WON Landing Page March 2022

How They Carry Concealed with Michelle Waldran and Gabby Franco

As we continue talking with women of the industry about their concealed carry lifestyle, today we are learning from two more dynamic women and their preferred firearms and methods of carry. 

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Michelle Waldran is a handgun instructor for the Council on Law Enforcement and Training (C.L.E.E.T.) in Oklahoma and an NRA pistol instructor. Gabby Franco is a former Olympian and Top Shot contestant, as well as an instructor. Walther chose both women for their pro-staff.

How They Carry Concealed

Michelle Waldran

Michelle Waldran 

What gun do you use for concealed carry? Why do you like it?

I carry the Walther Arms PPS M2 chambered in 9mm. It’s smaller than a compact but larger than a micro. I love this gun because it shoots well like a full-size gun, but very concealable. I also love the option of three different size magazine capacities. A six-round magazine is flush with the bottom of the grip (less printing when you want to wear something more fitted), a seven-round magazine that has a small extended base pad and an eight-round capacity magazine has a full finger grip extension base so it allows you to ‘hang on’ to the gun better when you are out at the range for target practice sessions.

How do you carry?

Ninety percent of the time I carry on my body. I also purse or pack/sling carry, depending on the activity, such as hiking, indoor/outdoor special events.

Michelle Waldron wearing Dene Adams Corset
Michelle Waldran wearing Dene Adams Corset

What kind of holster do you use?

Dara Holsters Kydex in Minimalist. I love Dene Adams fabric corset holsters when I don’t want to wear a belt. I’ll also use a designated gun purse by Tactica Defense Fashion which has a separate outer compartment that closes automatically by a magnet.

Do you carry more than one way?

Absolutely. All depending on the environment and activities.

Michelle Waldron Thigh Carry

Do you practice drawing from concealment?

Yes. Every morning when I’m getting dressed. I make sure it clears the garment/material and I function test it with my gun unloaded. When I am satisfied with the outfit or purse/pack, I load and chamber-check before stepping out for the day. 

What tips do you have for concealed carry?

Always practice drawing from your holster unloaded, especially if that holster is new. Get proficient with your gear.  

Find out more about Michelle Waldran at Walther’s website, and also on Facebook and Instagram.

Gabby FRanco Concealed Carry

Gabby Franco

What gun do you use for concealed carry? Why do you like it? 

I carry the Walther Arms PPQ subcompact 9mm. I like that it’s a 9mm, that it has more capacity and that it accepts the regular PPQ magazines. I’m also very familiar and comfortable with the platform since I have carried and trained with it for the past four years.

How do you carry? 

On-body. For a long time, especially during the summer, I used a cross-body purse. But after an event I had with Walther Arms and Michelle Waldran, she said, “Gabby, you need to carry appendix” and I said, “I don’t know if I can do that, I’ll look like I’m pregnant.” So, I tried it and I’ve been carrying appendix for the last few months, and I’m actually digging it. It comes down to understanding your body, finding the right tops and belts and the right pants. The belts especially are a big deal for me. I don’t have the big buckle because that makes it even bulkier in front. Understanding how you carry, and also obviously practicing, getting to the gun and clearing the gun from your clothing, is very important. 

What kind of holster do you use? 

I have an inside-the-waistband holster that I wear with a belt. I’ve been practicing drawing and dry-firing, making sure of the mechanics of the process, learning which of my tops work best so that I can clear and reach the gun properly. 

Gabby Franco Concealed Carry Facebook 2

Do you carry more than one way? 

No, I used to carry in the small of the back but I realized it’s hard to get to my gun. I didn’t carry appendix earlier because I didn’t know how to do it. And that’s like a lot of things in life. 

Do you practice drawing from concealment? 

Yes, I dry fire often and go to the range regularly.

What tips do you have for concealed carry? 

It can be hard to put your thumb between the gun and your body so I put my thumb on top of the back of the gun to get it out. There are different techniques. Everybody, every anatomy, every holster is different. Some holsters may create a gap, so you need to learn your body and how the system works for you and your body to draw efficiently. I would say definitely practice dry firing and getting the mechanics down. 

Also, women sometimes feel uncomfortable, they feel like everyone is looking at them. They wonder if anyone can tell they’re carrying. I believe it’s completely the opposite. Everyone is so busy no one notices. How often do you go around looking at people’s waists? So, I would say get something that you feel comfortable with and don’t worry about anyone else. If you feel it prints too much, which sometimes happens to me, just add a light jacket. If you’re a girly-girl, you don’t have to change anything, you don’t have to change who you are. It’s possible to carry concealed no matter how you dress.

Find out more about Gabby at  Walther’s website, and also at her website, as well as on Instagram and Twitter.

  • About Nancy Keaton

    Nancy Keaton is a retired college administrator, president of her local gun club, competitive shooter and freelance writer whose work has appeared in A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, "American Shooting Journal," "American Concealed," "Northwest Meetings + Events," and other publications. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics and interviewing ordinary people doing amazing things. To see a compilation of her writing, check out https://nancykeaton.contently.com.

     

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