Which pocket holster is best for you?

If pocket holsters were simple pouches, choosing one would be easy

I’m quite partial to carrying a handgun in my pocket. It’s a practice that works well on and off duty. 

Lightweight revolvers and thin autos work best, and some guns are superior for this job. 

For revolvers, I recommend the M&P 340CT. For autos, I like the Kahr PM9. Both choices don’t weigh the pocket down and they have the prerequisite reliability and accuracy.

Pictured, from left to right, the TecGrip Pocket Holster, the 701 Pocket Holster, and Sticky Holster.
Pictured, from left to right, the TecGrip Pocket Holster, the 701 Pocket Holster, and Sticky Holster. (Photo/Blackhawk, Gould & Goodrich, Sticky Holsters)

Pocket holster carry takes training and practice. Training includes learning to carry the speedloader in the same pocket as the gun for revolver users for rapid reloads.

If pocket holsters were simple pouches, choosing one would be easy. You could just sew your own pouch and be done with it.

I have been carrying my Charter Arms Undercover Lite for a year or so in three different pocket holsters: Gould & Goodrich, BLACKHAWK and Sticky.

The question I asked was, “Which pocket holster is the best for me?” The answer isn’t complicated, as long as the user follows the rules:

1. The holster must completely cover the trigger guard;

2. The holster must agree with the user’s tactics;

3. The holster must let the user acquire the master grip before drawing;

4. The holster must conceal and protect the gun.

Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster

The holster with the lightest material is the Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster (MSRP $19.09 for the shield; price varies).

The non-slip layer on the outside is like some of the tacky materials we put on our guns to improve the grip. After several months of use, the “wing” area – designed to break up the outline of the gun – is a lot more flexible.

The G&G 701 is the most concealable of the choices, and I use it in pants with narrow pockets. It is the most flexible of the three, and I recommend it for garments with stiffer materials. The suede smooth lining provides flexibility and gives it a really fast draw.

I also use the G&G 701 for unconventional applications. I have a running waist pack not designed for holding a gun, but it has a smooth zipper. With this holster, it becomes my running companion.

The G&G 701 isn’t stiff enough for IWB carry, like the other two in this review.

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster (MSRP $18.95) has a very tacky exterior. It uses high-density, closed-cell foam to make it stiffer than the G&G 701.  Although it has stitching on the edges, it is mostly thermal-bonded laminate.

The TecGrip Holster does a great job breaking up the gun’s outline. The interior is smooth and, like the G&G 701, can be machine or hand washed.

The TecGrip Holster is best used for pocket-sized autos like the Kahr PM9 because of its ability to soften the vertical lines of the slide. Occasionally, I stick my 40 Shield in my pocket using TecGrip’s larger size.

The Sticky Holster

The Sticky Holster (MSRP $29.95) is well named. It is definitely sticky against almost any material. Despite its extreme tackiness, pet hairs and the like don’t adhere to it. 

Sticky Holsters are stitched in the shape of the gun, like the G&G 701, and the “wing” created by the stitching fills many different pocket shapes. This product positioned my gun in a predictable position no matter what I wore.

The edges of the product are seam taped, and I have cleaned this holster several times with no loss in stickiness.

Besides pocket use, this holster is perfect for a BUG. In fact, Sticky Holsters make a BUG Pad for vest carry. They also make an Anklebiter Ankle Holster, which makes the Sticky Holster even more versatile.

IWB Considerations

The design of these holsters means they are tacky enough to be used as an IWB set up. The beltline pins the gun and holster enough for this kind of carry. The Sticky products definitely have the structural integrity for this application. I even tried my Sticky Holster on a trip to the corner store wearing a pair of drawstring shorts.

But please apply the casual spandex wear rule when it comes to carrying a pocket holster for IWB. Just because one can do it, does not mean one should do it. There are sounder tactical options.

OK, which one did I like the best? Well, I carry all three depending on the application. After all, pocket holsters are cheap, and I use them all the time. 

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