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True pocket carry.

jar_

Contributor
Do any of you good folk have one or more handguns that you would carry in a pocket loaded (with a round in the chamber if a semi-automatic or under the hammer if a revolver) without also using a holster? If so, what choices would you consider and have you done so over extended periods? What issues have you encountered? Do you train using that set up?
 

martym

I Leave The Toilet Seat Up.
Contributor
Years ago I used to carry that way for work. Back pocket. Front pocket. In the waistband front and/or back.
Never used a safety. Never a holster.
Now I carry in a holster in front or back pockets.
The only thing I make certain of (then and now) is to never ever put anything but the weapon and my hand in that pocket.
In all these years it’s never gone boom except when I wanted it to.
If not necessary for what you are doing I say always always carry in a holster. Way too easy to forget and make it go boom without meaning to.
Mr. Murphy will always be there when you slip up even for just a second.
 
To me the bonus of a pocket holster is masking the shape of what's in the pocket.

Recently got this speedloader carrier. My only (minor) gripe is that it does little to camouflage the admittedly obscure shape.


Note that it's intended for left front pocket carry but I carry it in the left rear.
 
Again, to answer the question, no. I pocket carry, a micro 1911 type, Sig P938 9mm in a pocket holster. Mine is of a single layer of very thin, firm leather and has a flap that folds over the grips so if you should see it it would appear as a large wallet. It is not the fastest thing for allowing rapid deployment of the handgun, but does an excellent job of concealing the handgun, completely covers the trigger , and has molded to the safety so closely that it would be hard to move it off safe while in my pocket. I was initially nervous about carrying in condition one but after several years am very comfortable doing so.
 

jar_

Contributor
Interesting.

I was always in the "only in a holster designed to cover the trigger and position the pistol for draw" group ... until fairly recently. I have a couple truly small pocket pistols that I am comfortable carrying even without a holster and in a cocked and locked condition.

It was not an easy transition though. I began just as a back up posibility and carried them unloaded for several weeks and then for another period with a loaded magazine but nothing chambered just to build confidence that it wasn't as dumb an idea as so many of mine have been.

Some of my considerations.

Both of the guns were originally designed for pocket carry in the "Cocked & Locked" condition.

Both have multiple layers of safety built in; a positive sear lock, a positive grip safety and fairly heavy single action trigger.

Both are small, really really small and so simply don't look like a gun.

Finally, both rest securely at the base of a pocket and stay that way so are in the proper position to draw and use.

The two guns are both 25acps; one a Beretta 1919 that was most likely made in 1922 or 1923 and the other an FN Browning Model 1906 that was made in 1913 or 1914.







With either one there would need to be several simultaneous failures; the safety swiped to the "Fire" postion AND the grip safety depressed AND the trigger pulled before they became a risk of an ND. Granted that is conceivable but highly improbable.

Because they are so small they really don't print as a handgun. In fact my key ring prints more than either of the pistols.

Honestly, I'm surprised to have gotten this far but I must admit that now I simply drop either one in my pocket and go.
 
I won't carry without a holster. I pocket carry a Micro 9 cocked and locked. It has a thumb safety but I would still prefer to have it in pocket holster to cover the trigger, and as said to breakup the outline so that it doesn't look like a gun.
 
I have pocket carried many a .38 revolver in the past and even a CA .44 Bulldog, BUT always in a pocket holster such as the Nemesis or a leather one and they were always DAO with bobbed hammers. Hammered guns are not for pocket carry as it's too easy to hang up inside your pocket on the draw.

I draw the line at a .38 being the smallest service grade caliber that I will carry. Guns should be comforting and not comfortable according to trainer Clint Smith. I agree. I personally believe it is dishonest to one's self to believe that any gun is better than no gun when the only reason a person is carrying a "mouse gun", e.g., .32 or .380, is convenience or "fashion".
 

martym

I Leave The Toilet Seat Up.
Contributor
One of my buddies was laughing at me one day because I was carrying my .380. He said that it’s a .45 or nothing. And that a .380 is worthless. I asked him what he was carrying right then and he told me he wasn’t carrying anything. And he wouldn’t let me shoot him with my worthless .380 either.
Any working weapon is better than no weapon at all and even better if you train and are proficient with that weapon.
 

jar_

Contributor
While I own handguns in most of the normal calibers and strongly believe caliber war assertions are simply stupid and that handgun self defense is just like real estate; the three most important factors are location, Location, LOCATION; this topic was intended to address the question of whether there were any handguns that a member felt comfortable pocket carrying without a holster.

I presented two examples that I am perfectly satisfied could be pocket carried even without a holster. There are a few others where I think are somewhat borderline.

Again, from Beretta, there is the Tomcat and Bobcat. They are both small and kinda funny shaped so in a pocket without a holster they do not print as "GUN" but rather mostly as a "kinda round something". They are traditional DA/SA with a very heavy DA trigger and also a very positive manual safety.

Granted, that is one less layer of prevention from an ND than the two above.

The Taurus PT-22 series is similar, DA/SA, very heavy trigger in DA mode and a manual safety.










While the pistols above are either 32acp or 22LR both Beretta and Taurus made 25acp versions that are still generally available.

The common factor to all of these is their small size, small enough to sit securely in one position at the bottom of a pants pocket. They do not tend to move around and so allow a consistent presentation. They are also small enough to not appear as "GUN".

There have been many such Pocket Pistols over the decades and until the late 1960s were pretty much de rigueur. They ranged from really cheap junk to finely crafted and engineered masterpieces. Some examples were the Colt 1908 Vest Pocket that was the same design as the FN 1906 shown in my earlier post and the designs based on the even smaller Baby Browning and the later series from Astra (200, 400, Firecat) that was also sold as the Colt Junior.

All of that generation of pocket guns were banned from importation in 1968, not because they were not effective but rather because they were small, very concealable and most of all, effective.
 

martym

I Leave The Toilet Seat Up.
Contributor
While I am comfortable carrying my .380 in a pocket without a holster I prefer a holster.
Sorry for going off course earlier.
5362E6A1-CB3D-4FE1-95C1-D6D01421BA17.jpeg
 

Acmemfg

Ambassador
Though not my first choice (or second or third) for defensive weaponry, the .380 is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
I prefer my S&W if I m going the pocket carry route...which is very seldom..
As far as the .380 being a competent defensive round. I think there are better choices, but there are plenty of documented cases where a .380 proved to be as lethal as necessary. A846CA52-D317-4BDC-AEDE-B53D161686ED.jpeg 6631D408-C33E-4A14-9175-87B5DA9917E3.jpeg
 

jar_

Contributor
While I am comfortable carrying my .380 in a pocket without a holster I prefer a holster.
Sorry for going off course earlier.
View attachment 1037480
Here is the little FN 1906 over my LCP for size reference.



As mentioned above, the reason I feel more comfortable carrying the FN without a holster than I would my LCP is the layered system of safeties. With the FN there is the heavy trigger but also the manual sear/slide lock safety and the grip safety.

Another factor with both the Beretta 1919 and the FN 1906 is that the manual safety requires the same downward thump swipe motion to switch from "Safe" to "Fire" mode.
 

martym

I Leave The Toilet Seat Up.
Contributor
@jar_ we live in the same town so you know how our weather here is 9 or 10 months out of the year.
HOT and HUMID

I wear gym or blue jean shorts, chanclas, and a t-shirt most everywhere. My little LCP can go anywhere with me.

With or without a holster.
 

jar_

Contributor
huaraches


Love this time of year when it's cool enough to get out my shoulder holster and wear an unbuttoned over shirt.
 
Here is the little FN 1906 over my LCP for size reference.



As mentioned above, the reason I feel more comfortable carrying the FN without a holster than I would my LCP is the layered system of safeties. With the FN there is the heavy trigger but also the manual sear/slide lock safety and the grip safety.

Another factor with both the Beretta 1919 and the FN 1906 is that the manual safety requires the same downward thump swipe motion to switch from "Safe" to "Fire" mode.
If it's got a safety and it doesn't swipe down I won't carry it. I'm personally too accustomed to those ergonomics. That was the thing I hated about the Beretta 92. The good thing was if you pressed the pistol against your body the issue flap holster would take it off safe for you. Not sure if that was by design or a fortunate bug.
 
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Here is the little FN 1906 over my LCP for size reference.



As mentioned above, the reason I feel more comfortable carrying the FN without a holster than I would my LCP is the layered system of safeties. With the FN there is the heavy trigger but also the manual sear/slide lock safety and the grip safety.

Another factor with both the Beretta 1919 and the FN 1906 is that the manual safety requires the same downward thump swipe motion to switch from "Safe" to "Fire" mode.
I agree with @jar_ that many of the older makes of pocket guns like a Beretta Tomcat are probably safer to carry in the pocket without a holster due to the fact of heavy trigger pulls and external safeties. there are always going to be trade offs. And the biggest trade off with the older all steel hammer fired pocket rockets are they are very fat or very heavy.

So while their short barrel and slide might not “print” like a pistol, their sheer weight pulls the pocket so far down the leg where they are not enjoyable to carry in my opinion. A heavy, saggy pocket can announce a gun just as a printed one can.

A Ruger LCP is light and it’s trigger pull is lighter than a heavy pull of an all steel hammer fired mouse gun. But the LCP is also a hammer fired which makes it a very “long pull”. So, it can still be safe in the pocket because it’s a long pull, even though it’s not a heavy pull.
 
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I have & often do “comfortably” pocket-carry the heaters pictured below, usually while walking the dogs &/or walking over to the grocery store ... 9 times out of 10, they’re in cargo pants/shorts except for the the HK, which gets tossed into a ranch coat pocket.

Though the 9x18 P-64’s 1st-round double-action has been somewhat tamed via Wolff springs, it is still stout enough to “comfortably” carry, safety off, with Hornady Critical Defense in the pipe & mag.


Despite the fact that Remington’s DAO .380 Rohrbaugh clone also has lighter (Galloway) springs, I have no qualms with carrying it chambered, though usually with a flush fit mag.


For years & years, my Nano illegally pocketed this H&R while late-night walking a series of German Shepherds up & down Chicago alleys ... when I’m feeling especially sentimental, I’ll slip the .32 S&W, hammer over a round, into a cargo pocket, comfortable not only with revolver’s stout DA, but also with the fact that I’m walking a German Shepherd, too. :)


The NAA .22 Mag ... a constant companion while working overnight industry jobs with the railroad. With it’s clip holster grip & hammer safely nestled between rounds, this SAO micro wheel gun is not only safe, but also quite undetectable to train & yard masters.


In my hands, the P7M8 is the most accurate, the fastest & without a doubt, the safest production pistol ever made. I have zero concerns when carrying (pocketed or holstered) this 9mm. In fact, the only safer firearms I own are those locked up in a safe. The P7s are also the only striker-fired pistol I’ll carry, sans a holster.
 
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jar_

Contributor
I agree with @jar_ that many of the older makes of pocket guns like a Beretta Tomcat are probably safer to carry in the pocket without a holster due to the fact of heavy trigger pulls and external safeties. there are always going to be trade offs. And the biggest trade off with the older all steel hammer fired pocket rockets are they are very fat or very heavy.

So while their short barrel and slide might not “print” like a pistol, their sheer weight pulls the pocket so far down the leg where they are not enjoyable to carry in my opinion. A heavy, saggy pocket can announce a gun just as a printed one can.

A Ruger LCP is light and it’s trigger pull is lighter than a heavy pull of an all steel hammer fired mouse gun. But the LCP is also a hammer fired which makes it a very “long pull”. So, it can still be safe in the pocket because it’s a long pull, even though it’s not a heavy pull.
Just some more BORING DETAILS.

The FN 1906 is less than an .91" wide at the widest point on base of the the grips and weighs in at 13 ounces unloaded while my LCP measures .87" at the widest point (at the slide lock) and weighs 12.5 ounces. Loaded of course the LCP is considerably heavier that the FN with 6+1 25acps.
 
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