The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 15, 2013, 02:26 AM   #1
bearclaw46
Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2011
Posts: 15
Shooting from inside a coat pocket

I've seen the old James Cagney movies where he's packing a 38 or 45 in his coat pocket and takes out multiple advesaries, never removing the gun from the coat or vest. Has anyone ever shot a gun in a coat pocket and wouldn't this be the ultimate carry conceal way to surprise a perp with a bullet instead of your wallet, esp if it were a close belly shot?? Would the coat cause a blockage or act as a plug causing a dangerous situation at the front of the barrel?? I've never heard anyone discuss something like this or any training exercises on this method of self defense.
bearclaw46 is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 05:21 AM   #2
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,950
I have done it.

With semi-autos: you get one shot. Never a second one. The slide can't move inside the pocket, and if it does, the fabric will jam it up and stop it from going back into battery.

With revolvers: you can fire multiple shots. Your hand will feel warm, but you won't get burned unless you hold the gun stupidly. If you have practiced shooting from retention position, you may be able to hit a target at very close range from inside the pocket. You probably won't be able to do it well or in a repeatable way, and you probably won't destroy enough jackets to get really good at it. It's fundamentally different from firing outside the pocket in the same basic shooting position, because you don't have the benefit of seeing the gun out of the corner of your eye, and because the shape/feel of the jacket pocket changes your body dynamics a little.

The biggest drawback is that if you are carrying in a decent pocket holster -- which you really should! -- you'll have to pull the gun out of the holster before you can fire.

I would do it if I were rassling with an attacker so could go for a contact or near contact shot. Not otherwise.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 05:32 AM   #3
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
In colder months, I carry a J-frame in the weak-hand outside pocket of my coat. It functions both as BUG and as the immediately available firearm, if my coat is closed. If I had to shoot it from the pocket, I would, but in addition to suffering loss of accuracy, there are at least two other factors that would concern me.

First, in a physical confrontation, I'd rather have both hands and arms free. A hand in a pocket effectively ties up my hand and my arm, and depending on the scenario, fending or striking might be more important than shooting.

Second, try moving around rapidly, turning, and changing levels with one hand in a pocket. It has a major impact on balance. Depending on the scenario, moving freely may be more important at any given instant than shooting.

So, is shooting from the pocket worth practicing? Sure, if you can afford the training jackets... OTOH, actually shooting from the pocket in a defensive scenario would be a last-ditch method, IMO.
MLeake is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 10:01 AM   #4
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,456
In Anchorage it would get a bit nippy every now and then. We were issued parkas.

The parka was designed with a side zipper that was suppose to allow you to keep your service revolver exposed. Sounded nice in theory but at the range I quickly found out the revolver always got hung up on the coat.

Parkas have rather large pockets so I just stuck a snubby in my pocket. Walked around with my hand in my pocket and on my revolver any time I figured I may need it.

Never fired in from the pocket, I figured practicing would cause me to have to buy a new parka and those puppy's were expensive. I figured it would beat getting a revolver hung up in a zipper if you needed it.

The thing is, like any other pocket carry, you can be ready and no one knows.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 10:08 AM   #5
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,183
Make sure your jacket isn't made from the more flammable fabrics.
Some of them burn real good.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 02:00 PM   #6
Old Grump
Member in memoriam
 
Join Date: April 9, 2009
Location: Blue River Wisconsin, in
Posts: 3,144
Quote:
Make sure your jacket isn't made from the more flammable fabrics.
Some of them burn real good.
You are a few decades late with that advice. Doing defensive drill exercises and one of my young deputies asked that very same question about shooting from a pocket. It was brisk and windy but not really cold and I was wearing a windbreaker. Only gun I had with me that fit inside the windbreaker pocket was an old H&R 922 revolver so move up to 7 yards, hand in pocket, point shoot and got one shot off. Partly because the hammer caught on the torn lining of the pocket, partly because the pocket was on fire. Got gun untangled and pulled out with just a little superficial first degree burn on the knuckles and fingers. Coat was totaled. Had a big black spot where the pocket used to be when I finally got the fire out. Practice if you must but use old clothing and a pocket with no lining in it. My suggestion is a hammerless revolver on the order of S&W 638 or Ruger LCR
__________________
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern will, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
--Daniel Webster--
Old Grump is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 01:55 PM   #7
bearclaw46
Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2011
Posts: 15
Thanks, REALLY good info here. I wasn't even thinking about the slide in a pocket
and only getting 1 shot off, much less a fire in a pocket and burn marks on my hand. Thanks for that info. I carry a Taurus 709 Slim in 9mm in my pocket and probably would never attempt it now. Not that I really would want to but if it was all I had, I guess I'd take one shot that way. But it's great to know I wasn't the only one that was thinking if it worked for Cagney it must work...but w/real bullets and others that have really done it for real....not recommended I guess.
bearclaw46 is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 06:14 PM   #8
ltc444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
Ditto on the automatic. slide will hang up and jam.

I remember one of the ICONs discussing pocket shooting with a revolver. He indicated that the hammer would often hang up on the material of the garment. If memory serves the J-Frame S&W with the hammer shroud were developed to combat that flaw.
ltc444 is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 06:18 PM   #9
colbad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2012
Posts: 315
Love my 642 for this exact reason. DC is cold and a trench coat over a suit makes access to a full frame impossible. The hammer-less 642 is perfect for this. If you leave your bottom buttons open slightly you can shoot through the inside lining without destroying the outside of the coat. With your hand in your pocket you can even engage someone who has the drop on you...especially someone stupid enough to bring a 1911 to gun fight and not cock the hammer.....trust me on this. Can't however use a pocket holster. I now can shoot through my pocket without making a hole.....due to ones now there from last time. It does catch the felt cloth on fire a bit.

Last edited by colbad; February 28, 2013 at 06:31 PM.
colbad is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 06:39 PM   #10
North East Redneck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Berkshire Hills
Posts: 505
Very interesting subject. I have a 442, it has no external hammer, my biggest fear of firing from in the pocket is fire. From what I'm reading here, the fire really isn't that bad. And ruining a coat to save life and limb is no problem. Practice clothing would be worth the sacrifice if I ever needed to use this technique. Thanks for the great info.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Goal Member
SAF Member
North East Redneck is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 07:34 PM   #11
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
ltc44, according to an article I read recently, Colt beat S&W to the punch, with a bolt-on hammer shroud for its D-frame revolvers. S&W followed suit with the original Bodyguard model J-frame, which looked more graceful as the shroud was integral to the frame.

The Centennial was based on stretching the I-frame Safety Hammerless to take the .38 Special, as opposed to the I-frame's .38 S&W. Eventually, the Centennial and its descendants evolved to lose the grip safety from the original design, too.

One reason I like the 442 is that it has virtually nothing that can snag.
MLeake is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 07:35 PM   #12
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
North East Redneck, my greatest fear would be horrible accuracy. Obviously, practice would require a large backstop area, until point-firing from the pocket became more natural.
MLeake is offline  
Old February 28, 2013, 08:52 PM   #13
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,516
Most raincoats and many overcoats have cut through pockets so the wearer can reach his inner pocket without exposing his hands to the cold. But that setup also allows the hand to hold the gun free of the pocket and fire by either flipping the coat out of the way or by firing through the coat. Of course, it means holding the gun in the hand, not in a holster, so it would be used only in periods where danger is foreseen, yet concealment is necessary.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old March 1, 2013, 07:36 PM   #14
ModernGunner
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2013
Posts: 5
I think everyone would agree it's, basically, a 'last ditch' operation. And I think this is one area where a shrouded or hammerless revolver has a distinct advantage over a semi-auto.

There's also a great selection of FRC's (Fire Resistant Clothing) available today, so if budget allows you might want to pick up a jacket or two.

I've never really seen any FRC trench coats, but they MAY be other there. Usually, they're more of the bomber or baseball jacket type design. And they're only marginally more expensive than the equivalent non-FRC type.

Hey, and listen. If anyone feels they would need a specific item for such carry, like a FRC trench coat, feel free to PM me. Know some folks in the business, and maybe you could get it custom made AND at a reasonable price. I'd sure be willing to look in to the matter, if it would benefit someone.
ModernGunner is offline  
Old March 2, 2013, 01:29 PM   #15
sfmedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2012
Location: Currently Erbil, Iraq
Posts: 106
One doesn't fire from the pocket while wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit. Maybe if im wearing a Boss or Giorgio Armani Ill consider it.

just remember to be aware of where your non firing hand is when you do that
sfmedic is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 08:08 PM   #16
robmkivseries70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2005
Location: free territory
Posts: 180
Quoting JamesK,
"Most raincoats and many overcoats have cut through pockets so the wearer can reach his inner pocket without exposing his hands to the cold. But that setup also allows the hand to hold the gun free of the pocket and fire by either flipping the coat out of the way or by firing through the coat. Of course, it means holding the gun in the hand, not in a holster, so it would be used only in periods where danger is foreseen, yet concealment is necessary.

Jim "
End quote

This is a very real tactical surprise when the BG is looking for the victim to try and withdraw the hand from the pocket.
Best,
Rob
robmkivseries70 is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 08:49 PM   #17
North East Redneck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Berkshire Hills
Posts: 505
MLeake, I was thinking along the lines of the BG being almost within arms reach. A situation where a would be attacker confronted me at several feet away and began to advance suddenly, giving me no time to draw my weapon.
I could practice this method at the club I belong to on our outdoor pistol range. Say 4-6 feet from the target. And there is a huge berm behind the targets.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Goal Member
SAF Member
North East Redneck is offline  
Old March 4, 2013, 10:18 PM   #18
ltc444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
Mleake thank you for the lesson on the colt. I was not familiar with that model. I have all ways preferred the small Colts over the Smiths.

There is one benefit of catching your coat on fire. When you are dancing around and on fire you make a harder target.

If the BG has a sense of humor they will be laughing to hard at the crazy who is on fire to continue the engagement.

Last edited by ltc444; March 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM. Reason: add and amend
ltc444 is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 12:53 PM   #19
sigxder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 300
Careful though. Muzzle blast from a revolver can set some coats on fire. Don't show that in the movies.
sigxder is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 01:10 PM   #20
shouldazagged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 273
I carry a Smith 640 .38 Special. That's one of the many reasons.

Sacrificing a jacket, and maybe slightly scorching my hand, to save my ancient derriere seems a reasonable trade to me.

But practice shooting from a pocket? I can't afford that many clothes.
__________________
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."
---Ed Lovette
shouldazagged is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 01:14 PM   #21
RedBowTies88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2011
Location: 609 NJ
Posts: 705
I tried it in an old zip up jacket pocket with my p64, to my suprise it didn't jam...but I only fired 3 shots. I suspect thats becuase this gun has so positive extraction and such a strong recoil spring to force the slide back into battery.

I also tried it while still in the pocket holster in the pocket. That jammed it right away.
__________________
"...with liberty and justice for all." (Must be 21. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. Not available in all states.)
RedBowTies88 is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 03:32 PM   #22
I'vebeenduped
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Location: AZ
Posts: 200
I would imagine that it would be very difficult to rob or molest someone that is aflame! Either way, bad guy... zero!
__________________
The natural state of man, the way G‑d created us, is to be happy.
Look at children and you will see
I'vebeenduped is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #23
KnotRight
Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2013
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 88
Agree with the 640 and 642 S&W. Besides being able to shoot through your pocket being hammerless, you also can get it out of your pocket without hanging up on any thing. Also good for a female carring a pocketbook.
KnotRight is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12019 seconds with 9 queries