By Jason Hanson
I find myself carrying my Ruger LCP more and more often these days. After all, it’s lightweight, fits perfectly in my front right pocket, and with Hornady Critical Defense ammo I feel confident in stopping a threat. I realize a lot of folks believe the .380 is underpowered but I’ve still never met anyone who was willing to let me shoot them with one. However, as with any pocket gun, you’re carrying a limited amount of ammunition – typically 6 to 7 rounds. That’s why I believe it’s important to carry a spare magazine. But a lot of people don’t do this because it’s not convenient or easy. And obviously, just throwing a spare magazine in your pocket amongst your keys, pens, and change isn’t the smart thing to do. If you ever needed it quickly, it could take a while to fish it out . . .
To solve this problem, a few holster makers have created holsters that have built-in magazine pouches. One of these is the Pocket Roo by Tuff-Products (above left). It carries a spare magazine in a pouch underneath the grip area of the gun. When I first picked up the Pocket-Roo I didn’t know what to expect. But it seemed like a quality built cloth holster and I was hoping it would solve the extra magazine problem for all of us.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, it doesn’t. The thing is, whether your gun is on your hip or in your pocket, you need to be able to get a firm grip on the gun while it’s in the holster. If you can’t get a firm grip, you’ll be adjusting your grip on the draw, which is a big no-no that will slow you down, affect your shot and could cost you your life one day. When I try and get a firm grip on my LCP while using the Pocket-Roo the magazine pouch always gets in the way. I wish it wasn’t so because I think the Pocket-Roo is a clever design, but if I can’t get a firm grip I can’t consider using the holster.
Instead, what I’ve found to be one of the best ways to carry extra ammunition in your pocket is to use a magazine pouch that goes in your other pocket. In other words, since I carry my gun in my front right pocket, I carry my spare magazine in my left pocket. The magazine pouch I use is from a company called Aholster (above right). Their mag pouch is made from kydex and is formed to fit in the bottom of the pocket to keep the magazine upright and in place. Even better, thanks to its design, when you reach in your pocket to draw the magazine, the kydex pouch stays behind.
Aholster also makes a kydex pocket holster for my LCP that allows me to get a solid grip on my gun (I can draw and fire in two seconds or less). Like all of my gun-related gear, I’m constantly searching for better options, but for now, these are the pocket carry options that work for me and may just work for you too.
Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He also runs the Concealed Carry Academy. He can be reached through www.ConcealedCarryAcademy.com.