Women & Carry

I noticed something in one of Glenn’s updates on the post I linked to previously, from one of his readers:

Isn’t part of this story irresponsibility? As a former Boy Scout Marksman, I was drilled on not only the proper shooting of a firearm, but it’s handling, transportation and storage. A loaded handgun has only two places to be. On your person under immediate control, or in a locked case. Some would argue the locked case should never contain a loaded weapon. Carrying a loaded weapon in a shopping bag, backpack or briefcase is, to me, the height of irresponsibility on the part of the owner.

Last weekend I was trying out some of my carry holsters out with Bitter, in an effort to find a carry method that worked better for her. I am not a big fan of the holster she uses, and wanted to get her something more practical for concealment, but I was surprised by how enormously difficult carry is for women when we were trying out my in-waist-band holsters. Women wear their pants higher on their bodies than men do, and my Glock was sticking into her ribs, which was uncomfortable for her. I don’t have that problem on me.

Purse carry is really the only option that’s going to work for a woman carrier consistently, and there are purses out there made specifically for this purpose. I don’t know if the commenter above would consider that irresponsible, but to suggest that purse carry is irresponsible is to condemn many women to being unarmed most of the time.

I don’t think purse carry or briefcase carry is really irresponsible, provided one takes precautions, and is aware of where the purse/briefcase/gun is at all times. I don’t carry a traditional briefcase, but a laptop bag that slings over the shoulder. I do not carry a gun in it, but this would be the type of bag you’d want to carry a firearm in. The chief thing you want to prevent is a snatch and run operation, so a shoulder strap, along with carrying the purse/case close to the body and firmly in your control is a must.

I understand the sentiment that the best place for a carry piece is on your immediate person, but that’s not possible for everyone, especially women. With proper care, there’s no reason for off body carry to be considered irresponsible. The problem with the whole Webb incident is that he seems to have overlooked the proper care part, not necessarily how he may or may not have been carrying.

6 thoughts on “Women & Carry”

  1. Check out the “the cornered cat” website. there are some good tips on carry for women written by a woman.

  2. If the skirt or pants aren’t too tight, try Thunderwear.
    If they’re too tight, or she’s carrying a 1911 with a 6″ slide, she’ll look like a tranny, but most of the time it will work. Just pull the waisteband out with the left hand and grab with the right.

  3. Behind the back, grip tilted toward dominant hand?

    Under arm? Women generally have more camouflage of conformation in that area.

  4. I’ve got a fanny pack that I sometimes use to carry my Ruger P94-40 in. It has a built-in holster and a retention strap. I thought that carry-purses and briefcases and such were like that too.

  5. The Thunderwear / SmartCarry system works well for women, but generally when they don’t wear it in the ‘proper’ place. Sure for guys it works great to use them to safely put a gun right down front & center but it also works for everybody as a general ‘under the clothes’ holster.

    You can wear it anywhere from waist to armpits it’s reasonably comfortable and slew it around to put the gun where you want it. A lady could, in fact, wear it just like a guy but signifcantly higher. Some ladies I know could use a SmartCarry and a loose top to conceal a S&W 500.

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