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by Limatunes

I'm a woman who's been carrying for a couple of years now and tried ALMOST everything out there. I'm always open to new modes of things but here is what I've found works best for me and why....

Gun choices? Why?

My primary firearm of choice is my Wilson Combat Professional.. a 4" all steel 1911.

The evolution to why I chose this guns goes back to the early days of handgun handling with me before I could even carry. My husband wanted me to consider getting my permit. I promised him I would consider it but ONLY if I could a) choose my own gun, b) have professional training NOT by him, c) practice often, and d) get continued training.

He agreed and after almost a year of shooting, comparing, thinking, reasoning, I chose a small-frame 1911. Over time it evolved to a larger gun.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that most women don't choose heavy, large guns to carry. I am a bit unusual in that respect. And in many ways I'm still just as female as the rest. I have not EXCLUSIVELY carried the

I still do carry my 3" Kimber 1911 as well as a Colt Mustang in .380 or a S&W .357 j-frame revolver.

I have, in the past, carried full-size 1911s, the S&W M&P9c and Bersa Thunder .380. I've found the full size 1911s to be to long to draw quickly and the M&P9c was still a little too thick for my favorite mode of carry.

The Bersa was Very comfortable to carry, however.

No matter how I cut it I always come back to either the Kimber Ultra or the Wilson Professional. They are just the guns I love.

But now that I've raved about what I love, let's talk about your wife.

If it's going to be her gun she needs to pick it.

Remind her that no matter what she wants, whether it be a full-size 1911 or a Kel Tec P3AT she can stick in her pocket it doesn't mean it's too big for her or that she can't handle it. It just means she's going to have to be 100% committed to carrying it and carrying it well. If there is even the slightest chance she might leave it home for any particular reason then maybe she needs a different gun.

Remember, the little gun you take with you is better than the big gun you leave at home.

I am fortunate to have so many different firearms to choose from as we have a pretty good selection in our safe. However, if I was told I needed to choose only one gun to carry from our stash I'd have to say I'd choose one of the Colt .380s or the Kimber Ultra CDP. I would know I'd need a smaller framed gun that would fit into some of those outfits that my big 1911 wouldn't.

Fortunately, I don't have to make that choice.

Spare Mags? Speedloaders, etc.

If I'm carrying on body it means I'm USUALLY wearing a belt. If I'm wearing a belt I have a spare magazine with me.

If I have my j-frame I usually am not carrying a speedloader.

To be honest. My first priority is to carry, PERIOD. I try to get a spare on me but I don't obsess about it.

Tac Light?
I use a personal priority system. I'm a small person (5'3" 105 lbs (when not pregnant)) and I only have limited space in my pockets and on my belt. I need to prioritize what I carry on me.

If I feel it could be vital to my immediate survival it goes on my body.. First is gun, then knife, than spare magazine. There is always a spare knife in my pocket as well.

Usually, that takes up all the space on my belt so flashlight and pepper spray go in my purse, or if I'm wearing a sweater or coat with generous pocket the pepper spray and light will go there. But my priorities are first to immediate, worse case scenario survival items. I think of those as gun and knife.

Holster choices? Why? IWB or OWB on pants & skirts? Position carried? Holster types?
Purse Carry: in or out of holster? Thumbsnaps? Kydex or leather? Velcro/zippered pouch?
Fanny Packs?
Thigh Holsters?
Belly Band?
Shoulder Holsters?
Ankle Holsters?

All of the above are pretty much in one big category and I'll do my best.

MANY women find the belly band to be preferable. I don't. I've tried one, didn't like it. Perhaps one day I'll try again.

Finding the perfect place to carry, for a woman, is a challenge as our wardrobe changes considerably more than a man's does.

MOST of the time I carry either IWB or OWB at around 4:00 in a good quality belt holster.

If my outfit does not accommodate a belt I can wear my shoulder holster or purse carry (which I'm not horribly fond of) or, if the firearm is light enough, I can get away with a small IWB "clip" holster that will be held up by the garments alone.

I have both Kydex and Leather holsters. I find leather to be VERY comfortable as it gives a little more and more easily wraps around my body for a comfortable fit. However, I do love my Kydex holsters as well. They both have their benefits.

I don't do retention holsters other than my shoulder holster. The reason is pretty simple as it's already concealed, I have the element of surprise, I already need to get under my clothing to get to my gun I don't need to waste more time undoing a retention device.

I hate fanny packs, but some people love them. It does have the benefit of keeping the firearm on body so if that's the way she wants to go I am 100% for it! I just can't stand them personally.

If she does purse carry I would CERTAINLY advise carrying in a purse that has a designated compartment for her firearm and for her firearm ONLY!!!!!!!!! For one, when you are going for your gun you don't want to be searching for it among the other junk in a woman's purse. For two, you NEVER, EVER, EVER want to risk the chance of items getting inside the trigger guard of your firearm, even if it has 1000 safeties on it NOTHING should touch the trigger of your firearm unless it's your finger when your sights are on the target and you are prepared to shoot. Any holster device put in the purse to hold the gun specifically should be SECURED in the purse so that it does not just come out with the firearm if/when she draws it from the purse.

Also, I would advise carrying in a purse with a good shoulder strap that she can sling across body if she needs too. Far too many women who purse carry, when exasperated by a swinging purse, will set their purse in a shopping cart, or let it swing by their hand, etc. This is a NO-NO as a purse with a firearm is something not to be taken lightly.

It should NEVER be left unattended in ANY way. If shopping, it should be carried, or slung across the body. If sitting in a restaurant it should still be held to by some manner. I, personally, wrap the strap around my leg or hang the purse off my knee so that I can feel if it is being tugged on.

Ankle/thigh carry is last-ditch-effort kind of thing. It is very difficult to get to guns that are ankle/thigh carried, it makes you walk funny and it is VERY uncomfortable for any length of time.

Not to mention that ankle carry is extremely difficult in your average female clothing as it tends to be a bit more "clingy."

Also, my theory is, if you have to draw you have to move. You can't be moving and drawing a firearm from your leg at the same time. I know, I've tried. However, YOU CAN draw from anything at or above the waistline and still move pretty well.

Shoulder holsters are comfortable, but obviously they require a sweater or cover garment of some means. I love mine and use it a lot, especially for moments when I'm going to be sitting for an extended period of time.

All in all, I try to keep an open mind to means of carry and anything that will allow me to keep my firearm SECURELY with me (whatever firearm that might be).

I've done some videos on holsters. You can check them out if you'd like...

Holster Talk Part 1

Holster Talk Part 2
Holster Talk Part 3
Holster Talk Part 4

There's also some information on holsters on my website
Limatunes Range Diaries

And don't forget to check out Cornered Cat

Also, here are some pictures of what I've carried and how I've carried it...

My Kimber Ulra CDP in a Galco shoulder rig...

One of the Colt Mustangs in a small IWB (can't remember the manufacturer)..

My Kimber in a Blackhawk holster...

Springfield Loaded in a SOB holster...

Wilson in a Galco Avenger..

Wilson in a TT IWB, complete with Ka-Bar and spare magazine..

Wilson in a UBG Regulator..


Seven months pregnant and still carrying the Mustang...

It can be done... it's just how dedicated she is to doing it!



Even death is a poor excuse for not fighting back.

Momma bear to Garrett.. born 11/25/2008
8 lbs 4 oz, 21" long

Limatunes' Range Diaries

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