Being Mother’s Day, I decided to look my best and show up nice and pretty but when I realized my Sunday best didn’t hide the Glock too well I decided I needed to change my carry method. This happens every now and then and I usually end up switching over to my Ruger LCP that is fitted with a Crimson Trace. My preferred way to carry it is in De Santis Nemesis pocket holster that is made to accept the Crimson trace laser guard. As I was getting ready, I started thinking about the pros and cons of pocket carry and thought it would make a good topic to put out there. When we look at pocket carry we see it as the most convenient, but with convenience there are some trade offs that are often overlooked.
Convenience is the major factor when it comes to pocket carry. Front pocket, cargo pocket, rear pocket it doesn’t matter, if the gun and holster fit it is going with you. In my case the shirt I was going to wear was a little more form-fitting than I usually wear so tossing my LCP into my front pocket was an easy fix. Pocket carry also can give you the deep concealment that is required with complete comfort. There is no IWB (inside waist band holster) there sticking you in the side making you uncomfortable. These are all pros to the pocket carry, now lets touch on the cons.
Often the first thing that is pointed out is that you are most likely having to give up some caliber, or do we? Well I have to say yes, in fact in my case you give up quite a bit. In the LCP I carry Hornady 90 gr. FTX. In the Glock I have Hornady 124 gr. TAP FPD. According to Hornady’s numbers I am losing around 30% energy just at the muzzle. The 380 is 200 ft/lb where as the 9mm is 339 ft/lb. So there is one con that is easy to spot. Sure there are other larger caliber pocket carry guns but you still are having to factor in the length of the barrel and that plays a large part when talking about power factor.
Magazine capacity is another downfall of the pocket pistols. The LCP sports a 6+1 capacity–less than half of my 19. You really need to make sure if carrying a pocket pistol you are also carrying an extra magazine. The typical self-defense shooting’s statistics show that encounters happen with big three, three feet, three shots, and three seconds. (Here is a drill to practice your 3-3-3) Knowing that the LCP has enough capacity isn’t enough, I would rather be ready to top the gun off if there is more than one bad guy to deal with. I will stress again to make sure you carry an extra mag.
The draw. This to me is the most overlooked part of the pocket carry option. People fail to realize how difficult it is to actually draw from a pocket holster because they never practice with it before they toss it in their pocket and go. If you pocket carry and are reading this please stop reading for a moment and find a mirror around your house and try some practice draws. (All safety rules apply! Use an unloaded firearm!) When carrying in the pocket I prefer to use my strong side front pocket. I do this because pocket carry requires you to go to the gun early, by this I mean that if you see something that could potentially be a threat you need to have your hand on the gun sooner than if you’re carrying on the hip. Why? It is without a doubt a slower and more easily fouled draw. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have to adjust your body or stance to get your keys or cell phone out of your pocket? Now think about a crisis situation how hard it would be to get your hand into that front pocket and get that perfect stance while trying to fend off an attacker.(Drawing while sitting is a real chore so driving while choosing this method is a downside.) We also need to realize that there is a good reason to shield the pocket you are drawing from with your body. The worst thing to happen is for you to be trying to draw and the attacker pin your hand into your pocket with no way to get the gun deployed. The upside is that if you go to the gun you just look like a guy with his hand in his pocket which isn’t out of the ordinary. So remember go to the gun early and be ready to shield the draw with your body.
Also, reholstering is something that is overlooked. Do yourself the favor and just take the holster out of your pocket, put the gun in it, then place it back into the pocket. Yes it is slower, yes it is dorky looking, but putting a bullet down your leg because your holster flopped over and caught your trigger is even less cool.
I would say that I carry my Glock 9 times out of 10 and even after all the cons we have discussed it does not make pocket carry a deal breaker. I know people who carry pocket 100% of the time and they have accepted the facts that with the convenience they have to give something up. If you choose to give pocket carry a try just remember the few things we covered. Carry a spare mag, know you are losing some power factor so be ready to make an extra shot, go to the gun early, and be ready to shield the draw with your body. I remind myself of these things every time I walk out the door with the gun in my pocket instead of on my hip.
I hope this shed some light on a few things that you might not have considered when thinking about pocket carry. If you feel I missed something let me know in the comments section below. You can also comment on our Facebook page or stay in touch over at Shooters Legion. I always love to interact with my readers so feel free to send me your questions or comments. The email address is still Absolutebsblog@gmail.com or you can click the contact tab above and use the contact form you will see there.
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