Better Pocket Gun: J-Frame vs. Seecamp


September 9, 2007, 01:10 AM
I currently have a S&W 340PD that I have been pocket carrying this summer in cargo pants and shorts. The gun carries good in those clothes and gives me plenty of power, but kicks like a mule with full power loads.

I'm currently looking for a new job and the new job may require that I wear a little tighter fitting Docker type pant. Thus I am considering switching to a small pocket gun like a Seecamp.

So in your opinion what should I do? Would I be better off dressing around the 340PD or should I switch to the smaller Seecamp?

Thanks in advance,


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Sir Aardvark
September 9, 2007, 01:32 AM
I also carry a S&W 340PD. Most times I pocket-carry it, but I also have a Milt Spark Summer Special II IWB holster for it.

I can wear a plain T-shirt with this holster and you can not see that I'm carrying. I believe that it is just as concealable and comfortable as pocket-carry, although it isn't as simple as just reaching into your pocket if you needed to make a quick, natural appearing draw.

My thoughts on the Seecamp is that it is certainly incredibly concealable, but due to the smaller calibers available for it (.32 and .380, if you can find one) it would be relegated to the role of a BUG for me (and they are expensive, too!).

September 9, 2007, 02:13 AM
Seecamp is much, much, much smaller, but also much less powerful, even in .380. And has no sights. In .380, the Seecamp has wicked recoil. 102 gr .380 Golden Sabers look good, though. In longer barrels they overexpand and underpenetrate, but not in the Seecamp, according to some testing I've seen, and the majority of those guns really like the Golden Sabers.

.32 Seecamps are cheaper and more common, but a bit underpowered. Plus you'd be stuck with JHPs. In that caliber, you definitely want hot FMJs.

I'd say stick with the 340PD if you can. See if a Rohrbaugh R9 or Kahr MK9/PM9 fits your needs better if you can't. Only go with a Seecamp LWS380 if none of the above are small enough.

September 9, 2007, 02:17 AM
I had a 340 - too hard to shoot; switched to a 642 - a few extra ounces made all the difference.

Sir Aardvark
September 9, 2007, 03:23 AM
One thing I forgot to mention...

I installed a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips, Model LG 405, on my 340PD and that little "recoil reduction pocket" makes an incredible difference in felt recoil.

I can comfortably shoot +P's out of it just fine, but the .357MAG's still give a huge kick.

September 9, 2007, 04:49 AM
I don't like any autocrunchentickerjamamatic in the pocket, and I own a Kahr PM9.

My EDC in the pocket is a S&W 442. As for full power loads, if those were .357 Magnum, yeah, I totally understand. To me a Corbon 38 Special is about as "hot" as I want to get in a pocket gun.

I find a revolver to be a "hair" more reliable when carried in the pocket, or other favored BUG carry location, like the ankle. That's not to say that revolvers can't fail. I've personally had one "jam" on me at the range and my Brother had one "jam" in a gunfight.

Any man made device can and will at some point fail. It's just that the revolvers tend to fail less often. For what it's worth, mine was a new "Clinton Lock" S&W and my Brother's didn't suffer from the "Clinton Lock" when he was in that gunfight. He has been in a few, to say the least.

Even with the lock I'd still take a S&W Revolver after running at least 200 rounds of my Carry Ammo through it, but I do that with all my carry guns. It gets sort of exspensive, but I'm worth it.


September 9, 2007, 04:55 AM
Writing this made me remember another revolver failure I had almost thirty years ago.

Took the Model 10 behind the house to shoot at a couple of cans by the stock tank. On the third shot I heard a pfft. SQUIB LOAD! This of course locked the gun up tighter than a drum.

I went in to the shop and placed the gun in a vise. Then I used a wooden dowel to knock the bullet back in to the casing. I didn't even mar the gun. :)

Not bad for a 17 y/o playing hookey. :D


September 9, 2007, 05:58 AM
I've had occasion to use all the brands mentioned previously, but still remaining in my inventory is a Kel-Tec P-3AT in .380 and an Airweight J-frame in .38spl +p.

I have pocket holsters for both and while I am more accurate at distance with the J-frame, the little Kel-Tec weighs much less (11 oz. versus 17.9 oz) fully loaded.

Because of the Kel-Tec's light weight, it finds it's way into my pocket most often.

So far, both have been 100% reliable. I do keep them clean.

Ala Dan
September 9, 2007, 07:54 AM
I carry a Seecamp LWS-32 as a BUG, and would trust my life [or the lives of
loved ones] to it; as its the finest pocket gun out there on the American
market, As other's have said, I like a little more firepower, but for an up
close and personal gun [such as ATM's, gas statons, etc]; the little LWS-32
from Seecamp is super for thrawting an atack~!;):D

September 9, 2007, 08:19 AM
For you men and ladies far (at what range) do you expect to have to shoot?

Odds are, it's going to be 5 feet...give or take a couple feet. Do you really expect to be using the sights?

September 9, 2007, 09:02 AM
For you men and ladies far (at what range) do you expect to have to shoot?

Odds are, it's going to be 5 feet...give or take a couple feet. Do you really expect to be using the sights?

Exactly. I'm no self-proclaimed self-defense guru, but from what I've read, street level encounters are generally exactly that - up close and personal. Anyone not practicing "point shooting" as a MAJOR part of their self defense training, may as well just carry a stick and a pocket screamer.

The lack or quality of sights would not discount my decision to buy a self defense firearm. Those matters are more important if I'm using it for plinking, or as a home defense weapon. Still, I'm fairly certain that a Seecamp would only make it into my collection for sheerly a back-up gun and not for primary defense. I'd find ways to carry what you have. My 642 is all but undetectable in my shorts pocket. Perhaps you could go IWB?

September 9, 2007, 09:07 AM
Gun Nut,
I am in the exact same circumstance as you; often, I ABSOLUTELY cannot be known to be carrying, and my mode of dress does not allow for cover garments (many of which are completely out-of-character in any circumstance in my line of work). As I have said in previous posts, even the most stealthy IWB holster with the most concealable belt clips (Comp-Tac's V-Clips come to mind) would be a dead-giveaway if even a glimpse were afforded others, so I have not been able to exercise these options. As close as I've gotten to concealing my snub in circumstances such as yours has been a DeSantis belly band, although even this can hang the gun's grip up a little strangely, especially if you are reaching overhead or are in close contact with clients/subjects/offenders/etc.

While I am a big revolver fan and always try to carry my snub with me, sometimes it's impossible. For these times, the Seecamp has been invaluable. Carried in the back pocket it looks no different than a wallet when in some of the anti-print panel holsters, and even in the front pocket, the right holster can make the gun disappear. As far as caliber selection, I have both the .32 and .380 (as well as a .45ACP 1911 Seecamp conversion, but that's another thread :)), but prefer the .32. I am more than proficient keeping shots COM with the .32, which isn't necessarily the case with the .380 (in my experience, YMMV), and am a big "software not hardware" adherent. This said, I'm comfortable with the .32.

The nicest thing about the Seecamp, in whichever caliber, is that no matter how many times you handle one, it isn't until you own one and carry it everyday that you realize how easy it is to incorporate everywhere you go.

In your circumstance, I might try a $30 DeSantis belly band experiment first, and see if it meets your comfort/concealability options. If it doesn't, the Seecamp would be an excellent option. Ideally, you'll have an opportunity to try the .32 versus the .380 before you buy (you'd be welcome to try mine if you live in New England), but the .32 would probably be a fine gun.

In any case, don't pay more than MSRP for either gun, unless you need one TODAY and can't wait. You can even order from the factory for MSRP pricing if you can afford to wait.

September 9, 2007, 09:58 AM
Have you considered a pocket sized 9mm auto? I have a Kahr PM 40 that I pocket carry almost daily. The Kahr PM 9 is just a tad smaller so I have no doubt it will be as easy, if not easier to carry, than my Kahr 40. In a cheap DeSantis pocket holster, the Kahr looks just like a wallet. This option may be a good trade-off for you between conceal ability and caliber.

The Lone Haranguer
September 9, 2007, 11:26 AM
Slacks like Dockers still have relatively large pockets. But, a Kahr PM or MK9, in a thin pocket holster like the Mika, is thinner and flatter than the revolver due to the lack of a bulging cylinder, but fires a more substantial cartridge (9mm Luger) than the little Seecamp, has good sights and does not have excessive recoil.

September 9, 2007, 12:20 PM
.32 Seecamps are cheaper and more common, but a bit underpowered. Plus you'd be stuck with JHPs. In that caliber, you definitely want hot FMJs.
this is easily remadied by using Fiocchi 60 sjhp they realy dont expand the front just kinda flatens out,recovered bullets have the shape of a full they are hot. 1000 fps from my seecamp.IMHO the best load for the 32 bar none.

September 9, 2007, 12:35 PM
Thanks for all of the responses.

I've been carrying the 340PD in a Uncle Mikes #3 pocket holster, and the gun seems to be moving around too much. On a long walk it starts to irritate my leg.

Any recommendations on a reasonably priced pocket holster that would be more comfortable than the UM's?

I think for now I may try and make the 340PD work, i'm worried that I will just leave the little Seecamp at home. I've had a problem in the past with .32 and .380 guns, as I don't really feel that well protected by them.

I may end up looking into a belly band and IWB too.

If I were 100% confident that the Kahr PM9 would work I would try one out, but the little 9mm semi-auto's are too picky at this time.


September 9, 2007, 01:22 PM
I would stick with the Smith.

September 9, 2007, 01:39 PM
Just recently purchased a S&W airlite for pocket carry---love it--very concealable,light and quite accurate w/in 5-7 yards which is all you need 99% of the time..anything further get the AR out of the trunk!

September 9, 2007, 01:49 PM
light and quite accurate w/in 5-7 yards
throw some CT grips and a few thousand rounds you can remove the hyphan
seriously these things are as accurate as anything they're just real hard to shoot well.

September 9, 2007, 02:10 PM
Mavracer---it only has 2" barrel and i rarely use my sights, so I'm very happy with my results at the 5-7 range...though thank you for the encouraging words!

September 9, 2007, 02:21 PM
"Any recommendations on a reasonably priced pocket holster that would be more comfortable than the UM's?"

GunNut, I carry my .38 snubby (Taurus 85 UL) in one of two holsters:
1) Mikas: Quite inexpensive, holds the gun well, has designs for both trouser and jeans pockets, holster is a very good choice for snubbies with exposed hammers
2) Galco: leather, retains the gun a bit better (if I were going to ride a roller coaster...I've have this holster in my pocket)
The Galco covers the trigger quite well, but doesn't cover the hammer completely. That tends to wear on the pocket cloth.

So, I suggest you look at the Mikas first. I've had Uncle Mike's holsters...I never thought much of them. The only one I have left (to my knowledge) is used for a gun in my keep it clean. It's never used for carry purposes.

For those of you who think .32ACP isn't enough...well, would you want to be shot with one?
My .32 is a Tomcat. One thing I really like about this little gun is the tip up barrel for loading. So far, it's been quite reliable...but I'll admit, it ain't shot much. I'd LOVE to have one of those Seecamp .32's though!

So, GunNut...I'd go for that Seecamp! If it makes you feel better, stash a larger caliber handgun in your car.

September 9, 2007, 02:45 PM
Like so many others, I have a hard time comfortably concealing a handgun in my office attire. I have tried a few things starting with an XD subcompact then moving to a snubby. I discovered the Seecamp about a year ago when looking for something better quality then a keltec. I did some research, joined their forum, and discovered they are manufactured about 3 miles form my home in CT. I called up Larry Seecamp himself and got a guided tour of his shop and manufacturing process. I cannot tell you how throughly impressed I am with everything about the Seecamp. It is extremely high quality, has top notch manufacturer support, is incredibly easy to carry no matter what clothing you are wearing, and its just an all around classy piece.

September 9, 2007, 03:34 PM
On the sights issue, it's better to have and not need, than to need and not have. My primary carry pieces all have sights. I would not carry a gun without them as my primary. Backup, maybe. Primary, no.

September 9, 2007, 05:46 PM
Any pocket rig is best if it tends to fill the pocket, so the UM rig moving around indicates your pocket may be too big for the rig. Is the whole rig moving around within the pocket? There are certainly other pocket holsters that fill more of the pocket, and of course the pocket can be made smaller with a safety pin, if it's the lined type of pocket. If the whole rig is moving within the pocket, going to a smaller weapon will result in more movement. If the design of the pants is causing the whole pocket to move, then change pants, or use a different pocket. The lower pocket of loose cargo pants is not a good place to carry any substantial amount of weight. A J-snub or a Seecamp will beat you up if you carry in a loose carge pocket. As for a specific holster recommendation, a Desantis Nemesis is better-padded than the UM, and the flatter cut across the bottom might stabilize better in your pockets, depending on how they are cut. A Nemesis is available from dealers, with no wait for it to be made. I like Kramer pocket holsters best myself, but since there are several factors affecting fit and comfort with each pair of pants, I have not tossed out my UM, Desantis, or Galco pocket rigs. With certain pants, the Galco, sized for a snubby, is still especially useful due to less bulk than the Kramer, though of course the Kramer has that nice rectangle of thermoplastic that camouflages the outline of the gun. My big pocket gun is the SP101, a bit heavier than your J-snub, and I also have a J-snub Airweight and a Seecamp, so while I am not expert by any means, I have carried a variety of pocket guns with several makers' holsters. Footnote: The Kramer pocket holster is leather. The ones for snubbies have the thermoplastic panel that faces the outside, to make the whole rig look square, like a wallet. The ones for the Seecamp, and possibly other tiny autos, do not have the thermoplastic panel.

September 9, 2007, 08:59 PM
Out of a short barrel the 32 and 380 are very close. The 380 just feels in recoil like a lot more. I feel either will work in a pocket gun. I carry my 32 KT more than my 380 Both with Corbon. The 32 Seecamp is on my buy list .

September 10, 2007, 02:37 AM
Even an easier to shoot .38 spl would be better than .32 and I'd try to keep the j-frame if you can.

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