GTM Original Blog — Well Armed Woman

The Well Armed Woman--Organization Educates Women On How To Use Firearms

Michelle Pickett wants every woman to be ready, when she needs to be, to safely draw and fire her weapon.

Safety is key at The Well Armed Woman Gainesville/Micanopy Shooting Chapter. Pickett said safety and responsibility are crucial parts of feeling comfortable in a shooting range.

“It’s all about being a responsible gun owner and keeping track of your training,” Pickett said.

The Well Armed Woman is a national organization that aims to educate, equip and empower women. According to its website, the company is meant to be a resource “without fluff or frills” for women gun owners of any age.

Michelle Pickett addresses a group of members at a Tuesday meeting. (Gaby Roriguez/WUFT News)
“The more we can empower women, the better,” Pickett said. “It’s really important.”

The Gainesville/Micanopy chapter is stationed at Harry Beckwith Guns & Range, at 12130 S HWY 41, and has been active for about 4 years.

During meetings the women discuss different topics and go to the range together to shoot. The women are also encouraged to keep a journal recording their progress at the range.

“If you ever end up in court using your firearm for self-defense you need to show proof of how and when you learned that knowledge,” said Pickett. “Having those shooting journals gives you that option in court to be able show your training and show how serious you are.”

The chapter, which currently has 144 members, offers 3 different meeting times each month. Participants are aged anywhere from 18 and up, according to Pickett, and many come from different backgrounds.

“There are some women who have been attacked or been through something really violent or know someone that went through something very violent,” Pickett said. “There are other women who see what’s going on in the news and our community and want to come in and prepare themselves.”

Kandi Nelson, a member of the chapter, was attacked and threatened on multiple occasions and said that The Well Armed Woman has helped has her in many different ways.

“Several years ago I was attacked and it had been very stressful trying to associate and get out in public,” Nelson said. “I isolated myself because of the stress, I didn’t know what would happen because I had been threatened more than one time.”

Nelson’s attack made her paranoid and often times afraid to go out in public. Nelson said after joining the chapter, she is no longer afraid to go out and says she isn’t always looking around to see if someone is trying to get her.

Nelson is the mother of a 14-year-old and said that her time with the chapter has also made her feel much safer.

“I feel more confident,” Nelson said. “I know I can protect my son if we go out and he knows that im there.”

Margot Wintemute proudly shows off her target sheet Harry Beckwith Guns & Range. (Gaby Rodriguez/WUFT News)
Margot Wintemute, another member of the chapter, said she has had trouble with getting comfortable with her gun and the chapter has helped.

“I’ve been working on trying to love my glock,” Wintemute said during the meeting. “I just can’t.”

Wintemute joked as she entered the range, but upon leaving she proudly held up her target sheet to reveal some impressive accuracy.

“I can do better,” Wintemute said with a laugh.

The Gainesville/Micanopy Shooting Chapter of The Well Armed Woman meets either on the second Sunday of each month at 4 p.m. or on the second Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. or 6 p.m.

2016 TWAW/GTM Pose Contest

Carrie Lightfoot: Drawing from Concealment

Tips & Tactics Sponsored by Cabela's Outdoor Fund

The ability to quickly and safely draw your firearm, should the need arise, is a crucial component of your concealed carry firearm training. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, firearms instructor and founder of The Well Armed Woman, Carrie Lightfoot, guides you through the basic principles of properly drawing a firearm from concealment under stress.

The Top Ten Guns Women Buy

What guns are women buying? Well, we know that each woman can only know which is the right one for her, but here are the top 10 choices women are making when purchasing a handgun which can help to narrow the field of options for you. Remember, what is right for one woman may not be right for another, so when making your choice it is important to consider all of the variables that may be unique to you such as, hand size, recoil sensitivity, location and reach of the controls and their ease of operation. Get to a gun store and get your hands on numerous models and if possible, rent or try these models on the range. Trust me, you will know the right one when you find it. 

I find a number of things very interesting in this list. One, women are primarily buying semi-automatic handguns with a slight majority of them choosing a 9mm. The other fascinating thing is that 3 of the top 10 guns women are choosing are Glocks, which historically has not been known as a woman's favorite brand. These clear preferences help put to rest such myths as; a woman needs a smaller caliber, she should have a revolver or she should have... fill in the blank. You can see by the variety below, that there is NO ONE RIGHT GUN for a woman or any one feature that makes a gun a "woman's gun". Now, I am not nixing revolvers, as both number eleven and twelve came in as revolvers. Many women prefer them and they are the better choice if one's primary mode of carry is in a concealed carry purse. But clearly, women are breaking some of the stereotypes usually placed on them. 

This list was compiled from data collected from  The Well Armed Woman holster sales for 2015.

1. Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm


2. Sig Sauer P238 - .380

3. Glock 43 - 9mm


4. Glock 42 - .380

5. Springfield XDs - 9mm



6. Ruger LCP - .380



7. Ruger LC9s - 9mm


8. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

9. Glock 26 - 9mm

10. Sig Sauer P938 - 9mm

Other Top Selling Guns Women Are Choosing

11. Ruger LCR

12. Smith &Wesson J-Frame

13. Bersa Thunder

14. Beretta Nano

15. Ruger SR 22

16. Smith &Wesson Bodyguard .38

17. Walther CCP

18. Ruger SR9C

19. Kahr PM 9mm

20. Smith & Wesson M&P 9


Check out our new resource, gun reviews written by women

The Ultimate Accessory! The GTM-51 Town Tote



Ostrich Pattern Debossed American Cowhide

  • Tested with following:
    • Sig Sauer P229 (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 23 compact (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 27 subcompact (40 cal)
    • GLOCK 30S subcompact (45 cal)
    • Smith & Wesson 38 Special revolver "snub nose"
    • Sig Sauer P238 (.380 cal)
    • Sig Sauer P938 (9mm)
    • Ruger LCP (9mm)
    • Smith & Wesson Body Guard (.380 cal)
    • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield (9mm and in 40 cal)
  • PLEASE PRACTICE drawing with UNLOADED gun!!
  • American debossed Ostrich pattern cowhide
    • Becomes softer with use
    • Durable
    • Ages to darker patina
    • Trimmed with full grain Tan American Cowhide
  • Designed for either Left or Right handed use
  • Special padding to prevent gun imprinting
    • 11 Ply steel wire tastefully reinforced
    • Cross Body length
    • Easily clips on or off
    • Width helps disperse bag weight
    • Adjustable
  • 2 additional top carry handles option
  • Outside back zippered pocket
  • Inside extra zipper pocket and storage for Smart phones, lipstick, Pepper Spray etc.
  • Includes our Standard Holster (designed by Mernickle Holsters)
  • Gold color metal hardware and zippers
    • Gun compartment zippers are nylon coil for safety
  • Fully lined with Gun Tote'n Mamas logo lining
  • Overall bag size:
    12" Wide x 10 - 1/4" Tall x 5 - 1/4" Deep
  • GTM compartment size: 9" Wide x 7 - 1/2 " Tall
  • Zippered opening: 6 - 1/4" Tall
  • Gun footprint area: 7 - 5/8" Wide x 6" Tall

Concealed Carry Purses Are the New Hermès Birkins It's the bag trend you never saw coming.

By Charles Manning
Feb 5, 2016

Concealed Carry Purses Are the New Hermès Birkins

It's the bag trend you never saw coming. 

The hottest trend in bags right now isn't fringe or studs or prints, it's guns. Specifically, purses designed to conceal guns.

According to Google, about 74,000 people search for the term "concealed carry purse" every month. That is the same number of people who look for "Hermès Birkin."

Concealed carry purses are most popular in North Carolina, followed closely by Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida.

It's a relatively new trend, popping up on Google's radar for the first time in 2011, but it has seen a dramatic increase in the last couple months at the same time that gun sales across the nation reached record highs following the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, and President Barack Obama's subsequent calls for more restrictions on gun sales.

Searches for "concealed carry purse" on Google return results ranging from mainstream designers like Coach and Michael Kors to specialty websites like The Well Armed Woman, Gun Goddess, and Gun Tote'n Mamas, with styles ranging from totes to cross bodies to fanny packs.

"Conceal Carry Belt Pack is designed for active women," reads the product description for a pink camo fanny pack on "There is plenty of room for your handgun, 2 magazines and even your phone. You can be both safe and fashionable while shopping, walking, and more. Wear with your belt or use the belt strap included. Adjust belt strap and wear cross body too."

And, of course, there are also concealed carry purse accessories, like the Swarovski crystal-studded purse hook from "Do you carry your firearm in your purse? Then you definitely want to keep it in front of you and in sight, rather than hanging on the back of a chair," reads the product description. "Even if you don't carry, this sparkly hanger gives you the peace of mind that comes from keeping your purse constantly in view."

So, yeah. Concealed carry purses. They're huge. At least now you know what to get the bride at your next camo-themed wedding. Because, those are a thing too. Oh, yes. What a time to be alive.

With additional reporting by Christine Bettlach Anderson.

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