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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?