carry options for a small lady

This is a discussion on carry options for a small lady within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; To any ladies out there or those with wifes that carry I need some suggestions for my mother. She just sent out her application for ...

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Thread: carry options for a small lady

  1. #1
    Member Array RdRaceWannabe's Avatar
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    carry options for a small lady

    To any ladies out there or those with wifes that carry I need some suggestions for my mother. She just sent out her application for carry today so she has a few weeks to decide on options.

    She wishes to carry a Bersa Thunder .380 on her person not in the purse. Only problem is that she is 5'2" tall and about 90Lbs.
    She already understands that she will have to dress around the gun, but
    she still prefers the thinnest concealment possible.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
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    Same question in regards to my wife. She has her permit, but hasn't started carrying yet because even though she knows she will have to dress around the pistol she doesn't yet know what to buy. She is 5'4" and weights about 120 lbs. She also has a Bersa .380.

    I am no expert on concealment for men, but we have the advantage of wearing pants or short all the time and having a belt on. Dresses, skirts with no belt, slacks with not belt etc. are the styles that are out there in women's clothes. She does not want to use a purse, because she does not keep it with her every waking moment and it is possible for it to be taken. At the same time she doesn't want to have 4 different carry methods - one for each style of dress. She needs help in knowing what is available, what works, and what doesn't. She knows she will have to try the various methods to find one that fits her, but she would like some guidance. We cannot afford for her to decide on one method, buy the wardrobe to go with it and then have her find out it does not work for her. It is one thing to have a holster drawer, but quite another to have a wardrobe drawer.

    Thanks.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  4. #3
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Would a tuckable holster work?
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Smartcarry or Thunderwear might be alternatives that could work.

  6. #5
    Member Array Blinky's Avatar
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    Woohoo... another chance for me to rave about my favorite new holster.

    You can easily spend as much on holsters as you can on guns. In fact, you'll find you need more than one to cover all the occassions.

    A holster is definitely a personal choice and I was always careful in discussing holsters, but I have found a holster that works for me and it is a quality piece of hardware.

    Comp-Tac CTAC holster

    I use this holster with my Sig P239 and here are my thoughts on this holster.

    • Most comfortable holster I've ever worn
    • Conceals my P239 under just a t-shirt
    • Adjustable cant allows me to position the holster as I need it
    • I use the velcro clips on a stiff belt - holster is very secure
    • Easy to draw or easy to re-holster
    Blinky

    _______________________________________________
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it
    would be reasonable to shoot back with your own
    gun."
    Dalai Lama - May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times
    _______________________________________________

  7. #6
    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    My friend's wife carries a Keltec P3AT and she is very small - and does not wear loose clothing. It was pretty hard for her find a carry method that worked - since even pocket carry did not work in tight fitting jeans. She ended up using a clip that fits on the gun and hooks the gun under her jeans using the clip to secure the weapon. It's not perfect but it works for her - and allows her to still dress the way she likes.

    Joe

  8. #7
    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Hi All!
    A woman's anatomy is of course much different than a male's As such, holsters intended for a man will generally be really uncomfortable for her, and might not work at all. Several custom makers offer holsters specifically for women. Shoulder rigs are also a viable alternative, as are pocket holsters.
    As a side note: Guys will often pick a gun for their wives that they would not even consider carrying themselves. The mentality seems to be something along the lines of "a little gun for the little lady". This could get her killed. You see, many attacks against females are motivated by a hatred of women and a desire to dominate them. As such, these attacks can be particularily brutal. If she were to resist, but do so unsuccessfully, the consequences could be pretty grim.
    Where am I going with this? Well, as I have done before, I'll quote the late (and great) Elmer Keith when he said," Shoot the biggest damn gun that you can handle". His remarks were in the context of dangerous game, but there is nothing more dangerous on Earth than a predatory human, so I think that it fits here, too. So, if a female (intended) victim shoots a bad guy (BG) with some wimpy caliber or does not place the shot properly, what comes next? He'll probably kill her. Whereas in the same situation, you (as a guy) have probably been in a few fist fights in your (miss-spent) youth, and probably weigh 100 or so pounds more than said female. So, you would at least have some chance of dealing with a BG hand to hand, but in the same situation a woman has no "plan B". She is totally dependant upon the firearm (and her skill level in employing it) for her survival.
    So guys, the moral of the story is not to fix your bride up with a gun that you would consider inadequate for yourself to employ in a defensive situation.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be a Kahr PM9, Smaller than a Bersa but in 9mm. I might choose Kel-Tec's P32 but I can't trust the 3AT's. I shot one that almost fell apart in my hand and would have if I hed kept firing it.

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    In the case of my wife, I'm sure that she will eventually move to a more powerful weapon. But until she is able to conceal and carry this one she is not going to consider another. Right now I am subscribing to the idea that a .380 being carried is a lot better than a 9mm, .40, or .45 at home in the drawer.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    There are 9mm's much smaller that most 380's. For 380 I really like SIGs P232. It is definatly not a light weight, nor it it tiny. But my uncle has one in stainless and I really like it.

  12. #11
    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_cmg
    In the case of my wife, I'm sure that she will eventually move to a more powerful weapon. But until she is able to conceal and carry this one she is not going to consider another. Right now I am subscribing to the idea that a .380 being carried is a lot better than a 9mm, .40, or .45 at home in the drawer.
    I totally agree. Gunfights are won (or lost) with what you have on you (and the skill with which you employ it), rather than what might be lying in the gun safe at home. Furthermore, any new (or small statured) shooter should not be pushed into a caliber that is too large for them.
    My comments were intended to head off any recommendations that you have her carry a .25 or some such nonesense. 'Sorry if I offended you.
    A well placed .380 always trumps a non-existant .45 in my book.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Brommeland
    I totally agree. Gunfights are won (or lost) with what you have on you (and the skill with which you employ it), rather than what might be lying in the gun safe at home. Furthermore, any new (or small statured) shooter should not be pushed into a caliber that is too large for them.
    My comments were intended to head off any recommendations that you have her carry a .25 or some such nonesense. 'Sorry if I offended you.
    A well placed .380 always trumps a non-existant .45 in my book.
    My wife shoots .40 and 9mm better than I do. With her .380 she can drive nails. But because you don't get to test drive handguns usually she originally had a S&W 638. Although it was comfortable in her hand she did not have the strength to pull the trigger. She did exercise and got where she could pull it once or twice with little problem, but after that it was tough for her. She tried other pistols and settled on the Bersa .380. She shoots it well, she pulls the trigger in double action with not trouble, and loves the single action trigger pull. She can rack the slide with no problem and has learned to clean it as well. The only problem she has is that the decocking lever is stiff. It is stiff to me too, so I have taken to moving it back and forth at least a couple of times per week and it is getting smoother. I hope that soon it will get easy enough for her to move it with her thumb without difficulty. She has gotten very comfortable with her pistol, but always fires my S&W 439 or other pistol I take when we go shooting.

    She has no problem with a semi-auto DAO such as Taurus Millennium Pro PT140 or my Skyy CPX-1. I do not notice any major difference in the trigger pull on these than on the S&W 638, but evidently the ergonomics of the 638 cause her problems. Right now though I am happy that she enjoys shooting and that she has determined to carry. I have discovered that the ergonomics of double stack autos cause me accuracy problems and that the Skyy's beavertail combined with the muzzle flip will continue to beat my thumb unmercifully. So there is a Kahr or small frame S&W in my future. She will have an opportunity to fire these and maybe will decide she likes something with a little more juice to it.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    Woooohhooooo! Bersas rock. Most who disagree likely haven't shot one. Yes, there are other options, but the Bersa IS a good choice.

    ON TOPIC: You can get a decent IWB that should work well. I can hide my Bersa under a T-shirt. On the same note, I can hide my service size Taurus under the same T-shirt, even at the same time. IWB, in my opinion, is one of the easiest and best concealment methods.
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by '75scout
    My suggestion would be a Kahr PM9, Smaller than a Bersa but in 9mm. I might choose Kel-Tec's P32 but I can't trust the 3AT's. I shot one that almost fell apart in my hand and would have if I hed kept firing it.
    I have personally shot her P3AT and while I'm not crazy about it - it does seem reliable. I've personally witnessed her put well over 300 rounds down the tube in one session with no reliability issues. The one problem she does have with it is shooting certain brands of ammunition with excessively hard primers (cheap magetch stuff) - the firing pin doesn't always impact hard enough to ignite. However - with other ammo - never a problem.

    It seems with the 3AT it's a hit or miss proposition.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    I'm going to pitch the advantages of the specialized purse hoster. It's a specially made purse with some distinct advantages. The former (she married the President of another club and the two clubs merged) president of my IDPA club has used hers in a defensive situation. Proper use, of course, requires training and practice, but it is a viable alternative for the ladies.

    Usually these purses have a liner in the strap made of steel cable, to resist cutting. The holster can be located in a grabable position inside the purse OR located in a specially concealed pocket accessible via zipper or velcro closure in the middle.

    This lady is a paid political operative and works full time for a member of Congress.

    One night years ago, she was dropping off a bulk mailing at an outdoor mailbox in a postal facility in the airport before it became illegal to even have a gun on airport property. She's walking to her car and a big black van pulls past her and stops. Two big guys jump out and their comments and gestures make it clear that she's going to host a party that she has no desire to attend! They think their hulking size and number (2 to 1) make them predators. They're threatening violence to a graduate of GunSite!

    This is the sequence: Right hand rips thru velcro of purse on left shoulder while at the same time the shoulder dips, allowing purse to slide off. The grip has been secured on the Glock M21 45 ACP. As the purse slips to the floor, weapon is revealed as the stance is taken and the weapon raised to sight picture. Good Weaver stance. She said the tires smoked when they left.

    In Condition Yellow, the purse won't get "snatched" before a defensive reaction can take place.

    The holster is really concealed. This purse held a loaded Glock M21 in the presence of Jeb Bush (before he was Governor) while his dad was still President. That means an entire Secret Service detail was also present and they didn't detect the gun. They're pretty well trained, I'd say. Of course it can be argued that she had already been cleared to be there and they had no reason to suspect her.....but still.....
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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