Sunday, August 15, 2010

What's in your wallet?

This post is about pocket holsters for little guns. If you carry a handgun, odds are that after a few years you will have a bunch of holsters sitting in a box somewhere, and this phenomenon seems to apply even more so for the inexpensive little pocket holster; at least for me anyways.

These are all for one pistol: the Kel Tec P3AT:

Something else about holsters too is that I find myself modifying most of them, because what somebody else designed to fit a particular circumstance doesn't exactly mean that it's going to fit mine. Looking at my first pocket holster for the mighty baby-Glock 26, the DeSantis Nemesis holster did not allow for my middle finger to make it up into the relief under the trigger guard. I found my remedy by removing the offending material and hand sewing some whatchamahoozit (industry term) over the exposed cut. Now it's beautiful:

You can see how I can get a full grip now that the holster has been modified. Also in that picture you can see a DeSantis Super Fly holster holding a Walther PPKS, as well as a modified Comp-Tac Centerline holster for the Kel Tec P3AT. I found the Centerline hanging from my neck to not be ideal for me, so I did some Dremeling to remove excess material, and then added my own spring steel belt clip fashioned in a manner that allows the holster to be tuckable. That sucker goes on my belt in a jiffy, comes off not so easily (a good thing), and is small and light enough to be worn on my pajamas if I so desired. It's also super concealable.

Another holster in that picture is an exceptionally well made GURU pocket holster for the P3AT that I ordered from It's built like a tank, and there's no doubt in my mind that one of my children will grow old with this thing in their pocket holding their mini ion blaster, as it is sturdy enough to outlive me. But again, it's modified to fit my needs. The holster is designed to prevent the pistol from printing through your pocket; it does this with the addition of a large, flat leather flap on the outside that is attached at the bottom by two brass Chicago screws, allowing the flap to kind of swivel out of the way so your hand can get to the grip. The problem I had with the flap is that it's huge. The teeny P3AT is still a tad larger than an early 90s Blackberry, so the leather flap that is cut to cover it makes it look like you have a Blue's Clues notebook in your pocket. Someone looking at the square thing might not know it's a gun, but they will surely be scratching their head wondering what in the world you have in there.

I fixed this by trimming the flap down; although I finally removed it as I don't see that I need it. The other problem that I had was that the "wing" where the two halves of the holster are sewn together did not leave enough room for my fingers to slide around the grip, so I drew a line showing what material to remove, drilled some small holes to allow me to re-sew some new stitches, and then used a sharp wood chisel to remove the part I didn't want. Five minutes of time made a very well made holster awesome.

Now, carrying a Glock 26 in a pocket is not always possible, but carrying the Walther or the Kel Tec is. Since I loved the DeSantis Super Fly for the Walther so much, I ordered one for the Kel Tec and couldn't be happier. The Super Fly comes with a removable and reversable flap like the GURU holster, but it's very flexible. This flap is also humongous, but it kind of wraps around the gun in your pocket, so it makes itself smaller than it really is. The texture of the Super Fly is sticky rubber, so it has the advantage over every pocket holster I've owned of staying in your pocket during the draw. The GURU holster comes out with the pistol almost every time, so I'm going to have to add something to make it stay; the Nemesis holster also slides out of the pocket with the gun most of the time, so I default to the Super Fly.

On order right now is an Uncle Mike's pocket holster which a friend of mine uses to carry his Ruger LCP. He loves it, and at $11 you can't beat the price. I'm going to give it a go as well, but I ultimately see this as a toss up between the GURU and the Super Fly.

To digress a bit, I added a Crimson Trace Lazer Grip to the P3AT, and before I even got it sighted in the battery died. When I got home, the thing worked again just fine. A little Google search led me to threads where others have had this problem, so I wasn't too happy to hear that. I did replace the battery and haven't had any problems since, but who's to say it won't happen later? Time will tell.

The real reason I bring up the Crimson Trace Lazer is that when you install it on your P3AT or Ruger LCP, your beloved pocket holster will no longer fit. Know that ahead of time so that you can have a holster ready. If you notice the Nemesis holster in the first picture above is made for the P3AT without a lazer. When I ordered the lazer, I already had the GURU holster on the way so that I had something to carry the pistol in.

Overall, most brand name holsters today are superbly built, and some, like the GURU, are even beautiful. You can't go wrong by ordering several holsters for your gun, and don't hesitate to get all Martha Stewart on one to make it better suited for your exciting lifestyle.


mike's spot said...

whats the drama on battery life? I just installed some CT grips on my mom's LCP - is it being activated in the pocket or do the batteries just suck?

Unknown said...

Word on the street is that the diode is going bad. I don't see the battery getting activated in the pocket, that is unless you put keys or such in that pocket with the gun. I have also read from several people that the batteries were tired when they received the lazer, and that some fresh ones did the trick.

Mine went dead to start with after about 15 rounds over five minutes of sighting in. The fresh set seems GTG after about 75 rounds and forty minutes, so my problem may have been remedied. I bought the #357 batteries at Radio Shack (P3AT/LCP lazer takes 2). I hope this helps; my mom has an LCP too, and she just got her CTC lazer the night before last. I'll keep you updated on how hers goes.