Who Pocket Packs?

Over the years, this correspondent has carried a variety of small pistols or revolvers in a jacket or down vest cargo pocket. Provided the handgun is light enough in weight to not drag the garment or pocket down and print in the process, I’ve found pocket carry to be a completely adequate means of carry.

Pocket carry should only be done in a cargo pocket, which loads from the top rather than from the rear. A gun butt can embarrassingly pop out of a rear-load pocket at precisely the wrong moment.

I wouldn’t go larger than a J-frame Smith & Wesson or Colt Detective Special, or the similar-sized Taurus or Rossi. One might get away with a Colt Diamondback wearing a 2.5” barrel, but it better have the smaller grip panels. The semi-auto field could easily include the Ruger LCP or LC9, Walther PPK, Kimber Micro 9 or any pistol roughly the same size, but not bigger.

Small pistols can be surprisingly accurate. Years ago, I sat with a pal and shot at a tree stump on the far side of an open canyon — a range of about 150 yards — and we put round after round into that stump with an old .32 ACP Beretta. I carried that pistol frequently in the winter in my parka with a spare magazine in the opposite pocket.