Gone are the days of having few options when it comes to where and how you will carry a concealed firearm. Years ago, gun owners had limited choices beyond the standard belt-and-holster combination. For women, this was even more difficult, considering the wide variation of women’s clothing styles. Very few of these accommodating a belt. For this reason, Smith & Wesson introduced its line of EDC leather concealment options.
Smith & Wesson EDC Leather Options
Nowadays, the situation is vastly different. If anything, we have more manufacturers providing options than we have time to learn about. From leggings and undergarments with built-in holsters, to accessories that eliminate the need for a belt altogether, the options for on-body carry are almost limitless.
Off-body carry has also gone through a revolution, offering products other than just basic handbags. Laptop cases, briefcases, gym bags, backpacks and various other types of off-body gear now provide opportunities for firearm concealment. Besides the concealment factor, manufacturers have expanded their focus, with a concentrated effort on firearm safety and efficiency.
Many companies provide compartments dedicated solely to firearms that also include safe triggerguard protection. Many suppliers specialize in on- and off-body carry options, but only recently has an actual gun manufacturer decided to expand their offerings into this market. That manufacturer is Smith & Wesson.
Smith & Wesson has recently launched an entire line of leather, offering everyday carry (EDC) belts, men’s wallets and concealed-carry handbags for women. They did not launch this line on a whim. But instead, with careful consideration of what quality products S&W wanted to bring to the market, and why. Providing durable, reliable and functional merchandise that addressed the needs and desires of gun owners across the board was the main focus. Additionally, Smith & Wesson avoided taking the path of faddish trends that seem to come and go.
Instead, their new leather line adheres to a clean and classic look that seems timeless and remains discreet. There is nothing within this line that would draw attention to any aspect of the firearms industry. This is important when it comes to concealment, as drawing attention to our firearms is the last thing we would want to do. Even the Smith & Wesson logo on each piece has a tasteful design to avoid drawing excessive attention.
This is the ingenuity we have come to know from Smith & Wesson, and their company’s statement explains it best. “Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson formed a partnership in 1852 to manufacture a firearm that could fire a fully self-contained cartridge. From the beginning, Smith & Wesson firearms were noted for their innovative design, high-quality production, and reliability.”
Smith & Wesson Leather manufactures its products through RuggedRare, the company’s officially licensed manufacturer. It is also the parent company of Cameleon Bags, who sells the Smith & Wesson line.
Cameleon Bags provides quality concealed-carry bags that allow you to carry a concealed weapon without sacrificing fashion. Both RuggedRare and Cameleon Bags adhere to the same level of quality craftsmanship as Smith & Wesson. This was an important factor in creating this union to bring forth the Smith & Wesson Leather line.
“Smith & Wesson Leather was created from the innovative designs and high-quality productions that you get with the Smith & Wesson brand. In the spirit of the founders of Smith & Wesson, our collection of handcrafted leather goods is made using century-old tanning processes, unparalleled craftsmanship and American ingenuity, creating a high-quality product with guaranteed reliability,” said Travis Ferguson, executive director of branding at Cameleon Bags.
The Smith & Wesson Leather line is impressive, offering a wide variety of styles to appeal to a broad spectrum of individual tastes and preferences. For this article, I was able to test and evaluate several products from this new line. These products include the Smith & Wesson Structured Handbag, an EDC belt in black for women and two men’s wallets.
The Structured Handbag
I can honestly say I am happy with the Structured Handbag, with both the style and function of the handbag. This bag is spacious but not bulky, and sports a very sleek and elegant look. The color is described as “Denim Blue,” and you can see the varying and well-blended shades of blue that match well with its brown accents and sturdy hardware.
I personally prefer a longer, cross-body strap for off-body carry, but the long top handles on this bag make it easy to wear over the shoulder and tuck under the arm. The interior contains two compartments. There is one on each side of the holster compartment, which is in the center, with zipper enclosure.
The main compartments feature several pockets for secure organization of your belongings. The dedicated ambidextrous gun compartment comes complete with a semi-soft-shell holster that fastens securely inside. You can access the gun via three separate zipper compartments, two on each side and one on top. This bag is approximately 13x10x5 inches, with a CCW compartment about 11×8 inches. MSRP is $220.
Wear & Draw
During my testing and evaluation, I practiced drawing my gun from each easily accessible compartment, and found this to be a quick and simple process. You can place the holster in various positions within the gun compartment. As a result, everyone can find the best arrangement to suit their draw. I would absolutely recommend this bag to anyone who prefers off-body carry.
The women’s leather EDC belt is equally impressive. This belt has an approximate thickness of just 0.236 inch (6mm) and provides the essential rigidity to keep your holstered firearm securely in place. The clean and classic design enables you to wear this belt with both casual and business attire. MSRP is $50.
The Importance of Proper Training
Given the fact that we are discussing off-body carry options, I would be remiss if I did not bring up some very important points to consider before carrying in this manner. Training is absolutely necessary, and you need to take the time to practice drawing your firearm (unloaded, checked and clear) from the off-body carry method you want to utilize. Before you begin to carry this way, you must become proficient in accessing your firearm.
Another point to remember is the responsibility that comes with off-body carry. If you have a firearm in your bag, you must keep the bag with you and always be in control of it. Leaving it out of reach or unattended translates to not being in control of your gun, and possibly opening the door to disaster, should it end up in the wrong hands.
Smith & Wesson Leather is a truly impressive line offering quality craftsmanship, functionality and aesthetically pleasing designs. These products can even transcend to non-gun owners who are just looking for quality leather products.
For more information, please visit CameleonBags.com.
This article was originally published in the Personal Defense World Concealed Carry Handguns June/July 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.