lady with disability needs holster advice (long)

lady with disability needs holster advice (long)

This is a discussion on lady with disability needs holster advice (long) within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Been lurking here for quite a while after joining. Learning a LOT! I am a woman, 5' tall, about 40 lbs. overweight (so apple shaped) ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    lady with disability needs holster advice (long)

    Been lurking here for quite a while after joining. Learning a LOT!

    I am a woman, 5' tall, about 40 lbs. overweight (so apple shaped) and am partially disabled, I have a very painful problem with my central nervous system that limits my flexability, and compromises my strength. I limp, and generally was feeling like a target when I am out anywhere. That's why I finally got my CHL a couple months ago. I've been carrying in my purse (which is setup very similar to a carry purse and passed scrutiny by several instructors where I took my CHL) - but most often, with a Desantis Nemisis pocket holster in the front right pocket of my jeans.

    I work 2nd shift. I want access to the firearm while driving, as I live in the country and drive back roads at 1-2 a.m. Other than back and forth to work, I carry while doing errands, or grocery shopping. Also when puttering around the yard.

    I do realize I won't find "the holster" right away, but my chances will be greater if I ask for help. I have been reading, watching You Tube holster videos - including LimaTunes great 4 part series. Still having problem figuring out what to order. I want to carry on body if I can. I don't have curves to hide a firearm in.

    I have been target shooting (for fun - nothing serious) with an old Colt 22 and then with my trusty S&W stainless 4" model 66 for nearly 30 years, but was unable to shoot for the last several years due to this disease. Have regained a bit of flexibility, so was able to start up again a few months ago. Even now, my limit is about 12 shots with the 66 before it is to painful, and I am ready to quit. I shoot here at my house, so I can do a little at a time. Neighbor is a LEO and he suggested I get Crimson Trace on the 66. This has worked really well - I am shooting from halfway between low ready and regular position. From what I saw in my CHL class - I had the best groups - so I'm doing ok. Got compliments from several people anyway. Not a normal shooting stance, but would get the job done.

    Knowing that the 66 is a bit large to conceal on a 5' tall person, a few days after CHL class, went back to the range with good gun buddy, and we tried out a bunch of smaller guns, with help of instructor there that works with disabled people. Ended up buying a S&W 357 2-1/8" model 649. Had Crimson Trace added to that too. I wouldn't want to fire it all day - the 66 is less painful to shoot, but it's not to concealable. The 649 is one with the little button like thing (sorry don't know correct term) instead of a hammer. I don't have strength to pull a hammer back anyway, and have always shot the 66 double action. We also tried semi-auto's but I couldn't rack the slide using my bad, weak side. I have always been a revolver shooter anyway.

    My left side is most affected - I can no longer lift the 66 up to aim with the regular sights. My right arm is better - I can lift it up and could shoot one handed if need be. My left hand and arm is ok to use to steady the gun for two handed grip, but I don't have much real use of it. I don't think I could ever stand a shoulder holster, as I can't have a purse strap or anything on the left shoulder. My good right side, though, isn't good enough to pull the firearm from 3 o'clock or further back. With practice and exercises - I **might** be able to do 3 o'clock. But just forward of that is ok. If I do that, though, I have to get a holster that allows one handed reholstering, as my bad left arm has limited reach - just a little past my jeans zipper is about it.

    I tried the friend's belly band - it didn't work for me. I also considered Smart Carry - and will probably order one to try. I need to have good access to the firearm while driving. The pocket holster is useless when I am driving, so I have been moving to purse when in car. Don't want to keep doing that - understand it is safer to be in holster on body. We (gun friend and the instructor) have pretty much determined that I need to carry somewhere between 11 and 2:30. Just in front of the hip to right above my right side jeans pocket seems to be my strongest position. Another thing is that I will probably leave it in my car while at work - as our building is posted. I was thinking of wearing the holster while in the building though, so I would not have to put it on while in the car, in the dark parking lot at night. I was thinking I would put the DeSantis in the console to put firearm in while in work, then once seated in car, transfer to holster on body.

    I tested places by using the DeSantis pocket holster all around my waistband, at different cants while standing and sitting (unloaded!). I have stuck the DeSantis, straight up - no cant, in just in front of my hip, and if I sit, the end of the gun pokes me in the thigh. Anything forward of that, and it rides up out of the waistline or pokes me BAD in the leg. So, seems to me I would have to have it on a cant - and that area would need to be muzzle forward, wouldn't it? The FBI cant doesn't make sense forward of 3 o'clock, or am I wrong? I have searched but find VERY few muzzle forward cant appendix carry holsters. Why is this?? Is it an unsafe area to carry?

    Any suggestions or comments are VERY welcome!

    These are the holsters I am considering. I think I would want IWB, to better hide holster while in my work. Also, I often go out in the early evening for lunch or to get gas - which would mean another remove/put on of holster unless I just leave it on. My clothing is usually jeans with sweater or top over it that would cover. I sit at computer at work, pretty much alone in my area, so don't have to worry much about lifting arms or otherwise showing the empty holster while in work.

    I think this one is about where I want to carry - and just about right, except, I would be carrying against bare skin, and it looks a little roughly edged for that - wouldn't I want leather? Or, since I might be wearing the holster without the gun - kydex would be best for shape retention? Would a leather holster, being worn for 8-9 hours a day without a firearm in it not hold it's shape at the mouth - even if reinforced?
    Welcome to TSC Holsters Appendix Page

    This one, the CrossBreed SuperTuck is certainly well thought of here on this forum. But I worry about the straight up or FBI cant. Do you think this would work for appendix? I notice a lot of extra holes in these when people show the photos. Are those holes for changing cant - if so can you make them muzzle forward? I was thinking of ordering one of these, to try just forward of hip. Turn around is quick, and might be a good first holster to "get the kinks out" with. What do you think for where I want to use it? Do any of you use your SuperTuck's front of 3 o'clock?
    Links

    This one looks a bit bulky, and I am not sure about wool against the skin in summer - I cannot tell if it has a cant from the photos. My guess is that it does not.
    Kramer Handgun Leather: Revolver holsters, concealment holsters, paddle holster, 1911 holster, ankle holster

    Texas Cross Draw, by Kirkpatrick Leather. I am wondering the holster maker would be able to make this one IWB.
    Kirkpatrick Leather Concealment Holsters - The Texas Cross Draw

    This one is not canted but would the loops "swing" to allow for it to cant? I am wondering because it says it works for crossdraw.
    H715 - M.S.O. [H715-M.S.O. O.T.] - $34.60 : Don Hume Leathergoods, manufactures high quality leather and nylon goods.

    Then, finally, this maker seems to have the one that is most adjustable. Unfortunately, I cannot open their info to see if my gun is listed in their availability list.
    Untitled Document
    In Kydex, it is shown with more of a muzzle forward cant.
    Untitled Document

    My last question is, the Crimson Trace grips make a rounded ridge on my 649 that the original grips did not have. If I get a custom formed holster - how will that round ridge be accounted for by the maker? Will it matter?

    I am very sorry this is so long. I spent time the other night going over every page on the holsters link here and saving links of holsters I thought might work. I have looked and looked at them, but I don't really know enough about using a holster to know what to get. All my target shooting days I didn't worry about the holster.

    Thanks SO much for any advice on making my selection!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    My G/F suffers from arthritis and has half her left hand amputated. She shoots a S&W 642 with a Crimson Trace. Her shape allows the use of an OWB belt holster on her strong side, but most of the time she prefers a fanny pack. We tried a bunch before finding the Tommy's Gun Pack. http://www.tommysgunpack.com/Product...?ProductCode=1 It's opening is much easier for her to use than any others, and it's not expensive to try out. She also is comfortable with a cross-draw, and that would fulfill your need for driving access. It'd be nice if everyone could just send you one to try out. I'd like to see some holstermakers voice their opinions for this new member. Her problems are not rare! Welcome to the forum!!!
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  3. #3
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    Array redrick's Avatar
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    Look at a fanny pack holster, Galco make one.

    Looks like AZ bet me to it.

  4. #4
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    Don't really want to do fanny pack. Couple reasons - I think I would look a little odd with a fanny pack and purse is the main reason. Would need purse, because I could not tolerate any more weight than just the gun in the pack... if that.

    I have a fanny pack that I did try, and with the firearm, the pack pulled on my lower back. The fanny pack I have has a wide, tapered, well made belt - it's not a cheapo Wal-mart one. It's made by a good custom leather purse and pack maker. It is not a gun fanny pack, but a hiking pack. I tried wearing it for several hours, with gun, around the house. Even though it was custom made for me, with all the weight of the gun in one spot, it was uncomfortable. When I used it for hiking, it has many places all around it to put things to even out the weight.

    What started this whole nerve problem off was a bad horseback riding injury years ago to my lower back. I have avoided wearing belts all these years - but have been wearing one lately to get used to it to be able to carry. So far, so good. But, the fanny pack with much weight in it - that is a problem.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Would a shoulder holster be too tough to dress around? It's harder for female clothing. It should distribute the weight more evenly, especially if you carry two speed loaders on the off-side to balance it off.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  6. #6
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts

    I did try to edit that long post... so may have edited this out. I can't carry a purse on my left shoulder - way to painful to have any sort of strap there. So I have not considered a shoulder holster because of that.

    What about the appendix carry idea? Is there a reason so few people use that area of the body?

    AZ Huckster mentioned his girlfriend using crossdraw - I can only reach a little past midline with my right arm for cross draw. If it was at 11:00 would cross draw still work? That is what I was wondering when I mentioned from 11-2:30. Cross draw seems to be used a lot for in the car. Would at least get the holster away from where the seat belts come together and fasten.
    Last edited by PrimalScream; December 27th, 2008 at 07:21 PM. Reason: doorbell rang and didn't get to finish

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need to hire me for a bodyguard!
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  8. #8
    Member Array MrsFosforos's Avatar
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    I've considered getting one of these Wilderness Safepacks to use - especially in the car.

    I don't think you would draw attention to yourself using a waist pack and a purse. Considering the amount of paraphenilia people keep on their belts - phone holsters, ipods, pdas, beepers etc. - a waist bag or fanny pack isn't really all that noticable.

  9. #9
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    MrsFosforos - I just looked up the Ohio laws, and I think that bag would comply. It's really strict here on what you can and cannot do in a car.

    I like that idea for the car. I don't recall seeing that in my tour of all the holster pages. I may just order this.

    It looks like I could put a speed strip or two in the space meant for a magazine.

    I would still like to come up with an on body holster for use with a belt.

  10. #10
    Member Array MrsFosforos's Avatar
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    If you are interested in kydex, you might look at comp-tac.com 2 o'clock IWB holster and I see they make it for a J-Frame revolvers too.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Why not try a J-Frame Revolver and a set of Barami Hip Grips?

    It's IWB, carries great in the appendix position, and easily concealed by an untucked shirt. and a belt. If it were me I would probably add a set of Tyler T-Grips to it as well. That will help you to hang on to the little bugger when you make it go BANG.

    Bear in mind, the appendix position is a favorite of gangbangers. They must know something we don't. What they know is, it's fast to draw from, doesn't telegraph that you have a gun as easily when you go to draw and being that the gun is carried in the front of the body, allows the use of the hands to help "hide" the gun as well as making it easier to retain in a struggle.

    Biker

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalScream View Post
    MrsFosforos - I just looked up the Ohio laws, and I think that bag would comply. It's really strict here on what you can and cannot do in a car.

    I like that idea for the car. I don't recall seeing that in my tour of all the holster pages. I may just order this.

    It looks like I could put a speed strip or two in the space meant for a magazine.

    I would still like to come up with an on body holster for use with a belt.
    I visit Ohio and carry when I'm there. I've read the laws regarding having a firearm off body while driving. It's similar to FL, it has to be in a closed container. Basically anything that has a top that can close over the weapon so it's not immediately visible. It can still be accessible. otherwise it should be on your person, again concealed.

    The problem with driving and carrying on body in a holster is accessibility. Nothing short of a shoulder rig in my experience is really easy to access while seated. Even appendix carry is slower than I'd like. For general carry I would definitely recommend appendix carry for anyone with a smallish gun. It can be very comfortable and easy to access. It also does not require you to reach to your hip or even slightly behind as so many of us like to carry and which may be limited due to lack of mobility. I know quite a few wheelchair bound CCW holders who love these packs similar to what was linked. I also know a few people who do the fanny pack thing. It doesn't look odd and nobody asks questions.

    I hope you find something both workable and comfortable.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.

  13. #13
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the replies.
    BikerRN - I've been a "backyard" target shooter - I am new to all the correct terms etc, so forgive me if this is a dumb question. I love my 66, but I did recently buy a S&W 2-1/8" 649 for carrying. I don't totally understand the term "J-frame" it is one thing confusing me when I look for holsters. Some makers list "J-frame," but not my specific S&W model. I **think** the 649 is a J frame, but I am not sure. It is the 649 that I am looking to holster for CC.

    cmdrdredd - I did go look up the laws last night, and I am not 100% sure the pack would pass here, since the side is fastened with velcro. Here is the section from the handout we got in class.
    "If you have a concealed carry permit, you may not transport a loaded, concealed handgun in a vehicle unless it is carried in one of the following ways:
    •The loaded handgun is in a holster secured on the person. Ohio law previously required carrying firearms in a holster in plain sight. The “plain sight” provision has been removed from the law.
    •The loaded handgun is in a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and that has a lid, a cover, or a closing mechanism with a zipper, snap, or buckle, which lid, cover or closing mechanism must be opened for a person to gain access to the handgun, or
    •The loaded handgun is securely encased by being stored in a closed, glove compartment or console, or in a case that is locked."

    You said you would recommend appendix carry (except for car access). What are your thoughts on cant? I suppose, a 6'4" guy would have an easier time sitting with a small gun in this position and not have it hit his leg if it was not at a cant. I am not tall, so I don't have much area between waist and leg.
    ____
    I am wondering, if the Safepacker would fall under Ohio law, if I could use the Safepacker on typical workdays when all I do is go from house to car to work and back. Then, use an appendix holster for around in the house, yard, days I run errands etc. It should be pretty easy to slip firearm from appendix holster to Safepacker in my lap in the car without showing firearm on those days. Would need to practice a bit.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Congrats on the decision to carry. On body carry via pocket like your already doing with the J-frame is a good choice.

    Another option to think about is Appendix carry with zero deg cant which looks like you are already looking into. Of my holsters, the Minimal Clip/Snap or Quick Clip/Snap would be the best solution for on-body carry. I have several of these in stock that may meet your needs.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Here are Quick Clip pics with my Model 60.



    MNBurl

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

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    BikerRN - I've been a "backyard" target shooter - I am new to all the correct terms etc, so forgive me if this is a dumb question. I love my 66, but I did recently buy a S&W 2-1/8" 649 for carrying. I don't totally understand the term "J-frame" it is one thing confusing me when I look for holsters. Some makers list "J-frame," but not my specific S&W model. I **think** the 649 is a J frame, but I am not sure. It is the 649 that I am looking to holster for CC.
    Yes, the 649, IIRC, is a J-Frame. The Model 66 is a K Frame. The easy way to tell is, if it takes 38 Special rounds and has 5 shots, it's a J-Frame.

    As far as "dumb questions", there is no such thing. As I was told a long time ago, "The only dumb question is the one you didn't ask." I can assure you that if you have a question, someone else has had the same question.

    Good luck and please feel free to ask any question that you have. I'm not an expert, but I am willing to share what I know, either in the forum or a PM.

    Biker

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