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American Sheepdog Online CCW Resource Magazine - Pocket Carry Why not give it a try?
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  • Pocket Carry Why not give it a try?

    “Pocket Carry” Why not give it a try?

    Pocket Carry, it's nothing new but with the advancements in handgun technology and small caliber ammunition advances it is making a come back. I say come back due to the fact that in years past it was more common than you think. Contrary to the western movies many citizens in the day carried some type small pocket pistol. Yes the cowboys and gunslingers had guns holstered on their hips but many businessmen and women had heat in their pocket. A derringer or a small revolver out of sight out of mind. The same was true through I would say the mid 1960s. Very few civilians carried a handgun on their hip. Even police detectives (usually .38 or .38 special)and famed criminals such as John Dillinger(a Colt .32 auto I believe) carried their handgun in their pocket. These where again of small caliber usually .38 or .32,25,22 along with the .380 in later years. They where small, convenient and at the time fairly powerful in their larger calibers . The larger framed Colt 1911 45acp , 9mm Luger and a few other revolvers calibers available (until the .357 came along) were their only rivals, remember that back then most police offices carried the .38 or .38 special.

    “The Pants” I remember growing up in the 60s and 70s when allot of men still mostly wore “slacks” not jeans, which made pocket carrying for these small guns more convenient.

    I don't know if it was the coming of age of the .357 and .44 magnums in the movies but I remember that they where the thing of the times and everyone had to have one. As you know at that time these where large heavy guns, this along with the “jeans” era starting people seemed to stop pocket carrying and went to hip or shoulder carrying these large guns. The “bring enough gun” mentality also seemed to replace the smaller pocket gun convenience. I kind of see this with the “bring enough ammo” mentality today.

    Today however there are many options for pocket carry. The advancements in ammunition has brought the .380+P to about the same ballistics as the the .38 special and the .38 special+P to that close of the first .357 magnums. The size of the larger caliber guns has gotten smaller and lighter the.357 magnums and .45 acp now being able to fit in a pocket with ease. Now I am not saying that you can put a J frame or a sub compact .45 in your nut tugger jeans pocket, but in lose fitting carpenter jeans, Dockers or Cargo pants you will be surprised. For those tight jeans wearers out there one of the small .380s or kahr arms PM9 works fine. All of these should of course be in a pocket holster, with nothing else in the pocket. You will have to clean your gun every few days of that pocket lent.

    I feel the main advantage to pocket carry is convenience. Mine goes in my pocket every day just
    like carrying a pocket knife it is part of “loading your pants' for the day, wallet, cell phone, pocket knife GUN.
    I carry a Kahr PM 45 or a S&W 638 and an extra mag or speed loader daily every day everywhere until I go to bed. This bring up another plus, who wants to sit around watching TV or mowing the grass with a gun on their hip. I use to do that, but after becoming a gentleman farmer I found it too inconvenient. Climbing through fence ,crawling under the tractor putting on bibs in the winter I found myself just leaving my handgun in the house. If I need to run to town I had to go holster up before heading out. This just wasn't working for me especially after two woolly looking guys came up the drive one day while I was mending the fence a ˝ mile from my gun. I thought there had to be a better way. I then rediscovered pocket carry. I say rediscover due that I use to pocket carry off duty when I was a Deputy Sheriff in the 80s. I forgot how nice it was, it took me awhile to find the gun for me. I wanted the largest caliber I could comfortably handle and shoot accurately in a small package.

    The only drawback I see to the pocket carry is access from a sitting position. I my vehicles I always keep a larger high capacity pistol handy, actually I keep it on the center hump in a small soft side cooler. This work great for access when driving and not to many crooks are going to break in to get a lunch bag. While out in public restaurants and such I just try to keep my situational awareness higher which gives me the time to covertly access my pocket gun if need be...

    A few tips for new pocket carriers: Always use a holster. Practice access and drawing your gun unloaded of course. The draw should consist of accessing, proper grip, pulling up and out of the pocket clearing it completely with your weak hand on your chest, rotating the gun then join you weak hand without muzzling yourself and/or weak hand. You can put your thumb on the hammer of a revolver or back of the slide of an auto to help prevent snagging as you draw the gun. Finger off the trigger. With these things in mind grip the gun high in the web of your hand just as you would to shoot it, you will not have time to re position your grip in a gun fight. Remove the holster from your pocket to re holster the gun holding the holster from the top with finger and thumb like holding a tea cup, put the barrel in pointing downward and away from yourself. Too many people cup the holster in their weak hand and push the gun in pointing the muzzle right at the palm of their weak hand, this is asking for trouble. Trace and cut out of cardboard the out line of your gun before going pants shopping, you can try pocket fit before you go to the dressing room and have your unloaded gun with you so you can check the gun fit when you are in there. Think about another gun for your vehicle, you may already have one if not this gives you the excuse to get another one.
    All in all you will have to weigh your own threat assessment, there are obviously times and places where you will want to hip carry a larger high capacity handgun but for everyday carry in most situations you will find with the right pocket gun you will not be under powered . A gun in your pocket beats the one in the car or drawer closest whatever.

    Brad Norton
    Indiana Handgun Training
    This article was originally published in blog: Pocket Carry Why not give it a try? started by latigo

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