The Firing Line Forums

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

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old December 17, 2009, 12:00 PM   #1
smince
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 2,580
Pocket Carry As Primary Method Question

For a few years, I carried my spare magazine in my left front pocket. It was wasy to access with my off-hand.

However, a couple of years ago, I took an advanced defensive handgun class. We did a lot of weak hand and one hand shooting, drawing and reloading. I found that my spare mag is almost impossible to reach with my strong hand in a single-hand drill. I promptly moved my spare mag to a carrier in the AIWB position next to my pistol, so either hand can access either piece of equipment.

I know pocket carry is very popular with many, and for a BUG I think it is a good option. My question is for those who use pocket carry as their primary method of carry. Regarding some of my experiences trying to retrieve my spare mag and applying them to your handgun:

1. Are you able to access your weapon with your off-hand if you needed to?

2. How do you do it?

3. Have you even thought about it?

4. Do you even care?

Last edited by smince; December 17, 2009 at 03:32 PM.
smince is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 12:20 PM   #2
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,775
My thought is that unless you are a law-enforcement officer, your chances of getting into a prolonged engagement are too extremely remote to worry about it. By the time my strong arm was "disabled", the fight would be over (one way or another).
Doyle is online now  
Old December 17, 2009, 12:25 PM   #3
ClayInTx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,066
I pocket carry and never consider drawing with my weak hand. I would have to be a contortionist if I could so it’s a non-issue.

Because my carry is an LCR the spare mag is also a non-issue.

As for do I care? Well, it would be nice to be able to do so. Oh well....

I can see access to a spare mag being important for carrying a semi.
ClayInTx is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 12:54 PM   #4
CorpITGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2009
Posts: 113
I don't mean this in a smart-eleck way... but unless you're in a war zone, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You know you're making that sacrifice when you must pocket carry. KWIM?

If you are in a war zone or a very dangerous urban area here, I would simply always dress around it and never pocket carry.

Just my 1 cent (it was 2 cents, but Obama took half of it for health care).
CorpITGuy is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 01:29 PM   #5
win-lose
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 451
For me, the disadvantage of not being able to easily grab my gun with my weak hand is far outweighed by the advantage of being able to easily and covertly grab my gun with my strong hand.
win-lose is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 01:37 PM   #6
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
My thought is that unless you are a law-enforcement officer, your chances of getting into a prolonged engagement are too extremely remote to worry about it. By the time my strong arm was "disabled", the fight would be over (one way or another).
As a mom, I could never be that cavalier about the need to access the gun with either hand. What if I were holding a small child when the action started? What if I needed to use my right hand to shove an older child down and to safety while drawing with my left? What if I needed to keep one hand on an older child so I knew where he was as I responded?

Even absent that ...

What if I needed to shove a door shut with one hand while drawing with the other?

What if the engagement began with something that injured or crippled my right hand, such as a strike or a blow or heaven forbid a gunshot?

What if the engagement began with the assailant grabbing my right arm and directing me to get into his vehicle, or move with him into an alleyway?

Nope. Just too many possibilities there, even for this non-police-officer. I'd rather have my firearm accessible with either hand.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 02:27 PM   #7
comn-cents
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2008
Location: Pac.N.W.
Posts: 1,804
Great question and IMO very important. I love that unless you are a LEO or in a war or whatever was said is a bit irresponsible. What does being in a prolonged gun-fight have to do with it?

Sorry just a little rant. I do carry in my pocket and often it is my primary carry. It's in my left rear pocket and I do practice reaching it with my strong hand. I also practice drawing it with my weak hand since it is on that side. There is a reason I keep it in my left rear pocket. I often carry a bigger gun on my strong side and I want to be able "if I'm disabled or my primary is" to still fight back. When it is my primary gun I have pepper spray and a knife in my front right pocket. If I have to go into a place I don't feel comfortable going, I have my pepper spray in my right hand. If a situation escalates I can use my left to draw.

Again Great Question...
__________________
Be Smarter Than A Bore-Snake!
comn-cents is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 03:26 PM   #8
smince
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 2,580
Thanks for the great comments, pax. Glad there are a few thinkers here.
smince is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 04:04 PM   #9
win-lose
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 451
You folks make it sound like a strong side pocket is located in another state from your weak hand.... sheeeesshh...

I'm a Dad responsible for 3 young kids.... I'll take time into action and cover of action in probable scenarios over equal hand accessibility in possible scenarios.

Lastly, what carry methods are really being recommended here?
win-lose is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 04:44 PM   #10
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,933
Moderator Hat On

Please do not use either the words, or the concept, "paranoid" or "sheeple" in this thread. We can do better, and we will.

Thanks.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 04:52 PM   #11
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,933
Win-Lose,

Not sure how much FOF or role-play you've done, but it's been my experience that a firearm in the opposite-side front pocket might as well be in a neighboring state if you need to access it in a hurry.

YMMV of course. But if you haven't done a little hands on role-play before, I'd suggest that as a starting point.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 05:03 PM   #12
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
I carry my BUG in my left front pocket. (Shoot lefty) I can draw it and fire it with my right hand if necessary, and practice doing so. I can also draw my .45 from 9 o'clock with my right hand. I have a method to do so that involves a reach across without turning my hand or torquing my elbow. I lift with my thumb and pointer finger and spin the gun with the other 3 then take a firing grip. I can do it in a second or less from concealment. as far as taking my gun from my pants pocket I do turn my hand for that. It is a bit slower than standard draw, but I can do it quickly. I have done this in FOF with some friends that LEOs. They usualy ask me if soak in Crisco, due to the fact that I can seem to wiggle out with the gun every time.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.

Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; December 17, 2009 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typo
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 05:03 PM   #13
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,443
I'm right handed, I carry my revolver (642) in my left pocket. I draw it with my left hand.

I learned to shoot left handed uncase the split second it takes to bring it to my right hand isnt fast enough.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 05:18 PM   #14
markj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Crescent Iowa
Posts: 2,967
Quote:
What if I were holding a small child when the action started?
I would turn my back to the "action" and shield my child with my body while moving away from the "action". To do anything else could bring harm to my child.

Here is my take, a person CCWs, fine. When will he need this? Well usually the BG has already approached you with a weapon in hand. Does it matter if you can reach the weapon with either hand?

Easy solution for pocket carry, put one in each front pocket, double the ammo and double the weapon if one fails.

I used my IWB and the high up holster for my 1911 and I could not reach it with the weak hand. When it is in the middle of my back I could but it wasnt as fluid as using the strong hand due to the position of the weapon in the holster.

I will concentrate on strong hand with a little weak hand draw but I doubt I will ever need it. BGs here just get close to ya and open fire. A guy was robbed, beaten and thrown in the missouri river last night. He had no chance.
markj is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 05:26 PM   #15
win-lose
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 451
Quote:
Win-Lose,

Not sure how much FOF or role-play you've done, but it's been my experience that a firearm in the opposite-side front pocket might as well be in a neighboring state if you need to access it in a hurry.

YMMV of course. But if you haven't done a little hands on role-play before, I'd suggest that as a starting point.

pax
Pax,
I haven't done a lot of role playing... but I have spent a good bit of time in Harlem, the South Bronx, East New York, etc.... I have been jumped, I have been mugged and know many others who have as well. Most of the LIKELY situations us civilians will encounter will unfold in front of us, assuming we are aware of what is going on around us. The tactical advantage of covertly having your hand on your gun, ready to draw, really can't be stressed enough. To my mind, it is far more important then "equal accessibility". Of course, your experiences my differ and may lead to a very different evaluation of carry methods.

For what it's worth... for a little while, I kinda lost my way and got caught up in calibers and capacity, putting aside the realities I knew all too well.

Last edited by win-lose; December 17, 2009 at 05:39 PM.
win-lose is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 07:08 PM   #16
KenpoTex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2009
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 215
Further considerations: Pax mentioned the possibility of having to access your weapon while being grabbed, etc. Let's take that a little further and assume that you're in a "difficult" position.
Can you draw your weapon if you find yourself seated (in a car or at a table, etc.)?
Can you draw your weapon if you're on the ground (maybe you slipped while trying to evade an attacker's advance, maybe they crashed into you)?
Can you access your weapon while in the midst of a struggle?
While moving?

With pocket carry, I don't see one having much success in the above scenarios. Considering that most fights occur at close range and there is a good chance of physical contact with the attacker, the ability to access a weapon under these circumstances is an important consideration. Some well-executed "force-on-force" training goes a long way when it comes to figuring out what you're really going to be able to do "at speed" against a non-cooperative opponent.
__________________
"Either you are the weapon and your gun is a tool, or your gun is the weapon and you are a tool."

Matt K.
KenpoTex is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 08:38 PM   #17
win-lose
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 451
Quote:
Some well-executed "force-on-force" training goes a long way when it comes to figuring out what you're really going to be able to do "at speed" against a non-cooperative opponent.
I've taken a bunch of courses on concealed carry and close quarter handgun techniques at a major national training facility... With that said, now here's my question:

Why do the instructors pretty much all universally choose to pocket carry small 5 shot revolvers as their personal carry choice?

Again I ask... what is the carry option that is being recommended?
win-lose is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 08:56 PM   #18
Legionnaire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2000
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,470
I often carry an LCP in a front pocket, although my preference is to carry a larger gun IWB. Sometimes, circumstances dictate that the LCP is a big as I can go. I've considered the issue, so in those situations, I also carry a one-hand-opening folding knife in my offside front pocket; suboptimal, but best I can do in those circumstances. I've done some training with the folding knife, and while it isn't a firearm, it's better than nothing.
__________________
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
Legionnaire is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 08:57 PM   #19
smince
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 2,580
Quote:
Again I ask... what is the carry option that is being recommended?
If you are referring to myself, I'm not recommending a particular carry type.
Quote:
Why do the instructors pretty much all universally choose to pocket carry small 5 shot revolvers as their personal carry choice?
Deluding themselves, perhaps? Laziness?

Do you stick a small pistol in your pocket and call it good because the 'big name instructors' do it?

It's easier to stick a J-frame or Keltec in the pocket than to gear up, and create the illusion that you are somehow prepared if anything happens. And, playing the odds, probably nothing will happen to them on their trip out. But odds are made up of incidents at both ends of the scale.

Pocket carry gets referenced quite a bit and seems very popular on this site. Just trying to get people to think a little instead of following the pack.
smince is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 09:36 PM   #20
win-lose
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 451
Quote:
Do you stick a small pistol in your pocket and call it good because the 'big name instructors' do it?
I only do what makes sense to me.... I was merely pointing out that others who are empirically more qualified than I am commonly choose this method of carry.

Quote:
Pocket carry gets referenced quite a bit and seems very popular on this site. Just trying to get people to think a little instead of following the pack.
So, doing different than you do is not thinking or being a follower? Really now????

Quote:
It's easier to stick a J-frame or Keltec in the pocket than to gear up, and create the illusion that you are somehow prepared if anything happens.
You don't know what gear I carry.
win-lose is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 09:55 PM   #21
ATW525
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2005
Location: Concord, NH
Posts: 2,683
Quote:
The tactical advantage of covertly having your hand on your gun, ready to draw, really can't be stressed enough.
I used to believe the same thing until I bought a shot timer. I've since discovered that unless your setup allows you to shoot from inside the pocket, any advantage appears to be negligible at best. I've also discovered that if you don't have your hand in your pocket when you get the "Go" signal, pocket carry can be obscenely slow compared to IWB.

I still pocket carry around the house for convenience sake, but if I go out somewhere my primary is always carried strongside IWB.
ATW525 is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 10:09 PM   #22
ClayInTx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,066
...and the topic is...

The OP asked a question of those who pocket carry but it seems some others have to chime in about why pocket carry is wrong.

Others describe how they carry and that method in no way is germane to the question in the OP.

What does a law enforcement officer’s method have to do with pocket carry unless he also pocket carries?

If you do not pocket carry, how does the question apply to you?

Where did the OP ask for recommendations?

Where in the OP was there an instruction to jump those who pocket carry with admonitions to get training?

And, to the OP, smince, I don’t see in your OP a statement that, “After you tell me you pocket carry, I’m going to then chastise you for so doing.”

Here are the questions repeated:
1. Are you able to access your weapon with your off-hand if you needed to?
2. How do you do it?
3. Have you even thought about it?
4. Do you even care?

Regardless of the validity of the off-topic comments, there is more to staying on topic than just “it has to be gun related”.
ClayInTx is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 11:15 PM   #23
Mtn Biker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2009
Posts: 122
Quote:
1. Are you able to access your weapon with your off-hand if you needed to?
I can get to it but not very speedy. (I also can't get my G19 out of my Super Tucker IWB holster with my shirt tucked in any quicker with my off hand)
Quote:
2. How do you do it?
Reach around and fish it out.
Quote:
3. Have you even thought about it?
Absolutely. It is one of the things I considered when switching to pocket carry.
Quote:
4. Do you even care?
Of course I care but there are downsides and upsides to everything.

I have run the full gamut when it comes to conceal carry. With the uniform I have to wear at work pocket carry is the only option I have. Since using pocket carry in my work uniform I have switched to pocket carry when wearing my street clothes also.
So what is my upside pocket carrying a 5 shot snubbie?
I carry 100% of the time. I have 5 rounds of 38spl +P that you don't know I have.
Yes I know a person could dress to carry IWB exclusively but for me it did not always work. Between suits, shorts, uniforms, etc I found myself leaving the gun in the car more than I liked.
I do realize that 5 rounds may not be enough. If I have to get in a gun fight of course I would rather have 13 rounds of 45 and a spare magazine or two accessible to both hands but I feel OK having what I have.
I look at it this way....two years ago I carried nothing. Now I carry everyday. Yes I may be killed with my gun still in my pocket but at least it wont be on my dresser at home.
If you feel better with more then I'm OK with that.
Mtn Biker is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 11:21 PM   #24
ATW525
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2005
Location: Concord, NH
Posts: 2,683
Quote:
1. Are you able to access your weapon with your off-hand if you needed to?
Yes.

Quote:
2. How do you do it?
Top loading pockets (jeans). I just reach across and pull it out.

Quote:
3. Have you even thought about it?
Yes.

Quote:
4. Do you even care?
Absolutely.
ATW525 is offline  
Old December 17, 2009, 11:34 PM   #25
KenpoTex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2009
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by win-lose
I've taken a bunch of courses on concealed carry and close quarter handgun techniques at a major national training facility... With that said, now here's my question:

Why do the instructors pretty much all universally choose to pocket carry small 5 shot revolvers as their personal carry choice?
First, for the sake of clarity, can you give some examples of what you're talking about when you say "close quarter handgun techniques?" Are we talking about shooting from a retention position, shooting from an indexed position (think point-shooting), etc.
I think in these discussion, it is helpful to be clear on how one defines the terms they use. Things like CQB, CQC, ECQC, etc. can mean different things to different people depending on the types of techniques and material being covered.

The reason for my question above leads me to my next point regarding why certain instructors/people pocket-carry as a primary method when the need for deep-concealment is not present. I can venture a guess...my guess is that it's because there is often a "disconnect" between shooting and empty-hand combat. Just as there are many martial-artists who don't know the first thing about fighting with a gun, there are many shooters who would be lost in an empty hand fight against an aggressive attacker (yes, I know some aren't capable of going "hands on" due to their age, disability,etc. but that's another thread).
Obviously I don't know who you are talking about when you refer to these "instructors" so my comments are intended more as an observation on the average person carrying a gun (LE, CCW, whatever).

Now am I saying pocket-carry is bad? No, as a method for carrying a BUG, it's fine. Pocket carry has also had to be my primary method when I'm dressed in a way that precludes having a Glock on my hip (thankfully, this is a rare occurrence). However, just because it might be the only way to carry a gun in some situations doesn't mean it's necessarily a good way to carry in others.
--

As for being on or off topic...
The way I interpreted the original post was that smince was commenting on the way in which his training had exposed a flaw in his carry methods and motivated him to change them. He then asked those that do use pocket carry as a primary method how they address an important issue with this method. Others chimed in with other issues/concerns with this method based on what they have seen in their training. I don't see how that is outside the spirit of the discussion. If he had asked for recommendations for pocket holsters and received comments regarding pocket carry, that'd be different. That said, if my posts do not contain the type of material smince was looking for, my apologies.
__________________
"Either you are the weapon and your gun is a tool, or your gun is the weapon and you are a tool."

Matt K.
KenpoTex is offline  
Closed Thread

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 09:14 AM.


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 0.14641 seconds with 7 queries