Pocket carry: semi-auto or revolver?

Mr.FMr.F MemberPosts: 89 Member
I was looking for something I could carry in my hip pocket . The best options seems to be either a .380 semiauto or a 5 shot .38 revolver . Caliber & capacity aside , I was wondering which you fine gentlemen would consider to be best for pocket carry in general ???
Jermanator : You might talk about Tauruses around your wife, but that just doesn't fly in my house.
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Replies

  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    I'll take a .38 over a .380 anyday. However, I'd think you should be able to find a small 9mm if you want a semi-auto.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • Mr.FMr.F Member Posts: 89 Member
    I have a Kahr CW40 that is a bit too big for pocket carry & all the compact 9 mms I have seen seem to be right around the same size .
    Jermanator : You might talk about Tauruses around your wife, but that just doesn't fly in my house.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Given that today there are so many light weight pocket sized pistols in 9mm - 40 S&W - .45acp, back in the day a pocket pistol was commonly chambered from .22 LR to .380 acp, thankfully We have better options.

    The Walther PPK or My personal favorite, the Colt Mustang in .380 acp....

    A semiautomatic handgun is flatter in the pocket and is easier to re-load and less fumble prone than a revolver, in the dark too, it is easier to find a magazine well, than it is to load a speed loader into a revolvers cylinder, if you are under stress, that adds to the difficulty.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Mr.F wrote: »
    I have a Kahr CW40 that is a bit too big for pocket carry & all the compact 9 mms I have seen seem to be right around the same size .

    Obviously you also need pants with big enough pockets too, My father recommended replacing the pocket material with longer lasting denim or coin bag cloth.

    There are plenty enough tailors out there that can do that.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • conchokidconchokid Administrator Posts: 508 Senior Member
    I agree with DoctorWho above; a .380 is flatter and more comfortable than a revolver in a hip pocket (and not as noticeable). Even after 82 years, a PPK is still a good choice. I also like the Browning 1955 (FN 1910) but it's heavier than some 9mms. But you have many more options if you're carrying in a jacket pocket or a belt holster.
    If you're definite on hip pocket carry, consider the little Ruger and Kel-tec .380s. As small and as light as some .25s, but not much fun to plink with.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    I just tried a lcr in my hip pocket, it would work; but, it caught somewhat on the pocket during a draw. If the revolver had a exposed hammer, I'd say probably not a good idea.

    You would need more than a T-shirt as a cover garment as the grip will be out of the hip pocket and T-shirts like to ride up.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,205 Senior Member
    Mr.F wrote: »
    I was wondering which you fine gentlemen would consider to be best for pocket carry in general ???

    Whichever one turns your crank...pick one...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    He did ask which is better,

    A semiautomatic handgun, is better, now that sub compact light weight reliable models ( in good calibers, 9mm -40 S&W- .45 acp ) can be had for a reasonable price, I adore revolvers, but why would I step back in time ???
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    QUOTE=Jayhawker;90615]Whichever one turns your crank...pick one...[/QUOTE]:that:[
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I've got a nice KelTec P3AT in .380, nothing fancy, just for those up close and personal moments. Loaded with Glaser Silvertips.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    That should about do it.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,205 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    He did ask which is better,

    A semiautomatic handgun, is better, now that sub compact light weight reliable models ( in good calibers, 9mm -40 S&W- .45 acp ) can be had for a reasonable price, I adore revolvers, but why would I step back in time ???

    In your opinion only....there in NOTHING that is outdated about a revolver...and why in heavens name would I discard a perfectly good firearm just because the uninformed,uneducated, and unwashed have stuck an expiration date on them...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Besides creating a telltale bulge and making sitting pretty uncomfortable, carrying most guns in a pocket will make getting into action in a hurry difficult. Also, it wears the pocket out quickly. There are enough good IWB holsters around that are comfortable and conceal the gun better that pocket carry would be way down on my proprity list.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    I tried the rear pocket idea going to the store just now, I felt like my trousers were going to slide down the whole time.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    A revolver is great, but if you need to re-load it, a tremble of the hand, you drop that speed loader etc.....
    A semiautomatic handgun is easier and requires less dexterity to re-load.
    That is why I prefer it over a revolver.

    This is not just My opinion, many others have voiced that opinion before I ever did, and FYI, as a LEO, I have carried revolvers extensively, sometimes a couple or even three at a time, however not exclusively, I like a semiautomatic as a BUG, like many others, you may or may not know or even like Me personally, but I sweated and bled My own blood etc... to earn My credentials and knowledge and expertise, which no one can deny or call into question, so with all due respects Sir,

    .......

    Thank you.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,188 Senior Member
    Depending on who you talk to, both and autoloader and a revolver take fine motor skills and some dexterity to reload. On the other hand, in the hands of a person who has drilled extensively with them, the reloads can come fast and like second nature.

    Just sayin'...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Long time no see, Adam........glad to have you back.


    There are some good quality pocket autos out there, but for something that small I prefer a J-Frame Smith & Wesson.

    I carry a pocket gun on my weak side (left) as a back up to my regular carry piece, don't really like them for a primary role.

    The way I see it, if I'm going for my left hand gun, it's because I've got a hold of somebody with my right hand. In that case I want something that I can press into them and take multiple shots with. Because of the cycling of the action, you can't do this with an automatic. Just my $.02, YMMV.




    Now where's the green bunny avatar? :tooth:
    Welcome back Amigo.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,099 Senior Member
    In general, I prefer a revolver for that particular application. It can be fired from inside the pocket in situations of dire need, and there is little you need to do in cases of extreme stress to run one besides pull the trigger.

    As to the ease of reloading issue, I don't consider it to be a huge factor in this case - these are pocket guns which you carry simply to have a gun for day-to-day operations. If you are actually expecting trouble, you'd probably still carry it - but as a BACKUP to a real fighting pistol. The general idea with these little things is to either solve the problem quickly, or empty it and run for the hills. Better in my opinion, to be firing a round substantial enough that you don't HAVE to empty the gun to accomplish the task at hand.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    They made slathers of svelte five shot .32 cal revolvers for ages based on that concept, and they were not wrong.

    My light weight BERSA MiniFireStorm, perhaps not as recognized a name as some, but has been a flawless performer, never a FTF or FTE, since I fired the first round in Maryland.

    Pretty lucky as they let Me trade in My cracked LLAMA 1911 as an even exchange, the LLama was no longer Maryland approved.

    While as Teach / Jerry says, it is not the best way to carry, many times that gun resides in an ample uniform pants pocket while I pump gas and do other work.

    Light and flat it affords Me 8 rounds of .45 acp in a compact package, around the same size and weight as a PPK.......
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,205 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    A revolver is great, but if you need to re-load it, a tremble of the hand, you drop that speed loader etc.....
    A semiautomatic handgun is easier and requires less dexterity to re-load.
    That is why I prefer it over a revolver.

    This is not just My opinion, many others have voiced that opinion before I ever did, and FYI, as a LEO, I have carried revolvers extensively, sometimes a couple or even three at a time, however not exclusively, I like a semiautomatic as a BUG, like many others, you may or may not know or even like Me personally, but I sweated and bled My own blood etc... to earn My credentials and knowledge and expertise, which no one can deny or call into question, so with all due respects Sir,

    .......

    Thank you.
    No no Doc...you misunderstand, the "uninformed, uneducated and unwashed" was not meant for you, but rather those who have been trying to put an expiration date on the revolver long before you posted your preference. 15 years ago I went to a shoot with my 3" M66 and was subjected to "look at the old guy with the revolver" by the younger crowd more than once...I'm not sure if I changed any minds that day, but I was doing my reloads just as quickly as they were doing theirs...and walked out with a 2nd place...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    SUPPORT side, my friend. SUPPORT!!!!! Get 'weak' out of your vocabulary and mindset. Should be nothing weak about your off side. It supports your primary hand but it ain't weak.

    Have you seen my left hand.......it's tiny and carny like........errrrr, I mean it's normal sized.......for certain plant based life forms, ya know. :tooth:

    :roll2:




    Nope, my opinion on the whole "support side" or "reaction side" is sorta like your opinions on the "tactical reload" or "speed reload"......It's a very .....blah, blah, blah!

    I have two sides, comparatively speaking, one of them is going to be weaker than the other. No getting around it hermano, that's just the way it is. Now while I can run a lead slinger with my left hand almost as good as I can my right, I'm still a bit weaker on that side. :thumb:
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,009 Senior Member
    I don't know about hip pocket carry, but my Kahr PM40 is a nice fit in my front pocket.

    Wambli and Breamfisher have both seen my draw at a range and it's not "slow"

    th_DSCN0402.jpg
    Wambli's the cameraman for this video
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,708 Senior Member
    I really hate having anything heavy in my pockets and I've handled a few Ruger LCP's and was impressed as to how light they were. I don't really care for the gun but if my only option was to carry a gun in my pocket, it would probably be one of those.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,099 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    SUPPORT side, my friend. SUPPORT!!!!! Get 'weak' out of your vocabulary and mindset. Should be nothing weak about your off side. It supports your primary hand but it ain't weak.

    Well that's fine, stud, but what if your strong side is also weak? (Dontcha love these semantics games?:tooth:)

    I'm pretty sure that when the old English shortened the Latin (Greek?) word "gymnasium" to "gym", it was originally spelled "gyme". It always seemed like a four letter word to me. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,769 Senior Member
    The thinner profile of an auto makes it fit better in a pocket.

    But in general, Pocket carry sucks (in my opinion). Hard to get to, does not work well when sitting (which we do a WHOLE lot more than standing), and I carry a whole lot of other needed crap in my pockets.

    Personally, belt carry works much better for me.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    I think the OP asked about hip pocket carry.

    Front pocket is another story----much easier and less pull your trousers down in the rear effect.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,425 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    ...why in heavens name would I discard a perfectly good firearm just because the uninformed,uneducated, and unwashed have stuck an expiration date on them...

    This is one of the best quotes I've read on this forum, by far!

    Although, for the purpose of a slim profile I do feel there is a slight advantage to a .380 of some sort, ala the Kel-Tec P3AT, over a J frame style .38 or .357 revolver.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • 104RFAST104RFAST Senior Member Posts: 1,267 Senior Member
    I know what you mean, my belt line is below my center of gravity
    NN wrote: »
    I tried the rear pocket idea going to the store just now, I felt like my trousers were going to slide down the whole time.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    This is one of the best quotes I've read on this forum, by far!

    Although, for the purpose of a slim profile I do feel there is a slight advantage to a .380 of some sort, ala the Kel-Tec P3AT, over a J frame style .38 or .357 revolver.

    And I would prefer a 9mm over a weak .380 acp now that so many are available in the same size / weight ratio.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Mr.FMr.F Member Posts: 89 Member
    Sorry to confuse NN - I meant the front pocket . I don't like putting anything important in my back pockets . I wear cargo pants/shorts most of the time so I have the extra pocket space to re arrange things to accomadate a pocket gun . All I normally put in my pockets are my keys , wallet , phone & pocket knife anyway . I'll see if I can get the green rabbit back on here Eli ! Haven't had too much time for forums for a while (work & trying to get back into some kind of shape) & things have changed more than a little but I am glad to see many of the same good people here that make this a great site .
    Jermanator : You might talk about Tauruses around your wife, but that just doesn't fly in my house.
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