IWB - pocket - smartcarry ??

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by dws, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. dws

    dws New Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    I recently got a 3AT and so far really like it. I have close to 200 rounds through it with various types of ammo and have had 0 problems. Now I need to find a good way to carry it. My first holster is a nemesis pocket holster. I thought it was pretty good with jeans but did not like it with my pants that have looser pockets. With my jeans there was virtually no printing, with my other pants it prints very noticeably while sitting - thinner material just prints more. My other problem is that I am use to carrying my wallet, keys, and pocket knife in my front pocket, but don't feel comfortable having any of these in my pocket when my pocket holster is in there. So what other non-pocket holsters or other methods of conceal carry do you like? The next things I am considering is a tuckable IWB or maybe a smartcarry. Anyone have recommendations or testimonials for either of these?
  2. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    While not completely tuckable, a belt clip allows the gun to ride low enough that a shirt can be bloused over it and it will go unnoticed. I've done that on and it works. Then I bought an Uncle Mike's #3 pocket holster and never had a problem with it printing. Also, I wear an IWB holster on occasion as well. Because the p3at is so small and versitile it has many more carry options that can easily be changed according to how you're dressed that day. Sorry, no experience yet with the SmartCarry system.

  3. hiredgun

    hiredgun New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    + 1 on many options.

    Personally, I always come back to the Nemisis in the front right pocket. Just turns out to be most convenient. And you are absolutely correct not to put ANYTHING else in the pocket where it is being carried. I had to change my habits and put the keys, change, etc over in my left front pocket to accomplish this. Easy transition.

    Smart Carry - I have taken to carrying my P-40 in there when I want deep concealment or I'm going to an event forum where I know they're scrutinizing people entering. Smart Carry is a nice alternative. Since I sit a lot during the day, it sort of bugs me by the end of the day, but otherwise is a nice, secure method of carry. And I know the question running through your mind... the way it rides places the muzzle below and clear of any critical assets.

    IWB - love it. This is the second most frequent way I carry. Very convenient and allows easy presentation of the firearm. Here I use the Desantis "Tuck This". Tuckable IWB is cool if you need a more professional look. Desantis has a cheaper solution, but I really like Cross Breed rigs. You can conceal a pretty big piece witht hat one, and certainly the 3AT with no problem. They ain't cheap but they're comfortable.

    My personal view of the belt clip is that is is theoretically very convenient. I never carry that way to eliminate the small risk that slipping it in the trigger will catch on some irregularity in the jeans or other fabric. I'm a big advocate of protecting the trigger, and the clip just won't do that. But so long as you are very deliberate and conscious of the type of risk there - it can be a nice way to carry.

    Always come back to pocket carry, myself, though.

    Hope this helps.
  4. qcatrader

    qcatrader New Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    The shirt blousing thing might work for some, but not me. If you carry this way the moment you reach out for anything, the gun is visible. That's a No-No here in Iowa. The gun must be concealed - period!

    I personally use two holsters. Primary holster is a Galco suede leather in-pocket holster, but I've cut off the metal part that keeps the holster mouth open because it printed badly. Then I also a Bianchi suede holster with a belt clip that I wear IWB when I have an overhanging shirt or jacket on. This is actually my preferred method because the 3-AT is extremely comfortable sitting or standing and I have full use of my front pockets for my wallet, change, knife, etc.
  5. Options Options Options!

    Do a search on this topic to see more, but here are some of my current options:


    Guru Dave:
    Desanti Nemisis
    Custom/home made belt slider

    I also wear a smart carry at times, I just have not taken a picture of it yet.

    The 5.11 Shirt with the holster is a good option.

    From my experience, it is a matter of trying many options and seeing what works for what situation.
  6. Badman400

    Badman400 Well-Known Member

    Like hiredgun, the mode I always come back to is front pocket carry. Like you, I used to carry my keys, pocket knife, etc in that pocket. But I switched, feeling that it was better to make the change than go unarmed.

    The pocket holster I use is made by Elite Survival Systems. It has a textured rubber-like outside that grips the pants pocket keeping it upright and stable in the pocket, and also making it stay put during a draw. The inside of the holster is a soft nylon that makes the draw easy and protects the gun finish. It also covers the trigger.

    My cost was around $12 locally, but they can be purchased from the Elite website for $13.95.

    I use the smaller size for my P-32 and P3AT, and the next larger size for my P-11 and PF-9. I am carrying the PF-9 in pleated baggy dress pants and the print is negligible. Hope this helps. :cool:

  7. brotherjethro

    brotherjethro New Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Hi -- here's something to consider...  I'm a lefty, but I carry in my front right pocket, because it was always empty before.  This means I don't have to change anything, so I'm more likely to carry.  Of course, this only works if you're comfortable using the gun with your weak hand, which is something I practice a lot.  Maybe it's a lefty thing:  I think we tend to be somewhat ambidextrous.

    I've been using a grandfather oak kydex in-the-pocket holster.  At first I wasn't so sure I liked it, but now I'm pretty happy with it.  I think it needed to "learn" my shape over a few days.
  8. Plex

    Plex New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    With a weapon permit in Iowa, NOTHING compels you to conceal.  Good citizens might report you, and the police may roust you, but in Iowa, unlike Florida, if your weapon is SEEN, you are not brandishing.

    Just thought another Iowan should clear that up for you.

  9. Plex

    Plex New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I too shoot left handed.  During warmer weather (less clothes) I carry my P3AT in a Nemesis in my left front pocket.


    Looking down on the business end, the Nemesis tends to conform to the shape of your leg.  Notice my "older" model is also open muzzle.


  10. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I have owned 3 SmartCarry's over the past year or so, but now own only 1. The only one I have now is a standard/small/white version. It is great for P11/PF9 sized pistols, but in my opinion it is not optimum for a P3AT.

    I once puchased an extra small SC for my P3AT but it was actually much too small and left the trigger exposed so I returned it. To make the small sized SC work with the P3AT you can do a couple of things. First, you can stuff some tissue paper in the bottom of the holster and shape it a bit so the P3AT doesn't disappear into the pouch (my preference since it doesn't damage the holster). Or you can use a large safety pin to seal off some of the lower part of the pouch. I played with both ideas but eventually came to the conclusion that if I was going to wear the SC, I was going to take a bigger gun with me for the day.

    For me, after trying a few other ideas I also came to the conclusion that the P3AT is best carried in my front pocket riding in a Desantis Nemesis. I have not found printing to be an issue at all, no matter what I am wearing. If I carry any other way I have a different/bigger gun with me, but frankly the P3AT gets more time with me than any other of my pistols.
  11. dgreer

    dgreer New Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    My first pocket holster was an Uncle Mike's #3. Although it prints very little, I don't recommend it for the P3AT. It is just a little too big and holds the gun too far up on the grip making a clean draw somewhat difficult. A #2 would probably be better.

    But you should consider your choice of clothing when deciding how to carry. I like to wear sweaters and t-shirts out side of my pants. I am an average sized guy with a 36" waist and have chosen the Fobus paddle holster for my 2G P3. When worn just forward of my hip bones I can wear it either strong side or cross draw and it fits closely against my stomach and is almost impossible to detect. With the design of the paddle you can adjust the cant of the holster to whatever is good for you just by leaning it forward or back. It is also very easy to remove and store if you enter a no carry zone...although I have never been detected. ;) But, be advised, this is not the method to use if you need to tuck your shirt in; unless you are wearing a jacket. It also might not be best if you are exceptionally thin as your shirts may hang a little closer to your body.

    But it does eliminate the concerns about what you carry in your pockets and it's very comfortable! ::)

    Good luck and good shooting.
  12. Lynnsky

    Lynnsky New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Grandfather Oak IWB - appendix. Ron Graham Black Dahlia for weak side left front pocket carry. Cheap Uncle Mike's for left rear pocket carry, ankle rig, and a Ron Graham Sting Ray for either right front pocket carry or right rear pocket carry (has a removable cover panel). Keep in mind I am very much in favor of a New York Reload ;)

    It's all good. Hell, The Packer is back! ;D

  13. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    This what and how I carry daily...
    (Actually, I broke the blade on the penknife and don't carry that anymore).

    Weak-side (left) front pocket: Comb, penknife, ballpoint pen, paper money, small measuring tape, mouth freshener.

    Strong-side (right) front pocket: Folding utility knife, coins, keys.

    Weak-side (left) rear pocket: Throw-down wallet, handkerchief.

    Strong-side (right) rear pocket: Real wallet.

    SmartCarry holster with Kel-Tec P-3AT and Armalaser, and two spare mags.


    I have been carrying this way every day for almost two years now. The only time I change to pocket carry with a Grandfather Oak holster is when I may have to strip down, such as when I go to the doctor.
  14. dws

    dws New Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    What size smartcarry is that and how do you wear it (what position)? Any issues when sitting and crossing legs?

    Also, did the laser improve your accuracy much?
  15. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    The SmartCarry size I have is the “XSL” security model as shown in the large photo on this web page:

    If I ever reorder I will get the “XSL” standard holster with the smaller pocket on the left as shown in the photo above the one that shows my holster.

    Even though I think one spare mag is enough, I carry two spare mags because there is plenty of room for them in the holster I have with the larger spare pocket. I find that this holster is a bit too wide so I tuck the extra holster material under the mags when I’m wearing it (which is 24/7/365). This makes it just the right size.

    I wear the holster low, with the strap around my upper hips, just below the waist, and the pockets centered between my thighs.

    If you want to wear skin-tight jeans the SmartCarry is not for you. I wear loose Docker type pants, with a loose waist and suspenders with untucked shirts. This allows a reasonably fast three-step draw (more on this later). Because I buy pants with a waist one size larger than I would for belt use, the crotch is also a bit roomier which eliminates the problem some folks have with the SmartCarry riding up and pushing into the abdomen when sitting due to the tighter crotch. The larger waist and extra room in the crotch also allows for faster, smoother draw.

    There is no problem sitting with crossed legs.

    As to the draw…

    Lift the hem of the shirt high up on your chest with your strong hand. As the shirt moves up suck in your gut and hook your waistband with your weak hand thumb and pull the waistband forward leaving plenty of room to reach in and draw with your strong hand. This takes some practice, but it’s faster than it sounds. I can consistently draw and have my first round on target in 1.5 seconds or less. You can even do it easily sitting down, not as fast, but you’d be surprised. It even works in a car with the seat belt on as long as your untucked shirt is over and not under the seat belt. In the car you draw exactly the same way, the only difference is that the seat belt moves forward with your waistband.

    On the laser…
    I really like my ArmaLaser a lot!!!

    Here's why:
    1. I'm on target faster.
    2. I'm more accurate.
    3. It's better and faster than iron sights in low light and especially in the dark.
    4. I can shoot from almost any body position with either hand or both hands very accurately.
    5. It's as fast as point shooting, but much more accurate.
    6. My head doesn't have to be in line or level with the gun.
    7. The laser requires only viewing the target and not the gun.
    8. My arm, hand, and gun don’t have to be in a position that blocks vision around the target area.
    9. I can see peripherally much better.
    10. Wearing multi-focal eyeglasses requires acquiring the correct focal portion of the glasses as well as acquiring sight alignment and sight picture (I wear trifocals). Not necessary with the laser.
    Also, with some multi-focal eyeglass wearers if the sights are in focus the target isn't or visa-versa.
    11. The laser helps with trigger pull and natural pointing during dry fire and hot fire practice.
    12. The gun prints less like a gun in pocket carry.
    13. The iron sights are still there if you want them.

    This is my review on the ArmaLaser:
  16. Srigs

    Srigs New Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    I use all three options. Most used is pocket carry in my Rough Out, Second in IWB in appendix position and lastly Smartcarry. I would carry my P11 in Smart Carry more than my P3AT. :cool:
  17. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    I second all of what I have seen here except that I would say that I smartcarry the P3AT. P40 or G27 standing, sitting, running, all the time and have no problems. MY XS fits my P3AT perfectly and the trigger guard is NOT exposed at all - wonder what was up with the one posted about earlier, maybe a weird run or something? Comfort is great once you learn where on your body the weapon needs to sit. There is a remarkable amount of extra room in there (at least for me :-[) and when you get it in just the right place it just about disappears. And concealability makes it my most often used although I like the accessability of the front pocket just a bit more. The .40's are not front pocket concealable though but the P3AT is.

    The K&D front pocket holsters are my absolute favorites. My second is the concealmentconcepts pocket holster and my desantis gets used solely to protect the trigger if I am using the clip (in boot or waistband). I also have some IWB holsters for the P3AT but almost never use them because of concealment.

  18. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I don't know what was up with my XS SmartCarry. I ordered it specifically for my P3AT. It was not the XSL model, however, which appears to be designed with an Arma Laser enhanced P3AT in mind. Mine was just a plain old XS. I could not get the muzzle to go down fully into the holster, and trigger ended up riding just below the upper edge of the pouch. It really was very insecure. When I emailed Charlie about this he did not seem surprised and seemed to indicate that the small size was better - and recommended the modifications I mentioned earlier.

    If you have an Arma Laser (it is on my wish list) then an XSL looks VERY attractive. One of these might be in my future too.
  19. boatnsc

    boatnsc New Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    FWIW l carry my PF9 and my P3AT in my thunderwear carry , its very easy to get the draw,and l wearbut  
    it all day if l am in anything but jeans ,otherwise its Nemisis front pocket carry until l can upgrade to
    KD pocket.........