Not sure about J-frame pocket carry

This is a discussion on Not sure about J-frame pocket carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Haven't had a snub nosed revolver in years. The last was a Colt Cobra I carried owb before there were many compact autos to choose ...

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Thread: Not sure about J-frame pocket carry

  1. #1
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Not sure about J-frame pocket carry

    Haven't had a snub nosed revolver in years. The last was a Colt Cobra I carried owb before there were many compact autos to choose from.

    Now my primary carry weapons are a Glock 36 and a S&W 3913, but I wanted another 38 snubbie for pocket carry to use when the weather here is HOTT and I'm in cargo shorts and sandals most of the time. Well, I got the snub S&W and a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and have been wearing it around the house to try it out, but I see some problems with this mode of carry (for me).

    Even with cargo shorts with huge pockets, if I reach in and grab the gun with a full grip, I have a problem getting my hand back out of the pocket with the gun in it. I have pretty large hands, and the back of my knuckles drag on the pocket lip when drawing. Also, when moving around, the gun flops around a lot in the relatively loose fitting shorts, I'd hate to run with this setup unless I had on an atheletic cup. Lastly, even tho the gun and holster fits into the front pocket of the shorts nicely, it bulges quite a bit, especially when sitting, climbing stairs or bending over, and you have to shuttle all the stuff you usually carry in that pocket somewhere else. I like the feel of a gun snugged up in its carry position without a lot of movement.

    At this point, I'd say I would prefer owb or iwb for the J-frame, but if I'm going to carry that way, why not just strap on the 36 or 3913 and have more firepower??? Just have to wear an untucked shirt all the time.

    Just wondering if I'm weird, or are there others that have had similar concerns?

    Thanks,

    Jim

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbailey View Post
    I'm in cargo shorts and sandals most of the time. Well, I got the snub S&W and a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster ... the gun flops around a lot in the relatively loose fitting shorts
    The Nemesis isn't a very good holster, as far as that goes. I've got a KelTec P3AT that does the ol' flip-flop thang in that holster, while in any number of others it does not.

    Suggestion for a revolver in the pocket: the "Pocket Softy" holster, by Mitch Rosen. Had one with a S&W 442. It's first rate. It should not ever turn over on you. It holds the gun relatively tightly, yet the holster remains in the pocket every time during draw. When drawing a bit forward against the leading edge of the pocket, I never once had the holster fail to remain in the pocket, not in 10yrs of training drills with that combination.

    As for the knuckle draggin', all I can say is: play with how tightly and fully you make a fist around the gun while you're starting your draw inside the pocket.

    Keep in mind the profile of your hand as it looks when (if) you play around with younger kids, where the hand is aligned to simulate the rough shape of a gun. The forefinger mimics the barrel, the two smallest fingers simulate wrapping around the grip of the gun, and the thumb is rearward to simulate the hammer. You can do that two ways. You can tightly ball the fist around the "gun," or you can loosely grip the butt while specifically keeping the thumb somewhat rearward (like the "hammer" in our "air gun" above). With some practice on adjusting the profile of your drawing hand, you can dramatically smooth the edges of the hand such that the pocket will have less to tug on. You're essentially trying to do a "carry melt" job on your hand, so that nothing hands up the draw. Play with slightly different configurations of your hand on the butt of the revolver, as you draw. You'll find something that works well for you and yet still has a solid and safe grip on the butt. My apologies if that doesn't sound clear.

    Note the two pics below. The first shows a "tight" fist. The second shows a "loose" fist. In the second, the small butt of the grip of a J-frame revolver is enough for your smallest two fingers to get around. But notice the orientation of the thumb. It's back and away from the gun. That orientation makes for a much slimmer profile. A full-fisted hand may be 2.5" to 3" in depth, whereas you can knock a good 3/4" off the thickness of your hand simply by playing around with the profile, a bit.

    The way I typically grip it in the pocket is to pull the back of the gun into the heel of my hand, with the thumb right on the backstrap of the gun (where the hammer would be, on a hammerless 442). Once drawing out of the pocket, the thumb slides down over the side of the grip, for a normal grip on the butt. That orientation of the hand during the draw past the pocket edge makes a world of difference in smoothing the "edges" of the hand for a clean draw.

    Once you've got the right holster and draw combination, you might also consider the overall size of the pockets in your preferred pants. I found that in certain pants it was necesary to tighten up the overall circumference of the pocket a bit, simply by sewing the "butt" edge of the pocket a bit tighter around the gun. Moving the seam inward by as little as 1/4" can make a world of difference in the ability of the gun to stay standing properly in a pocket. For me, though, I've found the perfect sizing of pants pockets in these: the Cabela's 7-pocket Hiker's Pants/Shorts. Perfect for concealed carry, IMO. Durable. Large enough pockets to conceal a mid-sized gun easily. But not so large as to allow a good holster/gun choice to flop around. Note that even in these the Nemesis has a nasty habit of doing just that.
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    New Member Array Gentoo's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. I live in south Texas, and here we have two seasons - summer and hell. So I have been trying to figure out what I can possibly carry myself. If you figure something out, let me know ;)

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    Not weird... just big hands. Big hands and pockets are a problem, especially when balled into a fist.

    Fortunately I don't have that problem. I carry a SP-101 as a BUG but usually don't carry in pocket much. Mainly because I don't like the weight on my thigh. I have carried there on rare occasions.

    Since I usually carry BUG elsewhere on my body or other locations I am now switching to an XDsc for the increased firepower for my BUG.

    I do think the XD will have a larger than the SP-101... I mean that puppy really has a small profile... but 15 rds vs. 5 rds I'll take the XD.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #5
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by jbailey View Post
    Haven't had a snub nosed revolver in years...

    ....Well, I got the snub S&W and a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and have been wearing it around the house to try it out, but I see some problems with this mode of carry (for me)....

    ...Even with cargo shorts with huge pockets, if I reach in and grab the gun with a full grip, I have a problem getting my hand back out of the pocket with the gun in it. I have pretty large hands, and the back of my knuckles drag on the pocket lip when drawing.

    Just wondering if I'm weird, or are there others that have had similar concerns?

    Thanks,

    Jim

    Jim,
    I was just watching my "Personal Defense TV" season 1 DVD's that just came today. (outdoor channel) What a coincidence.

    Massad Ayoob was talking about "Drawing a Snub Revolver from inside a pants pocket."

    He recommends Not To Have A Full Firing Grip On The Gun as you draw from the pocket. For reasons you mentioned. When your fist is drawn up into a ball like with a full firing grip, your hands and knuckles get caught up in the pocket.

    Instead, try to streamline your hand somewhat by placing your trigger finger along side the frame and encircle the guns grip with your bottom 3 fingers. Your thumb goes along the top of the hammer (inline and along the backstrap) to act as a hammer shroud, thus reducing your hands profile as you draw the gun. Of course if you have a hammerless, you still place you thumb in a similar fashion.

    He also recommends using a pocket holster to kind of slick up the gun during the draw so it doesn't drag on the pocket lining as much during the draw.

    I hope this helps out. Let me know how it works!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  7. #6
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I pocket carry my 442 BUG daily and could not add any better advice than what has already been given.

    Good luck and I hope you find something that works for you.

    Biker

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    While I prefer to IWB my 1911's most of the time I pocket carry a J Frame workdays in my shop. Just to much stuff to snag anything on my hip in a workday for me. I've been using an Uncle Mikes rig with which I was far from satisfied but it was better than nothing. I guess I put all my money in my 1911 leather!

    So I just ordered on of these

    http://pcsholsters.com/catalog_item_BRD.html

    from the maker. I'll say this, the man knows pocket carry! We talked for about ten minutes about what kind of pants I carry with and what pistol. This model is meant primarily for jeans pocket carry which is when I'm most likely to want pocket carry. He also has models for cargo shorts. Might be worth checking out.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    pocket carry

    I'm getting convinced that pocket carry is not the way to go, most guns stick out of my pockets too much, too hard to get them out,
    and need too long of a cover garment.
    I am thinking an IWB is the way to go in warm weather, other than a fanny pac.

  10. #9
    Member Array frankborelli's Avatar
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    Two recommendations:

    1) Get some 511 Tactical Shorts. They make two lengths to suit those who like their shorts to stop mid-thigh or at knee length and the pocket openings are generous, and
    2) Get a Glock 26.

    While I have absolutely no issues at all with snub revolvers, and I KNOW pistols can jam sometimes, I believe that the attachment to revolvers - specifically snubbies - as a "hideaway" gun is stretched. The size difference between a snub revolver and a G26 or G27 isn't so much a size difference as a SHAPE difference. If you're carrying a 5-shot snubbie, either Glock will about double your capacity. The barrel is 3" long and available pocket holsters are in abundance.

    Again, I know snubbies are all the rage in some places, but I've seen them jam too. I've seen Glocks jam... at least once in 20 years... and it was a maintenance issue just like with revolvers. Keep the gun clean and it will take care of you.

    Just my $0.02 worth (and probably not worth that).
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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    All pockets are not created equal. My model 60 in a Galco pocket holster won't work for me with jeans. The best I've found are the cotton Dockers, the pockets are deeper & have a large enough opening (6") that I can easily draw with a good firing grip. As far as the bulge, it isn't as noticeable as you would think. One thing I have noticed is that the Docker microfiber "golf" pants pockets are too deep, placing the gun way down on the thigh.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nn View Post
    most guns stick out of my pockets too much, too hard to get them out, and need too long of a cover garment.
    You have the wrong pants/pockets, then. The first clue is that you're finding a covering garment necessary when using pocket carry. That should never be necessary. If so, then the pocket on your pants is wholly unsuited to a holstered gun.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    i tend to pocket carry my 642 quite often in the summer and it works great for me. There has been alot of good advice thus far about grip and proper holster. As you carry longer, the fear of printing,etc decreases. You kind of realize that 99% of people don't pay attention, and don't notice anything. and 1% might notice but aren't sure. Some of my cargo pants I own don't work for pocket because the pockets are too big and the contents flop around too much...be it my 642 or my car keys. This is where making some wardrobe changes may be necessary.
    I have large hands too, and I grip the gun while still in the pocket with the thumb and first finger webbing ( kind of like reaching to shake someone's hand) is what I use to grip my pistol, and as you clear the pocket a natural grip is readily attained quickly.
    i definitely wouldn't be trading in your snubby for a glock anytime soon...malfunctions may happen...but research shows that revolvers are much more reliable than a semi auto of any kind. i'm apologize but IMO that is not good advice
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  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Front Pocket ? As in paralel with your kneecap?
    NOPE.
    You need to wear pants or shorts with a roomy side/slash pocket.
    (same position as an IWB only lower )

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    New Member Array pjva04's Avatar
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    I was primarily using pocket carry with my S&W 642. then my Charter Arms Off Duty for awhile using a Desantis Nemesis. The problem was that if my pockets were big enough to hold the rig, the gun would sometimes "liberate" itself from the holster and set up camp on the couch or chair. I still use the Nemesis as a "glove box holster", or when my shirt is tucked, but now prefer this setup:


    Barami Hip Grip with Tyler T-Grips coated with clear Plastidip for a secure grip.
    YAT-YAS

  16. #15
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Again, thanks to all that took the time to help me out. A lot of excellent info in this thread.

    I have tried vatiations of the drawing grip and have had better results using CCW9mm's suggestions. Also, Massad Ayoob's technique of putting the thumb over the hammer area is necessary in my case because this snub has a hammer.

    I see that with a differently constructed pocket, maybe this mode of carry could be OK. I intend to do some research on the idea, check out some different shorts, and maybe just rip out a pocket of some existing ones and see if the wife could make a better one for me. A few extra "Honey Do's" on my part might persuade her.

    Jim

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