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Unorthodox Holstering

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Bringing new meaning to the term "thigh holster."

Cool, but Inefficient ways of holstering or unholstering guns.

Compare Unorthodox Sheathing and Unorthodox Reload. Related to Gun Twirling. See also Nothing Up My Sleeve for when the guns are stored in the sleeves, and Pants-Positive Safety for the pants version.

Several female characters keep guns in Victoria's Secret Compartment.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mello in Death Note carries a gun in his pants. In the front of his extremely tight leather pants.
  • Rally Vincent in Gunsmith Cats often wears long sleeves to allow for a Taxi Driver style peashooter in case she can't use her usual weapons, but more often than not, we see it when she's being forced to completely disarm rather than actually using it.
  • Heero from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing carries a gun in the back of his Spandex bike shorts.
  • Wolfwood in Trigun carries his guns in a giant cross that's taller than he is.

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: Judges holster their Lawgivers on their boots, in spite of the fact that it's generally depicted as a Hand Cannon. Carlos Ezquerra states that he designed it this way because it was more practical to unholster while on a bike.
  • Scud the Disposable Assassin, being a robot, stores his guns in compartments below his armpits; he has to cross his arms to draw them. Not really an example, as those are basically analogues to underarm holsters, which are popular for concealing handguns under jackets and the like.
  • Dwight McCarthy uses a sleeve-rig with a small-caliber revolver to shoot Manute during the final shootout of the Sin City story "A Dame to Kill For". Being that Manute is Made of Iron, he comes back for "The Big Fat Kill". The gun was only a .25. Dwight laments this as he draws. Fortunately, this weakens Manute enough for him to grab hold of one of Manute's .45s.

    Films — Live-Action  
  • The Mariachi from Desperado is also a fan of the sleeve-rigged guns. To do this with full-sized semiautomatic pistols required a model of the gun without the handle (which is the primary hindrance to this kind of thing in Real Life) cut off, and then replacing them with the regular gun in the next take (keen-eyed viewers of Equilibrium mentioned above may have noticed the same trick there).
  • Grammathon Cleric John Preston in Equilibrium stores his guns up his sleeves, with a special mechanism to let them slide into his palms and to load them with new magazines.
  • Foxy Brown: Foxy carries a small handgun in her bra. It's tucked under the band at her side, not in her cleavage.
  • In High Heels and Low Lifes, Shannon briefly tries keeping a revolver in her bra before deciding this is a bad idea.
  • In Hooded Angels, one of the female outlaws keeps a full-sized pistol holstered at the back of her thigh under her shift. Admittedly this is only useful when she is wearing nothing but a shift but, when she is, absolutely no one expects her to have a gun there.
  • Maverick has the "holstering a gun while Gun Twirling" version.
  • The bar scene in My Name Is Nobody has a character wearing his guns in his holsters backwards. Nobody tells him, "people who wear their guns backwards are bad news." When he goes for his guns, Nobody pulls one out, points it at his chin, returns it to his holster, than slaps him with both hands, all before he can move more than an inch or so. He does this several times — Nobody is able to move supernaturally fast when it comes to guns.
  • In Outlaw Women, Chillawaka Charlie uses a swivel rig: allowing him to shoot from the hip without drawing his gun. Peyote Pete claims the swivel rig for himself after he kills charlie in a Showdown at High Noon. It plays an important role in the final shootout as it allows him to twist and fire the gun at Frank Slater when Slater's gang is holding everyone at gunpoint.
  • Pale Rider has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example when Stockburn's posse open fire on Spider — the member on the far left, nearest the camera, draws his pistol by flicking it out of the holster and around his finger.
  • Parker: When Parker goes back to visit Norte, he tucks his backup gun into his belt in such a fashion as to allow him to fire it backwards without drawing it. After he allows his main gun to be taken off him, he uses the backup piece to shoot Ernesto in the leg before he can be grabbed from behind.
  • As The Quick and the Dead centres around a quick draw competition, a variety of different methods of holstering are shown. Sergeant Cantrell goes for a pistol mounted on a swivel on his gunbelt (known as a 'Bridgeport rig'); allowing him to shoot from the hip without having to draw his gun.
  • The Big Bad in Red Heat keeps a derringer up his sleeve with a quickdraw mechanism.
  • RoboCop keeps his trusty sidearm (a heavily modified Beretta 93R) tucked inside his leg armor. He's shown drawing and holstering it a number of times, including plenty of Gun Twirling, a holdover to his previous life as Officer Alex Murphy, which becomes important later.
  • The titular protagonist of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow keeps his Webley holstered in his boot. This is based on a practice by some real life pilots who found standard holsters impractical in an airplane cockpit.
  • Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle designs and equips a special hidden holster in his shirt sleeve that will drop the gun into his hand when he punches his arm downwards. He uses it to kill one of the pimp's men during the big shootout that ends the movie, but being as the weapon in question was small and small-caliber (which is why it was able to fit), Travis had to unload it into the guy's face at point blank range.
  • In Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold, Yellow Hair carries a revolver thrust through the back of her waist sash. When a gambler grabs her from behind, she able to reach behind her, grab the gun, and shoot her attacker in the foot without drawing it.
  • Colonel Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More wears his pistol in a crossdraw manner. While this isn't unusual in itself, it is noted as an identifying trait if his when Manco is asking around about him.

  • A Brother's Price has Jerin keeping a derringer in one of the pockets of his walking-robe.
  • The private eye in the sci-fi novel Chimera keeps a high-powered handgun in an "Infinite Pocket" - a bit of Hammerspace that opens when his cybernetic implants register that he's reaching for his gun.
  • In the Deathworld series by Harry Harrison, the Pyrrans have forearm holsters that will automatically put the gun in their hand (And, since reflexes = life on the Death World, immediately fire) when needed, and put it away afterward. It's described in several places as ripping through the cloth of clothing that was not designed to have space for it.
  • Domino Lady: The Domino Lady often keeps a small automatic holstered in her garter.
  • In the Legacy of the Force series, Lumiya kept her lightwhip inside one of her cybernetic legs.
  • Roald Dahl's version of Little Red Riding Hood does exactly this:
    The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
    She whips a pistol from her knickers.
  • Merkabah Rider: In addition to the enchanted Volcanic pistol holstered on his hip, the Rider has a derringer with similar enchantments hidden in a spring loaded holster up his sleeve.
  • In The Undertaker novels, Barnaby Gold has a pistol on the lefthand side of his gunbelt mounted on a swivel. Having unpicked the seam of the left pocket of his Badass Longcoat, he can reach through the pocket and swivel the pistol to fire through his coat even while seated.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This clip from the Dean Martin Show hilariously lampshades the drawbacks of fancy carrying and draw techniques.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf", Captain Jack is stripped naked, but still manages to pull out a tiny gun. Three guesses where he was keeping it... Two words: Ass Shove!
  • Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles carries a pistol in a spring-loaded wrist holster for certain occasions.
  • In the Square One TV Show Within a Show Mathnet, George Frankly and Kate Monday/Pat Tuesday often draw calculators from shoulder holsters before going off to their destination. They draw the calculators, perform a quick equation, nod at each other, then holster their calculators before heading out.
  • In the Pilot Episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cromartie keeps his gun inside his leg in an obvious nod to RoboCop.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. An NPC guard has a Power Holster that throws a firearm into the wearer's hand, allowing an instant quick draw. If the PCs get one it naturally doesn't work properly (this is Paranoia, after all).
  • One of the sample Gunslingers in GURPS Warriors is a Steampunk gambler who has a spring-loaded holster and magnetic glove. This gives him a +2 bonus to his Quick Draw skill, but also has a malfunction rating of 16 - on a failure his gun just goes flying away.

    Video Games 
  • Earthworm Jim occasionally spins his gun, tosses it in the air, and then pivots his hip to catch it in the holster. Usually it works, but sometimes he'll conk himself on the noggin instead.
  • In the Mass Effect series, the guns apparently clip magnetically to the outside of the characters' armor. Some of them (like pistols) are in typical places on the hip or slung over the shoulder, others... aren't.
    • The worst offender is probably the shotgun, at least in ME3, which sits roughly at the small of the back. The sniper rifle and assault rifle sit over the shoulders but sit vertically rather than at an angle. The most orthodox ones are the pistol and submachine gun holstered on the hips.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • In the remake Ocelot twirls his pistol for nearly 15 seconds between "Revolver" and "Ocelot."
    • Even more ridiculous in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. And this was actually trimmed down from a scene nearly 3 minutes in length...
  • In Red Dead Redemption, if John wins a duel by shooting his opponent six times before they can draw, he does a bit of Gun Twirling before holstering his gun mid-twirl.
  • As does Red in Red Dead Revolver.
  • In Red Dead Redemption 2, the player can manually have Arthur do a slightly flashier holster if they double tap the holster button while holding a revolver.
  • Resident Evil 5: Wesker twirls his custom Beretta "Samurai Edge" horizontally before holstering it after shooting at you. Being almost entirely Immune to Bullets, he actually doesn't have a reason to give a damn about the gun accidentally discharging.
  • Fiona of Tales from the Borderlands has a small hold-out pistol hidden up her sleeve on a spring-loaded mechanism for a quick draw.