Pocket pistol

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  #1  
Old 03-09-14, 07:21 PM
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Pocket pistol

I am looking for suggestions for a pocket pistol for a carry gun. I have a nice carry gun but many times I feel uncomfortable with it on as I do not want to draw attention to having it on me. I think a pocket pistol might fit the bill and there is a big gun show next weekend for me to handle a bunch. I'm just looking for any suggestions others may have for me to keep an eye open for. The only restrictions I have is:

Should be small to fit in a pocket
Should be center fire
DA/SA preferred, but DAO is OK but not an 8lb trigger.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 08:57 PM
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New Colt Mustang...Ruger LC series...Taurus has one now too. And I doubt you'd ever go wrong with a Kahr. An 8lb trigger isn't that bad in a stress situation...I can't imagine wanting less as a matter of fact. The designs have gotten so good that 8lbs feels like a lot lighter pull.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 09:37 PM
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I like the LCP 380 , the finger-extension floor plate on mag. makes a it even better.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 12:47 AM
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If you get a chance to handle a Keltec P3AT try it. Light, 5 pound trigger, and it is next on my list. Due to its size it isn't a gun you would want to do a lot of shooting with, but it will conceal very well.

Bud
 
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Old 03-10-14, 03:47 AM
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I bought one size up from a pocket pistol, in the Taurus 9mm (G2),and wish I had gone with the SW bodyguard in .380. SIL has one, and it is nice, with built in laser. My laser was add on, so it increases size a little. i do like the 12 shot mags, though on the Taurus.
 

Last edited by chandler; 03-10-14 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 03-10-14, 05:25 AM
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Take a look at a Bersa .380. About $300 there's alot of value packed in a small flat-sided DA/SA. I just don't like hammerless pistols and this one has a minimal hammer that can be thumbed back if desired-- similar to a PPK.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 05:49 AM
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Before the Mustang came back, I bought a Sig P238 that I have been very pleased with. Obviously not the knockdown of larger calibers, but it's accurate, and I'll take that any day. Besides, there are times when a .45 can be a bit much to carry. I stocked up at some point, so don't know where the market is right now, but the only thing was that ammo got rediculously high and hard to get for quite a while, although that can be said for other calibers as well.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 10:27 AM
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Check out the S&W M&P Shield. 6" length by less than 1" wide in the 9MM model. 6.5 Lb. trigger pull.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 11:20 AM
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Probably not going to be the leading choice here but I can put a hammerless DAO .38 snub nose in my front pocket without it being obvious. The one I use is a titanium S&W.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 11:36 AM
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Thats a great option Mitch. The .38 Spl LCR from Ruger is also very light and relatively thin.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I have a good list going for the show.

I should have mentioned this but my carry gun now is a Bersa Thunder 380. I do really like it and it shoots well. I just want some thing that will fit in the front pocket of pants or shorts. Nice and quick, no belt or jacket on hot days. (Hot to me = over 65 degrees. )
 
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Old 03-10-14, 11:49 PM
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I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment and in personal responsibility so don't confuse me with someone that wants to ban guns. However, I always ask those that want to carry 24/7 how often they have been in a situation when instant access to a firearm was beneficial. I have NEVER been in such a situation but maybe I lead a charmed life.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 12:22 AM
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Well, Furd...I sorta with you...I avoid any situations or areas where I might need it, but if I have to travel or be in a bad area...I carry. And I'm always armed...in one way or another.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 12:58 AM
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Forty years ago I used to hang out in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle (aka Skid Road) late night and early morning and never felt it necessary to carry. These days I wouldn't even drive through the area after dark.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 06:48 AM
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I have been personally armed with a side holster (357) when approached by some strange characters who simply went away. I was camping with my family. On another time our group exited a lake at dusk to find several characters on motorcycles next to our vehicles way back in the woods. No logical reason for them to be there. When my nephew took off his life jacket his shoulder holster was plainly visible and that group departed without saying a word.

In both cases we will never know the intent of those strange characters, but in my opinion, the presence of someone being armed did exactly what one would want, it ended the situation before it got bad.

Carrying a weapon for self defense is far more than being able to shoot ones way out of a fight, it is being able to sleep at night with my family in a tent without any fear, be it a rabid skunk, bear, or something on 2 legs. I enjoy being free and don't like having to avoid the remoteness up here just to avoid those very rare occasions when maybe just maybe, I would bump into the wrong people.

I'll be 67 this fall and certainly couldn't outrun anyone if needed. But a small pocket pistol and some common sense and I will never have to.

Top on my list are reliable, discrete, and light weight. The fully loaded 11 oz Keltec is a feather weight. A 380 isn't a knock down weapon, but just having it will take care of 90% of any problems. Firing a warning shot will take care of most of the rest. The final 1%, well I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a 380.

Let us know what you find. And sorry for going long.

Bud
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 03-11-14 at 06:48 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 03-11-14, 07:05 AM
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I'll stay out of the pocket versus something larger debate because I too feel the need for a pocket gun sometimes. Around the first of the month when rent money starts coming in and I might be alone at work I do go for something larger.

My personal favorite is the Kel Tec P3AT which is .380 version. It's inexpensive and the smallest and lightest available in that class of gun. It has a surprisingly decent trigger for a pocket gun. Even before I fired mine I gave it a "full & buff" and it has been completely reliable for 5+ years so far and has never had a failure of any sort even when packed with a couple months of pocket lint. There are numerous in pocket holsters that sorta break up the outline but I've found that most still allow the heavier slide side of the gun to eventually rotate down in larger pockets. DeSantis makes a great IWB, leather holster that I absolutely love.

Rugger LCP and LC9/LC380 can be reliable though I can not stand their triggers. They have a very, very long pull which for me is more problematic than the pull weight. Their pull is so long that I find maintaining accuracy difficult. If you do consider an LC9/LC380 and want a laser I would pick the Crimson Trace model. My hand naturally depresses the button when holding the gun. The LaserMax's button is too long reach with your extended trigger finger so you're not in firing position when depressing the button. Also, note that there is a more limited choice of holsters that will accommodate guns with lasers. The Talon IWB works pretty well while the model from The Holster Store will depress the Crimson Trace's button while the gun is holstered. It can be modified pretty simply if you can sew leather but as far as I know they continue to produce it incorrectly.

Small frame revolvers are another choice though I would pick the P3AT over any of them. They are reliable in that the cartridges are in the cylinders but the cylinder can still pick up pocket lint and debris which could possibly block the cylinder from rotating. Even with just 5 shots all models are considerably thicker/wider and have a larger overall size that make them more difficult to conceal in a pocket.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand
I should have mentioned this but my carry gun now is a Bersa Thunder 380...
OK so you're already aware of the charms of the Bersa
But I'm not sure you're going to find anything noticeably smaller. As it is the Bersa is uncomfortable to shoot much due to being SO thin, it's harsh in the hand.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 06:16 PM
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As it is the Bersa is uncomfortable to shoot much due to being SO thin, it's harsh in the hand.
On the contrary, I find the Bersa a great gun to shoot. The .380 is easy to handle, and with the factory rubber grips and the extension on the mag, it fits my hand quite well.

As far a caliber debate, there are a lot of high performance ammo out there that will do what I intend the gun to do, if needed.

Why carry? It is not that I am in places where I need to carry, it is just you never know what kind of goofball you are going to run into. Just think how things may have turned out at the Colorado movie theater, for example, if one of the people there who thought they didn't need to carry, did. I would rather have a gun and not need it, then need a gun and not have it.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 07:30 PM
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If you want a pocket pistol the Kel Tec is 8 oz compared to the Bersa's 20. It's .7" thick compared to 1.3"... well you get the idea. In my mind the Thunder is twice the size of the P3AT and (surprise surprise) feels about like the PPK. In my mind the Thunder and PPK are not pocket guns in the modern world. Maybe when you could tuck them in to your Heffner smoking jacket but even they will spoil the lines of a fine Bond tuxedo.

The downside to the P3AT is felt recoil and grip size. You can probably get all your fingers around the Bersa. The Kel Tec is simply too small and your pinkie will twiddle in space and your ring finger will be on the edge. That's the price for ultra small and light and that light weight and thin frame will let you feel all that the mighty .380 has to offer.

In spite of all that the P3AT is a gun I can shoot very well for it's size. The Ruger LCP, LC9, Bond Arms, Double Tap, Lady Smith... are bigger, heavier and all perform worse in my hand. If you crawl in attics and under houses or want something to carry every time you leave the house I would at least consider the P3AT.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 12:41 PM
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Toland

You make a choice? Which gun did you buy, if you already have, if you care to share?

I too have the Bersa 380. Great gun and warrantied for life! That's a positive...
I also have a Beretta in 380. Bit larger in size and heavier then any newer models of pocket pistols. Love it. Great size grips. However, it "PRINTS" (easily can be seen...) if carried in pants pocket.

Solution is an inside the waist band holster and/or wearing a shirt not tucked in or a pull over shirt. Loosely fitting size. My Ruger SP101 in 327 mag is not so large nor heavy IMO. Powerful enough in that caliber but it also can fire the lesser powerful 32 S&W Long, 32 H&R mag. Any 32 caliber except the 32 auto caliber. IMO it makes a great revolver carry weapon. If a revolver is the choice.

Draw back to a large caliber in a small frame gun is target acquisition after the first shot is fired. Small grips in larger hands and heavy recoil defeats target acquisition if additional shots required.

Triggers with heavy pull weights and/or long pulls are not acceptable to me. Difficult to stay on target when your focus on sights is distracted, IMO. Gunsmith can resolve trigger problems in most cases. However, some will not due any more then polish (not file) the sear release.

Bottom line. Try before you buy!
MY TWO CENTS...
 
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Old 05-05-14, 05:00 PM
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I have not made the purchase yet. I did look, handle, and ask a bunch of questions.

I found I do not care for the LCP due to the very poor sites. They are not adjustable at all and they have no marks. However, it is not out completely as it turns out I have a friend that has one so I can try it.

I did like the S&W Bodyguard for the reasons above (Good sights, adjustable) However I found this is DAO which I do not care for after trying the trigger. However, I found that quite a few pocket pistols are DAO so that has added a new aspect in my search.

So after I found out the many of the pocket pistols are DAO I expanded my window of what I was looking at. Talking to a guy at a show suggested I check out the Kahr CW380. I tried the trigger and found it to be not bad, and the price was good, had decent sights, and its made in the USA. Right now it is at the top of the list.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 05:29 PM
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I said that a while back...Kahr makes some good stuff. Don't own one, but great comments by real users.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 06:48 PM
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If you plan to target shoot at distances of 25 yards and up, adjustable sights may help slightly. On the other hand, most self defense occurs in the 2 to 7 yard range. At those distances it's just point and pop. You don't have time to get a perfect sight picture.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 07:31 PM
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I do understand that Goldstar, Just during training drills I would like something to look at. The LCP, for example, only has some bumps that are about 1/16"-3/32" tall and are more or less pointless.

I did really want to find a Beretta Tomcat in .32. All I found were two in .22
 
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Old 05-06-14, 08:28 AM
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"Pocket pistol" and "adjustable sights" are something I thought I'd never hear in the same sentence. It sounds like you are looking for two different things. A pocket pistol and a target pistol. Both are very different both in size and the features they offer. A pocket pistol is a stripped down tiny thing that goes bang when you pull the trigger. Things like adjustable sights, slide locks SA/DA, re-strike capability... all add size and weight to a pistol and generally don't appear in anything I would consider a pocket pistol. Compact yes, but not a pocket model.
 
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Old 05-06-14, 10:01 AM
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Two Personal Observations:
#1
Excellent Thread... Plenty of great suggestions with helpful advice provided by knowledgeable persons....... a Win-Win...

#2
The fact that no purchase was made yet is another positive, imo.

Another possible aspect to consider before a purchase is made now, what is a good personal choice right now might not be in the future. Things change. The gun does not. The shooter does.

Meaning, as an example in my case, the 45 calibers are gone. In it's place are my two 380/9mm CT (Court) calibers, the 357mag/38sp and the 327magnum/32 S&W Long. Versatility and caliber variations. I changed. Not the guns. My usage and my age changed... What was once acceptable in calibers, grips, etc no longer applies.

Thinking of it in the above manner may be worthy of consideration and may apply...

Think for the future and not only in the present. MY TWO CENTS...

 
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Old 05-06-14, 03:42 PM
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First off, I am not very happy with you Sharp! I kind of put the .327 mag in the back of my head and now you brought it to the front. I have a S&W 686 in .357. I think a blued .327 would be nice.

No, I am not one to make a quick purchase, unless it is a really good deal. And you are quire correct about how things change. My first carry gun was a Springfield XD sub compact. I found this to be too heavy and bulky to carry (talk about printing!!), which is why I went to the Bersa 380. As you said, things change.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 01:27 PM
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Not happy... With me? HA HA. That's a okay. Here's more...

Churining up additional thoughts and choices....

The Ruger 327 mag is a great revolver. However, using magnums is a handful. A lot of muzzle lift, very noisy and lots of felt recoil. Muzzle lift makes target acquisitions for another shot slow and sometimes rather difficult!

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A few more choices you may want to consider.

My Home Defense Beretta 380 first photo

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My Home Defense Beretta 380 second photo

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Another brand I seen in the gun magazines is the SCCY. A gun I would consider buying if I was in the market for a new one and if it was allowed to be sold in my state. One reason it might be a good purchase IMO is the life time warranty...

 
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Old 08-09-14, 02:08 PM
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Did you ever get a pocket pistol?

My Kel Tec P-3AT was showing the effects of being drenched in sweat for several years and I needed to take it out of service to give it a major overhaul. I got a Kahr CW-380 as it's replacement. It's 2 oz heavier than the Kel Tec (8.3 versus 10.2) but boy is the trigger nice for a pocket pistol and I don't know if it's the extra weight or design but the recoil is much better managed.

 
 

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