A New Kind of Holster

Alright, kiddos.  I think I’ve done it.  Today I finished a bag and then successfully used it to carry my M&P compact while I ran some errands.  FINALLY.  It seems like it’s been a long time coming.  Here are some photos of the bag and me wearing the bag:

The bag consists of one large pocket that fits over a Kydex holster like this one, and has velcro tape at the top and two smaller pockets on the exterior for things like a phone, keys, money, credit cards, etc.  The belt loops on the Kydex holster have an extended tab on them that allows the gun to ride a little lower on the thigh.  I find this to be more comfortable and it makes the bag sit better.  The nice thing about this design is that the front pocket basically hides any gun outlines you might be able to see through the fabric, while providing room for my other EDC items.  I also like how snuggly my pistol sits against my hip in this configuration.  I took a long walk and then did a couple of sprints up and down the steps in my house to see how it felt and it seems very stable.   It’s also easy to access my phone and money without flashing my gun at the people around me.  Important.

I used  Kwik Sew pattern K3651 for the general size and shape of this bag and then I added the pocket in the front and the openings for the belt loops in the back.  I also changed the seam allowance to 1/2 inch instead of a 1/4 inch.  I could probably have made it a teansy bit taller to accomodate the velcro.  I have mixed feelings about the hook-and-loop tape I’ve been using.  It’s easy to install in the bag, keeps it closed securely and can be operated with one hand.  My reservation is that I feel a little clumsy on the draw stroke right now.  The velcro seems like an impediment to getting to the gun quickly.  Maybe I just need practice.  Or maybe the hook-and-loop tape will go out the window as I progress.  If anyone has any suggestions on a better closure method for the pistol compartment, I would be happy to hear them.

Or if you have any suggestions at all for improving the bag, please let me know.  I’m making these things based on what I perceive my concealed-carry needs to be, but I’m sure there are considerations I’m overlooking or more expedient ways of getting there.  What would you like to see in an OWB holster belt bag?

Girls and Guns


So I saw this poster when I was at the gun range the other day and it made me stop and stare.  At first, I thought it was uproariously funny. Just look at those underpants she’s wearing!  They are somehow huge and revealing at the same time, and sort of look like a doily that my grandma would have on her living room end-table.  Plus, what’s with the  robe that looks like lacey arm-floaties?  I’m sure it’s perfect attire for a dip in the grotto at the Playboy mansion.  Or a kiddie pool full of chocolate pudding.

But then I got to thinking about women and the role of sexuality in the gun community.  You can’t ignore the fact that there is something very powerful about shooting a gun, and that power and sex are happy bedfellows.  Mastery over a weapon breeds confidence and satisfaction.  Confidence is sexy.  I wear my hair longer these days, in part because I really like the way a long ponytail looks with the protective eye and ear wear I sport at the range.  When I painted my nails last week, I was excited about taking pictures of me shooting my new M&P compact with a sharp manicure.  I feel suddenly empowered to do more overtly feminine things with my appearance since I began engaging in this hyper-masculine activity.  I want to look powerful and in charge, like a woman.  I feel comfortable being pretty for the first time in my life, because I don’t feel like I’m “asking for it” by looking nice and walking around the city alone.

Then I see things like this:

And this just disappoints me.  This is not my idea of women in the gun community.  This is about objectification.  Now I’m not going to rant about the female-as-sex-object theme we often see in popular media.  I say, if all parties are consenting and you want to show off your (obviously well-honed) body for the whole world to see, and hopefully make some bank on it, godspeed my friend.  I just don’t think that this type of advertising accurately characterizes my experience or that of any woman I know, for that matter, in the gun world.  The women in these ads look passive.  They are posing with guns for the viewer, to please the viewer.  They look defenseless.  They’re barely dressed.   The women and the gun are objects intended for possession by men.

In real life, carrying a gun is about being assertive and competent.  It’s about taking care of yourself and those around you.  And when you know you can take care of yourself, you no longer feel like an object that someone else could take possession of at any time.

“Now I’m back! I’m back from the future!”

Oh hey!  That’s right, I have a blog!

I’ve been so busy for the past month helping to run the surprise small business that lives in my spare room that I totally forgot to write blog posts.  Sorry about that, dudes.  It wasn’t you.  It was me.  We can still be friends.

So some really rad stuff has been happening over here lately.  One of the most exciting things is that we’re on track to get an LLC for PHLster.  Yay! Legitimacy!  Hopefully that will help us feel like “real” business owners instead of delusional recluses who act like Golem with a gun and sizzle like vampires when they leave the house during the day.  That could be more a nature than nurture thing though, so I guess we’ll see.

Also, I recently lucked into an amazing Craigslist find that could possibly be one of the most spectacular thing I’ve ever gotten for free in my whole life.  This 1964 Singer 331K1 industrial sewing machine:

Yeah, that's right.  It was FREE.

Taaaa-daaah!  Isn’t that sweet as crap??  It runs like a champ, the motor is super strong and I’m pretty sure it would sew my hand to the cat if those things happened to be under the needle when the treadle was pushed.  So my only dilemma now is what to make first?  This thing will sew leather, vinyl, canvas, denim, nylon, whatevs.  It’s basically the honey badger of sewing machines and it’s all mine.   Once I rein in my ambition (and get the hang of the incredibly touchy pedal) I will post some pictures of my projects.

Additionally, I have been trying to get back into going to the gun range at least once a week.  I got that awesome Ruger Mark III for Christmas (What?!  I still haven’t posted pictures?? OMG.  Can I do a worse job at blogging??) and the cost of .22 amo is so little that the only excuse I can come up with for not going once a week is laziness.  The payoff for getting up off the couch though, is that it shoots so well and with such little recoil that you feel like a total badass.  In fact, the other day I had a real exciting interaction at the range after shooting the Mark III (like a boss).  A couple of guys who I’m guessing were around my age, were finishing up just as I was done shooting and they approached me and asked about my gun.  I told them the make and the model and they asked if I practiced shooting it a lot.  When I replied in the affirmative, one of them said, “You can really tell.  You’re a good shot”.  I was very excited not only because someone complimented my shooting (it’s always nice when bitches recognize), but also because there was no mention of me being a good shot, “for a girl”.

In the past year, I’ve noticed more and more women at my home range looking less and less like they’ve been dragged there by their overzealous boyfriends.  It’s really encouraging to see ladies buying and shooting their own guns and thus, all of us together, starting to turn the tide of popular opinion about female shooters.  I’m hoping that the trend continues and that women become regular fixtures in the gun world and not just random outliers.  And, in that spirit, I am on the hunt for a new gun that I can base my personal concealed carry set-up on, i.e. belt bags, holsters, maybe even some compression shorts, if I’m feeling frisky.  I’m really excited to start carrying a gun regularly now that I have my permit, and some good starting points for developing a safe and effective way to conceal a pistol in everyday clothes.  I’ll be sure to share once I nail down the purchase and I’ll definitely let you guys know how my EDC plan works out.  Hopefully, before Thanksgiving…