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Pocket Carry - J Frame 442

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by wjv, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. wjv


    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Well I finally got my S&W 442 and a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.

    I wanted a gun I could have on my person while at home that was discreet and comfortable, but not a pop-gun. My prior gun in this category is a NAA .22 mini-revolver. Recently there has been a rash of “burglary of occupied dwellings” in our area. Three in less than 2 weeks. There have also been several cars broken into, but not cars in people’s driveways. These were all cars that were parked in peoples back yards (1/4 – 1 acre lots). So I decided I wanted something a little better than the NAA revolver.

    I am 5’10” and ~165 lbs, so by most charts I fall into average height & slightly heavier than average categories. I wear jeans ~95% of the time, and most of them have fairly tight fitting pocket, unlike Dockers or similar pants.

    The 442 is much lighter and smaller than my 20+ year old Taurus 85CH. The Taurus barely fits in my front pocket, and even with compact grips, sticks out the top of the pocket by a inch or so. The 442 is also about 10 ounces lighter than the Taurus, at 16 ounces loaded.

    The 442 disappears into my pocket with over an inch to spare. When carrying it is no different weight wise than my wallet which is in my left front pocket.

    I am able to sit and even drive with zero dis-comfort, though drawing from the front pocket while sitting in the car would be difficult.

    I have also have decided to add some extra “padding” to the front of the DeSantis holster to help break-up the outline. Went to the craft store and picked up some thin foam with sticky backing. I’ll see if I can add some extra layering is some areas to hide the shape.

    Without doing this, the gun still printed too clearly. This is a function of the tight pockets that most jeans have and would not be necessary with other types of pants. Even without the foam I think that most people wouldn’t notice, but if you carry or are a cop and know what to look for, it would have been visible.

    The holster REALLY stays in the pocket of the jeans. I tried removing the gun AND the holster at the same time, and it was impossible! You need to remove the gun, and then rotate the holster to remove it from the pocket.

    I’m not going to claim that the 442 is as comfortable as carrying a LCP, TCP, P-3AT or other mini .380 would be. I looked at many of them and gave them all some serious thought! Ultimately I liked the fact that the 442 provided a better grip and a better round, plus “5 for sure”. Not slamming the .380s. A couple friends have them and are quite happy with them. I’ll probably pick up a Bersa CC someday.

    Given that this gun can do everything that the Taurus can, but in a smaller, lighter package, it will eventually become my EDC. It does need a quick trigger job and rebound spring swap. Then I need to hit the range and put some rounds through it. I’m assuming that it will be more “interesting” to shoot because of the lighter weight.

    1) You lose a front pocket. I even have had to move my clip-on style knife to my left pocket.

    2) The 442 really is pushing the limit for a pocket gun. I’m sure that there are some larger people for whom it would be easier. But if you’re an average build individual, the tiny J frame is the limit.

    3) Given the different ways to carry, drawing from a pocket isn’t slow, but it isn’t fast either. If your sitting, it’s even slower.

    1) It’s light! Barely know it’s there.

    2) Having it in your pocket allows you to carry at times when you might not otherwise do so.

    3) In a bad situation, having it in your pocket allows you to casually reach into your pocket, wrap your hand around the grip and be “one step ahead”, if things go south. . . If nothing happens, you simply take your hand out of your pocket, and no one is any wiser.

    4) It's so much easier to dear with pocket carry when you need to go use the bathroom!

    Comparison of a:
    3” Ruger SP101
    2” Taurus 85CH
    2” S&W 442 (ok, actually a 1-7/8”)

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  2. I've been looking to pick up a used J Frame for the past few weeks, but I haven't found a good deal yet. For pocket carry, I currently have a Ruger LCP, but I want to have options, so that is what I want to add a J Frame to my inventory.

    If you don't have one, I would strongly suggest picking up an LCP. It's so light and compact you truly forget you're carrying it. When you factor in the affordable price it's at right now, I don't see any reason not to own one. It's not a gun you would want to shoot all day, but I was nailing paper plates at 15 yards with it. I figure if I ever need to pull the LCP, it will be used at much closer range than that.

  3. Galco makes/made one for the Jframe that fits perfectly in my back jeans pocket. With a loose untucked shirt, it's ideal, the most comfortable I have
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  4. Recurve


    May 22, 2011
    I'm interested in hearing more about pocket holster choices....anyone have some recommendations?
  5. Goldstar225

    Goldstar225 NRA member

    May 24, 2005
    Central Arkansas
    Mika holsters. I started with the Nemesis with my 642 but felt it was a bit bulky. The Mika solved that. It works geat with dockers and wrangler relaxed fit jeans.
  6. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    My 642 is a Nemesis prints badly in jeans. It's pretty obvious its a revolver. Interestingly, a PM9 works fairly well. You can still see a big rectangular block but it's not obvious its a gun.

    Alabama Holster Company has a pocket Kydex holster that is supposed to work well. I may try that at some point. The Nemesis is thick and also a bit hot because of the material.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  7. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009
    Nemesis is good. A Mika pocket holster is even better.
  8. beancounter81


    Oct 10, 2009
    Another vote for Mika - that's what I pocket-carry my 442 in.
  9. Recurve


    May 22, 2011
    I have a Nemesis for a P32. It works pretty well.

    I've read that a lot of guys prefer the way a j-frame rides in the pocket, regardless of the thickness of the cylinder. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
  10. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Not me. The cylnder is what makes it print badly. When it's an auto like the PM9 it just prints as a rectangular block and could be anything... a wallet, etc.
  11. I used an Uncle Mike's #3 for probably over a year before I bought my Mika. I still have the UM for backup, but there's no comparison as far as quality goes.

    The Mika isn't a "small" holster like the UM is, but it's stiff enough to not leave any tell-tail "GUN" signature on my pockets when my 642 is in there.

  12. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

    Jan 27, 2009
    I pocket carry a 642 in a Desantis "Superfly" (same as Nemesis only even tackier material and an optional velcro on front panel that I do not use.)

    Provided your using a suitable gun, I find the major limiting factor for pocket carry is not the holster, but the pockets themselves. Too narrow of an opening and you cannot effectively withdraw the gun from the pocket while maintaining a full firing grip.

    I find the opening must be at least 6" or better to accomplish a smooth draw with a sure grip. As such, some pants just won't work.
  13. mikegun


    Jun 22, 2006
    MIKA is the answer, also sold my 442 and got a 337Ti, smith snubby same size but 4 oz lighter,than 442, great for carry, not so great for the range and hand...
  14. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    I'm one of those people that don't mind the cylinder, I like the rounder and more organic shape of the revolver over the brick shape of a pocket 9mm, I also feel the snubby comes to hand easier in the pocket and is easy to bring into action.

    I use the 442/superfly combo as well, but not in jeans, cargo pants/shorts.
  15. S&W 342PD.... .38 Spl +P ....10.8 ozs. ...
    Mika pocket holster...
    Marriage made in Heaven... :cool:
  16. Recurve


    May 22, 2011
    good info guys. thanks.
  17. My current pocket revolver is a Ruger LCR. It is easy to handle and has a great trigger. I also like Smith & Wesson J frames and I have an old 649. The Ruger is very light and the cylinder has less print through. Also, I am honest enough with myself to wear jeans that fit. Tight jeans and pocket carry is not a good idea. Also, I have a Crimson Trace Laser on the Ruger LCR. It is hard enough to aim fact with a snubby, especially in low light.

    Pocket holsters are a must. Without an additional panel, the pocket holstered eventually allow the revolver to print through. For that reason, I still often carry the LCR in an IWB holster.

    The LCR is my second choice after my Glock 27. Sometimes the Glock is too big for concealment.

    Just remember to practice with the J frame. It is not as easy to get accurate quick shots with the J frame as with the Glock 27.
  18. reniram


    Jan 28, 2011
    Great summary of pocket carry pros and cons OP. Like the last poster mine is the LCP, but whether LCP or S&W J frame, everything you wrote is dead on.
  19. KCinBAMA


    Jul 7, 2010
    Fist Inc #5 pocket holster with thumb push. I've got two of them, one for a Taurus TCP and one for the Ruger LCR - love them both.
  20. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

    Feb 28, 2005
    DFW TX
    I pocket carry a 442 and a Mika holster as a BUG. Mika bolsters are great, just ask him to hold off on the white-out on the inside.