As a woman, I conceal carry in a Flashbang Bra Holster almost every day. It’s a standard part of my CCW life.
Guess how many times I’ve shot myself in the boob?
None! Shocking, I know!
When women hear the concept of a “bra holster” for the first time they often get a look of bewilderment followed by an inaudible gasp. They think it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
The Flashbang is a magical way for women to conceal carry a gun! I want to help you get past the shock factor of a bra holster and understand the benefits of the Flashbang so you can evaluate if it is something that might work for you.
The Holster Struggle is Real
The first challenge a women new to conceal carry faces is deciding which gun to buy. It can definitely be a stressful decision to make! The gun is a major component of CCW. It’s a hard choice because guns are expensive and there are so many options. You don’t want to make the wrong choice.
But the second challenge a women new to conceal carry faces is even more important than the first. Even if you pick the perfect gun in the first challenge, that gun will serve no purpose unless you figure out how the heck you are going to conceal carry it. You need a holster option that works for you. And there are oh-so-many holster options out there! For ladies, the conceal carry holster decision can be just as overwhelming as the gun decision.
The second challenge is more important because if you don’t figure out a holster, then you aren’t actually going to conceal carry that gun you spent so much time stressing over anyway.
In fact, I actually think that the challenge of finding the right gun holster is what prevents most women with the concealed carry license from actually carrying a gun regularly. I hope this review of the Flashbang Bra Holster and my personal experience with it helps you as you try to find what works for you.
A Bra Gun Holster Sounds Crazy!
I get it. I thought a conceal carry bra holster sounded crazy before I tried it! Honestly, I didn’t think the Flashbang would be a holster I would use. I started carrying in 2012 using more traditional waistline carry options. I took the plunge (hey there is a pun there!) and ordered a Flashbang holster in 2016.
I originally ordered it because I was going to talk about women holster options at the next Rosie Pistol Women’s Shooting Group meeting. I wanted to cover all the options so I figured I should at least mention bra holsters. I wanted to get some first-hand experience with it that I could share at our meeting. I never dreamed it would end up being my personal go-to holster option!
I’m Talking Specifically about the Flashbang Bra Gun Holster
Disclaimer! I am specifically talking about the Flashbang Bra Holster in this post! I’ve seen other concealed carry bra holsters options even some handmade ones on places like Etsy. You would need to carefully evaluate the safety and effectiveness of other brands. (I’ve seen some where the bra sits positioned vertically with the muzzle pointing at the wearer’s face. Yikes! I wouldn’t be comfortable with that!)
Also, Flashbang has another style of they call the Marilyn. I’m not that familiar with it. To be honest, the pistol draw stroke and overall set-up would be very different and I’m not sure it is something I would consider for myself.
It Takes Time To Figure Out this Holster
You will find plenty of Flashbang naysayers out there in internet world. Anytime I read a comment from someone knocking the Flashbang I always wonder if they gave it a true effort before deciding they didn’t like it.
I’m not saying it will for sure work for every single woman, body shape, lifestyle, and gun choice. Maybe some naysayers really gave it a fair try before deciding they didn’t like it. But I bet most of them didn’t.
After my Flashbang holster arrived, I sat at the computer watching YouTube videos and following along*. Many holsters are fairly self-explanatory and don’t take much special instruction. The Flashbang is a little different. The videos I watched taught me all the fundamental things I needed to know. I’m not sure how I could have been successful with the Flashbang if I had not watched them. Seriously.
*Note: I sat at the computer watching these videos with my completely unloaded gun. The first few times I carried in the Flashbang out in public my gun was unloaded. This is a good practice to follow.
Helpful Things to Know About the Flashbang Bra Holster
1. The snap is tricky at first
The first time you attempt to unsnap it you will think it is impossible. It’s actually not that hard once you know the trick. You have to “peel” it. When you do it right, it’s easy.
After a few times you’ll have the hang of it!
2. It comes with 3 straps each with various holes
Do you know the technical name for the material between your bra cups? It’s called the gore. Which strap you need will depend on how big the gore of your bra is.
Your Flashbang holster comes with 3 standard straps: small, medium and large. Each strap has various holes. I have to change my strap out fairly regularly as different bras I own require different length straps.
The standard 3 straps that you get free will accommodate a bra up with a gore up to 4 inches. You can order an XL strap for an additional $3.00 that will accommodate a sports bra up to 5 inches.
3. There are 3 ways to set up the straps for conceal carry
To successfully conceal the gun, each bra and outfit might require some slight adjustments. There are three main conceal carry methods: low carry, high carry, & custom carry. Be ready to switch out the strap to find what fits the best for you. (I have a small screwdriver that lives in a drawer near my gun safe!)
You can screw the strap on so that it is facing down or up.
If it is going down, the gun holster will sit higher in your bra. This is called the high carry position.
If the strap is going up, the gun holster will sit lower in your bra. This is called the low carry position.
High carry might be too high for your bra. If there is no access to the grip of your gun, high carry is not right for that bra.
Low carry might be too low. If it is too low the gun might flip and go horizontal on you making the grip stick straight out from under your shirt.
There is also a third position that they refer to as “custom carry”. This position involves screwing the strap on in a way that feels backwards so that you can make a loop. The owner of Flashbang often mentions in her plethora of YouTube videos that she prefers custom carry.
4. After you get a feel for it, the draw is quick and easy
I’ve heard naysayers complain about how hard it is to get their gun out of a Flashbang conceal carry holster. It is hard! But on purpose!
If it wasn’t hard, gravity would make carrying in a Flashbang a disaster. It will only come out if you want it to come out. That’s reassuring to me!
Your gun will not come out of the Flashbang Kydex clamshell unless you pull it out. It takes a decent tug to get it out. After you get the feel for how much tug it takes, it’s quick to draw your gun.
Another point to make is that if you are trying to pull the gun out of the kydex clamshell while it’s just sitting in your hand, it won’t come out. The strap needs to be attached to something giving resistance. In a concealed carry situation, it will be the gore of your bra giving it that resistance when you draw the gun. If you’re just trying to take the gun out of the holster while it is in your hands, then you’ll need to put your fingers inside the loop of the strap to create the needed resistance.
Remember, it’s a good thing it requires a strong tug to come out! Otherwise it would be a horribly unsafe design! The only thing you need is a few minutes of practice (with your unloaded gun!). You’ll have the hang of it after a small investment of time and effort!
5. Add Moleskin or buy the Teddy Version
The concealed Kydex can get sweaty up against your skin. One tip I learned from watching Flashbang’s YouTube videos was putting moleskin on the back to help with this.
There is now a version they call the Flashbang Teddy. It’s the same hard Kydex clamshell design but it’s covered in a velvety material.
I use both but I prefer the original. The Teddy is significantly bulkier which can make it harder to conceal. It is softer on the skin. It doesn’t become sweaty like the original can when I’m really active.
I go for the teddy when I am wearing a hoodie or thicker, looser shirt. I stick to the original when I’m wearing tighter, thinner shirts.
6. Fun Colors and Prints!
My original Flashbang holster is black with a nude strap because I got it in 2016 and that was the only option! Today, they offer tons of fun colors and prints! You’ll be able to select the Kydex and the strap you want to make your very own custom creation!
I’m planning on getting a new everyday carry gun soon and I will definitely be ordering this Bohemian Floral Flashbang for that new gun! I love the pretty colors in this floral print Kydex in this holster!
Tip: Even though they aren’t as fun looking, I plan to stick with the nude straps. I think coral colored straps would look so good with that Bohemian Kydex but If you think about how the strap wraps around the material in the center of your bra, I worry that wearing a light colored shirt, it might show through as a pop of orangey-ness.
I Didn’t Love the Flashbang at First
I didn’t feel super comfortable and confident the first couple of times I carried in my Flashbang (with my unloaded gun) in public.
I remember running errands one day and the gun kept flipping out so the grip was sticking straight out. It looked like I had an alien baby poking it’s arm out of my upper stomach area. Thankfully this was around the time that scarves were really in style. I wore beautiful bulky floral print scarves that disguised any problems I was having while I worked on getting the Flashbang gun holster to work for me.
Today I love my Flashbang women’s holster but it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I was frustrated with it at first. I didn’t like it and it felt complicated.
It would have been easier to just abandon it and go back to the other holster options for ladies.
The time and effort I spent figuring it out paid off. Today it is my favorite way to carry! I use my Flashbang bra holster to conceal carry more than 80% of the time. It’s my go-to!
6 Reasons I Love My Flashbang!
1. Keeps my gun safe while WEARING it.
Safety is king in the day to day CCW life! If a holster doesn’t pass the safety test, there is no reason to keep talking about it. So how does the Flashbang women’s holster stack up?
Gun holsters can be made from different materials. I prefer conceal carry holster that are made of Kydex (which is basically hard rigid plastic). I love that the Flashbang is a hard Kydex clamshell so there is Kydex on both sides. The Kydex is designed to cover the trigger completely. There is no way I can accidentally engage the trigger while my gun is inside the holster.
If a gun holster doesn’t have proper trigger protection, I won’t even consider it. This may sound like common sense but you’d be surprised at how many products are sold and marketed as women’s concealed carry holsters that don’t protect the trigger properly. And these products can cost big $$$! It blows my mind! More on that in another post!
Lots of people bash the Flashbang’s safety. They claim it is not safe because your gun is pointed at your chest. I don’t agree.
- My gun is not actually pointed at my boob. The way my gun sits in the holster, the muzzle is actually pointed straight out to the side and misses boob material completely. If I look at my side profile in the mirror, I see the muzzle of the gun snuggled in the kydex clamshell.
- Even if it were pointed at my boob, the TRIGGER IS COMPLETELY GUARDED! Not only is the trigger guarded, it is guarded with hard rigid plastic that won’t allow anything to press the trigger while concealed. Guns don’t go off spontaneously. There is zero chance of me shooting myself in the boob while that gun is sitting in my bra undisturbed.
- Most concealed carry holster systems do involve the gun pointing at some part of a person’s body while in the holster. People freak out about the boob for some reason. If I had to pick from a hole in my femoral artery or my boob (hello appendix style CCW peeps!), I’d choose boob. (And can we mention concealed carry purses? Those guns are pointing at everyone and everything! Hopefully there is good trigger protection.)
- I admit there could be a chance that an untrained person (someone that hasn’t practiced enough) could maybe accidentally pull the trigger while drawing their gun from the Flashbang holster. I am saying it is a possibility specifically during the draw process. But that goes for ALL holsters, not just the Flashbang. I still think it’s unlikely given the directions/motions involved in the draw process. Watch this 1 minute long video of Julie from Flashbang drawing in slow motion. Pay attention to the direction of the muzzle during the entire drawing process. Watch it a couple of times until you are convinced that the muzzle never points at boob material! Then commit to practicing regularly to make sure your conceal carry draw is as safe as hers.
Practice, practice, practice! Whether you are using a bra holster, ankle holster, purse holster, appendix holster or other women conceal carry holster, you have to practice drawing from it so that you can do it safely under stress. You can do this at home using your unloaded gun.
You shouldn’t leave home with a loaded gun in any holster unless you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to draw that concealed carry gun safely and effectively.
2. Keeps my gun safe while HANDLING it!
Most women evaluate a holster based on how it will function and how safe it will be while wearing their gun in the concealed carry holster. I’m an over-thinker. I consider that but I also consider the day to day handling part too. It’s not something you hear ladies mentioned much, but to me it is really important. As a concealed carrier I handle my gun a lot; I take it off and put it on several times a day.
School zones are a big part of my regular mom life. In Ohio I can have my licensed concealed carry gun on school property as long as I take it off and secure it in the car. Last year I had to park and then walk up to pick up my kindergartner.
Taking a conceal carry gun off and securing it in your car in a busy school parking lot is tricky. There is no safe direction in this situation. There are people (including lots of children!) walking all around. I conceal carry my gun loaded, with one in the chamber. Taking a loaded gun out of a conceal carry holster and reaching down to where my safe is on the passenger floor while wearing a bulky winter jacket is no small task.
Here is one of my favorite things about the Flashbang women’s holster! I unsnap the entire unit (holster and gun) from my bra and slip it into the safe that I keep in my car. The gun is surrounded in its kydex clamshell with the trigger perfectly protected the entire time I am taking the gun off.
My car safe accommodates the gun in its holster with no problem since the Flashbang women’s holster doesn’t add that much bulk to the gun.
I prefer handling a loaded gun that is holster than handling a loaded gun without a holster, especially in a busy school parking lot. I’m a competent person and very experienced with guns. I know how to handle a gun safely. I can’t imagine myself putting my finger on the trigger unintentionally. But everyone who has ever had an accidental discharge probably thought they were smart and competent and that it would never happen to them.
With guns we always use the upmost caution. It’s just the smart thing to do. If there is an option to have a routine that has an extra level of safety, then that’s option I want.
Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t throw gun safety out the window just because my conceal carry gun is in the holster. I still do my best to follow all the safety rules and keep the gun pointed in a safe direction as best I can during the process. But I feel better knowing I have an extra level of safety.
I’m using the school zone as an example but of course this applies to any busy parking lot area where you may have to take your conceal carry gun off or put it back on while out and about.
At Home Too
I enjoy that extra level of protection when placing my conceal carry gun in my safe at home too. I unsnap the entire holster from my bra and place the entire unit into my safe with the gun inside.
When I go to put the conceal carry gun on again, I leave the gun in the holster and snap it onto my bra. Holstering can be one of the most dangerous parts of concealed carry. It is when people have accidental discharges. I love the way using a Flashbang adds an extra level of safety to the holstering process!
3. The most comfortable way for me to conceal carry!
My second favorite holster option is the Crossbreed Modular Belly Band. I’ll write a review on that soon! I have other inside the waistband type holsters in my stash that I sometimes use. Waist carry doesn’t come anywhere close to the comfort level I can get with bra carry.
I strongly prefer front-of-body carry over back-of-body carry for tactical reasons. If we are talking about waistband carry options, this means I prefer an appendix style carry over a back of waist carry. When I am using my Crossbreed Modular Belly Band I usually position it so that my gun is sitting in an appendix position. Even though tactically I like appendix carry, I find it uncomfortable, especially when sitting. With a bra holster I get front of the body access without the discomfort while sitting.
Ultimately, the purpose of women’s concealed carry is to be comforting, not comfortable. Even so, comfort is still important. If it isn’t comfortable enough, we aren’t going to actually conceal carry. The best gun in the world won’t do us any good if it’s at home in the safe when we need it.
4. I believe I’ll have a better chance of getting to my gun quickly in a life threatening situation.
I mentioned I’m in favor of front of the body conceal carry versus back of the body conceal carry. As a lady, having the gun in the front of my body makes me feel more in control of it. My chances of being able to access it are greater.
If I’m pushed to the ground in a violent attack, I’d have a better chance of getting to my gun if it is on the front of my body. (And spare myself the risk of spine injury from the grip of my gun if it were on my backside.)
If a person came up and grabbed me from behind me, I’d have a better chance of getting to my gun if it is on the front of my body.
I can picture more potential situations in which having the concealed carry gun on the front of my body would be advantageous.
4b. SPEED. Super Fast Draw Time!
Look at this draw time! The lady in this video is a novice. Drawing from the Flashbang is quick once you have the hang of how much tug you need!
Think about where the gun is and where it needs to go. And think about where you hands are naturally. For women, the bra area is great placement for speed of drawing and getting on target fast!
5. It conceals my gun so well!
You’d be amazed at what outfits I can pull off wearing my gun in my Flashbang conceal carry holster. I have a less than average bust size yet I can make a gun disappear using this women’s holster! It’s magic!
The lady in the video above is also proof that you wear a tight, light colored shirt and still not print! When I use a waistband style holster (whether in the front or back), I have to wear looser shirts because my gun prints with tighter shirts.
Bottom line: I have trouble concealing in tighter shirts with waistline carry options. I can effectively conceal a gun with a Flashbang even in form fitting shirts.
6. Amazing customer service and commitment to their product
The owner, Lisa Looper, is really awesome. Her commitment to providing superior customer service is phenomenal. She creates tons of helpful YouTube videos. If you have a question, there’s a good chance she has made a video about it!
She is also very active in online Women’s Concealed Carry Facebook groups helping other ladies and offering women’s conceal carry advice. When you watch her YouTube videos you’ll be able to quickly see how wonderful she is. I love her personality. She is very authentic and down to earth.
Another amazing feature is Flashbang’s generous 365 day return policy. As long as it is in like new condition, they will take back your holster if it doesn’t work for you for a full year from the date of purchase.
The Only 2 Drawbacks for Me
#1: My gun is in the way when carrying large items
If I was going to be carrying alot of stuff, I wouldn’t use the women’s bra holster that day. One time we were packing up our stuff from a classroom space we used to rent and moving it to our new location. It was annoying having the Flashbang on while carrying multiple large boxes. It would stay concealed, but it would push against my body. If I was doing a task like moving again, I would choose to wear my concealed belly band that day and position the gun on my rear side around the 4 to 5 o’clock position.
The women’s bra holster is also uncomfortable when I go to the pet store and buy a huge bag of dog food that I struggle to carry out to my van. Or if I buy something else big at the store and have to carry it or lift it up out of my cart. These minor, quick times aren’t worth rearranging my routines for. But if a friend asked me to help them move or if I was going buy 30 big bags of mulch, I’d choose a different women’s conceal carry holster that day.
#2: I get lazy about switching out the straps for different bras I wear
I wear my Flashbang women’s holster so often that it’s probably worth for me to just invest in a second one! That way I could keep one set up for my sports bras and one set up for my regular bras. It’s not that hard to change out the straps. It probably only takes me 2 minutes, but I can be lazy. You know how it is!
Having a second Flashbang holster that I keep set up for sports bras would help but wouldn’t completely solve the problem. Some of my sports bras require me to set the strap longer than others to comfortably conceal the gun. Sigh. I just need to shift my mindset and recognize that it’s not really that big of a deal to change the strap.
If You Have A Flashbang Bra Women’s Holster, Invest Time Watching As Many of Lisa’s Videos As You Can
When I was new to Flashbang, I watched several of Lisa’s tutorial videos. Each time I heard her explain the concepts I understood it more and more.
The videos she has are all short, sweet and easy to watch! Watch them once to get an overview. Wear your unloaded gun around in a Flashbang for a couple of days and then come back and watch them again. I bet you’ll get even more out of hearing them again after you have a little experience with conceal carry in a Flashbang under your belt. (Or should I say, under your bra!)
Here are some videos to get your started. You can check out the Flashbang Holsters YouTube Channel to see all the videos.