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Pocket Carry

That Chance Ballew guy, who rumor has may or may not be a well known blogger, has a new article up at Shooting Illustrated highlighting a holster for carrying pocket pistols. There’s no doubt about the fact that pocket carry is suboptimal. My draw from pocket is a good two seconds slower than from IWB at 4:00. The Executive looks like an interesting holster, but just based on the photos, I’m concerned about a few things, based on my experience carrying the P3AT. Some of these might be issues with the P3AT more than whatever holster you’re using. As guns go, I would say the P3AT, Ruger LCP, or other small pocket pistols are very hard to design an effective holster for just because of their size.

I’ve noticed a tendency for the magazine release to trip on the P3AT in pocket carry, because it’s not protected by the holster. It hasn’t happened often, but it’s an issue. That said, I’m not sure how much you can really do about it, because the holster needs to ride low enough to allow you to get a decent grip for the draw. But a holster that rides low on the gun also doesn’t leave much leather holding onto the gun. The other issue I’ve had with conventional leather holsters is that in regular use the split leather smooths out considerably, and they lose their ability to retain the firearm after a while. Retention on the split leather pocket holster I have was adequate when I first got it, but after use, if I turn my pocket holster upside down with the P3AT in it, it’ll dump.

It’s for this reason I’ve largely kept to pocket carry for the P3AT, where protection of the trigger is more of an issue than retention of the gun. I’d be wary of the P3AT carried IWB in something other than Kydex or boned leather, just for fear it’ll work its way out of the holster if it catches something while I’m sitting down. That’s less of an issue with a larger pistol, where there’s more leather to grab onto the gun, but more of an issue with a small pistol.

9 Responses to “Pocket Carry”

  1. Jake says:

    If you’re looking for an IWB holster for your P3AT, I’d recommend the Crossbreed MicroClip. I’ve been using mine for over a year now, and it has excellent retention. I can even turn it upside down and shake it without having the added tension of a belt, and it will hold it. The right-handed version will also protect the magazine release pretty well.

  2. Mobo says:

    For me, pocket holsters don’t do anything but make my pocket bulge more and make it more difficult to draw. There is zero chance that a 642 will accidently fire in a front pocket without a holster. I’ve never had anybody notice the “print” either. I can retreive it MUCH faster without a pocket holster.

    I might use a pocket holster if I were carrying a Colt Mustang cocked and locked, but they are otherwise useless IMO.

  3. SayUncle says:

    “I’ve noticed a tendency for the magazine release to trip on the P3AT in pocket carry, because it’s not protected by the holster.”

    I have had about four different holsters (Galco, Hume, Executive and Uncle Mike’s) and have never had that happen. You may want to get the gun checked.

  4. SayUncle says:

    And I carry it every day.

  5. Michael says:

    Huh. I haven’t heard of this problem either. I may have to pick up one of these little pistols and carry it myself to see how I can further develop the product. Honestly, I’ve refined the design of The Executive quite a bit from the version featured in SI. It’s not that I’m not proud of the work that I’ve done, I’m just always looking for ways to improve my stuff.

  6. Hey Sebastian, did you ever watch the video I emailed you on my modifications?

    I now have a much much much better retention level for my pocket carry.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I must not have. Resend it. I get a lot of e-mails each day and miss a lot.

  8. Greg says:

    “I’ve noticed a tendency for the magazine release to trip on the P3AT in pocket carry, because it’s not protected by the holster.”

    That’s exactly why I prefer pistols with heel magazine release for pocket carry.

  9. Sigivald says:

    You can get a rough or pointy (but not bladed, since you don’t want to cut) object, with a bend in the end, and rough-up the leather manually, and that should give you some grip back.

    (Might just try some coarse sandpaper on a small block of wood, in fact…)

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