Over my years of concealed carry living, I have painstakingly narrowed my “go to” holsters for every day concealment to three. I have a custom Kydex appendix holster with a claw and a wedge that I use for most work days because my work attire includes a sturdy belt. When I don’t have a good belt, I depend upon my Can Can Concealment Hip Hugger Elite corset styled holster. And if all else fails, I have my Gun Tote’n Mama’s quilted shoulder clutch.
Who would have thought I would need a fourth go to holster for days, weeks, and months at a time when I wear only sweat pants around the house? Well, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to my lifestyle and this is one of them. I found myself feeling unprotected as I sat working from my kitchen table in my sweats and, I admit it, sometimes pajamas all day long. Prior to COIVD-19, I would wake up and put on my outfit for the day which automatically included my carry holster, than head out of the house. When I got home, my gun stayed with me, because I typically did not change until just before bed. With the pandemic, I would wake up, not get dressed, not take my pistol from the lock box and not have a readily available lethal self-defense option at home. I thought I would use my Can Can, but I just didn’t have the mental energy to fight the seven hook and eye closures and keep my tummy confined for 16 hours. (I may have gained a couple pounds during self-quarantine and I am too proud to adjust to the next row of eyes in order to give me the extra breathing room I now need in a corset.) After a little experimenting with some older, more comfortable holster options that I had purchased throughout the years, including the infamous fanny pack and the original Thunderwear, I found Pistol Wear’s Trump Card Mini Concealment Holster.
The Trump Card belly band styled holster comes in three sizes of pouches and three sizes of belts for both right and left handed carry positions. There are also three color options – black, white and nude. The Mini is a nice fit for my Sig P365 with Crimson Trace laser. Unlike many belly bands, the Trump Card has a magnetic pouch closure strap to retain the pistol during movement. The magnetic strap withstood the tip test for my unloaded P365. (Here’s Kathy Jackson’s article on How to Choose a Safe Holster with tip test instructions.) Another additional feature it has over other traditional belly bands is a rigid exterior liner that prevents access to the trigger from the outside preventing anything from unintentionally pressing the trigger, like the paw of my 75 pound lap dog. This rigid liner is also a retention feature when stretched tight after being strapped on further compressing the pouch around the pistol.
The adjustable belt is an ingenious design. It has both three sturdy snaps at one end of the belt and a Velcro section to allow adjustment for a perfect fit. The idea behind this is that you initially adjust the Velcro to your waist size and once it is properly adjusted, you no longer have to fasten and unfasten the Velcro. You simply use the snap system to take your Pistol Wear on and off for a great, no hassle fit every time. The belt also has an inner vented liner to reduce sweat build up and a perspiration barrier on the pouch itself to prevent moisture from reaching your gun. Another nice feature is that the holster is hand washable.
The Trump Card can be worn as a shoulder holster too with the extra strap that is provided. As I was only interested in finding an easy to wear, waist option, I have not tried the shoulder holster, but it is nice that there are additional configurations.
Now, I get up, get dressed in my chosen pandemic ensemble of the day, holster my P365 in the Trump Card Mini, then simply strap the belt over my clothes. I do recommend holstering your pistol prior to strapping on the belly band. Once the belt is around your waist, the mouth of the pouch closes and the first thought to holster a pistol for many people is to use your non-dominant hand to open the mouth of the pouch allowing this hand to be muzzled by your loaded gun as it is holstered.
I would not expect this specific holster wear to be the 2020 fashion trend of the year, but I am able to comfortably carry my pistol in the twelve o’clock position throughout my day at home. The Mini is comfortable enough for sitting as my thighs do not interfere with it. I am not sure the larger/longer versions of the Trump Card would do the same. The pouch may rub on your thighs if you carry appendix slightly off the twelve o’clock position. Although the pouch and belt are extremely soft, the material used to edge the pouch is a tad rough at the corners and may cause irritation if it rubs on your skin. There is no need to remove the holster for a bathroom break. I just pull the belt up around my ribs to keep the pouch out of the way. If I venture out to the mailbox, I drape my untucked shirt over the holster.
Because of the elastic waistband of my sweats, the holster is not deeply concealed, when worn inside my pants. There is an obvious, but not pistol shaped, bulge under my t-shirt at waist level. However, when I put on jeans with a tighter waistband, the bulge is diminished, but makes it harder to retrieve my P365 quickly. During the pandemic, I have made essential trips to the grocery store in jean shorts and a t-shirt without any worries that I was printing with the Trump Card Mini.
This leads me to drawing the pistol. Just like my Kydex holster and Can Can corset, I adjust my Mini for appendix carry in the twelve o’clock position. In a perfect world, I want to draw my gun with a strong grip that does not need to be adjusted when presenting on target. If I get this grip in the Trump Card Mini, I would have my trigger finger indexed on the slide, while the gun is still completely holstered. Although probably safe, I am not comfortable jamming all my fingers into the pouch in hopes everything stays clear from the trigger. My method of drawing is to take my non-dominant hand and claw open the strap. I then take my three grip fingers only and slip them between the pouch and the gun sliding them from the bottom of the grip until my middle finger touches the base of the trigger guard. At this point I get a solid grip with my trigger finger indexed on the outside of the pouch and my thumb on the back of the slide. I pull the pistol straight up until clear of the holster and drop my thumb to the correct side of the gun to complete my strong hand grip. By making sure my middle finger touches the bottom of the trigger guard, my trigger finger remains indexed in relation to the slide as I draw the pistol. Also by keeping my index finger outside of the pouch, it allows a little extra room to get your other fingers into the pouch due to the additional retention of the rigid liner.
As with any holster, you must practice your draw for two main reasons. First is to assure that you are safe. Second is to reduce the time it takes you to draw and get an accurate shot on target.
Pistol Wear markets their holster for casual wear and is known for their PT style holsters aimed to be worn with athletic apparel. They do warn that because the Trump Card carries the gun in a vertical position, the holster may cause interference with movement during running, especially with the larger pouch. As many of you know, I have no desire for running and cannot speak to this, but is something to be aware of if you do intend to torture yourself by running when nothing is chasing you.
Pistol Wear also has accessories for their holsters which include magazine holsters, phone holsters and extension belts. I will be purchasing both a magazine and phone holster in the future for the belt because than I wouldn’t have to worry about having pockets in my jammies for the extra mag. I did have the pleasure of speaking with the company’s customer service department after I ordered the wrong pouch size. They were very understanding and explained the return policy simply and thoroughly. My original online order arrived in just three days. It took the exchange a week for delivery because they waited for the original purchase to return to them before sending out the second which is perfectly understandable.
Two months ago, I would have never thought I needed a holster for just staying home. As times change, my strategies to protect myself must also change. I am not in a household where keeping a gun in every room is an option, so I must carry it with me. During the pandemic, I found that the Pistol Wear Trump Card Mini is the perfect choice for me.