Thoughts On Pocket Pistol Carry

Poised for protection! Taurus PT740 SLIM clears pocket when danger…

Poised for protection! Taurus PT740 SLIM clears pocket when danger threatens, and can be discreetly concealed even when the jacket comes off. Sean Utley Photo

I’m the guy who said long ago, “Friends don’t let friends carry mouse-guns,” and got tagged with that as a “signature phrase” as surely as my old friend and colleague Clint Smith got tagged with his famous statement, “You use your handgun to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have left behind.”

That said, sometimes a small gun is all you can carry. Those of us who advise carrying a full-size combat handgun all the time tend to be fortunate enough to have jobs and dress codes that allow us to “dress around the gun.” Yes, I generally do have a full-size pistol under my un-tucked shirt (one size larger than I’d wear sans the gun), or under my “Yuppie vest,” or sport coat.

However, there are times when that’s not true. On Court Days, I might wear a full-size pistol under a blazer with tie, or one of my suits that was tailored to cover a full-size 1911 pistol. But if I’m wearing a fitted suit that wasn’t cut with big pistols in mind, don’t be surprised if the gun I put in the lock-box before I head for the courtroom is a compact pistol like my Nighthawk T3 or Colt CCO .45s with shortened butts, or a “baby” Glock. I’ll even confess to the occasional day where that gun was a snub-nosed .38, such as the Colt Detective Special or a J-frame Smith & Wesson.

I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one to practice this. Long before, circa 1960, Col. Jeff Cooper wrote that his repertoire of carry pistols included a full-size, all-steel Colt Government Model .45 auto for duty carry, a lightweight Colt Commander with barrel and slide three-quarters of an inch shorter and an aluminum that took three-quarters of a pound off the weight, but kept a full-length grip frame and full magazine capacity when concealment was important in casual clothing, and a 2-inch barrel J-frame Smith & Wesson .38 for wear with a business suit.

Let’s examine the change in rationale…

Load Comments
  • CW

    You’d not get past a metal detector into a courthouse/courtroom with a gun.

  • Bob

    Correction; almost 1 year old.

  • Bob

    Rock, you are responding to a post that is almost 2 years old.

  • SD

    Great article that makes the LRC site for good reason! This is a question and not meant to start a food fight. I have a Walther .22 that I use for teaching my kids to shoot and for varmits if I’m out on our farm. Would this make a pocket carry if the firer can place the rounds in the target’s face? Placement over size/power? Look forward to the discussion.

  • Rock

    @ General Jim:
    C’mon. “REAL” guns? This isn’t about the size of your manhood, stupid. It is about the ability to respond to a threat. A civilized (and mature) man understands that 99% of the time, we must dress for the role we play. As the article says, we make choices: and a smaller weapon may be necessary. Your response is both adolescent and idiotic. Better armed, even with a small frame revolver, than not armed at all. And better armed with a small weapon than refused entry (or arrested) after being seen with a full-sized pistol.

  • General Jim M

    Let me see,light carry?Small gun?I’m about to go out right now,what am i carrying? Ah! a Glock model 21 in 45ACP in a belly band holster under a baggy tee shirt!!!!!These small pistols are a fad,i hope these people never come face to face with gangstas carrying REAL guns.

  • Ken Summers

    I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a neoprene holster in the middle of the back, I wear xlarge shirts not tucked in for concealment. In addition I have two additional mags that I carry in a two mag holster, however if wearing t/shirts or less concealing clothing I carry a Kahr PM9 with an additional 7 Rd mag. Both shoot well and I am comfortable with both. I do have a Ruger LCP but tend to not rely on it being accurate after about 10′ at least for me.

  • spymyeyes

    So far, nothing beats my Raging Judge Magnum.
    This weapon has a 3″ cylinder and a 3″ barrel and weighs almost 4lbs fully loaded and that solid stainless steel weight makes all recoil/rise as easy to handle as shooting a 9mm. The pistol grip is also a custom soft foam with a hard rubber strip that seats perfectly with your palm and gets rid of painful kickback issues. The fiber optic sight works very well, even in low light. With the versatility of ammo loads that this weapon offers, you can have the ability to respond to any threat with the force required to keep you safe. This revolver holds 6 rounds and will shoot any 2 1/2″ or 3″ 410. shotgun shell, longcolt, or 454 casull rounds up to 300 grains. I like to change the loads depending on where I am or will be going. If you live in the inner city (like me) I like to keep my 1st round 3″ 410. PDX1 so the shotgun round won’t go through my house and kill an innocent person outside or in the next house over. My second round is a longcolt 255 grain hollow point, if it is even needed. Third, fourth, and fifth rounds go shotgun – longcolt – shotgun, and a 454 casull 300 grain hollow point for my last round so there is never any doubt that you just fired your last shot! As with all wheel guns if you just pull the hammer back about 1/4″ it frees the cylinder so you can spin it to whatever round you want to fire. I have fired almost every single handgun caliber there is and NOTHING beats a 454 casull round. They are extremely accurate, use high quality propellants so there is minimal smoke clouds from firing, and once you start shooting these rounds you will know without a doubt why they are used to hunt grizzlies & moose! The Raging Judge Magnum also comes in a 6″ barrel length for serious hunters who want to mount a scope or whatever to the built in rails. The power, versatility, and FEAR this weapon projects makes it the best handgun I have ever owned. At 10 yards I put all 6 rounds with-in the head of the badguy on the target and I kept it for proof as that was the best I have ever shot!
    As a last tip to all the gun lovers out there I will share this tid-bit, an all stainless steel handgun can be made to shine like chrome if you use some MOTHER’S POLISH and a dremel!

  • RB

    Hi, what is the make and style of the coyote brown jacket in the first photo ?