Top 7 Rules of Pocket Carry

Top 7 Rules of Pocket Carry

Top 7 Rules of Pocket Carry

Over the past decade, the popularity of “pocket guns” has exploded and it’s safe to say that more people are carrying guns in their pocket (instead of on their hip) than ever before. I count myself among this group of people, as you’ll frequently find me with a Ruger LCP in my front, right pocket.

Like every carry method, there are certain rules you should follow if you decide to pocket carry. Violating these rules can obviously cause injury to yourself or someone else. For instance, here’s an incident reported by a Florida newspaper…

According to a police affidavit, Thompson told them he was at dinner with his wife Saturday night when he reached into his pocket for money and a car valet ticket. His Glock 9mm handgun was also in his pocket, and it went off accidentally. The affidavit says the bullet hit the base of a table and burst into fragments, injuring several people nearby but none seriously.

And, that brings us to rule #1…

1. If you are going to pocket carry, never, ever have anything else in that pocket with the gun. Your car keys, money, and everything else needs to be in another pocket. This is a gun pocket ONLY.

2. Your pocket gun should always be in a pocket holster and the holster needs to cover the trigger guard. In the incident mentioned above, if the gentleman would’ve had his gun in a holster there is no reason he would have “accidentally” pulled the trigger. (I use a simple kydex holster for my Ruger LCP.)

3. Don’t put your hand in your gun pocket unless you are in fear for your life or serious bodily injury. In other words, don’t be “that guy” who makes it so obvious he is carrying concealed because he’s always reaching in his pocket to make sure the gun is okay and wanting to touch it.

4. Practice your pocket draw. Obviously, drawing from your hip and drawing from your pocket are completely different. Spend some time doing dry fire practice to ensure you develop a smooth draw from your pocket so you’re prepared if you ever have to do it when it counts.

5. If you’re going to pocket carry, carry the “best” option you can. What I mean is, I wouldn’t stick a two-shot derringer in your pocket or a .22. I’d give yourself the best pocket option, such as a .380 or .38 Special or 9mm depending on how big of pockets you have.

6. Make sure you are wearing the right type of pants. If your pants are so tight they produce a perfect outline of the gun in your pocket then you need to buy different pants. Never forgot the key word in concealed carry is “concealed”.

7. Have “muzzle awareness” when pocket carrying. When you go to a restaurant with your family and you sit down at the booth do you really want to point your loaded gun at them? Well, that’s what you’ll be doing if you don’t sit in the proper seat and pay attention to your muzzle when you sit down pocket carrying.

Keep these rules in mind so you never have an incident when carrying concealed with your gun in your pocket.

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  • Bob Riker

    Rules for Pocket Carry. #-1 always make sure your Weapon is on Safe. That was not mentioned in the article. Living in Florida I prefer Cargo Shorts, or Pants when Pocket carrying that way your weapon in a separate pocket. Any other time I usually prefer a shoulder Holster.

    • Oruglock

      Not every pocket gun has a safety, the LCP the author carries for one. They rely on a long or heavy trigger pull to prevent negligent discharge, plus some common sense like not carrying your gun loose in a pocket with your car keys.

      Great advice, but the ‘how big of pockets you have’ construction is very clumsy. Try ‘how big your pockets are’, and see how much easier that is to understand, as well as using fewer words.

  • rangerat

    Some pocket holster designs are better than others. Some holster designs have a tendency to pull out of the pocket when you are pulling the gun out. This could lead to your distraction and embarrassment as the holster might still be covering the gun when you pull it out. Other holster designs have special sticky material sewn on that will bind up against the inside of the pocket to prevent the inadvertent removal of that holster. Other designs have a little front spur that catches the inside of the pocket and also prevents the removal of the holster when the gun is drawn.

    You must choose wisely, my children.

  • Mark Cline

    Good advice. Especially the last one. We preach muzzle awareness, but, it can be difficult to do sometimes. Another good reason for hip carry.

  • scott w

    Rule #8 don’t shoot the family jewels and am not making light of this because there next to your femoral artery and could be very lethal.

  • Some Rabbit

    “Glock” is Austrian slang for ‘unintentional discharge’. If you insist on carrying one, keep it in a hard sided holster that covers the trigger.

    • Michael R

      I don’t know what kind of stupid you have to be to unintentionally discharge a glock.

      • Some Rabbit

        Tell that to the father who dropped his on the floor of his car. It slid under the seat. When he tried to retrieve it a stiff wire dangling under the seat snagged the trigger. The gun went off killing his kid who was sitting in the back.

        Other folks have had them discharge when shoving them in their waistband or pocket.

        The only manual safety on the gun is on the damn trigger. They need a grip or thumb safety. If you say why, I say why the hell not?

        • Michael R

          Because, why? It’s more mechanically complex. There’s two internal safeties, and a trigger safety. Again, if you discharge your glock, I must ask what kind of stupid you must be.

          • bobfairlane

            Yep, you’d have to be stupid to not put it in a kydex holster.

          • Michael R

            Or, worried about the finish of your firearm.

          • bobfairlane

            Well get a leather one if it makes you happy but please do something besides jamming it in your waistband.

          • Earlybird

            Applies to any handgun.

          • bobfairlane

            Yeah, blocks are great, but they have a hair trigger. The little trigger-in-a-trigger is neat for target shooting, but it is not a “safety” as the company seems to claim. Luckily there are a million holsters, and myriad parts to change the trigger “weight” if someone likes to.

          • Earlybird

            Hair trigger? What are you talking about standard trigger is 3.5 lbs not a hair trigger, but not a DA revolver trigger either.

          • bobfairlane

            Yeah, a hair trigger. Holy shit, just breathe on it and it goes off.

          • Earlybird

            No hair trigger. Just not a gun for new shooters I guess.

          • Shad Rogers

            That is absurd,Glocks do not have hair triggers. SMH.

          • bobfairlane

            Sure, there’s different ones, like the NY one, that are much firmer, but the one’s I’ve seen were fucking hair triggers. And that stupid trigger-in-a-trigger ruins the whole thing. Block needs to get rid of that shit.

          • Some Rabbit

            Always the same crap about internal safeties from you Glockbots. None of that matters when the trigger gets pulled. That overrides every other passive safety. The point is that there is only one ACTIVE safety and that’s on the damn trigger. The same force applied to fire the gun also disengages the safety. Do you not friggin’ get it?

            It’s like having a door lock that unlocks automatically when you twist the door knob. What the fuck good is that? Who is that gonna keep out?

          • Michael R

            Kind of stupid to have a safety that keeps you from using the firearm if you need it. Just Limit any id10t interactions, and you’re fine.

          • Earlybird

            AMEN to that. A car doesn’t need a bunch of crap to prevent you from steering into a group of people , once in gear it should just GO!

          • Michael R

            I suppose the pf9 also needs an external safety? And revolvers? Are you worried about the bad guy disassembling the firearm as you point it at them as well?

          • Some Rabbit

            Keltec pistols have long stiff trigger pulls like a DA revolver. I fired Glocks, the trigger is like a 1911, but without the benefit of a thumb or grip safety.

          • Michael R

            The greatest safety on the market is upstairs. The Kel-Tec PF9 is only about 8 lbs. If you want a Glock trigger pull like that, get the NY trigger kit. But it’s not needed.
            You’ve got a trigger safety, a firing pin safety, and a drop safety.

          • G50AE

            The Glock needs the “benefit” of a thumb or grip safety about as much as I needed the “benefit” of having my health insurance cancelled as a result of the “Affordable” Care Act. There is no need to mess up what already works just fine.

          • Earlybird

            A thumb safety is NOT a benefit. It is an additional gadget. I am a remodeler and those dam trigger safetys on some saws are actually dangerous. Something to manipulate when you need to be holding the board. Do gooders can and will over do it.

          • Earlybird

            Get a clue. A lock that opens from the INSIDE ONLY is to prevent kids from dying in a fire.

          • Some Rabbit

            Always the same crap about internal safeties from you Glockbots. None of that matters when the trigger gets pulled. That overrides every other passive safety. The point is that there is only one ACTIVE safety and that’s on the damn trigger. The same force applied to fire the gun also disengages the safety. Do you not friggin’ get it?

            It’s like having a door lock that unlocks automatically when you twist the door knob. What the fuck good is that? Who is that gonna keep out?

          • G50AE

            If you discharge a Glock, it’s because the trigger got pulled. Why would you pull the trigger if you did not intend to fire off a round? The trigger on a firearm is only there for one reason, to discharge a round. It isn’t there so you can take “gangsta” looking selfies of yourself holding the firearm carelessly with your finger on the trigger.

          • Michael R

            This guy is the person at the gun counter I use as a lesson. As soon as he walks away I demonstrate how those safeties perform, and make a sale

          • G50AE

            True enough, I should also point out that the Glock line of pistols do not use “clips” to feed ammunition, they use detachable box magazines. The only modern pistol that I am aware of that used “clips” to load its fixed magazine was the WWI era mauser broom-handle. The same type of person who can’t understand that the Glock line of pistols has all of the safeties it needs at three is the same type of person who incorrectly refers to magazines as “clips” because they think it sounds “gangsta” and thus I feel the need to take a preemptive corrective strike.

          • Michael R

            I see more older guys using the term clip than younger guys in all honesty. It seems that anyone that was involved in the early part of Vietnam has a tendency to switch between them.

          • Earlybird

            Well and simply stated. Stay off the dam trigger when not on target.
            RULE NUMBER UNO OF FIREARM SAFETY “KNOW YOUR TARGET”
            Learned it from dad when I was about 8

        • G50AE

          Can you provide a link verifying that this story actually happened?

          • Some Rabbit

            You calling me a liar? If I dig up the link and that old story was still archived would it change you’re opinion? I doubt it. Stop being a link troll and Google it if you care so much.

          • Michael R

            You present the claim, you provide the evidence.

          • G50AE

            Yeah, and the poster could have POLITELY done that instead of engaging in childish name calling.

          • G50AE

            I did not call you ANYTHING. I merely asked, “Can you provide a link verifying that this story actually happened?” because I would like to read up more on the alleged incident.

            Another question, since you have now bestowed upon me the title of “link troll”, which I assume is some type of mythical creature from the “Legend of Zelda” Nintendo franchise, do I get a badge for that? Also do I get to use boomerang and carry a magic shield with a yellow cross on the front?

        • Earlybird

          I am sad to say that was a really stupid trick to drop it then fish it out that way. Why dids he need to play with it in his car? Once I holster my weapon it stays holstered until it is needed or until I retire for the evening and then it is properly stowed were there are no “loose stiff wires” or such.Should not be carrying any weapon. Anti gun folks say all guns are dangerous stories like this unfortunately give them senseless unnecessary fodder. It is SO frustrating when folks own weapons and don’t seem to have any respect for them or even a clue how to use them.

        • Earlybird

          By the way the only real safety is friggin common sense!

        • milothefierce

          You do what you think you can live with (or through). As for me, my first handgun was a glock 19…. To this day, there’s been no ND. Why? Because I had enough sense to realize that anything strong enough to pull that trigger will make the gun go boom, so I took EXTRA time learning everything about gun safety with that gun before it ever saw its first bullet. That common sense now carries over to every gun I own. Common Sense is the only real gun safety there is.

          As for the poor guy in your story (if it’s a real guy), sad to hear but it’s obvious he didn’t believe in the common sense thing.

      • Earlybird

        Exactly you never put your finger near the trigger on any weapon when you are not on target. Where do these people come from carrying with no training whatsoever. ALL HANDGUNS MUST BE CARRIED IN A HOLSTER THAT COVERS THE TRIGGER!!! No Mexican carry!!! STUPID is slang for “unintentional discharge”

  • JJ

    Very interesting and informative article, but “how big of pockets you have” just doesn’t work on ANY level. 99% of the time, wherever you’re tempted to insert “of”…DON’T e.g “how big of a story” should simply be “how big a story.”

  • CZGuy99

    I know alot of you won’t agree, but I don’t keep a round chambered when I pocket carry

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    • MrBogus

      I do not mind condition 3 carry for larger hip/IWB carry but a small pocket gun? Me likes the idea of the one extra round to supplement the 5 in the magazine.. This make sense or am I out in left field?

    • Mighty Fine

      I agree CZGuy99.
      I almost always carry my LCP .38 (no safety) in a outside holster hot.
      But the very few times I had to pocket carry, I did so in a pocket holster unchambered. I know this will increase my response time but I’m willing to accept that
      trade-off.
      I’d rather increase the chance of me getting shot than increasing the chance I accidentally shoot someone else.

  • Bob Riker

    # Oruglock . Yes I am aware that not all Pocket Pistols do don’t have a safety. I prefer a weapon that does have a Safety. My personal weapon is the S&W Body Guard which has a Safety. I always have a round chambered so the Safety is a must for me.

    • Michael R

      So, I’m assuming that all revolvers you carry must have a safety as well?

      • Nathan Redbeard

        Who the hell carries a revolver anymore, with the plethora of subcompact .380/9mm options available? I’m newer to the gun owning area, but I understand that until 7 years ago, a snub nosed revolver was really your only practical option for pocket carry. Then 2008 and the Ruger LCP rolled around. Fast forward 7 years, there are literally dozens of options that have the same form factor as a snubbie and shoot loads as powerful with higher capacity and easier reloads. Give me the option of 5 rounds of .38 special in a 642/85 with a speed loader or 6-8 of .380/9mm in an LCP/P238/Shield/XDS with a spare mag and I know what I’m choosing all day long. And I’m not a revolver hater easier, my Taurus 608 is by far my favorite handgun to shoot.
        But I also don’t own a handgun with a manual safety on it, so I’m with you Michael, why worry about it so much? Get a good pocket holster, practice drawing from it, obey the 4 rules, and you won’t shoot anything you don’t intend to.

        • Michael R

          There’s plenty of people that use an ultralight .38+p for a backup, the LCR’s, charter arms, and the 805 especially.

        • Earlybird

          A Ruger LCR lightweight is an EXCELLENT choice. Very nice shooting and a better round than a .380. More stopping power and cheaper to practice with. I have one as well as a S&W Bodygaurd. The LCR shoots much better. By the way I don’t pocket carry, I carry a Glock 30 in a hybrid holster.

  • SCfromNY

    My personal decision is not to carry a handgun with a safety, especially a pocket gun. I hate to be dismissive but the gentleman’s gun did NOT go off accidently. It went off negligently. It was not the guns fault and we need to stop calling these incidents accidents. They are not.

    • Alex Meek

      It was a negligent discharge but a mechanical safty would have prevented it. It takes microseconds to drop that safety versus 1.5 to rack a round properly

  • nighthawk

    As an instructor I am always preaching use a holster when pocket carrying the only safety you need is between your ears. Fire arms are not discharged accidentally, they are discharged stupidly. If a firearm is discharged it is either intentionally or stupidly. I live in Florida and I carry a Colt magnum carry in my pocket since 1999 and a Colt DS prior to that both on and off duty.

  • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

    For # 6. Be aware that in some states it is against the law to CC with a permit IF the outline of the weapon can be seen. In these states, when this happens, it is deemed as no longer being CONCEALED, but is more likened to OPEN CARRY. If open carry is not allowed in the state, then you would be in trouble if the weapon’s outline is readily visible in pants or a shirt or a jacket.

  • Jeffrey Jessup

    I pocket carry occasionally but there in is the problem. Occasionally carrying a certain way different from your accustomed method can cause the type of problem that is described here. My preferred method of CC is an under arm cross draw. Since I normally carry and practice drawing from this position, it is very easy to get used to carrying other items in the front right pocket that I may occasionally carry in. This can cause me to unconsciously reach into that pocket for change or other items that I may normally carry there. When I do pocket carry, I always use a good pocket holster so have not experienced any negligent discharges but I do believe this reenforces the idea of picking a carry method and do your best to stick to that one method that works best for you and practice over and over until you’ve developed muscle memory for that method. Pocket carry does work fine if your gun, pants, holster, and body shape all match up well but that is why I went to my preferred method as it is more flexible for me as to gun size and clothing choices. Whichever method you choose, be safe.

  • TCP

    TCP (or LCP) in Remora style holster fits perfectly in a sport jacket outer pocket with no printing or pulling. I wear a sport jacket a lot because it can carry smartphones, wads of car keys, fat wallets, etc. and these 380’s are smaller. Absolutely agree with Rule 1. Nothing else in pocket.

  • Michael Cherry

    I have concealed carry liciense Okla. What are the rules when riding a motorcycle?

  • jagbone

    I carry my .380 in my back pocket. Holstered in a friction gripped soft holster. Prints like a wallet. Perfect placement for that dreaded holdup transaction.

    • Clayton

      That sounds uncomfortable to sit on..

  • TexasJester

    As an option for pocket carry, check out Sneaky Pete — they have a line of square, hard-case holsters that look like a holdter for a tablet or smart phone. They have a flap that closes with magnets, to keep it from coming open unintentionally. You clip it to your belt, waistband, (for you women) a purse strap. Much more comfortable than an in-waistband holster, and for an out-ofwaistband holster, you don’t have to wear a concealing shirt. In fact, you can wear a Sneaky Pete with your dress slacks and a dress shrit tucked in, and no one is the wiser that you have a firearm in that square, nice, leather pouch!

    They also sell what they call a “Plan B” holster — basically a sleeve to put over your extra magazine in your pocket.

    On a side note, Texas recently changed a concealed-weapon law, for the better. In Texas, if you have a CHL and are carrying concealed, and your weapon accidentally becomes open (such as you bend over and your shirt rides up, revealing your in-waistband holster shows), it is no longer a crime.

  • Frank

    Of course the Grammar Police have descended on this article. It wood bee nice too just reed the article and comments without all the no it alls pointing a couple small grammatical or spelling errors.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    My idea of pocket carry is in a heavier jacket or vest pocket and then the firearm is inside a soft side IWB holster.

  • Robart

    it is conceal carry not reveal carry

  • Robart

    it is conceal carry not reveal carry

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  • Evmybryan

    I carry a NAA .22 mag 5 shot revolver sometimes and I feel like that is an ample get out of a situation gun. What’s with the hate on .22?

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  • James Garva

    When I sit down, the muzzle of my Sig P938 is pointed downwards. You must sit on your tail bone if the muzzle (in a front pants pocket) points at anyone’s legs, sittiing across from you.

  • don russell

    what’s any different about pocket carry, hmm? either it’s safe to carry a rd in the chamber, or it’s not. what difference does it make where you carry the gun (or what it’s pointed-at when it’sin your rig)?

  • don russell

    I got a news flash for you. the P32 Keltec was around in 2004, the P3AT 380 in 2006. Star had the single action, locked breech pony and DK 380’s (steel and aluminum frames, respecively) back in the early 60’s. You could hot -oad them to match today’s pocket 9’s and factory ammo. Which is not saying all that much, actaully, but they beat the hell out of a .38 snub, for concealability, hits on target(faster) and effectiveness of the hollowpoint bullets. I cast them out of soft lead and hollowpointed and hollowbased them in the lathe at my workplace (after hours, boss didn’t care)

  • Don Russell

    so you are first gonna put the gun in A SLOW place to access, and then you are going to waste ANOTHER full second fumbling around racking the slide? If you have a spare 1.5 seconds, why not just run up and twist the guy’s neck, hmm? if your gun aint safe to carry with a chambered rd, then get a different gun.

    • Erfytu Jiojio

      No.

  • G50AE

    One nice feature of pocket carry that the author did not mention is that it frees up space on your belt for your CCW Badge. Of course if you are not wearing a belt you can also use one of those neck chain CCW Badge holder thingies.

    • Bagpipe Mike

      Whoa! CCW badges! Bad idea all around. Serves no purpose but to impersonate a LEO. Even though legal, does not play well in court! Think about when or why one would whip one out. Stay safe

      • G50AE

        How does wearing a badge that says “Concealed Weapons Permit” qualify as impersonating a LEO?

  • Eric

    I have to have a manual safety on any gun intended for concealed carry. A lot of people say a safety isn’t practical because if you ever need to use it you might forget to unsafety it…well if you’ve trained enough with your weapon (which you should regardless of carry style) then you should be proficient enough to do it second nature, and it will prevent accidental discharge when dropped or when pulling out/putting in your pocket.

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