Saw yet another bad concealed carry product the other day. This one was a belly band type. Let me list the ways this product failed:
- It failed to protect the trigger from outside movement.
- The ad suggested people should wear the gun directly over the spine, a dangerous location for anything hard.
- The band had magazine pouches that were open at the bottom (the better to leave a load in your underwear, I guess).
- It had a two-handed tangle of a retention strap that would be utterly impossible to access if you were wearing pants, because the pants waistband would hold down the part of the strap you’d need to grab and pull to get to the gun.
- The retention strap was designed to go directly over any grip safety your gun might have, thus disengaging the safety.
We might be tempted to give this soft product points for simply having a retention strap. Most soft products don’t, even though all soft products should have some way to keep the gun inside. But if we do that, then we should immediately erase those extra points, because the retention strap was so poorly-designed that it’s actually worse than not having one at all.
This means that on almost every measure of safe holster design, this product failed. Miserably.
But this bad holster (and a similar product by the same maker) has gotten a lot of media buzz, because “It’s made by a woman for women!”
Whether it’s a flimsy piece of lace, wrapped around your body like a deadly improvised ace bandage, or a beautifully-patterned gun bucket intended to be dropped into the bottom of a cluttered purse, it’s important to choose a safe holster!
No matter what the product is, it’s not a safe place to put your concealed carry gun unless it does ALL of the following:
- Holds the gun securely, in a way that won’t fall out if it’s subjected to the Tip Test.
- Covers the trigger completely, with something sturdy enough to protect the trigger from being moved by any force outside the holster.
- Allows you to get the gun out with a reasonable amount of safe, predictable smoothness.
The gender of your holstermaker doesn’t matter. All that matters is their competence. Bad products are bad, no matter who makes them. Good products are good, no matter who makes them.
And let’s not even get into the sexism of choosing a holster maker based on her sex. My friend Cerisse Wilson-Bansefay of Soteria Leather writes:
As a female holster maker, I want people to want my product because of the quality and not because I’m a girl. On the same token, occasionally I’ll have to explain to people that just because I’m female, doesn’t mean that I only have to make holsters for women either. I’ve also had a supplier tell me I couldn’t buy a product to use on my holsters because they gave another female the exclusive to use it, even though every male holster maker was allowed to purchase it (but that’s a whole other can of worms)…
As women in a male dominated industry and sport, of course we should celebrate women’s successes, but we shouldn’t have to support something that is bad or unsafe just because it’s made by another female. Ultimately I hope we continue to move in the direction where females are so common in this industry that people won’t describe us as “great female holster makers/shooters/instructors/etc” and instead just say “they’re great shooters/instructors/etc.”
From your lips to God’s ears, Cerisse.