Pocket carrying a small pistol has become one of the most popular methods for concealed carry. No one can deny that the firearms industry has recognized this and as a result has put out dozens of small pocket sized pistols to meet this demand.
That being said, pocket carry is just like any other form of concealed carry: it needs to be done safely and responsibly. You can ensure that you accomplish this by following these five rules:
RULE #1 – CARRY THE BIGGEST PISTOL YOU CAN
This may initially sound contradictory. After all, isn’t the purpose of pocket carry to carry as small of a pistol as possible?
While it is true that pocket carrying is relegated to small pistols (at least for most individuals), you still want to carry the biggest pistol you can in your pocket without broadcasting it and yet still being comfortable.
This means that carrying a small .380 or 9mm automatic or .38 snub nose revolver will always be more preferable than carrying an extremely small .22 or a one/two shot derringer of some kind. The larger your pistol is, the more ammunition you will likely have and the easier it will be to control it when the time comes to shoot.
RULE #2 – INVEST IN A QUALITY POCKET HOLSTER
You should NEVER carry a pistol in your pocket without a holster. The holster serves two reasons: First, it covers the trigger guard of your pistol to diminish the chances of an accidental firing, and secondly, it retains the weapon with the grip facing up so you can grab the pistol when drawing
But you don’t want to purchase a cheap $5 holster either. Remember that two things have to be accomplished with pocket carry: comfort and concealment. Therefore, your holster must be comfortable in your pocket while also adequately concealing the weapon (meaning there can be limited to no printing).
A good quality holster keeps the grip of your gun facing up, hides the outline of the weapon, covers the trigger guard, and is comfortable to wear. The good news here is there are a plethora of pocket holsters available on the market for practically any model of handgun available, so you have no shortage of options.
RULE #3 – PACK NOTHING ELSE IN THE POCKET YOU USE FOR POCKET CARRY
Regardless of whether you use your right or left pocket, NOTHING goes into that pocket except your gun and holster. This pocket is for carrying the weapon only.
Why? The answer is because putting additional items in there such as your keys, a knife, or your phone or wallet can inhibit your draw. There’s also the chance that the entire gun could fall out while you’re juggling around your other items.
Placing other items with your gun in your pocket is merely a safety concern. Dedicate one pocket for your gun in its holster and the rest for your extra things.
RULE #4 – PRACTICE YOUR DRAW CONSISTENTLY
Don’t make the mistake of buying a gun for pocket carry and sticking it in there without ever thinking about it again. There may come a time where you need to draw your pistol in a self-defense situation, so mastering this draw is imperative.
It takes at least one thousand repetitions of any movement for it to become muscle memory, meaning if you practice a particular draw a thousand times you will draw that way on instinct every time.
It’s also vital that you practice drawing from a different position, such as standing, kneeling, sitting, or laying down. The best way to make sure that drawing your pistol becomes natural to you is to practice drawing it consistently (as in daily). Make it a habit that before you go out in public with your pistol in your pocket, that you practice a couple of quickdraws at home.
RULE #5 – CARRY EXTRA AMMO
There is a multitude of reasons to carry extra ammo for concealed carry, and pocket carry is no exception. The number one cause of jams in a semi-automatic pistol is typically due to an issue in the magazine, and there’s also the possibility that you run out of ammunition in your current magazine or cylinder. If you find yourself up against multiple enemies, reloading your weapon may be something you have to do. Yes, carrying an extra magazine or speed strip/speed loader with you is weight and bulk, but it is also necessary.
Remember that your spare ammunition needs to be concealed in a separate pocket from your weapon and also needs to be easily accessible by your off hand. Another option for carrying your spare ammo will be in a pouch on your belt, but this, of course, would be visible to anyone if your shirt is tucked in and you’re not wearing a jacket of some kind.