"Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" -- Psalm 144:1
"When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace" -- Luke 11:21
"he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." -- Luke 22:36
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This purse seems to me to be a very good option for carrying a compact or sub-compact pistol. It has all the practical and safety features that I think a good concealed carry purse should have. With the concealed carry compartment in the back of the purse, as opposed to in the center like other concealed carry purse designs, there might be more weight in the back (depending on what you have in the main compartment), which can cause the purse to have a lop-sided feel to it while carrying it. That might not be a big deal. Just something I thought worth bringing up. The design looks nice enough to take out to dinner, at the same time casual enough for daily use. Based on just this one-day initial impression, I don't see any reason to not recommend this purse.
God bless and be safe,
Founder and Chief Instructor
Shield Personal Safety Training
Photos by Instructor Armand.
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Even with the extended magazine in place, it's still a nice fit.
The purse comes with a generic holster that attaches to the concealed carry compartment using hook-and-loop pads. The size of the holster looks like it will fit many compact and sub-compact pistols, and will cover the trigger. There's no need for a retention strap or form-fitted friction retention, since the pistol is not going to go anywhere with the zipper closed. My Ruger LC9 fits with plenty of room to spare in the concealed carry compartment. You can probably even drop a spare magazine in there.
Trying to squeeze a full size pistol in there will be a challenge though. I was able to just barely get my Smith & Wesson M&P9 full size pistol with its 4-1/4" barrel zipped up in there without the holster, but it was tough, and it would be hard to quickly unzip it open. Clearly this purse was not designed to fit a full size pistol, and even if you could get it to fit, I wouldn't recommend using this purse with a full size pistol, because it will be too clumsy drawing from the purse and returning the pistol to the purse.
As a firearms instructor, I was looking for a concealed carry purse for sample, demonstration and training in my CCW class. I'm a guy, so it's not something that I personally will be using outside of a classroom or training situation, but I did try to find something that I think a woman would actually want to use. While shopping online, looking at specs for many concealed carry purses, and reading other peoples' reviews, it just so happened that the folks at Gun Tote'n Mamas, posted up a picture of their new GTM-87 Suede Clutch Cowhide Flap Purple purse on their facebook page. (It's also available in four other colors.) As a brand new product, just released today, there were no reviews, only one picture on the website with not much of a description, and the one picture on their facebook page, really not much information to make a real informed purchase decision. But just based on that limited information, and Gun Tote'n Mamas reputation, it seemed like a nice option to try out, and I decided to "pull the trigger".
I'm not associated with Gun Tote'n Mamas in any way. I did not receive a pre-release version of the product. I paid full price for the product and ordered it through their website just like any other customer could have done. So Gun Tote'n Mamas in no way influenced this product review.
My initial impressions of this purse are very positive. The appearance looks pretty stylish to me, but I'm a guy, so really what do I know about that anyway. It seems to be a decent size purse, not to big, not too small. I don't know what the "official" measurements of this purse are, but here are my measurements. Note that compartment sizes can be pushed depending on how you fit things in there.
Outer Dimensions: 9-1/4" wide x 7-3/4" tall x 3-5/8" deep
Main Compartment: 9" wide x 6-7/8" tall x 2" deep
Concealed Carry Compartment: 7-1/2" wide x 6-1/2" tall x 3/4" deep, with rounded corners
The suede material looks and feels to be of good, durable quality. Time will have to tell about the quality of the stitching, but I didn't notice any immediately apparent issues with that. The concealed carry compartment is a separate zipper compartment on the back side (against your body), which can be used equally effectively for right-handers or left-handers. There's a small zipper pocket on the outside, and the black leather flap encloses the main compartment. Inside the main compartment, there's another zipper pocket, and a couple of pouches which seem suitable for holding extra magazines.
About the Author:
Instructor Armand is the founder and chief instructor of Shield Personal Safety Training. He's a USCCA Certified Firearms Instructor, Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Refuse To Be A Victim® Certified Instructor, CA DOJ FSC Certified Instructor, CA DOJ Certified Fingerprint Roller, hunter, and CCW permit holder.
This purse has a crossbody strap. A lot of women find crossbody purse straps uncomfortable and more time-consuming to actually use crossbody, but for a concealed carry purse, I really think it's a better option than a shoulder strap, to help prevent someone from taking that purse and your weapon away from you. The strap is reinforced with a steel cable running through it, to make it more difficult for a purse snatcher to quickly cut it with a knife.
At the ends of the strap are strong metal clasps that securely attach to metal reinforced holes on both sides of the purse. The strap doesn't look like it will easily be separated from the purse through force from a purse snatcher.