Comfortably carry concealed when off-duty or on plainclothes assignment.
Photo credit: CCW Breakaways
Each front pocket has an adjustable holster built in.
Photo credit: CCW Breakaways
Soon available in a "jeans" model too!
Photo credit: CCW Breakaways
I read an article once, long ago, about a Sheriff who issued his deputies two guns: the duty handgun (I think it was a Sig) and a stainless steel Walther PPK/S. The standard operating procedure called for the deputies to carry the Walther in their off-hand pocket (opposite side from their duty sidearm). In the article it was reported that many of the deputies approached vehicles on traffic stops with their off hand in their pocket holding the Walther, ready to draw it at a moment's notice. Now there is a pair of pants designed specifically for such a carry option: The CCW Breakaways.
The heart of this pant design is the holsters that are designed into the front pockets. Both pockets are specifically stitched to hold a handgun in place and they have adjustment straps to help adjust fit. I received two test pair of these pants, one in Navy Blue the other in OD Green, and have worn them as part of my regular attire for a couple months now. The two guns I have primarily tested them with are my Kahr CW4543 and my Glock Model 19. By and large the pants have functioned as designed and as advertised. If there is any fault or problem with wearing them it's in my mind because I still find it difficult to get used to the idea of having a gun in my crotch when I sit down - especially a handgun design that has no manual safety.
Understand, however, that is not a critical comment on these pants or their function/design. For the past decade or more I've occasionally worn pants and shorts with a Glock Model 26 dropped into my pocket. Depending on what the pant manufacturer and design were, that would be comfortable or not. I've never been comfortable sitting down with a gun in my pocket. So I kept that in mind as I evaluated these and decided that the CCW Breakaways are the most comfortable pants I've worn sitting down with a gun in my pocket.
Now, as to the pants: They fit comfortably and look "normal." There is a little extra material in the waistband just in front of each hip. This is necessary due to the snaps that hold the top of the front pocket pleat up and secure. By "breaking away" those snaps during the drawing process, you get a pretty large almost snag-free opening through which you can pull your gun out of the pocket. CCW Breakaways are NOT "just for righties." With about 92% of the population being right handed, it would be a smart business move to cater to that segment of gun carriers, but CCW Breakaway didn't. BOTH front pockets are designed as holsters but can just as comfortably be used as "regular" pockets.
Each pocket, as shown, has a hook-and-loop strap that allows you to adjust the circumference of the pocket as necessary to carry your handgun securely. In other words, you're not just dropping the gun into a fabric bucket but are putting it more into a fabric glove. That actually reduced my concern about accidental discharge in my pocket due to something (fabric) snagging the trigger, but to help insure against such events even more, CCW Breakaway makes what they call a Trigger Guard Shield or TGS. The TGS performs two functions: it keeps fabric from bunching up in or around the trigger/trigger guard which helps prevent the possibility of an AD, AND it helps reduce any potential for the handgun printing in your pocket. After all, if you're going to carry concealed, why have everyone be able to see the outline of the gun in your pocket?
For probably two months now I've worn these pants mixed in with my regular wardrobe. On the days I've worn them, I've carried either my Kahr CW4543 or my Glock Model 19. Although the Glock 19 is a mid-size 9mm, it hid pretty well and wasn't uncomfortable to carry. The Kahr CW4543, however, is a single-stack 6+1 .45ACP that is smaller than the G19 and I found it far more comfortable to carry. I can only imagine that a G26/27 or other smaller handgun would be even more comfortable.
But how are these pants to draw and shoot from? Pretty good actually. To test that I spent a day on the range drawing from the concealment of the pockets, getting three shots on target, checking my environment to insure no other threat existed and then "holstering." I went through the repetition more than thirty times.
The first few draws were a bit uncoordinated because I had to get used to "breaking" the pocket open during the draw process. Once I had practiced the movements a few times, my draw got faster and my presentation cleaner. As with any holster, you have to know the holster, know the firearm, and work your draw and reholster properly to be safe. In this case, holstering into a pocket, I found that the secret was lining my trigger finger up straight alongside the trigger guard as I slid the weapon into my pocket. Additionally, and this should probably go without saying, the gun is the only thing you put in that pocket.
That last little tidbit caused me some minor aggravation at first. Why? Because I'm a creature of habit as much as the rest of us. I fill my pockets each day the same way. In my right front pocket goes cash, challenge coin and zippo lighter. My Emerson Commander folding lockblade gets clipped into that pocket. It may seem insignificant but that's four things I had to put elsewhere when I pocketed the gun. Thankfully, the CCW Breakaways also come in a cargo pant design giving me additional pocket space to redistribute those items.
Overall I have to give these pants two thumbs up. I found them to be comfortable within reason given their function. They perform as advertised and, with practice, are easy to draw and present from. Given that so many states are now "Shall Issue" states, such apparel items will surely be finding their way more often into the mainstream public apparel.
MSRP runs about $85-$90 on the CCW Breakaways website. That's pretty good when you consider you're combining the cost of a pair of pants with the cost of two holsters in each pair. Check them out and see what you think.
About The Author:
Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) is the Editor In Chief for Officer.com, and has 30 years of military and civilian law enforcement experience. An instructor since 1989 and having delivered training across the country, he stays active in police work, training, and writing. Frank has had five non-fiction and two fiction books published along with two research papers of specific interest to the law enforcement and/or military communities. All can be found / purchased on his Author Page on Amazon.com linked above. If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.