There are a number of concealed carry options on the market including IWB and OWB holsters in hundreds of styles, and under garment systems including bellybands and elastic TRUSS systems. Most of these are not accommodating of tightly contoured shirts, or mid-drift showing shirts such as those that are popular with many female CCW practitioners. This leaves those who wear tight shirts, or low waisted pants to look at either ankle holsters or off-body carry such as in a purse or backpack.
Well what if you have on a skirt or shorts, and don’t/can’t carry a bag with you. This leaves the unique envelope of need that is addressed by the thigh holster.
History of the Concealed Thigh holster
The concept of securing a small but easily accessible firearm under a skirt, short pants, or kilt has been around for almost two hundred years. Women of all classes often resorted to carrying a small single shot derringer type pistol for protection in the garters of their stockings. Legend has it that British Army Long Range Desert Group and Special Air Service commandos operating behind Rommel's lines in North Africa during WWII would often tie or tape small pistols under their Bermuda shorts for use in case they were captured. Well-known outlaw, Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde fame) kept a Colt Detective .38 Snub-nosed revolver taped around her thigh under her skirt.
Dual mounted Lewis guns? -Check, 100 gallons of spare petrol and water? -Check, Concealed .38 Webley snubby taped under my Bermuda shorts? -Maybe!
Hidden Thigh Holsters Today
Today a number of holster makers produce and sell a variety of drop leg outer thigh holsters for LE/Corrections and Military use. These, however are very different from concealable inner thigh holsters.
Galco, one of the largest players in the concealable holster industry, has long marketed their high-quality thigh holster. Dubbed the Galco Thigh Band, it is their second-generation Galco holster, designed for both male and female shooters, to be worn under pleated pants, long pleated shorts, a dress, or a skirt. The leather holster pocket is mounted on a 4" wide thigh band made of heavy-duty elastic, and connected to your pants belt with the belt hook or to the waist strap by the vertical suspender strap (included). Available in right or left hand designs, it comes in black only. The holster fastens with a strong hook and loop closure; and the approximate range of adjustment is 16.5"-20.5". The Thigh Band runs about $56 on Galco's website, slightly less if you shop around. It comes in variants for the Beretta 84, Bersa 380s, Smith/Charter/Taurus J-frames, Glock subcompacts, Walther PP-series, Ruger LCR, and others.
Clament Custom Leather in Oregon also makes custom leather holsters for small autos and revolvers. Below is a video review of their design.
Advantages of a CCW thigh rig
These holsters fit a unique profile as mentioned above. In doing so they allow people of both male a female varieties an option for safe, concealed carry while wearing shorts or skirts and close fitting shirts. Granted, by the very nature of the design and the limitations of the individual's own thigh to attach to, most often these holsters will accommodate only compacts and subcompacts. However, it proves the point that you do not have to go unprepared to be comfortable or fashionable.
In addition, should give certain goblins a moment of pause.