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  • Red Nichols, Holstorian

Post 88: Whose stupid idea was this?

We know the story, about how fast draw came to be (not the stupid idea I'm talking about) and we know why the muzzle of the holster was tied to the thigh with a thong. No extra points for recognizing either or both men :-).



What you don't know, is how this ridiculous 'thing' by Safariland that is also tied to the thigh, came to be:



You're looking as several degrees of separation between the two images: actors vs LEO, men vs women, older vs. young, leather vs. plastic, USA vs. AUS. And about 60 years! What they have in common, though, is where the pistol is in both images: on the thigh and below the hip socket.



In the first image the low carry is there so that the 'gunfighters' hands drop naturally to the pistol grip. Over time even for fast draw, which is what Arvo was promulgating circa 1960 in that image, the pistol rose higher and higher until it was up quite close to the waist. And that pistol rose further and further to up at the waistline itself, for civilian and military and LEO use in general.



But there is a problem with human anatomy that raised its ugly head. And nowhere is it more prominent, than in young women. It's called 'policeman's hip' and the docs call it 'meralgia paresthetica'. And it's for this reason, not because today's LEO's wished desperately to have giant hunk of plastic and steel swung down on their thigh to get in the way of most everything, that the world's LEO's have thigh holsters.


Before this trend by Safariland, created entirely to solve the policeman's hip problem for them because they were getting more than complaints; there were lawsuits against various makers, there was Safariland's 'leadership' in removing the paramilitary look from uniformed LEOs in USA. Neale called it his 'buckle-less' Sam Browne sets and his notion was to remove all the hardware and use Velcro (it was very new stuff then) instead. But at some point the pressure on the paramilitary look eased up; and the problems with Velcro being insurmountable, the traditional Sam Browne returned.



So how did we get back to the paramilitary look? Folks got careless I guess; the same folks who let bump stocks into the SHOT show that a decade earlier had banned even the use of the words 'tactical' or 'combat' or 'assault'. My friends at Assault Systems, who made assault rifle cases, found themselves having to change the name of their COMPANY to continue exhibiting there; it became Shooting Systems and now is called Elite Systems. But seeing the inside of a SHOT show in 2015 I can attest personally that all that common sense had already gone out the window: bump stocks I hear (I didn't know they even existed then), silencers which I questioned aggressively while there (when did THAT become legal, I wanted to know), and assault rifles proliferated that were configured to look like they would cut one's hand off if one just picked up them up.



Back to policeman's hip. This was just becoming a difficult problem at Bianchi as I was exiting, stage Right circa 1990 because, well, JB sold the company (as was his right but he didn't get to sell me). At Nichols Innovation I struggled with MP a bit for my gunleather maker customers that included the likes of DeSantis, Gould & Goodrich, Shooting Systems, Galco.


But it took Safariland to 'solve' it. So now we know whose stupid idea these holsters were: Bill Rogers', of course.



Because placing the pistol down on the thigh moved the hard and heavy pistol and holster away from the nerve that in humans runs down from the waist area, across and even through the pelvic bone, and into the upper thigh. Pressure on the nerve at the pelvic bone causes numbness that can be transient, or chronic, or permanent! So Safariland hung the damned giant box of plastic, loaded down with bulky gadgetry including accomodation for the underlug lights that then caused the triggers of Glocks to be exposed (!) on a length of webbing with a giant dee ring at one end as a swivel. And LEO deparments lined up to buy it. Bloody geniuses these people are; right up there with Bill's 070 security holster that drew out the REAR! Mighty impressive sleights of hand to sell 'em what you've got, eh?



In marketing class we're taught that this is the opposite of what's called 'market driven', which is where a company creates and makes and sells a product that the market has asked for; or at least fools themselves into thinking they're doing that. Safariland, though, in creating all these kinds of tools for LEOs, instead was/is being what's called 'product driven': "I have this product; want to buy it?". The best example is the fax machine; I don't remember hammering on any phone companies' doors asking for a way to send my printed documents over my telephone line, do you?



But Safariland had a problem of their own:


https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/neuropathic/meralgia-paresthetica-common-cause-thigh-pain


And they solved it for themselves, by persuading LEOs to return to the paramilitary look. And accept what should be unacceptable bulk and weight in the process. Yet look what's happening in the street's of America now? Defund POLICE?! No more paramilitary gear, or weaponry from the DOD? I see a chance for Rogers to sell more equipment that complies . . . .


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