CCW in messenger bag?


The Undertoad
February 13, 2004, 02:04 PM
I was walking to an art class meeting last night, after dark in the woods, and thinking about CCW. I turn 21 next month so the subject is one I find myself pondering a lot. I'm a wee bit excited. :D

I like full size pistols, but I'm a skinny lad (6'1" 180 lb) so I'm not sure if I could carry one and keep it concealed. Time will tell, I do plan on getting a good quality holster once I get my first handgun. But, if I decide I don't like belt carry for whatever reason, I thought of an alternative.

Does any one make a messenger-style bag (i.e. the timbuk2 ( that is set up for carry? Leather would be cool, as would waterproof synthetics. I was thinking you could have a separate interior pocket that would be easily accessible by just lifting the flap. At the same time it would have to be concealed from the side, so that you weren't flashing your gun every time you open the bag to pull out a book or whatnot.

You could even have modular holsters. Maybe it would attach with a heavy-duty snap, or a system like the tek-lok. You could swap out for different guns. :)

So - is this a decent idea? Does it exist somewhere? Or would I have to buy a quality messenger bag and get someone to modify it for me?

Heck, maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe I'll get a smaller gun, or find I have no trouble CCW'ing with a quality holster. I'll find out next month. Even so this is a lot of fun to think about. :cool:

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The Undertoad
February 13, 2004, 02:48 PM
OK so I got bored and I have photoshop. In case my words weren't a good enough description:

The first picture is an "x-ray" of what I'm talking about.

The Undertoad
February 13, 2004, 02:50 PM
This second picture is a more "3d view" of a gun partially removed...note how it is concealed in it's own "pouch" until you draw it.

February 13, 2004, 02:50 PM
You might want to check out some of the bags Maxpedition puts out - there's one that sort of fits what you're talking about.

February 13, 2004, 02:54 PM
May I be the first to suggest the "Safepacker"?

In other, friendlier, states, I have found that it looks innocent, stops wear and tear on the piece, and holds another mag. Browse the site and look at the varied carry options. I love mine!

February 13, 2004, 03:15 PM
I am already going to do this for my fiance. She's getting her permit soon and carries a mess bag everyday.

Here is about the best company for these bags. We have had a lot of different ones over the years and these are the best in my opinion. The are strong enough that any atttachment method, Clip, stitch, etc would work........and they look great too.

February 13, 2004, 03:30 PM
I have more than a few messenger bags. IMHO the best thing to do would be to buy a bag with a rear pocket (on the back of the bag, the side against your body, I have a Manhattan Portage bag like this) as well as a cheapo nylon (or equivalent) holster and sew them together.

I don't like the idea of having to mess with the flap. In the case of the rear pocket, all you would have to do is rip open the velcro and grab. Plus you could leave that as a CCW pocket only and not have to worry about anyone spotting it.

February 13, 2004, 03:39 PM
UT, you should have no problem concealing a FS handgun. You might have to change your wardrobe and mannerisms, but you can do it. I've seen people carry 92Fs in nothing but shorts and flip-flops.

I am no proponent of off body carry. I believe it's too easy to loose control of your firearm in a defensive situation.


February 13, 2004, 04:15 PM
I am not a proponant of off body carry...that being said you can make a very serviceable "carrier" using a day planner...I made my attorney a set-up for his Glock 17 in this manner for Christmas (gotta keep'em

I think I got his at Wal-mart for $29.00 and just gutted part of the insides..

Glued and riveted some Upholstery leather on one side and attached a holster and a spare mag. holder and made a slot for his CRKT M16 and a mini mag.lite..

He keeps it handy in his office and his clients are unaware of its presence.

This might be an option instead of a messenger bag..

just a suggestion

February 13, 2004, 05:16 PM
I always thought a CCW in a messenger bag would be cool. Of course, I was gonna use it to hold a Serbu Shorty. :)

February 13, 2004, 05:19 PM
I wonder if a Kel-tec S2K 9mm would fit into one of those?? Anyone know?

February 13, 2004, 08:52 PM
Try jandd mountianeering's mess bag. I used, still use one for that. They make bombproff stuff for bikes to backpacks even marley the dog has one of their packs. I was buying them cheep while working in a bike shop. I use the slit pocket with a bit of sticky back velcro works great. Patrick:cool:

February 13, 2004, 10:07 PM
The make very high quality leather vests, gun cases, which are made for concealed carry. I have a bag and a vest and I can't overemphasize how high quality their products are. Sounds like what you were describing. FYI Good shooting;)

February 13, 2004, 11:12 PM
my wife has a bag like that although she is not currently able to carry concealed.

It is a brown leather messenger type bag. It has the big flap over the top that covers the myriad of little pockets and nooks. The opposite side has a single zipper pocket on the "body" side of the bag. There is a velcro strip sewn to the inside of this pocket and a cloth holster (also with velcro) sticks inside. The velcro makes the holster adjustable in angle and height within the pocket.

I could post pictures of it but I'm guessing you can invision it well enough.

The Undertoad
February 14, 2004, 12:16 PM
Damn guys, thanks for all the ideas! :cool:

You might have to change your wardrobe and mannerisms, but you can do it.

That's good to hear! But there's some times when changing my wardrobe won't work - a lot of my clothes are tight fitting and I'm a college student, I can't go drop a bunch of cash on new clothes. I guess I can wear jackets or sweaters more often. I will cross that bridge when I come to it! :)

February 16, 2004, 09:11 AM
Undertoad, I too am a college student, and changing your wardrobe isnt as bad as you think. I did three things to prepare myself for ccw, and none were too bad. I slowly replaced all my pants with pants one size bigger, bought a 1 1/2 inch instructor belt from wilderness, and started wearing white t-shirts or a shirts underneith my regular t-shirts and sweatshirts. I now can carry a full size xd 9 or springfield 1911 full size, with no one the wiser. Im currently helping my brother prepare for ccw when he turns 21 next fall. He cant afford to buy bigger pants right now, so hes just trying the t-shirt and better belt. His ccw choice is thin, so he can still wear it iwb with relative comfort. Its more a matter of small changes to carry full size iwb, than it is any big changes. Good luck with the ccw prep!

February 16, 2004, 09:13 AM
I almost forgot my most important fact, for size reference on body builds. I am 5'11 185, my brothers a shade over 6 foot, 150 pounds, so im relativily not skinny, and my brother is definitly skinny. So, its not that abd to carry iwb either way.

February 16, 2004, 10:40 AM
As others have said, you shouldn't have any problem carrying and concealing. I'm 6'5" and 195 lbs; I carry and conceal a full size 1911 IWB with no problems whatsoever.

February 16, 2004, 01:23 PM

For concealing garment try an oversize camp shirt. A little gruge look will not be out of place on a collge student at all. Wearing a button down shrt loose over a regular short sleeve shirt (I'm thinking warm weather when sweaters and jackets will not be the norm) should not be a big issue.

One thought about teh meessenger bag carrry. You need to ask yourself if you will look out of place having the bag with you every second. I carry a messenger bag qquite a bit when I am out running around to carry books, magazines, other EDC stuff like flashlight etc... I do occasionally leave the bag to go get sometiing in a cafe or bookstore etc. I certainly would not want to do that wiht a loaded gun in it. My guess is that the oversize shirt worn untucked will rais a lot less eyebrows than your sudden attachemnt to your new manpurse which you suddenly can not go to the bathroom wihout. No insult here as I refer to my own messenger bag ans a manpurse but I dont carry it with me at every second and for that reason think carrying a CCW in it would not be a very good idea. Overall I think it is a workable way to carry a large gun but only you can decide if you are willing to be attached to that bag every second. If the answer is no then you may want to rethink carry methods. I also think you aer more likely to lose your CCW carry piece through theft if carried in a bag of some sort.

The Undertoad
February 16, 2004, 02:00 PM
Thanks for all the ideas and support guys! I'm beginning to think that CCW will not be as hard as I had pictured. :)

That's a really good point about leaving the bag unattended chris, something I hadn't fully thought through. It would look a bit silly to be inseperable from a bag. ;)

February 16, 2004, 02:32 PM
I don't think it's odd to be attached to your bag. Many students have laptops in their bags these days and wouldn't dream of leaving it for a moment (me included).

February 17, 2004, 01:30 PM
The nice thing about timbuk2 is they build to order. I've talked with them on several occasions and found them to be very flexible. You may be able to get them to build you a bag with the features you want as a one off product.

It never hurts to ask.


February 17, 2004, 01:53 PM
UT, changing your clothes is the easy part. Yard sales, thrift stores, man you're a college student - you ain't expected to look like your in GQ.

Something that people overlook a lot are the way they carry themselves and do things when they are carrying. You will have to start being aware about things like how you pick things up, how you grab things that are high up, how you sit, etc. There are a lot of good carry methods that can be busted wide open when you forget how to move.

Somethings you never even think about can do it to you. How do you hug someone? Around the waist or around the shoulder? You never think about it till you put your arm around your grandma's shoulder and she hugs you back just to place her hand right the 1911 under your shoulder!

Note to self: always hug low forcing the other person to go high! :)


The Undertoad
February 17, 2004, 02:03 PM
LOL swingcatt. Yeah I probably buy 80% of my wardrobe at thrift stores already so I'm sure minor changes won't be too hard. But it's so hard to find good used pants. Shirts, I have so many more shirts than I need! But pants, I only have a few pair... Maybe I'm too picky about them. :)

Good advice on the hugging! I should start practicing now. Preferably by hugging lots of beautiful ladies. :D

February 18, 2004, 09:19 AM
Good advice on the hugging! I should start practicing now. Preferably by hugging lots of beautiful ladies.

Go forth and hug the ladies! Its in the interest of Science :).

I too had trouble with pants, I ended up with royal robbins due to being a pocket junkie. I love the fact that they are cargo pants with huge front and back pockets. I originally bought two for casual wear, and have since bought another for yard work, and other dirty labors.

It takes a little while to get used to not bending over, and crouching all the time. If any body ever asks why I crouch, I tell them lift with the legs, not the back. IT usually shuts them up.

Back to the hugging thing, I used to do both arms low, until I was informed by my siblings that it was wierd. My new hugging style is dominant arm low to keep hands away from my gun, and non dominant hand high on thie shoulders. Worst that can happen is they touch my magazine case, and im known for keeping multitools and flashlights on my belt.
Good luck, and keep us updated on your ccw.

February 18, 2004, 11:44 AM
Try the Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack. I'll hopefully be getting one soon...

Fatboy Versipack (


February 18, 2004, 02:12 PM
Try SmartCarry

February 18, 2004, 03:51 PM
Everything swingcatt said has echoed my experiences.

Also when taking pictures it's annoying that people put their hands on your back. I put my right arm behind my back in a macho security guard way so they don't feel the gun

I'm 105 lbs and CCW a Beretta 92G (with the super size Brigadier slide) and can get away with it...your gear and clothes have to meet eachother half way.

I don't like off-body carry. Too easy to lose track of stuff. I don't carry off body unless absolutely necessary.

Country Boy
February 20, 2004, 04:35 PM
I'm 5-11 and 180#, and a full size handgun is not difficult at all for me to conceal. I use an Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster, and it is quite easy to conceal using a quality holster along with an untucked shirt or sweater.

February 20, 2004, 04:51 PM
One more vote here against off-body carry. You're better off getting a small pistol for carry, like a 9mm mini, if concealment is a problem for you. Then, once your CCW needs are met, you can start saving up for that full-sized.

February 20, 2004, 05:17 PM
that fatboy looks like a great manpurse. Is it specifically designed for CCW? Any kind of integral holster?

Even without off-body carry the man purse (fat boy) could be strategically positioned over your weapon to hide the bulge and reroute hugs. Then you just carry other stuff in it.

January 10, 2007, 05:14 PM
CCW in a messenger-style bag:

January 15, 2007, 04:50 PM what about the velcro backed holster from 5.11 (for use in their shoot me first vest) and sewing velcro into a timbuctu or pearl izumi messenger bag.

just my .02

January 15, 2007, 05:19 PM
I bike to and from work, I have a Timbuk2 XL bag, and I don't like the idea of off-body carry. I carry my CZ IWB.

January 15, 2007, 05:24 PM
check your local laws. In CT, as soon as you put that bag down you are breaking the law. Concealed carry is for "On your person only". Once that strap comes off your shoulder it is no longer considered on your person.

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