My dad has a fanny pack to carry a concealed handgun – that’s his way of carrying his concealed firearm and other items. Those have fallen out of fashion (thank heaven!). As a guy, I don’t have too many other options though, except for my assault pack and that’s a bit big, so I tend to wear a lot of cargo pants and shorts (those are still in fashion, right?). A lot of women on the other hand carry a handbag and many just keep their pistol in there. There are a lot of issues with that though – quick access, finding it amongst their EDC contents, etc. We had to bring in some of the Gun Gals to review this neat product as our friends at Urban Moxy have figured out a solution – a handbag that has a concealed carry pocket.
All the bags have different styles, but for the most part the concealed carry portion is the same (we did find a bit of a difference in the concealed pocket sizes though). Our Gun Gal Stacey jumped at the chance to have a new handbag (named Penny, BTW – all the Urban Moxy bag styles have specific names) – and to test it for us (in that order). We discussed the appearance, build and regular use capability, before getting into the actual concealed carry aspect; Afterall, it needs to be a functioning, every day carry bag first and foremost, in order to be useful. It wasn’t a method of carry that she had previously considered, until she saw these bags. As she put it, “I wouldn’t have even gone looking for a concealed handbag before seeing these, but now knowing they are out there, it seems like the perfect way to carry!”.
First, when Penny The Handbag arrived, it was a lot bigger than expected as she thought it was going to be a smaller clutch bag. The pictures on the site didn’t give a sense of scale, but Urban Moxy was already setting up photo shoots with a model in the pictures to help with the sense of scale when we talked to them about it. That said, it turned out Penny was a great size for Stacey, with a roomy interior capable of holding a complete 6 pack of Beeraritas. That made Stacey so excited to find out. That said, Stacey did wish the opening for the main compartment was a bit bigger in order to easily dig around for whatever was needed inside, especially since it can hold a lot (more on that later). She loved the appearance as it “doesn’t look like a Granny bag or bulky, like the other line of concealed carry bags out there” — her words. It is a quality bag with good stictching with no hanging thread or material. The piping is well done and the colors of all pieces match well. The faux leather cleans well; Stacey once spilled coffee on the bag and ran it under water to clean it and it was waterproof and cleaned up perfectly. She’s also used a baby wipe to clean off the bag just fine. The joys of motherhood! The only issue she really has on this particular bag is that the handles on the Penny bag do not come off, which Stacey wishes was an option for when carrying the handbag using the shoulder strap.
How well it carries
Now, any handbag will let you carry a concealed firearm. The difference maker is how easy it is to get to your firearm. In a normal bag, it would be laying in the main compartment, where it can get “lost” amongst wallets, makeup, baby supplies, books, medicine bottles, Beeraritas or whatever else a lady happens to carry in their bag — or even worse, in a small pocket not made for easy draw where the firearm could get hung up on. So instead, Urban Moxy has an angled pocket on the outside specifically for carrying your firearm. Almost any firearm. We tested several bags with full size CZ pistols, Ruger SR9s, Ruger LCRs, and Judge revolvers. The penny held full sized CZs just fine, but another bag we tested had the pocket a little too small for that. Most people wouldn’t be carrying a full sized pistol, but if that’s your only option for carrying concealed then you may want to check with Urban Moxy to make sure yours will fit. The pocket is angled, which Stacey really liked, because it allows you to know which way your firearm is pointing – if it were a leveled pocket, your gun could be tilted up or down, making it more difficult to draw your firearm. That’s a nice detail. The only issue with the pocket that Stacey had was if she overloaded the main compartment, it would push the sides out, making it a little harder to draw her firearm but still manageable.
Another awesome detail: women sometimes have to put their handbags down, and nobody wants a child or some snooper reaching into the concealed carry pocket where a firearm is stored. To help prevent that, Urban Moxy has made the zipper for the concealed pocket have a built in lock. That’s a great detail, but as our other Gun Gal tester Sara pointed out (her video review will go up later), it means if you lock it you need to remember to unlock it when you pick it back up again. Another cool feature is the bags all come with a chain with a number of charms. Both our Gun Gals loved the chain as it looked really decorative and “adds a nice girly touch” as Stacey and Sara both said, but it also serves a purpose: it allows the carrier to grab the chain to quickly open the concealed carry pocket without having to fumble for the zipper. That’s awesome because a gun is no good if you can’t use it quickly when you need it.
That brings up a test we did. What if you could get your hand inside the pocket to grasp your firearm, but didn’t have time to pull it to shoot because your attacker was too close? Could you fire the gun through the handbag? Yes, you can — but possibly only once. We had Ryan TGG test fire different pistols from inside the bag. What we discovered was:
- A full sized semi-automatic pistol, or revolver with an external hammer, can get material caught in the hammer after your first shot – so you may only get one shot off
- A semi-automatic pistol, even a smaller one, can jam after a couple rounds because the brass can’t eject properly as it is in a pocket
- A hammerless revolver is the perfect firearm for carrying as you can dump all rounds as needed without issue
Both our Gun Gals love their bags and carry them regularly. When we shot Sara’s first bag, she had grown so attached to it after a month that she couldn’t decide if she wanted us to shoot that one or the replacement one. My wife nearly cried when she saw that we shot the bag (and wants one too). The bags are of good quality, work well for Every Day Carrying, and function perfectly for the intended purpose of concealed carrying.
Fit and Finish: