I was going to write a comprehensive pocket carry FYI concerning pant choice, but MouseGunAddict (MGA) did it pretty well. I do have additional comments that may benefit the common carrier, anyway. Demonstrated below, I use a Hedley holster made for the Kel Tec P3AT.
I do emphasize that you must train as would carry on a typical day. If you wear a suit – train in a suit. If you wear a bikini – consider a light cloth to wrap around your waist for concealment – and train in that (visually appealing photo/video documentation on YouTube is highly recommended).
While a firearm in a pocket is convenient, concealable in most circumstances, and comfortable for some, caveats include slow draw and considerable holster position variation. Furthermore, the choice of pant pocket style contributes to the concerns noted above.
This blog is not Style Magazine, but it is important to define the pocket types discussed. Pocket types can be described as: straight, slanted and scooped (A Tailored Suit ). Straight and slanted pockets are common with dress slacks, and cotton chinos. MGA accurately describes the 5.11 pockets as 45 degree pockets, which are essentially “tactical” slanted pockets. Some 5.11 pants appear to have scooped pockets. Otherwise, scooped pockets are typically found on jeans.
Throughout the week, I wear wool dress slacks or chinos at work. My pant preference is flat front, and relaxed, with slanted pockets. Some may prefer straight pockets to keep a more streamline look; slanted pockets tend to flare out. Do you care if pockets flare? I don’t know, but the flare does aid when retrieving the gun.
Otherwise, I alternate between jeans and ripstop cotton cargo shorts. I strictly carry appendix in jeans. The scooped pocket mouth tend to be smaller. The pocket seam measures 6.5” and 6.0” on my gray Dockers chinos and Wrangler jeans, respectively. The scooped pockets also lay flat. For shorts, I tend to switch between appendix and pocket, based on convenience and perceived necessity.
As MGA noted, pocket size do vary in depth. I’ve only had to modify one pocket for depth – approximately one inch on a pair of cargo shorts. If you know how to sew, this will not be an issue. For those who don’t: find someone who does, or learn now. If you get dress slacks fitted or made for you, the tailor may advise not only pocket depth, but also suggest adding a half-inch to the carry pant-leg.
Typically not an issue for pants, but holster position variation is considerable compared to secure carry methods on the waist. Do note that the more relaxed or pleated pants are, the likelihood of holster shift increases. Aside from those issues, drawing from the ground will prove challenging – at least more than it already is against an adversary. Demonstrated below is considerable shift. Aside from tacking the pocket to ripstop fabric, I don’t have any real solutions. Nonetheless, it is a problem that you may need to think through.