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What does it mean to be well armed?

 

describe the imageYes, another Jeff Foxworthy take off, but I just could’t resist. The responses to this “fill in the blank” astonished me. Most made me laugh out loud while others made me realize just how significant it is to be A Well Armed Woman. There were hundreds and hundreds and the task of selecting a few to share with you was daunting and frustrating as I would have loved to share them all with you, but here we go...

You know you’re a Well Armed Woman When...

Keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction has nothing to do with your German short haired pointer!

Your husband is using the 409 cleaner and you tell him to keep his finger off the trigger unless he is ready to fire.

You know what frog lube is!!!

When digging in the bottom of your purse for change, you pull out a handful of stray spent casings from the range

You have more guns then shoes!

describe the image

22-9-45-38 are not your lottery picks!!!

You walk into the gun store and everyone knows your name. 

Wearing purple makes you feel like you should be at the range.

The guns you got in the divorce were yours to begin with.

If you’re now on YouTube more than your teenager

Your kitchen is a mess but your Ammo is stacked neatly & arranged by caliber & load 

When remembering your “First Time” has a whole other meaning...

You turn on the blow dryer and wonder if you need hearing protection on.

Your idea of feminine protection isnt tampaxWhen you have a holster to match each outfit

Your husband's friends call  to ask YOUR advice on gun purchases and shooting drillsdescribe the image

When your husband leaves for deployment and tells you to defend this house and family if needed.

You are not afraid to enter a gun shop and buy ammo BY YOURSELF...

You prefer Hoppes #9 to Chanel #5You shop & dine where it's legal to carry

When you don't have any more room in your gun safe!

You'd rather go to the range than the mall

Your husband thanks you for protecting him all day.

When you prevent yourself from being the victim.Your carjacker runs!I read all of these wonderful answers and celebrate the fact to SO MANY WOMEN are gun-savvy and carrying nowdays.describe the image

Yes, this is fun stuff but the thought of so many women, living their lives with the knowledge and skill to protect themselves is really profound.

Just think about it - if  women could be armed in every sense of the word to defend themselves, just how different things would be.  

So, how would you finish this statement? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook or Twitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Concealed Carry Handguns for Women in the Summer

 

In Arizona, our temperatures have already hit 100!  The hot weather of summer can make concealed carry quite a challenge. For many of you, you also have humidity to deal with! Unfortunately, for many women this results in leaving the gun at home. Our need to protect ourselves does not go down in the summer, we must find ways to carry in every season.

I wish I had the one true simple fix for you, but I don't. Here however are some things that can help you better and more comfortably conceal as the temperatures increase and your clothing decreases!!

Remember though, there are times, as an armed woman, you will have to make some adjustments and sacrifices to accomplish carrying effectively and safely all of the time. There is no perfect solution and the bottom line may be you must make some changes. The only other option is to not carry, likely not what you want.  

Go Looser and Longer

Thankfully, light, loose and whispy doesn't ever go out of style. Looser, lighter clothing is not only more comfortable, it is cooler too as it allows the air to circulate and keep things cool! Wear a long cotton shirt with your summer shorts/skirts to easily conceal your in the waist or on the belt holstered gun. Wear patterned shirts and dresses, the pattern helps to helps to minimize any "bulge".  The Betty is a great in the pants holster in any season. Its minimal design means less stuff in your pants. The Magnetic is a very popular holster for the simple reason it requires no belt or heavy waist band to secure itself to the waistband. If wearing summer dresses, the bra holsters (mentioned above) are a good bet along with  the Pistol Wear Under arm and the Ultra Under arm, both made with great breathable fabrics and are another great choice.

Betty Holster shown   betty karh in use 3cropped resized 600

Betty holster shown above

 

Go Deeper

Summer weight pants, shorts and skirts means lighter and weaker waistbands which can make on the waist or in the pants carry very difficult. Try a holster that isn't dependent on the waistband such as the Pistol Pouch which "buries" the firearm down on the pelvic area. This is a cotton holster with a thin band that is worn around your hips.  Your belly band worn low and on your hips can also be a solution, but tend to be a bit warmer because of the elastic. Both bra holsters, the Flashbang and the Marilyn are also good choices. The Pistol Wear Under Arm  and Ultra Under Arm holsters also are great "deep" choices. Keep in mind however that going deeper brings with it some challenges, mainly accessing your gun quickly and safely. Practice these draws regularly with your unloaded gun. Carrying your firearm off body should be your last choice. Carrying in a concealed carry purse introduces much greater levels of risk and provides access to your gun that no one should have. The utmost care MUST be taken when doing so.

 

pwunder arm front 3photo  pw in use 2 web

Pistol Wear Under Arm Holster shown above

Go Smaller

Although not the ideal solution, as we don't want to give up firepower if we don't have to. Carrying a smaller gun in the summer months is an option and is better than not carrying any gun at all. if you can afford a second gun, the very small and compact semi-automatics and lightweight revolvers are very easy to hide. Some are now so slim that they don't create a bulge, and who needs more of those?? You may want to research the available holsters for these models prior to purchasing to make sure the type of holster you want/need to wear is available for it. One important thing to be aware of is that the smaller, lighter guns will have quite a bit more recoil to contend with. They simply don't have the weight and size necessary to absorb it, so that means your hand an arm do!!!

 

Beretta Nano

Pico 0057

 

Perhaps you have some things that have worked for you that are not covered here. Please feel free to post them.

Stay cool ladies and stay safe!

 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

If our guns could talk...

 

A few things our guns might say if they could talk:

I don’t care what your buddies said about that gun.  You do not need to get your hands on her to see how she shoots.

I am not going to fit into that holster.  How long have we been together, and you still don't know what size I am?

No, that's ok, I don't need any attention.  I'll just keep working no matter dirty or tired I am, because you need me to.  It's ok.  Really.  Don't worry about little ole me.

Those are most certainly aftermarket accessories.  She didn't leave the factory with those sights.

I’m trying to watch what I eat.  Could I maybe have some of the top shelf ammo once in a while?

Let’s see if her finish is that nice after being in your holster for 10 years. 

Who taught you how to lubricate?  Oil doesn’t go there.

Are you ever going to clean out this range bag?  It stinks in here. 

You're obviously lost, so be a real man and ask directions.  The match starts in 20 minutes and I don't want to be late. 

Oh, the match is over?  No, I don’t mind if you go hang out with your shooting buddies.   I’ll just sit here patiently waiting for you, in this filthy range bag.

How would you like to spend the day stuffed in your pants?

I know you would like to play with two of us at the same time, but that only works in the movies.

Fine.

Her action won't be that smooth after 20 years and 300,000 rounds.

These scratches will not buff out and the finish is wearing off my frame.  Sigh.  Will you still love me when I’m old?

What do you mean I could use a new set of "springs?"  What exactly is wrong with the ones I have? 

It’s no big deal to let other people squeeze my trigger.  I’ll still come home with you.

You're very good with me dear, but some projects might be beyond your abilities.  Why don't you just call the gunsmith?

Every time you time you miss a shot, I laugh a little.

I saw you looking at that other gun.  Am I not good enough for you?  What does she have that I don’t?

Do these grips make me look fat?

Behind every good shooter is a good gun. Don't you forget it Mister.

Maybe if you kept your eyes on my sights, you would hit the target.

I can smell that gun oil on you.  Where have you been?

Don’t blame me for the score sheet.  You were the one pulling the trigger.

I know you don't like commitment, but we would both be much happier if it was just the two of us.  What do you need those other guns for?

How was your day?  Mine was fine.  I just sat here in the safe waiting for you to pay some attention to me.

Yes dear, you are the best shooter I’ve ever had.

this is it

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An Honest Look At The Concealed Carry Purse

 

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

The Concealed Carry Purse, people either love them or they hate them. To carry your firearm in a concealed carry purse is your decision to make and there is no right or wrong answer. What there is though, is what is recommended. You are an intelligent woman who can consider all of the information, the risks and the pro's and con's and make an intelligent decision for yourself if a concealed carry purse is right for you. Why do so many fiercely counsel against this popular mode of carry? Likely for two reasons. One, there is serious risk anytime our guns are not on our bodies and two, it limits our ability to respond as quickly as possible and those seconds could count! These are very real issues that must be considered and consciously accepted by you when making the decision to holster your gun in a concealed carry purse. I trust you will do this.



What do I think about concealed carry purses? First, I must tell you that I believe my role is to provide information and resources and let you make your own decisions. My opinion is just that, my opinion and really only matters to me in making the decision for myself. What do I know? I know that awareness and practice are key. Do I carry in a concealed carry purse? Yes, sometimes I do. Why? Because there are times that if I didn't, I wouldn't have my gun with me, and that is not an option for me. (As long as it is legal) 
I know myself - I know my capabilities - and I practice. Having your gun holstered somewhere ON your middle is BEST. It is close, it is safe and it easy to get to. You really can't argue with that. On The Body is the safest and best way to carry your gun, Period! Can you carry safely in a concealed carry purse, yes you can. The proper purse, meticulous awareness, and practice drawing/shooting from one is the key. 


When choosing to carry in a concealed carry purse, here are some questions you might ask yourself in making this decision:



  • Am I forgetful?
  • Have I left my purse behind in the last 6 months, in the restroom, a restaurant or store?
  • Am I around small children regularly who might have access to my purse?
  • Am I willing to carry my purse cross-body to minimize risk of someone taking my purse?
  • Can I keep it on me and store it properly when it must be off my body?
  • Will I vow to always have my gun in a holster in a designated compartment of the purse?
  • Am I disciplined enough to practice the awkward draw and use of my gun from the concealed carry purse? (yes, you may very likely need to shoot through the purse to not loose the precious seconds)

These are just a handful of important questions to ask yourself. It is your decision, one that it is important you make honestly and thoughtfully. If you can't answer these questions with confidence, than even if you think this is the best option for you because of the convenience, it likely is not a good choice for you.



Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com
Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube
This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.



Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Things that go crash in the night...

 
The word 'gun' conjures up different images, depending on who is thinking it. We think of guns as tools of the trade, as hunting implements, as devices for our hobbies.

Beretta Model 96
And then there are stories that bring the many facets of a gun alive, showing, for example, that a handgun purchased originally for concealed-carry can serve its purpose when we're home, and the threat is not another person, bent on threatening our welfare, but dangerous, nonetheless.

The story below is from Dean Rosnau, who holds a CCW license and a Beretta 96.
When a noise awakens him and his wife in the middle of the night, Dean is prepared for anything. Well, almost anything.

"I was awakened at 0100 by some crashing sounds, clearly coming from the downstairs area of our home. My wife stated, "Something's in our kitchen!"

I jumped out of bed, threw on some pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, and grabbed my model 96 .40 cal Beretta and an extra mag. (loaded with 180 grain S & W FMJ) I chambered a round and started downstairs, not knowing whether someone or someTHING was in my home. (I am a CCW holder) More noises drew me towards the kitchen. Nearing the kitchen at the end of our hallway, with weapon in a lowered safe position, I suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from the dining room, 20 feet away, and I raised my weapon in that direction.

There, halfway through the window, was a HUGE bear. My ability to fire was compromised by a home across the road, directly in the line of fire should I have missed. I resorted to yelling..."Get out of here you son of a bitch!"....the bear backed out of the window. I went to the front door, on the wall 90 degrees from where the bear was standing on the deck, and switched on the porch light, in hopes that the bear would get scared and flee. Seconds after the lights came on, there was a huge crash of splintering wood....I assumed the bear went right through the deck rail.

I opened the front door and took 4 steps towards a blind corner leading to the front deck where the bear had been. 20 feet from that blind corner, the bear suddenly appeared in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and raised my weapon. The bear immediately raised it's lips, snarled at me, then started straight for me. As I backed toward the open front door, I squeezed off 4 rounds, striking the bear with all 4 in the chin and forehead. The bear wobbled, but kept coming.

I stepped into the open door, and the bear went down the steps off the deck into the front yard, clearly wounded. Not wanting to let a wounded bear get out in the community, I stepped forward towards the bear, and from 15 feet, put two more rounds in the hind quarters to slow it down. The bear then wobbled more severely, but headed towards my driveway. From 30 to 40 feet, I put the last four rounds into her, then slapped in my second mag.

The bear dropped on my driveway, clearly mortally wounded, and I walked up to it and fired 3 rounds to the head. Done.

This whole event...from the moment I saw the bear in the window, to when she was dead and down, was less than 60 seconds. (Notice the look on my face in the picture... kinda like, 'What just happened?'

Later that morning, the [Department of Fish and Game] came and retrieved the carcass. The sow weighed 322 pounds, and was 'Wanted' for breaking into numerous homes for the past 2 years."



You can view a larger version of this image here.

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3 Concealed Carry Tips For People With A Disabilities

 
I was diagnosed and treated for a rare muscle tumor when I was 17. The cancer was so rare that I was only the 7th person diagnosed with it and the first person to ever survive it. I was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN which is an awesome hospital and I strongly recommend that you help support they hospital with donations or fundraisers.

I spent 6 months in treatment and have been in remission since December of 1997. Eventually the side effects of the radiation treatment set in and the scar tissue in the radiation area set up like concrete. I reached the point where I couldn’t move my left hip or knee. I walked with a very pronounce limp.

In March 2010, I broke my bad leg. My femur snapped where the good bone and the irradiated bone met and the bad bone shattered into 3 pieces. Two years, ten months, two surgeries, a bone graft and two titanium rods later (the first non-slip rod slipped), and I am still on crutches and will be for the foreseeable future.

The bone started mending after the second surgery but the healing is slow due to the poor circulation in the radiation area and also due to the poor condition of my femur bone. The doc was shocked when what looked like dead bone started healer. I guess it was just mostly dead. Thanks to God for the miracle of the human body.

I’ve told you all of that so that you can know that I know what it is like to live with a physical disability. As you know from my previous posts Crutching Around With A CCW and 3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches I now have a concealed carry permit and have been working out the best way for me to carry a concealed weapon.

Here are 3 Tips for folks with a disability that conceal carry:

Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You What Is Best For You – talk to people, get opinions but when it comes down to it, you need to carry what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you should be carrying a .45 for the stopping power when your arthritis will barely let you use a .22. The choice of a carry pistol has to be what works best for you.

When is comes to how you will carry concealed, you will need to figure out what works best for you with that too. In your case, a lot of the recommended conceal carry techniques and holsters may not work for you. Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for you. You need to work it all out in a way that best suits your needs.

Practice Your Way – Once you have the best method that fits your situation, practice, practice, practice. This applies to everyone but more so to someone with a disability that might impede their ability to draw their weapon. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.

Don’t Carry a Gun – I know that sounds radical but hear me out, if your disability doesn't allow you to draw or shoot your pistol or allows an attacker a more than average chance of taking your pistol away from you, don’t carry one. You are responsible to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. If your disability makes carrying a pistol a danger to others either by your inability to fire the weapon safely and accurately or by the potential of your weapon being used against others then you should seriously consider not carrying a pistol.

Instead, you could carry a knife and tactical flash light. In a pinch, those two items are quite effective. I am not sure where I heard this saying but is has stuck with me (I am paraphrasing): Someone can take a gun away from you without getting shot, but no one can take a knife away from you without getting cut.

What do you think? Anyone else have some tips that you want to add?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Check out www.BeretttaUSA.com and make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can check me out on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram Instagram
 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Going Through The Change

 

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Photo: Change of seasons by Silveryn


I suppose I could be writing about the change of seasons as we all are invigorated by the crisp weather and the changing leaves. Or, I could even be writing about THE CHANGE. You know: the change that involves hormones and hot flashes! 

No, I won’t go there; not today.  The change I am talking about is the very profound change that a woman goes through after making the decision to own a firearm, goes through the very important process of deciding which firearm is right for her and training to properly, safely and proficiently learn how to shoot it to defend herself. 

It changes us profoundly. We feel different and we move through our daily lives differently. We in fact are different. How so? We have confidence. With this new sense of confidence we start to look people in the eyes more when we are out and about. We scan the environment with new keen sense of awareness of possible risks and people out of place. We walk through parking lots, restaurants and other public places more prepared and with the confidence that given the worst possible case scenario, we know we are fully prepared to give it all we’ve got to defend ourselves. This not only changes us in the realm of self protection, it also effects every aspect of our lives and relationships.

I believe society breeds high levels of insecurity in women, socially, emotionally and physically. We seem to always be the “weaker one” or the one “not good enough”. The ability to level the playing field, or more appropriately the battle field, is extremely significant for a woman. We feel less like a victim and more like an empowered, fierce force. 


The role of self protector doesn’t come naturally for most women. We are raised to believe we are protected by others. Today, this just isn’t an option for it is not possible in this crazy world, with out crazy schedules to be protected by our men, our police or others all of the time. Women are taking on this role with courage, intelligence and passion.

So we are changed on the outside because we now carry a firearm and are equipped to defend ourselves, but we are also changed on the inside because we carry a new sense of confidence that impacts every area of our lives. 

Has it changed you? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

When you've got to go.... You've got to go!

 
by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor


The ladies' room, potty, doing your business, going to the bathroom, or even powdering your nose. Whatever you call it - we ALL have to do it! The problem is, what in the world do you do with your concealed firearm when you do? 

For some obvious reasons, men have it a little easier in this department, well... most of the time. There is quite a bit of confusion and not a lot of discussion on this “interesting” topic. In a recent discussion on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page, the lack of information clearly results in less-than-safe solutions. So, what should you do? You don’t want anyone in the next stall to see your firearm, freak out and call 911 when you’re simply answering Mother Nature’s call. You don’t want it to fall on the floor and slide over to into the next stall with a mother assisting her young child and you certainly don’t want to do anything that could risk an accidental discharge. So what do you do? 

Photo: Theo Romeo UCD Advocate
The answer is quite simple. The less you do the better! Any time your remove your firearm from its holster you create risk. A well-made "in the pants" or "on the waist" holster should hold your firearm snug, even if you accidentally turn it upside down. If yours doesn’t, get a new one.  Not everyone likes a thumb break but here is a good place where they come in handy. Keep your hand on the HOLSTERED firearm as you carefully slide down your pants and keep your hand on it. Keep the top of your pants up off the floor and out of view from “neighbors”. If you’re wearing a belt, this is even more important as once you undo your belt - the weight of whole package takes on a mind of its own. 

The problems arise when you remove the firearm to get comfortable. Some of you are placing it on the toilet paper dispenser, the back of the toilet and even hanging it by the trigger guard on the hook on the door. These are no safe solutions and yes, even the most responsible and conscientious gun owners can leave and forget their firearms behind. It has happened, perhaps it has even to you. 

Many women are wearing bra holsters and belly bands. With these holsters this challenge is eliminated. For those of you that carry in your purse, as awkward as it may be, place your purse on your lap or even hang it over your body cross body style.  

If for some reason not addressed here you MUST remove the firearm from your body, keep it holstered and hold it or keep it on your lap while you’re “busy”.

All of this “work” just to do your business may seem cumbersome, uncomfortable and even a pain in the neck. The truth is, this comes with the responsibility of safe gun ownership. If you really think about it, we are very lucky to even have the right and opportunity to be a little uncomfortable this way.  So... Give thanks and go take care of business! 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com


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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.


Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Concealed Carry For Larger Women

 

By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Women have multiple challenges carrying a firearm. Many of those challenges are due to the curves and shorter waists of the female body. Adding to the problem is finding holsters that can be worn comfortably, discreetly and safely while allowing for effective access to the firearm should the need arise. Most holsters are designed by men for a man's body and typical male clothing styles.

For larger, full-figured women the challenges are even greater. A large bust makes reaching for the firearm difficult and sometimes impossible, if crossing the body is necessary. A fuller middle also interferes with reach and accessibility. Clothing styles and options that accommodate concealed carry are limited, which only adds to the problems and frustrations. For some women, the combination of these challenges makes typical methods of concealed carry so uncomfortable and frustrating that they give up trying.

Each woman naturally will have her own set of challenges because every woman's body is unique. But the issues faced by larger women are significant and the topic is often neglected. Here, I will attempt to break down the problems as shared by hundreds of women who frequent The Well Armed Woman site, as well as advice and ideas they shared that work for them. Again - there is no single solution to the various problems larger women have, but I hope to offer two things: one - the sense that, as a larger women, you are not alone and that many women share your frustrations; and two - that through the sharing of all of these women, perhaps there is a suggestion or two that you will find helpful to carry your firearm safely and comfortably. All women need to push through and overcome their particular obstacles because if your gun is not on or with you - it can't protect you.

So, here are the most common problems:

Large Bust
Buxom women shared a few key issues pertaining to full-sized busts. The primary issue is reach. They simply can't get around their breasts to get to their gun, whether in a shoulder, cross-body, an on- or in-the-waistband holster, or even a bra holster. One might assume that a bra holster would work well, given that large breasts create sufficient "hiding space" for a gun, but a majority of larger women responded that bra holsters don't work for them, explaining that the gun "gets lost" and is extremely hard to draw. Sweat under the breasts was another key negative commonly shared.

Wide Around The Middle
Being wide around the middle restricts the ability to reach the holstered firearm especially with bra holsters and on- or in-the-waistband holsters (whether appendix or cross body). The need to wear looser stretch pants with elastic waistbands also limits the possible options for on- or in-the-waistband holsters as they need the support of either a sturdy, wide belt or a substantial and tight waistband. Having a large middle also makes it tough to access an ankle holster. Another common frustration of larger women is that the grip of the gun digs into them in most on-the-waist forms of carry.

Short Waisted
Most women are more short waisted than men. This makes drawing from an on-the-hip holster difficult as there is not enough room to fully clear the firearm without running a fist into the underarm or breast. And the more of you there is in that shorter distance, the tougher this becomes. The distance is simply not sufficient for an effective draw. Most on-the-hip holsters ride too high which only makes things worse. When you factor in elastic or weak waistbands and it becomes almost impossible.

Here are some suggestions women made:

So, what can you do to make concealed carry more comfortable and effective for you? This depends on your climate, and any one of the above issues or a combination of them. But there are a couple of common areas of agreement among the women we polled. The majority found the belly band to be a very good option. Lying against the skin, it can be rotated to any position around the middle. Belly bands can also be worn high or low on the middle, so the user can find the location most comfortable for her and which provides the easiest access to her gun. Unfortunately, a common complaint was that in warmer weather, belly bands can be hot to wear.

An alternative suggested by very large chested women was using an inside-the-waistband holster like "The Betty", but clipping it to the top of the bra near the arm pit. So the gun lies on top corner of the breast, not under it. A simple reach through the collar of the shirt allows for easy access. 

Carrying the firearm on the waist with a loose fitting cover shirt or in the pants, off the back of the hip, more toward the small of the back was another successful position for many of the larger chested, wider middle women. The middle and the bust do not come into play which allows for smoother access. Whenever holstering on the back, however, a woman must be hyper alert to her surroundings as she may be more vulnerable to another person gaining access to it from behind.

The Remora or a similar rubberized pocket holster, which will stick firmly to clothing without the need of a clip was another popular option for in-the-waistband carry. Many women reported to me that because of the non-slip qualities of the rubber - you can place the firearm in any location and it stays put, making it ideal for stretch waistbands.
Another suggested option is a magnetic outside-the-waistband holster, which instead of a metal clip, uses a very strong magnet that locks shut over the waistband. No belt is required, the strength of the magnet providing the necessary support. Also available are paddle holsters which slide down the inside of the pants, acting as a brace to keep the holster in place when no belt is available.

For larger women who happen to be long waisted, a very positive solution is to wear low rise pants. The lowered waistband will increase the distance between the grip of the gun and the armpit. Adjusting the location to just off the hip (front or back) and adjusting the cant to a steeper angle for easier access is also effective.

For women whose middles were "in the middle", the most successful reported option was in-the-waistband, appendix-style carry. Because the firearm is carried in the fleshy front (in front of the hip bone) this was found to be a very comfortable carry position, providing good access to the waist area.
The ankle holster was suggested by many women who deal with large bust and shorter waist issues, but this option is reported as ineffective for women who are larger in the middle as noted earlier.

The last and most reluctantly suggested option for most of these women is carrying in a concealed carry purse or fanny pack. Carrying in an external bag takes an extra dose of awareness and responsibility, but for many women it can be the difference between carrying and not carrying. When this is your only option, the firearm must be in a sleeve or pocket holster with the trigger fully covered and the firearm in a separate compartment within the bag. There are just too many items in the purse that can get in the trigger guard and contribute to an accidental discharge. The bag must be on you and with you at all times. Having the firearm in a separate compartment also makes access easier and faster. No fumbling around - you know right where it is.

Practice is essential when wearing any new holster or when changing the position of one you already use. The utmost care must be taken to make sure you are not "covering" yourself at any time during holstering and un-holstering. Practice with your UNLOADED gun (checking 3 times) to get comfortable and effective with the new holster and location.

Our ability to carry a concealed firearm is a powerful equalizer for women when assaulted. For many large women, running away or running for cover may not be a realistic option. She must be able to access her gun quickly, safely and with the skill necessary to defend herself. That requires at least three things: The gun must be with her, it must be holstered in a manner and location that SHE can manage and she must be well-trained and prepared to draw and use it effectively.

A sincere thanks to all the women who bravely shared their stories, challenges and photos with The Well Armed Woman. Hearing about your struggles and sharing what works for you will no doubt help others.


Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.
   

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Shooting With Judge Parker’s Marshal’s

 

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

A few weeks ago Judge Parker’s Marshal’s at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas, issued an open invitation for anyone who wanted to try Cowboy Action Shooting to come out to their Tuesday night practices. Their invitation included the use of their guns and ammunition. I jumped at the chance to go shoot with them.

The first person I ran into was Bill Striplin. Bill then introduced me to Bob. Bob turned out to be Bob "Naildriver" Gleason whom I had met several years ago when I was first got interested in Cowboy Action Shooting. Naildriver competes in national cowboy shooting and is very good at it.

Naildriver took me off to the side and went through the range and shooting safety rules with me then dug out the guns and holster rigs that I used. He outfitted me with 2 Ruger Vaquero Bisley revolvers and a Marlin lever action. All 3 guns are  chambered in .357 Magnum, but we shot light .38 Special loads which made shooting easier. Last was a 12 gauge Stoger hammerless coach gun.

After I was armed, we go to the loading table to load the guns and get in line to shoot. The only time you have loaded guns is between the loading table and the shooting stage. All loaded guns stay pointed down range and there is a safety man at the loading table to keep an eye on the man loading and double check that the pistols’s hammers are on empty chambers.

I shot 3 stages that evening that each consisted of 5 shots from each pistol, 10 shots from the rifle and 4 shots from the shotgun. We won't talk about how I shot the first stage but on the second and third stages I missed 1 shot with the pistols and 1 with the rifle. Missed shots are a 5 second penalty so it is better to slow down and not miss. My time wasn’t great, but I didn’t really expect it to be.



On a scale from 1 to 10, I sucked, but nobody laughed at me or told me not to come back. Being on the crutches really didn't affect my ability to shoot the stages although I did have to take a few steps with out them on the first 2 stages. My score for the evening was high (the lower, the better) compared to most of the other guys, but that wasn't why I was there. I went to have some fun, meet some new people and give Cowboy Action Shooting another try.

I had a lot of fun and enjoyed meeting Judge Parker’s Marshal’s. All the gentlemen there were very friendly and supportive of my efforts with lots of peer pressure to join and shoot regularly. If you like Cowboy guns like I do and like to shoot fast, you might consider giving Cowboy Action Shooting a try. Click on the link to learn more about the Single Action Shooting Society.

Special thanks to Naildriver for the use of his guns and providing the ammunition and thanks to the Old Fort Gun Club for allowing greenhorns to come out to the Marshal’s practice. Before you go, here are some more pictures of that night's match.

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You can follow and talk to Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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