The other day I received a call from a customer that was concerned about having a pistol in his pocket with a “pop up barrel.” He believed that there was a huge possibility that the barrel would release while in his pocket and thus make the firearm inoperable. He wanted to have the barrel release lever made inoperable. Of course, I refused to do that modification. However, it got me thinking about pocket carry.
In a previous post, I talked about carrying a back up gun, but I didn’t really go into detail on method of carry. When you carry a pocket pistol, you need to think about the gun and how you are going to carry it. Safety is the most important thing that comes to mind.
Think clearly about this: you are going to put a loaded pistol in your pocket. Do you really want it loose, just flopping around with all that pocket change and other things you may have in there? I know I don’t. Just like any other firearm, you need to make sure it is secure and safe in the carry location. The best way to do that is with proper holster for the gun.
There are literally hundreds of options for pocket pistol carry. Some people carry in the back pocket, some in the strong side front pocket. Some people will also use ankle holsters for pocket guns.
Regardless of where you carry, there is a safe way to carry a pocket gun and an unsafe way to do it. If you put your pistol in your pocket with other items and no holster, you risk the possibility of something in your pocket getting in the mechanism and either blocking it or causing a discharge. This is why some sort of holster is crucial for safety reasons.
Holster makers look at various things when creating a holster for smaller guns. If the holster is going to be in the pocket, it should remain in the pocket during the draw of the gun. It also has to be small enough to fit in the pocket of the user and protect the firearm at the same time.
Two examples of this is the Desantis Super fly and the Nemesis holsters. They use a rubberized material on the outside of the holster, which serves to hold the holster against the fabric of the pocket and keep it from moving when you draw the pistol. The holster is sturdy enough to hold the gun in place and the shape of the holster allows it to sit in position for the draw from the pocket.
It is my suggestion that you try each possible holster before you purchase. Even thought the price on pocket holsters is usually low (around $25), you really don’t want a box of holsters that you can’t use.
There are also some very good leather pocket holsters. These are usually set up with suede on the outside of the holster and a slick interior. Some of them even have a tacky material sewn into the outside of the holster. The one thing that I look for specifically in a pocket holster is that it covers the trigger guard and the side of the gun. The cover of the trigger guard ensures that nothing will get in the trigger if I accidentally forget and drop some change in my pocket. The covered side keeps the gun from “printing” on the pocket. The idea of a concealed handgun is to keep it concealed. If you sit down and you see the shape of the pistol in your pocket, that is not staying concealed. The best way to keep it concealed is to have a holster with some material covering the shape of the firearm.
Once you have chosen a pocket gun and a good quality holster to carry it, you need to spend some time training with it. There are several techniques of drawing a pistol from your pocket. You do need to pay attention to how you remove the pistol from your pocket so it releases. One thing I was shown was not balling up your hand – grab the pistol with your fingers, but keep your hand flat, which will help you get the gun out of the holster and the pocket.
Spend some time with an instructor and on the range with your gun and holster and learn the proper and safe way to remove and deploy the gun for use. There are volumes of information out there about use and carry of a pocket gun.