All-steel snub for pocket carry?

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Super posts with much food for thought and much appreciated as I'm also considering a J-frame pocket pistol. If I may summarize...

Airlite -- why go there?
Airweight -- no problem with .38spl
Steel -- needed for +P and a bit much for pocket carry (so why not consider more gun for IWB -- like RugerSP101 which I've always wanted)

And the Ruger LCP is not totally off my radar screen for pocket carry.

I've tried various guns in my pocket in the gun store, but this is not like carrying it for several hours, and also need to add ammo weight, so I'm leery of erring on the heavy side. Again, thanks for all the insight by those who are experienced!
A few of the posts above seem to assume that there will be no holster used...pocket carry doesn't mean not using a pocket holster...there are safety, reliability and concealment reasons to do so...
When I pocket carry in my suit or dress slack pants, I find that my Taurus 651 titanium at 19 oz. loaded is about the maximum I can carry comfortably. My Model 60's, SP-101s and 650s are all too heavy to carry that way. I use a Nemesis holster for revolver pocket carry.
Pants for pocket carry

Given a good belt at least 1 1/2" wide and a good pocket holster (my favorite is the Mika square cut, the choice of dress pants makes a big difference.

I particularly like the TravelSmith "ComfortSizer" dress slacks. They have deep pockets and conceal and support my stainless 640 well. Better than the Dockers and other slacks I have found.,2,251,258&iProductID=1486&sortBy=0

For more casual, the Duluth Trading 5 pockets have nice deep well supported pockets and also work well.

It took me a while to find these. If others have found pants with deep and sturdy pockets, I would enjoy hearing about them.
For me a good belt and heavy weight pants makes pocket carrying a steel J frame feasible.
For lighter casual pants I usually choose an Airweight.
For really light suit pants I carry an Airlite. I admit that an Airlite is never fun to shoot, even with standard velocity .38 special ammo.
Different guns for different purposes works for me.
For me, the answer is "it depends."

In jeans, a 640-1 is no problem because the pockets tend to be tighter and the gun can't flop around.

In jackets, I tend to go with Airweights.

That said, I usually carry a heavier gun on the belt--so if I use a J-frame, it's usually in a pocket.
I like the "it depends" answer! If I can put it in my pocket, either one of my J frames will get the nod. If I have to wear it IWB, my snubbie Ruger Security Six will pull duty that day. The J frame shines when you just want to drop a gun into your pocket (with pocket holster!!!) and go!
My lighter 642 is easier to carry, but is I put my steel 940 in my back pocket, I have no problems. I tend not to pocket carry around here (Houston) because we have a lot of pickpockets. IWB is definitely better around here.
OH25Shooter - any problems with snagging on the draw? The only reason I wasn't considering a regular-style revolver like a 36 or a 60 is because of snagging - to be honest, I like the looks of the hammer better than the shrouded or humpback varieties.
I've found the size of the grip to be much more important than weight one it comes to pocket carry.

If the pockets are deep enough to conceal the grip, even my SP101 is ok to carry for awhile.

re: hammer snag

I took most of the spur off this hammer with a Dremel tool. It doesn't snag when drawing from a SmartCarry inside my belt.


David, thanks for the tip about the Travelsmith pants. The best I've found so far are the Dockers. The Travelsmiths seem worth trying.

One question. They're wool and summer is a coming in. Would these be suitable for hot weather?
I would go with the lighter gun. I have pocket carried a lot of different J-frames. I can tell you that the Airlites are the easiest, but the Airweights are fine too. But an all steel one weighing about 20 ozs + ammo, and pocket holster weight adds up.

I have a 342PD Airlite that weighs only 11ozs. But by the time you put 5 rounds in it, plus a Kramer pocket holster, it weighs about 16 ozs.
Summer wool


The wool is lightweight and breathes well. I wear them year round in Kentucky when I can't wear the Duluth jeans.

They make microfiber which I don't care for and a blend which is fine. I just prefer lightweight wool.

The pleated definitely conceal better. Younger guys wanting to show off their "buns of steel" may not want to pocket carry anyway. But I am close to people all day and my 640 in the Mika conceals very well. It bulges less and is smoother than my other pocket with keys, a Surefire L1 light and a couple of speedloaders. And the pockets are balanced in weight.
FWIW, if you could put 19 rounds in an Airweight model 642, it would weigh the same as a stainless model 640 with 5 rounds.

12oz Airlite 340PD
15oz Airweight 642
23oz Stainless 640

2.7 oz 5 rds of ammo
If there were no other lighter snubbies, pocket carrying steel guns would done all the time with pocket holsters, and they are, just not as much since the Airweights came out. I actually prefer appendix carry with holster the gun rides low in. I can stick it a front pocket if I have to but, I would not want to take an all day hike that way.

Model 60 357 Mag w/Compac Pro's and a Hunter suede type holster.
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Can of soda

Or: The difference in weight of an AirLight and a 640 is less than the contents of one can of soda (not counting the can).

But it really all comes down to preference.

I just like the feel of a 640. It feels substantial. Maybe it is an old fart thing, but the light-weights feel like toys. I think I had cap guns 55 years ago that weighed more and felt heftier.

And the 640 is a lot easier for me to shoot. My favorite to shoot is my 686 snubby, but it is a bit much for any pocket I have.

We all make the compromises we can live with the best. And love living in a country that still allows us the choice.
I prefer steel. a 2" model 36 or 60 weighs 19ozs. They have vastly superior recoil and handling characteristics. A five ounces of difference to me isn't a big deal carrying, pocket or belt holster. The handling of the Airlites are so unfriendly as to make them unpleasant to shoot - I'd almost rather be firing .44 magnums out of my 3" N frame snubbie. At least it's got decent, full size grips and some mass to it.

Go take some +Ps, go to a range and rent some guns - you can see for yourself what works in the hand, which is what matters.
I own a M638 and a M640-1. I just can't bring myself to carry the M640 in my pocket all day but i do carry the M638 all the time. I intend upon forcing myself to get used to the added weight because I want to carry the M640 in the future. (for many reasons)

This is what it looks like in the pocket holster:


I really haven't had a "snagging" problem in my jeans (the front pockets are wide). But honestly, I don't see me trying a quick draw anyway. In fact, at times contrary to the manufacturers advertising, the entire holster starts to come out of the pocket. If I hold it back with my left hand, the revolver comes out nicely. Pocket holsters are not designed for a fast draw, they simply hold the gun in place, keep it clean and helps to prevent printing of the weapon.
"any problems with snagging on the draw?"
I cover the hammer with the thumb during the draw; you need to place your thumb there anyway so that you can get your hand out of your pocket. No snags during the draw.
This thread is making me rethink my choice in snubbies! To be honest, the gun that appeals to me most is a stainless model 36 or 60 with a hammer, the original S&W thin grips, and maybe a T-grip as well. Just so classy!
If you want a 'pocket' carry .38--look no further than a S&W 442. Light, easy to carry. Out of a snubbie there is not diff between +P and regular.
IF you want an all steel--go with a Ruger SP 101 in .357. If you are going to pack the extra weight, may as well make it a .357.
Then You're Using the Wrong Holster...

Pocket holsters are not designed for a fast draw, they simply hold the gun in place, keep it clean and helps to prevent printing of the weapon.
...or the wrong pants.

As I said in my earlier comment:
For me and my current style of pants (pleat-front Dockers), the PCS No See-Um straight pocket holster from Lightning Arms Sports is the only one that has ever made me happy - good concealment, stability and full-firing grip while the gun is still in the pocket. Others may find some of the other PCS offerings better for their needs.

Granted that a draw from the pocket will likely be slower than a draw from a belt holster, if you're starting with your hand off the gun, one of the advantages of pocket carry is that it can allow you to get your hand discreetly on the gun without risking a charge of aggravated assault. If you cannot draw smoothly, with only one hand, once you have already acquired a firing grip, you have not come up with a realistic pocket-carry system.

If you're not satisfied with your inexpensive, generic pocket holster, made of some material other than leather, a saying in Spanish comes to mind: lo barato cuesta caro (That which is cheap costs dear.)
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