Throughout Elizabeth’s concealed carry journey she’s been practicing drawing from the holster, on-body carry. The discussion came up about off-body carry while we were chatting about her lifestyle, and the outfits she wears. This presented the perfect opportunity to show her my collection of concealed carry purses and give her a few dry-fire lessons along the way.
Sponsored by Springfield Armory
Not just any purse is suitable for carrying a concealed firearm. Following are a few items to consider when choosing a purse for off-body carry in a safe manner.
Elizabeth perused my stash of Gun Tote’n Mamas’ concealed carry purses and picked one she wanted to use to learn how to carry off-body safely. First, we measured her unloaded Springfield XD-S Mod.2 to make sure it fit in the GTM/CZY-01.
Next, Elizabeth demonstrated how she normally carries a purse cross-body. She wore the shoulder strap over her left shoulder, with the body of the purse at her right hip. We adjusted the length of the shoulder strap so the body of the purse sets in the best place for an easy draw.
Then, Elizabeth oriented the detachable holster on the Velcro to a position she wanted to try. It only took 2 practice draws to realize she needed to angle the holster more. With that change, it came time to discuss drawing from the purse.
As mentioned above, Elizabeth used her UNLOADED Springfield XD-S to learn drawing techniques and safety tips of off-body concealed carry. Here are a few more steps that will help you to adjust your purse or bag for successful on-body carry.
1. Set the zippers. Position the zippers on the gun compartment for ease of opening. Make sure you’re able to open the gun compartment and obtain a firm grip on the handgun.
2. Determine how to use your support hand to aid in the draw. This usually means grabbing firmly onto the shoulder strap where it attaches to the purse. Pull with that hand across your body while you’re drawing from the holster. Make sure to move your hand and purse out of the way to avoid sweeping the gun across your hand.
3. Then, bring up your support hand and present the gun (push it forward) with a 2-handed grip.
4. When the time comes to return the gun to your purse, it should be done with purpose. Watch as you return your gun into its holster and reset the zippers.
5. If, after numerous draws, something doesn’t seem smooth, try making adjustments to the shoulder strap length or to the position of the holster. Note, if you adjust the holster, you may need to reposition the zippers.
Carrying a firearm in a purse means you don’t have to adjust your clothing style to meet your concealed-carry needs. Just grab your purse and go. Also, in the winter, when wearing multiple layers and longer coats, your purse is still accessible in the same position. And, in situations where something doesn’t feel quite right, you can have your hand on your firearm without drawing any attention it.
Elizabeth plans on practicing drawing and dry-firing from her concealed carry purse until she feels comfortable and smooth with it. Eventually, we will add it into her live-fire training routine.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino