Concealed carry is an important right, especially for women to be able to protect themselves when they need to. Knowing the right location for concealed carry is also just as essential as the gun or the holster itself. First of all, as the name suggests, concealed carry weapons must be undetectable.
The placement will also determine its usefulness in a real-life emergency. Having it in a problematic location may render it useless, but having it too visible may also defeat the purpose of concealing it.
When you start considering carrying it already, scout the areas where you may be able to carry it, but there are things like comfort and accessibility that you must remember while doing so. Popular choices are either on your waistband or purse or wearing a holster.
Today, we will discuss all of these and more, so keep reading to find the best place to conceal carry for a woman.
Factors to consider when choosing a conceal carry location
There are five things to consider while looking for the best place to concealed carry. Use these as a checklist to find your perfect location.
If you plan to carry it daily, comfort will be your number one priority. Although it may depend on the type of gun you carry, they will still probably weigh a lot, and placing them in an uncomfortable position can result in things like chafing or may even discourage you from wearing them.
This tip is essential for those trying it out for the first time. Carrying a weapon will always feel uncomfortable at first, both emotionally and physically.
Try wearing it around the house in different locations in your body to get used to it, and to find the place where you feel the most comfortable carrying it in public.
The point of concealed carry is being able to access a self-defense weapon when the situation calls for it. Therefore, accessibility is one of the top things to consider while carrying.
Can you reach for your gun without getting caught in your shirt or loose clothing? Do you always bring a purse or bag around if you consider placing it in one?
You can always try practicing for situations like hold-ups or assaults with an unloaded gun to test your chosen location’s accessibility.
You can think of it as an element of surprise. You may never want to be in a situation where you need to use your concealed carry, but when you do, you can be more in control when introducing the firearm to the situation.
Not only is this also part of the requirement of your permit or license, but it’s also to avoid unnecessary attention or not to scare the public while you are out and about.
Take a look at your closet or everyday clothes. Are you the type to wear fitting or loose clothes?
For example, even if you may want to carry your firearm around the waistband without a holster, wearing jeans or pants that are fitting won’t have enough room and may be uncomfortable or have a more significant risk of dropping it.
Dark and loose clothing is much easier to blend with concealed carry in waist, thigh, or ankle areas. If you want to maintain your clothing choices, consider wearing a thick jacket for a bra holster or placing the gun in your purse instead.
Body shape and size
Concealed carry positions may differ according to your body size and shape. For the more hourglass types, carrying it on your waist may be challenging to conceal, and bra or ankle holsters might complement your body more.
Girls with thinner or leaner body types may have more areas to choose from since it will seem more inconspicuous. But carrying concealed ultimately comes down to it being comfortable, easily accessible, concealable, and meeting your needs.
Popular conceal carry locations for women
The most popular choice for women is usually their waistband. You can place it between your waistband and body as is or, more often, with a gun belt that snugly holds it within. This placement is nearly undetectable if you wear slightly loose pants and long shirts.
There is also the OWB holster or the outside waistband option. They can be slightly harder to conceal, but thicker coats or jackets can quickly fix this problem. You may prefer this option if you value accessibility a lot since they are easier to get to.
Purse or Handbag
A purse or handbag is a popular off-body option that many women prefer. Sometimes, holsters and firearms on your body may be too uncomfortable. In that case, a purse may be the location for you.
Although you can use a regular bag with at least a separate zipper compartment, some handbags come with a pocket holster to safely hold the firearm when not in use.
Ankle holsters are another effective way to conceal carry. They are by far one of the most comfortable and unnoticeable if you prefer wide pants. They are very easy to adapt to and can be very useful in settings like sitting down or being forced to get on your knees.
A small downside may be that the placement attracts a lot of dirt which can cause the mechanisms in the gun to malfunction or not work, so frequent cleanings and safety checks are required.
You may also opt out of wearing these holsters if you prefer active wear or leggings since women have smaller ankles which make them more visible.
There are plenty of bra holsters, but they typically function similarly. They have a clasp that attaches to a part of the bra, more commonly in the middle, and the gun sits under your chest. Some go on top or at the side or even are built-in with the bra itself.
The biggest pro of this location is how accessible it is. You can easily reach into your shirt in any situation. They are also pretty much undetectable, which is why many women prefer these kinds of holsters.
Some cons of these do include the weight of the gun on your chest. Depending on the placement, they can get quite heavy and slightly uncomfortable. You are also limited in the type of firearms you can use because the placement of guns with long barrels may not be a good option.
A thigh holster is either connected to a belt support or a tight garter holding the firearm in the inner or outer thigh.
You may use this holster for concealed carry in more dress apparel. They can be quite tricky to get to while wearing pants or shorts. These can be great for instances like wearing a skirt or dress since they are accessible, and you can dress more freely.
Most sellers suggest that you use the garter type for smaller firearms to avoid them sliding down, but otherwise, they are very comfortable and a great option to consider.
Choosing the right holster
When finding the perfect holster, there are certain things to consider for the most comfort and concealability. Below are a few considerations for your reference as you’re looking for the right one to suit your needs and preferences.
Finding the right holster can be difficult. They can be stiff and can rub on your skin, causing chafing and sores. This is why it is crucial to find one you feel comfortable using, especially when wearing it between your body and a tight garment.
The comfortability of a holster mainly relies on the material used, either leather, kydex, nylon, or a mix of any of the two. All of these are relatively comfortable, but most prefer to get leather which is sometimes expensive, but it can be a sound investment.
Holster retention is the ability of its case to hold the gun securely. This is especially important in concealed carry, so the firearm does not move around or potentially fall out of the holster.
You can check this by looking into the level of retention that a holster has to keep a firearm secured. These levels go all the way up to level IV, but for concealed carry, a level I or II retention should be good enough. This ensures that while your firearm is secure, you can also take it out swiftly when you need it.
Since holsters are considered the sheath of a gun, they can get bulky depending on the design, material, and retention mechanisms it has.
Although there are great holsters out there that are police-grade and made of great materials, they would need to be more helpful in the case of concealed carry since others can easily spot them.
Finding one that can blend in with your body type and clothes is extremely important, which is why many of the suggested locations have a variety, like IWB or OWB, so that you won’t worry about it sticking out.
Ease of use
Ease of drawing means that your holster should sit at an angle that compliments your body. You should be easily able to draw your gun from it.
A holster without the proper retention and fit will compromise your ability to draw the firearm quickly and can be dangerous to even use for practice.
Also, remember that holsters like leather and nylon tend to wear out pretty quickly if used frequently for practice. Kydex and hybrids hold up better, but in both cases, always ensure they are both in good condition to maximize ease of use.
There are plenty of factors to consider to find the best concealed carry location and even the holster itself.
Things like concealment and accessibility may be a given, but adding in clothing choices and even body types should also be considered when finding the right concealed carry location for you.
Remember that having the right location for your concealed carry can help better protect yourself when you need it the most like in self-defense situations.
The first time carrying a concealed firearm may be a bit uncomfortable, but don’t worry and spend time finding what best suits your needs.