CrossBreed made their name by creating a line of excellent hybrid leather/horsehide/Kydex concealment holsters in outside-the-waistband and inside-the-waistband configurations. Not long ago, they introduced a nylon ankle holster (my most often used off-duty or backup gun carry method), but their new rig was initially available only for semi-automatic pistols. It would take a bit of time before their ankle rig would be revolver capable, but fortunately for me (and other fans of defensive snub-nose revolvers), that time has come.
There is a lot that goes into the design of a proper ankle holster. I have worn a variety of ankle rigs for a variety of guns over the years. Some of them are very good, some are fair, and quite frankly, a few stink. The rigs that don’t stink because of poor construction or appearance stink because they are very uncomfortable. They allow the gun to dig into the ankle and make day-long carry downright miserable. A proper ankle rig should allow the wearer to carry a reasonable sized handgun all day long almost without notice.
One should realize that in order to achieve comfortable wear, an ankle holster must be mated to a handgun of reasonable size and weight. While some relatively large handguns can be concealed on an ankle, that doesn’t mean that they can be concealed there for long. The smaller and lighter the defensive ankle gun is, the better. For me (and my bony ankles), this means that the mini-Glock pistols—the 9mm G26, the .40 caliber G27, and the .357 caliber G33—are too big and heavy when fully loaded for the comfort level I require. By far, lightweight snub revolvers such as Smith & Wesson’s aluminum and Scandium framed guns and Ruger’s new polymer framed LCRs are among the best choices available. Small autos, such as Ruger’s LCP and the Kel-Tec P3AT, also work well. If you have more meat on your bones than I do, you may not have to be as particular about ankle rigs as I am or as concerned about carrying somewhat larger and heavier concealment handguns in them.
As mentioned, the CrossBreed Ankle Holster is all-nylon in construction; no Kydex or leather is used. A Cordura nylon holster is sewn onto the padded main ankle strap, which wraps around the leg and affixes with Velcro. There is an extra layer of padding between the holster and your ankle. There is another nylon locking strap that wraps over the padded straps, is threaded through a polymer loop, and then doubles back across the padded strap and is affixed by another section of Velcro. There is simply no way that the CrossBreed rig will pull away from your ankle involuntarily or accidentally.
The CrossBreed Ankle rig has a removable garter, which helps support the revolver and helps to keep it from dipping down further than it should. It may not be needed with a lightweight snub, but with heavier snubs like those from Charter Arms, the extra support may come in handy. One touch that I really like is the additional circle of padding on the vertical strap where it meets the horizontal securing strap. That prevents the nylon from chafing against a bare calf. It is much more comfortable than holster garters that use plain nylon straps.
I know that there are some holster companies that make ankle holsters without a thumb break or other form of manually operated retention. Those holsters rely on passive retention and form fit to keep the handgun from falling out. The system the CrossBreed ankle holster uses is a passive retention system that must be manually set.
Unlike leather, nylon is not moldable to the exact shape of the handgun, and a totally passive retention system won’t work. The CrossBreed holster has a nylon/Velcro retention strap that at first glance appears to be a thumb break retention strap. It’s not. When you insert your handgun, you fold the strap over it and tuck it into the holster. The hook section of the Velcro at the end of the strap adheres to the inside of the holster and holds the revolver in place. When your revolver is to be drawn, give it firm tug. It will clear the holster automatically without your having to manually release a retention device. The draw is simpler than drawing from a thumb break retention holster.
I have been wearing the Crossbreed Ankle Holster on a regular basis with my 642 for a couple of weeks. I find it quite comfortable, secure, and one of those very good ankle holster designs that is very reasonably priced at $49.95 MSRP. To see the CrossBreed Ankle Holster and other holsters in the CrossBreed line, go to: www.crossbreedholsters.com.