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What a Pain in the ASS!

Updated: Feb 9

"Shut you mouth! But I'm talkin' about Shaft! Then we can dig it!"

Nope, not Shaft, I'm speaking of 'policeman's hip' which virtually no one inside or outside the gunleather industry has heard of, much less by its formal name that is 'meralgia paraesthetica'. Wearing a wide, thick, tightly buckled Sam Browne led to this nerve entrapment at the hip (hence the name) and led the likes of Safariland to drop the hard, holstered pistols down onto the thigh where it is well away from the nerve in question.

And that 'nerve in question' is the 'lateral femoral cutaneous nerve' that runs through the pelvis down the thigh. Clamp your gunbelt, either for concealment on on-duty use, tightly around your hipline and you'll 'trigger' the nerve and cause pain either immediately in sever cases, or eventually just by daily wear on the job.

The 'worst' spot for that is 4:00 and 3:00 around the waistline which is just where we want to wear a concealed pistol in perhaps a pancake. But you're smart, right?

So you went out and bought that 'good gunbelt' that all the forums say you needed to make your holster work. Which means it is thick and heavy and stiff and straight -- and BINGO: you've got a case of policemans hip.

We in the biz became aware of MP in the '70s because that's when the steel-shanked high-ride holsters of the forward-draw era came to the fore; rode high to keep the grip under the elbow where it was protected from assailants, steel inside the belt loop to create a slot for the Ike jacket so the draw wasn't hindered. It's all Paul Boren's fault, who as Safety Speed created the jacket slot and the rest of us followed suit:

But it ALSO happens in concealment holsters, and for that a forward of hip carry, or a crossdraw, is the only prevention; and these require very different carry angles from your typical FBI Draw hip holster. It's why Safariland's paddle holster is nearly vertical, forcing you to carry 'forward of hip' and away from the nerve. Which you didn't notice because we naturally shift the holster along the belt until its position is 'just right': grip angle, etc.

It's a SCIENCE, baby.

Read more in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" that is available at and printed for you/shipped to you in USA.

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