WCH – Worship-carry Holsters

The topic came to mind because I was attending worship at a different place the other day, and the service involved kneeling, then standing. And the young gentleman in front of me flashed his firearm, because his pocket holster didn’t stay pocketed after he knelt. No one else seemed to notice and he caught it and corrected the problem, but it started me thinking about concealed carry holsters and things we don’t always consider. Like kneeling, standing, genuflecting, and other sorts of movement.

CC holsters are supposed to carry the firearm safely, and to stay concealed. And ideally, they blend with a person’s clothing and movements so you don’t scream “Hi, I’m auditioning for the Secret Service/next Men in Black movie!” You know, the guys in suit coats who keep them pulled closed in 99 degree heat at a garden party? Or the lady with one of the early model holster purses that screams “holster purse?” The point is so that the bad guys can’t tell who is or is not carrying something capable of, to paraphrase an old telephone commercial, reaching out and touching someone. So what has Alma considered and set aside?

  1. Bust carry. Yes, just what you think it is. Maybe if you wear low necklines on loose blouses and are a perky DD with a holster and firearm that will never malfunction. And if you are also wearing a choir robe or other garment over your clothes? Er, nope.
  2. Holster-less carry. Because part of the job of the holster is to protect your firearm from pocket lint and dirt, and to keep things like keys and fingers from getting into the bang switch. Shooting yourself in the foot (or @ss) is supposed to be a metaphor.
  3. A drop-thigh holster, AKA the Laura Croft*/Special Forces special.

    Like this, but under the clothes.

    Not practical for guys, unless you wear a kilt, but you’re not going to have to worry about flashing when you sit, stand, kneel, or genuflect. However, for ladies sanitation is a concern, and you need to wear long, full skirts (which I do all the time). And can you get to the firearm quickly and safely? Hiking a skirt to mid-thigh to get to a firearm is not exactly discreet. (Neither is ripping your shirt open a la Superman to get to an under-bust carry rig, either, but I tend to tuck my shirttails in.YMMV)

  4. Small-of the back carry at places of worship. Why? I wear relatively tight bodices. I tuck my blouses in. And wooden seats. I’ve read about what happens when people forgot the unpadded wooden pew or chair back and flopped into their seat. Thunk! “Ow!” And if you bow/genuflect, will it print or be exposed if your jacket/vest rides up?

I know at least four people are carrying at my usual place of worship. The informal official policy is “no show, no tell, no problem.” After all, this is a place where the opening weekends of dove, pheasant, and deer season are noticable by the drop in attendance. One of the carriers, a lady, has carried since the days when Texas was “may issue” and as she puts it “the Dead Sea just had a mild cold.” Given the size of handbags ladies used to use, she could have had a concealed full-size shotgun permit and no one would have noticed.

*Has anyone else winced when they imagined how Lara Croft’s holsters must chafe?


10 thoughts on “WCH – Worship-carry Holsters

  1. On the other hand, think of the dialog from a religious perspective.

    Bad guy enters church, threatens congregation. CCW holders all say, in unison, “Behold!” as they produce their weapons.

    Bad guy gives up, is arrested, etc.

    Pastor commands, “Be-holster!”, and weapons are put away.


  2. Sounds like your place of worship is a lot more reasonable than mine.

  3. I’ve experimented with different pocket holsters, as it is my preferred method of carry. With any of them, it matters what pants you use – for the gentleman whose pocket holster didn’t stay pocketed, he needs to use pants with deeper pockets.
    My personal preference isn’t intended to be a pocket holster – I use a velcro holster from Packin Tee with the bottom trimmed to fit he weapon I’m carrying; I find the velcro holds the holster in place better than the ‘grip strips’ on common brands of traditional pocket holster, and the holster is wide enough that it won’t rotate in wide pockets – it sucks to reach in a large pocket for your gun and find the side of the holster instead of the top!
    I like pocket carry because it doesn’t print and doesn’t require a cover garment – I am a jeans and tshirt guy and don’t like over shirts or jackets indoors.
    I’m not sure about a good carry option for feminine clothes; your options are somewhat limited. I don’t like the idea of fanny pack or purse carry since they could easily be left behind or separated from you in a fracas. Do you wear boots? Could you find a boot holster for a small weapon?

    • I do wear boots on occasion, but not to worship unless the weather is truly foul. And boots are already very snug on my leg (I’ve been told that the measured circumference is impossible. Sorry, but the tape measure disagrees.) I have not yet found a good boot-holster that would not require me to also purchase custom-made, super-wide-top boots.

      • Sounds like you don’t have any good ‘standard’ options for church carry – must be time to get your creative muse going on the subject since I don’t think Annie Oakley style open-carry-with-a-skirt would go over well.

  4. I think you’ve asked the unanswerable for a women… Us guys can get away with a lot of different options. For something like church, I’d use an ankle holster. I’ve worn them with suits and they aren’t noticeable unless someone ‘knows’ what to look for.

    • I suspect the correct answer is: it depends on what you are doing and what you are comfortable with. Some women wear slacks, or boots, or something that can serve as a cover garment, or a belt that can support an inside-the-waistband holster of some kind, or purse-carry (saw a woman once who had a holster built into the sack for her portable O2 bottle, along with other pockets. Unless you know what to look for, you never saw it.)

  5. I like pocket carry where applicable, unfortunately I often where Wranglers to church, and they have just short enough pockets to allow the butt of my CC to peek when moving. One of the little micro 380s would probably be fine, but I pack something a little larger. I have a denim jacket I picked up at a thrift shop specifically because it has two custom sewn pockets on the inside for packing a pistol (and no I don’t pack two guns, but I am left handed, so finding something used and custom made that would work for me was unusual) that works well at certain times of the year, but most people don’t wear a coat to church in August. Inside the pant holsters were always my first choice when packing a full sized pistol concealed*. I have one for a little pistol, and use it very occasionally, but I like to tuck my shirts in, and so again you have to either where a covering jacket or have the shirt untucked, which I don’t like, or tuck the shirt in over the gun, which makes it unhandy to get at in a hurry. Also, tucked or untucked, even a small pistol tends to print on a t-shirt or other light shirt unless you are careful and wear oversized shirts.
    I’ve never tried an ankle holster, although I’ve thought about it. I generally wear boots, and always of the lace up variety, so it would be more of an upper calf holster, which I always thought would be inconvenient to get at in a hurry.

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