Every time a woman asks for advice on how to carry a gun regularly, a few suggestions pop up rather predictably. I don’t like many of them. Here’s why:
- “Just carry in your purse!” – Well, first, I don’t normally carry a purse. I will grab a bag sometimes if I don’t have enough pockets, but I’m the kind of gal who would rather bring less than bring a sack along, let alone one that I would need to keep with me or under my control at all times. Even if I wanted to start carrying a purse, the amount of time it would take me to draw my gun concerns me, especially if I’m under active attack. And I definitely don’t want to rely on the unreliable technique of shooting through my (expensive) concealed carry purse.
“Try a belly band or corset holster!” – Have you ever worn shapewear? Did you find it comfortable? Yeah, neither did I. For some time, though, I did try both a standard bellyband and a Pistol Wear Trump Card (back in the dark ages before the newer generation of corset holsters came out). Due to the size and shape of my body, I found it difficult to keep them in place without shifting or rolling. It’s possible that one of the more recent designs would be better with that problem, but by the time I address the issues I have regarding protection of the trigger guard in a soft holster, holstering into a soft holster, and keeping my gun in a stable and accessible place on my body….well, I have some standard holsters that go on a regular belt that do the job better. I’ll leave this type of holster for special occasions when I have no other choice.
“Use an ankle holster!” – There’s an idea out there that it’s easy to carry and hide a gun on the ankle because you can just wear wide-legged pants. I don’t buy it. Maybe it’s because I have skinny ankles, but for me, only the smallest of guns wouldn’t stick out like an odd metallic tumor, especially since most ankle holsters are so bulky. I also find that the fabric for most wide-legged pants isn’t sturdy enough to drape around a gun rather than cling to the outline. I have tried one ankle holster that was much slimmer, but it would still have all of the other problems that go with trying to draw from ankle, not to mention the fact that I carry a largish gun now.
“Thigh holsters are awesome!” – I don’t wear skirts or dresses, at least not more often than once a year or so. While I understand the idea of dressing around a gun, it seems a little extreme to buy a new wardrobe of skirts and dresses (and shoes!) rather than size up or change the cut of the pants and tops I already wear. Thighs are also a bit challenging to attach a holster to, and because the ideal concealment position is between the legs…let’s just say the chafing you experienced on your last long run was pretty mild compared to what a gun between your legs can be, especially if you have athletic thighs like mine. No thanks.
- “Carry it in your bra!” – The specific holster most folks think of these days when they talk about bra holsters is the Flashbang. I really love the idea of this holster and have one for my .380, but while I gave it a good try, it just wasn’t for me. The concealment was fantastic, especially with a well-fitting, sturdy bra, but – personal moment – I tend to get a little sweaty under the girls sometimes. The moleskin trick just wasn’t enough for me. Besides, because I’m rather short-waisted, the grip of a gun carried in a Flashbang tends to dig into my little stomach pooch when I sit, even if I use the “high carry” position. Sad, but there it is. No Flashbang for me.
A standard holster attached to a belt ended up being right for me, even though that’s often not high on many standard lists for “women’s carry options”.
Once someone has made the decision to carry a gun, choosing how to carry it can be just as personal of a decision. Next time you hear or are tempted to give some of this popular advice, hopefully you’ll also think about some of these counterpoints.
Ladies, what’s your preferred method or carrying a concealed gun? Let us know in the comments below. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, too.