The Tactical Wire.com Editor's Notebook: Pocket Concealment on a Budget
(The Tacticalwire.com) Pocket carry became a thing for me when I started in law enforcement. Never completely comfortable relying on a single handgun, it would likely have been off-putting to have worn a hog leg on each side of the old Sam Browne belt - to say nothing whatever of being a weighty proposition. That left hiding a second gun somewhere on my person. As this was back in ancient times, there were relatively few easily available options. Pocket carry was recommended by none less than Charles A. "Skeeter" Skelton, a Texas and federal lawman of considerable experience and good sense. I followed his lead.
Since then, I've tried one or another holster for pocket carry with many passing through my hands over the years. The pocketed handgun must be holstered, not pocketed bare. I quickly passed through the "no-holster" phase due to the gun's form being plainly visible in the fabric covering the pocket.
The first thing I tried was removing the steel pocket clip from a rough out suede IWB holster. Perspiration quickly perforated the leather and I was able to pit the stainless steel cylinder of a Smith & Wesson Model 60 in short order. Back to the drawing board.
After a considerable career trying different options, I found out about LAPD veteran Bob Mika and the pocket holsters he produces. I contacted him and quickly received a rather large "bucket" type holster. There was no real forming of the material - not apparently leather or neoprene, "unobtainium" perhaps - and it was large in the pocket.
Dropping a weighty and powerful Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum in that holster, I found I could wear that rig throughout a shift. No one was the wiser, there was never any perspiration on the cylinder and I could have a hand on a gun while appearing to be complacent - never alarming a citizen but ready to shoot within an instant.
I put a lot of miles on that holster. A number of guns have passed through that rig, all revolvers, from the large and heavy SP101 to six-shot Colt D-frame revolvers to light and tiny S&W J-frames.
Later, I tried his unbreakable pocket mirror - handy in searches while in fugitive warrants - and a pocket holster for handcuffs - used on duty and off. A great thing about a pocket holster for handcuffs is that I could draw the cuffs while an arrestee faced away from me without the pop of a snap or the rip of hook-and-loop fabric to tip them off.
As far as I know, you can't wear the Mika Pocket Holster out. I imagine now someone will come forward who's done that, but I never wore his gear out. While a small operation, his gear is phenomenally popular with cops - active duty and retired.
It's one of the few non-leather pocket holsters out there that stay open after the gun is drawn. It's moisture resistant. It stays put in the pocket during the draw. The Safariland Pocket Holster operates about the same way and uses their justifiably famous Safarilaminate material. Still, if you're ambidextrous, you'll need one for right hand use and one for left hand. The Mika is ambidextrous as I am.
If you are a licensee or a cop on a budget and pocket carry appeals to you, give the Mika Pocket Holster a look. The Safariland is a righteous alternative as well.
Mika's Pocket Holsters http://www.frontiernet.net/~akim/index.html