442 J Frame - Pocket Carry
Well I finally got my S&W 442 and a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.
I wanted a gun I could have on my person while at home that was discreet and comfortable, but not a pop-gun. My prior gun in this category is a NAA .22 mini-revolver. Recently there has been a rash of “burglary of occupied dwellings” in our area. Three in less than 2 weeks. There have also been several cars broken into, but not cars in people’s driveways. These were all cars that were parked in peoples back yards (1/4 – 1 acre lots). So I decided I wanted something a little better than the NAA revolver.
I am 5’10” and ~165 lbs, so by most charts I fall into average height & slightly heavier than average categories. I wear jeans ~95% of the time, and most of them have fairly tight fighting pocket, unlike Dockers or similar pants.
The 442 is much lighter and smaller than my 20+ year old Taurus 85CH. The Taurus barely fits in my front pocket, and even with compact grips, sticks out the top of the pocket by a inch or so. The 442 is also about 10 ounces lighter than the Taurus, at 16 ounces loaded.
The 442 disappears into my pocket with over an inch to spare. When carrying it is no different weight wise than my wallet which is in my left front pocket.
I am able to sit and even drive with zero dis-comfort, though drawing from the front pocket while sitting in the car would be difficult.
I have also have decided to add some extra “padding” to the front of the DeSantis holster to help break-up the outline. Went to the craft store and picked up some thin foam with sticky backing. I’ll see if I can add some extra layering is some areas to hide the shape.
Without doing this, the gun still printed too clearly. This is a function of the tight pockets that most jeans have and would not be necessary with other types of pants. Even without the foam I think that most people wouldn’t notice, but if you carry or are a cop and know what to look for, it would have been visible.
The holster REALLY stays in the pocket of the jeans. I tried removing the gun AND the holster at the same time, and it was impossible! You need to remove the gun, and then rotate the holster to remove it from the pocket.
I’m not going to claim that the 442 is as comfortable as carrying a LCP, TCP, P-3AT or other mini .380 would be. I looked at many of them and gave them all some serious thought! Ultimately I liked the fact that the 442 provided a better grip and a better round, plus “5 for sure”. Not slamming the .380s. A couple friends have them and are quite happy with them. I’ll probably pick up a Bersa CC someday.
Given that this gun can do everything that the Taurus can, but in a smaller, lighter package, it will eventually become my EDC. It does need a quick trigger job and rebound spring swap. Then I need to hit the range and put some rounds through it. I’m assuming that it will be more “interesting” to shoot because of the lighter weight.
1) You lose a front pocket. I even have had to move my clip-on style knife to my left pocket.
2) The 442 really is pushing the limit for a pocket gun. I’m sure that there are some larger people for whom it would be easier. But if you’re an average build individual, the tiny J frame is the limit.
3) Given the different ways to carry, drawing from a pocket isn’t slow, but it isn’t fast either. If your sitting, it’s even slower.
1) It’s light! Barely know it’s there.
2) Having it in your pocket allows you to carry at times when you might not otherwise do so.
3) In a bad situation, having it in your pocket allows you to casually reach into your pocket, wrap your hand around the grip and be “one step ahead”, if things go south. . . If nothing happens, you simply take your hand out of your pocket, and no one is any wiser.
4) It’s a lot easier to use a restroom with pocket carry V. belt holster!
Comparison of a:
3” Ruger SP101
2” Taurus 85CH
2” S&W 442 (ok, actually a 1-7/8”)