OK retention was also first rate. The Model 53 needs to be pulled tight to stay put, but once it is it does. I bet I could trampoline with my Glock 26 in this ankle holster in full lock-down and not lose my firearm. But I never seemed to find the happy medium: tight enough to not slide down the leg (which it will do) and loose enough to maintain feeling in my toes.

Once cinched tight, drawing the gun from the holster was on the impossible side of difficult. The Model 53’s thumb break —which pushed into my leg most uncomfortably—is even closer to dangerously useless; it breaks toward my Tibia. I was better off just ripping up the velcro strap attachment on the outside of the holster. [NB: Renegade also makes an ankle holster without a thumb break.]

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Reholstering with the holster on the leg is pretty much impossible. Once I got the gun out I had to put the gun back in the holster and  put the holster back on my leg. It would have been a lot less hassle if I’d hand an extra hand. Which I don’t.

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Ankle holsters are designed to be worn on the inside of the ankle opposite of the drawing hand. They provide relatively easy weapon access when seated or in a car. They also provide casual/stealth access if you’re at a desk or table.

Most people consider ankle holsters for a back-up gun (BUG). Given my experience with this example—admittedly my first ankle holster experiment—that’s probably an extremely sound approach. But I won’t know for sure until I find an ankle holster that doesn’t feel like a combination of a ball and chain and a tourniquet. Watch this space.


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