Beware of loose pocket holsters!


June 5, 2013, 11:19 AM
This is my first post. I've been lurking here for a few years but never felt I had anything to contribute. Now I do. I'm writing to caution everyone against pocket holsters that don't really grip your weapon.
For the last couple of years I've been pocket-carrying a Ruger LCP in a Recluse holster. The Recluse provides excellent retention but although it's very low profile, I feel that it prints badly. I got the front-pocket model and since it has very squared-off corners and edges and is holster-shaped, no matter what pants I wear I have a noticeable gun-shaped outline in my pocket.
So a couple of weeks ago I bought a DeSantis Superfly. Initially I was very pleased-it worked as advertised. The outside of the holster adheres to the pocket and, while you could tell something was in my pocket, you couldn't tell what it was.
Last night at about 9:00 I was relaxing on the couch with my girlfriend and came to the sickening realization that while my holster was in my pocket, my LCP was not. Just for the record I was wearing Dickies work pants-much like flatfront khakis-not loose, not tight. I made a quick, frantic search of my house and van and came to the realization that I had to make the terrifying, humiliating call to the client whose house I had been working in all day and tell him that there was possibly an unsecured, loaded gun with no safety somewhere in his house with his two sons. Now, I was pretty sure the gun would end up being somewhere in my house or yard, as I habitually pat all my pockets when I get in or out of my van, but the Superfly has enough rigidity and the LCP is light enough that it doesn't feel that much different with the pistol in or out of the holster. And in any case, I couldn't gamble the lives of a 7 year old and a 4 year old on being "pretty sure." So I called my client and went back and searched his house thoroughly. No luck. With that out of the way I went back to my house and performed a more thorough search and found it. It had fallen out of my pocket on the couch and become entangled in a blanket. We had lifted up that blanket twice in the initial search but as the name suggests, it's a light, compact pistol and it escaped detection. .
That hour or so between the discovery that the pistol was missing and the discovery of the pistol was the most terrifying of my life. What if one of those kids had already found it and hidden it in his room before I discovered the loss? That's something I might have done at age 7.
Turns out everything was fine. My girlfriend is experienced with firearms and I don't have kids, so no one was ever in any danger. But the possibilities are terrifying. And the whole experience could end up costing my company tens of thousands of dollars. I own a low-voltage contracting company and the client is one of my builders. He's a gun-owner himself and was very understanding but I'm sure his wife is livid (and rightfully so). And we all know how influential wives can be.
My takeaway from this: the Superfly went straight into the trash. I had never thought about it, but the opening in the holster and the slash pockets on a pair of khakis line up perfectly to dump the LCP right out when seated. I will also never carry into a house with children again, although I certainly don't judge anyone who makes a different choice. And I'm back to the Recluse-printing and all. It's a very well-designed holster and I'm confident that it won't come out of my pocket unless I want it to. Today I'm emotionally drained but very relieved.

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June 5, 2013, 11:32 AM
Are your pants too big or something so there is no tension on the pocket at all? Even with no pocket holster, if your pants fit the gun won't fall out.

June 5, 2013, 11:39 AM
The pants fit. I actually think no holster would have been more secure than the Superfly. The Superfly has a slick nylon inner surface and some rigidity. As you said, with no holster my pants would have held the pistol in place. The Superfly, not so much. That's why I felt I should warn people.

David E
June 5, 2013, 11:43 AM
Not all pockets are amenable to pocket holsters.

Glad things worked out.

June 5, 2013, 11:56 AM
Thanks for sharing. You identified a problem with a tool and took actions to correct the problem. I've not doubt that the hour you mentioned was extremely unpleasant to say the least.

June 5, 2013, 12:00 PM
Good for you for making the tough call to let the parents know.

June 5, 2013, 12:01 PM

I don't carry in-pocket...kinda not the preferred carry for a full sized .45 acp, if you get my meaning.

However, I have looked at various in-pocket holsters with an eye towards a purchase some day when I have a smaller pistol in my collection. I'll be sure to look into this.

Functionality is important...and I look at a lot of things with respect to holsters. They don't all fit the body like I would prefer, they all have different features, blah, blah, blah. I would evaluate the Superfly like any other...check weapon fit, holster fit, retention, and drawing (for starters). And, since it's a pocket holster, I wouldn't expect it to perform equally well in all types of pants. I wear jeans a lot and the style/cut of the jeans and associated pockets are different from brand to brand. Dress pants pockets are radically different than jeans pockets.

Personally, I think you may have over-reacted in your immediate disposal of the Superfly. Like the weapon you carry, your choice in holsters should meet your carry needs/means. The Superfly may have been a perfectly good holster for other just have to choose the holster that fits your needs based on that.

I also think you're over-reacting on never carrying in a house with kids again. Certainly the safety of children is a consideration, but the basis of your actions should focus on the inherent responsibility with carrying a weapon. In otherwords, learn from your mistakes, fix yourself, and carry on smartly.

It is, however, understandable that you may be very upset and stressed over the potential consequences of your actions. Personally, I think that says a lot about your character...that you DO take the business of carrying a weapon seriously and you ARE aware of the consequences of screwing up. That said, give yourself time to come to terms with this and, as I said before, learn from your mistakes and fix yourself.

June 5, 2013, 12:09 PM
Thanks for the kind words, folks. I fully agree that I might be overreacting on the not carrying into houses with kids part and I might revisit that later, but I don't think I'd be comfortable carrying in the Superfly again. It's probably a fine choice with jeans that are a bit tighter or cargo pants with a flap pocket, but not for me.

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 12:51 PM
My pocket holsters are intentionally snug in the pocket but loose on the gun because I don't want to draw and discover that the holster and revolver are still together.

On the other hand when I am laying down, or when for whatever my body isn't upright for an extensive time the holstered gun will have been removed and put close but elsewhere.

Although I am a strong advocate of side-pocket carry over many decades I have never lost or dropped a gun that was inside a pocket holster.

June 5, 2013, 01:31 PM
I normally (front) pocket carry a little S&W airweight .38, using a basic nylon pocket holster I got from CTD, and I've never lost the pistol, even sitting in my car where my cellphone often slides loose. I'll be paying a little more attention though, losing it would defintily be a code-brown moment !!:eek:

June 6, 2013, 03:20 AM
You definitely made the right call by informing the client, sometimes its better to save your a$$ than your face, especially when there are kids involved. I also pocket carry the LCP as a backup, I believe my holster is the nemesis, been carrying it this way for so long the bluing is completely worn of the gun. I tend to stick to a system once I find one that works.

June 6, 2013, 07:34 PM
I front pocket carry in denim jeans with deep pockets. In a Nemisis, Uncle Mike's or Blackhawk holster. You could turn the holster upside down and pour the gun out. Never lost a gun yet.

June 6, 2013, 08:44 PM
Strange. I pocket carry daily. A keltec p32 sometimes a sig p238. I use a cheapo blackhawk for the keltec, a rkba one for the p238. No matter how I sit or lay or roll around on the floor I culdnt get either to fall out of the holster or the holster to fall out. I wear cheapo kahki pants everyday.

I'm more prone to blame the pants than the holster, but then again I wasn't there so what I think doesn't apply. My point is though if the pocket is deep enough the holster and gun should hang down enough to not allow escape. Does in my pants anyways.

All that said, glad ya' found it before anything bad could happen. Scary moment for sure. Nice reminder to us all to pay extra special attention at all times when carrying.

Jim NE
June 6, 2013, 09:55 PM
Yes, thanks to the OP for the heads up. He did the right thing not putting kids at risk.

The cheapo Blackhawks work for me and smaller guns. Model 37 revolver works good in it, though I don't know if it was made for it or not.

June 8, 2013, 07:26 AM
I think that was the scariest story I've ever read. For me the couch is often "the prime suspect" in wallet loss. Making that phone call to your last client must have been really tough.

June 8, 2013, 12:34 PM
My most usual daily carry since I acquired my CHL about 3 years ago is a snub nose in a de Santis Nemesis front pocket holster. The retention (outside the pocket) is such that I can rotate the holster to about 30 degrees below the horizontal without the gun falling out. In a tight pocket I could rotate much further. My activities don't involve my front pocket rotating much below the horizontal. As a result, it has never shown any inclination to fall out.

A gun could fall out of any type of holster if the retention is insufficient for the activities being performed. I don't think it is fair to single out pocket holsters as a class.

Thanks for having the guts to admit your temporary loss rather than risk anyone being hurt.

June 9, 2013, 02:12 PM
I also had the same holster and one night when we were at the movie theater I heard something fall on the floor beneath me. I thought it was my cell phone until I realized I had left it in the car. I felt my pocket and sure as heck my LCP had fallen out on the floor. The kids seated behind me were quick to flick on their cell phone lights and start looking for it. I grabbed the closest ones phone and found it myself. I handed it back and thanked him and I don't think any of them realized it was a pistol and not a phone. I ditched that holster and I only use kydex or leather holsters that actually grip the pistol. I would never use a holster like that in the pocket or my belt ever again. Cheap holsters suck.

Old Fuff
June 9, 2013, 06:30 PM
Cheap holsters suck.

Usually so. However if a pocket holster is too tight you may draw the gun and discover the holster is still attached! :eek:

So when you get a new one, regardless of style or material, practice with it until you are 100% sure the holster will, without exception, stay in the pocket.

Highland Ranger
June 9, 2013, 06:35 PM
Fist pocket holster with two tension screws. Allows for periodic adjustment.

Deep pockets help.

June 9, 2013, 09:01 PM
Usually so. However if a pocket holster is too tight you may draw the gun and discover the holster is still attached!

So when you get a new one, regardless of style or material, practice with it until you are 100% sure the holster will, without exception, stay in the pocket.

Agreed. I come from the frame of thought if you are going to carry it, you should be practicing with it and your carry gear regardless.

June 12, 2013, 11:19 AM
i carry a LCP in a de santis nemesis as well. I work in an auto shop and have had the lcp fall out of my pocket twice. Once while upside down under a dash and the other, i was laying on my back under a truck with my feet raised. Its my work pants, not the holster.
+1 for calling the client.

June 12, 2013, 01:16 PM
Thanks But I never had that issue.

June 12, 2013, 08:50 PM
I have carried a S&W 442 in a Nemesis for several years with no mishaps. If I know I am working/doing something physical, I prefer a OWB holster with a thumb-break or even a SERPA. I know the consensus is negative about a Blackhawk SERPA, but I personally find the safety of having the weapon secured properly very reassuring.

June 20, 2013, 02:13 PM
My LCP is in a Galco pocket holster. I keep a fat rubber band around it. It's not very tight but has just enough tension to keep the gun in the holster and will easily give way (or just break) if I need to pull the pistol. I can turn the holster upside down, shake it, and the gun will not fall out. It probably slows down my presentation a little but I like the insurance and will take the trade-off.

June 21, 2013, 10:39 AM
I used to carry an LCP, and before that a BG380.

I started with the DeSantis Nemesis for the BG380. I gave up on it, since the holster just plain stays with the gun when drawing.

I then got a DeSantis Superfly. It worked fine for back pocket carry.

I switched to the LCP and got another Superfly. I, too, felt the LCP seemed very eager to unholster itself. I pocket carry in my right rear pocket with the muzzle pointing straight down. I never had a situation like yourself, but some experimentation proves it definitely likes to fall out if you're doing anything "acrobatic".

I switched to a Sig P238 and got yet another Superfly. The 238's a bit wider, and the retention is quite snug. The Superfly's design, with sticky material on the outside square part, means the holster stays in your pocket.

I think the root cause is that the LCP is very slightly narrow than the BG380, but the two holsters sure look the same to me. Perhaps someone should reach out to DeSantis and discuss this with them.

I wear "normal" jeans (not baggy, not skinny), khakis, or dress pants.

June 22, 2013, 04:26 PM
so no one was ever in any danger.

Not quite true. If you picked the blanket up twice and didn't find the gun, there is the possibility you could have pulled the trigger by accident. Unlikely, but possible given the frantic nature of what you were doing.

I pocket carry a J-frame in a Nemesis holster at times. In loose fitting cargo shorts, it will slide right out if I'm sitting. I need a new system, but haven't gotten on it because I mostly carry an XDs now in .45. The J frame may get traded actually since I can carry the XDs ina pocket just as easily.

Thanks for the heads up OP.

June 24, 2013, 12:17 PM
I am reading that story and sweating right up to the end. Thank God you found it. I cannot imagine what was going through your mind.

June 30, 2013, 09:56 PM
No pocket holster will 100% guarantee retention. In fact, that's the one thing you can trust, nothing man made is 100% reliable and trustworthy. Not the gun, holster, ammunition, nothing. All you can really rely on is that none of it can be.

It's no different than pocket knives. Get upside down, they fall out. Hence the huge shift to pocket clips on knives. While I've bent a few clips over the years, the only knives I've lost in the course of a days work have been pocket carried knives. Never a clipped knife.

Cell phones? Same. Pocket change, yes. In fact, pretty much anything in my pocket will fall out, whether laying in the street hooking up chains to tow a car, or remodeling under the sink, or under a car in the garage.

Frankly, it's really a no brainer. Anything loose in pants pockets falls out when you get upside down. Precisely why duty uniforms - like in the military - have flaps and fasteners. To keep things in when you absolutely need to. Never lost anything out of a pocket in 22 years in the Army Reserves.

Sorry for your situation, sometimes we learn these things inexpensively, and here's hoping that's how it turns out. It's cost me a pocket knife from my mother in law, about 3.58 in change (who really knows,) and fortunately, not a Strider SnG. Turns out I put it down instead of clipping it in my pocket. That took three weeks to sort out.

You did the right thing calling. If it wasn't for the precise danger of them finding it, the boys would have been the best at it.

June 30, 2013, 10:32 PM
I used Blackhawk and Uncle Mike's

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