Gun holsters for women should be different then those holsters made for men. This is simply due to the difference in the shape, size, built of their bodies and the clothes that they wear. With an increasing number of first time gun owners being women, there has also been an increase in the demand for holsters for women.
Buying a gun holster is the second most important decision after purchasing your firearm. Although your firearm may remain with you for a number of years, you are more than likely to purchase more than one gun holster for the same gun. Many gun owners also use more than one type of holster depending upon the circumstances and surroundings they are in. The same is true for women. Although conceal carry gun holsters are the preferred option but many of us like to show our guns at a shooting range or competition.
Not using a gun holster or just tucking your gun in your purse is not recommended. There are many benefits of gun holsters and they help prevent accidents and keep you safe. The 3 best holsters for women are as follows:
1) Inside the Waistband Holsters (IWB):
These types of holster are normally the first choice for new women gun owners. An inside the waist band holsters normally have clips that attach to the waistband. This helps the gun holster to easily slide down the inside of your pants. A women’s shirt is normally long enough to easily conceal the gun and prevents printing of the gun for other to see. This is precisely why IWB holsters are preferred by women as they can conceal carry their guns without significantly altering their wardrobe and personal style that they are used to. This way they can carry their guns, maintain their own unique and distinctive style of dressing and not be noticed by others.
For smaller guns, IWB holsters for women are even more ideal. They provide both safety and comfort even if worn all day long. When buying a IWB holster you need to make sure that the material over the trigger guard is sufficiently hard to prevent accidental discharge.
IWB holsters are normally normally from leather, kydex and nylon. Leather and kydex gun holsters both make the best IWB holsters. Kydex holsters keep the gun more secure and have better retention. However nothing beats the IWB leather holster especially when it comes to style and comfort. Leather holsters can also be laser engraved that makes it custom made as per an individuals personnel preferences.
2) Belly Band Gun Holsters:
A belly band holster is also another popular way of concealed carry used by women. It is basically a big band of elastic worn across your entire midsection of your body and secured with Velcro. They are traditionally made from nypoeren material and kydex. These holsters work well with almost all women apparel. The chances of the gun printing on your clothes while wearing a belly band holster is rare, even with limited clothing options like a t- shirt.
These holsters work well with most firearms ranging from the Glock, Smith and Wesson, Beretta, Springfield, etc. There are certain unique properties about this type of holster holster:
- You can easily rotate the belly band holster across the mid section of your body and adjust it to draw your gun from your right or left hand.
- Since the material they are made of is soft and it is secured by Velcro, you can wear the holster at any position across your mid section. These holsters can be adjusted lower or higher on the body and you do not have to wear it on your waist only. They can be worn on any position on your torso or even up higher on your chest towards your shoulder. These holsters are ideal since they are easily adjustable if you plan to sit on your desk or in your car seat for long hours.
- Due to the fact that the holster wraps across your entire body, there is ample room for extra ammo clips, cell phone, ID, credit cards, flashlight or pepper spray.
- The belly band holsters also have micro holes in the body of the holster to make it extra breathable for wearing it for longer durations directly against your skin without having to wear an undershirt or vest. These micro holes are especially useful when going on long runs, jogging, horseback riding, biking, hiking or for other vigorous activities without you having to think about your gun or its holster constantly.
For plus size women who find it both difficult to wear an IWB holster and draw their gun due to their weight, this is also the ideal choice. In extreme cases you can also use these belly band holsters to secure the gun on your thigh or ankle, although it is not recommended to do so.
Belly band holsters can be used in many situations and environment where your traditional gun holsters may not the best option. They give a smooth, silent and quick draw, are compatible with most of the major hand gun brands and offer complete concealment with little printing. This is a popular holster both among women and men.
3) Ankle Gun Holsters:
The ankle holster is also a popular method used by women to conceal their firearms. Ankle holster are also common amongst police and other law enforcement agencies who need a secondary or backup firearm in case of the loss of the primary gun. Most ankle holsters are made from kydex, leather or nypoeren material with a Velcro strap and are quite comfortable and safe to use.
If you work in an office and have a desk job and are seated most of the times, an ankle holster would be more convenient and faster to reach. It would also be more comfortable as it would not interfere with your desk or chair. Similarly if you spend most of your time in the seat of your vehicle an ankle holster would be ideal. If you are on your car seat, you can easily access your gun from the ankle holster without anyone even noticing it. This same applies to a person sitting on a chair working at a desk in an office.
For plus size women who find it both difficult to wear a traditional holster, an ankle holster is also an ideal choice.
One major draw back of these holsters is that since they are attached near your ankles, you do not have easy access to them and delays the draw of the gun. If you are in a standing position, it will definitely take time to get down and draw your gun.
Unlike drawing your gun from a traditional thigh or waist holster, it takes considerable practice to draw a gun from an ankle holster. While wearing an ankle holster, to draw your gun, one has to drop down on your knee level or raise your leg up to get the gun. Alternatively, you can still draw the gun and use it while dropping down on your knee level but it does require practice and good balance. Despite repeated practice a gun drawn from an ankle holster will always be more slower and a bit more awkward then drawn from your thigh or waist.
Furthermore, holstering your gun on your ankle will increase the probability of your gun and holster both getting dirty. It would require additional time and effort for you to clean them so that the dust does not interfere in your firearm’s smooth functioning.
A common issue that many ankle gun holsters users face is that the holster tends to slide down towards your feet if not properly secured and may even cause the gun to fall out. Ankle gun holsters also tend to move left and right in same position causing the gun to print on the pants, thus revealing your concealed carry weapon.
If the ankle holster does not remain firmly in one place, you loose the reference point of your gun which can cause delays in drawing which can be fatal in case of emergencies. However a good quality ankle holster should not slide down towards your feet or move sideways. These holsters normally come with additional straps to prevent shifting downwards or sideways.
It is important to remember to attach the ankle holster firmly to your leg near your ankle. A loose ankle holster will cause discomfort, distraction and keep your attention towards your gun and the holster.
Another factor that has to be taken into consideration before purchasing an ankle holster is the type of trousers that you can or cannot wear. Pants or jeans that are too tight will hamper your draw as you will not be able to pull them up fast enough and also reveal your concealed firearm due to the printing on the trousers. You should avoid slim fit or skinny jeans if you want to wear an ankle holster. Loose fitting jeans or trousers have to be worn to properly access and use an ankle holster. Furthermore the length of the trousers should be on the longer side to prevent exposing your ankle holster to others especially when seated or getting ready to stand up.
Unlike shoulder or thigh gun holsters, an ankle holster is not ideally suited for heavier or bigger guns. A heavy gun attached to your ankle after a while will start to annoy you and will cause you to fidget and constantly adjust both your gun and holster. A heavier gun attached to one leg can lead to an abnormal and funny gait while walking due to the imbalance in the weight of both legs. Ankle holsters perform better with lighter and more compact guns as the weight of the bigger gun will wear you down.
Lastly, ankle gun holsters should be ideally worn on the inside of your ankle. For example a right handed person should wear the holster on the inside of the left ankle. Similarly a left handed person should wear the holster on the inside of the right ankle. The reason for this is simple as placing the gun and holster on the inside of your leg helps prevent it from hitting other objects had it been placed on the outside of the leg. This also helps in reducing the print of the gun on your trousers and aids in concealed carry.
As mentioned on the onset, you are likely to purchase more than one gun holster for the same gun depending upon the circumstances and environment you live and work in. Although there are other hostlers available for women, these 3 holsters mentioned above are the most widely used due to the utility and comfort that they provide.