Non-Standard and Custom Holster Options -- thigh, bra, fanny pack, purse etc.

This is a discussion on Non-Standard and Custom Holster Options -- thigh, bra, fanny pack, purse etc. within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi there... I'm a newbie all-around considering my first gun purchase, have fairly zeroed in on the actual gun and need to think about associated ...

View Poll Results: What is your preferred non-standard Holster/Carry option?

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  • Thigh holster

    7 10.29%
  • Bra holster

    2 2.94%
  • Belly Band

    7 10.29%
  • Purse holster

    7 10.29%
  • Fanny Pack

    24 35.29%
  • Other (underwear, no holster, whatever)

    24 35.29%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Non-Standard and Custom Holster Options -- thigh, bra, fanny pack, purse etc.

  1. #1
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Non-Standard and Custom Holster Options -- thigh, bra, fanny pack, purse etc.

    Hi there... I'm a newbie all-around considering my first gun purchase, have fairly zeroed in on the actual gun and need to think about associated holster options.

    I'm a woman with big hands, so the gun is severely unlikely to be a "pocket pistol" or qualify as either a "subcompact" or "compact" (based on my range experiences), and I live in a hot climate and have clothing appropriate to my gender and climate. I am not accustomed to wearing suits with jackets at all. I have but don't as a general rule wear jeans.

    This sort of obviates the possiblity, absent a complete wardrobe change, of all the big guns in holster options. Anything belt-related is pretty much out. Anything pocket-related, same same. Being a fairly dressy chick, ankle holsters are out (almost nothing I wear reaches down far enough to conceal one).

    So -- your thoughts and recommendations and links if you have them are greatly desired, if the holsters displayed could possibly/reasonably accommodate the above givens.

    What my reading up to this point would indicate I need to research, in order of my preference:

    1. Thigh holsters
    2. Bra holsters
    3. Belly bands
    4. Purses
    5. Fanny packs
    6. Other

    The ordering of that list can change at any time based on what I hear from you, but as for right now the preference is based on what I've discovered so far about the necessity/strong preference of keeping it on/against your body wherever and whenever possible (protection against theft) and then according to how well I can envision that option fitting with my existing wardrobe (if being worn outside the clothing).

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    Michele

    PS I know I may end up having to radically revise my wardrobe. Right now, I'm hoping against all hope I won't have to resort to that.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    I have 2 gun purses. One is a black leather 'backpack' style.

    The other is a 5.11 Push Pack in tan (similar to the Maxpedition Fatboy).

    Concealment Purses from Roma Leather
    (very bottom)

    PUSH Pack | Bags / Backpacks | 5.11 Tactical

    FATBOY VERSIPACK Tactical Nylon Gear Concealed Carry Shoulder Sling Bag - MAXPEDITION HARD-USE GEAR Tactical Nylon Gear for Military, Law Enforcement, Tactical Concealed Carry; Tailored to Perform Tactical

    My regular belt holster is a kydex Blackhawk (Serpa I think) with trigger guard/safety. Love that too.

    P.S. I live and work in blue jeans. I also dislike purses and avoid them when possible. I carry one more for my gun. The Push Pack is a decent compromise.
    Last edited by 9MMare; February 19th, 2010 at 02:11 PM.
    Fortune favors the bold.

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    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  4. #3
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Same concerns my wife had...
    She tried purse carry for a while, but I did not like that option because of the possible separation between 'purse and body' by either her, or someone grabbing her purse.
    She now has a couple of fanny pack options. One is a Tommy Pack... http://www.tommysgunpack.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=22 , and another slim leather pack (found in a leather shop) that holds just a KelTec P-3AT and a couple of pieces of ID. She can wear this thin pack and it fits under an untucked shirt and cannot be seen (no lump).
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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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  6. #5
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Thanks and first impressions on the above

    Wow -- what a plethora of excellent options. After a detailed visual review of the above, I have a few impressions I'll share if there are any other folk like me going through this same exercise with similar needs. Do note, however, that I have not made any purchases at this time, of any options under review, those posted/discussed here, or any others. I'm a plain flat newbie whose opinions are likely valid only for other folks like me. I make no claims of any kind yadda yadda etc. etc.

    1. I don't have wilderness or range-y needs anymore, but the Safepacker looks like an ideal option. The ability to securely attach it to your seat belt is hugely compelling. It's cleverness and durability are very attractive. The fact that I can incorporate use of shoulder straps or backpacks or other accessory options in combination with the Safepacker is also compelling.

    2. Roma Leather Purses -- not just attractive purses in their own right, but offered at prices that are not hugely prohibitive to a person who is making perhaps a stupid choice for herself. Possibly an excellent option for making a "training choice" as well as for making a "permanent choice" in a holster-purse. They look well made, too. If it ended up I'd have been better off to radically redesign my wardrobe, having spent some change on one of these might not have to be looked at as a misuse of money. (Unlike Coronado Leather, who make utterly divine purses at less accessible prices)

    3. Tommy's Gun Pack -- had this on my radar for Kevin. Will now be thinking about it for myself as well.

    4. the Push Pack is designed following what is, so far, probably my preferred criteria for an out-of-the-clothing option -- namely, it is a cross-shoulder pack/purse holster option. I find in real life, whatever the visual appeal or lack thereof of the purses I carry, the ones that get carried around daily without exception are cross-shoulder options. I just don't like purses with straps that fall off my shoulder (all non-cross-shoulders) and end up leaving them behind -- in the car, under the chair at some restaurant where it got kicked, etc.) and need to be making my purse-carry decisions based on that actual behavior (mine not yours). So... the Push Pack is not a backpack (easy access), not dressy (not a problem), not expensive (not a problem!) available in a variety of colors, and evidently useful for actual "purse like" reasons, aka carrying non-gun stuff.

    All very attractive options! Thank you!

    Michele

    PS Limatunes -- I'm not really eligible, having never owned a holster of any kind, to give you any direction in your thread on what your holster review audience might want to hear about in a holster review. That said, having an opinion and a thread discussing holsters I'll say it here in hopes that either you or they are reading this.... "purse/pack" holster companies are apparently infrequently if ever marketing their products with an eye to their retention. I do not remember which purse maker I saw mention of a reinforced cable/anti-slash attempt made in their shoulder straps (none of the ones recommended to me above) so I can't give them credit. I would just, personally, want to see in any fanny-pack, backpack, purse, or other external holster option under 3rd party review to have some mention of whether anything at all reinforces retention of that holster. Aka deterrences from being slashed off your body by the average purse thief armed with an "average?" knife which he might use for that purpose.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Avenger's Avatar
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    Camelbak while running. My firearm is there. Cant really get to it under two seconds, but before the second hand get to the 5 for sure!

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    Thoughts? Ideas?

    Michele

    PS I know I may end up having to radically revise my wardrobe. Right now, I'm hoping against all hope I won't have to resort to that.
    Hi Michele. Welcome to D.C.

    If you haven't gotten your CCW permit, I would strongly encourage you to do so.

    My advice is to find the gun that you like. After that, start looking for quality holsters.

    I have numerous guns, different sizes, and different holster styles.

    Check out the "sticky" above for links to all of the holster makers (after you've purchased your gun).

    I'd recommend getting different types of holsters: IWB, OWB, shoulder rig, thigh holster, belly band.

    This gives you different options for carrying your gun. For example, if you're wearing a jacket, you might want to use your shoulder rig. If you're wearing a skirt, use the thigh holster.

    I prefer OWB. The CompTac Minotaur works well for my Sig P239.

    In the summer time, I like to carry my Ruger LCP in a Crossbreed Supertuck (IWB). The LCP works really well in my thigh holster also.

    You just have to find that gun first.

    Once you have the gun and holsters, practice your draw using snap caps.

    Happy shopping!
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    LOL Merischino, there are alot more gun purses out there...I'm not especially a connoisuer.

    Check out Coronado, Galco, and Guntotenmamas for more (and often nicer) options.

    I'd love the Guntotenmama's 'saddlebag' purse, but no moola right now.

    Gosh, Pax has a thread somewhere with links to all of these.......
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post


    4. the Push Pack is designed following what is, so far, probably my preferred criteria for an out-of-the-clothing option -- namely, it is a cross-shoulder pack/purse holster option. I find in real life, whatever the visual appeal or lack thereof of the purses I carry, the ones that get carried around daily without exception are cross-shoulder options. I just don't like purses with straps that fall off my shoulder (all non-cross-shoulders) and end up leaving them behind -- in the car, under the chair at some restaurant where it got kicked, etc.) and need to be making my purse-carry decisions based on that actual behavior (mine not yours). So... the Push Pack is not a backpack (easy access), not dressy (not a problem), not expensive (not a problem!) available in a variety of colors, and evidently useful for actual "purse like" reasons, aka carrying non-gun stuff.
    ha. This outdoor 'style' fits in quite well here. I dont often wear it cross-shoulder unless it's for a long period...just carry it on one shoulder. And my gun is quite quickly and easily accessible...with practice, which you should do with whatever option(s) you go with.

    And dont forget...you can shoot without drawing if you have to....altho with a semi-auto, you will likely only get one shot since the slide will probably hang up.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  11. #10
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Patti,

    Thank you! I am 99.9% positive that my new gun will be a Glock 22. I will definitely be checking out all this good holster information I'm finding here (and in the sticky!)

    My dear bf agrees wholeheartedly with you on the topic of snap cap practice. We have been discussing this for some time.

    I'm definitely looking at starting out with a minimum of 3 rig options for various dressing scenarios. They will likely be a thigh, a bra or bellyband, and something else TBD could be anything. We'll also likely be purchasing a fanny pack for the dear bf.

    Michele

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The Glock G22 is a chunky gun! Have you considered dropping down one grip length increment, to the G23?

    I am 6' tall, and have concealed several service-type weapons concealed over the years, from N-frame S&W revolvers, to Ruger GP100 revolvers, to Colt Government Models, to my present SIG P229 duty/carry pistols. The G22 was the most difficult to conceal, by far.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    On the Safepacker...

    I have been carrying a full size 1911 on an Officer's size Safepacker for over a year now - its a thight fit but works out just fine (I just didn't buy a new Safepacker when I switched from the G23/30 to the 1911). I use this set up as weather/humidity down here makes it miserable to conceal carry on a belt holster.

    Forget about using it as a belt holster for everyday use, unless you go on a field trip or hike - use a shoulder strap instead and it works like a charm. Also forget about securing a seatbelt through the back strap (takes too much time to do + sometimes the seatbelt buckle gets stuck in the back strap), instead try running the shoulder strap through the seatbelt loop when you get buckled up and place the Safepacker on: 1) the passenger side seat with the flap between the seat and the center console 2) on your lap 3) ridding just above your seatbelt buckle.

    You can hand carry it too, but use the hand strap only to run your hand/wrist through the hand strap and grab the Safepacker where the spare mags go - flap towards you (it will let you open the flap with your drawing hand and prevent swiveling).

    Don't place anything more than maybe some $$$, IDs, a small notepad and some pens on the document pocket, or your draw will be hindered by objects weighting down on the flap (access to the document pocket is also very slow). Do not clip flashlights/knives/etc as shown on the promo video or you'll loose them if you bump something and fail to notice you dropped some gear. A C2 taser could be carried on the shoulder strap, however I have't tried it out yet.

    The video on the website should really present a Safepacker carried with the shoulder strap, as it will be the way you'll probably end up carrying it. You can place the Safepacker on a strap in front of you (strap collapsed) for running, or on your side/back for discreet drawing. Eyes front/one handed drawing/reholstering while blocking with your other hand is easy, although snapping the buckle shut takes some practice. Quick release buckles on the shoulder strap are a good idea if you get into some hand-to-hand, as the shoulder strap can be used to grab you. As with any holster, you should practice regularly so you decrease the likelihood of a fumble.

    Here are some Safepacker reviews:

    YouTube - Safepacker Review Part 1

    YouTube - Safepacker Review Part 2

    YouTube - Safepacker Review Part 3

    A Maxpedition LEO or EDC may be worth a look, but they look huge in size.
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

  14. #13
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    I'm with Rexster on this. The G22 is a full size service pistol, that is definitely not easy to conceal. With the G22, you will be pretty much limited to purse carry. Now, the G23 is one of the most popular sizes for concealed carry. Even with the G23 you are going to have to use a purse, fanny pack or some kind of standard IWB/OWB holster...
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  15. #14
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    Michele,

    As you shop, keep this in mind: The alternatives are alternative (and not standard) for a reason. That is, the vast majority of people eventually figure out that they don't need to reinvent the wheel and that a belt holster will do what they need it to do.

    ... I live in a hot climate and have clothing appropriate to my gender and climate. I am not accustomed to wearing suits with jackets at all. I have but don't as a general rule wear jeans.
    What do you wear? I'm assuming shorts, but probably not year-round. What's your wardrobe look like right now? Don't focus on what you don't wear -- tell us what you do wear. It's so easy to get hung up on what you can't do!

    pax
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  16. #15
    pax
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    I do not remember which purse maker I saw mention of a reinforced cable/anti-slash attempt made in their shoulder straps (none of the ones recommended to me above) so I can't give them credit. I would just, personally, want to see in any fanny-pack, backpack, purse, or other external holster option under 3rd party review to have some mention of whether anything at all reinforces retention of that holster. Aka deterrences from being slashed off your body by the average purse thief armed with an "average?" knife which he might use for that purpose.
    Look up Gun Tote'n Mamas (GUN TOTE'N MAMAS - Concealed Carry Handbags by Gun Tote'n Mamas) -- their purses are all crossbody designs with reinforced straps. Just what you said you're looking for.

    Now, before you get very excited, I should mention the important caveat: yes, crossbody designs and reinforced straps aid with retention. However, those reinforced straps (because they are not visually obvious) do not DETER a slash-and-grab attempt. They merely DEFEAT the slash-and-grab. That could put you in the uncomfortable position of being entangled with a knife-armed attacker in a situation where you cannot simply drop your purse in order to escape.

    Do you have the hand-to-knife skills to cope with that?

    Of course, yes, there's a gun inside the purse you're struggling over. Can you get to it at all? Can you get to it in time? Probably not. It's going to depend on your physical skills more than your shooting skills.

    That said, GTM purses are extremely well-designed, well thought out, practical and affordable. They're one of my favorites of the new products coming out. Definitely worth a look.

    It's just important to know what you're buying and what it means for your tactics.

    pax
    Kathy Jackson
    My website: Cornered Cat

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