Introduction To Pocket Holsters

As more and more people migrate towards CCW carry, a common question posted on shooting forums revolves around pocket holsters and their applications.

Used with some common sense, a pocket holster is an excellent method of CCW carry, especially for certain applications. As a matter of fact, it's become my first choice of CCW carry.

Let's take a look at pocket holsters and some useful features:

  • What is a pocket holster, and what is it designed to do?
  • What are pocket holsters made of?

What is a pocket holster, and what is it designed to do?

A pocket holster is a small holster made to carry an equally small weapon in a front pocket, trouser pocket, or jacket pocket.  Well designed pocket holsters should do the following:

  • Provide a safe method to carry a weapon in the pocket - Covering the trigger area, not only protects this area during your draw, but it also keeps debris out.
  • Conceal the weapon - A properly constructed pocket holster should break-up the outline of the weapon in the pocket, and minimize printing.
  • Make the weapon readily accessible - The pocket holster should be wide enough to keep the weapon in an upright, accessible position within the pocket.
  • Allow for immediate and deployment- It should allow for quick access, a full firing grip, and quick weapon deployment from the pocket.

What are pocket holsters made of?

Today pocket holsters on the market are usually produced from either:

Leather - About 80% of all pocket holsters on the market are made from leather. Some manufacturers use a stiff grade leather, while other use a softer style leather. The stiffer leather tends to be thicker in width, which can add to the overall bulk of the holster.

Nylon - Many of the lower priced pocket holsters are produced from nylon. Personally I don't feel that nylon isn't really strong enough for the daily rigors of a pocket holster, and feel that it lacks the rigidity to properly break-up the weapon outline. If you're on a really tight budget, than nylon pocket holsters are definitely going to be something for you to consider.

Kydex - As kydex continues to evolve in holster applications, a select few manufacturers are now using it to produce pocket holsters. As kydex is significantly more rigid and stronger than leather or nylon, the kydex pocket holsters tend to be very thin.

Some final thoughts:

Release Device - Be careful about the release device that is used when the weapon is drawn from the pocket. Some manufacturers use a hook of some type, while others rely on friction or a combination of the two.

Be aware that, if these release devices fail or don't work properly; you could experience a draw problem or draw a holstered weapon in your time of need. We're not saying that these types of holsters don't work, we just want you to be aware of that possibility.

Concealability - An absolute must for CCW. Please realize that the level of concealability for pocket holsters will depend greatly on the size of the weapon carried. Pocket holsters are specifically designed for and work best with small handguns. Please be realistic with your concealment expectations. It's going to be almost impossible to conceal a Glock 19 in a front pocket holster (Although we've seen people try). Choose the right size weapon, and pocket carry becomes much simpler. Some popular weapons that we've seen conceal well in a pocket holster include:

* Kel-Tec P-32
* S&W J Frames
* Small Kahr models
* Beretta Tomcat
* Colt Pony
* NAA Guardian .380/.32
* AMT Back-up

By following these simple guidelines, you'll most likely be much more successful when choosing and carrying a pocket holster.