The DeSantis Nemesis: Still the Champ

It’s odd just how long DeSantis has dominated the pocket carry space. Years ago, I pocket-carried due to a daily work uniform requirement, and recently I returned to the world of pocket-carry. When I asked some friends in the firearm industry what the current best option for pocket carry was, they all responded, “DeSantis.” I figured something would have changed in the last dozen years, but they seem to still hold the top spot. With that in mind, I ordered the DeSantis Nemesis once more.

In the last decade, holsters have changed considerably. They have evolved and transformed and become better and better. The DeSantis Nemesis has largely remained the same, and that’s not a bad thing. The Nemesis just works and has for several years, likely going back further than my first experience with it. My current dress-for-work situation involves a uniform not too friendly to most holster options.

Why Pocket Holsters?

I’ve since gone back to pocket carrying a smaller handgun. If you’re new to this, your pocket isn’t a holster. Pocket carry requires you to find a holster because a gun freely floating in your pocket is a bad idea for several reasons. Let’s break those down.

desantis nemesis small size
The Nemesis is ultra-compact and easy to carry
  • It’s dangerous. A gun needs to have its trigger covered, or you are just asking for something to find a way into the trigger guard to cause a negligent discharge.
  • You need a holster to ensure your firearm is properly oriented for a quick and efficient draw.
  • Pockets get dirty and raw dogging a gun is a great way to get the barrel filled with garbage and to get gunk into the action of the weapon. Oh, and people sweat. Sweat causes rust, and a holster can help.

Pocket holsters have been around forever, and crappy pocket holsters are quite common. A crappy pocket holster, in my experience, is soft and floppy and comes with the gun as you draw it from your pocket. They are often poorly fit, and your gun might just bounce around in them. That’s really not desirable. Neither is the very clear imprint of a gun in your pocket. Concealed means concealed, and your holster should aid in concealment.

The DeSantis Nemesis Difference

The DeSantis Nemesis is a pretty simple design, and at first glance, it might be tough to appreciate. Luckily I don’t mind breaking things like this down in detail. First, the DeSantis Nemesis has a wing design that expands beyond the normal confines of a standard pocket. This fills the pocket and helps anchor in the pocket. It won’t move back and forth or up and down in your pocket.

desantis nemesis wing
This wing keeps the gun in your pocket.

To help that wing is the texture. The external rough texture is like gator skin and grips the fabric of your pocket. This works with the wing to help keep the holster in place, preventing it from leaving the pocket with your gun. To aid this even further, the inside of the holster has a smooth, soft finish. This allows you to draw your firearm with minimal resistance and friction, which again helps you draw without the holster moving.

desantis nemesis texture
The grippy texture of the Nemesis makes keeps the gun in your pocket when you draw.

The DeSantis Nemesis packs foam between the front and internal layer that adds a buddle to the design. This acts as a stand-off device to ensure your holster isn’t printing. You can sit without worrying about the imprint of your firearm showing as clear as day, even for the bros and broettes in skinny jeans. Sure, you’ll see a bulge, but not a gun-shaped bulge.

The Nemesis comes in various sizes to accommodate a wider variety of guns. A P365 can be pocket carried, but it’s a lot larger than an LCP. A revolver is shaped differently than an automatic as well, so you aren’t getting a floppy holster that barely contains your gun. Size and compatibility with certain guns are advertised side by side, so you know how your holster will fit.

Getting a Grip

I’ve been pocket-carrying and training with the DeSantis Nemesis for several weeks now. My typical routine involves about 10 minutes of dry fire practice a day, and that involves drawing from whatever pants I’m wearing. I’ve used this in my work pants, cargo pants, jeans, and formal pants without issue. It seems to universally fit most pant pockets.

Unless you have some form of giant special pockets, you shouldn’t have an issue. In fact, the only pant pockets it doesn’t work well in are basketball shorts, and that’s because the pockets aren’t supported, and the weight of even the lightest guns seems to twist them up. Some pockets are easier to draw from than others. Loose-fit jeans provide a smooth draw, but regular fit can feel tight. Khakis and casual pants provide the easiest draw, and my work cargo pants provide the smallest pocket opening.

Desantis nemesis pocket carry
The Nemesis disappears into your pocket.

Once the gun and holsters are locked in, I know I can confidently draw without worrying about the holster following the gun. It just doesn’t happen. The gun glides out, and the Nemesis stays put and doesn’t argue with you over the gun.

The cut of the Nemesis, along with the wing, allows you to get a grip around the grip, meaning you can draw with a good firing grip. I typically rest my thumb on the rear of the gun until it clears the pocket, but it’s a minor adjustment. I haven’t reached a subsecond draw from the pocket, but I’m getting closer and closer. Like all draws, it takes practice, and speed comes with that practice.

Fit and Function

The DeSantis Nemesis provides a nice comfy ride. I barely ever notice the thing as I go through my day. It disappears and doesn’t rub my thigh raw throughout the day. There is also no noticeable damage to the pockets it’s commonly carried in. It provides a good buffer. Y

desantis nemesis profile
It’s soft and malleable but fit for easy use.

Reholstering with pocket carry is an interesting conversation. I pull the holster out and pocket the gun and holster together. I like being able to see the gun going into the holster and know that nothing is getting in the trigger guard. This seems the safest method. It’s also a pain during dry fire practice. The little Nemesis doesn’t want to come out of your pocket, which ultimately is a good thing.

The DeSantis Nemesis continues to stand as the go-to pocket holster for several reasons. It’s affordable, easy to carry, and works wonderfully. It will likely hitch a ride with me for the foreseeable future. Sure, pocket carry isn’t optimal, but it’s better than no gun at all.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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