Once I became comfortable and fairly proficient with a handgun, my next question was, “Now what?”
Should I carry a handgun with me all the time or only to certain places? If I carry, should I have the gun in my purse or use a holster? If I use a holster, which one is best?
The first issue I ran into was clothing. Most of the time I am not dressed in a way that would easily conceal a handgun. That’s not to say that I run around town in a bikini top and Daisy Dukes! Far from it, but still, a comfortably fitted shirt and stretchy yoga pants aren’t exactly concealed carry-wear!
Most men will wear a fairly loose fitting shirt, which easily hides most every handgun. Or if they’re feeling extra fashionable, their choice may be a t-shirt tucked in with an open, button-down shirt. In fact, as I’m sitting here in Starbucks writing this post and checking out the men, I think every one of them could easily be carrying a handgun on their person, even the barista with his green apron!
Now, I don’t want to always dress like a man when I go out. Nothing against women who wear pants and loose fitting shirts all the time, but that’s just not how I dress. So, I took my holster dilemma to Britt Lentz of Next Level Training, the company who sells the SIRT Training Pistol, and he gave me some very good advice:
“The type of holster you use depends on whether you are going to carry on the body or off the body. This is a very debated subject. Some people will tell you that off the body, in something like a purse, is not safe due to the fact that you might put your purse down or that the first thing a robber will go after is your purse. These are all true, but if this stops you from carrying your self-defense firearm, then you are not any better off. Having a firearm in your purse is better than leaving it at home in your safe, as long as you get training on how to go about it the right way.
As for a true on-the-body holster, this is how I carry every day, and I feel is the best way to go about it. The issue women have is that their bodies are so different than a man’s. Men like to carry at the 4 o’clock position on their belt. You have a choice of inside the waistband or outside. This depends on the way you dress.
This brings up the next issue for women. If you are going to carry a firearm every day, then you need to dress appropriately. This means every day you need to dress to carry, not carry to match the way you are dressed. That being said, you are going to end up with a whole box full of holsters.”
This advice was helpful to me for 4 reasons:
- I’ve avoided carrying a firearm in my purse exactly for the reasons stated, but Britt is right: if I want to have a self-defense weapon with me, then having one in my purse is way better than not having anything at all.
- It’s okay to have different holsters for different types of dress. The Flash Bang holster would be a good choice for times when I’m wearing a shirt that would be easy to pull up in order to grab the gun. (I know that sounds strange, but watch this video and you’ll understand. Here’s a review.)
- Finding the perfect holster for every occasion is an unreasonable expectation, so I can relax about that.
- Britt just gave me permission to go shopping for some cute clothes that are compatible with wearing a holster!
There is one more issue that comes with wearing a holster. Most gun ranges won’t allow holster practice. You will probably have to take a class designed to teach proficiency in that particular skill, drawing from a holster, go out far enough away from towns and cities and practice on your own, or use the SIRT Training Pistol at home.
Do you have a holster that you recommend?
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