Ladies and holsters

Ladies and holsters

This is a discussion on Ladies and holsters within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I hope I don't offend any fellas, but chime in if your lady isn't on the board and she gives permission to share. I would ...

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Thread: Ladies and holsters

  1. #1
    New Member Array PM9 Lady's Avatar
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    Ladies and holsters

    I hope I don't offend any fellas, but chime in if your lady isn't on the board and she gives permission to share.

    I would be curious if anyone would share, do you have a favorite holster, concealment option, has anyone really bought one of those purses or have you found a way to safely keep it?

    Currently, I have a De Santis belly band which I like but would like to smooth up the edges.

    Also, a Blackhawk IWB which has its time and place.

    And a Nemisis that I use in my purse.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
    RW Emerson

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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Do some searching here as it's been somewhat covered before. [New info is always good however.]

    Check out LimaTunes posts on this and go to Cornered Cat for some real good info. Search on "Smart Carry" (maybe as one word too) and "Thunderwear" here for info on that as well.

    Good luck on your quest.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Women's shapes have a lot to do with carry, much more than men. My girlfriend is tall and long waisted. She loves the new Bluegrass OWB I posted here before. A long sweatshirt or light vest/jacket covers it well. She really likes the feel of a friend's cross-carry, but that tends to be a little more difficult to conceal. While I don't like off-body carry, we got her a Coronado Leather dedicated holster purse for the times she can't carry on her waist. It's magnificent. There is a separate zipper compartment with a holster inside on the side of the purse facing forward. She can have the purse over her left shoulder and discretely unzip it and, crossing her arms, have the butt of the gun in her hand while still in the purse. I won't tell you what she said after sitting down with a loaded Smartcarry. Unfortunately, IWB doesn't lend itself well to most women's shape, it's my favorite. Try this website...
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  4. #4
    Member Array bluedaisy's Avatar
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    I'm pretty new to all of this, and the budget is tight, so a holster drawer is out of the question, so here is what I did, and am really happy. By the way, I carry at 2 o'clock.

    So, with my one and only holster, I revamped it to fit me better. It's just a stock iwb, tuckable, high noon holster. I took it apart, made new holes to raise and straighten the clip, then stitched it back together. By doing that, my gun sits lower in my pants (not digging into my ribs) and has no cant. I love it. It works great, and is comfortable, and very concealable. I just wish it had some leather up on the top because I don't like the feeling of the gun on my skin. In the winter, it's not a big deal as I can wear an under shirt or cami, but I'm sure it will be a problem in the summer. Someday, I'll be able to afford something custom, but this works GREAT. Even without a belt (still need to get one of those too!), it does well. I know a belt would be even better.

    Perhaps my dh can take some pics and I'll post them tonight. I really am very pleased this set up. You might like it too.

    I did not like kidney carrying. I don't know if it's my butt, hips or whatever, but I didn't like how it sat on me.

    How do you like the belly band? I've been wanting to try that out.

    I've only carried in my purse once, and that was to church. Again, I only have the one holster so I just tossed it in my purse holstered. My purse isn't that big, so it's not going to get lost. Don't like having it off my person though.

    If you haven't been to cornered cat, that is a great resource. Also, there is another forum, women and guns. That is OK. Not as good as here though!
    "Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." - Adolf Hitler

  5. #5
    Member Array tdpalmer's Avatar
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    I have a Crossbreed IWB for when I wear a belt. I wear it at about 2:30 and have no problems, my husband says I wear it wrong and should have it at 3:00-3:30 but it is to far back for me and it digs into my hip/thigh to much.

    For when I wear dress pants without belt loops (most of the time) or a skirt without loops I wear the Smartcarry. I love it, it is very comfortable and it conceals well. I have one problem with the skirt though, I can't close my leggs. I think it is due to my shape though, I am tall and large framed.

    I am still new to carrying but I love both these methods and am looking for other ways to carry as well. I can't/wont purse carry, I don't like purses. I do find that most carry methods have to be adopted for a womans body though, we have extra curves that most companies don't take into account. I will follow this thread in case others have found things that work.

    TDPalmer

  6. #6
    Member Array chuck brick's Avatar
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    Bluedaisy, at the risk of sounding like a voyeur , what is your build? Without your height, somatotype, and proportions, your suggestions don't offer much insight. My wife, for example, is 5'1", 115 lbs, short-waisted and very curvey. What would work on my 14-yr-old daughter (110 lb, 5'8" fishing pole) would not necessarily work for Mom. Even the P32 (with clip; no holster to add mass) I bought her pokes her in the ribs and hips both when worn at waist level. Some of our lady friends that are taller and/or less curvey - straight-lines, or even curved outwards some - are just fine with men's holsters even without modifications. I built her one for her Colt .380 with a drop and offset that she said is very comfortable, but since we don't have open carry in Texas (and don't wear parkas) she can only use it on the range or at the farm.
    (So far, her NAA Mini .22lr in her pocket is the most comfy. I'd rather she carried a 12gauge, but I guess as long as she has something. . .)

    Stay safe,

    Chuck Brick.
    Why do I use 230 gr. for my .45acp?
    Because I can't find a source of 250 gr!
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i have said it before and ill say it again, as a lady myself, i believe that any holster making a holster specifically for ladies is just trying to make money.
    yea. ladies are shaped different than guys. but EVERYONE is shaped way differently. you always just need to go out and find what works for you.
    i personally use a ctac at 3 o clock.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Ill just suggest pax's site she is a member here but does not post here often. However its a good read on what works/ does not work ect.. Cornered Cat

    What works for my ladies may well not work for you and the above site will be of help selecting something as a starting point better than i could advise without knowing you .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  9. #9
    New Member Array PM9 Lady's Avatar
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    Blue Daisy & All who answered

    Thanks for the info. I would like to lower my IWB but haven't gotten that far. The Blackhawk is not expensive, is cooler in warm weather because of the fabric, which is washable, but I could move the clip piece like you decribed. I do prefer the design because it comes up higher to cover all but a small portion of the grip of my pistol.

    The belly band is NICE. I would like to find a way to cover some rougher edges. And would like to put a back piece on the pistol pouch, I have an idea, let you know how it turns out. I did find that if you wear mid-rise or low-rise pants buy the next size up so you can reposition the band toward your hips. I am 5'2'' and short waisted so this is better for me. I am getting better at squat and bends as the darn thing will ride up in back. I also never have to wonder what to do if I need to visit the ladies room, the band moves up easy and can be re-positioned. I have worn it for 8 hours, ready to get it off, but it is comfortable.

    Purse carry for me is only when I have no other choice. Sorry, but I told my hubby I am a girl and I like looking like one and sometimes you just don't have an option. I have not seen a pistol I could carry in my pocket except a mini revolver but something just can't bring me to buy a 22 for protection. If I could find the right holster and didn't care about really loose clothes I'd carry my XD compact 45, but you can't have it all.

    Thanks for the link to the cornered cat, I will spend sometime looking through there.

    Thanks again to all of you.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
    RW Emerson

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  10. #10
    pax
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd
    i have said it before and ill say it again, as a lady myself, i believe that any holster making a holster specifically for ladies is just trying to make money.
    :D

    Well, there's nothing wrong with trying to make money. That's why people are in business, after all!

    I do agree with you that people are all shaped differently. Some holster designs are basically shape-neutral, working well for men and women alike. But many designs simply work better for typical male body shapes than they do for typically female body shapes, and vice versa. Since women are still in the minority among holster-shoppers, if you pick a random holster from a random holster maker, that holster is more likely to be of a design that is well-suited to a typically male body shape than to a typically female one.

    You want the real problem, in a nutshell? Here it is:

    Women are typically shaped like this:

    \...../
    .\.../
    ./...\
    /.....\

    Men are typically shaped like this:

    |.....|
    |.....|
    |.....|
    |.....|

    So a typical holster designed for a man fits like this:

    |.....|
    |.....||
    |.....||
    |.....|

    The exact same holster on a typical woman's body will look like this:

    \...../
    .\.../|
    ./...\|
    /.....\

    At top and bottom, the gun will be driven painfully into tender flesh. The gun is also less concealable on the woman's figure because it breaks up the woman's natural outline. When women complain about this, if they don't know the lingo, they instead say things like, "But it makes me look fat!!" and guys laugh and quietly think how "trivial" the woman is being, to be worried about such a thing. We're talking about saving her life, here, right - and she's worried about looking "fat"?!? How silly can you get!?

    But effective concealment is a non-trivial concern, and a body shape change of this magnitude can be a serious concealment issue. Even if it does also make her complain that she looks fat.

    The more curvy you are, the more extreme the "driven into tender flesh" problem becomes. (As I know to my sorrow!) Not every woman has pronounced curves between the waist and hip, of course; for these women, any old holster will probably suit just fine. But dealing with the waist-to-hip curve is a significant problem for most.

    Someone's told too many of the holstermakers that the only real solution to all the above is to pull the gun up, above the beltline. High ride to the rescue. And it is a godsend to many women. But heaven help the short waisted! Not to mention anyone with shoulder mobility issues, a non-minor concern if you want to actually be able to draw the darn thing when you need it.

    There are other solutions.

    You could move the gun around the belt, to carry appendix style or cross draw. Potential problems with this solution:

    1) A lot of holstermakers haven't yet figured out that appendix carry and cross draw are both valid options, and so these makers offer no straight-drop or muzzle-forward designs at all. And muzzle-rear is just about undoable in either position.

    2) Many of the holstermakers who've gotten the "appendix carry is nice" message, haven't yet figured out that there's only so much space between belly button and hip, and that maybe-just-maybe that long flag-tab-thing sticking off the end of the holster is not the best use for that space. (And here we run into the "men's typical shape" vs "women's typical shape" issue yet again -- those designs exist because men's bodies typically do have a bit more real estate there, especially for guys with a larger gut curve.)

    The real estate problem can be particularly acute for women since most of us have only one very small area where a gun will fit comfortably & easily, and that extended tab very often crowds the gun clear out of the magic spot.

    3) Appendix carry and cross-draw are, by their very nature, somewhat less concealable than their behind-the-hip cousins. If you choose appendix carry, you will have to learn how to dress around the gun. This needn't make you look like a frump, but the learning period can be an unhappy one for some women.

    On a related note, appendix carry is most concealable when coupled with a tuckable holster design. Tuckable designs which do not have an extreme cant in the wrong direction for appendix carry are somewhat hard to find; cross out all the "too wide for that area" variants and you've got yourself a genuine shopping crisis.

    There are other potential solutions.

    Women with a mild waist-to-hip curve might find that they can carry on or near the hip, if the holster angle is extreme enough. Finding a holster with that extreme angle might be difficult, but it's often possible to talk a custom holstermaker into altering an existing design to add more rake. (DelFatti has a great page on his website explaining what rake is and how to determine which angle would best suit your body.)

    Some women with less pronounced curves can tuck the firearm into the flat spot immediately behind the hip, even without an extreme rake on the holster. For such fortunate folks, the only real issue to watch is how easy it is to draw from that spot; if the woman is particularly short-waisted, she may have difficulty bringing the gun out smoothly simply because she'll be pulling it up into her armpit during the draw. Choosing a short barrelled firearm can help here.

    Of course, a dropped holster design is frequently teamed up with offset, for range use. And the range is exactly the right place for such a design, because an OWB, dropped-and-offset holster is less concealable than nearly any other holster in the whole wide world. You could cover it, maybe, if you lived in Alaska in an unheated shack, and wear your thigh length parka indoors all the time. Otherwise, concealing such a beast is out of the question. (I love mine; quick easy draws on the range and no shoulder strain. A blessing!) You don't typically see men wearing dropped-and-offset holsters on the range, because they typically don't need to.

    The bottom line here is that women do typically encounter holster related issues that men typically don't encounter. There are viable solutions to most of these typical problems, but not every holstermaker is familiar enough with female-shape issues to suggest these solutions unless the shopper does her homework beforehand.

    pax
    Kathy Jackson
    My website: Cornered Cat

  11. #11
    Member Array tdpalmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    The bottom line here is that women do typically encounter holster related issues that men typically don't encounter. There are viable solutions to most of these typical problems, but not every holstermaker is familiar enough with female-shape issues to suggest these solutions unless the shopper does her homework beforehand. pax
    Bless you for spelling it all out. My husband used to ride me about not carrying correctly, once I was able to tell him how uncomfortable it was he understood and let me carry my way. I am fortunate to be long waisted and have room around my middle to carry a number of ways, but I still have soft flesh and a number of curves that the gun kept finding until I found the Smart Carry. I would say look at a number of different methods and try them out at the store if you can. or at least see if you can return them. You gave a lot of great advice, I will keep it all in mind if I ever have to purchase another holster.

    TDPalmer

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Many of my women customers have opted for a straight drop Minimal Clip, Double Clip or Rough Out holsters. The Minimal Clip is designed for appendix or even cross draw carry and has a body shield (Side Guard ). The Double Clip users have been varied from 0 (j-frame) to 15 (semi) degrees depending on their body shape at or behind the hip. The Rough Outs for purse or pocket carry mainly.

    Thats from a male holster maker's perspective so take what I say with a grain of salt.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    :D

    My website: Cornered Cat
    I've been reading through your website and really think you've done a great job! My daughter just attended her CCW class last Sunday, and I'm sure she and a lot of other people will find your site to be very helpful!
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  14. #14
    pax
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBurl
    Thats from a male holster maker's perspective so take what I say with a grain of salt.


    Hey, it doesn't matter what sex the holstermaker is, as long as he/she has a given some thought to the problems and is willing to listen to listen to customers who have a different body shape or different concealment issues than the holstermaker does.

    I like the looks of your tuckable clip or snap. What's your turnaround time looking like?

    pax
    Kathy Jackson
    My website: Cornered Cat

  15. #15
    pax
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    CEW58 ~

    Thanks. You say all the nicest things!

    pax
    Kathy Jackson
    My website: Cornered Cat

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