FMG’s American Handgunner sent me a link to this ancient-by-Internet-standards video of ccwbreakaway pants. The comments have been disabled — probably because some viewers thought the carry system is a stupid idea. Or maybe there were too many d!ck jokes. (“Is that a GLOCK 19 in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”)

Anyway, pocket carry is a thing. Our man’s right about pocket carry affording an early grip on your gun in a potential defensive gun use. Perfect for late-night parking lots!

Pocket carry is a good thing, not a great thing, for one simple reason: most pants pockets won’t accommodate anything larger than a mouse gun. Even if you bought these pants — whose pockets are large enough to holster the front half of the Titanic — a full-size firearm’s weight would be a real drag. And while a mouse gun is a lot better than a sharp stick, a full-size gun is significantly more useful than a mouse gun.

Do you pocket carry? If so, why? What gun, what holster, and what ammo?

70 Responses to Question of the Day: Pocket Carry?

  1. I have pocket carried up to a XD subcomp in my front pocket regularly in normal brand name jeans with no problems. Not all jeans will work, but one modern brand I have found that work really well are lucky brand jeans. You can find them at most malls. Obviously not going to work with you skinny jeans guys.

  2. What’s with the violent downward thrust before drawing the gun?

    If I’m pocket carrying, and I’ve got my hand in my pocket, it’s because I feel like I might need to draw, and I’ve already got my hand on the gun. No need to “thrust and grab”…. just draw the damn thing.

    And yes, I occasionally pocket carry my Kahr CM40 or LCP Custom in a suitable pocket holster, depending on what type of shorts/pants I’m wearing.

    • In the video, it’s to pop open the snaps at the top of the pocket to create a much larger opening for a smooth draw. Basically…

      Step 1: get full firing grip on gun
      Step 2: violently point firearm directly at your junk and femoral of opposite thigh.
      Step 3: revert Step 2, draw gun straight out
      Step 4: defend against imminent attack

      Don’t get too excited and nervous, though! Would hate to get that finger on the trigger too soon.

  3. S&W 642, Galco Pocket Protector, Hornady Critical Defense… light, convenient, but not ideal. I prefer IWB with more rounds, but I don’t feel unprepared.

    • Check out the Kirkland Jeans or Carharts. I now have a 34-36 waist (depending on the season… winter’s 36… too much good food) but I’ve had much larger over the years and always found a pair of Carharts to fit. Spendy work jeans but they have big pockets and they last for a very long time. They’re a fantastic brush jean.

      • 36 is fat? At my thinnest I was a 36. I’m a solid 40-30 pant size now.

        As I mentioned in an earlier post, I like lucky jeans, although they are considered designer so they’re a little pricey, but they have great pockets and they seem to last.

        • Nah. You didn’t get the whole gist of the statement. I wear 34-36 now. I used to wear much larger and I carried then too. But either way, it sounds like you got your problem figured out.

  4. I’ve been known to pocket carry my LC9s both tucked in a handkerchief or in a Hunter pocket holster. No problems employing it when needed. Also carry an old standby Jennings (Bryco) J22 tucked away on occasion as well.

  5. Ruger LC9s in a Blackhawk! is my standard summer shorts or suit wear. Not very fast compared to my P239 in an OWB Kydex, but no one has ever asked if I was happy to see them. 8~(

  6. 5.11 pants in a size 2″ larger than my normal jeans work great for the G43. When camping I’ve tossed a G29 in there. The 29 prints like a boss, but it doesn’t interfere with the pack and I’m outdoors so no one cares.

    The wife sure doesn’t appreciate my ‘baggy’ pants, but they’re comfy and utilitarian.

  7. I find I’m able to pocket carry a snub-nosed revolver if my trousers are sufficiently “relaxed” fit — cargo pants or painters’ pants work. Otherwise, if weather permits, coat pocket carry allows snub-nosed revolvers easily and 9mm compacts.

    Of course, when it’s jacket/coat weather, that makes IWB/OWB carry easy, too.

  8. I had a pair of breakaway pants. Then I realized that they were a little tight across the @ss, so I bought a larger size.

  9. Laser equipped LCP in a Desantis Nemesis with a seven round spare in a snag mag. Why? Because it is the easiest, most concealed way I can routinely carry. With practice you can draw quickly and put rounds center mass to 25 yards with this setup.

  10. No. IWB about 4 O’clock. Spare mag in a horizontal holder on my belt, left side or carried Notorious BIG style depending on my legware and what I’m doing that day.

      • Not well, but he didn’t follow his own advice. He was unarmed when he was ambushed.

        I was specifically thinking about some lines from Warning

        “…he had a gun he should have packed it, cocked it/
        extra clip’s in my pocket/
        so I can reload/
        and explode on you assholes…”

        On the day of his death BIG wasn’t following any of that advice.

  11. Glock 42 in an Alabama Holster. Keeps the gun in the right position, and it’s nice and secure but pops off with a push of the thumb or hooks on my shorts as I draw.

  12. When off the clock my 642 in an uncle Mike’s pocket holster. Sometimes comes along as a backup when working with the SR9, if working in an area of concern.

  13. When I had a Nano I would sometimes but generally carried it OWB. Now my smallest pistol is an XD subcompact. I could pocket carry it in my Duluth firehose pants. 124 grain HST for both.

  14. My summer carry is a Kahr PM9 in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster with Speer 124gr +P Gold Dots. I carry it in the front pocket of my shorts, which have plenty of room to draw from easily. It’s way more comfortable than IWB carry, and I don’t have to dress around my gun. I just throw it in my pocket and head out the door.

  15. Springfield XDS 9mm in DeSantis Nemesis – doesn’t seem like a mouse gun, but I do use the short magazine for pocket carry, then change it to the extended magazine when carrying OWB. Doesn’t print and useable in my dress slacks and even Dockers. Can’t pull it off in jeans though.

  16. at first it sounded ridiculous. once it was demonstrated, its not too bad of an idea actually. its not as secure or safe as a holster but more options is usually a good thing

  17. Had a Sig P938 in my front jeans pocket most of the day today, in a Nemesis holster. Upgraded from an LCP recently.

    • I’ve carried my 938 in a nemesis in front pants pocket, too, with jeans. works pretty well, but IMO the 938 is starting to push the limit of size and weight for pocket carry with shorts, which is usually what I carry in.

  18. My EDC is a G26 in a DeSantis SuperFly holster. G17 mag with G26 grip extension in weak side pocket. Works fine in cargo / tac pants, or suits tailored for it.

  19. Pocket carry is one of 3 methods I use, depending on circumstances, plus backup for IWB–In pocket may be a Ruger LCR .357, Ruger LC9S or Ruger LCP Custom–need options if things go wrong and you are forced to use force

  20. Kahr cw380. Desantis nemesis holster. Because my love handles make iwb uncomfortable enough that i rarely want to do it, and sometimes it’s too hot for heavy enough clothing to properly conceal my shoulder holster.

  21. Duluth fire hose cargo shorts almost always (Florida), Ruger LC9s Pro in DeSantis Nemesis in the right main pocket. 7+1 in the pistol, 9 rounds in spare mag in left side velcro-ed slot pocket.

    With wallet, knife, wad of keys, phablet, coin purse, and flash, I’ve got so many lumps that there’s no way to be sure whether I’m carrying or not.

  22. not a fan of pocket carry unless its in a holster shirt. and only with a trigger covering holster. too much danger of shooting myself!

    • I have a P3AT, but keep it in the glove box of my car. Having fired most of the pocket pistols on the market, I find some other pocket pistol alternatives to be far more reliable and better shooting.

      The only kel-tec i ever actually pocket carry anymore is my P32 – it is much, much more reliable than my P3AT, and is thinner and lighter, too. It won’t pull down workout shorts (the kind that don’t have belt loops). It’s not my primary choice, but it sure is easy to carry.

  23. At least 90% of the time I pocket carry my TCP in a homemade leather holster.

    I have a couple pairs of ‘hiking’ shorts with well designed, HUGE, pockets. I carried a 4″ 357 in those shorts all day once. Just because. I’ve also pocketed my CZ 75 BD in those shorts…

    No matter the style of carry, appropriate dress is required. Some pants can carry a 20+ oz pistol comfortably. Other pants feel like a boat anchor is in your pocket when it’s actually a NAA .22.

  24. I sometimes pocket carry a Sig P230 in a cheap velcro backed pocket holster when wearing cargo pants. I wish there were a way to strap the holster to my thigh so that the handgun wouldn’t wiggle around when I’m walking briskly or running. I have a couple of ideas along that line, but haven’t done anything constructive about it.

    Charlie

  25. Pocket carry is for back up:
    Winter gear: 1. Glock 17 in OWB Raven Concealment holster 2. Glock 26 in DeSantis Superfly in concealed carry jacket 3. Glock 43 in DeSantis Superfly holster in pocket (Propper tactical pants). 2 extra Glock 17 mags on belt, 2 extra Glock 26 mags in jacket, and extra Glock 43 mag.
    Summer gear: Just 1 and 3 above and no Glock 26 mags.

    Wilson combat 4 inch folding knife as well. I can’t think of a better set up short of carrying around my SCAR 17.

  26. I usually pcket carry a Colt Mustang Pocketlite (that’s the all-metal version) with XS Standard Dot aftermarket sights in a Talon wallet holster in the front right pocket. I also occassionally pocket carry a Sig 938, or Kahr CM9 or Kahr P380, in either Talon or Uncle George wallet holsters.

    Why? Because pocket carry means never having to dress around the gun. Where I live the weather is suitable for shorts about 360 out of 365 days a year, and pocket carry works with shorts (with a belt) and t-shirt, polo, or aloha shirt. And of course pocket carry works with long pants, too.

    Tonight I was pocket carrying in shorts and a t-shirt while accompanying a group of kids going trick-or-treating, including my own little one. No one could tell that I was armed.

    In cold weather, you can even pocket carry in the pockets of your leather jacket or even ski jacket.

    Is it perfect for everybody? Nope. Every solution is a balance of trade offs.

  27. I pocket carry a Taurus pt 111g2 with 12+1. Daily. I often carry an old cell phone case with a small flash light, pocket knife, and soar 18 round magazine.

  28. S&W Bodyguard .380 in a Nemesis holster loaded with Underwood Xtreme Penetrators. It goes where I go, and if the pants pocket won’t hold it, I don’t buy the pants in the first place.

  29. Ruger LCP in a nemess or viridian holster.

    Smith 042 in a Kramer or mika holster.

    Ruger LCR 357 with boot grip in a mika holster.

    Vest pocket carry LCR with stock grips or Ruger SR9C in a mika.

  30. I carry in the pocket often. Ruger lcr I 357 with 125 grain. With a tuffstrip loaded with 5 extra. I’ve never felt under guned. But it’s usally iwb in the front. Yes, pointed right at my junk.

  31. I am pleased to see so many others also pocket carry
    I alternate between pocket and IWB both with an Uncle Mikes #3 holster
    Sig 938 or Bersa Thunder cc
    I find drawing from the pocket is definitely slower
    Yet you can have you hand on the gun without brandishing if you feel threatened
    So pocket carry has pros and cons like any other choice

  32. Pocket carry and hoster carry at the same time. Small .380 in the left hand pocket and either a Glock 19 or 26 in a holster on the belt right hand. That way I have choices as the occasion arises. Pocket gun for stealth and strong side for immediate use. But that is just my 2 cents worth.

  33. I pocket carry a Keltec Pf-9, in a pocket holster.

    Pros: I like not having to worry about printing or my shirt flapping around. Drawing from hand in my pocket is significantly faster than drawing from a belt holster with my hand in anything resembling a casual position.

    Cons: I don’t shoot IDPA with my PF-9, so all the training I put in goes into a gun I don’t carry. That’s pretty stupid.

    I think something like an XDS 4″, a Glock 19 with a handle cut to take G26 mags, or a Sig320 with a compact slide and a subcompact grip (if I could afford it) would give me better fire power, be usable enough to use for pistol competition, and still fit in my pocket.

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