Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Concealed Carry: Pocket Pistols

I live in the Southwest. It takes Winter a lot longer to get here. That’s what I like about living here. I served my mission in Eastern Canada. That was cold. Anyway, this time of year has it’s perks and challenges for concealed carry.
I usually revert to a pocket pistol. Some people that hear that will be surprised. In the Winter we usually dress in layers and that makes a inside the waistband carry (one of the most popular ways to carry) almost impossible.

These are my ideas and feelings about a pocket pistol.

It should be concealable.
This is obvious. These days there are many pistols that will work. There are even some revolvers that will work.
It should be light.
There are many subcompacts that fit this criteria. Many composite autos are only a few ounces. If it’s heavy and you put it in a coat pocket it will weigh down one side and make the coat hang awkward. That may compromise a concealed carry.
Some revolvers will also fit this criteria.
There should be no external or shrouded hammers. This only will catch on clothing when drawn.
The pocket you put the gun into is exclusively for your gun. Anything else in there could be a hazard or may impede a smooth, quick draw. No coins, chapstick, or even paper. Some things would stop you from a good grip others may get in the trigger guard and cause a negligent discharge. Your gun in a pocket holster only, nothing else.

Semi autos should be true double action only, hammer fired, with no safety. Make sure your trigger is at least a 10 pound pull or more. I know the safety issue is a controversial one. I will deal with a heavy trigger rather than a safety. I know there are many out there that disagree and that’s fine. I would not recommend a striker fired weapon without a safety.

Centerfire calibers small pistols can be uncomfortable to shoot. 9mm and larger caliber and some .380’s can be not too pleasant to shoot. I have a 9mm sub compact and I find it comfortable enough to shoot but the size is hard to deal with. It’s almost too small so I’ve had to learn to grip it a little different than I would a compact or full sized gun. Practice has made the difference witht hat gun. I’ve figured out how to handle recoil and the size, weight, and trigger pull. Non practice with a sub compact is not an option.
Smaller pistols are less forgiving when it comes to cleaning. Make sure you keep a small gun clean. If you are using it as a carry gun then keeping the gun clean is something you won’t skimp on. You life depends on it. Make sure you wipe it down and run a bore snake through it at least once a week at least.

Whatever gun you end up choosing for Winter, make sure you spend some time practicing getting it into play. Again, the advantage of a coat pocket gun is that you can have your hand discreetly on a weapon without other people knowing, which can give you the initial advantage in a potential life threatening situation. But that won't do you any good if you've never practiced drawing and shooting from that pocket. So make sure you get your trigger time in.

Semper Paratus