Is Purse Carry the Worst Carry?

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It’s been said that purse carry is the worst carry. And I’ve done my homework, so I don’t necessarily (completely) disagree with the arguments. For instance, perhaps one of the most important rules of concealed carry (other than safety concerns, training, etc.) is that you have to dress around your gun. I agree.

But as a woman, it can be really difficult (if not impossible) to always find an on-body carry option that works for your outfit. Do you need to sacrifice some personal style? Obviously. But I can’t imagine never wearing another dress, or putting away my skirts and only wearing slacks for the rest of my working life. And when you work for a holster company, carrying at the office is pretty common.

I’ve tried some of those corset holsters, and the lacey thigh rigs that look really pretty, but I honestly just don’t find them comfortable. On a hot summer day, the last thing I want is a cloth holster wrapped around the widest part of my leg while my gun pokes me and rubs against my inner thigh with every step I take. This girl has got some curves, and let’s just say, it’s not a comfortable place for a holster, let alone a gun. Maybe it works for you, and if so, great! But that’s just not the case for me.

So what is a girl supposed to do with her gun when she’s wearing a dress or a skirt? This is why I opt for purse carry on certain occasions.

The key is to choose a purse that isn’t a hindrance to carry around with you – if your gun is inside, it’s critical to keep it with you at all times. That means taking it to the bathroom, keeping it under your desk while at work, even grabbing it before running to the vending machine for a quick snack. Your purse should always be right by your side – just like your gun would be if you were carrying on-body. So you can imagine why carting around a giant tote isn’t ideal – it’ll become annoying. I say, the size of the purse should be large enough to be functional, but small enough that it’s not a burden to carry around all day.

Another important consideration with purse carry is choosing a purse that allows you to easily access your gun. I typically choose a purse with some kind of pocket inside, one that has sturdy edges to support the weight of the gun when the holster is clipped onto the pocket. If I’m walking home late at night, or even just walking to my car, I typically keep my hand on the gun inside that pocket so that in the event of an emergency, I can cut down on response time.

And that brings up another important point: I wouldn’t feel safe (at all) if my gun wasn’t securely holstered in my purse. Think about it this way: you’ve likely got a million things in your purse on any given day, and you definitely wouldn’t want any of that stuff (lipstick, keys, pens) jumbling around throughout the day and ending up in the trigger guard. There’s a chance (even if it’s a small one) of accidental discharge. On top of that, if you need to actually use your gun, those things could get in the way when you grab it. Not good.

I’m obviously a huge proponent of Kydex holsters, or I probably wouldn’t work at Alpha Concealment Systems. But I honestly believe it’s the best way to secure your gun. The trigger guard is completely covered, and since the material is rigid, there’s no chance of accidentally snagging the trigger on the holster (like you can with nylon or leather holsters).

The holster is tightly molded to an exact firearm, so there’s no extra space for things in your purse to interfere with your trigger. That’s not true of nylon and leather holsters.

If you’re going to use a Kydex holster when purse carrying, which is my suggestion, I would also suggest adjusting the retention on your holster so that it’s easier to draw the gun. That doesn’t mean the gun will fall out of the holster, or that there will be extra space in the holster. Loosening the retention simply means that the Kydex doesn’t clamp down quite as tight onto the frame of the gun. This is ideal when clipping your holster onto the pocket of your purse, because it ensures that when you draw, you’re only drawing the gun – not the gun and the holster.

It’s important to remember that not all Kydex holsters come standard with adjustable retention. At Alpha Concealment Systems, all of our holsters feature adjustable retention other than The Hyperion (it’s an OWB holster, so it doesn’t really apply to this topic anyways). All you have to do is tighten or loosen the set of screws on the front of the holster towards the barrel, and that will adjust your retention. So when you’re searching for your next Kydex holster to buy, adjustable retention is definitely something you want to look for.

In conclusion, is purse carry my go-to option every day? No. But does it serve a purpose when I have no other means to comfortably carry? Definitely. 

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