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Thread: Offset Holster for Wife

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    My wife is looking for a good OC offset holster for either a Beretta Px4 Storm Compact, a S&W SW99 9mm, or a full size 1911; preferably with retention. By "offset", I mean that the holster holds the gun far enough away from the curve of her hip that the grip doesn't dig her in the ribs.
    She has curves.:celebrate Where shall we look for a holster?


    Thanks,
    Dave

    <edited to define "offset">
    Dave
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    davegran wrote:
    My wife is looking for a good OC offset holster for either a Beretta Px4 Storm Compact, a S&W SW99 9mm, or a full size 1911; preferably with retention.
    She has curves.:celebrate Where shall we look for a holster?


    Thanks,
    Dave
    Safariland 6004 will fit the baretta and S&W.

    Safariland also makes holsters for 1911's.

    Get a good quality gun belt, or a riggers belt and she'll be fine.

    Special Operations Equipment makes riggers belts up to size 50.

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    Bravo_Sierra wrote:
    davegran wrote:
    My wife is looking for a good OC offset holster for either a Beretta Px4 Storm Compact, a S&W SW99 9mm, or a full size 1911; preferably with retention.
    She has curves.:celebrate Where shall we look for a holster?


    Thanks,
    Dave
    Safariland 6004 will fit the baretta and S&W.

    Safariland also makes holsters for 1911's.

    Get a good quality gun belt, or a riggers belt and she'll be fine.

    Special Operations Equipment makes riggers belts up to size 50.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I should have mentioned that she wasn't looking for a tactical holster.

    Dave

    Dave
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    Aker Leather makes a paddle holster that pushes the grip outboard and may serve for hip having women folk.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I would suggest going to a Cabelas or a uniform store and trying out holsters. The easiest way for her to find one she likes is to try out a huge array of them.
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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    Michigander wrote:
    I would suggest going to a Cabelas or a uniform store and trying out holsters. The easiest way for her to find one she likes is to try out a huge array of them.
    Thanks for the suggestion; it makes a lot of sense. I just wondered, would stores that carry a lot of holsters also have the blue, inert guns to try in the holsters? Just trying on an empty holster might not be a good test since there would be nothing to stick her in the ribs if the design wasn't quite right for her body shape.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    Dave
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Cabelas will let you try your gun out in a holster in the store, at least at the locations I've been to. What they do, if and only if your gun is coming out of the holster, is put a trigger lock on it at the entrance, then you go to the gun area, have an employee take the trigger lock off, then you try out the holsters, find one you like (if you see one that you want) put the trigger lock back on, pay at the front, have the trigger lock taken off, then go on your merry way.

    Uniform stores may allow similar things, probably without the trigger lock. Doesn't hurt to call and ask ahead of time. Plus, if they have dummy guns, those would work too.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

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    Buy a Blue gun or an aluminum dummy gun. You need it for training anyway.

    Then again, 99% of the people don't train and believe that training beyond any legal requirements isn't important. Don't be part of that 99%.

    ***

    Don't rely on a store to provide you with a training gun to test a holster. I don't even think it's reasonable to expect that from a store given the expense involved. Even maintaining a solid inventory of holsters is daunting from the retail perspective.

    ***

    BTW, why not ask if you can test with the real gun so long as it is empty? Every gun store I have been to allowed that so long as an employee verified the gun was clear.

    Holsters:

    You mentioned an OC offset holster. Have she tried carrying the gun in the appendix position? Since it's for OC, then you don't need an inside the pants holster. The appendix position is good for women since it bypasses the offset problem. Bonuses include a faster draw and more control over the weapon since it's in front.

    Additionally, is retention important? I think it is essential.

    I've been shopping around for retention holsters and have found there are relatively few models available that meet my criteria. The holsters either have too little retention (just a snap) or are crazy and require several steps to get the gun out. Bad guys know how to operate a snap and it's exceptionally easy to snatch an unsecured gun from behind the hip.

    The reason for the more simple retention system is to facilitate the draw using gross motor movement with only the thumb. I'm looking at the Safariland ALS and similar systems. The DeSantis Chek-Mate holster appears to be almost identical to the ALS. The Blackhawk SERPA is disqualified from consideration since I've experienced failures with them that resulted in a stuck gun. You may want to look into the Safariland and DeSantis holsters.

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    The Blackhawk Serpa Level 2 Duty holsteris offset. Bianchi also offers their 990 Wide Offset Paddle for their Model 59leather holster or the 7500 Accumold holster, both of which use a thumb break for retension.

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Some time back I found a website for a place that makes women's holsters and I made my own based on the design, and yes it seems to work.

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    XD40coyote wrote:
    Some time back I found a website for a place that makes women's holsters and I made my own based on the design, and yes it seems to work.
    My wife and I would appreciate any pictures, details, or web addresses you could give us, Coyote.

    Marilyn & Dave

    Dave
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    Remember: Don't make old People mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    I think it was ladyfist holsters, but scroll down in this forum category and you will see the fist company has sucky customer service.



    Here's a couple I made



    davegran wrote:
    XD40coyote wrote:
    Some time back I found a website for a place that makes women's holsters and I made my own based on the design, and yes it seems to work.
    My wife and I would appreciate any pictures, details, or web addresses you could give us, Coyote.

    Marilyn & Dave

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    XD40coyote wrote:
    I think it was ladyfist holsters, but scroll down in this forum category and you will see the fist company has sucky customer service. Here's a couple I made
    Very nice! Do you have a sewing machine or did you do all those tiny little stitches by hand? Are these evolved from other holsters you made or did you hit a sweet spot right away?

    I don't see from the pics what makes them fit a woman better. Is there some detail on the other side that positions the grip farther out from your ribs? Do you have a pic of them being worn or a shot of the other side?

    I'll try the Ladyfist website and see what I can learn there; thanks for the information and pictures!

    Dave

    Dave
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    Remember: Don't make old People mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

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    My last was....er....uh....top heavy and I had to fit her with a low rider. Forgot what????

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    My last was....er....uh....top heavy and I had to fit her with a low rider. Forgot what????
    What kind of holster did you finally get for her?

    <edited to remove tasteless comment-my apologies, ladies.>


    Dave
    45ACP-For when you care enough to send the very best-
    Fight for "Stand Your Ground " legislation!

    WI DA Gerald R. Fox:
    "These so-called 'public safety' laws only put decent law-abiding citizens at a dangerous disadvantage when it comes to their personal safety, and I for one am glad that this decades-long era of defective thinking on gun issues is over..."

    Remember: Don't make old People mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    davegran wrote:
    XD40coyote wrote:
    I think it was ladyfist holsters, but scroll down in this forum category and you will see the fist company has sucky customer service. Here's a couple I made

    I'll try the Ladyfist website and see what I can learn there; thanks for the information and pictures!
    Dave
    I went to the Ladyfist website to learn more about the construction of their women's holsters on XD40coyote's recommendation, since she was able to learn enough there to successfully build her own holsters.

    It appeared that Ladyfist's video had the most information on the design so here is what it claimed, with my comments in red italics:
    1. The Belt mounting "wings" were wider to wrap around the waist more - They claimed this allowed the gun to fall away from the body more. Unless the back of the holster had some thickness built up between the gun and the body, I don't see how this actually works.
    2. The holster held the pistol 1" lower than normal - They said that this was because most women are short-waisted and it makes the draw easier without having to have your elbow way up in the "chickenwing" position. This makes sense to me although I don't know if it would be legal in IDPA competition.
    3. The holster had less cant so the weapon was more straight up and down to also make for an easier draw for the ladies. This is an individual preference and might actually make the draw slower for some women who prefer a cant either to the rear or the front.
    4. The top front of the holster had a cutout section to allow the gun to be rotated toward the target more quickly as it cleared the holster sooner. This is a nice feature that again may or may not be IDPA legal.
    My conclusions:
    • The holsters have some nice features that may or may not be IDPA legal; but if you don't shoot competition this is a non-issue.
    • Some of the features are questionable because of lack of full disclosure of their design.
    • Like any other holster over the counter, it might or might not work for any particular individual. Check their return policy.
    • We'll keep looking for a solution. If nothing else, we meet some nice people along the way.
    Marilyn & Dave
    Dave
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    Remember: Don't make old People mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    I made mine with more cant. I wear the belt on the hips just above the widest part of my big hiney, but even if I weighed 120 I have wide hips to hold a belt above, don't know what your wife's figure looks like.

    The wider area where the belt slots are- this wraps around my hip as the leather bends, but as far as tipping at the hip I haven't noticed it, the gun grip simply hugs against one of my fat rolls LOL. IfI lost weight,I think a sturdy thick leather gun belt would keep things level ( I am going to make one of these btw). Keep in mind I did not copy the ladyfist design 100%, all I did was look at the pics and draw a pattern of the outline and adjusted the cant angle.

    My design has the thumb break as you see, because I wanted an OC holster, however I have this denim vest that wears well over it and conceals it with minimal printing.

    As to IDPA and other competive shooting, I can't answer you there. I've never done it, but if they were held alot closer to where I live, I'd check it out.

    I also have a serpa level 2 and use the belt slot backing. Works just fine worn on the hip, with the cant adjusted somewhat forward, but it needs to have a thicker belt to hold it more sturdy. It does sit out from the body more, which is nice for OC as I can wrap my shirt behind it better.

    The serpa:



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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Very nice! Do you have a sewing machine or did you do all those tiny little stitches by hand? Are these evolved from other holsters you made or did you hit a sweet spot right away?

    I made the holsters all by hand. Now you know why custom made hand made holsters cost so much. It takes not only skill, but alot of boring time punching holes and stitching. Now if you really want to see time consuming, try figuring out a pattern and making from scratch a double mag pouch! Took me hours of fiddling with paper and leather to figure the proper design, then a complicated stitching routine.

    Older style holsters don't take as long to make- less stiching as seen with this style with a 1911. I even had a pattern from a book for this, of which I altered so the trigger area is covered ( the old style holsters have this area open, which I see as unsafe for a cocked and locked 1911 or any semi auto with 1 in the pipe, but work fine for cowboy rigs where you have a single action revolver with the hammer forward)



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    If you get a Blackhawk and she is getting jabbed in the ribs they also sell spacer kits that allow you to adjust for hip/waist contours. I believe they come in two different thicknesses.

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    XD40coyote wrote:
    Very nice! Do you have a sewing machine or did you do all those tiny little stitches by hand? Are these evolved from other holsters you made or did you hit a sweet spot right away?
    I made the holsters all by hand. Now you know why custom made hand made holsters cost so much. It takes not only skill, but alot of boring time punching holes and stitching. Now if you really want to see time consuming, try figuring out a pattern and making from scratch a double mag pouch! Took me hours of fiddling with paper and leather to figure the proper design, then a complicated stitching routine.
    Are you self-taught or is there a comprehensive instruction site somewhere on the web where a complete beginner like myself could learn? The Serpa looks like it rides pretty well, too.

    Dave

    Dave
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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Mainly self taught, and still have alot to learn! You can get instructional books and kits from Tandy Leather, as well as the leather hides,dyes, finishes,and hardware.

    I just made a holster and dbl mag pouch for a PA OCer, and the belt is being worked on still. Took me forever to make a pattern for the mag pouch. The belt is going to be double thick. All 3 are plain and black. I'd like to learn how to tool and carve leather as well as various dying and finishing methods. I did get some really good books on this stuff. One day if I keep this up, I can make really cool OC holsters ( including cowboy rigs perhaps). My biggest problem is unless I buy a bunch of blue guns or other to-scale replicas, I am very limited in what I can make.

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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    Gilly wrote:
    If you get a Blackhawk and she is getting jabbed in the ribs they also sell spacer kits that allow you to adjust for hip/waist contours. I believe they come in two different thicknesses.

    Thanks for the information, I wasn't aware that Blackhawk has spacers available.

    Dave
    Dave
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    Remember: Don't make old People mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

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