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Principles of Concealed Carry: Holster Accessories

Principles of Concealed Carry: Holster Accessories

We’ve talked about holster types and other carry methods. But if you’re still looking for more options, holster accessories can increase the effectiveness of your chosen holster. 

Gun Belts
Gun belts are extra-thick leather belts having the requisite rigidity to support the weight of a pistol and holster without bending or curling over. Proper gun belts help position the gun consistently on the body. The width of the belt should match the width of the holster’s belt loops or slots. It is easy to find gun belts that are made to resemble standard dress belts, aiding gun concealment. The length of the belt may need to be longer than a normal dress belt. 
Magazine or speedloader pouches can be mounted on the belt if a covering garment is worn or may be carried in a pocket; carried in either location, these devices allow an individual to carry extra ammunition in an accessible location. It is equally important to ensure these accessories are also concealed. If worn exposed, they may give away the fact that one is carrying a firearm as well.

Holster Purses
Holster purses are designed to look and function like normal women’s purses. The best holster purses are designed expressly for carrying a concealed pistol and incorporate a dedicated gun com-partment and utilize steel reinforced straps that resist cutting. They hold the gun in a position for a proper grip with easy-access closures.

An assortment of purses should be obtained to ensure a pistol can be carried no matter what style or type of clothing is worn. Holster purses that can be hung off the support side shoulder are more easily carried and retained than those which can be carried only by handles. Holster purses provide excellent concealability and good access and comfort. The level of retention they offer depends upon the purse design as well as the way in which the purse is carried and handled.

Holster purse strengths include fast pistol access provided by some models that have separate gun compartments featuring quick-opening closures. They are often the only method of concealed pistol carry for women wearing clothing that does not allow the use of a holster. They are identical in appearance to standard purses and thus provide strong pistol concealment.

You should consider that some designs place the firearm in a position so that it points directly to the rear when carried. Many holster purses are suspended from a shoulder strap on the support side; others have handles. With either type, one hand—usually the support hand—is always engaged in retaining or carrying the purse.

Drawing from a holster purse usually requires both hands, one to retain, stabilize or open the purse and the other to grasp the gun inside. Special vigilance is required to keep from carelessly leaving the purse unattended or to make it a tempting target for a purse snatcher. When drawing from a purse, special techniques must be used to avoid sweeping a wide arc and possibly innocent bystanders.

Briefcases and Day Planners
Briefcases and day planners are available that feature a compartment or internal holster for a pistol. The advantages and disadvantages are very similar to those of a holster purse.

Fanny Packs
Fanny packs are small pouches of fabric or, less frequently, leather that fit around the waist with an attached belt. Despite their name, most fanny packs today are worn at the front of the body. They are commonly worn during physical activity such as running or riding a bike or when the clothing does not employ a belt, such as gym shorts.

Like holster purses, the best fanny packs are those designed expressly for carrying a pistol. Avoid fanny packs bearing logos of gun related companies; criminals know these companies and will recognize your fanny packs as containing a gun. Fanny packs designed for concealed carry utilize separate quick-opening gun compartments.

Even though a specifically designed fanny pack is desirable, many people simply drop a small pistol in a regular fanny pack.

Fanny packs do a good job of concealing a small to medium sized pistol and offer many of the same benefits of holster purses, though they have an additional advantage of freeing up both hands when worn. They may offer the only way of carrying a concealed pistol when light jogging or workout clothing is worn in warm weather. Fanny packs specifically designed for guns offer good concealment, access, retention and comfort.

As with any other device, these have their limitations as well. If a regular fanny pack is used, the compartment in which the gun is carried should be absolutely free of other objects. Many criminals are aware that fanny packs are often used to carry pistols. They look out of place in many situations or with inappropriate attire.


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