It is important to remember the U.S. Concealed Carry Association isn't an "all boys" club. In fact, the female contingent of our organization is our most important asset and it's important to me to make sure that we include reviews of products that are specifically designed for that group.
Fortunately for me, I am blessed with a lovely wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law who helped me in this evaluation. While none of them currently carry a concealed firearm, or personally own one, they can tell me about aspects of a concealed carry purse that I can't possibly hope to elaborate on - such as a fashion and overall functionality. I can handle the weapons aspect and use of a purse as a defensive delivery device but I haven't a clue if an item like this will be popular with women for day-to-day use.
Leslie Deets, the founder of Concealed Carrie, emphasizes style and fashion as being equally - if not more - important than the firearms carry function. While that might seem to be a misplacement of priorities, it really isn't when it comes to something like a concealed carry purse. Its overall requirements are different than the requirements of a firearms holster desgined for on the body carry.
There are currently six different style holster purses available from Concealed Carrie, which gives potential users plenty of selection. For the evaluation, my wife and I were sent a sample of the Satchel Brown model.
Inside the compartment there is Velcro for attaching the universal style holster in various positions as well as access to the compartment from inside the purse. If your carry gun is a full-size model, the best access to it will be from the inside of the purse as the zippers on the outside of the purse don't run the full height of the purse. This is not a big issue since medium-to-small size pistols draw easily through all the access points, and are likely to be the type used by the average woman.
The Satchel Brown model features genuine leather construction in a distressed style with subtly aged hardware that adds to the classic appearance of the purse. My wife really likes a removable shoulder strap that helps support the weight of anything carried inside. Just as important for her is the fact that the attached carry handles are long enough for the purse to be carried with one hand with the shoulder strap stowed inside or slung over the shoulder.
The large main compartment is full of built-in pockets and dividers. Looking at this purse from either side - and this goes for the other Concealed Carrie models - there is no way that one would guess that it is a handgun carry purse. So many of the other styles out there look like the duty purse carried by actress Tyne Daly in 1976 Dirty Harry movie "The Enforcer." That is what is so important about the Concealed Carrie line. It is designed to appeal to the user's fashion sense. As the website points out, "You will want to carry this beauty every day!" That's important because if the user doesn't like the looks of the purse, it will stay at home on the shelf, and the user will be withtout her firearm when she needs it the most.
As I mentioned earlier, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both of whom have what I think is very good taste in fashion and dress, really liked the Satchel Brown purse in terms of utility and style. They both thought it was very nice looking and comfortable for everyday use, and would be happy with one for themselves. I guarantee if the Satchel Brown had the look or feel of a duty purse, they wouldn't like it.
The Concealed Carrie line has smaller purses, such as the Hobo Brown model, which has an alligator style print applied to the leather. There is also the Computer Ostrich model, which features an ostrich print.
MSRP on Concealed Carrie purses range from $249 for the basic Black Tote to $299 for the Satchel Brown model. The quality of construction and thoughtfulness and style of the Concealed Carrie designs are truly equal to their MSRPs. My test team highly recommends them. www.concealedcarrie.com.