About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The "Betty" Holster Review

Here is my review of  The "Betty" holster for women ... although, I suppose a man could use it too.  Like The "Ava" which I reviewed below, the "Betty" is another holster in the "Pin Up" collection that is designed for women by Looper Law Enforcement

The Betty is a thermoplastic In The Waistband, holster that is molded to fit each specific gun.  I personally use The "Betty" for my Smith & Wesson J Frame revolver.

What I Like About It:

  • It covers the trigger guard completely.  As I've said before, safety is a huge thing for me and I really want my holsters to cover the trigger guard.  The "Betty" does that.

  • Its small.   I mean, fit in the palm of your hand small. 

  • It is comfortable.  It is so lightweight and small that you barely know its there.
  • The hooks are strong and will hold tightly to your waistband without a belt. 

  • The cant is adjustable.  You can move it to virtually any position you want.
  • It is versatile.  While it may not be the most comfortable way to wear it, it can be clipped to the inside of a boot or to the inside divider of a *purse and worn that way. 
What Needs Getting Used To:

  • While the hook is strong and the cant is adjustable, the trade off is that sometimes with extended wear, the screw on the hook will need to be tightened.  No biggie - just be aware of that or it can get a little sloppy.
What I Don't Like About It:

  • The retention.  While it does a good job of holding the gun in place during normal activities, if turn upside down, the gun will fall out.  If the retention were better, this would be a perfect holster.

As for concealment.  As I've said before, I find concealing even a very small gun a huge challenge.  The Betty is not perfect.  In some clothing it will print, but I've worn it for quite a while and no one has ever mentioned seeing it.  In fact, people who know I carry sometimes ask me where it is. 
*I am not a fan of purse carry.  How many times do your children or grandchildren get into your purse to look for candy or something?  Do you really want them getting into your purse if there is a gun in it?  It is also easy to forget and leave a purse behind in a restaurant or store. It doesn't happen often, but it only takes once.  And then too, if someone is going to mug you, what will they likely go for - your purse.  Then they have your purse and your gun.  I know sometimes purse carry is necessary but I don't recommend it. 

The "Ava" Holster Review

Buying holsters that work well for you can be tough - especially if you're a woman.  I have found that I buy two before I find one that works, and that's after doing a lot of research and reading a lot of reviews.  From what I'm reading, I find I am not alone in my holster confusion.  So I thought I would throw my two cents in about a couple of holsters I use.  This review will be of the "Ava" by Looper Law Enforcement

As you can read on their web site, the Ava is designed for women by Lisa Looper and is part of the "Pin Up" collection of women's holsters.  You can read all about the specifics on their site so I wont repeat all of that here.  I'll just share my opinions about it here. 

What I Like About It:

  • I like that it covers the trigger guard completely.  I'm a bit of a safety freak and that's one thing I'm picky about.  I tried other holsters that covered the trigger guard okay, but okay is not good enough for me.  I want it covered completely and Ava does that.  

  • I like that it is relatively small.  Of course I use it for a small gun - a Glock 26 but compared to other holsters I looked at, it seems smaller and for me, the smaller the better.

  • It is comfortable.  I always felt like my Glock was a bit heavy (don't laugh men).  It seemed heavy and I always felt lop-sided when I had my Glock with me.  With the Ava, I don't feel that way at all.  It fits snug and secure and I barely know the Glock is there when I use Ava.   The purple suede is soft, making it unnoticeable against my skin. 

  • The hooks are strong, will hold to a waistband without a belt, and are adjustable. You can see in the pics that there are three positions you can fasten the hooks into to allow the holster to ride higher or lower.   You can also wear the holster in any waistband position you like.

What I Will Need to Get Used To:

  • Reading reviews and descriptions about the Ava, I was expecting it to be more versatile.  I was expecting to be able to adjust the cant of the gun.  Well .... maybe you can, but it is not clear how to do that.  It seems fastened on there pretty good, did not come with directions for adjusting it, and I'm unable to find directions online anywhere. I could try, but I'm afraid I would tear up a good holster doing so ... so I choose to live with it as it is, which is not really all that bad.  It is canted forward and I had never carried that way before, but if its good enough for the FBI, then I guess its good enough for me. 
What I Do Not Like About It:
  • The retention.  While it does a good job of holding the gun in place, the retention is not perfect.  In a normal day to day situation, the gun will stay put very well.  The thermoplastic part of the holster is molded to fit each gun and as such, holds it in place pretty well but if turned upside down, the gun will fall out. If the retention were better, this would be a perfect holster.  As it is, it a very good holster.

As for concealment, I find concealing even a very small gun a very BIG challenge.  The Ava does and okay job.  Its not perfect.  In tighter fitting clothing, it will print.  Even in some looser clothing it may be possible to make out a small gun bump, but it seems to do as good of a job as any holster I've found. 

After doing some research, I found a way to adjust the retention of the kydex part of the holster.  Here is a video of a guy adjusting his Crossbreed Holster - I had the same hesitation he had about messing up a $60 holster, and I did not have a heat gun so I used a hairdryer.  It worked!  I have much more confidence in the Ava's ability to hold my Glock secure while still allowing a quick draw.