Changing how you carry

No matter how or where you carry a gun, I’m sure you know how important it is to train with it and be comfortable with it there. I carried several different guns openly, in a belt holster, for many years, but after I started teaching concealed carry, I knew I needed to carry that way myself enough to work out the kinks and understand completely how it worked and become comfortable with it myself. You can’t really teach what you don’t know.

I’ve gone through the CC training myself several times over the years, trying out many different holsters and carry locations, and discovered that I just couldn’t get comfortable with anything under my clothing, or having to partially undress to draw a gun. None of that was going to work for me.

So, about a year ago, I bought my first nylon “fanny pack,” made especially to carry a gun. The semi-automatic wouldn’t fit into it, so the Ruger Sp101 revolver wound up as my carry gun. I wore it, trained with it, and worked hard to get good with it, but the five round limitation of the revolver always bothered me. I carried two “speed loaders,” but reloading a revolver is anything but speedy, and I couldn’t imagine being happy with it in an emergency.

I haunted the gun shows and tried out any number of “gun purses” and fanny packs, but they all had more problems or limits than what I already had, not to mention the fact that most were seriously expensive. And then I found the ONE I’d been looking for. My Springfield XD compact 9mm fits in it like a hand in a custom made glove, and the spare magazine fits into a front pouch perfectly – leaving plenty of room for wallet, lip balm and a pack of tissues. I have not carried a purse for many years, and I discovered it was nice to get all that stuff out of my pockets.

DTOM Concealed Carry Fanny Pack BUFFALO / BISON LEATHER-Tan

Training with it came next, and it took me a little while to change a few things I’d been doing with the previous fanny pack. Then it was ready to take out into public. So far so good. The concealment is far superior to any holster under clothing, as far as I’m concerned. There is no possibility of “printing” or accidental exposure. If I avoid the “tell” of patting or adjusting it constantly, nobody will know the gun is there. And, unlike a purse, I likely won’t ever walk off and leave it.

I much prefer to carry openly, and my belt holster hasn’t changed in seven years, but I’m still interested in looking at and talking about the different ways people find to carry concealed, especially other women.

How do you carry? If you’ve tried using a “fanny pack” or purse for CC and didn’t like it, or still have problems with it, why not drop a line here and tell us about it? If we put our heads together, we can probably come up with something.


  1. Kalaryn says:

    I agree that carry purses are really expensive but they are ugly as sin as well. I’m not a fan of having something that might be set down, stolen or lost. I much prefer on body carry. I just recently got my CCW so I have yet to experiment with different carry options, I’m in need of a good under waistline holster where the retention strap goes between the hammer (my current one doesn’t so I don’t use it). So far the only way I have carried is my thigh holster, so far it works well and I’ve practiced a lot drawing, I don’t have to completely get undressed. I can’t consider any of the bra holsters because I lack the real estate to properly conceal it. lol.

    I went to a female holster class, they went over purses, bra holsters, the fanny pack everything but the thigh holster (no not a tactical thigh holster either). I did show mine to the class since there wasn’t one. Kathy, the speaker, pointed out the one flaw about my holster, which I was able to say, yes I recognize that and have done a work around. The flaw is that the retention strap in velcroed and doesn’t just snap open. My work around was to practice grabbing the strap at the same time as grabbing my hem.

    I’m glad you made mention of people needing to practice drawing from their carry positions, had I not done that, I wouldn’t have had that work around in place if I did ever have to draw.

    • I can’t even begin to imagine trying to carry on my thigh that way, but I’m glad there are so many different options so we can find the one that works for us. I would, however, urge you to at least try a few others anyway. You just never know when you’ll come across something better! 🙂 That’s why I continue to take all kinds of training, and expose myself to new ideas and equipment as much as my poor budget will allow. Of course, I need to learn and understand as many of the options as possible so I have a wide variety to offer students, but I find it personally satisfying and, occasionally, very helpful as well. Keeps the old lady on her toes anyway. 🙂

      Sorry it took so long to get your comment approved… didn’t realize Tammy wasn’t watching them. OOPS. 🙂

  2. Just wanted to say, good to see you back!

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