In the 70’s, I didn’t wear a shoulder holster as a civilian or in Law Enforcement. At the time, women were a very small minority wearing shoulder holsters and what was available for this type of concealed carry was designed for men’s body type and clothing style. Today it is recognized that women whether in law enforcement or not, require a design of their own, specific to their body shape and clothing style. The Bobcat by Deep Conceal LLC is designed with this in mind.
I saw The Bobcat advertised in a recent issue of Shooting Industry Magazine and was struck by these words: “Specifically designed to fit a woman’s body.” I said to my husband, I have got to try this shoulder holster and write about it. Steve Morrow of Deep Conceal LLC sent a sample which from the moment I put it on, fit perfectly. Absolutely no adjustment was necessary.
Deep Conceal LLC started the development of a woman’s shoulder holster in 2015 with production beginning two years later. The Bobcat was introduced to the public in August 2017. Deep Conceal has been producing a similar product for men for 5 years and have sold such product to police forces worldwide.
The shoulder holster is designed in three parts. The harness is what holds the detachable holster and magazine pockets. The pockets are made of cloth with Velcro backing. The holster pocket will fit firearms 3.5” – 6” in overall length as measured from the front of the barrel to the hammer. The magazine pocket will hold two extra magazines. The holster and magazine pockets are sold separately from the harness. The make and model of your firearm will determine the size of the holster and magazine pockets. The measurement around your body where the stomach meets the chest at the sternum will determine the size of the harness.
Unlike traditional shoulder holsters, The Bobcat does not attach to your belt, belt loop or waist band of your pants. A front horizontal strap attaches at the front of the chest, right below the bra line. For women this is perfect. We generally do not wear belts and many women’s pant styles have no belt loops. Also, women won’t have to disconnect the shoulder holster from their pant waist when they tend to “Mother Nature.”
To wear the shoulder holster, place your arms through the shoulder straps. Ensure that the straps are flat on your shoulders and not twisted. The straps will naturally cross at your back just below your neck. Both straps are connected to each other at this location. Attach the front horizontal strap loosely at the front of the chest and adjust the shoulder straps loosely on the shoulders.
In front of a mirror attach the holster pocket to the Velcro under the arm where you want the firearm located and the magazine pocket to the Velcro under the opposite arm. This harness is designed for ambidextrous use, so the pockets can be reversed. Where the pockets are located, there are two wide strips of Velcro. By using these strips, you can have the firearm and magazine straight up and down, high into the arm-pit or lower. Both pockets are made of cloth which does not have any spandex or retentive materials other than the quick release strap attached to holster.
Rather than straight up and down, the holster pocket can be attached to both the upper and lower Velcro to an angle which better suits your body shape and clothing style. This makes it easier to draw from and gives you access to some Velcro to attach the quick release retention strap. This strap is important to keep the firearm anchored.
The firearm I chose to wear in The Bobcat was my Taurus PT111 G2 and one additional magazine. The pistol was fully loaded with 13 rounds and 12 rounds in the spare magazine. I wore The Bobcat in two methods, directly on my skin and over a t-shirt for a total of 24 hours over several days. Because the harness is new, there is some stiffness of the shoulder straps and some irritation where the two shoulder straps cross on the back. When wearing it on my bare skin I itched in places I could not reach. I could only wear it for four hours before I had to remove it.
When wearing it over a t-shirt I barely felt the harness at all. I’m more comfortable pulling up my outside clothing to clear a pathway to my pistol and spare magazine, without exposing myself to the world. This is a personal choice of every woman who chooses to wear any shoulder holster. I believe most men wear shoulder holsters over a t-shirt, dress shirt or tank top rather than on bare skin. I’m of the opinion most women will agree.
So, the question now becomes, how easy is it to draw my pistol and could I do so quickly enough to address a threat? Of course, all concealed carry methods require practice of the draw. The Bobcat is no different. What I did notice is that in the draw, it was sometimes necessary for my off-hand to hold the bottom of the holster pouch so that I could manipulate the quick release retention strap as I drew my pistol. This was of little concern since my off-hand lifted my clothing in that area to expose the pistol pocket and easily moved to the bottom of the pocket to hold it in place during the draw. I know from experience the purpose of the attachment from the holster to the waistband was to eliminate this need. I believe that with practice my retrieval speed will increase. I’m satisfied that The Bobcat will provide the firearm support and concealment that I need.
The Bobcat is light-weight, easy to put-on and take-off, and comfortable to wear for an extended period. The magazine pouch on the opposite side made for a balanced fit. For a woman who wants an easy and comfortable way to conceal her pistol, this shoulder holster is a great option. I’m not easily convinced of the comfort of on-body carry. The Bobcat has changed my mind.