Concealed Carry in Action – The Pocket CarryScroll down for the Gun and Holster Handling Video!
Today we will examine the Pocket Carry (in the front pocket) method of carrying a concealed weapon. Here are some elements to consider:
- Pants and Pockets
- The Gun
- Drawing Method
- Pros and Cons
Pants and Pockets
The first consideration when it comes to pants is the roominess of the pocket. Obviously you don’t try to conceal a gun in the pocket of your skinny jeans, but you also don’t have to go out and by a complete wardrobe of tactical pants. The pocket should be large enough to accommodate the gun and holster, but not so big that the rig can turn and not maintain an “upright” position. It should also be constructed in such a way as to allow you to “drag” out the gun and leave the holster behind. (More on this in the video below.)
The only thing that goes in the pocket with the gun is your holster, no keys, no gum, no money clip – just the gun and holster. If you are one of those people who like to carry lots of stuff, consider the tactical pants. They tend to have lots of pockets to transport all your gear and on a well-made pair; the material on the inside of the pocket will be textured. This textured nylon will work in concert with the slightly sticky holster material (if you are using a synthetic pocket holster) to enable the gun to clear the pocket leaving the holster behind.
The final thing to address is the belt. This is often overlooked, but consider that you will be carrying a significant increase in weight. A thicker, properly sized belt will do a better job of keeping your pants around your waist and not around your ankles.
Pocket holsters for concealed carry typically come in leather or synthetic materials. Some pocket holster manufacturers are also using Kydex (a rigid plastic material.) Because this is matter of personal preference, we recommend that you consider the tactical aspects of pocket carry and choose your holster after considering these dynamics.
There are six tactical factors to consider when choosing the pocket holster:
Accessibility – Standing or walking, accessibility is excellent as long as you are wearing the appropriate pants. Obviously wearing a very tight pair of skinny jeans would present a tactical problem. Sitting down makes accessibility more difficult, but not impossible. Again the style and cut of the pants will make a difference.
Printing – As you can see in the video, the pocket holster we carry has a flap that aids with alignment and provides excellent concealment.
Alignment – The holster should be wide enough to prevent the gun from rotating in the pocket. A consistent upright position is essential. The holster should position the gun with the grip near the top of the pocket. In a live fire situation, you don’t want to be fumbling to find the butt of the gun.
Trigger Cover – The holster should provide adequate trigger protection. While there are exposed trigger pocket holsters, we strongly recommend against carrying this type of rig.
Cleanliness – A good pocket holster will also provide some level of protection from the dirt and lint that accumulates in our pockets and could cause a jam at just the wrong time. Adopt a consistent, frequent cleaning schedule and stick to it!
Comfort – This is a matter of personal preference, but we found, with the right size gun, this is a very comfortable carry. Take note of our comment above about the right belt.
Some holsters also accommodate an extra clip. We don’t recommend this for most people because it puts the extra clip on the strong side and will require some shifting of the gun to reload. That said, we only have so many pockets and enough practice can certainly improve your speed and comfort in this scenario.
We will not be drawn into the endless argument of which gun is the best for pocket carry. (It’s the .357 Sig 239) Here are some considerations:
Revolver vs. Semi Auto
Size versus stopping power
Clean lines to prevent snags
Again this is a matter of personal preference, but we like to say, “a comfortable concealed carry gun in your pocket is better than a big heavy gun in your glove box.” What is most important is that you are satisfied with the gun you choose for concealed carry.
Guns are expensive. It is important that you are comfortable with your firearm of choice before you buy. At Whistling Pines Gun Club, you have the opportunity to rent guns, fire them on the range and make sure the firearm is right for you before you commit to a purchase!
As we discuss in the video, the trick is to maneuver the butt of the gun out of the pocket and leave the holster behind. You can see that, with practice this can be done in a fraction of a second.
We also recommend using a laser sight, you won’t be as apt to miss and bystanders will be safer.
Now try drawing the gun using your weak side hand. Practice.
- Discreet – you have a 50 caliber in your pocket and no one knows it’s there
- Ready – in any situation that makes you uncomfortable, you can simply slip your hand in your pocket and you are ready.
- Sweep – you don’t telegraph the existence of the gun as you might if you do a sweep using a belt carry.
- Size – you inevitably give up some size.
- Speed – this draw is slower if you are not in the ready position.
- Sitting – this is a much more difficult draw from a siting position.
- Weak – the weak had draw is extremely difficult
- Stuff – you give up this pocket to the gun and only the gun!
Concealed Carry Training:
If you are new to gun ownership and/or concealed carry we recommend that you get some training. At Whistling Pines Gun Club, we offer a variety of classes that will help you determine which gun and carry position will be best for you. Our instructors are all NRA certified and we are available to help you safely practice this CCW method. We take you from the classroom, to the simulator, to the range. This way we insure that you are completely comfortable with your gun and the techniques we teach.
Front Pocket Carry is one of our favorite concealed carry positions. With the right gear and with adequate practice you can become comfortable and proficient with this carry method. In future installments we will examine the pros and cons of other concealed carry methods.Whistling Pines Gun Club is located in Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado.