You’ve taken a concealed carry course. You understand the laws. You feel comfortable on the range. You have decided a pocket pistol is right for you. You purchase the pocket pistol of your choice and think you are done. Think again. The pistol purchase is just the beginning. You will find your concealed carry efforts are impractical without a few essential concealed carry accessories.
You first must be able to properly carry your pistol. Without a good holster and a good belt, you may not get the full comfort and support you need to carry your pistol every day. And what about extra ammo? This is another important consideration, especially because most pocket pistols are light on capacity. But that’s only the beginning. Accessories like lasers can help you immensely, especially when it comes to aiming in non-standard firing positions.
Holsters are the most obvious accessories that every pocket pistol owner should have. Different carry situations require different holsters. I’m fortunate enough to have acquired a large box of holsters for my 9mm Kahr CM9 semi-auto, which is my daily-carry pistol.
In 1974, Gene DeSantis started DeSantis Gunhide, and the company has been perfecting concealment solutions ever since. I browsed the company’s catalog looking for ideal pocket pistol holsters and decided to go with a Pocket-Tuk and a Super Fly.
The Pocket-Tuk is unique in that it can be used as an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster or, by removing the clip, as a pocket holster. When used as an IWB holster, the clip can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing you to carry it any way you prefer. By having a gap between the holster and clip it also allows you to tuck your shirt in. It also features a reinforced mouth to allow one-handed reholstering. Even though mine is listed as fitting the PM9 with a laser, I was able to also fit my Kahr K9 in it with the muzzle protruding from the bottom. Removing the clip makes this holster suitable for pocket carry. The Pocket-Tuk is great for those who don’t want to invest in two holsters. It allows you to convert from IWB to pocket carry depending on your carry situation. At a very reasonable MSRP of $29, it is sure to be in most everyone’s budget.
The Super Fly is a pocket holster that has a very tacky surface which helps grip the inside of your pocket. Unlike a Kydex or nylon pocket holster, the Super Fly will stay in place while drawing your pistol. Another unique part of the Super Fly is a removable flap that further disguises the shape of the pistol. This Velcro flap puts any worries of printing to bed. The outline-busting flap is also covered in the same tacky surface. Carrying a retail price of $40, the Super Fly is a great value considering the innovations it offers. (800-424-1236; desantisholster.com)
Galco Gunleather was founded in 1969 and has amassed a plethora of products to suit most any concealment need. I chose a Stow-N-Go holster and the Kydex Single Magazine Carrier for my pocket pistol needs.
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The Stow-N-Go holster is an easy on/off holster, which is great for concealing a pocket pistol. I prefer not to have to undo my belt to put on or remove my holster. The Stow-N-Go has a nylon belt clip on its steer-hide holster. You simply open up the clip as you push the holster into place. It has a reinforced mouth for easy reholstering.
One downside to carrying a pocket pistol versus a full-sized pistol is ammo capacity. Generally, you are dealing with a capacity of seven rounds or less. This makes carrying extra ammunition imperative. Galco came to the rescue in my ammo carrying deficiency with its Kydex Single Magazine Carrier. It has a simple belt loop secured with a snap. The ability to remove the carrier from the belt with a simple snap is welcome in my book. It retains the magazine with tension instead of a bulky flap. This makes reloads a snap: Simply retract your cover garment and pull up on the spare magazine. (galcogunleather.com; 800-874-2526)
For standard IWB carry, there are many popular options. PJ Holster makes a great line of IWB Kydex holsters for many pistols and in several different configurations. Kydex is very thin and light compared to a leather holster. It provides great retention, is sweat proof, and stays open while the pistol is drawn, allowing for easy reholstering. At $55 for a holster built to handle a laser-equipped gun, these designs are more expensive than some other holster options, but quality Kydex doesn’t come cheap. (pjholster.com)
CrossBreed Gun Belts
For the first few years of my concealed-carry adventure, I used a belt sold at a department store that was similar to an instructor’s belt. I thought it was sufficient since it had Velcro to hold the flap of the main belt and seemed stiffer than a standard belt. Then I got a hold of a CrossBreed leather belt, and my carry experience was forever transformed. The CrossBreed belt made my daily carry so much more comfortable than I was used to. I promptly threw my old belt out. CrossBreed sews two layers of leather together and tops it off with an attractive buckle. A good belt can truly make or break your gun-carrying experience. (crossbreedholsters.com; 888-732-5011)
Crimson Trace Lasers
Some may scoff at the idea of a laser on a pistol. Some see it as a gizmo they just plain don’t trust or need. Those same people may not realize a gunfight will not be like target shooting on a gun range. In the gun-range scenario, you are always able to bring the pistol up to a full firing stance. You always get to see your sights. You always have time. In a situation where you have to use your concealed-carry pistol, you may not have time to get the gun into a perfect stance. You may only get the pistol clear of your holster before you really need to fire. Having your pistol project a nice red or green dot on your target is much better than not knowing exactly where your pistol is pointed. For me, the ability to shoot accurately in non-standard firing positions is the most attractive feature of a laser.
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On my pocket pistols, I use the Crimson Trace Laserguard. I like that the laser is activated as soon as I grip the gun. The Laserguard uses an activation button directly below the triggerguard that doesn’t require any deviation from a standard grip to operate. There are many different lasers on the market, and many of today’s pocket pistols have specific models made for them. Holster selection can be a little tougher when dealing with a laser-equipped pistol, but most holster manufacturers have models that fit most popular lasers. (crimsontrace.com; 800-442-2406)
Obviously, your budget for a complete concealed-carry setup should be significantly higher than just the cost of the pistol purchase. You’ll need quite a bit of ammo to practice, and a training class is always beneficial, too. Don’t forget to budget for your belt, holster, magazine pouch and a quality laser and/or night sight upgrade. Build your CCW system with effective concealed carry accessories, and it will last you for many years to come.
This article was published in ‘Pocket Pistols’ #186. For information on how to subscribe, please email subscriptions@