U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Pocket carry is something I’ve flirted with for years. I’ve tried nylon holsters from Blackhawk, and Tagua, kydex options from Detroit Holsters and a local bender, and just a plain pocket. Unfortunately, everything kept coming up short for a variety of reasons. Then last year I took a block on small autos and snubbies from Darryl Bolke and Chuck Haggard at the Primary & Secondary Training Summit.
One of the subjects they spoke to at length was pocket carry. During this portion of class, Darryl and Chuck provided several pocket holsters they preferred, along with the pros and cons for each. This introduced me to the Safariland Model 25 pocket holster, which I promptly ordered upon my return home. How does it compare to my previous experiences?
Construction and Design of the Safariland Model 25 Pocket Holster
Being a pocket holster, the Safariland M25 is pretty simple in design.
The interior is reinforced, made from something that appears similar to kydex or another plastic. This keeps the mouth of the holster open after drawing your pistol. The non-porous material prevents moisture transfer, helping to protect the gun from sweat, rain, and other harmful conditions. This also makes cleaning the holster of dust and lint simple, requiring only a rag or canned air and a few seconds to wipe out the interior.
The exterior of the Safariland M25 pocket holster is wrapped in black suede, with some markings on one side of the holster. This suede helps to improve stability within the pocket, ensuring the gun is consistently oriented throughout the day.
The trigger is protected from the sides, though the holster does flare a bit due to the cylinder of my revolver. This could allow a finger to access the trigger for those with smaller hands or thinner fingers. I imagine this is less of a factor with models made for autoloading pistols.
Right Handed or Wrong Handed Options
Unlike many pocket holsters, the Safariland Model 25 actually has a dedicated handedness to it, left or right. While shooters could theoretically use one of these holsters ambidextrously, there is some serious advantage to wearing the holster in the proper pocket. On the body side of the holster the M25 is somewhat molded to the gun, helping to keep it securely fit. This side also features some cuts to the material to access controls, such as the cylinder release latch on my Smith & Wesson 351C.
The side of the holster which faces away from the body features a smooth face, and rises slightly higher than the body side. This helps to break up the outline of the gun in the pocket, improving concealment, which is especially helpful with thinner materials and lighter colors of pants.
Retention on the Safariland Model 25 Pocket Holster
The Safariland Model 25 pocket holster uses completely passive retention to retain the pistol. In fact, there is nearly zero retention at all from the M25, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing here. Since our pocket holster isn’t firmly attached to anything, we don’t want it coming along with the gun during the draw stroke. Safariland claims you can “simply drop handgun into the pocket and it holsters itself”, which isn’t entirely untrue. Though I typically recommend removing the holster from the pocket before inserting your pistol.
Real World Use
I purchased my Safariland Model 25 in early September 2021 and began carrying with it immediately, While pocket carry isn’t what I typically choose when I leave the house, it has become my go-to for lounging around the home or doing yard work. I’ve worn the M25 in shorts, pajama pants, certain jeans, and slacks. Although I haven’t taken the M25 to any dedicated classes, it has seen significant dry practice and has been carried nearly every day since arriving on my doorstep.
Over the last nine months, the Safariland Model 25 has never left my pocket during the draw stroke; the suede exterior keeping it firmly in place. In addition to this, the gun has always stayed properly oriented in my pocket, despite significant movements such as roughhousing with my partner, ensuring a consistent draw stroke.
Not Without Concerns
One consideration to take note of is the lack of retention. This can be more or less of a factor depending on the type of pants and pockets you find yourself wearing, along with your body position. With looser and more open pockets, such as those on my pajama pants, this can be problematic. With pajamas, I have had my gun slide out of the Model 25, and my pocket entirely when laying on the couch.
When wearing something a little more firm, like slacks or jeans, the pocket itself helps to secure the pistol during movement, while still providing access in an emergency. I don’t particularly count this against the holster, but it was certainly surprising the first time it happened. This is a problem among every other pocket holster I’ve encountered, so Safariland is operating par for the course in this regard. Be aware of how your clothes interact with the holster, especially in positions other than your typical seated or standing.
Final Thoughts on the Safariland Model 25 Pocket Holster
I really like the Safariland Model 25 pocket holster. It stands head and shoulders above the average pocket holster found in most gun shops without breaking the bank. The combination of features make for something concealable, easily accessible by the shooter, and durable. I highly recommend you give one a try if you spend any time pocket carrying a pistol.
The Safariland Model 25 has an MSRP $36.00. I found mine slightly cheaper on Amazon, where it currently retails for $29.99. For those using something other than a J-Frame, Ruger LCP, or Glock 42, check out Safariland’s site where they support a variety of pistols for this holster.
About Dan Reedy
Dan is an Air Force veteran, avid shooter, and dog dad. With a passion for teaching, he holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has trained with Darryl Bolke, Mike Pannone, Craig Douglas, among several other instructors, amassing over 400 hours of professional instruction thus far. In his spare time you’ll find him teaching handgun, shotgun, and less lethal classes.