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For some reason, Farago takes it personally that my wife doesn’t EDC (everyday carry). So every time we see each other, TTAG’s jefe slips me a small gun and one or two holsters for her to try out around the house – in the hopes that she’ll start “packing heat.” The most recent entry: a GLOCK 42, an IWB TacticalTuck holster from Osborn Holsters and a OWB Pancake holster from the Kydex kids at K Rounds . . .

My wife shoots. Not as much as me, but she’s got a great deal of native and fine motor skills. Chalk it up to her years as a trauma ICU nurse; she’s cool as a frozen cucumber and rock solid with her trigger finger. The Ruger MK III Standard is her favorite pistol, a gun I purchased as a present when we moved in together.

While Mrs. Kee is totally capable of handling a full-sized nine, she always wants to go back to shooting the MK III when we go to the range. Since I adhere to the philosophies of “a gun in the hand is better than none” as well as the “use what you shoot best,” the MK III is MK I’s de facto nightstand gun. I’m sure we’ll both get flamed in the comments for that decision, but I invite you to let my wife shoot at you with her little .22 to see if it changes your mind.

My wife favors a “girly” caliber and she doesn’t dress like a man. She wears dresses, sheer fabric tops, skirts and tight jeans. She also gets her hair and nails done and smells nice. (I married up). But all that “lady” stuff makes it nearly impossible to conceal carry [what I consider] an effective weapon. She could certainly carry a derringer in her bra or in a thigh holster like a lady of the Wild West, but getting it  pointed towards a credible threat is another matter.

So when Farago handed me the babiest of GLOCKs and some good looking holsters, I thought I might be able to convince my better half to trade up a caliber size and, RF be praised, start carrying a gun.

First Impressions – GLOCK 42

“It looks like a toy.”

“Baby, it isn’t a toy. This is a very serious piece of hardware. Dan Zimmerman gave this 4 stars in his review.”

“It looks like a toy.”

Truth be told, I was also a bit startled by the GLOCK 42’s diminutive size. No offense intended, but if the 26 is a “baby GLOCK” the 42 is a premie. Dan only compared the 42 to other small guns in his review. When I put the smallest of GLOCKs next to a more average sized heater like the G19 or the M&P 9, I knew the WordPress spell checker would soon be grappling with the word Lilliputian. See below for a picture comparing the same wife carrying two very different guns.

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Above: the GLOCK 42 nestled in the K Rounds OWB Pancake at the 4 O’Clock position mounted on my CompTac belt. It was the only belt of substance in the household at the time.

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Compare that with a full sized M&P 9 in a Mendicino Modular [above] to see that you don’t have to be a Freedom Group executive to know what a difference downsizing can make.

After she got done making fun of the G42, my lovely wife did some dry fire, mock draws and one-handed manipulations. She agreed the 42 fit her hand well, the trigger was nice, and she could see some value in a firearm made for those with smaller, delicate hands.

Once she’d walked around with the holstered gun, Mrs. Kee pronounced the G42 / K- Rounds combo light and unobtrusive with an excellent bouquet and a strong finish. Easy to unholster, easy to holster. A perfectly-fitted gun in a holster that doesn’t bind or chafe. Pop a shirt – perhaps a looser garment than her favorite black number – over the holster and the gun disappears. What’s not to like?

Choice. Restricting Mrs. Kee’s wardrobe to pants would be like limiting Chef Bobby Flay to pickles. But hey, you start carrying a gun and your wardrobe has to change a bit. The best thing about OWB pancake carry: with the right-sized gun it doesn’t interfere with day to day life. Contrast that with the unbearable non-lightness of being of the IWB rig.

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In the picture above, notice how the G42 is canted in towards the body. This is because women have something called hips. Whereas men are roughly cylindrically shaped, women are shaped more like hourglasses, pears and apples. This means that an IWB holster cut for a man will jam the rear of the pistol into the lady’s abdomen.

They get both pain and a nearly impossible draw- the shooter must wedge their thumb between the gun and their body and then pull outward to get a full grip. It’s a problem few companies have addressed. The perfect OWB holster for a woman would cant out a few degrees if worn by a man.

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Also worth noting: this particular Osborn holster refused to surrender its hold on the holstered G42. Normally, I’m a huge fan of retention. But when a pistol can’t be drawn until the holster is completely removed from the body, I lose my enthusiasm.

It appears that Osborn added a bit too much indention to the Kydex around the trigger guard. The only way to remove the G42 from this holster: remove the whole rig, and pull the leather away from the body of the gun whilst yanking furiously on the G42. An altogether unsafe situation and one I’m glad I tried first with an unloaded pistol.

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If you’re a man thinking about getting, I mean “offering” a gun and holster for the lady in your life, or you’re a lady looking for a carry piece, or a lady looking for a carry piece for the lady in your life, take a hard look at the G42 and a nice Kydex pancake OWB holster like the K Rounds holster.

You or the lady in your life will be stuck wearing pants of some sort as dresses and most skirts are out with an OWB rig, but it’s light, concealable under most blouses/shirts, and more gun than not having one. Given this experience I’d avoid IWB carry – especially if the woman in question has hips, which results in an uncomfortable ride and very slow draw. So to speak.

Just as a woman has many different styles of dress, she needs different styles of holster. And maybe even different guns. But the longest EDC starts with a single rig. Any suggestions?

51 Responses to Lady Gear Review: G42 and Carry Options

  1. My first gun was a Ruger Mk iii. I still love it.

    Has she ever shot a RIA TCM .22? About the same recoil, to my hand, as the Ruger, but a heavier and faster bullet. Oh, and a truly impressive muzzle flash and BA-WHOOM!!

  2. I notice your wife’s not wearing a sheer top in the photos. Hey, you brought it up.
    /jk

  3. Send an email to faliaphotography? I’d never considered that a woman would need a different holster before, but I’m sure falia noticed that agrees ago.

    She’s done YouTube videos on holsters and carrying for years.

  4. G42: WANT. Friend of mine has one, loves it.

    And I agree with the problems with an IWB holster for women. Our architecture makes IWB holsters not exactly feasible.

    (<—hourglass figure)

    • I’m intrigued by these IWB anatomical challenges faced by the fairer sex. I make my own kydex holsters, and my GF’s CCW permit should be in the mail any day now. It will be interesting to see what design tweaks I can incorporate to make it work for her. Maybe I’ll do a DIY on holsters for the next gun giveaway.

      • That would be awesome. For me, the problems are compounded by the fact that I’m short waisted in addition to having an hourglass figure. The holster cants in toward my waist, then the butt of the pistol jabs into my rib cage (because short waisted). So IWB’s don’t work for me, I’m pretty much relegated to OWB’s. If you could make IWB’s work for us gals…

        • The rib poking might be solved by lowering the ride height (where the pistol sits on the Y axis in relation to your belt) however if you sink it down further you make getting a drawing grip more difficult. Easy to adjust this variable to your liking.

          The cant issue will be the most challenging. I used an overly canted belt clip to really push the gun tight to my body due to preference. I have two theories on how to get around this, lets see if they pan out.

        • My wife has been experimenting with carrying in the small of her back. Her carry gun of choice is either Walther PPS or Kahr PM9.

          We ordered a left hand neutral cant IWB and she is learning how to palm out calvary draw right handed. So far she seems to like it and works well with most of her outfits. Its definitely not a speedy draw but is a compromise between her 3 C’s Comfort, Concealment and Curves.

        • Dan, I am interested in seeing your solutions to the cant issue. As for ride height, I can fiddle with that and see what happens.

        • If you ‘re slender, like Mrs. Kee, try appendix. Won’t work for a dress, but then again, not much does. And Tyler , puhleeezs–OWB kydex in NOT fashion conscious! In fact, it is down right ugly. Leather up man! Maybe a nice shark or lizard, maybe stingray. fine grained alligator is always nice too.

  5. The first pistol I gave my wife was a Ruger Mk II slab-barrel target model with a 1.5-5x scope. She still shoots it, but of course she doesn’t carry it. Instead I bought her (more recently, hehehe) a Sig P-238 which she loves – most other pistols that size are DAO with horribly stiff triggers and slides and she doesn’t like any of them (nor do I). The Sig is a mini-1911 (more like a Colt Mustang) with tritium sights and a smooth action and trigger. Now that they have the 938 in 9mm, I’m thinking of getting one for myself as a backup to my Para 1911 and for when I am wearing something too small to hide that (for example, when I am running – right now I tuck an NAA .22 mag into my running shorts! Women aren’t the only ones who may need specific holsters to avoid awkward situations!).

  6. Playing with fire, my friend. Imagine “honey, does this holster make me look fat?” Pretty soon she’ll need another closet just for holsters!

    BTW, I’m an ER trauma nurse. Difference between ER and ICU nurses? ER = ADHD, ICU = OCD.

  7. Where can you get a G42?

    Been looking for same reason as author.
    We both love her PK380 except for the clumsy safety that she insist keeping on, even though it has DA/SA with a hard first pull.

    • Finding the gun is the easy part, at least in my part of the world.

      But I’ve never seen .380 ammo on a shelf. ever. anywhere.

  8. Women are shaped more like hourglasses, pears and apples.
    I wouldn’t use the pear analogy around Mrs. Kee, especially if she’s carrying at the time.

  9. For the footprint/weight of the G42, she could be carrying a Shield in 9mm if the recoil/slide operation isn’t an issue.

    Also, I’d take a look at a Crossbreed IWB positioned for a 4-5 o’clock carry. That might overcome the issue of a woman’s hips canting the gun inward against the ribs. Not quite small-of-the-back, but definitely more rearward biased than towards the side of the hip.

    The issue with kydex IWB holsters similar to the one shown is that they’re too good at conforming to the gun’s shape, thereby creating ‘hot spots’ of pressure against the body which again creates discomfort. The completely flat planar surface of a Crossbreed style hybrid holster spreads out the contact force and provides a nice even surface for the skin to rest against.

  10. It took my girly girl a long time to settle on a rig, and because of that she carried only sometimes, when her wardrobe allowed it. She’s finally set. Sig P238 appendix carry. And yes, she’s so girly that she got the rainbow one. The holster isn’t anything special, just an ordinary Galco IWB. Yes, the safety is an extra step, but she practices every night.

    I’m not sure that there’s a real reason to get a G42 when you can get a single stack 9 that’s roughly the same size (I’m no Glock hater, my EDC is a G19, I just don’t really understand what Glock was trying to accomplish with the G42).

  11. Been a while, but I’m pretty sure I remember Masad Ayoob saying that Mich Rosen makes holsters for the atractively curved among us.

  12. I’ve been looking to acquure a G42 gen4 or G42sf. The G4 is thinner than the sf and both are slimmer than the regular G42.

      • “Is she hitting what she’s shooting at?”

        Good question. But I have to day, it’s impossible not to notice about 1 1/2″ difference in, um, may I say, um, elevation?

        At close range, shooting from the hip and hitting your target isn’t all that hard if you have a good kinesthetic sense (internally feeling how your limbs are positioned).

      • she’s using a mouse gun. at recommended distances of 3-10 feet, there’s a good chance she’s gonna hit what she’s shooting at…

      • who cares with that rack…

        the gun, the gun!!!! I’m talking about the gun.

        ….you dirty old men.

  13. I know it is considered a fashion faux-pas for both men and women but I think fanny bag carry is the best for many.Your weapon is concealed and well retained but not obvious. This is also the best option for jogging or cycling.A fanny bag looks good with a short skirt and tank top also. I wear mine everyday.

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  15. My gun of preference is the glock 23 .40cal. And I carry in a Fobus OWB paddle holster. Love this combination! I am a very slender Alaskan woman who lives in jeans, so no concerns with concealment…

  16. I’m a 5’10” 125lb. Woman. The Springfield xd subcompact .40 is my EDC and oddly enough my go to holster is the IWB crossbreed supertuck carried at roughly 4 o’clock. Has she given this one a try? It molds and fits like a glove.

  17. I love the Flash Bang Marilyn Holster with the M&P Shield 9mm. I am thin wear summer lowcut dresses and am only a 34B. Love it even in the south Texas hot summers.

  18. I work with lots of different women of all shapes and sizes. They also all have different clothing and gun preferences. It makes finding the ideal way to carry quite daunting. IWB in appendix position seems to be more versatile than most other options. Although the Flashbang works great, if you don’t have a fairly flat stomach, or you are very short-waisted, it will dig into your gut and be very uncomfortable. The majority of women I work with decide to carry using Thunderwear. It is a pouch carry that can be positioned wherever it is most comfortable for you. A major advantage is that the holster is not attached to your pants which means you don’t have to worry when using the bathroom. (Remember, EVERY time a woman goes to the bathroom, the pants come down.) And I’m sure many of you will disagree, but there are some great holster purse options as well. (Steel cables in the straps, cross-body, quick release, etc.) Finding a suitable way to carry for a gal can be a pain. But don’t try to make her carry like a dude, or she likely won’t carry at all.

  19. My husband just bought me the Glock 42 and I’m absolutely in love!!!!! Looking for a proper holster and came across this fine piece of writing. Very helpful indeed. Thank you!!!!

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