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Pocket Carry Viability

“Pocket carry” is a method of concealed carry where a handgun is concealed in the wearer’s pocket. This carry method requires a handgun that is actually small enough to carry in a typical pants pocket and its popularity has increased as the market continues to be flooded with sub-compact handguns. It is my intention to have an honest discussion about pocket carry, its advantages, its disadvantages, and its viability as a carry method.

Holsters

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we delve too deeply into this discussion. I will assume in this post that we are referring to pocket carry with the use of a holster that is purpose built for pocket carry. I would never consider carrying a handgun in my pocket without a holster that completely covers the trigger guard – anything less is a negligent discharge waiting to happen. A holster will also help prevent the intrusion of pocket lint and other debris into your handgun.

Holsters that are designed for pocket carry will have some method of keeping the holster in the pocket during the draw stroke. If your pocket carry holster tends to come out with the handgun when you practice your draw stroke on the range, throw it out and buy a different design.

Advantages

There are some advantages to consider when discussing pocket carry. The most obvious are comfort and convenience. It is extremely convenient to be able to drop a holstered handgun into your pocket and it is typically a very comfortable way to carry a handgun. While comfort and convenience are nice, there are many far more important factors to consider when choosing a carry method. Clint Smith wisely said that carrying a gun “is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.”

Two other advantages to pocket carry that are rarely mentioned but are, in my mind, the most compelling advantages that this carry method offers are the ability to appear complacent and the ability to appear compliant while indexing your handgun.

Consider a situation where you are walking through a parking garage and you see someone approaching while holding an object that you can’t identify in the dim lighting. You can’t just pull your shirt up and put your hand on your gun. That would be irresponsible since you haven’t identified a threat yet. However, you could place your hands in your pockets and appear to be complacent while you are actually establishing a firing grip on your handgun and preparing to draw if necessary. That is the ability to appear complacent and it can be a tremendous advantage.

Now consider the same situation except this time you don’t see the person approaching. They get the drop on you and they want to force you into your car at gunpoint. The situation is grave and your mind is telling you that you will need to fight back in order to live. You reach into your pocket to appear compliant by “getting your keys” and instead you index your handgun and prepare to defend your life. This ability to appear compliant might buy you the split seconds that you need to produce your handgun and defend your life.

Disadvantages

Before we get carried away by the compelling advantages of pocket carry, we should take an honest look at some very compelling disadvantages.

A pocket can be a terrible environment to store a handgun. It can be humid and dirty. Even when you clean your pockets, reliability threatening lint forms quickly. Great care must be taken to clear the handgun of all lint and grit before it works its way into the barrel or lock work.

Drawing a handgun from a pocket will generally take longer than producing one from the belt. The hand must slip into the pocket quickly which can be a bit tricky and the pockets sit lower than the belt which extends the draw stroke. Drawing from a pocket does not take very much longer than drawing from concealment but it does take longer. We generally try to reduce the time and increase the efficiency of our draw stroke. Pocket carry does the opposite.

A handgun that is carried in the pocket can be difficult to access with both hands. Even a mildly flexible person can access a handgun from a belt holster with their support hand but a pocket is a different story. It can be done but it is not easy, efficient, or graceful.

It can be difficult to access a pocket carry handgun while seated. When you are seated, your pockets are typically drawn tight which makes it difficult to get your hand into the pocket. It also changes the angle of the draw in a way that makes it all but impossible to draw your handgun without pointing it directly at your leg.

Finally, pocket carry gives you one less pocket to carry other gear. That may seem like a small thing but think about it. You should never carry anything in your pocket with your handgun. That is an accident waiting to happen and it could impede your draw stroke. The pocket that you will carry your handgun in is probably also the pocket that you clip your knife in or where you carry your keys. You will have to make other arrangements for these items and then carry them that way consistently so that you don’t reach into your pocket to get your keys and pull out a handgun instead. Don’t laugh. It happens.

Viable or Not?

So where does all of this discussion leave us? Is pocket carry a viable carry method or not? I can only answer for myself and say, “it depends.” In my opinion, based on the discussion above, pocket carry is not a suitable primary carry method but it can be an acceptable method for carrying a back up handgun. By carrying your back up with this method you can leverage the advantages of pocket carry while mitigating the disadvantages because it is not your only handgun.

Pocket carry is a compromise. You are exchanging a smooth, reliable draw stroke for comfort and convenience. That is a lousy trade but in some cases it may be an acceptable trade. I limit my use of pocket carry to a back up role. You will have to decide for yourself.

New Website from LaRue Tactical

Everyone’s favorite pusher of optics mounts, railed hand guards, and more has a new website. LaRue Tactical finally has a site that matches their products for quality.

The old site was functional enough to put a serious dent in my wallet but products were somewhat poorly organized. The old site lacked a general look and feel that you would expect from an industry heavyweight like LaRue Tactical. I have cruised the new site for a bit and found it to be very well organized. The excellent product pictures are displayed prominently and just about everything on the site is just one click from the home page. This site, like all LaRue products, is functional and well made.

You can check out the new site at LaRueTactical.com.

AAC Micro7

By now you have likely already heard of Advanced Armament Corp’s 300 Blackout. If not, you should read up on it because it is a very slick concept. The support for the cartridge continues to grow with the introduction of the new Micro7.

The Micro7 is a compact, handy, lightweight bolt action rifle that is chambered for 300 Blackout. It is based on the excellent Remington Model 7 action which is basically a scaled down Model 700 action. This is a proven action and a great start for any compact rifle.

As you might expect from AAC, the Micro7 comes suppressor ready. It features a 16″ barrel that has been threaded to accept a suppressor. Care was also taken to ensure that the rifle remained handy even with the suppressor attached by using a lightweight barrel profile.

The Micro7 also comes with a scope mount and comb riser that AAC designed. The barrel is nitrided to increase the surface hardness and make it more durable. This is a very cool feature in rifle that could see some hard use.

I hope you are getting the picture that this is a very unique and versatile package. I could see this rifle in the trunk of a squad car, the rifle rack of a deer hunter, on the tractor of a rancher, or even lashed to the pack of a predator hunter. There really isn’t anything that this rifle can’t do.

Check out the AAC blog for the all the latest info on the Micro7 and the 300 Blackout.

Review: White Sound Defense Glock Mag Springs

It has been said that the magazine is the heart of any magazine fed firearm. This saying speaks to the importance of the magazine when it comes to the overall reliability of the firearm. Many, if not most, malfunctions can be traced back to magazine issues. Magazines are very simple – many having just 4 or 5 parts. However, one of those 4 or 5 parts really has a tremendous bearing on whether the magazine is reliable or not, but few shooters ever spend a moment thinking of them. I am talking about the magazine spring.

I have been using a couple of Glock magazine springs from White Sound Defense (WSD) for the last several months. Magazine springs may seem mundane, but these springs have some features that set them apart from other springs on the market.

WSD’s magazine springs are designed to be direct replacement for full size 9mm, .40SW, and .357SIG Glocks. The springs are made from 17-7PH stainless steel. This allows the springs to be very resistant to environmental factors like rain and sweat. You can check out WSD’s technical article that compares how their springs weather compared to other common spring materials on their website.

They offer about 10% more pressure than the stock springs and you will notice some additional resistance when you are loading your magazines but this will ease with time and use. This extra pressure also makes these springs ideal for +2 magazines extensions and should help keep feeding consistent even in dusty/dirty environments.

They have been completely reliable for me. I have them installed in Glock 17 magazines. There were no issues with the magazines before I installed the WSD springs so it is difficult to discuss what, if any, improvement there has been. They do work and they are made from a material that should perform very well across all environments. I do not hesitate to recommend them.

You can read more about magazine spring materials and more about these specific springs on White Sound Defense’s website.

RADIAL Light MOUNT-N-SLOT from IWC

The new RADIAL Light MOUNT-N-SLOT from Impact Weapons Components (IWC) is a redesign of their previous Scout Light MOUNT-N-SLOT. The new design incorporates the ability to use IWC’s modular flashlight rings which allows the RADIAL to accept nearly any light on the market.

The RADIAL can still be used to mount the Surefire Scout series of lights. However, with the the capability of accepting modular flashlight rings, it can now accept lights like the Surefire VTAC L4, Surefire G2, Surefire G2X, and Streamlight Polytac LED. The users needs only to mate the correct sized flashlight ring with the RADIAL to accommodate their favorite light.

This design also makes it easier to update your weapon light. You can just purchase a different ring to use on your light when a newer, brighter, longer running and all around better light hits the market. There is no need to buy an entirely new mount.

The RADIAL tucks the light in closer to the hand guard than just about any other mount on the market. It is also designed so that it can be mounted on the slots or holes that so many typical 4 rail hand guards have between the rails. The number of hand guards that this can be mounted on is staggering.

Check out the new RADIAL on the Impact Weapons Components website.

Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% off at IWC.

BAD-ASS Crank Lever

You may remember that I recently showed you a prototype lever from Battle Arms Development for their excellent BAD-ASS that, at the time, was being called the Reverse Hybrid. Now it is being called the “CRANK” and it is in full production, ready to ship.

This lever was created by Battle Arms Development in direct response to demand from their users. It is reminiscent of the old starburst style selectors that many AR shooters love. However, unlike those selectors, these are actually well made.

The new name is fitting since these levers look somewhat like a crank that you might have rolled your car windows up with back in the day. That’s right whippersnappers, there was a time when power windows weren’t standard or even available.

The best selector on the market, continues to become more modular, more versatile, and more customizable. Check out the new CRANK lever for the BAD-ASS on the Battle Arms Development website. It is available with free shipping for a limited time.

Review: TAREINCO VTP Sling

Slings have come a long way from the days that most of them were just simple straps used for carrying your rifle. While those simple slings worked for their intended use, modern slings offer a host of efficiency enhancing features. The VTP (Variable Transition Point) Sling from TAREINCO is one such modern sling and it is one of the most feature rich slings on the market.

It's a 2 point...

It's a single point... It's the VTP from TAREINCO.

Quality

The TAREINCO VTP Sling is well made. It is made from 1″ tubular webbing which I have found to be a very comfortable material for use in slings. It doesn’t have the rough edges of typical webbing. The tubular webbing sort of rolls over itself instead of abrading your neck when you are the move.

The hardware is all of good quality and it is the selection of hardware that gives this sling a lot of its functionality. There are Troy Industries heavy duty push button QD sling swivels sewn into each end of the sling, though there is a new option coming that will allow users to use the attachment points of their choice. Each end also has a quality SRB (side release buckle). These buckles are important to some users who may need to get out of their sling quickly.

The sling also features the previously reviewed Impact Weapons Components 2 To 1 Point Triglide sewn into it. It is an integral part of the sling and a source of some of the unique functionality of the VTP. The VTP certainly is made from quality components.

Unique Functionality

The VTP combines many functions that can be found in other slings but in a new and unique way that impresses me.

The most noticeable feature is the ability to transition from a 2 point sling to a single point sling. I won’t say much about this other than it works very well. This function is tied to the use of the IWC 2 to 1 Point Triglide so if you are interested in learning why this is better than any other way of transitioning from 2 to 1 sling attachment points, you can read the review of the Triglide. It is very cool to see companies making the Triglide an integral part of their slings. This one tiny widget adds an awful lot of functionality to a sling.

Many slings offer the ability to quickly adjust the length of the sling. The VTP does it in a fairly unique way. Rather than a tab, the VTP has a loop that is constructed from a clever combination of triglides. The loop, which TAREINCO calls the APT, is large and easy to operate. I found that I could easily hook it with my thumb to make quick adjustments. It can also be grabbed with your whole hand if you think you will have trouble hooking it with your thumb under stress or against the timer.

It may seem strange, but I think what I like most about the VTP sling is the use of a Ladderloc to provide the static adjustment of sling length. Most slings require you to move multiple triglides around on the sling to adjust the static length. The VTP makes it very simple and easy. In fact, this is the only sling I have tried that lets me adjust the static length while I am actually wearing the sling. This feature makes it very easy to adjust your sling length for armor, winter clothes, rain gear, or anything else that affects the fit of your sling.

In Use

The VTP works as advertised. It delivers a ton of functionality to the user.

The loop works very well as a quick adjustment point. It can be hooked with your thumb when you need to tighten it quickly or it can be grabbed like you would a tab on other slings. I can achieve enough slack to transition the carbine to my support side without having to drop my arm out of the sling.

When I first received the sling I was frustrated with how difficult it was to tighten the sling. It could be loosened easily but tightening could be a tough. Now it is broken in nicely and adjusts very easily. It only took one dry fire session to really break in the adjustments.

Tightening and loosening the sling took some getting used to for me. All of my other slings adjust in the opposite direction as the VTP. The VTP can be tightened by pulling the loop toward the rear of the sling (my VTAC and VCAS slings are the opposite).

My biggest concern with this sling is amount of hardware that is used, especially in the loop (ATP). If this were to come unraveled, I am not sure that I could ever figure out how to put it back together. I am sure that TAREINCO could talk me through it though. Thankfully, the loop would actually have to come unraveled from 2 separate triglides before it made the sling inoperable.

Conclusion

The TAREINCO VTP is heavy on features. It incorporates the IWC 2 to 1 Point Triglide to greatly increase the functionality of the sling. It is comfortable to wear, easy to use, and offers a lot of functionality. It works.

Check out the VTP on the TAREINCO website.

I will be giving this sling away, so stay tuned for details.

Disclosure: I received this sling free of charge from Impact Weapons Components, who I work with as a product rep, for review.

 

Magpul MOE+ and MOE-K Grips

Magpul has just released 2 new grips. The MOE+ and MOE-K grips are shipping now and should be available at dealers shortly.

The MOE+ grip was announced well over a year ago and generated some significant buzz at that time. It is very similar to the popular and well regarded MOE Grip. However, it has the addition of rubber overmolding to enhance grip across a wide range of conditions. The rubber overmolding stops short of the bottom edge of the grip in order to prevent the rubber from snagging and grabbing soft materials like clothing.

The MOE-K has some very interesting features. Magpul says that this grip is optimized for smaller weapons like PDWs or other weapons that will be held with the weapon side arms tucked into the body tightly. When the arm is tucked in like this it is more comfortable and natural to keep the hand in a more vertical position which the MOE-K accommodates with a more vertical grip angle. However, I suspect that this grip will also be a hit with those who like to run their hand up as high as possible on the AR in order to control recoil. To me, it looks like it is just screaming to be stippled.

You can check out the MOE+ and the MOE-K on the Magpul website.

Novekse Lower Receiver – 5.56 Gen2

The new Gen2 lowers from Noveske are now available on select Noveske rifles and at Rainier Arms as stripped lowers. This looks like one heck of a lower receiver.

Image property of Rainier Arms

The most immediately noticeable feature of the new lower is the huge, flared magazine well. It looks like you could park your car in it. A magazine well that is this flared and over-sized should really help speed reloads and make up for the times that you get a little bit sloppy.

The lower accepts all standard pins and parts except the trigger guard and its associated parts. It is forged from 7075 T6 aluminum and mil-spec hard anodized. All of the hallmarks of quality are here, just as you would expect from Noveske.

You can visit the Rainier Arms website for ordering info on stripped lowers or the Noveske website to see the lower on their rifles.

Exclusive Deals on Armory Racks

In my recent review of the 8 gun version of the Armory Rack from RJK Ventures LLC, I mentioned that there would be some exclusive savings for Jerking the Trigger readers (Trigger Jerks). Well, I have some good news. The exclusive savings are here and they are generous.

Before you hit the special website that Armory Racks set up just for Trigger Jerks, they have asked that those who take advantage of this deal “Like” their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

Once you have taken care of that, you can click here to visit the exclusive Armory Racks website for Trigger Jerks. You can use the site to purchase the 4 and 8 gun versions of the Armory Rack and their associated trays at a discounted price along with free shipping. You will save over $17 on an 8 gun Armory Rack with tray!

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