Choosing a pocket pistol can be a daunting task, especially these days when there are more choices in compact handguns than ever before. However, selecting a gun and holster is just part of the problem. You also need to choose a proper pocket in which to carry it so you can draw it quickly and reliably if you ever need it. This process of “picking a pocket” should take into consideration concealability, comfort, accessibility, mobility, pocket size and compatibility of that method of carry with your entire wardrobe. With these basic criteria in mind, let’s take a hard look at the advantages and disadvantages of carrying in the most common pocket locations.

The front pants pocket is probably the most classic in-pocket carry position, and it was the favorite of many old-school gunfighters like J.H. Fitzgerald—especially since the fashion of the time-favored baggy pants with deep pockets. Front pockets are good because they accommodate larger guns (including revolvers), they support weight well and are easily accessible for a standard draw. They are also excellent for surreptitious draws in which the hand is “prepped” on the gun before it is pulled from the pocket, primarily because it’s natural to put your hand in that pocket.

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On the negative side, front-pocket carry doesn’t conceal or draw well with tighter pants, and it can be uncomfortable for some people. It also does not work well with movement, since it tends to trap your hand in the pocket when you step.

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