Holster experiences from women?


September 25, 2005, 10:58 PM
I'm helping my wife choose a holster for her new CCW gun (a commander sized 1911). I posted something a few weeks ago but my wife instructed me to post something that will (hopefully) be more helpful.

She's been looking at a number of different holsters and reading a some opinions about holsters that are specifically designed to fit women.

What we're really looking for here are experiences that other women have had when choosing a holster of their own. What has worked, what hasn't worked and why. She specifically wants experiences from females. These boards are surely dominated by men and men have lots of experiences that they're happy to share but a mans experience with choosing a holster isn't as helpful as one would think.

My wife is about 5'10". She has an hourglass figure and she's short waisted.

Again, we appreciate all the helpful men on the board but we'd like to restrict this to experiences of women in choosing their holsters. She's willing to try just about anything but hearing others' experiences might save us from buying some expensive holsters that don't work.

While specific holster recommendations are welcome, we're also interested in hearing about things that didn't work and why.

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October 6, 2005, 09:40 PM

October 22, 2005, 09:57 PM
Mr Dove ~

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Hope it's not too late to help a little bit.

Personal: I'm 5'4, have an hourglass figure, and am very short-waisted. My carry weapon is a Glock 26, carried IWB in a kydex holster, right side "appendix" position. I've been carrying this way over five years now.

My personal experiences aren't going to help you a whole lot, I'm afraid. Quite frankly, I did something no one does: I picked out one gun and one holster. And they both worked for me, just like that. Weird, huh?

However, because of my work as an assistant instructor at FAS (www.firearmsacademy.com), I'm in a unique position in that I get to talk to a lot of women as they are working through their holster & carry issues. FAS has a women's study group, open only to female FAS grads, which meets once every six weeks or so during most of the year. That group of wonderful women has just been an amazing resource for me and I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of it.

Okay, stuff I know:

You are probably going to have to try on a lot of different holsters before you find one that works well for you. Don't be discouraged by this! The right solution for you really is out there somewhere, and a little bit of work can help you find it.

There's an excellent online resource about hunting for women's holsters at Cunningham's Custom Leather (http://www.womensholsters.com/choosing.html). That page is useful because it clearly explains why & how various holster features work (or don't work) on female figures. Btw, if you decide to go the custom-leather route, you wouldn't go wrong with a holster from those folks -- I know the owner and have seen a lot of her work, and it's absolutely top notch.

Of the women I know who carry on body, probably half have gone with kydex and the other half with leather. I'm told leather is usually more comfortable, and I know it is prettier. I chose kydex because I was worried about moisture. Living in the Pacific Northwest, and spending a lot of time outdoors, I simply didn't want to be fussed about keeping my carry rig dry. It's been a good choice for me. Kydex also has the advantage of being a slightly faster draw, and I like the positive "snick" I hear when I holster my gun. There's just something reassuring about it.

A lot of people never consider moving the holster around on the belt until they find the spot that works well for them. For me, when I put it on my hip, it made me look and feel like a clumsy hippo. Behind the hip was even worse, because it hurt. But when I put it in front of my hip, it worked just fine and so that's where I carry it.

I do know several women who carry behind the hip. Seems to work okay for them, but it definitely requires a significant cant to the gun for most.

Can't think what else to add here. Ask some specific questions, if you need to, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pass it along to the group next time I see them.


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