Pocket Power! (By Colonel Smoothbore) 12.25.16
By angelamontana

Posted: December 25, 2016

Over the last few years the number of self-defense handguns available to shooters has expanded almost exponentially.

For citizens who wish to carry a concealed pistol the number of guns available and the method of carry can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a couple of the guns and methods of carry that work well for me.

You will notice that the guns I mention here are manufactured by Smith & Wesson®. I admit to a preference for S&W firearms, they fit my hands, are reliable, and my budget doesn’t get busted when I buy one. There are many other makes and models that I have shot and found them to be very good guns, but overall my personal preference is for S&W guns, simply put, they work for me.

Pocket carry is a great way to pack your gun, but only if it is done properly. It is imperative that all guns be carried in a holster that covers the trigger guard. Don’t just drop you gun in a pocket along with keys, coins, knives, and whatever else you might have with you. Your gun should be the only thing that is in your carry pocket, NO exceptions. If you need you pistol in a lethal force situation, the last thing need is a set of keys stuck in the trigger.

Let’s look at a couple of “pocket guns” that I really like and carry regularly. First a Smith & Wesson® “J” frame, the Model M&P 340. This is a five shot revolver chambered in .38 Special/ .357 Magnum.

This is a small wheel gun capable of firing very powerful cartridges. This little black gun weighs only 13.8 ounces, has a 1 7/8 inch barrel, is 6.3 inches in length, and sports a very useable XS Sights® 24/7 Tritium Night Sight. Revolvers are simple to use and quite probably the most reliable handgun design available. I use a couple of different carry options; appendix carry with a Blackhawk® Appendix holster. This is a very secure, yet inexpensive (about 15 bucks) holster that affords ambidextrous carry. The other holster I use is a new product also from Blackhawk®, the TecGrip Pocket holster (about $10). This is a great pocket holster; the TecGrip material will stick to just about anything including bare skin and I highly recommend them for pocket carry. One note about this little revolver, if you are not an experienced handgunner, I suggest a good .38 special personal protection load such as Hornady’s® Critical Defense™ or Critical Defense Lite™ ammunition.

.357 Magnum loads in a short-barreled, light gun as this can be a real challenge for a new shooter.
The other pocket pistol I often carry is a Smith & Wesson® Bodyguard 380™. This little semi-auto is chambered in .380 ACP and has 7 round capacity with one in the chamber. This is a dandy little gun that I can actually get a very good grip on especially with the finger grip magazine installed. The gun has a 2.75 inch barrel, is 5.3 inches long, weighs 12.3 ounces, and is less than one inch wide.

My gun has the optional Crimson Trace® integral laser than can be operated with either the trigger finger or offhand thumb. I’ve tried several of the many subcompacts on the market; I chose the Bodyguard 380™ because it has sights my old eyes can see, it doesn’t seem to jump out of my hand when I shoot it, and my gun is also very accurate. .380 ACP ammunition has really gotten better in recent years. New bullet designs have proven to make the .380 a legitimate personal protection choice. One of the recently introduced bullet designs is the Polycase® ARX bullet and I have decided to load my little gun with them. These bullets are a non-expanding, polymer/copper mix with specially designed flutes that cause a great deal of tissue damage and give good penetration. I have found these rounds to be very accurate in my gun and I’ve had zero malfunctions with them. I suggest you give them a try. I am currently using the Ruger® produced ARX ammunition and shooting this little pistol with them is a breeze; recoil seems almost non-existent. I carry this little pistol in a Galco® suede pocket holster that has proven to be very secure, yet allows me to make a safe and consistent draw.

When properly executed, “pocket carry” is a very safe and efficient way for the CWP holder to conceal their firearm.

Merry Christmas, be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore