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Depending on what I wear and what's on the agenda for any given day dictates how and what I carry for a self-defense gun. On the occasion that calls for it, my pocket carry set up gives me 15-shots of dependable protection that comes in at (just) under a pound.

View attachment 11131

The gun

Back in 2011, I picked up my LCP brand new for $279 plus tax out the door and, realizing the known issue of surface rust on these guns in my part of the country when carried close to sweaty bodies, I had it professionally Duracoated to a sand/tan finish. After three years of carrying it regularly as a backup gun, the coating has held up great. Best $50 I ever spent, but of course if you are feeling adventurous, you can DIY for less.

The holster

I've tried several different IWB holsters for my LCP and have really not found one that I liked. Therefore, she rides in either a DeSantis Apache ankle rig or a simple $9 nylon Blackhawk (size 1) inside the pocket holster. The Blackhawk I originally bought for my Beretta 21 which is a tad bigger, but it fits the LCP like a glove, so more often than not, if I am pocket carrying, I use the Hawk/Else combo. The holster has a tacky band around the bottom that keeps the holster stuck in the pocket while the grip is oriented for a quick and efficient draw.


I carry two magazines with me for this particular set up. The first came with the gun, the spare I bought from Ruger for about $35. Typically the mag inserted in the firearm is a OE 6-shot single stack with the extended magazine base plate to help rest my little pinky upon. The backup mag is a 6-shot flush fit. Both of these have been modified with an aftermarket MagGuts kits to allow them to choke down an extra cartridge. With this math (7+7+1 in the chamber), I walk out the door with 8 shots ready and 7 shots backup for a total of 15 rounds.

When in jeans the spare mag fits in the change pocket, when in slacks or shorts the mag goes in the offhand pocket for faster reload. I practice these reloads often in dry fire with snap caps as well as with live fire on the range and encourage you to do the same.

Remember, with pocket carry, even more so that on IWB or OWB carry, you have to really practice to be able to draw and present effectively.

These kits ran me $40 for the pair and took about 20 minutes to install.


My typical personal defense load with this set up is 15 rounds of Speer Gold Dot LE Duty 380 ACP in the 90-grain load, which advertises 990fps/196 ft.lbs. at the muzzle. A more real world display of the ballistics of which are as follows in this (graphic) video through a hogs head:
From DocTacDad

For practice, I like to use Speer Lawman 90-grain TMJ rounds, which are ballistically identical, but if I can't get them, I run PMC Bronze 90-grain FMJ that is practically identical. The duty rounds run about $35 for a box of 50 rounds while the practice rounds run about half that.

The result

View attachment 11132

My holster-two mags-15 rounds-LCP combo has about a $450 investment all up including the cost of a box of Gold Dot. On my postal scales, this load is 15.84 ounces, on my kitchen scales, 15.9.

So for under a pound of carry weight and under a $500 investment if you throw in a few boxes of practice rounds, I am totally satisfied.

It's a pound I'll put on any day.
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