The Original Bra Holster

Bra holsters may seem like a relatively new innovation, but these bosom buddies have been around for a long time.

Did you know that Safariland – the premier duty holster maker – got its start, in part, by selling bra holsters?

It’s true. The following is a story from the July 1965 issue of Gun World.

Bosom, Buddy?

There are those jealous competitors who have voiced the opinion that those on GUN WORLD’s staff are more interested in bosoms than say, bazookas. We won’t even argue. They’re right.

But every once in a while, along comes a product that whets the imagination of all. This time, it’s a bosom – bazoom, if you prefer – holster.

Close Up of Safariland Bra Holster
Still new at the time, Velcro was used by Safariland to attach the holster to the woman’s bra.

It’s a holster made to fit any small-caliber gun such as the Browning .25 auto, any of the various derringers. The holster, in turn, fits inside of the lady’s bra, being held in place by an adhesive material that is sewn to the fabric.

Safariland Bra Holster

When we questioned Neale Perkins about this little offering from Safariland Limited, he explained that “we’ve even had it made to handle a Chief’s Special in .38, but that’s pushing it a bit with most girls.”

We felt he was trying to tell us something and urged him to explain.

“Well, we haven’t tried to build any of these holsters to handle a .44 magnum, for example.” Then he admitted even this might be a impossibility if the lady customer were really flat-chested.

Woman Drawing Gun from Bra
Kim Anderson illustrates the draw of Browning .25 from bra holster.

“In fact,” he opined, “if she carried two guns — one on each side — she might even look better.”

“I was only referring to an extreme case,” Perkins admitted. “Actually, in our research, we’ve found that the larger the girl in that area, the larger her bra. Thus, the larger the gun she can carry without suspicious bulges showing up.”

“What about this research you mentioned ?” someone wanted to know.

African Origins

He explained that he had become intrigued with the possibility of turning out such a holster after he had read recent accounts of the problems in South Africa.

First Bra Holster
It may not be a looker, but the Safariland bra holster cleverly concealed a small pistol like this one.

“Did you know that 27,000 women in South Africa belong to pistol clubs?” he asked. “And that more than that are going armed these days?”

We wanted to steer the conversation back to bosoms, but he would not be put down. Some people are like that, you know. Nothing but business, business, business.

“We found out that an outfit in Johannesburg is making these things for the South African women,” he explained, “but already, they’ve sold a thousand or so in this country. Why, in South Africa, one company not only sells the holster but gives shooting lessons as well!”

Concealed Carry Clothing for Women

A bit more investigation showed that some foreign designers are even considering fashioning blouses so that the girls’ quick draw will be facilitated. Questioned as to whether one is expected, in this situation, to fire from the hip or from the bosom, Perkins wasn’t too certain.

“Chances are, neither way would be a complete bust,” he suggested thoughtfully.

In South Africa, of course, obtaining a license for a woman to carry a concealed handgun is comparatively simple. She has only to fill out a form, giving some reason such as self-protection, then plinks down seventy-five cents. Needless to say, with the current rash of anti-gun legislation in this country, things might become a bit more complicated.

For example, if this habit becomes suddenly of interest to thousands of women, how is this going to affect the thinking of Senator Dodd and others concentrated upon the anti-arms firing line?

“He’ll probably introduce legislation banning the bosom, too,” someone opines.

“That’d leave me with a helluva lot of holsters at $4.95,” Perkins added on a sudden note of gloom.