Choosing a concealed carry weapon can be a challenge for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for women. In general, women have more curves and our clothing tends to be more form-fitting than what men wear. This can make it challenging to conceal a pistol. Before selecting a concealed carry pistol, there are a few things you should think about.
First, think about how you are going to carry your pistol: on your person or in a purse, laptop bag or fanny pack. You will have more leeway with the size of the pistol if you are going to carry in a purse, but you may not be able to access the weapon as quickly. If you plan to carry on you, the size of the pistol will be an important consideration. A concealed weapon needs to stay concealed; you do not want it to “print,” meaning that you don’t want others to be able to tell that there is a gun under your clothing.
If you plan to carry on your person, you need to think about where on your body. There are many options: inside the waistband and outside the waistband, ankle holster, shoulder holster, bra holster, thigh holster, belly band, concealment shorts, and so on. If you are like most people who carry concealed, you will probably end up with several holsters to accommodate a variety of situations.
Take some time to think about how you spend your day. Do you sit at a desk? Will the gun be pressed uncomfortably against your back while sitting in a chair for 8 hours? Do you wear a work uniform? Do you leave your purse at your desk unattended? Do you work outdoors or have a job that entails a lot of physical activity? If you are planning to carry full-time, make sure your holster and gun selection works with your lifestyle, otherwise you won’t carry as often as you intend.
Next, you’ll want to decide on the caliber for your pistol. When it comes to caliber, you’ll want the largest caliber you can safely and accurately shoot. This will be different for everyone based on their ability, but also based on how you plan to carry. Some people end up selecting a smaller caliber pistol that holds fewer rounds in order to conceal it, but that is better than not carrying at all.
To further narrow down your selection, you’ll want to choose whether you are going to carry a revolver or semi-automatic pistol. What type of action do you prefer to shoot: single action, double action only (DAO), or double action on the first shot with subsequent shots in single action (DA/SA)? If you select a semi-automatic pistol, do you want it to have a manual safety or not?
Reliability of the gun manufacturer should be high on your list during the decision making process, too. It’s important to have an ultra-reliable self-defense firearm, so make sure to select a quality gun with a great track record. This is not an area to skimp in. Most self-defense situations are over within seconds, so you want a gun you can trust your life with!
Selecting a concealed carry weapon can seem daunting at first, but you can quickly narrow down your choices by thinking about the questions posed in this blog. If you can, you’ll want to ‘try before you buy’ to ensure that you make the best choice for you. BluCore has a large rental fleet that includes many of the popular carry guns for you to try. Click here to find out more. We also offer a Concealed Carry Pistol class that delves deeply into laws pertaining to CCW, the variety of concealment holsters, learning how to draw effectively and quickly from concealment, and live fire drills where you put this all into action.
Coming soon: Part 2 of this blog will discuss several of the most popular carry guns for women.