For those occasions when it may not be possible to utilize any belt carry or inside the waist band holster and pocket seems a viable option, is there enough difference in weight between the airweight  and standard J frame when it comes to pocket carry?  I guess my question is whether your experience would indicate that one can tote a standard J frame in the pocket without any undue burden from the weight?



Dear Randy:

I hope this note finds you well.

Thank you for the question.

It is a contentions question.

Dave Kenik, author of ARMED RESPONSE is a good friend and an arch competitor.

He and I have gone round-and-round on this question for years.

Here are the short answers:

I think the weight difference is an issue. I find that a well made pocket holster take SOME of the weight issue of the table but that one never gets comfortable with all that weight in the pocket.  Also, that an AirWeight (But not a Air-Lite) will also do extra duty as a jacket pocket gun, a belt line gun (with a Barami Hip-Grip) or an ankle gun.

An all steel gun will work but never as well as an AirWeight gun for all these options. Also in the interest of full disclosure – I am America’s great Anti-Pocket carry crusader. I argue you can’t get the gun out of the pocket quickly when, walking, running or sitting which is something that you might be doing when you need it.

That said …

David argues that a good pocket holster will take up most on the weight and that if you carry a loaded AirWeight in one pocket and a loaded all steel snub in the other within a few weeks you can’t tell the difference.  He should know as he ran this test for months using a S&W Airweight in one pocket and a Ruger SP101 in the other. Also he is the BIGGEST pocket holster/carry fan/advocate I have ever run into.

So …

As much as I love him I think David is crazy. I would push for the AirWeight.

There are a few pocket carry tricks worth noting.

Be sure your pocket opening is at least 6-inches wide.  If it is you should be able to draw the weapon without to much trouble unless you have an extra large hand.

Most pockets are not deep enough to hide a snub and the holster so consider getting a dummy gun copy of your carry snub and bring it and your holster to either a seamstress or a tailor. Either can rework the pocket so the snub/holster sits deep enough to hide but not so deep that you can’t reach it.

Remember to practice drawing the gun from a seated position. On the range get a chair and practice extending the carry side leg before you start the draw stroke. This will aid in the draw access.

Finally, be sure to use either a hammerless, shrouded or bobbed hammer snub. Otherwise that hammer spur will often catch the edge of the pocket on the draw.

I hope this information helps a little.

E-mail me if missed anything.


Michael de Bethencourt