In part one we looked at On Body carry of a concealed pistol with either a holster carried on the belt or in a shoulder holster. In part two, we’ll look at Off Body carry where the pistol is carried in a purse, briefcase or similar bag. The advantage of off body carry is that it can be more comfortable than carrying a pistol in a holster, but there are two major disadvantages.
First, a pistol in a purse or bag takes much longer to access in a self-defense situation than if it is carried in a holster on the body.
Second, the purse or bag may become lost or separated from the pistol owner. If unauthorized persons gain access to the bag, the pistol may be stolen and later used in a crime or used in some other unsafe manner.
Many of our customers bring their unloaded pistols to the range in their range bags or hard cases and this is the best way to transport unloaded firearms for recreational purposes. But when carrying a loaded pistol for self defense, the preferred and most popular method is to carry it in a holster or a fanny pack with a built-in holster, on the body.
When purchasing a holster, it’s best to buy one that is made for the specific make and model of the pistol to be carried. There are a few holsters that will accommodate several similar pistols, but, they may not work as well as a holster that fits the shape of the pistol properly. Leather holsters typically have to go through a break-in period (just like a pair of shoes) and may be a tight fit on the pistol for a while. Kydex and other synthetic materials are typically molded to the shape of a specific pistol and fit better from the outset. For safety, the holster should cover the trigger guard so that the trigger cannot be accidentally pressed while the pistol is in the holster.
It’s important to choose a good quality gunbelt for the holster. The belt should cinch up quite tight around the waist and should be quite stiff so that the weight of the pistol doesn’t cause the belt to sag. Some people also carry a spare magazine or (revolver) speedloader in a pouch on the belt.