Using pockets to carry a pistol is not new, it has grown in popularity with interest in concealed carry on the rise. During our Concealed Carry Tactics class, we demonstrate backup guns and their pro’s/con’s, pocket carry being a big one.
Necessity is the mother of invention
My experiment with pocket carry started as a necessity when I waited longer than expected for a new J-frame ankle holster. While I knew, it was going to take a while, it took too long. It forced me to find a backup for my backup; which was good news. Enter the back pocket carry technique. I have played on and off again with forms of pocket carry over the years, but I was determined to do a proper evaluation. Hence my six-month period of performance or what I like call fun time.
No one size fits all
Those who pocket carry come in all different shapes and size as do the firearms they select. My observations are based off my size, the M&P 340 and my criterion for access. The most common position for pocket carrying a backup is front pocket strong side. I discovered a major problem right off the bat, access would be questionable under certain circumstances. Since I commute to work, sit at a desk and sit for my meals (most of the time) having access in those conditions was severely hampered with front carry. I don’t care what type of clothing, the front pockets while sitting down are almost impossible to retrieve items. Try pulling loose change from your pocket the next time you are sitting down. Notice how you end up doing a hip bridge just to get all the way down there.
Monkeys and dessert
Now, the added problem and this will fry some noodles is when you grasp the firearm, in this case a revolver the girth of your hand increases. When you ball your hand into a fist such as when you grip your firearm it makes it even more challenging. Now consider the different sizes of front pockets and the opening’s position (horizontal versus vertical pockets). At the very least it will severely degrade the quickness of a smooth drawstroke. How many of you have seen the monkey stick their hand in a hole to grab some grubs? When he grabs a fistful of delicious grubs he becomes ensnared. His closed fist is too large to fit through the hole…very similar here.
Let performance drive the train
Another issue is the depth of front pockets varies from brand to brand. The deeper the pocket the longer the drawstroke. Most back pockets are of a patch design and similar in size. The only bad observation to report is how the hilt of my snubby can sometimes poke out the top of my pocket. Usually addressed with a proper cover garment, but when sitting in public I do have to be more mindful. What I greatly appreciated was the access from my back pocket and if I was going to carry a backup access needed to be a priority. When I preformed side by side baselines of front pocket to back pocket drawstrokes the back pocket was more consistent and I found more reliable. That baseline was shot freestyle on my feet. When I conducted a similar drill from a seated position, it really wasn’t a contest anymore. A slight shift in my ass check coupled with a clean clear of the cover garment netted me a smooth drawstroke consistently.
I have grown fond of carrying two guns lately. This method offers me what many of the others failed to do, keeping things simple.