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Old September 4, 2013, 10:00 PM   #1
Prof Young
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"Man bag" carry


In the great land of Lincoln our right to carry is finally being recognized. Not sure I will, but if I do, as a guy who already carries a "man bag" what are the pros and cons of concealed carry in a bag?

And just for the curious, I moved to a man bag cause between cell phone, wallet, multi tool and sunglasses it just got to be too much. So now I have all that plus a small flashlight, a monocular and ear plugs with me all the time.

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Old September 4, 2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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"Man bag" carry

To me on the body carry is the best way to go for carry. Since you put all that junk in your bag you've got plenty of real estate for the firearm!

The reason I like on the body is because it is the most reliable with a good holster. By that I mean if you get pushed down and bag falls off your shoulder, you lose your gun. There are many modes of carry. Ankle, IWB, OWB, SOB, Appendix, Shoulder rig, belly band, and the list goes on. Carrying on your body doesn't just mean on the hip anymore.

It also tends to be quicker to draw from an on the body position vs. a bag. I will say this...if you do decide to bag carry skip the small guns. If you are going to handicap yourself with bag carry for the reasons noted above might as well make it up by carrying a full size gun of some sort or possibly even a higher capacity compact pistol. This should net you better accuracy, more reliable gun function, better velocity, better ballistic performance from your chosen round, more ammo capacity than using a smaller gun.

I know some people will disagree with me but hey it's the Internet, its going to happen.
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Old September 4, 2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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I agree about the utility of carrying on body. I have never used a "man bag" (not having the proper personal equipment such), but I have used a purse many times. Carrying off body, such as in a purse or a bag, is indeed slower to access. It is also less certain to access, especially in close quarters.

If you do decide to carry your firearm in your man bag, you should definitely get a bag that is designed for concealed carry – specifically designed for it, not simply adapted to it. This will minimize (but not eliminate) the drawbacks on speed and ease of access.

You should also do some hard thinking about what you are, and are not, willing to do to protect the firearm in your bag. If someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to hand them the bag – will you, or won't you? Getting to your own firearm at that point might not be possible. Are you willing to risk your life to protect the firearm you carry to protect your life? Or would you be willing to comply with the demands in such a circumstance? (Please note that I am not talking about a tactical decision. I am talking about a pragmatic and moral decision. This is the type of thinking that needs to underpin the choices we make about concealed carry. The specific tactics that we use follow naturally from the moral choices that we make in advance. Failing to sort out those moral choices in advance leads to freezes and other bad outcomes.)

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Old September 4, 2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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This isn't completely relevant to all off body carry, this is specifically about carrying in a bag or case that is also used to hold other items and that the person generally carries as a matter of course.

It's very difficult to forget that you are carrying a holstered gun on your belt, but people do occasionally forget that there's a gun in their purse or briefcase or whatever. That can cause a lot of trouble if the person lays that bag down somewhere absent-mindedly or if they don't remember to take the gun out before a plane trip or before entering some other secured area.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:06 AM   #5
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I guess its someplace to have a gun and better than leaving it at home. However, I have never seen a very quick draw from a purse.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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I agree with the above, body carry is best. 1) If someone was to cut the strap and grab your bag you just lost your gun. 2) slow access to the gun. While you think you might be fast getting to it you cant beat a 4oclock draw. 3) kinda goes with #1 but the bag is usually
Where cellphones, PDA, IPOD, IPAD Ect are kept and thus usually the target of a theif.

I ccw body carry a full size 15+1 9mm and a mag light XL50 and a extra mag with no problems on me.
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Old September 5, 2013, 01:13 AM   #7
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The Man purse a.k.a. "Murse" is a decent option for carry, but many would suggest on-body carry instead because the gun stays on you. With the bag you will have a delay if you ever had to draw your edc.

The upside is you can bring more things with you and not have your pockets full. But IMHO I would not carry in a bag unless I had no other choice.
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Old September 5, 2013, 04:06 AM   #8
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I have done this in the past and expect that I will again. I generally use Maxpedition products because they have spacious compartments designed just for CCW which keep the gun seperate from the main compartment and other items.

I cannot use the usual hip holsters because my arms are just too long for my upper body - placing my hand at my kidney requires me to lean heavily forward and to the opposite side and my elbow ends up at shoulder level - something between yoga and torture. I prefer shoulder holsters or cross draw but when the temperatures get up above 95 degrees jackets are not very practical.
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Old September 5, 2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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My objection to all such accoutrement is that it can become a target for thieves and other malefactors who presume it to contain a)valuables and/or b)a firearm. So, in a fell swoop you not only make yourself somewhat more likely to be selected for a criminal's attention, you are pointing him or her to your primary means of defense.
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Old September 5, 2013, 08:02 AM   #10
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The man-bag or murse:

"It's European!" - Jerry Seinfeld

Have contemplated this many times in the past and have even looked at some of the Maxpedition products that have the capability of stashing a concealed holster. But as pax pointed out, the bag itself may become the target of desired ownership by some cretin.

Even though they may not know it contains a firearm, there is some relative certainty on their part that something of value lies within. So instead of just giving up a wallet or watch, you're giving up the bounty of your EDC items within the bag.

It's a personal choice/preference, not knocking anyone's desires. I have in past times carried a Mountainsmith day pack...water, protein bars, extra mags...but the ole pistola stays on the hip.

edit - didn't see csmsss's post while typing this, great minds I guess...
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Old September 5, 2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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For reasons already expressed, I'm not a huge fan of off-body carry. If you carry a "man bag," put all that other stuff in it. Keep the firearm on your body, though.
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Old September 5, 2013, 09:02 AM   #12
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The appeal of a bag, small knapsack, etc. is strong, particularly in hot summer weather, when concealment of a full-sized handgun becomes problematical. After all which would I prefer to have in my hands in a crisis: a full sized belt gun, or a tiny pocket pistol? The problem with the off-body carry is that you give up speed and control that too often is more important than the size of the handgun.

I really liked Pax's comments on this thread. She went beyond the tactical considerations of the various carry options to a more important core concept. The leap between an ordinary person with a gun, who may very well be a good shot, and a trained combatant, comes from moral choices already embedded into the personality that can be acted upon without hesitation.
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Old September 5, 2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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If your going to do it, do it right.

Off body offers another complication. In Ohio my wife technically can't sit in my car with a firearm in her access as she does not have a CHL. If I go into a store and leave the bag in the car it might be an actual problem. If I leave the bag in the car and she decides she needs to drive my car for some reason, then there is for sure a problem.

More of a concern with "glovebox" guns, but still possible with off body carry depending on state laws.
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Old September 5, 2013, 09:35 AM   #14
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The two most frequent causes of lost/stolen guns I hear about are "glovebox" guns and purse guns. There's an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that can creep in if one isn't vigilant.

A couple of years back, I was in a restaurant, and a lady at the next table went off about how she kept a gun in her purse and wasn't going to be a victim, et cetera. I watched as she got up and went to the restroom while leaving the bag slung over the back of her chair.
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Old September 5, 2013, 10:15 AM   #15
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As a fellow Illinoisan I carry a fanny pack designed for conceal carry in an attempt to follow the letter of the law. Much has been written on this topic, and I won't re-hash it here. I have tried other bags, and find them to be more difficult to access quickly. With a little practice drawing from a fanny pack works pretty well.
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Old September 5, 2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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K Mac ~ Here is a tutorial about drawing from a fanny pack. It may help increase your speed even more.

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Old September 5, 2013, 11:38 AM   #17
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Sacks murses "Jack packs" etc...

Im not fond of the "fanny pack", murse(man purse), cases, officer binder, etc for regular concealed carry.
Id advise carrying at least one firearm on your person. In a real gunfight or assault, you may be knocked down or be separated from your belongings.
If your pistol or defense weapon is in your case or bag, then you'll be in a serious bind.
A popular gun magazine ran an article on the topic which noted how a SA(Special Agent) assigned to protect the secretary of HUD(Housing & Urban Development) was given displinary action for repeatedly leaving his office briefcase with his SIG Sauer pistol behind at different functions.

You should buy a well made holster & learn to draw from concealment. If you want to carry extra rounds or magazines or pack a BUG(back up gun) then a bag or case can help but don't rely on a separate container for your main sidearm.

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Old September 5, 2013, 12:37 PM   #18
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I've used them for maybe 20 years. Have a couple camera bags and a couple messenger/laptop bags. Work fine, never had a problem.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:55 PM   #19
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As a fellow Illinoisan I carry a fanny pack designed for conceal carry in an attempt to follow the letter of the law. With a little practice drawing from a fanny pack works pretty well.
I do that as well, but only when on vacation trips and such, where I worry mostly about crowds and pickpockets. Off the fanny though, I carry both my wallet and gun in front of me. Don't much care what it looks like to those that poke fun.
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Old September 5, 2013, 01:00 PM   #20
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"Man bag" carry

They make bags specifically for conceal carry. However, just be sure your shoes match your bag or you will look ridiculous
A pack came with a 738TCP made to look like a cell phone holder. I saw someone wearing one once and knew immediately what it was. Others may not.
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:43 PM   #21
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For various reasons which aren't really applicable to this thread daily CC is a pain in the rear for me. But a year or two ago I started carrying an EDC day pack and I had a gun stowed away in it. I realized it's issues but IMO at the time it was better than a gun at home and the bag was as much a get home and EM bag as something for instant access. Didn't take me long to lose the gun. Constant worry about the bag and it's location and theft made it more of a pain than carrying on my person. If/when I feel the need I still toss a gun in there or in a pocket but I have to weigh trade offs and many times the gun loses.
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Old September 5, 2013, 04:20 PM   #22
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I have carried both ways using Maxpedition products for off body with dedicated pockets for holsters. I prefer on-body, but there were a couple of times when i saw something developing where I was able to place my hand on my firearm in the bag without drawing attention until I was able to remove myself from the situation. That only helps if you see it coming.

Still, for more reasons than not its weak side bag and strong side gun for me.
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Old September 5, 2013, 06:33 PM   #23
Prof Young
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Body carry rules the day


Thanks for all the thoughts.

The arguments are strongly in favor of body carry, and it seems like for good reasons.

At this point I have no plans to acquire the permit for concealed carry once they become available in Illinois. If I can find the training close by and it's doesn't cost an arm and a leg I may go after it.

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Old September 5, 2013, 11:26 PM   #24
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There is another somewhat in-between option - the Safepacker.

This is a black, rectangular "pouch"/holster which looks like some kind of day-planner but is made to carry a gun. It can be carried on the belt like a holster, hung on a strap, carried loose in the hand, or even attached to a bigger bag. They come in different sizes and work with just about any gun you might have.

There is even a zippered pocket in the flap so you can use it to carry a few items - checkbook, pens, etc. - so it does disguise itself somewhat.

To access your gun you have to undo the clasp and open the flap - but with a little practice this isn't any more difficult than pulling a shirt out of the way.

I have a couple of these. In New Mexico they are legally considered a holster for open carry so I used them before I got my CPL.
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Old September 5, 2013, 11:44 PM   #25
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Prof Young

If you do decide to get your CHL one of the posters you might wish to "private message" is aarondhgraham, we had a discussion about this subject last year. I think he still carries in a man bag.
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