Camouflage is one of the greatest inventions in the world to me. It started off as a basic concept, use colors and fabrics to help hide a hunter and has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry. Companies have created a pattern for just about every circumstance one could find themselves in. One of my co-associates, Katie-Kins, wrote a great blog about a bunch of different patterns.
I found myself strolling my old stomping grounds, Gifts, and found some rather cool items that I have had a personal interest in. They were an assortment of concealed-carry bags, made by Emperia. These are purses, satchels or bags that are specifically designed for women who carry concealed firearms. They have a side pouch where the firearm is contained. All one must do is unzip the side pocket, reach in and are good to go.
Now one thing to understand about carry concealed purses is that you are intended to shoot straight through the bag. It takes precious seconds for one to remove the firearm and then utilize it. In dangerous situations, seconds are extremely important. There are incredible amounts of statistics that prove this but this one sticks out the most to me. It takes roughly an average of 3 seconds for someone to cover 21 feet while running. So if a threat is realized about 25 feet away, one only has a few seconds to be ready to respond with a firearm. The extra time one would spend removing the firearm from the bag could result in tragedy.
So you shoot through your purse and have to buy a new one? I am OK with that every and any day of the week as compared to what else could happen.
I have been working with my wife to get her to carry for a while now. A common question women have is “where am I going to put it?!” The carry-concealed bag is great because it allows one to carry something most do every day. Most of these bags have a built in holster, with Velcro attached inside the compartment, to hold the firearm. It is your basic holster so a wide variety of firearms can be utilized in it, or one can use their own.
Now as I mentioned way above, there is some camouflage involved. Many of these bags we sell come in a variety of patterns.
We also have a couple for the more Western-style inclined.
These options leave plenty of room in the main compartment for ladies to pack their usual daily necessities. There is also plenty of room for a spare magazine or speed-loader if needed/desired.
Now while we are talking about concealed-carry, let us discuss possible options as well. Please note, none of this is to be “sexist” or derogatory. These are generalizations and stuff I have personally experienced.
There is the phrase “the best caliber firearm to carry is the largest one you can comfortably shoot”. I agree mostly with this, but when it comes to concealed-carry one usually ends up with a smaller handgun. Typically the best firearms are those in the .380 Auto, .38 Special and 9mm Luger calibers. These work well enough in smaller frame handguns and can be quite effective. Now if one is comfortable shooting a .40S&W or .45ACP, then go for it. Just remember you may love shooting them in a full-size but not a compact or sub-compact.
I personally bought my wife the Smith & Wesson 642 in .38Special+P. It is a snub-nosed revolver that holds 5 rounds. The +P means it can hold more powder than regular, but she can still shoot the regular while practicing. And believe me; you can feel the difference between the two. It turns out that this handgun is a common choice for women. I chose it because it is something she could handle, easy to conceal and easy to operate.
Having to use a firearm can be a high-stress situation. And during it, one could forget a part of the process to getting the firearm to fire. This revolver is pretty much “point and pull”. There are no external safeties, and when my wife would pull the trigger it will go off. (Please don’t get on me about using the term “pull” when it comes to shooting etiquette.)
Now other good options are the compact or sub-compact semi-auto handguns. These firearms can hold more rounds than a snub-nosed revolver and reloading with a magazine can be easier than using a speed-loader for your revolver. They also tend to have external safeties which can help new carriers deal with having a firearm on their person. The personal protection handgun industry has flooded the market with all sorts of new options. Personally, the M&P Shield is not a bad option… If one wants to as well they could pick up the M&P Compact, which can utilize the full sized clips whereas the Shield cannot. (Can you tell I’m a fan of the M&P yet?)
Now if one is seriously looking at getting into carrying-concealed, do not take it lightly. Get a permit (especially where mandatory), do some research and take classes. Everything will help you in the long run. If possible, find a shooting range where one can hopefully rent and test possible choices first before buying. Or join a discussion board or group in your area. Others will usually be more than likely to help out when it comes to this.