Michelle Waldran is one of Walther’s pro-shooters. She also blogs over at XS Sights. Recently, we noticed a photo of Michelle at her Instagram platform. In the photo, she is wearing a pregnant belly and a bellyband holster. Michelle authored “Carrying a gun while pregnant” for the XS Sights publication. Michelle, obviously, is not pregnant, but we decided to ask her what she discovered while testing various bellybands with her fake belly, along with a few other factors to consider when choosing a holster and wearing your gun on your body.
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Why did you decide to test on-body carry as if you are pregnant?
I’ve had several ladies following me, and wanting to take my ladies’ only class. (I’m in the process of offering more than basic instruction.) I have two ladies that are pregnant and one was really concerned because she said, ‘I can’t wear my belt system (bellyband holster) anymore.’ At first I thought, ‘I have no idea! I don’t have children!’ And, then I thought that this is something I need to figure out … because she did not want to purse carry. So I was on a mission, and at the same time, so many companies with bellybands have been contacting me, so it worked out. In May, XS Sights asked me if I had a topic that I wanted to talk about at their blog, and I thought, ‘You know, I do!’
How many holster systems did you try?
Where did you get the pregnant belly to strap on?
Amazon. I was talking to Dene Adams, and she said, ‘I’m going to send it to you!’
Did you find one that was a winner?
For me, it was the Dene Adams modular bellyband. It changed my world, especially in the summertime, because holsters can be hot, but the Dene Adams material is great.
Did the bellybands offer abdominal support as well?
Yes. I wore the Dene Adams without the belly for about 13 hours and I didn’t even realize that the gun was there. I’m definitely sold on that one.
When you get a new holster, regardless of it’s a bellyband style, should you do function checks with it?
When I get new equipment, I do a function check; of course, with dry-fire. Every morning – unless I’m wearing the same outfit – every time I wear something different, I do my ‘squat test’ to see if the holster is going to ride up or shift. I always check the material and the screws, at least every couple of weeks. The Kydex holster has the locking screws with it, so I know that they won’t back out, but I have several without the lockout systems built in. I do check that quite a bit. I learned that from shooting in competition, everything gets shifted as you’re moving and several times my magazines would fall out of their holders, and I’d look down and the screws were gone.
When you do go to live fire, what do you advise with new equipment?
Some ranges do not allow you to shoot out of the holster. You’ll need to check that. If you’re confident enough, with where your trigger finger is going to go, if you have the chance to shoot live fire, do that. A lot of people don’t realize that I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of dry fire; I practice to the point where I’m comfortable to draw, and with the fabric holsters and holsters that go deep inside your pant line, you need to make sure the grip comes out so you can grip it solid.
Most of the time, when I’m dry firing, I don’t even finish the draw. If I get to the gun and I don’t have a solid grip, I won’t even draw. It’s a bad habit you’re building. I’ll just start over again until I have a solid grip.
On another note … you’re quite the fashionista. What have you found this year style-wise that lends itself to concealed carry?
I’m always researching hair, because of up-to-date fashion, but fashion appears to be flowy and loose. That allows for the bellyband, and shorts [with built-in holsters] that you can wear underneath. I’ve been digging in my closet thinking, ‘I have all these summer dresses! Why don’t I wear them?’
A lot of times I think I want to dress in tactical style, because I don’t want people to think I’m a gun bunny. But, now I think, it’s OK to post pics of myself in dresses and still be a strong woman.