Photo courtesy Vedder Holsters

Beginners: 5 Rules For Pocket Carry


Over the last few years, pocket carry has become an increasingly popular method for concealed carry. This is mostly due to firearm manufacturers making better micro and sub compact guns fit for pocket carry. However, the holster industry has done an equally great job in developing pocket holsters that make this form of carry one of the most comfortable, regardless of the wearers shape.

As you know, there are several different positions and ways one can conceal carry. Each carry type has its own set of rules and best practices that should be followed; this applies to pocket carry as well. Pocket carry may be one of the carry methods that lend to negligent discharges more than others simply because of the nature in which we use our pockets.

We asked our Facebook audience what they thought about pocket carry as a person’s main method of carry. The results:

Do with that information as you will, but know that there are better carry options outside of pocket carry.

We’re constantly shoving our hands in our pockets without much thought as we go to grab whatever it is we’re fishing for. So, below are a few rules that will help make pocket carry a safe, comfortable, and discreet way to carry.

Keep Your Hands Out Of Your Carry Pocket

Well, you probably saw this one coming. First and foremost, you are going to have to train yourself on keeping your hands out of you carry pocket. As mentioned earlier, we have been socially conditioned to constantly fiddle with our pockets and jam our hands in our pockets carelessly as we look to retrieve something. This will have to change.

What is going to make this even more difficult is your desire to want to touch and adjust your firearm. You are probably going to think everyone can see what you have in your pocket. They can’t. You’re probably going to feel like the gun isn’t sitting in your pocket correctly and want to constantly adjust it. Don’t, unless you feel you absolutely need to.

Keeping your hands out of your carry pocket while pocket carrying is extremely important, and may be the hardest thing you will have to do to pocket carry. Work on it, and remind yourself to keep your hands to yourself and out of your pocket. It will get easier with a little practice.

Designate A Pocket As A Strict ‘Pocket Gun Only’ Pocket

The easiest and most effective way to keep your hand out of your pocket is to designate a pocket on all your clothes (ones that you would carry with) as your official “Pocket Gun Only” pocket. There should be nothing else in this pocket besides your holstered firearm. Don’t keep change in there, don’t keep tissue in that pocket, don’t even carry a spare mag in that pocket.

You will certainly have other pockets in your outfit, and these other pockets are going to be where you will have to put your phone, wallet, keys etc. Again, this is going to take practice and a change of habit, but its crucially important. You don’t want to go fingering around in your pocket looking for your keys in the same pocket you have a loaded gun. It’s dangerous and stupid. One pocket = one gun and nothing else.

Get A Holster Designed For Pocket Carry

Don’t even consider, for a second, to carrying that pocket gun without a holster. Ignore what you see in the movies about some guy drawing his naked gun from his hoodie or his side pocket. It’s movie make believe because in real life that kind of behavior is extremely dangerous.

Holster companies have come a long way in the last few years to provide holsters that make pocket carry comfortable and concealable. The best part is, there are a lot of design option so you have a variety to choose from. Find the one you like best or will work best with the type of gun you have and the type of clothes you wear.

Whichever holster you end up getting, make sure it has adequate protection for your trigger. A holster that covers the entire trigger guard is going to provide the best protection and will be your best option for safety.

Just Say No To Tight Pants

Snug fitting clothes are very popular and fashionable these days; especially in formal and business wear. If you love this fashion style, pocket carry may be a little more difficult for you. The nature of the snug fitting pants could lead to you showing an outline of your gun (printing) in your pants pocket. Now, there are some pocket holsters out there that help with this. Some of these holsters shape the back side of the holster to look like wallet or a phone, or some other innocent looking object.  

However, even though you may be able to solve the printing problem, snug pants could make your draw more difficult. If you are not able to get your hand in the pocket quickly and comfortably, and easily draw your firearm out of that tight pocket without it snagging on something, this makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Should the need arise to draw your gun quickly and you can’t get it out of your tight pockets, then it was all for nothing.

As always, practice can help mitigate this as well. No matter where you carry, you should always practice drawing from your holster in your preferred carry position. It may seem like a no-brainer to draw a gun from your pocket, but you might be surprised to find that it poses its own set of challenges. Lots of practice and a good holster might solve your tight pants problem; but it also might be easier just to wear something a little looser.

Watch Your Muzzle

With pocket carry its extremely important to be aware of where your muzzle is pointing. In most other carry positions, the muzzle is almost always pointing towards the ground. However, with pocket carry this is true for when you are upright and walking, but when you sit down your muzzle might be pointing outward at someone across from you.

The orientation of your firearm is simply something your going to have to be conscience about at all times when it is resting in your pocket. Oddly enough, however, this could end up being a great exercise to improve your situational awareness. Keeping a mindful eye of everyone in the room and deciding where best to sit are a couple of good habits to pick up anyhow.


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About the Author

Xavier Roberts has worked in the firearms industry for several years, and has written previously about gun laws, self defense, and product reviews. His EDC gun is a Chippia Rhino 40DS in an Alien Gear Holster, along with a Templar Knife and a Rugged Rosary.

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