When it comes to so called off-body carry with your firearm, one of the hands-down best choices is a compact Bersa handgun. Long seen as the 'budget 380' these durable and well-made little guns are great for going along on your daily missions to work and back, tucked quietly away inside your pocketbook until needed.
Off body carry
Carrying your personal defensive handgun in a purse or bag is referred to as 'off body carry' as it is directly different from carrying it concealed on your person. For many females who like to wear light, form-fitting, and stylish clothes and are not comfortable with such methods as concealment bras and thigh carry while wearing skirts, the off-body carry makes sense. While there is always the option of carrying in a sling pack or backpack, the purse carry gets the
A quick search will bring you to hundreds of concealed carry handbags. Many of these are quite stylish. There is a whole subset of purse designers for the concealed carry market. These include moderately priced ($50-$80) models by Way West, Real Tree, and Catchfly and more expensive Femme Fatal handbags that start at about $125. Of course this is just a few random samples as it seems new purse makers for the CCW market are popping up daily.
Many areas are seeing increases in the number of female CCW holders. In rural Montezuma County, Colorado (pop 25,000), the local sheriff has issues no less than 112 permits to women this year, up from just 10 in 2008. According to the report carried in the Cortez Journal, the average age of these women packing heat is 40. You can bet that many of these ladies will be toting by purse.
Why the Bersa is perfect for a purse gun
(The Bersa Thunder series is not only stylish and ergonomic, but conceals well and is thin enough to allow persons with smaller hands to achieve a good grip)
Bersa has long made its series of blowback operated .380ACP Walther-esque guns. These include the Thunder and Thunder CC. With features like an 8+1 capacity, slim lines, safety decocks, drop safeties and magazine safeties, these guns are very well laid out for concealment without the drama of accidentally shooting yourself-- always a plus when carrying in a purse. Likewise, on the CC model in particular, this gun is 'melted' which means that there are no sharp protrusions on the frame of the gun to catch and snag on items on the way out during a draw stroke. Accurate, sweet shooting and reliable, these all-metal (the only plastic is in the grips) guns can be had new for about $300, new for about $200.
(The Thunder CC is practically made for off body concealment with its snag-proof profile)
Rolling with polymer-framed guns, the new Bersa BP9CC and BP40CC are a little larger, but hey, if you like a big purse, why not have the extra firepower.
Be aware. Practice!
When off-body carrying in any sort of bag, it is incredibly important that you drill withdrawing from your purse. The extra time needed to pull the purse to you, and then pull the purse/weapon free before presenting to fire can be minimized with practice. The last thing you want to do is draw your Bersa from your purse for the first time in a crisis. Those seconds you shave off your stroke in practice can mean the difference between life and death in a real engagement.
Further, you have to remain tactically aware at all times and remember to have your wits about you. If a goon get the drop on you, grabs for your purse, and gets it away before you can go for the gun--, you have just armed the man who has robbed you.
(Purse carry. It is a Ruger LC9 video, but most Bersa 380s are the same profile/size)
So what are you waiting for, grab a Bersa, for your purse-a!