Back To The Well Armed Woman

Monday, July 30, 2012

THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE


General George Patton

No, not the major German offensive, launched toward the end of World War II, but the daily battle of women all over the U.S. trying desperately to discreetly carry their firearm. The majority of women prefer on the body carry but find it so difficult at times, the concealed carry purse becomes the fall back even though for most it is less preferred.
Women have curves, sometimes big ones, but bulges??? No, we would like to leave those to the men! A big bulge in a strange place just will not work for most women. Women are very concerned about the firearm being truly concealed, this is key for them to effectively protect themselves in many situations. A large bulge gives away the advantage. 
I think women would be wise to explore how they will carry, what the holster options are for their preferred mode of carry and in many cases, what models these holsters are designed for prior to purchasing their gun. I think we tend to go shopping for the gun first, then struggle with how we are going to carry the darn thing after we get it. For me, my first gun was a Kimber .45 - not a practical carry gun for a 5’1”, 110 lb. woman! But, I loved the gun, loved the way it felt in my hand and loved the power and that is what drove my decision. I did not fully consider how I would conceal it, I rationalized that I would just figure that out later. Probably not the wisest decision. Although I love my Kimber as she was my first, I had to buy another, smaller firearm that I could “really” conceal. Yes, loving your gun and everything about  it is absolutely MANDATORY but so is having it on you all the time.


Bra Holster

There are more holster options for women now, but some are limited in the number of models they will fit, so if a bra holster is really the best option for you, you want to know what models it is available for prior to shopping for your gun. If you can find the perfect match - A firearm you love and a holster you will wear - you will successfully carry your firearm. If it is a mis-match you wont  carry all the time like you should - or you might settle for a less than ideal mode of carry that can inhibit your effectiveness when you need it most. 

The Well Armed Woman Thigh Holster
w/ Garter
It is so frustrating for women to want to use a particular type of holster to only learn that it is not available for their firearms. There are of course some “universal” options that work very well, but again the size, weight  and width of the firearm is a significant factor. 
So if you have not purchased your carry firearm take some time to really consider what type of clothing you tent to wear most often for both for work and pleasure and investigate the best options for you. At The Well Armed Woman I try to help by making and offering videos demonstrating various holsters to help you make the best decision possible. I also offer most holsters as returnable if they just don’t work for you. But do your homework first to minimize frustration and unnecessary shipping costs.

48 comments:

  1. Carrie, I've heard conflicting viewpoints...for a woman who wears mostly jeans, but is required to wear slacks or loose, flowy pants for work or church, whose preferred carry weapon is a Taurus. 357 snub nose, would you recommend the Thunderwear holster or the Belly Band? Does the fact that I deal wil hot flashes alter the recommendation in any way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Recommend an ankle holster. Find it comfortable, as well as concealed. Carrying a Ruger LCR .38 which is about the same size as your Taurus. Even wearing skirts, its good, just wear black hose/socks and blends right in; people see what they want to see. The idea of something tight around my body makes me sweat!!

      Delete
    2. Kristi, Elements Firearms - For Women OnlyOctober 6, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      I wouldn't recommend wearing an ankle holster with a skirt unless the skirt is full length and even then, it would be questionable. If someone does see it and reports you, you can a be charged with a felony.

      I would suggest the thigh holster if you choose to wear a skirt.

      Delete
    3. Ugh... hot flashes and opinions - way too many of both of them in this world!!! I think the Thunderwear might be the better option Cheryl. It's not tight or binding and it is cotton. There is only one person that will KNOW what is the right holster for you - that is YOU.

      Delete
  2. I know it isnt legal to carry where I work. Is even carrying in churches ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot carry in any church anywhere, according to my CHL class instructor.

      Delete
    2. In Ohio it depends on the church. If they don't have a no guns sign, you can take them in. They are not a forbidden area. I'm a pistol packing preacher's wife. :)

      Delete
    3. Depends on your state. Always be aware of regulations in your carry state. Here in Wisconsin, even if a location is prohibited by law (like a courthouse), it is still posted.

      Delete
    4. The laws in TX say our employer cannot fire us if we carry in our vehicles. But...(always a 'but' in the gun laws anywhere)they can justify the firing in other ways.
      Adding to the previous response, most likely carrying in a church nationwide is illegal (I bet your clergyman/women is carrying though!?). I keep a list of the 'no no' places to carry in my car as well as the laws bookmarked in my phone. This would be a good time to check the laws of your state if you are not sure.

      Delete
    5. Here in Wisconsin it is legal to carry in churches, but certainly some have chosen to post NO CCW

      Delete
    6. "...most likely carrying in a church nationwide is illegal...". I stand corrected! Thanks! Again, check your laws! :)

      Delete
    7. In states where CC is legal, unless a private business property is posted no guns, you can legally carry there, I think this includes churches. Of course each state has it's no gun zones - and you MUST know where these are.

      Delete
    8. In PA, you can carry in a church. My dad is a Pastor, and he carries, and we know of at least 12 different people who carry on any given Sunday.

      Delete
    9. You can in OK!!!

      Delete
    10. I always carry in church (in AZ) and did in CO. Some of you will remember how a certain armed woman in a Colorado Springs church was able to stop a mass shooting-in-progress by her quick wits and courage.

      Delete
    11. Um, be careful with the Church one.

      I'm in Ohio & my CCW permit is probably *just* approved. I'm pretty sure the materials I have say it's illegal to carry in ANY church at all, unless the church *specifically* allows it. Although it doesn't say specifically, I don't believe signs are necessary.

      This is from the "Ohio's Concealed Carry Laws and License Application" publication we were given at our CCW course:

      "Forbidden Carry Zones
      The law sets forth several places where your license does not allow you to carry a handgun. Under the law, you may not carry a concealed handgun into the following places:....
      "- Places of worship, unless the place of worship permits otherwise...."

      That said, I know SEVERAL people who conceal carry *all the time,* no matter where they are!

      Also, I'm kinda petite and have a .38 special (snub nose, Cobra Shadow). I have an IWB holster, but it's uncomfortable. I'm struggling with *how* to conceal. Bra? No, I'm too small. Ankle - not enough really long pants/skirts to hide that. I'm seriously thinking about Thundewear b/c I can wear it with varying "rises" of waists, and with skirts, and pants and shorts. It's dresses I'm worried about, and with those, I'm thinking about a thigh-holster (the one on the Well Armed Woman site).

      Delete
    12. Totally depends on the state. In Washington there are only a handful of places that are illegal to carry in; schools, courthouses, bars, jails... If you're workplace has a no-weapons policy, they can kick you out/fire you if you're caught with it, so not worth risking. So look into your state laws. Your local police/sherrif's office or even most gun stores can provide a pamphlet that outlines the carry laws of your state.

      Delete
  3. That is not true about churches. Read the laws for your state each one is different. You should know them before you carry. Don't rely on instructors and friend for interpretation of the laws. Knowledge is power.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a Glock 26. How do I conceal that on my body? I have a small body frame and tend to wear more form fitting clothes? Can it be concealed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look into the pinup line. TWAW carries most of this line. They make all their holsters model specific, so check to see if they make one to fit your glock. They are always adding new models, and in my opinion, they are the best for female FEMININE carry.

      Delete
    2. Its tough with a larger firearm the smaller you are and the more fitting your clothing is. You may need to make some adjustments to effectively carry, whether to your firearm or you clothing. There are some great holsters that offer women options on the website and some videos to help. The Flashbang, The Betty and The Marilyn are available for the Glock. If you wear dresses or skirts the thigh would be a great option. Here is a link - hope it helps. http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/pages.asp?pageid=110707

      Delete
    3. I EDC a SA xd40 sc in an Old Faithful holster. On body CC was something I worried about initially because of my small frame. I am 5'4" tall and 95 lbs. Every once in a while I wear an ankle holster because its just more practical, but I do not feel as comfortable drawing from it. I have adjusted what I wear a little, but for the most part, I still wear the same clothes I wore previous to CC. I always consider my gun though, when purchasing new clothing. I do NOT buy clothes that I can't conceal in.

      Delete
  5. Buying a holster has been a major ordeal. Because of injuries to my left arm and my right clavicle, I have limiited range of motion to the rear. So, behind the back carry is out. Additionally, kidney cancer surgery has provided me with some very sensitive scars. Therefore, I do not wear a belt. This, then, eliminates quite a few stable holsters. I recently purchased a Mag-Jic holster. It can be worn without a belt and with any kind of pant or skirt. The holster has a powerful magnet which keeps it securely in place. Additionally, you wet mold it to your gun so it is quite stable. I am carrying in the appendix position and would highly recommend the Mag-Jic holster for women who have some physical limitations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm 5', 104 lb. I like the Versa Carry when wearing jeans. I don't wear a belt and it stays in place and is very comfortable. Made for several models.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm a bigger woman 5'4 " 270 lbs I carry a Taurus snub nose. 38 model 856 which makes it harder to find molded holsters because the cylinder holds 6 rounds rather than the typical 5. I typically carry in a belly band holster and I haven't had to change much of what I usually wear. But belly bands have a down side they tend to wear quickly and when the elasticity goes they tend to roll down, so I'm currently trying to find a new holster. I prefer iwb on my right side

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a very similar size and frame as well as carry style. I wear a Pistolwear PT1 concealment holster. It is very comfortable and holds well. I do feel some slippage after wearing all day and need to readjust but I have found this to be my most comfortable option. I have tried the elastic belly bands that roll down but the Pistolwear holster doesn't. I have tried IWB holsters and they dont seem to secure the gun well as my belly gets in the way or my leg pushes it up when I sit down. The Pistolwear holster doesnt give me that type of problem.

      Delete
  8. I recently purchased a S&W 38 and because of my curviness and the fact that I wear skirts exclusively I chose to go with the Flash Bang holster. The only issue I have with it is that the grip pushes at my muffin top right above my waist line. So I either have to stand extremely straight all the time or find some other solution...Loosing weight might be my option of last resort. I have not thought of using the belly band because of concerns of it rolling, but I might have to look at it till the Flash Bang becomes more comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a really stupid question...should the safety be on when carrying concealed? I have arthritis and getting the safety off on my Bursa Thunder is a little difficult. I leave the safety off when the gun is in my house (No children here), but am concerned about carrying it concealed for fear I'd end up shooting myself in the foot! OTOH, I don't think it's practical to carry it with the safety on and then telling a mugger, "Can you wait a minute while I get this safety off?" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a stupid question, one that get's asked very often. It really is a personal choice. I think training and your comfort level with your gun raises your confidence. Like you said, you may not have time. The more confident you are with your gun and in what it can and can't do will help. If you choose to keep your safety on - dry fire practice (with unloaded gun) is required to learn how to draw and release the safety quickly. You would be surprised at how quickly and smoothly you can release the safety while you draw.

      Delete
    2. Another thought is looking into guns with a different type of safety..such as a trigger safety. :)

      Delete
  10. I thought this might have something to do with the email I sent you a few weeks ago. :)

    Just an update, I bought an M&P9c, instead of the fullsize. I love how it feels in my hand, and I couldn't imagine myself with a smaller gun.

    When I finally get my CCW, I think I will use a remora IWB, or an AVA in the pants holster. They are both pretty low profile, but I haven't actually tried them out yet, so I hope they will work well.

    I think if I were going to make a wardrobe change to help conceal, I would wear tank-tops under my shirts to help hold my gun closer to my body.

    Thanks for a great article Carrie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I live in SE OK and yes, you can open carry anywhere in this state, including your vehicle and church. As far as CC, I carry the Taurus Judge with three hallow point .45's and two .410 triple-otts. I carry in the small of my back with a clip on left handed holster, which hangs right and makes it easy to draw with my right hand. At church, or other places I have to wear a dress, I carry in my purse.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Carrie, have you compared the thunderwear to the Smsrtcarry? I'd love a smaller woman's pov.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Veronica, I liked the more oval shape of the pouch - a better fit on a woman's body and the more narrow strap. What's a pov? :)

      Delete
    2. Point Of View (pov)

      Delete
  13. I carry a S&W 637 revolver and finding the right holster is HARD! I resort to my ankle holster 99% of the time wwhich is not my favorite carry position. I have tried both the Betty and the Ava and my problem with IWB carry is that I wear very low rise jeans and they are tight so it is a very uncomfortable fit and the butt of the grip jabs into my belly fat when I sit. :( For me I just cant find a comfortable IWB position. Small of back does feel the best but with low rise jeans if I bend over etc it feels as if my gun will just fall right out ACK! I have a Flashbang coming and am crossing my fingers it will work for me cause with summer approaching the ankle holster will no longer work. Anyone use the Flashbang with a revolver?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Will the Bra Holster work with a Ruger LCR w/Crimson Trace???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the LCR model fits it with the Crimson Trace! Here is a link. http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/apps/store/web/view/profile/itemid/39021/default.asp

      Delete
  15. ok, what do you suggest for tall woman mid fifties in professional wear. time off=blue jeans, but when working maybe a thigh holster?
    I am new to this and learning laws, styles, weapons and more.
    thx in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thigh holster is great with skirts and dresses and is very comfortable. Wearing jackets or longer shirts can hide the bulge of an in the waist holster. The bra holsters are another good option.. The size of the firearm you carry will be an important factor too! The belly band is also a good versatile holster!

      Delete
  16. I chose a little gun--Ruger 380 LCP--as my carry gun for its concealability, and have a few holsters and a few more I want so I can choose based on my outfit. My go-to is my ankle holster, as I generally wear jeans that have enough room with minimal printing, and most people don't notice it even when it does print there. I've also got two tank-tops (black and white) with an underarm holster sewn in for a few of my looser tops, and a paddle holster for OWB carry on the range. Also have a purse with a dedicated gun pocket. Looking to get a thigh holster and possibly a flashbang still. I feel I'd be pretty much covered with almost every outfit with that variety. No need to stick to just one! You just have to be comfortable with any and all that you have.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have a similar gun for cc. The s&w bodygaurd 380. I chose it for it's concealabiity because I found it too difficult to carry my glock 19 and 26 on the body. I'm 5'1" , 135 lbs. I use THE BETTY iwb holster or the STICKY HOLSTER. I prefer an appendix carry. It is the only position I can carry with minimal printing. I also have a Coronado Leather ccw purse for when I just don't feel like I can carry on my body. Even though I would prefer to carry on the body, the nice thing about the purse is that it allows me to carry my glock. I am currently searching for a gun I can shoot comfortably and accurately as well as conceal. I love the way I can easily conceal my s&w but find it difficult to shoot. I can shoot my 19 with great ease and accuracy but cant easily conceal it. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just ordered a Khar CW380 (essentially a budget version of the P380) with the Crimson Trace. I was hoping to use the Maj-Gic holster. Will the Medium Auto size fit if it has the CT installed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think the medium will fit it with the CT. It's a great holster, I think you will like it!!

      Delete
  19. holsters for 1911
    - Welcome to DeSantisHolster.com, your online source for the finest Concealment Holsters, Inside the Waistband Holsters and Gun Holsters for every major weapon manufacturer and model.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.