Pocket Pistol Preparedness


I’m not as prepared for emergencies as I should be, and there was a time I wanted to be ready for anything. Not just defense against lethal attacks, but situations such as a heart attack, anaphylactic shock, high-rise office fires, legal and medical questions, people needing directions, kids with skinned knees — everything. It just got to be too much trouble. I’d be going to the mall to browse the magazine racks and I’d have to kit up with three guns, four flashlights, five knives, defibrillator, epi pen, rope, carabiners, medicinal brandy, Black’s Legal Directory, Physician’s Desk Reference, city and state maps, matches, bandages, fighting boots — I was always forgetting something. Now I just stay home and read magazines online. If I must leave the fortress, I mean condo, to walk 50 yards to the mailbox I live dangerously by wearing just one knife and one gun, usually an S&W J-frame.

How do I carry the revolver? Most often in a pants pocket, but I do use a holster. Otherwise I end up with lint in the gun barrel and holes in the pocket. A good pocket holster makes carry more comfortable, protects gun and clothes, flattens the gun’s profile to make it virtually undetectable, keeps it in position, and remains behind when the gun is drawn. At the moment I have two (for those two-gun days).

The Galco Miami Classic.

Handy Pals

One holster, by Bianchi, is made of some tough synthetic with a pebble-grain surface to keep it in place. It works like a charm and is well made, durable, and moderately priced. The Mitch Rosen Pocket Softy, on the other hand, is a work of art. It’s beautifully made of leather, with a suede outer surface to help keep it in place and a tab on top to catch the pocket as the gun is being drawn. Quality of work and materials is unsurpassed. It makes you want to take the holster out and show people, “Hey, you want to see the most beautiful pocket holster ever made?” Kind of defeats the purpose.

Another Mitch Rosen masterpiece, which conceals well under just a shirt, is the Workma holster. The shirt tucks between the holster and the snap which secures it to the belt. To access the gun just yank up the shirt with one hand and draw with the other. I especially like it in warm weather and for carrying steel-frame snubbies. I like Airweights for pocket carry, though.

I often carry a J-frame while big game hunting, the reason being it’s something I like to do. I have a Safariland paddle holster which is well made, secure and very comfortable. Another favorite is a SERPA belt holster by BLACKHAWK! I particularly like the integral trigger-guard lock of the SERPA. I don’t have to worry about backtracking across the prairie to find a lost gun.

The Serpa belt holster by Blackhawk!

Bianchi Pocket Change. Pocket Softy from Mitch Rosen.

Shoulder Silliness

I’m ambivalent about shoulder holsters. There is a flavor of movie/TV imitation about them, a James Bond, Sonny Crockett, unserious, game-playing, macho man posturing. All good things, of course, but there are disadvantages as well. They can be hot and constricting, and with snubbies it seems odd to have a holster heavier than the gun it carries.

They make sense in some circumstances. Wearing evening dress, for example (which I never do) or while wearing a parka (which, in North Dakota, I do half the year). I have several by Bianchi, Galco and Safariland; all very well made products.

I even have a couple of two-gun shoulder holsters. Why carry two revolvers holding a total of ten or twelve rounds when a single Glock 19 weighs less and holds 16 rounds? Well, if I go into a convenience store to buy coffee and my wife wants a gun to hold while waiting in a dark parking lot, I can give her one. She hasn’t asked so far — but I’m ready if she does.

I have little experience with ankle holsters, for no considered reasons. The gun seems so far away, except when sitting in a car, when it is pretty handy. Among the FMG crew I notice Roy, Sammy and Mas speak highly of ankle holsters. Since those three have a combined total of about a century of law enforcement and gun-toting experience, their opinions carry a lot of weight with me. Someday I’ll give them a fair try.

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