Country Living Series

Monday, February 25, 2013

For ladies -- the beauty of a bra holster

This is my revolver.


It's a sweet little Rossi .38 which I've had for, oh, about fourteen years now. We bought it after I got my concealed carry permit back when we lived in Oregon. I wanted something good-quality but small, something I could slip inside my purse.

It's biggest drawback is its weight -- nearly two pounds.


After we moved to Idaho, naturally I got my concealed carry permit for here as well.


So here I have a nice purse-sized revolver, and my concealed carry permit. So what's the problem? The problem is how to carry, concealed.

Women have a lot of problems with concealed carry because there's hardly any place on our person to hide a weapon. Waistband holsters are immediately apparent on a woman (and I live eternally in sweatpants anyway, which doesn't have a sturdy waistband). Purses can either be made for, or adapted to, carrying a firearm, but it makes for a heavy purse...and purses can be stolen.

For a few years I solved the concealed carry issue by wearing a wrap-around-the-waist Neoprene holster which secured my revolver in the small of my back. It worked fairly well -- it was virtually invisible underneath a shirt -- but it had its drawbacks. I couldn't drive while wearing it, nor could I wear a backpack. Plus the Velcro band holding the revolver in the holster started to lose its "grip" over time, resulting in a loose firearm.

I thought about getting a Flashbang Bra Holster. However this consists of a specialized strap fastened to one's bra.


Frankly I'd need a nuclear bra to hold my two-pound Rossi. Plus I've read reviews on this type of holster that indicated the concealed firearm jostles and dangles too much, and its outline is apparent under certain conditions. For me, this wasn't an acceptable option.

So for a long time I simply didn't carry my revolver. Until recently.

A few years ago a friend started a cottage business making bra holsters. She calls her business Naturally Concealed.


"Bra holster" is something of a misnomer because the holster is a separate garment, not part of the bra. But what it does is nestle the firearm against the bust. The handle fits between one's cleavage (incidentally giving a bit of "lift" into the bargain, if you get my drift) while the body of the firearm is held securely under the bust.


The means the holster is virtually invisible under most garments.



The holsters are custom-made according to a woman's measurements, the type and caliber of firearm, and whether you draw right- or left-handed (I'm a leftie).

I've coveted one of these ever since my friend started her business. In fact, I ordered one almost two years ago -- and never got around to picking it up or paying for it until recently. So for the last couple of months, I've finally had a chance to try this gizmo out.

And oh my. I became an instant convert.

Here's my holster. The "dip" is where the barrel of the gun fits. This side faces outward. The fabric is thick and smooth, erasing any outline of the firearm under a shirt.


On the side facing my skin is the pouch (the revolver actually fits further down into the pouch than is shown). When worn, the exposed grip nestles into my cleavage, rendering it invisible under all but the tightest shirts (and I don't wear tight shirts).


The strap even has some sewn-in slots for additional ammo.


On the first day, I wore my revolver (empty) around the house and barn, doing ordinary things, just to get used to wearing it. I even drove into town to see how it feels driving (no problem!). I was astonished at how comfortable it is. My two-pound Rossi, which is normally pretty durn heavy when carried in my purse, feels feather-light while strapped to my chest.

I've taken to wearing my gun whenever I leave home (as long as I stay in Idaho, of course). No one is the wiser. I've even hugged friends and they don't suspect I'm carrying concealed. The only movement restriction I've found is I can't lean into something because I'll be leaning into the firearm.

I haven't yet worn the holster during hot weather, but another friend who's worn her holster for a couple years says that the bra holster is no warmer than wearing any other garment during hot weather. The fabric of the holster includes a waterproof barrier, so sweat won't harm the finish on the firearm.

In short, ladies, I can't recommend this holster highly enough. It fits both small- and large-framed women with the utmost discretion. In these lawless times, carrying a firearm is one of the smartest things you can do. Here's a way to do it while still dressing like a lady.

UPDATE: As of 4/19/14, Naturally Concealed has closed its doors for business due to too many outside commitments and projects. What a pity.

54 comments:

  1. I had seen this holster, and wondered just how comfortable it was. Thank you for the review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now, I'm just gonna say this... perhaps cause I'm a Jewish mother with multiple kids - but I would really feel unsafe having a loaded weapon next to my chest like that, pointing into my body. Don't you feel like it's dangerous? I am a gun owner as well - a deer hunter as it were - and concealed carry just became legal in Wisconsin - but I just can't bring myself to have a loaded weapon on my person, especially while I am out with my kids. I simply wouldn't do it. The whole thing about always pointing my weapon in a safe direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A gun on your person is no more dangerous than a gun in your purse (arguably less so -- a purse can be banged around or stolen). Most guns have safety catches. One of the "fears" I had in my old ignorant pre-gun days was that a gun would "explode" and go off the moment I handled it. Of course that's not the case. The feeling of security about having a revolver on my chest is hard to describe.

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. Sofya--

      I'm wondering though if you are accosted while with your children in public, would you regret not doing whatever it took to protect them? Not the time to say, Gee if I would have only..... But I'm not the type that stands around waiting for a hero to save me. And if I had ever been blessed with children (wasn't), it would be a cold day someone would bring harm to them if I could help it.

      It does take a bit of nerve, its different. But you get used to it. And I think you become a better gun handler because you ARE aware of your gun's status. I carry in a holster, never a purse.

      The saddest things I ever heard:

      I was at the gun shop the other day. A woman was picking out something to play with at the range. She said, "Oh I would never carry! That's why I have a husband and a big dog." She looked my way for girlie support.....and I said, "I carry."

      I also worked with a woman who was very anti-gun, stating she could never use one. So I proposed a question of an intruder attacking her daughter in the home. Could she then? Oh no, no never. I told her there was something wrong with her as a parent if she chose to let her daughter be victimized.

      Just my two cents.


      Delete
    3. Sofya, I completely understand! My first exposure to handguns wasn't until I was married at the age of 42. I was never certain they wouldn't "go off". You hear that phrase as an excuse but I will tell you that after making the gun go off several thousand times I now understand that doesn't happen. Pulling the trigger is a deliberate act and an act necessary for the gun to fire.

      Patrice, so far I have a leather pocket holster for the small of my back for jeans, a nylon and velcro thigh holster for long dresses, and a nylon and velcro waist holser for under big shirts. I'm small and not big breasted so I haven't considered a bra holster, but now I think I will look for one to at least try on. Thank you for your detailed photos and description, so helpful!

      Delete
    4. Sofya--One option, if you don't have confidence in the firearm's mechanical safety devices, is to carry the firearm without a round in the chamber or in the case of a revolver, with no cartridge under the hammer.

      One thing to consider: I've been around firearms for 32 years, including military and law enforcement. I have never seen a firearm discharge accidentally. Certainly there are risks in life. A firearm discharging accidentally while being carried concealed is not one I worry too much about.

      Delete
  3. Hey! You and I have the exact same model of gun! I carried it in a "gun purse" when I took night classes about 15 years ago, but this looks like it is much better for actually keeping it on your person!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like it! The only reason I haven't ordered it this morning is because I'm currenly on a diet/exercise program, and believe* my measurements are soon going to be smaller, so I should probably wait a month or six.

    *Of course, I also believe in Santa Claus....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Patrice -thanks for the review. I've been wondering how comfortable theses holsters are for a large bust and during the hot summer months.

    Life is full of surprises - sometimes very bad ones.
    Concealed carry and armed self defense is the #1 "women's rights" & "women's liberation" issue of our times.
    Too bad the angry man haters and other east coast liberals who infest our colleges & universities, are blind to what should be a self evident fact.
    As women we naturally are more vulnerable to criminal attack because we are smaller, weaker and very often objects of male aggression.
    For those of us who are mothers it is our duty to defend our families, and kill if necessary, those who would prey upon our helpless young.
    Every mother - whether she be a cow, lioness, a squirrel or a barn cat will defend her offspring no matter what the cost to her life.
    A firearm with sufficient stopping power makes that possible.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Patrice - Looks like it could be awkward to draw your weapon if needed. Have you practiced drawing from this holster? If so, how well does it work? Any tips/tricks in that regard?
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  7. Patrice, Many states recognize other states CCW permits. usacarry.com has a map and additional info that may be helpful to you in that regard. It is also updated on a regular basis to keep you informed of any changes to the laws affecting you. Hope this helps.
    had enuff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Washington does not accept Idaho's even though Idaho accepts theirs. I am working toward getting my Washington non-resident permit. Been too busy to do it yet.
      I have been looking at these ever since I first saw them on Enola's site. Really considering one. I have carried since 1992 (started w/CCW in CA) and I have used, on the hip with jackets, in special fanny packs (great when horseback riding or hiking), in purses (not special ones) and now have an inside the waist band holster. I am amazed at how my S&W 9mm does not show and is very comfortable. I just bought a Springfield 45 compact and look forward to carrying that firearm, too.
      I just recently found a website called Cornered Cat which is geared to women and it has lots of info.
      Paintedmoose

      Delete
  8. I've seen this and wondered, how quickly can you draw? Unless I'm missing something, to draw you must reach under your shirt, but the handle seems very high to be reaching for it from underneath. How much of yourself would you need to "expose" to draw? I guess the best choice would be a very loose-fitting shirt that is not tucked in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on your neckline, you can either reach the weapon from above or below. My preference is to reach from below, but then I don't normally wear tucked-in shirts either. As for how much is visible while drawing the firearm... believe me, if you're reaching for your weapon, presumably you're doing so for a reason, and exposing yourself is the least of your concerns. However under non-panicked situations, you don't expose much.

      While practicing, I've withdrawn my weapon and pointed it within two seconds. Of course while practicing, make sure your weapon isn't loaded.

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. It's important to recognize--and I say this with all seriousness--that a woman pulling up her shirt and exposing herself--either a bra or breasts, may have the very tactical effect of making the attacker pause for a critical moment...simply because it would be such an out-of-the-ordinary behavior.

      Delete
  9. This is such a great idea! I need "someplace" to keep my weapon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Patrice;
    Eventually you should practice drawing with the gun loaded. And proceed from there to practicing draw and fire on target.

    You WILL fight like you train, and complete training requires including actual live fire, drawn from concealment, practice.

    Slow, always with correct technique, then increasing to full speed.

    Because, when you'll need to pull that gun out, you'll really need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, practice so that if, heaven forbid, you ever need to draw your weapon, you have "muscle memory" because your adrenalin will be pumping and that is not the time to realize it does not work well for you.
      Paintedmoose

      Delete
  11. Check out the Ruger LCR. 38 snubbie, good quality, 13.5 ounces.

    Huggs..

    ReplyDelete
  12. Okay Patrice, that did it. I just ordered mine. I have been hemming and hawing for two years for another option in my concealed carry holster "arsenal". I thought I had better hurry before they get inundated with orders. By the way, since you make so many trips to Washington, why don't you save up and get the WA non-resident CCP? I am saving up for mine. I believe it is $52 or so and you apply at any sheriff main office. I plan to go to Newport to get mine as I will not go to downtown Spokane. I hate driving there and to park and walk around. Ick. Anyway, I mentioned in another reply about Cornered Cat website and blog. I have found it very helpful.
    Paintedmoose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I just registered for a class (which takes place in April) to get my Utah concealed carry, which allows me to carry in 33 states (including Washington). I'm also going to see if I can get a special permit for Oregon, since I travel there once a year on business. I'll keep everyone updated.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  13. I got my CCW about a year ago here in Michigan - I am in my 60s and live alone with the cats - so glad to have the CCW, but not happy with the holster selections for my Bersa Firestorm 38 and my little Keltech 9 mm my brother gave me. When I clicked on your website, Patrice, I sure didn't expected to see a solution to my problem - YAY - Thanks so much!

    Sioux

    ReplyDelete
  14. As a mama to 5 little blessings, my tummy protrudes. Wouldn't wearing this holster cause me to violate the first gun safety rule?? (NEVER point the muzzle in an unsafe direction.) Even if I didn't sit down while wearing it, the muzzle would be pointing at my protruding tummy. Any ideas or suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I question is about ease of access.

    I have several different but my simple little carry gun is a 380 Hell Cat. Love the weight the feel and with hollow points no problem in stoppage.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a concealed carry permit, but I would not use that holster. One rule of safe gun handling is never to point the gun (loaded or not) at anything you are not willing to destroy. Perhaps you are skinnier than me, but I would not want that pointed at my gut. If you use it, PLEASE practice EVERY DAY. God bless us all and keep us safe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Patrice,

    If you keep posting pictures like the header one of the delicious looking cookies, I'll have to order a bigger sized holster! ; >

    Now where are those chocolate chips???

    Recipe PLEASE???

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love the idea of these holsters and very well may try one someday. However, a longtime user of one did mention to me that the holsters aren't ideal when you still have small children or babies on your lap. She said the kids tend to bang their heads on the gun handle (when the child is sitting on your lap), enough even to cause a small bruise. I do think the holsters are awesome, but wanted to throw this thought out there for those considering it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Twenty-seven comments and nobody (that I can see) has asked this question yet: Do you have to be, um, relatively well endowed to make this work? How about if what little you had at one time has headed south for the winter? And beyond?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My "girls" are heading south (ahem) and I have no problem wearing the holster with a C-cup underwire bra. The woman who makes these holster is small in both size and frame (as are her older-teen daughters), and they wear the holster with no issues at all.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  20. I have to comment. I just took a handgun safety course taught by a current Marshall. In discussing where to carry, he is adamant about NOT using a bra-style holster and I have to agree with him. Think about it... the wearer is forced to draw across their body. hmm a loaded weapon in a likely high-stress situation. No thanks. I have carried for a number of years and will stick to my thigh or waist

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just had a frightening situation occur and had me realize that I NEED to have a pistol, and learn how to shoot it accurately. Thanks for this Patrice.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I too have seen other bra holsters and could not find one that 'fit' my gun. I carry a Ruger 357 Stub nose and it too is on the heavy side, AND I too am on the not so little side with the 'girls' headed south. This sounds perfect for what I have been looking for! Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been looking for a concealment holster for a while and this looks like the was to go! Lots of support and no flopping around. This looks like it would support your back kind of like a back brace, and I have a bad back. What do you think, since you wear yours a lot.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the holster doesn't exactly act as a brace -- it's not tight or thick like a back brace -- it doesn't put strain on my back in the slightest. Granted I have a strong back, but after a full day wearing it I have no fatigue whatever.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  24. thanks, I need to get one ordered. Let you know how it makes my back feel.

    ReplyDelete
  25. you're right. It doesn't bother my back at all. And it is quite comfortable.
    Restless in Wyoming

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for this review! I have been carrying in essentially the same position with a holster clipped to the middle of my bra - but now all my bras are stretched out from the weight of the gun :( I need one of these!

    Thanks again!

    - CC in California

    ReplyDelete
  27. I finally bought this holster and I LOVE IT!..my husband has bought about 8 different holsters and none of them really did it for me. So, finally I told him I had a really good feeling about this one, so he told me to go ahead and order one. I didn't tell him the price until after I received it and wore it a couple of days. I raved about it so much and he was happy that I was finally with a nice-fitting, comfortable holster for my .380 TCP. When I told him the price his eyes got a little big, but soon after realized that if I loved it, that's what counts. So, once again, your site has led me to another great purchase. Thanks again for all you do and share with your readers. I rave about you to many friends, but unfortunately, not all can relate to homesteading like I do. lol..oh well, they don't know what they're missing, right? hugs and blessings your way, Alicia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you like it as well as I do. Please, drop a line on my friend's website telling her your enthusiasm!

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. I just did!...and I also wrote that I saw it here on your site. Have a great day!...hugs and many blessings to you and your family,Alicia :)

      Delete
  28. This is basically good site.Thanks for this this post. Glock holster, S&W holster, Concealed holster, Magazine pouch, a href=" http://www.holsterland.com//" Concealed holster /a S&W holster a href=" http://www.holsterland.com/” Concealed holster /a Concealed holster <a href=" http://www.holsterland.com//" S&W holster /a holsterland <a href=" http://www.holsterland.co /Concealed holster /a Glock holster, S&W holster, Concealed holster, Magazine pouc, Gun Holsters, Pistol Holsters, Shoulder Holsters and More – Holsterl.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is very good website. Glock holster, S&W holster, Concealed holster, Magazine pouc, Gun Holsters, Pistol Holsters, Shoulder Holsters and More – Holsterl,a href=" http://www.holsterland.com//" Glock holster <a href=" http://www.holsterland.com//" Glock holste/a Glock holster/a holsterland a href=" http://www.holsterland.com/" Glock holster/a Glock holster, S&W holster, Concealed holster, Magazine pouch. Gun Holsters, Pistol Holsters, Shoulder Holsters and More – Holsterl.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nat concealed website is blocked. Need a ph no.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nat concealed website is blocked. I need a ph num so I can order a bra holster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christy, on 4/21/14 I spoke to the owner of Naturally Concealed and learned she has closed her business due to a number of outside commitments. While I understand her reasoning, it sure does leave a hole in the repertoire of decent concealed carry options for women.

      Sorry, I wish I had better news. I've updated the blog post to reflect the business closure.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  32. Since naturally concealed has closed do you think the owner would share the pattern and materials list. Maybe sell them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you ever get a response from your friend regarding whether or not she is willing to sell her pattern and material list?

      Delete
    2. I gave her your contact info, but that's all I know about it, I'm afraid.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  33. Please do let us know if she has decided to post or sell this pattern. I desperately need this holster, and have found nothing like it anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I hope she decides to share the pattern. I really need this holster and have not found anything like it anywhere else!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I Hope she will sell her pattern. I really need a place to carry my lcr

    ReplyDelete
  36. This would have been a great concealed holster for ladies. Too bad Naturally Concealed closed down. I hope they'll find their way to bring back their product.

    guns for sale ga

    ReplyDelete
  37. I know your friend shared her pattern with another company, who decided not to sell that holster. Is there any way she would sell to an individual who just wants to make her own holster and is not interested in selling it? Pretty please with surgar on it? This is the only holster I found to fit my body/lifestyle perfectly...Thank you so much for your help!!!

    ReplyDelete