View Full Version : Holster handbags / purses
My wife got her CCW several months ago. Now she is ready to carry concealed. Tonight we bought her a Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight with factory Crimson Trace laser grips. Nice! http://floridaconcealedcarry.com/Forum/images/smilies/banana1.gif
At least for now, the reality is that she is not going to totally change the way she dresses and use something like an IWB holster. Currently, from a practical standpoint, a handbag / purse designed for CCW is her preference. Many out there on the market. Galco was recommended. But, after a brief perusal of their website, my wife's conclusion was, "They're all ugly." http://floridaconcealedcarry.com/Forum/images/smilies/dunno.gif
So.... do any of you have any suggestions? Alternative sources? Bear in mind that price is essentially not an issue.
I ran the firearms program for a federal agency before my retirement. Generally, I tried to discourage women from putting guns in handbags as we put a number of guns in criminal hands when the purse was lost, stolen or forgotten in a lady's room. Purse snatching is so prevelant in the big cities that it may soon become an olympic event. This is an especially bad idea in the big cities where bad girls are known to reach over a lady's room stall door, snatch whatever is hanging there and be gone before the victim could possibly dress and give chase. To be sure, male agents have also forgotten guns in the men's room.
However, if she insists on a purse, then look for one that has a dedicated gun compartment that's easily accessible. No matter where you carry the gun: draw too soon and be charged with menacing or reckless endangerment, draw too late and leave the scene under a sheet. A purse which allows its user to obtain a grip on the handgun and still keep that handgun concealed until the situation compells presentation is preferred.
Tagged for my wife as well.
Hi there, Racer88! Same Racer I know from elsewhere? :)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Iím afraid I have no suggestions if she believes those Galco purses are ugly. I carry in either a fanny-pack (based on your comment on the purse, suggest that and you might not live long enough to tell us what she thought), second option is the belly-band. There have been some women that have opted for the SmartCarry, not my cup of tea since based on the clothing I wear I would end up with bulges on places I find unacceptable.<o:p></o:p>
Iím not much of an off-body carry kind of person; however, if that is her option, how about getting her the bag she wants (as long as it has a separate compartment) and then fixing a holster to that separate compartment?<o:p></o:p>
Here is a video of Nutnfancy creating his own fanny-pack holster, there is no reason why the same concept canít be applied to a purse of her choosing.<o:p></o:p>
When I absolutely, positively must carry in a purse (to church), I use a Coronado Leather Hobo. It'll hold my S&W M&P (full-size) in it's own separate, lockable compartment, and my Bible, sunglasses in hard case, checkbook, etc.
They do make smaller, lighter models.
One and the same, Misty!
Cool! Iím not usually very perceptive, but the avatar sure gave it away. :)
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I use their cross-carry bag.
Yes, it's less than ideal, but it is more secure than a shoulder bag, and I am very aware/vigilant when I'm carrying in this manner -- I never leave it unattended. I've even been known to walk through a parking lot with my hand inside the holster compartment.
I ran the firearms program for a federal agency before my retirement. Generally, I tried to discourage women from putting guns in handbags as we put a number of guns in criminal hands when the purse was lost, stolen or forgotten in a lady's room. Purse snatching is so prevelant in the big cities that it may soon become an olympic event. This is an especially bad idea in the big cities where bad girls are known to reach over a lady's room stall door, snatch whatever is hanging there and be gone before the victim could possibly dress and give chase...
I could not possibly agree with you more, and I've posted this story and my opinion on here before - but I am back to try to convince those who would purse carry to reconsider.
It's actually more than an opinion as I've had my purse snatched in a pretty good area in a 'big city'. Criminals love to come into good areas where the pickin' is more profitable and residents don't expect to be victims.
I don't have the energy to go completely through this again, and it appears my original post is gone. Glock Talk lost some data a few years back, I believe.
Basic background and story:
This was about 18-20 years ago when I was in somewhat better condition for the condition I was in, but I'm a big gal (5' 9" - but not overweight at that time), and was in good shape, playing golf and tennis, etc. regularly.
I was going to a meeting at a hotel in the early evening and as was my custom, headed to the side entrance of the hotel where the side door met up with our monthly meeting room. I pulled past the front area of the hotel, but at the side and near the lobby entrance saw a vehicle with one male sitting in it and the engine running. Didn't think too much of it as I thought that he was simply waiting for someone. As it turned out, he was.
I drove past him and went to that side door and backed into a parking spot next to the hotel. The spot had some lighting - but also some landscaping (bushes, etc.) nearby. As I parked and killed the engine and jumped out of the car I was suddenly greeted, literally face-to-face with a tall male grasping for my purse. As I said, I'm 5' 9" and was wearing 2" heels, but he towered over me.
I fought him for it, and 99% of the time carried a shoulder bag - but that night I had a clutch. After a period of struggling - and I'm a darn good struggler - the guy yelled "give me that f-----g purse", made one last powerful grab, took it, and was off toward the parking lot - with me in hot pursuit in my heels.
I soon found out that the idling car I had passed on my way to my parking spot was the getaway car and the purse snatcher's friend. But... as I said, I was in good shape and caught up with the bad guy just as he jumped head first into the moving getaway car passenger seat. Not being one to give up so easily, I managed to hook my arm on the B-pillar and was soon being dragged down the parking lot, standing straight up, more or less pinned to the side of the car by its forward momentum. In the meantime, the bad guy righted himself in the car and was beating on my arm at the B-pillar to try to get me to let go.
As I looked up to where the car was headed, it didn't look promising. We had to be going at least 20 MPH and gaining speed and there was a turn around the building dead ahead. I decided to bail out and literally bounced off the pavement and right back up on my feet. I looked in my hand (the one that had been inside the car), and there were my car keys. Through the time that I had turned off the ignition, to fighting for my purse, to chasing a crook to bouncing off the pavement, I had NOT let go of my keys. I did the only logical thing... ran back to my car (gathering one of my high heels that had come off during my ride), jumped in and chased after them. This was no more than 10 blocks from my house, in the neighborhood where I grew up, so I knew the streets like the back of my hand. But I never found them.
After that, I came back to the hotel and called the police to make a report. After my description of the events, the responding officer said that I was really stupid! In retrospect, I probably was.
Po-po found my purse about 2 hours later on the floorboard of a stolen car with the ignition punched out and the engine running. Bad guys had only taken my cash - no credit cards or ID. 18-20 years ago in Missouri, I couldn't legally carry and didn't, or the gun would have been gone as well. Just another case of arming the criminals!
Since that evening, I carry my cash some place other than my purse. Since becoming a FL resident (and at the very moment I became a FL resident) I have gotten a CWFL. I carry 100% of the time and needless to say - NOT in my purse. I can suppose that a CCW shoulder bag would be marginally better than a clutch, but let's face it... on any given day, most average men can over-power most average women - and likely will!
You may all take from this whatever you like. I've been telling this story on occasions such as this for many years and I am fairly certain a goodly number of folks don't even believe it. Ladies, if you're are into excitement and adrenaline rushes, just think of the one you'll get during that moment when your purse gets snatched and you realize your money, your credit cards, your ID, AND YOUR GUN are all about to be gone.
Watching 5:30 news on TV. Polk Cnty (FL) has had 4 purse snatchings this past week - same suspects. Targeting elderly and broke the last victim's finger and knocked her down while she was pushing her great-grandchild in a stroller.
At least the Polk County Sheriff is Sheriff Judd who was once asked by the media why his deputies shot a suspect 68 times and replied "that's all the bullets we had or we would have shot him more".
Thanks for sharing that story SARDG. A lot to consider. If I may ask... what is your preferred carry method? I'm especially interested in hearing from women who walk the walk. Thanks again.
Thanks for sharing that story SARDG. A lot to consider. If I may ask... what is your preferred carry method?...
I have a Galco UDC USA (Ultra Deep Cover, Ultimate Second Amendment) IWB leather holster - but even that added thickness was disagreeable to me in Florida. I've just about all but abandoned it and carry my Kahr PM-9 in my pocket if there's enough room (rarely) or generally just Mexican carry at my appendix. My shorts (or even skirts or pants) are usually tight enough in the waist and between that, and hips, the gun usually stays put with the grip hanging over the waistband. This means that every top I wear must be a pullover. If I need to tuck in a blouse, I have to return to the Galco.
My gun has fallen out 3 times that I remember, in 4 years. Strangely, when I was simply standing in a near static position twice. Once in a dark restaurant on carpeting, once at work in the darkish conference room on carpeting, and once outside in my driveway on concrete. (That one didn't make me happy.) The 2 inside incidents went unnoticed by the person I was standing next to and talking to each time and I simply grabbed my nearby purse, put it on the carpet next to the gun and transferred the gun to my purse. It is absolutely amazing what people DO NOT NOTICE. (Since the gun was in my purse, I made an immediate trip to the ladies room to put it back in my waist.)
As I said, Mexican carry seems to generally work for me and I took off at a dead run with it in my waistband at least one time without even near losing it. (That was a screaming female in a Wal-Mart parking lot who I thought had her boyfriend beating on her, but when I got to them, and yelled, he ID'ed himself as Wal-Mart security. Turns out she was a shoplifter. (No, I never showed or mentioned my firearm.)
Coincidentally, my LEO friend also carries his off-duty gun in 2 different ways... Mexican carry, or in his pocket without a holster. Disclaimer: I can think of no gun safety expert who would ever advocate Mexican carry or pocket carry without a holster but because I've done this for so long, I am confident of my muscle memory relating to grasping the gun. (There may be laws in some states that require you to have your gun in a holster as thugs are generally associated with Mexican carry.)
When I first got my CWFL and began carrying, a couple of my friends said that I'd get tired of it and quit carrying within months, if not weeks. They could not have been more wrong. I've been a victim too often and plan to not let it happen again. I carry 100% of the time.
I didn't even go into the home-invasion/armed robbery event that happened to me when I lived in Hawaii. That's a story for yet another thread.
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