A few weeks back there was a discussion among a few instructors about whether the Flashbang bra holster was safe to allow in classes. I’ve played with one a few times with guidance from Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat, who first taught me to use one in an instructor development class of hers last year. Haven’t done all I’d like or am planning to with it yet, and there’s plenty that I simply can’t, but here are a few notes so far:
All holsters can be used dangerously. Not all can be used safely. Whether you use the traditional draw, Melody Lauer’s (which draws out to a “high 2” position rather than down), or something else altogether, the Flashbang can be used safely. It is not an inherently dangerous design. Like any other holster, you have to know how to make it go right and how to spot and correct when it’s going wrong.
It’s a real holster. Good design, good build quality. It’s not a gimmick or a toy. Like AIWB (“appendix carry”), it provides a realistic solution to an actual problem that people may actually have.
Access under stress. I spent some time with a 220 lb guy who’s a handful to fight. I had him attack me from a bunch of worst-case starting points, both standing up and on the ground. I’m a 6’ tall man with a man’s upper body strength and no boobs, so take this with a grain of salt. I’m specifically not saying my experience would be the same as a 5’2”, 120 lb woman’s would in the same situation. But—for me in my body, access is easier than I thought it would be. Much easier. Discovering I could get the gun out going down through the cover shirt’s neck hole instead of having to clear it from waist to neck was a game-changer. There were situations on the ground where getting the gun from a Flashbang was actually easier than from a belt holster (we tried both to compare).
Is access perfect? Like any other holster or place on the body, no. There’s simply nowhere that can be reached in every situation. But access was much better than it seemed like it “should” have been before I tested it.
Will it stay attached? The strap that holds the holster to the bra closes with a snap, and I was worried about that. If you need the gun, you need it to come out and for the holster to stay behind. What you can’t see in pictures online is that it uses a locking snap, which works surprisingly well. I’ve done lots of draws from it, using plenty of force, and it didn’t come off once.
Some have asked why most of the videos of people using it show dangerous and stupid things. Since it’s relatively new, even people who’ve been through a ton of professional training may not have learned how to safely use this design because the institutional knowledge just isn’t there yet. That has nothing to do with the safety of the holster itself. It can change, and I hope it does because…
It’s a real holster that can solve a real problem and can be used safely—without resorting to off-body carry. This is awesome.
The company also makes a model called the Marilyn, which attaches to the side of the bra, where it rides under the arm like a shoulder holster, rather than in the middle of the bra as the Flashbang does. I’ve spent less time with that one than with the flagship Flashbang model, but from what I’ve seen so far, all of the above holds for that one too.
I simply can’t know what it’s like to live with this holster every day, or use it at all in a female body. I can’t say whether it’s right for anyone in particular in their life. Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat and Melody Lauer of Central Iowa Defensive Training have the most experience with it of anyone I know personally, and they know more about bra carry than I ever will.
What I am comfortable saying at this point as an instructor is that it’s a legitimate, quality holster and a viable option, and thanks to Kathy’s guidance, I can teach people to use it safely.