It is easy to get hung up on firearm-hardware questions when it comes to legally carrying a firearm for self-defense. Do I want a semi-automatic pistol or a snub-nose revolver? Do I pick a teensy .380 or a chopped .45? It can all be so overwhelming that when you finally select your firearm and matching ammunition, it is easy to be lulled into thinking you are done—but that is not the case. You still need to select a way to carry that firearm. You need to choose a holster.
This should be simple enough, right? Not exactly. In fact, there a multitude of ways that you can carry a gun, ways that are as varied as the types of guns from which you can choose. From donning a shoulder holster to all the way down to strapping the gun to your ankle, you have a lot of choices. But when it comes to pocket-sized guns, it kind of makes sense to figure out a way to carry them in your pocket, does it not?
Sure, there are downsides to carrying a gun in your pocket: It is practically impossible to access it while sitting, drawing from here can be awkward and somewhat slow, etc. But the advantages are equally as compelling: You can quickly and easily drop the gun and holster into your pocket, you can have your hand on your gun while in a completely non-threatening pose, etc.
So, if you have decided that pocket carry is right for you, what type should you get? Ah, you thought they were all the same, right? Surprise, surprise, it is not that simple. If you would like to get a good idea of what options are out there on the market today, here is a sampling of some of the top choices available.
Blackhawk Inside-the-Pocket Holster
If you are looking for something simple, basic, adaptable and affordable, then this might be just the right thing for you: Blackhawk’s Inside-the-Pocket Holster. Priced at $13.45, this synthetic holster is fully ambidextrous and available for practically all small semi-autos and revolvers. It features a soft laminate suede-like outer material and has a non-slip band around its body to keep the holster in your pocket as you draw. For more information, visit blackhawk.com.
Blade-Tech Roughout Pocket Bug
Designed almost exclusively for tiny .380 ACP pistols (but also for the 9 mm Kimber Solo), the Roughout Pocket Bug from Blade-Tech combines modern design with traditional materials. Made from leather (with a layer of thermal plastic on the front side to help hide the shape of the concealed pistol), the Roughout Pocket Bug is priced at $39.99 and available in right- and left-hand versions. For more information, visit shop.blade-tech.com.
Crossbreed Pocket Rocket
Designed almost exclusively for small .380 ACP semi-autos, the Pocket Rocket from Crossbreed Holsters is ready for minimalist carry. Available in right- and left-hand versions, the holster’s leather backer (which faces out) hides the shape of the gun in your pocket. The result is a wallet-shaped print that will not attract any undue attention. Priced at $32.95, the holster comes with a “Two-Week Try It Free Guarantee.” For more information, visit crossbreedholsters.com.
Priced at $19.99, the Grip from Crossfire Gear is unique in that it can function as both a pocket holster or also as an inside-the-waistband (IWB) system (in its Grip Clip configuration with steel belt clip, for $23.95). Featuring a rubber grip fabric for enhanced “stickiness” in a pocket, the holster is made from 1680 denier ballistic nylon and is ambidextrous. For more information, visit crossfiregear.com.
Sporting one of the more eye-catching monikers in the pocket-holster realm, the DeSantis Nemesis packs a lot of engineering into a small package. Priced at $25.99, the Nemesis features an aggressive exterior that is designed to grab the inside of your pocket and remain there when you draw. A smooth inner lining ensures your compact revolver or semi-automatic draws easily and quickly when you need it. For more information, visit desantisholster.com.
Galco Front Pocket Holster
Available for a wide range of compact revolvers and semi-autos and priced at $64.95, the Front Pocket Holster from Galco Gunleather is a great option for your preferred pocket gun. The Front Pocket Holster is constructed of rough-out texture horsehide, features a “double hook” shape designed to catch the pocket and remain in the pocket during a draw, and is ambidextrous. For more information, visit galcogunleather.com.
Gould & Goodrich Wallet Holster
Designed for small revolvers and semi-autos, the 702 Wallet Holster from Gould & Goodrich is designed to make your self-defense firearm appear to be a wallet in a pocket. Constructed from rugged nylon and featuring an elastic retention band, the Wallet Holster (at $19) is a solid and affordable option for deep-cover carry of your defensive firearm. It is available in right- and left-hand versions. For more information, visit gouldusa.com.
Jason Winnie PCM
Designed for compact semi-autos and available in right- and left-hand models, the Pocket Carry Minimal (PCM) from Jason Winnie Leathergoods is ideal for those looking for a pocket holster for smaller-sized pockets. Featuring a suede outer lining, the PCM takes low-profile carry to the next level with its compact and light design. It is priced at $34.99 and available in black or dark brown. For more information, visit jasonwinnie.com.
Milt Sparks Manta Ray
Currently available for the Smith & Wesson J-Frame, Ruger LCR and Colt Detective Special, the Manta Ray from Milt Sparks Holsters, Inc. is a truly innovative design. Priced at $115, the pocket holster is made from cowhide and features interchangeable rear-wing inserts that allow you to customize the holster to fit your pocket. It comes in right- and left-hand variants as it is designed for carry in a specific pocket. Also of note is that the mouth is designed to remain slightly open for easier reholstering. For more information, visit miltsparks.com.
Mitch Rosen El Raton
Available for compact revolvers and semi-autos in both right- and left-hand versions, the El Raton from Mitch Rosen is a finely crafted piece of gear. Priced at $50 and featuring natural “rough out” leather construction, the holster is designed to position your firearm for a proper draw and keep it that way until you need it. Ideal for pocket-carry enthusiasts who like traditional materials. For more information, visit mitchrosen.com.
Safariland Model 25
The Model 25 Inside-the-Pocket Holster from Safariland is designed to offer not only low-profile carry and easy draws, but also facilitate simplified reholstering. This is accomplished through the use of a reinforced inner lining that helps keep the holster’s mouth open when it is empty. Available in right- and left-hand models for a range of revolvers and semi-autos, the black suede holster is priced at $32. For more information, visit safariland.com.
TUFF Products Pocket Roo
Many who carry a pocket gun are faced with the issue of where and how to carry spare ammunition. TUFF Products’ Pocket Roo offers a novel solution—pack in the spare ammo with your gun. Available for a range of small revolvers and semi-autos, the Pocket Roo has an integral pocket for a spare magazine or QuickStrip of ammunition. The synthetic holster comes in black and is priced at $21. For more information, visit tuffproducts.com/5077-pocket-roo-holster/.
Uncle Mike’s Inside-the-Pocket Holster
Offering big capability for a small price, the Inside-the-Pocket Holster from Uncle Mike’s is priced around $10 and designed for a range of semi-autos and revolvers. Ambidextrous, the holster is made from a synthetic laminate and sports a non-slip band to help retain the holster in the pocket as you draw your firearm. For more information, visit unclemikes.com.
Versacarry Water Buffalo Pocket Holster
Designed for small .25 to .380 ACP semi-automatic pistols, the handmade Pocket Holster from Versacarry is now being offered in water buffalo leather and is priced at $19.99. The company states that the break-in period is reduced by 80 percent over a traditional leather unit, and the color changes when pressure is applied. The ambidextrous holster is available in distressed brown, black or antique brown colors and for pistols both with and without lasers equipped. For more information, visit versacarry.com.
Wright Insider Pocket Holster
The Insider Pocket Holster from Wright Leather Works is a high-quality leather pocket holster priced at $68. Available in a wide range of colors (black, coffee, mahogany, saddle tan or walnut) and in right- and left-hand versions, the Insider is designed for compact revolvers and semi-autos. It has a low-profile design with a rough-out section to help the holster remain in the pocket as the handgun is drawn. For more information, visit wrightleatherworks.com.
Thinking Outside the Pocket: The EAA ABDO
The whole point with pocket carry is making your carry gun be unobtrusive and hidden. But what if you were to take another tack and hide it in plain sight? That is exactly what EAA Corp has done with the new ABDO concealed-carry portable safe. Looking like a sturdy cell phone case, the ABDO clips to your belt and gives you instantaneous access to your small .32 or .380 ACP pistol. With a height of 6.25”, a width of 4.25” and a depth (with belt clip) of 1.5”, the ABDO features a quick-latch system that allows the lid to open downward with just the swipe of a thumb. When done, your pistol is positioned and ready to be drawn and used if necessary. Does the option of having your guardian right at your side for everyone to see but no one to recognize appeal to you? Then the ABDO is just right for you. For more information, visit eaacorp.com.