As a woman, choosing a concealed carry rig can be… complicated. Not only are our body shapes different, but we also have a much broader wardrobe. And staying fashionable can be especially demanding when working around a firearm. But with a little creativity and a can-do mindset, the difficult task of developing a concealed carry rig while still dressing femininely becomes quite simple. There are three important details to consider: holster, gun and accessories.
Carry Location and Holster
When shopping exclusively for a carry gun, it’s important to first consider what holsters are available before buying a gun. This way you’ll be able to develop a plan as to how to carry it and it will also allow you to determine what size gun you should consider buying.
Carry location is going depend on factors such as body type, fashion choices and the size of the gun. For larger firearms, even down into the subcompact double-stack 9mms, hip carry tends to be the best choice. This lends itself better to those with larger builds, whereas appendix carry tends to be a more popular option for smaller-framed women. Appendix carry can be difficult to accomplish with a double-stack pistol, however, and lends itself better to the more slender single stack firearms.
There are also many products available for off-the-body carry that work equally well for anyone looking for these alternate carry options. Designer Concealed Carry makes excellent purses and Galco Gun Leather makes agendas and defense planners that can be used.
But off-the-body carry presents many risks and demands a higher level of awareness than on-the-body carry. Storing a gun in a purse or agenda stolen can leave the carrier helpless if an assailant surreptitiously snatches it.
The recently released Flashbang Bra Holster is another unique and practical option for women who are looking to carry. Although it demands use of a smaller gun, the holster is extremely easy to conceal and it stays well hidden: a leather loop wraps around the center strap of the bra and the Kydex holster sits securely beneath the underwire. A proper draw stroke comes under the shirt, pulls the gun straight down and then extends it out in a press out. The Flashbang Bra Holster works with a wide variety of body types and dress styles, too.
Choosing the Right Gun
Choosing a firearm is going to depend a lot on the desired carry location. Off-the-body and hip carry lend themselves toward larger handguns, such as a Smith & Wesson M&P9 or Glock 17, while appendix carry lends itself more towards slim-frame subcompact pistols such as the Kahr PM9. Deep concealment options such as the Flashbang Bra Holster often require even smaller firearms such as the Sig Sauer P238 or Ruger LCP.
While having a clear understanding of firearms and knowing how you want to carry it will narrow down your choices, there are still a lot of options available. While researching a gun can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming. Depending on the gun, there is so much information available and the best way to decide can dwindle down to first-hand knowledge.
Besides notable firearm experts talking to the local range staff, especially if the range provides rental guns for customer use, can be very revealing about a gun’s performance over time and what the type of people who tend to prefer a particular gun.
When buying a carry gun is it important to not only find something that is comfortable to shoot, but also one that is comfortable enough to train and practice with. Remember, before carrying a gun it is important to be proficient with it first.
Clothes and Accessories
After you’ve bought your holster and gun the next step in the process is to actually carry—that’s why you went through all the trouble in the first place, right? There are fashionable clothing options available that really help with concealment. And being creative with accessories can also go a long way toward hiding handgun.
Shopping for shirts that are pleated or rouched will prevent “printing”, or when the gun sticks out underneath an article of clothing. Items such as princess cut shirts or jackets that are fitted around the waist but flare at the hip are also beneficial to keeping a gun well hidden.
For those who carry appendix, one of the best and most simple ways to hide a gun is with a scarf. Wearing a scarf around the neck so that it hangs over the portion of the hip where the appendix holster sits prevents printing and, when the support hand is properly indexed during a draw, will be automatically moved out of the way for quick access to it.
As more and more options become available for women who are shopping for a concealed carry rig being able to carry and dress fashionably becomes easier and easier. Being able to dress well around your handgun just takes some planning, training and a little bit of creativity.