Women's Carry Methods
This is a discussion on Women's Carry Methods within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did some searches, but didn't find this answered. If it has please redirect me to that thread. Thanks!
OK, my wife needs to carry ...
November 13th, 2008 02:01 AM
Women's Carry Methods
I did some searches, but didn't find this answered. If it has please redirect me to that thread. Thanks!
OK, my wife needs to carry and it will be up to us (mostly me) to come up with different systems for her to be packing. If women (or men who have spouses that carry) will give examples of different ways they carry I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Gun choices? Why?
Holster choices? Why?
IWB or OWB on pants & skirts? Position carried? Holster types?
Spare Mags? Speedloaders, etc.
Purse Carry: in or out of holster? Thumbsnaps? Kydex or leather? Velcro/zippered pouch?
Any suggestions welcome!
November 13th, 2008 02:38 AM
The overriding consideration is what do you need this handgun for?
Self defense? you say, against who? And where does the physical history tell you that weapon defense is required where your Wife travels.
Let us say whilst in her car, and going to and from this car.
A calibre that is easily deployed against muggers, car jackers, and the most important one, rapists. Least powerful that will do the job, .380 or 9mm Short/Kurtz, also can be had in small pistols that can be deployed from body mounted holsters, if it is not on her person, you are not armed.
Bags/Fanny packs/purse?NO! Can be blocked, and stolen.
Skirt or Pants, with belt, a myriad of jackets, blouses, shirts that can cover the belt holster. Strong side best, pistol light and accurate, carry it always.
DRESS ARMED, CHANGE THE MODE OF DRESS, DRESS ARMED
All range work from holster, "AND AT HOME" lot's and lot's of draw, and dry fire, lots! Two hands and one hand training.
That's enough to start on, off you go.
November 13th, 2008 05:52 AM
Appreciate your reply, but I need info from a woman's perspective. I know everything you are speaking about all too well, but women do things differently. I would like to hear first hand from them or atleast from their significant others first hand experience dealing with their gal's issues carrying.
November 13th, 2008 06:38 AM
PM JD, or LimaTunes. They can give you all sorts of info.
Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
See also Sheep
November 13th, 2008 06:47 AM
You asked for it..lol
Originally Posted by MTGun
I'm a woman who's been carrying for a couple of years now and tried ALMOST everything out there. I'm always open to new modes of things but here is what I've found works best for me and why....
Gun choices? Why?
My primary firearm of choice is my Wilson Combat Professional.. a 4" all steel 1911.
The evolution to why I chose this guns goes back to the early days of handgun handling with me before I could even carry. My husband wanted me to consider getting my permit. I promised him I would consider it but ONLY if I could a) choose my own gun, b) have professional training NOT by him, c) practice often, and d) get continued training.
He agreed and after almost a year of shooting, comparing, thinking, reasoning, I chose a small-frame 1911. Over time it evolved to a larger gun.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that most women don't choose heavy, large guns to carry. I am a bit unusual in that respect. And in many ways I'm still just as female as the rest. I have not EXCLUSIVELY carried the Wilson.
I still do carry my 3" Kimber 1911 as well as a Colt Mustang in .380 or a S&W .357 j-frame revolver.
I have, in the past, carried full-size 1911s, the S&W M&P9c and Bersa Thunder .380. I've found the full size 1911s to be to long to draw quickly and the M&P9c was still a little too thick for my favorite mode of carry.
The Bersa was Very comfortable to carry, however.
No matter how I cut it I always come back to either the Kimber Ultra or the Wilson Professional. They are just the guns I love.
But now that I've raved about what I love, let's talk about your wife.
If it's going to be her gun she needs to pick it.
Remind her that no matter what she wants, whether it be a full-size 1911 or a Kel Tec P3AT she can stick in her pocket it doesn't mean it's too big for her or that she can't handle it. It just means she's going to have to be 100% committed to carrying it and carrying it well. If there is even the slightest chance she might leave it home for any particular reason then maybe she needs a different gun.
Remember, the little gun you take with you is better than the big gun you leave at home.
I am fortunate to have so many different firearms to choose from as we have a pretty good selection in our safe. However, if I was told I needed to choose only one gun to carry from our stash I'd have to say I'd choose one of the Colt .380s or the Kimber Ultra CDP. I would know I'd need a smaller framed gun that would fit into some of those outfits that my big 1911 wouldn't.
Fortunately, I don't have to make that choice.
Spare Mags? Speedloaders, etc.
If I'm carrying on body it means I'm USUALLY wearing a belt. If I'm wearing a belt I have a spare magazine with me.
If I have my j-frame I usually am not carrying a speedloader.
To be honest. My first priority is to carry, PERIOD. I try to get a spare on me but I don't obsess about it.
I use a personal priority system. I'm a small person (5'3" 105 lbs (when not pregnant)) and I only have limited space in my pockets and on my belt. I need to prioritize what I carry on me.
If I feel it could be vital to my immediate survival it goes on my body.. First is gun, then knife, than spare magazine. There is always a spare knife in my pocket as well.
Usually, that takes up all the space on my belt so flashlight and pepper spray go in my purse, or if I'm wearing a sweater or coat with generous pocket the pepper spray and light will go there. But my priorities are first to immediate, worse case scenario survival items. I think of those as gun and knife.
Holster choices? Why? IWB or OWB on pants & skirts? Position carried? Holster types?
Purse Carry: in or out of holster? Thumbsnaps? Kydex or leather? Velcro/zippered pouch?
All of the above are pretty much in one big category and I'll do my best.
MANY women find the belly band to be preferable. I don't. I've tried one, didn't like it. Perhaps one day I'll try again.
Finding the perfect place to carry, for a woman, is a challenge as our wardrobe changes considerably more than a man's does.
MOST of the time I carry either IWB or OWB at around 4:00 in a good quality belt holster.
If my outfit does not accommodate a belt I can wear my shoulder holster or purse carry (which I'm not horribly fond of) or, if the firearm is light enough, I can get away with a small IWB "clip" holster that will be held up by the garments alone.
I have both Kydex and Leather holsters. I find leather to be VERY comfortable as it gives a little more and more easily wraps around my body for a comfortable fit. However, I do love my Kydex holsters as well. They both have their benefits.
I don't do retention holsters other than my shoulder holster. The reason is pretty simple as it's already concealed, I have the element of surprise, I already need to get under my clothing to get to my gun I don't need to waste more time undoing a retention device.
I hate fanny packs, but some people love them. It does have the benefit of keeping the firearm on body so if that's the way she wants to go I am 100% for it! I just can't stand them personally.
If she does purse carry I would CERTAINLY advise carrying in a purse that has a designated compartment for her firearm and for her firearm ONLY!!!!!!!!! For one, when you are going for your gun you don't want to be searching for it among the other junk in a woman's purse. For two, you NEVER, EVER, EVER want to risk the chance of items getting inside the trigger guard of your firearm, even if it has 1000 safeties on it NOTHING should touch the trigger of your firearm unless it's your finger when your sights are on the target and you are prepared to shoot. Any holster device put in the purse to hold the gun specifically should be SECURED in the purse so that it does not just come out with the firearm if/when she draws it from the purse.
Also, I would advise carrying in a purse with a good shoulder strap that she can sling across body if she needs too. Far too many women who purse carry, when exasperated by a swinging purse, will set their purse in a shopping cart, or let it swing by their hand, etc. This is a NO-NO as a purse with a firearm is something not to be taken lightly.
It should NEVER be left unattended in ANY way. If shopping, it should be carried, or slung across the body. If sitting in a restaurant it should still be held to by some manner. I, personally, wrap the strap around my leg or hang the purse off my knee so that I can feel if it is being tugged on.
Ankle/thigh carry is last-ditch-effort kind of thing. It is very difficult to get to guns that are ankle/thigh carried, it makes you walk funny and it is VERY uncomfortable for any length of time.
Not to mention that ankle carry is extremely difficult in your average female clothing as it tends to be a bit more "clingy."
Also, my theory is, if you have to draw you have to move. You can't be moving and drawing a firearm from your leg at the same time. I know, I've tried. However, YOU CAN draw from anything at or above the waistline and still move pretty well.
Shoulder holsters are comfortable, but obviously they require a sweater or cover garment of some means. I love mine and use it a lot, especially for moments when I'm going to be sitting for an extended period of time.
All in all, I try to keep an open mind to means of carry and anything that will allow me to keep my firearm SECURELY with me (whatever firearm that might be).
I've done some videos on holsters. You can check them out if you'd like...
Holster Talk Part 1
Holster Talk Part 2
Holster Talk Part 3
Holster Talk Part 4
There's also some information on holsters on my website
Limatunes Range Diaries
And don't forget to check out Cornered Cat
Also, here are some pictures of what I've carried and how I've carried it...
My Kimber Ulra CDP in a Galco shoulder rig...
One of the Colt Mustangs in a small IWB (can't remember the manufacturer)..
My Kimber in a Blackhawk holster...
A Springfield Loaded in a SOB holster...
My Wilson in a Galco Avenger..
My Wilson in a TT IWB, complete with Ka-Bar and spare magazine..
My Wilson in a UBG Regulator..
Seven months pregnant and still carrying the Mustang...
It can be done... it's just how dedicated she is to doing it!
November 13th, 2008 10:02 AM
Great post Lima. This comes at a perfect time because my wife just got her permit and we're trying to think of ideas for her to carry. she's just not sure what gonna work best for her and her Bersa. I'll make sure she reads this later!
Protection is a responsibility not just a right.
November 13th, 2008 10:03 AM
I suggest to women in my CWP classes to have a few different modes of carry for different outfits. IWB with a Kel-Tec type pistol is very easy and most women that I've talked to, including my wife and her best friend, like IWB appendix carry with the pocket pistols. Women's fashions in our area tend to have snug fitting, untucked shirts and the pants have straight-cut or flared cuffs that allow for a little larger gun in an ankle holster. Many women have desk-type jobs that allow for a reasonably fast draw from an ankle rig and it also works well while seated in a car. The belly band can easily conceal a pistol under a loose fitting blouse when the gun is positioned around the side around the lower ribs. The only problem with this is slow access.
November 13th, 2008 11:59 AM
Can I send my wife to your house for a while for some training? She could trade off for diaper changes on JD's watch.
I am going to start making her read your posts, since she doesn't like to listen to me very much. Maybe another woman's perspective will get her thinking more.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
November 13th, 2008 02:30 PM
That was a good and very interesting post by LIMA, by the way I am a dude and not gay, still interesting.
November 13th, 2008 03:10 PM
lol, thats an interesting disclaimer.
Originally Posted by Mikey
very good read Lima. My wife needs to read this. I'm... also not gay
November 13th, 2008 03:22 PM
Not to detract from the OP question but...
I honestly think anyone considering carrying and then working on their spouse to do the same needs to be a member here. There is just SO much great info and discussions from holsters and handguns to fixed vs. folding knives all the way to better take down pins on an AR.
I joke with people that I like guns but I'm not geekish about them, I can't have a deep discussion regarding 1 caliber over another (other than the obvious kinds like .380 Vs. .50) and I can't debate grain count for more than 30 seconds. But I am slowly getting that way .
I have a feeling after I take my wife to her first EVER range trip this Saturday she'll be on here some too.
"Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt
November 13th, 2008 05:36 PM
Paco's right. Your wife should jump on and do some research. Lima is a WEALTH of knowledge and I've picked her brain many, many times. There are also other ladies on there as well. All different frames/builds as well.
Cornered Cat is also a MUST VISIT web site.
Here are my thoughts: I picked a springfield xd9sc. I liked that it fit my hand well, and I could shoot it easily (it is fun too). Mine also has the night sights, (you know for those after the kids are in bed, trips to Kohls at night.) I like the night sights for it being our first line home defense gun too. I have a 5yo and a 3yo, so for me, I'd like to be able to look at or feel my gun to know it had a round in the chamber. With the springfield, I can feel the top of it, and know it's chambered. I can also see/feel if it's cocked. It's always in this position, so it's not an issue. I liked that the gun had a grip and trigger safety, but nothing I had to do in order to actually shoot. It's a good gun, and works for me.
However, I HATE that it is so heavy. Perhaps I haven't figured out how to dress well enough yet. But, nonetheless, It's a little heavy for me. I still carry, but will get another, probably a Ruger LCP or something for summer carry.
I carry about 2:30 on my right side. I find this is easier for me, especially not printing when getting kids in and out of carseats, and doing all the acrobats that mothers end up doing. I also find that if I needed it, it would be accessible quicker, and I like that. I am pretty short waisted, and find that it's just easier for met to carry there. I carry in a modified high noon holster. Can't remember the exact name, but I like it. What I did was move the clip up, so the gun sat lower at my waist, so it didn't dig into my ribs. Works great. I have found, the thinner the leather the better, for me. That is it. I haven't had the funds to try anything else out. I would like a belly band for skirts though.
As far as extra ammo. I don't carry any yet. I suppose if I were going into the city, I'd throw a spare mag in my purse, but I don't wear "man pants" and cannot fit everything and the kitchen sink in my pockets! A flash light would be nice!! I'd like to have a little on I can hook on to my keys. I do have a little leatherman, but that is basically a tiny pair of scissors. Yeah, I know, real tactical. Hey, it's more than Obama carries.
I do want to mention purse carry....it's stupid. I don't have much of a choice for at church, as I lack a belly band, or other appropiate holster for carrying with a skirt/dress. But it's better than nothing at church. However, if you're out....a criminal is going to go for the purse first...most likely. I don't want my gun in their hands! Also, I tend to throw my purse in the van, as I strap in the kids. Again...that's real helpful when I need to pull my gun right quick. Not cool. Unless she absolutely, positively has to, purse carry is NOT the way to go. Depending on the purse, the gun will obviously fall to the bottom, so she'd have to 'dig' it out. Not cool. I'm convicted every time I purse carry, that it's not the smart thing to do.
Then there is dressing. She may have to switch up some stuff. Find pants/jeans that don't come up too high on the waist, etc. I don't wear a belt, but would probably benefit from it. Clothing that flows out, or has a print is always a good choice.
So, my advice, though I'm not a veteran by any means would be to: let her pick the gun. If she chooses a .380 be pleased. She's carrying it, and needs to be comfortable with it, or she won't carry. She can work up to a 9 or 40, etc if she so chooses. And, of course practice it. It's important for her to feel like she can easily carry and conceal the handgun if she's going to continue to do it and be consistent. Then, take her shopping!!! If she needs some new clothes for her new carry, support her in any way you can. This is really big, and important for her to be carrying. So, that may mean, you'll have to take a folding chair and camp outside the dressing rooms, but it will be worth it...in more ways than one!
Congratulations and have fun!!
"Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." - Adolf Hitler
November 14th, 2008 05:49 AM
Lima you are my Hero!
Thanks for the great info and photos. The photos really help and my wife will be reading this soon. She is 5' 3" also and I let her pick her handgun too. Tho, I did say no 1911s for now which is what she really wants. I wanted us to decide on a Hi-Cap plastic gun that we could both shoot and have them as common family guns tucked away here and there thu the house & vehicles that we all shoot well and then she can get a personalized custom 1911 after she is comfortable with the XD SC 9mm she chose, so I guess she has made us an XD family with some custom 1911s and P-35s thrown in.
I am going to get her a 442 j frame for mountain biking tho, b/c an auto isn't the best choice for mountain lion defense.
Again thank you so much and we will be praying for you and your son to have a safe and wonderful birth!
November 14th, 2008 09:17 AM
Neither is a .38Spcl.
Originally Posted by MTGun
November 14th, 2008 10:26 AM
Tried to make Limas point!
Limatunes excellent post made the point I tried to make in my post, on person carry! And she is a small person (when not pregnant) All the Not Gay disclaimers just kill me! I remember when being gay meant being happy!
A protection detail had moved a female Officer to it's ranks, she had only carried in uniform prior to this assignment, she wanted a purse carry, I showed her how easy it was to steal a shoulder carried purse!
"Sorry Sarge, just lost my Creds/Badge/and P7 on the subway steps at rush hour, cut strap"
She opted for the belt holster, a few new clothes, and lots of dry fire.
Again excellent post Limatunes.
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