Pocket Carry

Pocket Carry

This is a discussion on Pocket Carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've recently applied for my Carry Permit in TN and am now in the market for a carry firearm. I'll be working at a law ...

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Thread: Pocket Carry

  1. #1
    New Member Array ArgosTCS's Avatar
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    Pocket Carry

    I've recently applied for my Carry Permit in TN and am now in the market for a carry firearm. I'll be working at a law firm and will be wearing a suit/tie everyday. As such, I'm thinking pocket carry is my best option. I have a budget of around $850. I'm drawn to the idea of a airweight J-Frame in .357 Magnum, but have heard they are MISERABLE to shoot. My thought was I could practice with .38 special and carry .357 since adrenaline will be pumping. (I don't meant never practiced with .357, but when shooting for fun/general practice, shoot .38). This would then give me the option of buying a full size 9mm to have for "fun." (A used hi-power or Sig would be my thought on this.) The other possibility I've considered is a Kahr PM9. That would mean it would be my only firearm (given the cost), however, and I'm not sure about how "fun" it is going to be to shoot/practice with. I know a PM9 isn't going to be $850, but I would want a fullsize semi-auto for my second gun, and I could not get what I want in a fullsize AND the PM9. I'm not interested in Kel-Tecs.

    So, given that I need a pocket piece, own zero firearms, and have the aforementioned monetary restraint, what would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance. I'm headed to a big gun show this weekend where I'll hopefully be making a purchase or two.


  2. #2
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum... You should get a lot of good information and ideas here.

    Do a search for posts from fed_wif_a_sig. He has extensive posts on this topic as he carries in business attire all day everyday. He prefers carrying under your button up shirt in a chest mounted rig with shirt buttons modified to allow for a draw. It is considered "Deep Concealment". I carry that method a large part of the time as well and have a good rig for doing so.

    Here is a link to the rig I use:
    http://www.gunnersecurity.com/holster-shoulder.html

    Here is a link to rigs commonly used by fed_wif_a_sig:
    http://www.undercovercomfort.com/UCCHolsters.html

    His posts are very detailed and explains pro's and con's.

    Pocket carry is also a very viable option as well.

    Good luck in your quest.
    Last edited by Bark'n; June 20th, 2007 at 09:39 PM.
    -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."

  3. #3
    New Member Array ArgosTCS's Avatar
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    Thanks for the direction. I'll check out his posts. My initial skepticism about carrying inside the shirt is that 1) as soon as I get to the office the jacket comes off, unless I'm headed to court 2) since I'm not used to carrying at all, I thought pocket carrying might seem more natural to me were I to need to use it.

  4. #4
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Well, you could get a S&W j-frame for pocket carry in .38 special. .38's, especially with +p ammo is usually considered acceptable as a self defense round. Not the most fun to shoot, but the .38's are also shorter than .357's, so the cylinder is shorter too, so that would make it easier to pocket carry. You can practice with normal .38, and get some +p hollow points for carry.

    You would then have enough cash (J's tend to run about 350 if you look around, leaving you about 500), for a variety of semi's. Although practice ammo and a holster should also be calculated in there.

    Also give Kel-tecs a look.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #5
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    I added some links to my post....

    These two rigs I discussed are designed to be worn without suit jackets or blazers as a cover garment!

    fed_wif_a_sig as it implies is a federal officer who effectively conceals gun, two mags, handcuffs, expanding baton, OC spray all under his dress shirt without a cover jacket. He can draw and fire two shots in under 1.8 seconds.

    Take a look at the rig I use and how just a plain dress shirt and tie conceals. I am working on my second one as it gets used so much.

    They are also making me a custom rig to hold two guns, spare mags and my handcuffs.
    -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."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    Well, if you'd like 2 guns, buckeye07's comments are good.

    Of course, you could get a J-frame, pocket holster, UC shirt or DC holster, a couple speed strips & speed loaders, & use that for awhile, while staying well below your budget.

    Get used to CC, a revolver as your 1st CC gun is not a bad idea, then you could later get an auto if you want. Later, you can decide if you want an auto for just range shooting or maybe for CC when you're dressing casual (Off work, maybe, untucked shirt & pants).

    However, a Kahr PM9 isn't bad either. I have a S&W 442 & a PM9. I find myself carrying my PM9 far more than the 442. They're roughly the same weight, but the PM9's shorter, thinner, easier to reload, & more powerful (Through short barrels, anyways). I also think the PM9's trigger is nicer than the J-frame's.

    Often times, when carrying deep concealment, I carry the PM9 with the flush mag, giving me 7 rounds. When dressing casual, I usually carry the PM9 with the +1 mag. That gives me 8 rounds & a full grip. I usually use the extended mag while practicing, too, so it's not too bad practicing with. I almost always carry an extra mag, so I end up with 14 rounds of 9mm vs using the J-frame with 2 speed strips, which gives me 15 rounds, but needing to reload twice with MUCH slower speed strips.

    Probably the best thing to do is go to the range & try both guns. The one you're most comfortable with is the one you should get.

    Good luck.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
    Integrated Close Combat
    NRA Member
    Glock 19 & 26, Kahr CM9 & P45, Para P12, Kel-Tec P-32, S&W 442, & Dan Wesson 14-2.

  7. #7
    Member Array AirMech74's Avatar
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    You've definately come to the right place to research. The guys and gals on the forum are very knowledgeable and experienced. I carry a J frame in .38 I usually carry IWB, but every now and then I pocket carry, but I wear baggy cargos, not sure how well you can pocket carry in slacks or suit pants. But I'm pretty sure someone on here will guide you into the right direction. Welcome and good luck.
    Better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6

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  8. #8
    Member Array rj112275's Avatar
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    Some good advice given already. I'd have to go with the J-frame for a few reasons.. find a used 642 or 442 and buy it.
    1. proven and reliable
    2. good back-up-gun or pocket gun (or buy an ankle holster, and it won't matter if you're wearing your jacket or not. just remember to leave it outside the courtroom)
    3. should be one of the least expensive options for a great gun
    4. a revolver is a great gun to learn with, and you'll want to keep it, no matter what other "full sized" pistol you pick up in the future.

    you can always find a use for a j-frame. good luck.

  9. #9
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    One caveat that I guess I should mention. The j-frame is in my opinion a firearm that takes a good deal of practice to get good with. Especially with the stock grips it seems to be hard for some people (myself included) to control and use accurately out past say 5-7 yards. It's a belly gun. I carry mine for deep concealment, but I would much rather have my 1911 on my hip.

    However, with the proper clothing choices and a good rig, you would be surprised at what you can effectively conceal.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Take a S&W 642 Airweight. It's .38spl +P rated, 15 oz for easy all day carry and with +P rounds is about the limit of what "most" folks are willing to shoot from a light snubby.

    Take a trip out to Lavergne and talk to the folks at Specialty Arms II. They're good people and they've never once tried to pressure me on a sale. They'll give all the advice you want, IF you ask - if you don't they'll just show you whatever guns you want to see. Sounds simple but lots of other shops try to pressure customers toward whatever brands they're hot to sell.
    Jack

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    I have received some skepticism but I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II, 3", .45 ACP about 95% of the time. It's a good sweet shootin' .45 with lots of firepower. With dress slacks it should fit perfectly. I use a Sam Andrews www.andrewsleather.com pocket holster. Over time, other forum members have chimed in and said that they too carry the UC II. Yesterday a Kimber Ultra RCP II followed me home and when it is finished it's break in and proven it's reliability, it may just replace the UC II.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    I carry a S&W model 60 in a Galco pocket holster. As a printer repairman I am in & out of customer's offices a lot, no one has ever noticed it. All pockets are not created equal, too shallow and it's uncomfortable sitting, too deep it will print. A 6" pocket opening should allow for a draw with a good firing grip. As with any mode of carry there are advantages & disadvantages. The only disadvantage I find with pocket carry is that it would be slow to draw while driving.

  13. #13
    Member Array gopher's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the Bersa CC ?
    thats my pocket gun

    http://p081.ezboard.com/bbersathunderchapterhouse
    When outnumbered 2 to 1.
    Shoot twice!
    Gopher

  14. #14
    Member Array kjdoski's Avatar
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    Here's my two cents worth:

    Pocket carry sounds easy and low profile, but it has drawbacks:
    a. Unless the material of your pants is pretty heavy, the pistol will "sag" outboard, sometimes making a very distinctive "print"
    b. Until you try it, you'll never know how much space even a small pistol like a j-frame takes up in your pocket. Don't expect to put anything else in there!
    c. Pocketed pistols are inaccessible when seated, unless you're carrying in a cargo pocket (unlikely with your suit )

    Pocket carry DOES allow you the lowest profile option to have your weapon near ready without raising any overt indicators of your armed status

    Under the shirt chest carry is VERY discreet as well, and, with the proper tailoring of shirt buttons, is reasonably quick.

    Use of a "tuckable" holster with the right pistol is also virtually undetectable, but is slower than either pocket of under shirt carry.

    Ankle carry is yet another option - very discreet, but slow on the draw and difficult to access when not seated. Also you have to be careful about how high your pant leg rides up when you sit...

    WRT which firearm to choose, the options are very wide. Whatever you choose, you need to make sure it meets the following criteria:

    1. 100% reliability with decent defensive ammunition. Anything that fails to function with decent JHP or LHP ammunition should stay on the shelf in the gunstore.

    2. WRT caliber, as an "only" gun, I would say you need to stay at .38 Special +P or better (9mm, .357, .40, .45).

    3. Revolver versus auto is an age-old debate. I love wheelguns, but those that are small enough to use in a deep concealment mode have very limited capacity, limited shootability (due to sights, trigger, and recoil), and are very slow to reload. "Pocket" autos today are very reliable, offer higher capacity than the snubby, and use more potent cartridges.

    Regardless of the info above, the pistol MUST "fit" you and your dress. The grip should be reasonably comfortable in your hand, and you should be able to deliver controlled, aimed shots quickly. That means anything with excessive recoil probably isn't a great choice. The pistol needs to shoot at or near your natural point of aim, regardless of whether you're using sighted fire, a "flash" sight picture, or some sort of body index from retention.

    Here's a short list of pistols that I've successfully carried concealed in clothing similar to what you describe:

    1. S&W J-frames (642, 38, 638, 640) in pocket or ankle carry
    2. Keltec P3AT - pocket carry
    3. Kahr PM9 - pocket, "tuckable holster" and ankle carry
    4. Glock 26 - "tuckable" holster, under-shirt holster, ankle carry
    5. Sig P239 - "tuckable"

    Each of the above offers pros and cons. The J-frames conceal "best" on the ankle due to the rounded profile of their grip, but have the worst shootability and limited capacity. The Keltec is the only pistol I've owned that I could pocket carry in jeans, but is chambered in what, to me, is low capacity in an unacceptably weak caliber, and has minimal accuracy. The PM9 provides what I consider to be the best balance of firepower, shootability, and deep concealment carryability - but offers only limited capacity. The G26 offers the best capacity, but is on the upper edge of size for deep concealment, in my book. The P239 offers the best ergonomics and accuracy, but is VERY heavy and larger than any of the others, making it hard to conceal with absolute discretion.

    Hopefully this will give you some thoughts about options - stay safe and let us know how your search goes.

    Regards,

    Kevin
    "Fast is fine, accuracy is final..."

  15. #15
    Member Array PAPACHUCK's Avatar
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    I carry a gun in my front pocket every day. Some days it's a S&W 642, some days it's a Kel-Tec P11, either in a Uncle Mikes pocket holster. I pocket carry even when I'm carrying a "real" gun OWB @2:30, the only difference is the pocket gun becomes the "bug" and gets moved to my left pocket.

    Pocket carry is very doable with "docker" style or dress pants; jeans sometimes don't have large enough pockets.
    FREEDOM MATTERS!

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