Question to J-frame pocket carriers

Question to J-frame pocket carriers

This is a discussion on Question to J-frame pocket carriers within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've decided to jump back into the realm of pocket carry for 2 reasons. 1. I don't like the idea of having to fight through ...

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Thread: Question to J-frame pocket carriers

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Question to J-frame pocket carriers

    I've decided to jump back into the realm of pocket carry for 2 reasons.

    1. I don't like the idea of having to fight through multiple layers of clothes in the winter to get to my primary so I would like to have something I can put in my coat pocket.

    2. I'm starting to get serious with a nice girl and we haven't had "the gun talk" yet. To continue to carry until we have that talk I think pocket carry is the most discrete way to still carry. She's a pretty touchy feely type of person and I think she would probably notice my G26 at 3:30. She generally doesn't stick her hands in my pockets though lol.

    My problem is this. I would MUCH prefer a 5 shot's of .38sp in a j-frame to 7 shot's of .380 in a p3at. I trust the round more and I shoot the gun better. That being said this gun is for absolute discretion. So my question is this. For those of you that pocket carry a j-frame, how big are you and how big are your clothes? What I mean is this. I am 5'9, 165 pounds and athletic. I buy my pants 1 waist size larger to comfortably get my glock IWB. I would normally wear a 31 waist, I get a 32 instead. I'm trying to figure out if the people pocket carrying a j-frame are having to drastically increase the size of their pants to do it. And if you do carry a j-frame how much does it bulge? Have your tried both a p3at/lcp and a j-frame? How much of a difference have you noticed? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array royal barnes's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Wendell, N.C.
    I have carried a j frame in pocket for years when the situation dictated and I couldn't carry a 1911. I currently carry a Colt Agent in a pocket holster either on the right as a primary or on the left as a BUG to a 1911. It's only 1/10th inch thicker through the cylinder but holds six rounds. I wear relaxed fit jeans, cargo pants and occasionally dockers. The Mika pocket holster is new for me and feels a little bulky but should conform to the gun in a few days. I have used a Galco horsehide, a Wild Bill's leather and an Uncle Mike's #3 with good concealability. A good pocket holster will not make the gun disappear but will make it look like something besides what it is. I'm 67 years old, 5'7" tall and weigh 220. Stout and low to the ground.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    I own a 642 and a LCP.

    The LCP is MUCH easier to pocket carry. The LCP will fit in the front pocket of any pants that I own.

    The J frame takes a larger pocket and some of my pants don't have front pockets shaped or sized correctly to carry the J frame. The grip will sometimes not conceal as nice as I want.

    I also liked to shoot my J frame and trusted it much more. After shooting my LCP more and more I have realized that it is a very reliable pistol and trust it.

    If I pocket carry, I find myself carrying the LCP 8 out of 10 times.

    6' 190lbs 34" waist

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    I am 5'8 and 155#. I carry a 637 Airweight, but usually IWB. I tried to pocket carry it but I just couldnt make it work. It printed badly in most of my pants. The cargo type pants I have with larger pockets would work, but I dont like the "heavy" feeling in my pants pocket. I made a quick trip to Wally World last night and thought I would just toss my Airweight in my front pocket of my Carharrt coat. Didnt like how it felt, so I grabbed my Remora and back IWB she went.

    Not to stray from your pocket carry question, but the best way Ive found to carry my J-frame is in a Bellyband. Its totally tuckable and can be carried with ANY type of clothing. And its best suited for thinner athletic types.
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

  6. #5
    Member Array Ivan's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    I'm rather short and a bit heavy, but have no issues with the average clothes I wear for pocket carry (normal waist size), as long as the pockets are deep enough for the gun and holster. Jeans, courduroys or heavier wool pants (ex. Filson Whipcord) are no problem for pocket carry for me. Thin dress pants would be more of an issue with pocket carry, so IWB would be a better option perhaps with dress clothes. Make sure you get a good holster. Robert Mika makes excellent holsters at a very reasonable price. The DeSantis Nemesis is also a good product. I find pocket carry (S&W 638 in a Mika most days) so comfortable I sometimes have to check that I still have the gun there. There is a bit of a bulge, but a good holster can soften the outward appearance unless you are wearing really slim-cut pants. I have a Kahr P380 that I also sometimes pocket carry in a Mika holster, but I think the j-frame, eventhough it is larger, prints less in the pocket than the Kahr. Perhaps it is due to the more rounded nature of the j-frame vs. the more squared-off appearance of semi-auto. For me and my short stature pocket carry works very well, so you should be able to make it work as well, unless you wear really close-fitting pants.

  7. #6
    Member Array surfcc's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Cape Cod
    I find that toting my j-frame snubby in my front pocket, conceals way better than my S&W .380 Bodyguard. The round butt of the grip and the more rounded profile conceals much better than the squared Bodyguard. The trick to pocket carry is finding Jeans or slacks with deep front pockets. Levi's don't work because the pockets are too shallow. There are a few different style Wranglers that work well. Stay away from the tight fitting Cowboy Jeans. Waistband size has nothing to do with pocket carry.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    I have large thighs, which means anything in my pocket prints, especially when I sit and the fabric draws tight. I tried a revolver, and it printed badly. I carry LCPs and a PM9, in pocket holsters with an anti-print panel. They print, but look like a wallet or smartphone. Some of my pockets are shallow enough that the grip of the PM9 peeks out a bit - if I am concerned about that, I'll use a LCP instead. The LCP disappears in ANY (man's) pocket.

    One way to tell if your pockets are large enough for a revolver is to put your G26 in the pocket - it is virtually the same footprint as a snubbie. The G26 is hard to draw from some pockets (if it even fits) due to the shape - a revolver draws easier from the pocket.

    The LCP I carry most often has close to 1000 rounds through it - not a single issue. The other one took two trips back to Ruger, but once fixed, has over 400 rounds through it with no further issues. I trust both of them.

    If you go the snubbie route, consider how you will carry spare ammo (if you do). A speed loader is bulky, and speed strips...aren't. When I carry my two pocket pistols, I can easily carry a spare mag for each. I use a dual spare mag carrier, either in my cargo pocket or my briefcase (if I'm at work).

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the young lady!

    Edit to add - Almost forgot...I'm not a big fan of coat pocket carry. When you get to your destination, you will take your coat do you secure your gun then? Something to think about.

    I buy coats with buttons or two-way zippers. Leave the bottom 1/3 undone - makes getting to your pocket gun much easier...actually faster than IWB under all those layers.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

  9. #8
    Ex Member Array Bullet1234's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    South Carolina
    I am 65 5' 9" 185 athletic person ,,,, have carried my S&W 337
    air lite both with and without pocket holsters,,,, pretty much
    all the holsters I have tried make the weapon stand straight up
    & more likely to be noticed at the top of the pocket,,,, sometimes
    I just loose carry J in my pocket with a money clip type billfold
    in front of the J to break pistol outline,,,,, yes, yes, I know
    this is not suppose to be safe ,,,, but I have done for over
    30 years,,,,,most gun battles have 2 or 3 shots fired,,,,
    but I do advise anyone considering a J or any carry weapon,,,
    to shoot a lot,,,, become a good shot especially if you choose a
    J frame,,,, I have a speed loader ,,,, but often do not carry it.
    Having only 5 shots ,,,, you need to make them COUNT.

  10. #9
    Member Array pangloss9's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Nashville, TN
    Try some Columbia Roc pants. Pocket size if fine for a J-frame (even a 6-shot J-frame in 32H&R mag).

  11. #10
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Gilbert, AZ
    5'11, 210 lbs, size 46 jacket, 36 waist.

    I rarely wear jeans, but Dockers, 5.11s and other casual clothing easily handle my J-frame in a Wild Bill's Pocket Packer Premium (the one with the snap-on flap). All but the lightest-weight trousers are roomy enough for the holstered gun. No need to increase waist size unless you prefer the "lean fit" style.
    AZCDL Life Member
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Really SW, Virginia
    I normally only carry OWB 2:30 or 3:00 in a J.I.T. slide. Ruger LCR, PM9, Glock 26, Glock 19. I've always been thin. Never figured I'd never be able to pocket carry. Just in recent years, I've started putting on a little weight to where I am what I now consider wearing a "normal" size. I'm 5'8" and 158#. I just went from a 32/32 jean to a 33/32. I get the regular fit Arizona Jeans from JC Penney. I've noticed my pockets on the 33" jeans are deeper than the ones from the 32" jeans.

    So.... with this in mind, and from reading some of the posts here.. I took my Ruger LCR inside of the J.I.T. slide holster and stuck it down in my front right pocket. The Pink Lady did not notice it, til I pointed it out, and then she didn't know what it was until I reached in and pulled the LCR out (which came out without the holster). I have to remove the holster and reholster it and put it back in, in order to put it in my pocket. I wouldn't risk leaving the holster in the pocket and trying to put the gun back in the holster. I even sat down at the table with it inside the pocket and it was quite comfortable. So tkruf may start pocket carrying a little more often.

    Rollo, she may not be putting her hands in your pocket "yet".... but....
    NRA Member
    Glock 26 XD9sc
    Ruger SR9c Ruger LCP

  13. #12
    Member Array dakotasdad's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    NW Arkansas
    I've carried both the P3AT and a 442 during the cooler months before. I don't now. I'm 5'10", 190, athletic build. More often than not I will only carry the pocket guns during the summer when I'm wearing cargo shorts.

    However, since you asked about experiences with both I'll give you mine.

    The minuscule difference between the Airweight and the P3AT othe than payload is not that drastic. Minor bulk differences but that was about it for me. Weight was so similar that I wasn't swayed either way due to that. I did prefer the Airweight as far as the loads I could put in it. I had Speer 135 gr GDHP SB loads in it and had no reservations about that round while carrying.

    For me, the winter months with bluejeans, or khakis its a stretch. Doable, but not my first choice. The pockets in those types of pants tend to be a little less voluminous for me and thereby makes it a pain to carry in a front pocket.

    What I found myself doing in the cooler months if I wanted to pocket carry was I wouldn't, I had better alternatives available. I more often than not would just roll with an appendix carry and super thin kydex holster (grandfather oak) for the 442. If I was carrying the P3AT I would use the thin little pocket holster that galco makes.

    It works for me.. Maybe for you too?

    Good luck with your choice and with the new lady friend.


  14. #13
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    I have an LCP, but it's not reliable.

    I used to carry it in a Nemesis holster.

    Now, I carry a j-frame (442) for pocket duty. I'd rather have 5 for sure, than 7 maybe. At least this was the case with my LCP.

    The .38 rides in a Mika holster. It does the job, but I think that it's a bit too bulky. It does print a little, but it just looks like random stuff in a pocket. I use it a lot in the summer when I wear a suit, without a jacket.

    With the right holster, I'm sold on the small revolvers for pocket carry.
    I would like to get rid of the LCP and try out an LCR.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  15. #14
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    North Texas
    I'm 64, 5'7", 157lbs and normally carry a Sig P220 Carry aiwb. There are times when I can't carry my Sig....... I have a S&W642 and a Ruger LCR (38+p) for pocket carry.

    I'm going to recommend another option for you...... Carry the Glock26 in your pocket. Yeah......I know folks are going to scream that the Glock is just to big for pocket carry. Bull____!! I have both and the outside dimensions are very close. Sure, the Glock as longer due to the slide and it's not curved like the revolver.....and it is heavier. I have the Mika holster for my Jframe and a Desantis Nemisis for the Glock. They feel much the same in the pocket. I don't wear tight jeans and the Glock will just vanish in cargo shorts or in dockers. It is heavier, but the Nemisis holster keeps it from shifting in your pocket. I just like the idea of 10 +1 in the Glock vs 5 in the jframe. Invest 35 bucks in a Desantis holster and give it a try.......

  16. #15
    Member Array Goldstar225's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Central Arkansas
    5'7" 190 I've carried my 642 for years in a Mika round cut pocket holster. Tried a Nemesis but found it to be a bit too bulky for my taste. I successfully carry in both Levis and Wranglers relaxed fit jeans. My Dockers have been no problem either. For spare ammo I use Bianchi speed strips tucked into the watch pocket. With Dockers the speed strip goes into the opposite pocket.

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