With the increasing number of “pocket rockets” in the concealed carry market, it has become easier to use alternative (i.e., not waistband) carry methods, such as pocket carry. If you’re contemplating trying pocket carry yourself, this article will give you a couple of points to consider.
Advantages: With ample pocket size, pocket carry can be a convenient low aggro method of deep concealment.
Disadvantages: The ability to pocket carry is necessarily limited by pocket size, which therefore limits pistol size. Also, many female styles of bottoms are too small to accommodate even the daintiest of “mouse guns.”
With pistols on the concealed carry market as diminutive as petite derringers, up to slim subcompacts like the XD-S .45, there is a surprising range of handguns that might be concealed within one’s pocket. Some may be tempted to simply load one up and tuck it into the hip pocket of their favorite jeans and be on their merry way, but non-holstered pocket carry is an exceptionally dangerous practice. For one, leaving the trigger guard open presents the opportunity for other objects in the pocket (carrying other objects in one’s dedicated concealed carry pocket is inadvisable as well), or even the fabric itself as it shifts with body movement, to unintentionally discharge a round. It also leaves the firearm more vulnerable to collecting debris, like pocket lint, which could also impair its function. Other than protecting the trigger guard and rescuing a pistol from intruding pocket lint, another benefit a pocket holster affords the carrier is in keeping the firearm positioned ideally for draw. Many pocket holsters have a tab that hooks into the pocket that helps keep the holster seated properly during draw.
Unfortunately, pocket carry is severely limited for females as one’s ability to concealed carry in one’s pocket is necessarily subject to the size of the pocket. Female fashion is not generally known for its practicality, and the tiny, or even non-existent pockets of many ladies’ bottoms simply will not accommodate any firearm. And even for those who can afford to tote a pocket pistol, the size requirements of a handgun that will fit in one’s pocket are bantam at best. The size of pistols best suited to pocket carry are short barreled (which generally translates to snappy firing), and short on capacity.
On the other hand, for those with suitable pockets who are willing to sacrifice round count, pocket carry does offer a uniquely concealable carry option. In our fast-paced world where social contact is often replaced with virtual social networking, it is not uncommon to see the average joe’s pockets stuffed with wallet, keys, and a wide touch-screen smartphone. Good pocket holsters that obscure the firearm’s shape allow a concealed carry firearm to blend in seamlessly with the normal bric-a-brac people tote around in their pants. Building on that premise, some pocket holsters are specifically designed to look like a wallet, such as my custom holster from Dragon Leatherworks, pictured on the left.
When [legally] carrying in a less-than-firearm friendly environment (like many white collar office type environs, for example), having a more subtle mode of carry may allow someone to stay armed with those around them none the wiser. Pocket carry offers a viable option for deep concealment that still provides easy access for draw, should the need arise. An individual’s fashion choice necessarily impacts how feasible pocket carry is for them. But, for those with ample space, pocket carry might be just the clever concealed carry option they need.
Holster photos in featured image above courtesy of dragonleatherworks.com.